Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Catherine Bybee - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Catherine Bybee. She is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Romance Author.

Author Genre: Romance

Website: Catherine Bybee
Author's Blog: Romance by Catherine
Blog: Google +
Twitter: @catherinebybee
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Author Description:
New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the novels Married by Monday and Not Quite Dating. Bybee lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Southern California.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Let’s start with what’s next. Rumor has it that you have another book being released soon called Fiance by Friday. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Before I jump into the questions, let me thank you for having me here.

Fiancé by Friday the third book in my Weekday Bride Series is coming on August 13th. I cannot wait to share Neil and Gwen’s story with my readers.

As for a tease… hmm ? *taps finger on chin* Yeah, I can do that. Neil…as some of my readers will remember, is Blake’s bodyguard. Only with Blake out of town, he’s watching over Gwen, Blake’s sister. And the sparks have been flying between these two for two books.

She pushed her way through the crowd as if on a collision course with Neil. He kept his lips in a thin line as she approached and gripped the long neck bottle at his side.

Slipping between the woman on the stool next to him and Neil’s massive frame, Gwen slapped her hand on her hip and growled. “What are you doing here?”

He blinked, once, and picked up his beer. “Having a drink.”

She wanted to scream. “Having a drink,” she repeated.

He tilted the bottle back, took a swig.

“I know what you’re doing, Neil. And I don’t like it. I don’t want or need a bodyguard.”

“That’s debatable.”

If stomping her foot would knock some sense into him, she’d stomp better than a farm girl in a vineyard.

Poking a finger into his chest, she moved closer. “Do you have any idea how difficult it is to have a love life with a two-hundred thirty pound bodybuilder standing in my way?”

A muscle in his jaw tightened. “Two-hundred and fifty.”

“Ahhh!” She did scream now.

He lifted his beer again, but before he could take a swig, Gwen grabbed it from his fingers and tilted it back herself.

In a move that would make Eliza and Karen proud, she pushed the empty beer bottle back into his hand and slid between his thighs.

His jaw twitched again.

The strong musky scent that was pure Neil invaded her senses. She dropped one hand to his thigh and left it there. “This is how I see it, Neil. You have two choices. Either back off or step up.”

Gwen squeezed his thigh before vacating his personal space and marching back to the girls.

A satisfied smile stretched over her face.

And then another right behind it called Not Quite Mine. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease on it also?

Actually, Not Quite Mine is being released before Fiancé by Friday. Not Quite Mine is coming before Mother’s Day of this year on May 7th. My ARC’s have already gone out and the reviews are trickling in. Yeah!

The full force of the food hit her senses when he opened the last container and started loading up a paper plate. There was enough food for three people. Katie glanced at her salad and tried to think of it as appetizing.

All she saw was an appetizer and a paltry one at that.

Her stomach rumbled.

Dean tore off one of the ribs and sank his teeth into the meat. “Oh, wow. This is amazing.”

Katie opened her salad and stuck a fork into the lettuce.

“Oh, my God. This is better than Mac’s. You know that one off the frontage road on the way to your daddy’s ranch. So. Good.” Dean smacked his lips together and hummed as he chewed.

He ripped off another rib and Katie couldn’t stand it anymore. She shot her hand out and stopped him from devouring it.

He sent her a cocky grin and lifted the rib toward her. “Did you want a bite?”

Instead of answering, she leaned forward and bit into the food. Her taste buds sang and her stomach did a happy dance. The smoky sauce hit the back of her tongue and she closed her eyes with the pleasure of it.

“Can I have my hand back?”

She licked her lips as Dean watched. “Not unless you dish me up a plate.”

Dean stroked away sauce from her lower lip. Her skin prickled with his touch.

Why did he have to be so damn handsome?

“No problem, darlin’.” Darlin’ rolled off his tongue with such a smooth tone she felt him sliding back into her system. It wasn’t often Dean used his Texan charm, but when he did, a woman was helpless not to fall under his spell.

You have a good following on Twitter and Facebook. How important have your social media relationships been? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?

I’m actually heading up a workshop at the Romantic Times Convention this year on this subject. I have always believed that a strong online presence is as important to selling a book and finding readers as writing the book and getting it published. With thousands of books released every month, how on earth do you find readers outside your own social circle? You don’t, unless your publisher puts in a serious push for your books. And for newbies starting out, that isn’t going to happen. You get out of social media what you put

I guess that’s my long-winded answer to your question. Yes! I think social media is extremely important and I do think it helps me continue to find new readers.

Do you do book signing, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

My next scheduled public appearance is Bowling this Thursday… oh, wait, you mean as a writer? *grin* I’ll be at the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City in May for workshops and appearances as well as book signing. My schedule is listed on my website.

The short version is I’ll be in Kansas City in May, Las Vegas in August, Orange County in September, and possibly Seattle in October and I’ve yet to rule out the RWA conference this summer as well.

You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

My covers are amazing! I’m not shy in case you haven’t noticed. Crystal Posey, my assistant, is my cover goddess for most of books. She has designed my Bride Series covers, my Time Travel covers and my Ritter werewolf covers. We have worked together on these covers until they were perfect. When Montlake bought the rights to my Bride books, they wanted to keep the covers and the artist. Which is wonderful!

My Not Quite series covers are produced via Montlake. But Montlake is extremely proactive in keeping their authors in the production process of the covers. They aren’t happy if we aren’t happy so we go through several covers until the ‘perfect’ one is produced.

Now… as for if my readers weight in? I have one reader that comes to mind. Elaine McDonald. She’s a wedding photographer and when I asked her if she had some shots I could use for my bride books early on, she was more than happy to work with me.

Married by Monday and Fiancé by Friday were pictures of her clients. And yes, I met Elaine and Crystal via social media. Just sayin’.

You have several great book trailers. (See links below.) Do you know how much impact they have had on your book’s success? Tell us about the process that you used to create your trailers? They look very professional. Do you use the trailer in your character development? Are the pictures and background the way you see your characters and scenes?

In the past, I created my own trailers. I wasn’t making a ton of money at this writing thing at the time and needed to find ‘free’ images and music online, then twittled with the software to make it work.

Now I use Book Candy Studios. Todd is amazing to work with. He seriously nails my concepts every time. I can’t say enough about his company.

Does it impact sales? I think so. I think it’s an extra tool to help a reader pick up your book. It certainly doesn’t hurt. When it comes to the sales portion of being a writer you have to make a budget for your advertising and I do that now.

Has the advent of ebooks changed anything in your writing, your marketing and the relationship with your readers and fans?

I have only known the side of writing that included ebooks. I really wasn’t from the print world. Yes, my books are in print but my sales are online. Because the majority of my books are either published via Amazon Montlake, my contemporary publisher. Or via me…as in self-published by Catherine Bybee… or a couple of small press publishers… my books aren’t on the shelf. Well, except in the case of my foreign language books. My books are on the shelf in Spain (go figure). But not here in the States or in the UK.

I have always looked at ebooks as the future. No one uses a typewriter any longer. Or corded phones…except the one you have to have for the emergency power out issues. We don’t listen to music on a record or even on a tape. We download it. Books are the same thing.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

I do giveaway books. I like to give away the print copies my publisher sends me. I also give away digital copies of myself published titles. And I have Before the Moon Rises listed for free on all digital formats at this time. How does this work for me? Amazing, Before the Moon Rises is a very short paranormal novella. But the next book, Embracing the Wolf, is much bigger. Most of my fans come from my contemporary or time travel world. Giving readers something for free gives them the opportunity to see if they’d like my writing style in the paranormal.

I think giving away free books is a great way to find new readers. The only real drawback is for a new writer that doesn’t have more books to sell. In this case I suggest they hold off.

I see you publish your books in other languages? How is your audience outside the US?

As of right now only Spain has my books out. I’m told I’m popular. I know that the book is selling and I do read the blogs posted about me. (gotta love the translate button)

Several of you novels have been converted into audio books. What has been the impact on your regular sales? Has the audio books gained a new audience?

There are people who ONLY listen to audio, so yeah, I’ve found new fans. Hey, I’m all over audio if that’s what makes people happy. If I had a long commute, I’d listen. But my commute is from my kitchen to my office. So I’m good!

Author's Book List
Fiance by Friday - Weekday Brides Series
From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee comes the newest installment in her popular Weekday Brides series. Gwen Harrison: The beautiful, high-born daughter of an English duke came to America to take over her sister-in-law’s matchmaking business. But just because she’s the boss doesn’t mean she can’t fantasize about making her own perfect match with bodyguard Neil MacBain. Will the enigmatic man who haunts her dreams cost her more than she bargained for? Neil MacBain: The retired Marine can’t deny the effect blue-blooded Gwen has on his troubled soul or his battle-hardened body. But as a client, Gwen is off-limits—until a threat from Neil’s past returns…and Gwen is caught in the crossfire. Now to keep her safe he will risk it all: his career, his life…and his heart.
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Married by Monday - Book Two of the Weekday Bride Series
Carter Billings: Sandy blond hair and Hollywood good looks, Carter Billings could have any woman he wants. However, when he makes his bid for the Governor's seat in the state of California, he needs to settle down and become a family man. Eliza, the woman he secretly adores, embodies the perfect amount of spice and passion to suit his marital needs, but she’s not interested in becoming Mrs. Billings. She can't even stand to be in the same room with him. Eliza Havens: It’s much easier to drive Carter away than to give into desire. Matching couples is how she earns a living, but getting married isn’t an option. The secrets she carries are too dangerous to entangle anyone else. When her hidden identity and past threaten her future, she’s left with little choice. Carter is quick to offer solutions to both their problems, but saying yes could mean endangering the man she’s growing to love. Author of New York Times Bestseller, Wife by Wednesday presents, Book Two in the Weekday Bride Series
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Wife by Wednesday - Weekday Brides Series
The New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling novel that launches Bybee’s popular Weekday Brides series A wife by Wednesday…a love for a lifetime Blake Harrison: Rich, titled, and charming…and in need of a wife by Wednesday. Blake turns to Sam Elliot, who isn’t the businessman he expected. Instead, Blake is faced with Samantha Elliot, beautiful and feisty with a voice men call 1-900 numbers to hear. Samantha Elliot: Owner of matchmaking firm Alliance and not on the marital menu…that is, until Blake offers her ten million dollars for a one-year contract. And there’s nothing indecent about this proposal. The money will really help with her family’s medical bills. All Samantha will need to do is keep her attraction to her new husband to herself and avoid his bed. But Blake’s toe-curling kisses and sexy charm prove too difficult for Sam to resist. It was a marriage contract that planned for everything…except falling in love.
Book Trailer: Wife by Wednesday
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Not Quite Mine
From New York Times, USA Today, and WSJ best-selling author of Wife by Wednesday, comes the second novel in her delightful, delicious Not Quite trilogy. Gorgeous hotel heiress Katelyn “Katie” Morrison seems to have it all. But when she crosses paths with Dean Prescott—the only man she’s ever loved—at her brother’s wedding, Katie realizes there’s a gaping hole in her life. After the ceremony she gets an even bigger surprise: a baby girl left on her doorstep. Determined to keep the newborn until she learns who her mother is, Katie has her hands full and doesn’t need Dean snooping around…especially when his presence stirs feelings she thought were long gone.. Dean Prescott knows Katie is lying to him about the baby. He shouldn’t care what the woman who broke his heart is up to…and he most certainly shouldn’t still be aching for her. Yet Dean can’t ignore the need to protect Katie—or the desire to be near her every chance he gets. But when he and Katie solve the mystery surrounding the baby, their second chance for happiness could be shattered forever.
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Not Quite Dating - Not Quite series
Waitress and single mom Jessica “Jessie” Mann is practical to a fault. Even if she had time to date, which she doesn’t, she’d be determined to provide her son with a more secure upbringing than the one she had—and that would mean a husband with big bucks. When Jack Morrison—a sexy-as-sin, seemingly broke customer with a cowboy hat and a seductive grin—tries to flirt with her, she shoots him down. She doubts a carefree dreamer like Jack can provide the financial stability she needs. Yet with Christmas just weeks away, and Jessie not wanting to spend it alone, the charming Texan is proving hard to resist. As the heir to the Morrison luxury hotel empire, Jack is used to being fawned over. But Jack needs someone who will fall in love with him—not his wealth. He’s set his sights on Jessie, though her hardened heart just might get in the way…To be sure, he conceals his true identity and offers to help Jessie find the rich husband she seeks. But Jack’s daring charade may rob him of the holiday wish he wants most of all…
Book Trailer: Not Quite Dating
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Embracing the Wolf - Ritter Werewolves
Werewolves come in two different categories, good and evil. Although Richard Ritter's family has encouraged him to make the change for years, he never considered embracing his wolf until he meets Kate Davis. One night with her however, and his life changes forever. After a horrifying evening of violence, Kate Davis's life is turned upside down. Richard offers more than security; he offers her passion, someth ing she hasn't experienced in years. Falling in love with him was easy, but once she learns what he becomes every month her fear of the unknown threatens their future
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Highland Shifter
A mysterious Druid book and Helen’s sixth sense send her to Scotland in search of a missing boy. After being attacked by strange men dressed in medieval garb, a handsome, desirable hero answering to the boy’s name rescues her. No one is more surprised than she to find herself in sixteenth century Scotland. Unable to deny the reality of time travel, Helen discovers smoldering passion with a man destined to leave her. Simon has lived his Druid life in two very different worlds, two vastly different times, and when Helen practically lands in his lap, he knows his life is about to change forever. There are enemies in California lying in wait for her, and an army in Scotland closing in on his family. Simon is the only person who can protect her. But when she learns his most guarded secret, will she still want him? Can Helen love a Highland Shifter?
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Redeeming Vows - MacCoinnich Time Travels #3
For her own safety, modern day, single mom, Lizzy McAllister is forced to bow to the medieval men who surround her when she's thrust back in time to the sixteenth century against her will. When Lizzy finds herself trapped in time with Fin, the one man she finds both irresistible and maddening, she agrees to combine forces with him to rid Scotland of the evil witch, Grainna. Finlay MacCoinnich's attraction to Lizzy sizzles the very air they breathe. Tearing down the solid walls the woman has built around her won't be easy, but he's willing to do anything to keep her by his side. When a spell cast by their deadliest foe throws them forward in time, will they manage to find their way back in time to save their family from peril? And will Lizzy willingly stay in his time, or abandon him altogether?
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Silent Vows - MacCoinnich Time Travels #2
Myra, a medieval virgin druidess, flees five hundred years into the future to escape death at the hands of a cursed witch and lands in the arms of a handsome but cynical twenty-first century cop. Officer Todd Blakely knows Myra is hiding something , but can't resist her innocent charms. Destiny throws them both into a world of intrigue and mysticism. Can Todd be the true white knight she needs? Or will magic and the winds of time tear them apart?
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Binding Vows - MacCoinnich Time Travel - Volume 1
Duncan MacCoinnich's task... Travel to the twenty-first century Renaissance Faire, deflower the Druid virgins, and go home. Only his job is not so easily accomplished with the virgin in question, Tara McAllister. Time is running out. The evil is closing in on them both. Tara finds Duncan irresistible after what was supposed to be a mock Hand-fasting binds them. When Duncan whisks her to his home in Scotland she could accept that. But, can she forgive him for taking away her modern life when she finds herself in the sixteenth century? And is it love they feel? Or something else?
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Soul Mate
Kari Pearce lives the life of a lone werewolf. No one knows of her affliction, not even her sister. When she hears of a missing child up in the Sequoias, Kari goes on the hunt to find the child and her abductor before tragedy can occur. Saving the child is easy, avoiding the FBI agent associated with the case is not. Agent Nick Murdock knows he's seen Kari before, but damn if he can remember where. There's one thing he knows for sure. Kari Pearce, with her blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, is hiding something. And Nick is going to find out what.
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
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