Thursday, April 03, 2008

Pre release jitters: I've got 'em bad!

I’m not normally a nail biter. Oh, on occasion I’ve been known to gnaw off a hanging nail or two, but generally I don’t engage in this nervous habit. But take a look at my nails lately and you’d swear I was fibbing because I’ve recently picked up the habit--along with a bit of a nervous tic. The tic isn’t all that obvious or anything. In fact, if you squint when you look at me, you might not even notice. Why the sudden attack of nerves? It’s review time, folks.

What’s Bullet Hole talking about, you’re probably asking. She’s had five books released, you’re thinking. So, why all the review jitters now? Here’s why: Because these reviews are for my first ‘non-Calamity Jayne series’ book--a book in an entirely different genre from the mystery hybrid world Tressa Jayne and Company reside in. FIANCÉ AT HER FINGERTIPS is a paranormal romance.

But that’s not the only reason I’m entering this review season with a bit of trepidation. I actually wrote this book before I penned my first published book, CALAMITY JAYNE. FIANCÉ AT HER FINGERTIPS was the third book I wrote. It followed my first book, a western historical romance (which, by the way, I still love!) and a category romance which shall forever be relegated to a place in the back of my closet and hereafter known as ‘Kathy's Learning Experience’. From this book I learned that I was too long-winded to write category romances. Lesson learned. It’s also the book that required the most revisions of any book I’ve written--and that two week period of time allotted for revisions and rewriting came right at Christmastime this year. Ho Ho Oh No. Needless to say, the holidays this year were rather hairy. Or harried.

FIANCÉ AT HER FINGERTIPS is special to me in other ways. It was my first try at writing humor. The experience taught me that this was a genre I could actually fit in. No more round pegs and square holes. I had a ball writing this book. So much so that I knew I’d found my niche. Writing F@HF was my introduction to romantic comedy and it provided the push for me to write CALAMITY JAYNE. And the rest, as they say, is history.

This book is also dear to me because it brought me my first--and only--Romance Writers of America Golden Heart nomination back in 2005. As a result, I met an outstanding group of writers known as The Wild Cards who never cease to amaze me by their outstanding literary successes.

So, now you know why I’ve been on proverbial pins and needles awaiting reviews.

Well, last week I received my first review. A belated birthday gift as it were. And it’s a biggie. A 4 ½ Star review from Romantic Times BOOKreview!!!!! Oh. My. Gosh. I almost fell out of my chair. Here’s what RT had to say about F@HF:

Bacus brings readers a delightfully imaginative premise with a fabulous plot twist, enhanced by hilarious dialogue, compelling narration and a collection of off-beat characters. The magical boyfriend box will be an irresistible item for many readers, and this novel is sure to bewitch and charm them all.’ -- RT BOOKreview 4 ½ Stars
Okay, so it’s just one review, but it’s a humdinger of a review. And was, hands down, the best birthday gift I received last week!

Now maybe I can let my fingernails grow out again. Oh, wait. I have a speaking engagement at the Kiwanis at noon today and a speech to give at night class this evening. Guess the fingernails will have to wait a day or two. Hmm. Maybe I’ll consider acrylic ones.

Is there anything you’re presently anticipating with nervous stomach? Anything particular that gives you a case of the nerves? ‘Fess up.

~Bullet Hole~


Keri Ford said...

The hubby laughs at me all the time because I can have long pretty and strong nails for months and then BAM! all at once, I'm bitting them off before they can even get a chance to grow. And then next month, back to long nails. Who knows? I think I'm a reforming bitter or something. I'm trying to quit.

What really sets my nerves to hacking at my nails? at the moment, the small bundle of queries I've sent out. jeepers creepers, talk about keeping a girl up at night! not that I need to tell any of ya'll what that's like!

Keri Ford said...

I'm such a doofus! see...nerves, I can't even think straight!

GREAT REVIEW! I'm sure they'll be many more wonderful ones coming in behind it. good luck and happy selling. that hair falling out?....crap, it is! Oh, wait, I always shed hair.

Christie Craig said...

Kathy...huge congrats, girl.

I can't wait to read the book.

Ahh, and I'm sure that nail biting is all for nothing. But boy can I relate. It's almost time for my review time. Yikes...

Crime Scene Christie

Kathy Bacus said...

I'm still a bundle of nerves whenever I send a proposal out, Keri. The waiting period is just plain HELL. And right now I've got some major career decisions to make, as well. So, I'm keeping a bottle of Pepto handy for when I totally run out of fingernails.

Be sure to let us know if you get some nibbles from those queries!

~Bullet Hole~

PS Thanks for the review congrats!

Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks, Christie!

It really doesn't get a whole lot easier waiting for reviews to trickle in, does it?

I'm sure yours will be fabulous. Now that I've turned in my book, I can actually read again so I'm looking forward to spending an afternoon with your next release.

~Bullet Hole~

Angie Fox said...

Congratulations on the stellar review, Kathy! I have to tell you, I've loved the idea of this book from the first time you mentioned it. Great concept and, knowing you, the execution is top notch. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy in a few weeks. Wishing you many more wonderful reviews!

Gemma Halliday said...

Congrats, Kathy!! I know how much it means to have that *one* special book published.
I finaled in the Golden Heart the same year as Kathy (Go Wild Cards!) and, like her, it was my pre-series book, the one that helped me find my voice and made writing a BLAST! After about fifteen different revised version (including one screenplay!) I’m still trying to find a home for it. So, I can just imagine how elated you are, Kathy! And by the sound of that review, you have nothing to be nervous about!


Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks Angie! When I got my rather lengthy revision email, I panicked. I thought a rewrite at Christmas in a ten day span of time was an insurmountable task. But somehow I managed to do it. In the back of my mind, though, I kept thinking: Does it makes sense? Have I totally confused the reader? Talk about doubts. And since this book was written in 3rd person POV--in and of itself a big change from my CJ books--I was sweating it.

The RT review really helped set my mind at ease. At least for the moment.

Thanks again, Angie!

~Bullet Hole~

Terri Osburn said...

Big Kudos on the review. I'm still trying to write to the end of my first WIP so I can't imagine the butterflies of waiting to see what people really think about it.

Here's to many more stars and books flying off the shelves!

Kathy Bacus said...

You're so right, Gemma. I think most writers have a book they point to as being the book that illuminated the dark corners of any doubt they had regarding what they should be writing. F@HF was that book for me. The entire experience was a delight and I knew that I was meant to write humor. Or at least incorporate it in my writing.

Plus I met the awesome Wild Cards (including Gemma!) because of this book so it makes it extra special!

And don't give up on that '05 GH book, Gemma. It took me a while (and a heckuva lot of rewriting) but I managed to find a home for mine!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks, Terrio!

I always skip ahead and write the ending to my book early in the writing process. As a matter of fact, I'm writing the ending to my suspense book right now. It gives me a star to steer the rest of the book by. And rarely, if ever, have I had to drastically change an ending.

Good luck getting to 'the end' of your WIP, Terrio!

~Bullet Hole~

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous review!!! It's on my shopping list. :)

Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks Tori! I hope you like the book! I received two more reviews today and they're both great!


~Bullet Hole dodging yet another bullet~

Jana DeLeon said...

Congrats, Kathy!!!!! Absolutely fabulous review!

The real question is, is there anything I'm NOT stressed about right now. :)

Kathy Bacus said...

Thank you, Deadly! I'm jazzed about the review!

And regarding your question as to whether there's anything you're not stressed about right now??? I'm thinking the answer to that is a BIG NO, girl. But that's to be expected--all things considered.

Hang in there, kiddo.

~Bullet Hole who is home from her Kiwanis luncheon program~

Anonymous said...


What a FABULOUS review!! Mega congrats, girl! Here's to hoping the rest are just as glowing and F@HF flies off the shelves.


Wendy said...

Congrats on the wonderful review!!

I want to review it, too! lol. Hmm, hopefully Tammie gets a copy in or I can just request it, I'll have to check into that! :)

Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks, Faye!

This is also the book I'm working on my first screenplay for. It's proving to be harder than I thought it would be. It is encouraging to hear that reviewers are enjoying the story.


Kathy Bacus said...

YES, Wendy! I'd love to have you review the book.

The Marketing Dept. said they'd be sending out more review copies shortly. We'll have to make sure you get one!


Shel said...

I have a big hearing coming up... once I'm actually in front of the Judge, I'm fine, but the day before I'll have some butterflies and freak out.

Can't wait to read the book!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Congratulations on the great review! It's always great to get that feedback - someone read it and liked it! :)

But stop biting your nails, right now! Do you know what sort of yuck accumulates under there? (that's the line I give my kids when I catch them at it, LOL)

Kathy Bacus said...

I well remember the anxiety I used to feel before I had to testify in court when I was a peace officer and a fraud investigator, Shel. It was rarely as bad as my fears (although cross examinations were no picnic) but I never did manage to shake the trepidation I felt beforehand.

I know you'll do just great!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

LOL, Jenyfer!

Thanks for the hygiene reminder! I am suitably scolded...


~Bullet Hole~