Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Tina D.C. Hayes. She is the author of the Petal Pushers Mystery Series. Tina writes Romance, Suspense and Mystery novels.
Romance, Suspense, Mystery
Tina D.C. Hayes
Tina D.C. Hayes
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Tina DC Hayes writes romantic suspense and cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist. She lives down a little country road in western Kentucky with her husband and four children. A few pampered pooches and two parrots keep her company while they stand guard against writer's block. In her spare time she reads, hangs out with friends and family, watches movies, plays guitar, and indulges her inner Foodie in the kitchen and by chowing down at cool restaurants.
Currently up to her elbows in diapers, she's an expert at 4 a.m. bottle feedings and Patty Cake.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?
I’m working on the second book in my Rock Candy Romantic Suspense series (Nefarious is Book 1). It’s about a party girl and a rich workaholic who are shocked and horrified when his mother announces their engagement about five minutes after they meet. No definite release date but I’m shooting for this fall or winter. Here’s a short excerpt:
Those last two had to be the most confusing kisses ever. Also some of the most passionate, and sadly, the most unrequited. Even the one on her cheek at the rectory had left her feeling kind of tingly. Maybe the only reason his lips nearly took the literal breath away from her was the simple fact they weren’t supposed to. Tell her not to laugh, she’d break out in silly giggles. Tell her she had to stay awake, she went out like a light. Tell her not get into trouble, she’d have the time of her life and end up waking up in the county jail. It only made sense, really. Prudence had told her to pretend to be in love, to keep up appearances . . . but no, that wasn’t it. I am sooooo not in love with Reece Hollingsworth and never will be! He’s a nice guy, but it was just a freakin’ smooch.
She wondered if he’d felt anything special during the kiss. Probably not. He held onto her when he could have dropped his hands from her waist, but Mumsy Dearest was watching and orchestrating the whole damn thing. Well, actually it was Sheri who posed them and the photographer who wanted a shot of them locking lips.
Sleeping beside Reece for the next five years wouldn’t be such a bad thing at all. If he could kiss like that, OMG, getting busy with him would be ecstasy.
You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?
I love Twitter! It’s so much fun, plus it’s a fabulous way to connect with readers as well as other authors and people in the publishing industry. I tweet about writing and use it as a promotional tool for my books. Tweets about the glamorous (NOT! LOL) life of an author, stuff that interests me or I find funny, and when I geek out over some of my favorite TV shows like The Walking Dead or How to Get Away with Murder, those also help build my following with people who share common interests. And yes, I definitely think Twitter has boosted my writing success.
Do you do any book signings, 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?
Yes to all of the above. I don’t have anything scheduled at the moment, but readers can check out my website and Facebook page for upcoming events. (see contact section for links.)
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?
I’m definitely a hands-on type of girl. I have an artistic family which helps too. My daughter Brittany is a photographer so she did a photo shoot with my Yorkie, Little Miss Scarlett, for the Yorkie Valentine novellas that are part of the boxed sets. When I needed an extra special image for the cover of No More Tears, my mom, Jan Cole, painted a beautiful landscape for me based on a description in the book.
I like to give my readers sneak peeks at the covers in progress and snippets I’m working on. Their feedback is always appreciated.
You have written a novella called No More Tears. Can you tell us if it has had an impact on the sales of your novels? Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work? Do you feel short reads are a product of our email and smart phone age?
That was a story burning to be told. It’s literary fiction, a stand-alone that’s quite different than my other books. No More Tears is an emotional novella about a woman struggling to accept her sister’s terminal cancer and how they both make peace with it.
100,000 words are not enough for some books while 30,000 are too much for others. It depends on the story being told. I do think novellas and short stories can work well to enhance a series, and have a few planned for just that reason.
“Short reads” have been popular for a long time. Crane’s Red Badge of Courage and Kafka’s Metamorphosis are both over a hundred years old, for example, and don’t forget classic favorites like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and A Christmas Carol. Novellas and short stories appeal to people who read on the go on their smartphones and tablets.
I like the idea of Author bundles. You are a part of a two novel collection called Valentine Pets & Kisses and 2. What was the impact on your other sales? What was the main objective of bundling your works with other romance authors? How did you put something like that together?
Valentine Pets & Kisses: Fourteen All-New, Sweet Valentine Romances
Valentine Pets & Kisses 2
Boxed sets and anthologies help expand an author’s fan base. Bundles give readers a chance to enjoy a dozen or so titles for one low price while they discover new authors in the collection. Sales for my other books usually increase as a result. J. L. Campbell did a wonderful job of putting together both Valentine boxed sets.
Again, I like the idea of bundling a series of novels. You have put together a set of your novels called Petal Pushers Mystery Series box set. What was the impact on your other sales? What was your main objective in bundling your novels?
I wanted to give my Petal Pushers fans a chance to have all the novels in the series as a set. As an author, it makes me so happy when readers tell me they go back to the first books after finishing the last one, either because they can’t get enough of the characters or want to see what clues they missed the first time through.
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?
Who doesn’t like a freebie, right? Giveaways are fun and can introduce new readers to your work. If someone likes the free book, they often decide to read my other titles. I haven’t run into any obstacles that I can think of.
Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?
I’m in the process of putting one together, actually. Information will be up on my website soon, for anyone who might be interested.
You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and providing useful information to other writers. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?
Thank you! The blog is one of the best ways to connect with readers and authors. My goal when I started it was to have a place where I could talk about my writing projects, get feedback on different things, and promote new releases. Where do I find the time, you asked? Well, I can never find enough, to tell the truth. I have to focus most of my work time on writing and revising manuscripts because putting my characters through nine kinds of entertaining hell is the most important part of the job. There are many times when I take longer between blog posts than I’d like because I’m elbow deep drafting the next novel. I tweet a lot even when I’m swamped and try to post on my FaceBook page a few times a week. A personal assistant would be awesome, but I’m not sure if Santa can stuff one into my stocking this winter without legal repercussions.
Author's Book List
Sweethearts and Paw Prints
- A Yorkie Valentine
Kaylee Rose thinks her boyfriend is going to take their relationship to the next level by asking her to move in with him. Carter's been secretive lately, but since their one year anniversary is coming up on Valentine's Day, she hopes he's planning something romantic.
Her heart breaks when she overhears him call another woman ‘sweetheart’ during a suspicious phone conversation. Carter must be cheating on her, though he and her sister both try to convince her otherwise. Things only get worse when she suspects her Yorkie’s former owner is plotting to take Valentino away from her. If Kaylee doesn’t get a grip and sort things out in time, Cupid might steal the two loves of her life.
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Queen of Schnapps
To say Judith Webster is quirky would be an understatement . . . turns out she’s an alcoholic serial killer hell-bent on getting everything her heart desires. She hates her job at Gas 'N Go, but works to fund life's necessities: gambling, eBay, and her schnapps collection. When a hunky Irish actor joins the cast of her favorite soap opera, Judith’s new goal in life is to meet and marry Evan Gallagher. Her husband will just have to deal with it.
Nobody would ever guess Judith is insane, that she duct tapes her cat inside a goldfish-shaped bed from hell, or how mad she gets when Harry Qualls struts down the street with his mailman purse. Her biggest secret, however, is the way she deals with people stupid enough to piss her off. On her shit list is a dangerous place to be, but she’s taking names.
She hasn’t been held accountable for her crimes before, but a girl can never be too careful.
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Grudges, Goldenrods, and Ghosts
- Petal Pushers Mystery Series Book 3
Darci Shelton finds an old cookie tin buried in the cellar under her flower shop and can't stop wondering why it was hidden there in the first place. More questions arise when she goes through the contents.
What possible significance could some faded pictures and a straggling key hold? Between her floral business and a campaign party at Clydell Manor, Darci already has more than enough to worry about before weird things start happening at the shop. The key keeps vanishing, she's nearly strangled by her own necklace, and the computer crashes after a mysterious message appears on the screen. Miss Addie might act up on occasion, but the resident ghost's antics are never malicious. With Halloween coming up, she figures someone might be playing an elaborate prank, and hopes the crooks responsible for a string of local burglaries don't have their sights set on Petal Pushers.
Just when it looks like her questions are doomed to go unanswered, Darci discovers a secret that somebody intends to keep hidden . . . by any means necessary.
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Secrets, Snapdragons, and a Spirit
- Petal Pushers Mystery Series Book 2
Darci Shelton is compelled to help a woman reclaim her rightful name and possible inheritance, which means uncovering dark family secrets someone may have killed to keep hidden.
She gets a letter addressed to Addie Brown, the ghost who haunts Petal Pushers flower shop. Turns out a deathbed confession prompted Ellen to write in hopes that somebody in the small Kentucky town might know what happened all those years ago, when her great-grandmother, Betsy, went on the run with newborn twins. What happened to Betsy's husband, and why did she hide behind an alias the rest of her life?
When Darci starts asking questions, she snoops her way into legal trouble. She's already struggling to overcome financial problems in the shop, so that's the last thing she needs. Miss Addie is eager to help, especially since Betsy was her BFF, but a dead lady can only do so much. Darci must solve the mystery in time . . . without falling victim to the cover-up.
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Barnes and Noble
Poison, Perennials, and a Poltergeist
- Petal Pushers Mystery Series Book 1
Darci Shelton has just one year to make her new flower shop a success, but she must come to terms with the store's resident ghost while struggling to put Petal Pushers in the black.
Customers in the small Kentucky town keep Darci busy with flower arrangements and landscaping jobs. She also has to watch over her pregnant employee, and puts herself in jeopardy trying to help the sheriff crack a murder case.
While all that's going on, the ghost heals puny plants, entertains the parakeet, and her cold spots keep the cooling bill down, but a dead woman who pops up beside floral displays just isn't good for business. Financial ups and downs are hard enough to deal with, plus Darci needs to find out what the apparition wants, before it scares everyone away . . . or worse.
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Barnes and Noble
No More Tears
- A Novella
When her sister is sentenced to death by cancer, Lisa must overcome her own premature grief and help Dana enjoy the time she has left.
Lisa Elkins is devastated to learn terminal lung cancer will claim 39-year-old Dana Yager's life in a matter of months. Though she goes along for moral support when Dana plans her own funeral, Lisa has a hard time coming to grips with her sister's impending death. After one of Dana's near-fatal ER visits, Lisa realizes she's been smothering her sister with care and precautions, and that forcing Dana to stay in bed, bored senseless, isn't going to cure the disease or prolong the inevitable.
Dana simply wants to enjoy her final days as best she can, but will Lisa be able to stop her overprotective tendencies before it's too late?
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- Rock Candy Romantic Suspense
Harlie Steele is building a new life for herself and her two-year-old daughter, away from her controlling ex-husband. When she falls in love with rock legend Lex Callatori, their whirlwind romance pulls her away from her small-town home and sweeps her into his tempestuous world of paparazzi, tabloids, and bodyguards. She wonders why he’d fall so hard for her when he could have his pick of buxom blonde groupies, and whether the tabloid reports of his violent temper, womanizing ways, and drug addiction could be true. She opens her heart to Lex while emotional scars from years of domestic violence begin to fade.
But trouble looms near, casting a sinister shadow on Harlie and Lex as their passion grows stronger. Driven by jealousy, someone is hell-bent on ending their relationship, one way or the other. Harlie literally fought to stay alive when she left her abusive ex and has no intention of being anyone's victim ever again, but when an obsessed stalker raises the stakes, her strong spirit and will to survive are put to the test.
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Valentino, Be Mine
Sparks fly when two people who can't stand each other wind up dog-sitting a rambunctious little Yorkie that needs a new home.
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