The female is breathing fire while also sad. Fish are delicate creatures, and when living in an apartment complex, stuff sometimes happens. This week, the stuff was some chemical or contaminant in the apartment’s water system.
Safe enough for humans, lethal for fish. All of her fish passed away within several days of each other following their last water change. (It was not illness; she immediately started medicinal treatments at the first symptom, which did mimic an actual fish illness. But then the psychological symptoms kicked in, which made it clear it was likely a toxicological reason for their sickness.)
Until she can figure out a solution to the changes in the water supply, which are still toxic for fishies, she will be adding a plant to the team, and we will, moving forward, become the Furred & Frond Management.
We expect the plant to be a mouthy little asshole, although we’e hopeful it won’t rise up from its pot to kill us all.
As someone asked this on facebook, I’d like to take a moment to address how fish, human-potable water, and toxicology works.
What’s safe for humans to drink is often not safe for fish. For example, fish require minerals and nutrients in the water we don’t necessarily require as we can get it from other sources. (This is also why fish in low-water areas may develop a major buildup of mercury! They absorb a lot from the water.)
Chlorine, in particular, is something humans tolerant post treatment but fish absolutely cannot. (Fish keepers have special chemicals we use to keep their water chlorine and heavy metal clean! And yes, they were receiving this at every water change.)
To human eyes, nose, and tongue, there had been no changes to the water.
But something was in the water, something the treatments to clean their water for them didn’t address.
In the fish world, this is also known as a “Well, shit!”
(The female been raising fish since she was old enough to walk, and “Well, shit!” moments have littered her entire life. I’m sad, because these were pets the female was responsible for, but it wasn’t her fault. She changed nothing, and the treatments and conditioners can only do so much. This is life, and life blows sometimes.)
The female is trying to decide what sort of plant she wishes to terrorize now, but she’s considering getting an LED plant light and a bonsai.
I have included this somewhat grainy image for your enjoyment. Are we not majestic upon our throne?
So. My human, she made plans for today. They involved tweaking ads. They also involved building some new ads and showing you the results.
Facebook has opted not to review ads today, so she can’t tweak the ads or run in new ones. They sit in the “in review” status pool and sigh sadly.
So she, instead, has added budget to the decent ads, taken budget away from the poor performers, and sighs sadly, as pulling ads right now would be disastrous.
Momentum is difficult to get once it’s lost, and it’s easier to keep a sinking ship afloat than it is to raise it from the depths.
My human does not seem pleased with this analogy for some reason. Pft.
You haven’t sunk yet, little human, but I’m concerned for your wallet. It seems to be making little screaming noises.
Since we can’t do the ad tutorial like we intended, we will give you a status update instead:
USA Today qualifying Books Sold: 3,769.
Now, you may notice we haven’t brought Apple or Kobo into this.
It’s not that we don’t like those vendors. We do! But neither got a whole lot of sales yesterday when the BookBub feature deal dropped. We would need approximately 250 sales on each of those sites before they report. While we’d love love love that, we don’t know how to possibly reach that many people in the four or so days left before the qualifying window closes.
Barnes & Noble is essentially at the benchmark for reporting, but it could use a little bit more love.
Now, that said, if you feel like contributing to any or all of those vendors, you can. Here are the links:
I will sing you the not-so-sad song of our people in thanks.
Meooow, meow meeeoooowwww meow-meow-meow! Imagine me twirling, for I am twirling for you like a furry ballerina.
Now… the female bites her nails and watches her wallet burn because she can’t update ads on facebook due to technical difficulties.
Life has its ups and downs, but yesterday, the female’s fish, Nicolina, crossed the rainbow bridge. Nicolina’s always been runty with some health problems, but she’d always been a huge fighter in a tiny body. But, yesterday, she was finally too tired and decided it was time to go take a very long nap.
The female is sad, as she raised Nicolina from a teeny tiny little fry.
Before y’all get too sad, she was the equivalent of a fish rescue, and she would have inevitably died elsewhere. The female believes Nicolina should have been culled from hatching due to probable health concerns. But, since Nicolina wanted to fight, the human said, “Let her fight!”
Yes, that’s a Godzilla reference. Oh yes, she is very excited to see Godzilla at the end of month.
Anyway, Nicolina was almost a year old, which was a year longer than she would have had otherwise.
So, since her baby fishie died yesterday, the female let the ads continue to run overnight because she, frankly, just didn’t want to deal with it.
(Do you hear that sound? It is the sound of money being flushed down the drain. This is what happens when you allow ads to just run willy nilly.)
That said, leaving the ads up overnight did a wonderful thing: she went to bed at rank #35 after it had done a brief detour to rank #33. She’s so stoked about this. Hoofin’ It had reached #35, and she hadn’t thought she might actually beat that!
She sold 2,168 books on Amazon yesterday, and 220 books at Barnes & Noble.
At last check, she was #10 on the Barnes & Noble best seller list. (Yep. She’s sniffling in her corner. I’m mostly sure they’re happy tears. Don’t mind the other ones. She did quite like her baby fish.)
Including the BookBub Featured Deal and all expenses associated with that, the female is now at $1.39 per sale, which is absolutely thrilling for her! She’s so very excited and grateful.
All of you have been amazing.
So far, she has sold 3,283 books at reporting vendors. (There are minimums required to be reported to USA Today, and she is uncertain if two vendors will report, so she’s not including their figures.)
This has so exceeded her expectations. Thank you, humans!
So, she has to do a lot of work on Burn, Baby, Burn today while watching and modifying ads, so we’re going to take a quick moment to shine some light on the process of tuning ads.
Step 1: Turn off the ads that are doing poorly.
Step 2: Find the ads that are doing well. Duplicate them. Reassign remaining budget to these ads. Adjust ad copy and images to be something new fresh–mostly a new image, but sometimes new snippets or headlines to make people pause to read the new text.
Step 3: Test the new ads.
Step 4: Return to Step 1.
This sounds very basic, and frankly, it is! But this is the name of the game. My human will also increase budget on ads that are doing particularly well to take advantage of its performance. (She obviously did something right there.)
Once she has more done on Burn, Baby, Burn, she’ll help me write a post about how to actually adjust the ads and showcase an ad she’s turning off and didn’t work and what she replaced it with.
Have a great day, humans!
The chaos has begun. Bookbub’s feature of The Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) Starter Pack has dropped. Cue insanity.
As of the start of writing this post, the female human writer doohickey has sold 1,050 books in the US alone. (She’s rocking back and forth in her chair, possibly crying happily.)
It’s okay, human. It’s okay to cry when good things happen.
(To all humans out there… it’s okay to cry when good things happen.)
(It’s also okay to cry when you’re infuriated and know you can’t kill people because that’s wrong. Crying is definitely better than killing people.)
So, as today is the big Bookbub day, my human has decided to do something moderately insane. First, she is activating ALL ads, even the ones that were floppish yesterday. She is doing this until approximately 5 PM PST. This is to help take advantage of the sales hike the bookbub begins.
She is expecting to take some major hits to her budget doing this. She’s also loading in new ads for some books that have never seen facebook ad time before. (This could work well, this might not work at all. She doesn’t know.)
But, as of 11:22 AM PST, this is what her ad account looks like on facebook:
Statistics are shown for yesterday and today; some of these ads have been running since Thursday to help build rank before the start of the run (which was on Monday.)
Some of these ads are working fantastically well. Others are making my human second-guess every decision she’s made in her life.
But, she’s allowing the ads, ALL of them, to run until 5 PM PST before beginning to turn off the ones that aren’t performing well and adding in new ads.
Let’s talk about why.
First, it takes time for ads to mature. Until the human sees an ad with at least 100 clicks, there’s no way of knowing if it will stabilize. She’s seen an add that got $0.75 CPC out of the gate work down to $0.10 CPC after 100-150 clicks. Yeah. We don’t know what that’s about, either. But it can happen. It doesn’t happen *often* but it does happen.
Also, what the human doesn’t know, mostly because she’s too damned lazy to link to anywhere but vendors, is whether or not the higher CPC ads are converting to sales better than the lower CPC ads.
When you’re testing ads, it’s important to realize an ad that costs $0.15 but converts once every two clicks is MUCH better of a performer than an ad that has $0.03 CPC (cost per click) but converts once every twenty clicks. (The $0.15 ad would have an acquisition rate of one book for $0.30 versus the $0.03 ad, which would have an acquisition rate of one book for $0.60.)
This is part of what makes ads so difficult to monitor and work with.
In so many cases, we just don’t know. Most people prefer to shotgun the ads; they want as many clicks as possible for as low as possible. The conversion is typically considered second.
Because of this, the female has begun adopting a more patient approach; she tries to wait until an ad has 100 clicks before deciding to turn it off. That can hurt, especially when a bunch of budget is pissed away. But, at the same time, she’s watching sales, too.
If that high CPC ad converts really well, it may just be more cost-efficient to run that ad.
In most cases, however, CPC is king, as more clicks means more people are seeing it, but that is not always the case.
So, let’s take a closer look at ad monitoring and things you should look out for when building ads.
We’ll start with this section of ads:
In this collection of ads, there are two definite keepers: the $0.21 and the $0.19 ads. Both are getting a great volume of clicks for an affordable amount. (Please note that the human’s overall target goal is $2 per book purchased, so she can afford to have a higher cost per click if it converts.) So far, she’s hovering around the $2 per book target for her facebook ads. This is good.
Today, it won’t be that much for the facebook ads. Actually, she’s expecting closer to $3-4 per book spent because she’s just hammering out all the ads and letting them run regardless of their performance.
But when she turns off ads, she’ll start with eliminating everything that’s over $0.30 per click first, and then she’ll evaluate every ad after. If she has a $0.25 ad that is getting a loooot of clicks and interest, it’ll probably stay.
So, what happens after all the ‘bad’ ads are pruned?
Well, that’s where the real magic happens.
She takes the budget remaining from all of the ads she cancelled, creates new ads using the successful ads as a foundation point, tweaks them to make it fresh, and starts the process all over again. She’ll load them all in, hit the go button, and wait for the magical 100 clicks mark before trimming the ads down again and repeating the process.
Over, and over, and over, and over…
In the case of this run, she’s going to focus on putting in new ads for books she hasn’t promoted on facebook before, hoping to hit a new audience. She also revitalized a lot of old ads that performed well in the past, hoping to reach the same readers as before, but this time making it clear they can get more books for their pennies.
An important part of running ads is managing expectations.
You want people to perceive they’re getting a good value on a good thing. People don’t want good values on bad things.
The female prefers to use snippets of the books versus descriptions and reviews because if someone clicks, they’ve already been exposed to the writing style. They liked it enough to click. This is the start of a relationship founded on the actual writing. Yes, there are a lot of gimmicks you can use to get clicks. Posting a review from someone might spark interest, for example.
But the relationship with the book hasn’t started until the reader reads.
The female prefers starting that relationship with the words she’s written in the book from the gate. It leads to a more expensive cost per click. People who don’t like the writing style aren’t going to invest in the book.
That’s a good thing. They know they won’t like it, so they don’t waste their time.
It is now 1:54 PM PST, and the female has gotten 1,344 sales on Amazon. It’s been a delightful day, but she’s trying not to think too hard over the state of the ad account.
She might leave ads rolling until midnight PST now. Because she has lost all sense of sanity.
Wish her well, humans. The deep end… she’s exploring it.
In my next post, we will discuss the actual pruning of the ads and how she goes about picking snippets for the ads.
In case any of you want to check the book out, here is a link for your amusement. You’re under no obligation whatsoever to even look at it or anything, and the inclusion of this link is being done because otherwise, people will message the female and ask for a link. (We have learned our lesson from yesterday, humans.)
Apparently, folks like to know what the fuss is about! So, that’s the book that’s on sale. (Eep.)
My human meant to help me with this extensive, long post about how she’s managing her advertising for her sale run for the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) Starter Pack.
She’s exhausted. The kind of exhausted where she can’t even anymore. She’s going to take her medication and go to bed.
But, here’s the important update: When she started the ads, most of them just worked. She did very little fiddling. She turned off all ads that were over $0.30 CPC and left everything alone.
Yeah. That’s it. That’s not good for creating a post about fine-tuning ads.
As of 9:55 pm, she’s gotten 560 sales out of her 5,000 sales goal on Amazon. She’s really, really happy with this.
So, tomorrow, even if she doesn’t have to do much ad adjustments, she’s going to help me present a guide for adjusting them. She wasn’t expecting the ads to work so well on the starting day, and when it comes to advertising, “don’t break what isn’t broken” is a good rule of thumb.
She’s spent $1,147.75 today, which is $2.04 per lead, which is a little higher than she wants. Tomorrow, she’ll adjust ads and start new ones to see how they work. (And she’ll share how she’s done the adjustments and why.)
But today, her ads did their job, and that’s a wonderful thing.
To those of you who has grabbed a copy, thank you so much.
AKA: a Guide to some things written by RJ Blain.
First, and most importantly, I’m adorable so you should love me. This picture of me playing with one of my favorite toys in the human’s bookcase is all of the evidence I need to back this statement. Look at my beautiful ears! My blurry head! (Hey, what were you expecting? A clear picture of me while I’m playing? Hah!) My pristine white fur! I’m gorgeous.
Please ignore anything the parental unit of the human states. I’m beautiful.
Now that you have been given a chance to admire my beguiling tyrant self, It is time to discuss (and enjoy) all things books!
We’ve been getting messages asking for a comprehensive list, in one place, of all of the human’s books, reading orders, etc. I’m (somewhat) lazy, but I thought, well, if I’m going to do this, I will review the human’s books!
But only the Mag Rom Coms, because I am a cat and just do not have the attention span or willpower to do this for all of the books.
What? I’m a cat. Seriously. I’m a cat. You’re lucky if I get done two of these before I head off for a nap.
We’ll have a great time. Promise.
Honestly, I’m not sure you will have a great time, but I will enjoy scratching holes into the human’s souuuuuul.
Please note the first four novels and three novellas of the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series are available as a boxed set for $0.99. (And next week, the human will be doing a major advertising drive on the book. But you’re totally welcome to grab it now if you don’t have a copy.)
The series starter is Playing with Fire, and is the first book in all regards.
It’s a flaming mess of unicorns, savagery, more unicorns, a man too sexy for his own good, and some more unicorns. The unicorn breathes fire and views odd things as food. She also has enough self-esteem issues to keep an entire mental institution busy, too.
You may choose to read this series in any order you bloody like, you beautiful bastards! But next in the list in chronological order is, ironically, Burn, Baby, Burn. This is the direct sequel to Playing with Fire.
What? It takes place like four-ish months after Playing with Fire. What? This is a series of interconnected standalones, and they do NOT connect logically!!!!!
The human sucks.
My review of Burn, Baby, Burn: Dump it in the cat box. I’ll pee on it! The human has been spending more time with this steaming pile of flaming unicorns than with me!
The human likes this book a lot, though. So I guess I won’t pee on it until it’s in print. But she better watch out. I have it in my sights.
Next up is Hoofin’ It. It released second. You can read this one at any time. The human needs to be taken out back and tickled into submission for this one. I mean, really? Miniature demonic llamas? Why would anyone write about corpses falling onto vehicles containing miniature demonic llamas?
She needs help, y’all.
P.S.: I have slept on a copy of this book, and I found it to be a pleasant experience.
An event in Hoofin’ It is subtly mentioned in Last but not Leashed. Maybe No Kitten Around, too. Us felines (and probably the human) don’t remember. One of those, however, has reference. It’s in there somewhere. You can view this as fun scavenger hunt! Go scavenge!
Next up is Hearth, Home, and Havoc, the first Mag Rom Com novella. (It’s in the Starter Pack.)
Dead squirrel. Sink. Dead, wet squirrel flung at wall accompanied with screaming. Do you really need to know anything else about this novella??
I didn’t think so. Anytime dead, wet flying tree rats happen, life’s good.
This one gets two paws up, but the human gets a scratch because it’s too short and the squirrel doesn’t come back from the dead to kill humanity.
Does that count as a spoiler? Whatever. I’m a cat. I don’t care.
Seriously? You’re still here? You beautiful, beautiful bastards.
If you enjoy bacon, you will like Serial Killer Princess. However, initial studies indicate that some people become oddly uncomfortable that they, who strongly dislike snakes, find themselves oddly liking a specific snake.
The human is not sorry, and I have scratched her on your behalf. And chewed on her fingers. You’re welcome.
P.S.: Seriously, if you like bacon, you’ll enjoy this. Bacon is life. It’s also the vanquisher of human teeth. (Yes, that’s right. The human literally lost a tooth to a piece of bacon.)
She’s now mad at me. What? Stupid human. I’m just telling the truth.
There is a very, very subtle reference to Serial Killer Princess in Fowl Play.
We of the Blain Household can’t remember if the glories of Serial Killer Princess were referenced elsewhere in the series or not. Oops?
If you love bacon, hot Scottish firemen who rescue soppy wet puppies and kittens, and cats, Whatever for Hire is the abso-fucking-lutely best book on the planet and I’m totally biased.
Any time a cat taunts Lord Satin of Hell, it is a good day. A really good and funny day.
Whatever for Hire is in the $0.99 sales set, too. Because my human is absolutely beloved and amazing (Oh, oh, is that the treat jar I see?)
Let it be known the female has bribed me to say nice things about her. I have accepted the bribe.
I won’t be saying nice things about her.
~Zazzle the Beguiling Tyrant
Next up is a novella. It’s a hoot. Owl Be Yours is also in the set of cheapness, and it’s great. Like, it has an owl in it. A murderous owl with a desire to use a mulcher (aka wood chipper) in new and interesting ways.
And, in the interest of never hearing this damned rant from a human again, if you lose your identification and your bank card, and you are unwilling to go to the local authorities to have them reissued, you’re fucked and will be unable to withdraw money from the bank.
This is a real issue, folks. And when your house burns down with all your stuff inside, you no longer have access to a check book.
From the department of things the human rants about.
Also from the department of ‘has had purse stolen in the past and needed to get all those things replaced, welcome to hell.’
Since novellas are the cat’s meow, Fowl Play is up to bat next. It’s about a swan lycanthrope with doesn’t perform Swan Lake. Her dad is a lycanthrope, her mom is a succubus, and her other mom is an angel. Shenanigans and insanity happen.
This contains and an amusing bar bust story.
Because I’m a cruel and vicious being, AKA a cat, if you want to hear my thoughts on the rest of the Mag Rom Com series, you’ll just have to visit me later.
The human needs the computer to finish this book so her editor doesn’t murder her. Or something like that.
Excuse me while I roll my eyes.
~Zazzle the Beguiling Tyrant
Landen passed away yesterday of old age. He was a good, old fishie, and he had a nice life! (He was possibly, at barest minimum, 3 and a half or so year olds, but he was probably closer to 5-6 when he passed away.) He lived for almost a year beyond when he had a stroke and we thought he’d die. (He never quite fully recovered to his old, flighty self, but he was comfortable and happy after the stroke.)
Nicolina didn’t handle being in her tank alone very well, so this morning, my husband and I made a trip to the pet store and selected Richard. Here he is!
He’s… very energetic. Nicolina is much happier now. (And while they’re not exactly social fish, beta splendens do prefer to have other fish nearby. But in divided tanks, so they can’t attack each other.)
You can see the divider between Nicolina and Richard’s sections of the tanks. It’s that black, slotted thing.
Richard’s color strain is called copper. (And boy, he sure is pretty.) when the light isn’t reflecting off him, he shows up as this dark silver. But when the light is on him properly, he’s red and green of copper, and it’s glorious.
Starting next week, now that life has settled down (somewhat,) the Furred & Finned Management will be back up to giving more updates on the blog. They have a lot to talk about, so make sure you’re following the blog if you want to get the latest updates and see the cats up to their usual shenanigans!
(As a reminder, the newsletter was retired and now the Furred & Finned Management writes blog posts instead, so this is the place to be for updates, *or* on facebook.)
I hope you all are having a fantastic weekend, and we’re hoping to start doing small, frequent updates so we can keep more in touch with all of you!
Princess here. Hear me Rawr!
The humans are buzzing with activity, it’s entirely possible they’ll be fully insane before Thursday rolls around, and my new sister and I are more than ready for them to go to vacation and leave us in the care of saner humans.
We’ve been promised there will be toys to play with and we can visit each other as we want. That’s good enough. Also, we’ll be fed. We like being fed. Being fed is important.
In a moment of pure idiocy, the female opened her laptop and overwrote some important files on her main computer. The instant after she did it, she rage flipped the nearest object and shrieked. The male human was not impressed with her error.
She wasn’t impressed, either.
One of the documents was her meticulously registered budget with her invoices and spending all neatly organized.
I laughed some more.
She then muttered something about fucking the budget with a pointy stick.
She may have looked the male in the eyes and said something about fucking the budget with a pointy stick. Apparently, she’d been saving / holding money back for future purchases, and… she can’t remember the amounts she’d been reserving.
In other news, the female has done massive amounts of packing. The male doesn’t know this yet, but her lap desk fits in her luggage, and she is taking it. (It’s only $25 to replace if it’s lost, and the store still carried the same model three weeks ago, so she’s willing to take the risk!)
She’s still debating which play project to bring along. Hypnos is coming along for the ride, but she figures she will also work on something fun, too.
The backpack of holding will only carry so many devices and journals. This is a tragedy.
But the backpack of holding is pink, so the female is happy. Her passport holder is also pink. Her phone case is pink.
Even some of her new clothes? Pink.
Her new walking shoes boot things are blue and cherry red, but she’s viewing the cherry red as a bloodied pink. Those shoes are sketchy. (But they’re not Sketchers. They’re Columbia, and they’re better than walking on clouds. Female really likes them so far. Bonus: her feet haven’t been chewed alive yet. And she can (badly) run in them. She’s just bad at running.)
She got a portable battery for her devices because she’s expected to use her phone for most pictures. She may have done a full display of dominance to get her way, much to the male’s dismay. She won. Male retreated, terror in his eyes over female’s reaction to the potential of running her phone battery dead while taking pictures.
The battery should charge her phone 7 times before it needs to be charged. Adapters to use UK outlets arrive today along with a few final articles of clothing.
General verdict: the humans are ready to go forth and adventure!
They’re very excited.
For those of you who enjoy contests, there is one going on with a Vampire Diaries prize pack you may enjoy. You’ll be required to sign up for newsletters for a chance to win. But they’re book-related newsletters, and that’s a glorious thing! (Tip: you can get extra entries by following peeps on places like Amazon or Bookbub. The female has three follower thingies in this one: Susan Copperfield, RJ Blain, and Bernadette Franklin on the Bubs of the Books. So, if you want some easy extra entries, look for those and click the buttons.
You’ll make the female happy!
In other news, here’s an update on all things writing related:
Storm Called releases on February 26, 2019. You can preorder on Amazon or at other major retailers. This is a prequel novel that takes place as the Royal States is becoming the Royal States, and it features Pat (of Texas) before he became a king. It’s fun, it’s silly, and if you like the Magical Romantic Comedy novels, you might like this one because it has a similar vibe in some cases. (Also, we recommend you eat before reading. You may become hungry.)
He does like to cook, after all.
So, if you like fun, lighter stories about two people falling in love, and having a few hiccups on the way… or if you like horses… this book is probably for you.
Shammed releases on March 14, 2019. You can preorder on Amazon or at other major retailers. Shammed is loosely St. Patrick’s Day themed, and it involves two people of questionable Irish descent pranking each other because they’re hopeless and don’t understand how flirting works.
This one doesn’t have any magic, but if you have ever wondered what a ten thousand dollar toilet can do, you’ll find out. Also, this book contains an obscene amount of glitter. So much glitter. So much glitter.
The lead characters of Claustrophobic play major roles in Shammed, so it wouldn’t hurt to read Claustrophobic first. That said, you’ll figure it out even if you haven’t read Claustrophobic already.
Yes, yes. We heard you. Mrs. Carter is in Shammed. Yes, she’s her same old glorious self. Yes, did you really think Mrs. Carter wouldn’t show up in a story about people pranking each other?
Hypnos releases on April 23, 2019. You can preorder on Amazon or at other major retailers. This is the human’s next main series, and it’s going to be a blast. You can read the opener for the book here. There is also a kickstarter for Burn, Baby, Burn: a Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) and Hypnos going on right now. This will be the only way you can get autographed copies of Burn, Baby, Burn in hardback or paperback until sometime next year. There will be one or two kickstarters a year to give people a chance to get books for their collection. Otherwise, you’ll have to join giveaways we run on the main page for a chance to get one.
Burn, Baby, Burn: a Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) will release on May 14, 2019. Preorder will be available soonish. (Read: the female is loading the preorder to all vendor sites on February 13, 2019. Yes. That is tomorrow.) The next Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) will release in 2020.
It’ll probably be Grave Humor, and it’ll probably be on May 16, 2020. The only way another one is releasing sooner is if some insane miracle happens with Burn, Baby, Burn, which we’re not expecting. (Translation: if Burn, Baby, Burn hits USA Today, the human will change her mind about the release schedule and bump some form of Mag Rom Com for a December 2019 release or earlier. No promises which book. Considering her best new release of a book has been 1,500 sales shy of listing, that’s probably not happening, but since people were asking what it would take to change the female’s mind, this is what she has decided.)
Yes, the female is a fair being and she will be doing paid advertisements to promote Burn, Baby, Burn. (That’s only fair if she’s setting the bar that high. She needs to pull her weight, too!)
(For the readers curious, to hit USA Today, you need approximately 5,000 sales on Amazon alone, and you need at least 250+ sales on one other wide vendor. (So, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books… I have no idea if Google Play reports or not.) The 250+ figure is roughly how many sales it takes to get one of these vendors to report to USA Today that the book is qualified to make the list.
Also, the human, to be fair, is releasing the book on May 14 instead of May 16. The book has a seven day window to hit USA Today, Tuesday preorders count on Monday as a sale, so that gives the book a chance to actually qualify. It would have fewer days to qualify otherwise. And she tries to be fair.
We’re just going to pretend it released on her birthday, okay?
Yes, Burn, Baby, Burn is Bailey and Quinn #2. Yes, it has a napalm scene. Yes, it has Quinn as a POV character. Yes, she’ll be a unicorn. Yes, there are puppies and kittens. Yes, you’ll get to see some of Quinn’s crazy family. Yes, Perky is back. Yes, you’ll get to meet Perky’s wife. Bailey calls her Perkette. (Her name is Tiffany.)
Yes, you will find out about Bailey’s heritage. No, nobody really understands the convoluted relationships required for Quinn to have been born.
Yes, there’s something about an actual wedding somewhere in this book somewhere. It’s probably not what you’re expecting. Well, unless you’re expecting shenanigans, a brawl, and possibly property damage, in which case it probably is what you’re expecting.
Yes, you’ll find out more about what happened to the concrete cake Bailey incinerated.
No, you won’t find out more about Mary the Barista Fairy.
If you ever wanted to know what a brassault is, you’ll want to read the book.
Expect another blog post tomorrow with information/links for Burn, Baby, Burn.
You may return to your previously scheduled programming. Happy Reading, Humans!
Dear furless entities convinced life is best without a natural barrier against the cold and other inconveniences,
It has come to my attention that some of you like free things. My human has joined forces with some friends to bring you a swanky Alice in Wonderland themed prize pack.
It probably comes as no surprise to anyone why she might like Alice in Wonderland. So, if you’re a little mad, too, swing on over and see if it’s up your alley!
Moving onto the other things. My human has been working ridiculously hard. As you can tell from the above picture, I have made certain to interrupt her sleeping time for play time. My play time is more important than sleep, right? Wenchasaurus Rex does not need sleep. She needs to be properly taste-tested for future consumption.
When she hasn’t been hard at work on Shammed, a romp of a contemporary romantic comedy, she’s been writing Hypnos, the first of a twelve book series with a prequel novel. (It’s like she actually planned this series or something.)
Well, she has reached the point she’s eager to get a preorder live for your enjoyment. Unlike other series, this one is worked exclusively as a ‘play project.’ It’s a most delicious carrot, and she’s tricked herself into accomplishing a disgusting amount of work so she can work on the Seeking the Zodiacs series.
It’s amazing what a carrot can do to get a human to finish everything else in a timely fashion. Silly humans.
Anyway, Hypnos is available for preorder for $5.99 on Amazon, Barnes & Noble (Well, it will be soon. We’re waiting on the vendor, human! The page for the book is present on the site at time of posting, so check back later if it’s not ready yet!), Kobo, Apple Books, and Google Play.
This series will have a decent amount of humor, although it isn’t to the ridiculous levels of the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series.
You’ve probably noticed the price hike. While I don’t want to delay you from reading some unedited drivel from the book, this series has been a great deal more work and research and additional costs than other series, and the amount of work and effort involved is reflected in the price. If you find the price change disconcerting, the book will be available through the major library systems. I’ll keep you in the loop on when they can be requested through your library! (Then my human can feed me and you get to read the book for free!)
~About the Book~
Following the devastation of World War III, nuclear radiation has spawned magic, ranging from nuisance koppa oni plaguing the Golden Gate to masters of the elements. It falls to the FBI’s supernatural quads and their supervisors to protect those who can’t protect themselves.
But when a mysterious force storms through a busy shopping center and fells everyone in its wake, Olivia Abrams and her team of special ops must find who is behind the attack and why before the entirety of San Francisco succumbs to its powers.
Dear humans, please note I have borrowed this unedited first scene. There are spelling errors! Editorial snafus! (Okay, there’s been no editorial done on this at all. That’s coming later.) This is for pure enjoyment and to see if you’ll like the story. (We think you will.)
Please don’t tell us about any mistakes you find. We know they’re there. Not only does this give you a sneak peek at the book, it lets you see how it transforms from raw version to the finished title. (If you want to see the actual first draft, you can check out the human’s facebook readers’ group, the Fantasy Worlds of RJ Blain. She photographs pages of the handwritten drafts for amusement purposes there.)
Without further ado, meet Olivia Abrams!
~From Chapter One~
An upstart hunk of a police detective invaded my office, waved his badge in my face like I cared, and barked, “Where were you last night?”
As it took a lot of balls for a local cop to storm into an FBI resident agency and start asking questions without even an introduction, I refrained from encasing him in a bubble of water and drowning him. I was tempted to drench him so I could admire him for a while, however. Beneath his black suit, white shirt, and prissy black tie likely lurked a lean man.
If his face was any indicator, a lean, gorgeous man.
The good upstarts countered their donuts with gym time, and my invading cop seemed to have forgotten to pick up his share of the donuts on his way to the gym.
I smiled, leaned back in my chair, and enjoyed a few more moments of admiring the view. “Well, this is a memorable start to a Monday. Do I intimidate you, or do you always start questioning sessions so abruptly? I will say that was a nice entrance, Officer. You got my attention. I’m sure you would’ve unsettled most suspects.” I leaned forward and closed the folder closest to me to hide the case file I’d been reviewing. “You have the advantage.”
The cop closed my office door. “Paper pushers are hardly intimidating.”
“What did I do to deserve the abrupt treatment? If I missed a blind date again, I might be sorry for once in my life. I had no idea Oakland had such nice police officers. Detective?” I relaxed in my seat and kept a close watch on him through half-lidded eyes. “There must be an endemic of women committing crimes for a chance to be arrested by you. Alas, I missed our date because I was stuck here working. That’ll teach me to skip out.”
“I assure you there was no blind date.”
“Well, that’s a pity. A blind date would’ve been better than critical case reviews.” I rose from my seat, circled my desk, and held out my hand. “Lee Jing Chi. How can I help you, Officer?”
To unsettle, disturb, other otherwise gain the advantage over those who came to my office uninvited, I employed my mixed heritage. Americans like the spunky cop considered me inferior, but the men couldn’t help but stare, especially when I wore a pencil skirt and posed on my desk. The instant my legs came into view, most of them forgot about their petty prejudices.
He locked onto my bare calves, shook his head, and forced his attention to my face. Licking my lips counted as unfair play, but most who came storming into my office ultimately objectified me anyway. Tweaking the cop’s nose would amuse me until I sent him packing.
Unlike most, the cop shook my hand without trying to break my fingers. “Raymond Davis, Oakland Police, Detective.”
“I’d guessed you were with the Oakland police from your badge, Detective. Alas, I missed our date because I was here working. You can verify that with the security desk downstairs. I’ve been here since two.”
Detective Davis released my hand. “In the morning?”
I turned enough on my desk to give the files pestering me a venomous stare. While my quads were responsible for the monitoring and policing of the supernatural, we also got to deal with money laundering and other financial crimes that fell under the FBI’s jurisdiction. When the supernatural did the money laundering, the files were flagged as critical, resulting in an unwanted call at one in the afternoon on a Sunday.
I hoped I’d get to go home before Tuesday.
“In the afternoon. I’m hoping I can go home in the next hour or two—”
Someone knocked at my door, and I kissed my hope of leaving today goodbye. “Enter.”
Of all the quads I managed, Luke Doloman’s team drove me crazy. The quad leader visiting me mean trouble, and it wasn’t the fun type of trouble. “Detective, if you’ll excuse us for a moment?”
Luke’s eyes widened. “Hey, Ray. I haven’t seen you since the koppa-oni infestation on the Golden Gate. What are you doing here?”
“I’m questioning Miss Lee Jing Chi,” he replied.
I smirked as the cop likely had no idea if Lee or Chi was my family name. Technically, neither was, but I’d have fun revealing I was American born and raised, much to my mother’s dismay.
She’d insisted on giving me a proper Chinese name despite my tendencies to take after my American father.
“Is she finally being booked for overworking?”
If Detective Davis did the booking and the pat down, I’d be quite happy with the interruption to my day and a chance for some rest. All I’d have to do was drench a few cops to get into a specialized cell, then my rest and relaxation would be quiet and undisturbed. Alas, there was no rest for quad managers. “What do you need, Luke?”
“There’s a problem, boss.”
Detective Davis’s mouth dropped open. “She’s your boss?”
“You came here without knowing that?” Luke tossed his head back and laughed. “You poor bastard. She’s going to eat you for dinner.”
“Luke,” I warned. “What’s the problem?”
“Andriana’s quad hasn’t checked in, and they’re an hour late. They aren’t answering their phones.”
A different day, a different problem, and when working with a bunch of unwilling supernatural who’d rather have safe desk jobs, I had a list of reasons why the quad wasn’t answering their phones at least a mile long. Unfortunately, my job was to make sure all quads reported back in and find out what had happened to them when they didn’t turn up after a shift. “Take your quad, call for backup if needed, and I expect an update every twenty minutes.” I reached across my desck and snatched my phone. “Activate the trackers on your phones before you leave, and should you call in for backup, make certain they do the same.”
“Yes, ma’am. Good luck, Ray.” Luke bolted from my office and slammed the door behind him.
I considered my phone, judging the situation to figure out the best way to get rid of the detective so I could do my job. A call to the security desk would get the detective out of my hair for a while. “Well, so much for going hjome in an hour. Enough playing. I’ve a quad to locate. Tell me what you think I did, why you think I did it, and what sort of alibis information you need so you can head off and do your job. Any other day, I’d just love to play games with you, but a missing quad is too important for time to be wasted unnecessarily.”
“A koi statuette of importance to the Chinese, according to its owner, was stolen last night.”
I stared at him. “And this has what to do with me?”
“You have the required magic rating to pull off the robbery, and you have motive,” he announced.
I blinked at him, returning my phone to its cradle. “I do? What the hell am I going to do with a fish figurine? If I want a paperweight, I’ll order one online.”
“Chinese-American. I’ve never been to China in my life, my Catonese is so bad it makes my mother cry, and I’m a special agent in the FBI. Why would I wreck my career over some dumb fish?”
“The dumb fish is worth over five million dollars.”
Okay. Five million dollars could sway a lot of people, but I wasn’t one of them. “Why would anyone buy a fish for that much? Is it made of diamond or something?” I snorted, slid off my desk, and returned to my seat. “I can send you a copy of my schedule and authorie security to send you copies of the hallway security footage proving I haven’t left the floor all night. Would that be sufficient proof for your needs, Detective Davis?”
“To begin with, yes.”
Hot damn. How had I been working in Oakland for so long without running into the spitfire detective? Now that he was on my radar, I’d enjoy creating excuses to tweak his nose and toy with him.
Nothing spiced up a boring work day than playing with the local police, especially when the detective was easy on the eyes and had enough spine to invade my office.
I’d have to make certain my father didn’t find out I was toying with one of the local cops, or he’d find some way to ruin my fun.
He had a bad habit of ruining my fun whenever I found one of the local cops fun. His status as the area’s police commissioner, formerly a police chief, had something to do with that.
I needed to remind my old man he wasn’t a uniformed officer anymore.
Knocking Detective Davis down a few pegs would buy me the time I needed to deal with my missing quad. I’d even apologize to him for being curt later. “Next time, perhaps base you investigations on somethinga little more solid than my race and magic rating. You’ll waste a lot less time that way.” I smiled at him. “And as for that blind date, sorry. I’ll try not to skip out next time. Give me a call if you think I’ll be late.”
Detective Davis’s cheek twitched. “You’re one of those FBI agents who live to toy with the local police, aren’t you?”
“It would be a shame to let such a nice opportunity go to waste, Detective. Can I call you Raymond? I guess it’s too early to start calling you Ray, especially after missing our date. Call me sometime.” I grabbed my phone from its cradle and dialed the security desk. “Detective Davis from the Oakland Police requires footage from the fifth floor common areas from last night. Make certain he fills out all the appropriate forms.”
The guard chuckled. “Understood, Miss Abrams.”
I hung up and held out my hand. “It’s been a pleasure, Detective Davis. Oh, just so you know. My name is Olivia Abrams to you American types.”
If my mother heard the scorn in my voice, she’d be proud of me for putting an American man back in his place and giving him a taste of the prejudices we faced daily. To his credit he took my hand and maintained his base courtesy.
He squeezed, a gentle enough challenge. “Next time, I recommend against dodging your dates, Miss Abrams. You might break a man’s heart.”
Despite myself, I laughed. “Do you detective types even have hearts?”
He lifted a finger to his lips. “That’s a secret.”
~Mhmmm. Wasn’t that yummy?~
Feline side note: Detective Hunk can come scratch my chin any day of the week. Purr!
Like what you read? Please preorder! Here are the links again for your convenience: Amazon, Barnes & Noble (Well, it will be soon. Check back later if it’s not ready yet!), Kobo, Apple Books, and Google Play.
It was time. She was hurting, and she deserved only the best we could give her. We weren’t expecting it to be tonight, but tonight was the right time.
Yesterday, she could barely stand.
Today, she fell over several times trying to walk to her food bowl.
She enjoyed her favorite turkey this evening, and we showered her with love and stayed with her to the very end.
She was a good cat, and we will miss her dearly.
For now, Princess the Understudy will take over for her sister. There’ll be another cat one day, and probably sooner than we would like. Princess is very social and will need a friend. That won’t happen today. It probably won’t happen tomorrow.
It’ll happen when we can think about our wonderful, personality-packed best friend we escorted to a better place tonight.
Well, probably sooner than that. Princess will tell us when she needs a new friend.
In the meantime… Goodbye, Tia.
We loved your dearly, and we always will.
We already miss you.