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!

Start to SCORE–for Free!

Thanks to a Featured Deal from the awesome BookBub, WHEN WE WERE US is FREE right now for a very limited time.

If you haven’t begun this friends-to-lovers, love-triangle, coming-of-age football romance yet, now is the perfect time to grab it up.

Football is everything, but love is the only game that matters.

Leo, Quinn and Nate . . . They’ve been best friends forever, but life is about to take them in different directions. Decisions about love and friendship could change their paths forever.

Nate: He’s been in love with Quinn since junior high. She’s always been his fierce protector, the one person who looks beyond his physical challenges to see who he really is. But Nate knows the hard truth. Leo holds Quinn’s heart. He’s the one she loves.

Quinn: She’s tired of waiting for Leo to realize that he loves her. But when he finally admits his feelings for her, can they be together without destroying their friendship–and each other?

Leo: He’s the football star, the guy all the girls in school want. But the one girl he secretly needs–Quinn–is the one he’s afraid to want. He knows she’s too good for him, but he can’t seem to resist loving her anyway. 

Amid the joys and heartache of first love, crushing loss and unthinkable decisions, Leo, Quinn and Nate struggle to find their way forward without losing each other.

All three books are now available everywhere,

singly or in a beautiful box set with an exclusive short!

Buy It Here!
Buy It Here!
Buy It Here!

 

 

 

#AprilReadingChallenge: April TBR

 

Welcome to April! It’s my favorite month of the year . . . for many reasons. First, of course, it’s spring. When I lived in a more season-oriented climate, April was the first month when we could count on more warm days than cold ones. And it was the month of daffodils, tulips and forsythia. The air was filled with fragrance.

And April is *my* month–I celebrate my birthday on the 7th!

This year, I also have a huge release on that same day. AGE OF AQUARIUS goes live on the 7th.

So when I saw this reading challenge for April, I thought . . . why not?

APRIL 1st: April TBR

This is always complicated, because often reading time is hard to find. *But* I know some of my favorites are releasing amazing books this month, so . . .

Man Candy by Melanie Harlow I discovered this author very recently, reading her latest release If You Were Mine and then the one before it, After We Fall. (Yes, I’m reading them backward, but it doesn’t make any difference.) Man Candy is on this month’s list, for sure! These are terrific, well-written romances with tons of heat and well-developed characters (you know how important that is for me!). I highly recommend them

The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan Yes, I am a sucker for all things KC and especially her Game On books. These are consistently well-written, amazing football romances, and I am counting the days until April 18th! 

All in the Landing by Olivia Hardin This is not an exact link as it’s not up for preorder yet, but I happen to know it’s coming April 25th . . . and I’ll have it in MY hot little hands even sooner! Wahooo! This is a new book in my favorite Rawley Family series by Olivia, and since I got hooked in the prequel, All in the Takeoff, I can’t wait for this one. 

What’s on YOUR April TBR? Well, along with the above, might I suggest . . .

Age of Aquarius Coming April 7th

 

Zone of Action: Career Soldier Book #4 Coming April 18th (Cover in the newsletter this week!)

 

Endings are hard. And I don’t like them.

STORIES

It’s late, I’m bleary-eyed and exhausted, but I felt compelled to write this tonight, when it’s still August 27th in some time zones.

One month from today, on September 27th, Days of You and Me, the third and final book in the Keeping Score Trilogy, will release. The book is finished, has been beta’d and is going through its final stages (fun stuff like dedication, acknowledgements and last minute-tweaks) before it heads off to formatting.

Like a mom reluctant to let go of her final baby as he heads off to college, I find that I’m perhaps dragging my feet a bit. Could I add more here? Explain more here? Elaborate more there? To be completely honest–and I’m too tired to be anything else just now–this book is probably the best-constructed one I’ve ever written. Usually in the weeks after I finish a story, I’m thinking of things I wished I’d added, even if they’re not always in the best interest of the plot. But with Days of You and Me, I’m not doing that. I feel that I’ve given everything to this one.

But I’m still not ready to let it go.

I’ve finished a series before. I remember when I sent off Endless, the final book in The King Quartet, my daughter asked if I were sad to see it end. I answered, “No! I’m done with them. I’ve written everything I have to say about this group of characters.”

(Incidentally, I was wrong, as Tasmyn, Michael and company will be back next April in Age of Aquarius. Stay tuned.)

Since that day, I’ve finished trilogies, but usually, I end up writing more in the same world. The One Trilogy continued in the Always Love books. Neither the Perfect Dish Romances or The Crystal Cove Romances have come to a conclusion yet.

Hmmm. Maybe I don’t like endings.

The Keeping Score Trilogy is different than anything I’ve ever written, and as such, it is precious to me. This story began to take root in my mind back in 2009, although it didn’t hit paper until November of 2010. Back then, it wasn’t what it is now. The characters had different names, and it was intended to be one book. But over the years, as I thought about it, the true plot began to emerge, and Leo, Quinn and Nate came to life in a way I’d never expected. They’ve become more than just characters.

These three have been with me for nearly seven years. They are dear to me. And ending their story was hard. It made me cry, like, a lot. More than I cried writing Joss’s scene in Undeniable. (No spoilers, but yeah, I cried.) See the graphic above: as the Prophet Chuck says, Endings are hard.

Yup. It’s official. I really don’t like endings.

But I’m proud of this book and of this trilogy. It is completely what it was always meant to be: the story of three people, three flawed, normal people, who encountered more than their share of life’s pain and challenges. Or maybe it wasn’t more than their share; perhaps they paid for later happiness with their early heartache. They were friends from birth, and between Leo and Nate, there was always Quinn, who was called on to make hard choices that very nearly broke her heart.

My beta readers have been sending me messages like . . .

OMG, thank you for sharing this with us. Thank you for letting me beta read for you. You are such a wonderful story teller. I admit I cried in a few places. 

How am I supposed to beta read if I keep tearing up?

I absolutely loved the book.  There are no other words to describe it than a perfect ending to an amazing love story.

I haven’t had a book make me cry in a really long time, and this one got me 3 times.

So much emotion reading this one. Today at work everyone kept asking me if I was okay my eyes were so swollen from crying.

Gah… I’m crying again. You’re killing me, Smalls… In a fantastic way.

I started reading slower and slower as I felt I was nearing the end, because I wasn’t ready to let go of Mia and Leo. And the epilogue…. What was the line in Steel Magnolias? Something along the line of “laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” My reaction through the epilogue was just like my reaction to M’lynn during the cemetery scene in Steel Magnolias….crying so hard I could barely see, laughter, more tears. Tears of happiness, tears of tenderness, and I’m sad to see the end of the trilogy but looking forward to the spinoffs.

Hey, at least I’m not crying alone. No doubt - endings are hard. But then again... nothing ever really ends, does it-

PS: No, nothing really ends. There will be three spin-offs of this trilogy, three Keeping Score Romances. The first chapters of two of the three are included in DOYAM. 🙂

PPS: Days of You and Me is available for exclusive preorder on iBooks. You can also get a sneak peek chapter there. Check it out on iBooks’ very cool promotion, sitting pretty as the very first book in the same row with, oh, you know . . . Roxanne St. Clair. JD Robb. Susan Mallery. Whatever.

Screenshot 2016-08-28 00.35.18

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