O Face (iBooks FRiDAY 5)


This week was not a good one for reading–at least, it wasn’t at first. I’m deep into my own writing, and between Halloween and other family fun, reading time has been limited.

But last night, I finally had a few minutes to indulge myself. I decided to read one of our own #MeetCute Books, Heather Hildenbrand’s O FACE. I’d been excited to read it for a while, and I’m so glad I finally had the time!

Since I wanted to try out a new-to-me iBooks feature, I started with a sample of the book first. The initial reading experience was as seamless as it always is, but the real fun came when I reached the end of the sample and it was time to BUY THE BOOK.

First of all, the screen didn’t change; instead, a pop-up slide into place, and all I had to do was use my touch ID to approve the purchase. It took less than a minute, and then the book simply resumed from where I’d stopped. I didn’t have to go back and open another file or figure out where to find it.

I haven’t finished this book yet–refer back to the DEEP IN THE WRITING CAVE, above–but I’m enjoying it so far, and I highly recommend it!



There are some authors who are an auto-one click, buy the book IMMEDIATELY for me. Sarina Bowen is one of those. Her stories are smart, wryly funny and real, not to mention smoking hot–and although her Ivy Years books were definitely how I found her, I think her True North books are my new favorites.

So I had really mixed feelings this week: I am now back to writing under deadline after my hiatus, and I have to hunker down and get serious about hitting word counts. But the newest True North BOUNTIFUL released last week, and there is was on my iBooks app, just taunting me. I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time!

BOUNTIFUL became my reward at the end of each day of writing. I didn’t let myself open the iBooks app before bedtime, and I was (mostly) disciplined about that.


The good news is that I managed to stretch out the book and really savor it all week. The bad news is that I finished the book this morning (yes, I cheated and read the end before I got out of bed today. Sue me.).

I also have to send an iBooks shout-out about the reading comfort. This was something that’s been going on for a while, but I hadn’t really noticed it. When I read in the dark, the screen automatically goes to black background with white print–and then it flips back to white background with black print when the light in the room is bright. I like this. So do my aging eyes!

Now, let’s talk about BOUNTIFUL. I’m not usually a fan of surprise baby books. While there are a few in my own backlist (THE FIRST ONE, TEMPORARY DUTY and just a side character in THE POSSE), it’s not a trope I seek out to write or to read. But I’d been reading Zara’s story as a side dish to the other characters’ books in the True North series, so I couldn’t wait to find out about the father of her baby.

And what made this even better? There’s a sweet crossover from Sarina’s Brooklyn Bruisers series in this book. Hockey and Vermont? It just doesn’t get any better.

If you haven’t discovered Sarina’s books, stop what you’re doing and go get them . . . now. I promise you won’t be sorry.

And buy them on iBooks!

Almost a Bride (iBooks FRiDAY 3)


I confess that I have a pretty healthy library already on iBooks. My original intention had been to read those books before I ventured onto the store to buy more . . . and then I happened to see that Melanie Harlow’s new book From This Moment had released.

That threw my pristine library plan right out the window. I gobbled up that Melanie goodness . . . and it was SO good. The story, the writing, the romance . . . oh, le sigh. Plus we got to visit with some old friends from previous books. Like me, Melanie often melds her worlds. That gives me an extra happy!

After I finished that book, I wandered to my library, where I was happily surprised to see a book by one of my author buddies, Patricia McLinn. Almost a Bride is part of the Wyoming Wildflowers series, and it’s a Western cowboy romance. I just finished that one, and I’m happy to report it was fabulous, as well–now I’m going to gobble up the other books in that series. I highly recommend them.

One of the pleasant surprises in reading on my iBooks app had to do with back matter. As both a reader and an author, back matter is important to me. As an author, I am invested in making sure readers can find more about me and about my books once they’ve finished reading. As a reader, I like to be able to enjoy the afterword or acknowledgements at the end of a book. On Amazon, a pop-up screen appears at the end of every book, and it’s not easy to navigate around that to get to the back matter. I was pleased, then, to find this was not the case on iBooks. I was able to flip through all the other titles the author shared at the end of her book as well as to enjoy the acknowledgements in peace.

One more perk of reading on iBooks!

Now I’m off to find my next read . . . until next week!

Navigating iBooks (iBooks FRiDAY 2)


So you’re ready to make the leap to iBooks . . . but it’s not familiar. You’re not sure how to find your books, your library, how to find new content . . . and how to buy a book without that big familiar gold button?

Don’t worry. It’s so easy that you’ll be amazed. And I’m going to show you how in a few simple steps.

Here’s my iPhone screen. You can see that the iBooks icon is right there, with its open book. Touch it, and the app opens.








This is what I see: it’s a screen that says ALL BOOKS–my iBooks library. I can have the books displayed by recently opened, alphabetical by title or author or by category. The titles are shown, with author name just beneath, and the covers are there, too. 








That’s great, of course, but to have a library, first you need to find some books to buy or download. How do you do this? Just look down. See options on your bottom bar? The star is FEATURED books, basically the home page for the iBooks Store. Or you can touch TOP CHARTS to see the best-selling books. Or if you know the author/title/category of the book you want to read, touch SEARCH.





This is what you’ll see if you touch FEATURED. Across the top of the page is a slider, which offers special promotions, like iBooks Exclusive books and free or sale books. You can see preorders and trending/topical books, and you can flick through them all.






If you touch SEARCH, this is the page you’ll see. Notice the trending list–all clickable–and the search bar up top. You can type in author names, book titles, genres, sub-genres or just about anything else.






You’ll see that I typed in football, and I got a list of suggestions: football books, football romance and more. I can add more keywords to further define the search.







Of course, I clicked FOOTBALL ROMANCE. And this is my results page. Hmmm, there’s some seriously good stuff here! Liz Matis, Julie Brannagh and Bella Andre . . . so hard to choose what to read next.







I decided to check out Jami Davenport’s book GAME CHANGER. This is the book’s page. Notice the details, the reviews and the ‘related’ (more books by the author, more books in the series, also-boughts, more books like this and top books in the genre). You can also hit the SAMPLE button to get a taste before you purchase, or you can click the price button to BUY THE BOOK. If the book is free, instead of a price you’ll see the word GET there. And GET it you should!





Once you buy your book, it goes into your library, and all you have to do is touch the title in order to read it. The first page might look something like this. The blue arrow I drew points to the iBooks blue arrow–which takes you back to your library. The green arrow I drew points to the book’s table of contents. And I circled in green where you can adjust font size, search the book or bookmark a page.





So now you have it. Super easy, right? Nothing to it. My challenge to you now is to go play on iBooks. Open up the app on your iPhone or your iPad, and see what you can find. Check out some cool books by this chick Tawdra Kandle. Or, sure, anyone else. Whatever you like.

Next Friday I’ll tell you what iBook I read this week. I’ll just tell you it was soooooo freaking good! (That’s what we call an iTease.)



Why iBooks? (iBooks FRiDAY 1)

Once upon a time, I read books just the same way the rest of the world did: paperbacks or hard-cover books that I could hold in my hands and turn the pages . . . usually procured from the library or a book store.

And then came ebooks. I had a Nook first . . . I bought my first Kindle Fire well after I’d published my own books. But even before that, in 2011, I had my very first iPhone. Still, I didn’t know anything about iBooks (which wasn’t really even a thing then).

In the last three years, though, I’ve read more on my iPhone than on any other device. Yet I’ll admit it: I usually read using my Kindle app. I’ll bet many of you do, too.

Recently, though, I’ve realized that it’s kind of ridiculous. After all, my iBooks app is specifically designed to work on my iPhone. And there are features which are super-cool on iBooks, like integrated music and playlists . . . and many of my favorite authors release exclusively on iBooks now, too.

So I’ve made a commitment: for the next year, I’m only buying–and reading–my books on iBooks. I’m also going to share what I’m reading and maybe give you some fun things I learn about along the way.

Which leads us to the next part (a bonus post for this first iBooks FRiDAY) . . . which is about how to navigate in iBooks for those of us who haven’t been there before and might find it a bit confusing.

Read it here–and be sure to follow along with me!