Category Archives: Pen & Xander

And now for the hard part…

The hard part where I have to beg for reviews and then wait for them to be posted online, inspiring strangers to take a chance on my book. I’d forgotten this was the hard part mostly because it’s been a few years since I put something out that didn’t immediately sell.

That’s right, my new novel, Pen & Xander, has not been a runaway success. It has not sold thousands of copies in its first week. It hasn’t even sold 10. And it kills me to write that. It’s heartbreaking and terrifying and, frankly, quite embarrassing.

I scheduled a blog tour with over 100 blogs committed to posting about the book. I sent a few email blasts to my newsletter subscribers. I’ve been emailing reviewers directly and tweeting about my new book and blogging about my new book and adding excerpts and purchase links to my backlist…and it’s been *crickets*.

I didn’t think I was still invisible. After half a million people have downloaded at least one of my books I was pretty sure I was at least semi-visible. Maybe only to a small fraction of the internet that actually read all four books in my paranormal series and enjoyed them. But that’s still more than 10, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I am still completely and utterly grateful for the success I’ve had so far. This is not a post about me shaming or blaming anyone. This post is about me being really really confused. And therefore worried that this whole writing thing is not going to be as lucrative in the long-term as I thought it was going to be. That scares me because I love this writing thing. On November 1st I started my next book. Another upper YA contemporary romance and now I’m second-guessing every single word like maybe people don’t want contemporary romance from me. Maybe genre-hopping is a bad idea. Maybe I’m letting people down. Maybe I should have queried this MS instead. Or maybe people just don’t care.

Maybe I should come to terms with that. Because I’ve come face to face with this kind of rejection, this kind of failure before. When my first 3 books didn’t find an audience I didn’t let that stop me. I kept writing and what came next changed my life. And even though it feels like I’m back at square one the truth is I’ve come a long way. And if I’ve still got miles to go…in the dark…all alone…I can keep going. I have to. I will.

 

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Pen & Xander is Out in the World!

I keep a queue folder on my laptop for stories that are in-process or forthcoming. Sometimes all I have is a title, or the main character’s name, or just a few paragraphs of plot or maybe the opening sentence. I couldn’t remember when exactly I came up with the idea for Pen & Xander so out of curiosity I decided to check the file for the date it was created. Turns out I created it way back in October of 2013. That was four years ago right after I published my first contemporary YA romance–Breathing Ghosts.

Four years!!

I can’t believe I’ve been mulling over and fleshing out these characters for so long. But at the time I had no idea The Girl In Between was going to turn into a 4-book series. I definitely didn’t think that my most popular books would be in the paranormal romance genre. And yet, things turned out exactly the way they were supposed to and four years later, Pen & Xander is not my 4th book…but my 8th.

And now it’s FINALLY out in the world ready to connect with readers. And…exactly 12 months after publishing my last book, I’m feeling…optimistic.

And suddenly superstitious like maybe I shouldn’t have just declared that someplace as public as the internet. But I’m going to leave it here, for me, and everyone else to see so that in case something miraculous happens and this book ends up making all of my dreams come true I have proof that I believed in me first. I believe in me and I believe in these characters and the story they have to tell. I believe that it’s my best work and I believe that it deserves an audience. I just hope that once I find them they’ll believe in this story just as much as I do.

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Synopsis:

Pen Prado has a passion for cooking. Specifically, cooking her father’s food in her father’s restaurant. It’s the heart of their immigrant neighborhood, a place where everyone belongs, and second chances are always on the menu. Except for Pen. Despite the fact that there’s something almost magic about her food, her father can’t imagine anything worse than her following in his footsteps. And when Pen confesses to keeping a secret from her family, he fires her, ensuring she never will.

Xander Amaro is undocumented but that doesn’t stop Ignacio Prado from offering him a job at his restaurant. For Xander, it’s a chance to make amends and to sever his toxic relationship with the druglord, El Cantil–a man whose been like a father to him since his own disappeared. Soon after, his mother abandoned him too, leaving behind a void that not even his abuelo can fill. Until he meets Pen.

Both seeking a place where they feel like they truly belong, they end up finding each other, and in the face of tremendous fear and self-doubt, they end up finding themselves.

Add Pen & Xander to your Goodreads TBR list
Get your copy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or iTunes

This story is so important to me that I want to make sure that every reader who wants to read Pen & Xander has access to a copy. If you’re unable to buy a copy, please reach out to me (lzkbooks@gmail.com) so I can send you a copy directly. You can leave a review if you like but there are no strings attached to this deal. I just want to say thank you for your continued support, and because I believe so strongly in this story and these characters, I want to get it in the hands of as many people as possible.

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Pre-order Pen & Xander on Amazon

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Pre-order Pen & Xander on Amazon now!

Pen Prado has a passion for cooking. Specifically, cooking her father’s food in her father’s restaurant. It’s the heart of their immigrant neighborhood, a place where everyone belongs, and second chances are always on the menu. Except for Pen. Despite the fact that there’s something almost magic about her food, her father can’t imagine anything worse than her following in his footsteps. And when Pen confesses to keeping a secret from her family, he fires her, ensuring she never will.

Xander Amaro is undocumented but that doesn’t stop Ignacio Prado from offering him a job at his restaurant. For Xander, it’s a chance to make amends and to sever his toxic relationship with the druglord, El Cantil–a man whose been like a father to him since his own disappeared. Soon after, his mother abandoned him too, leaving behind a void that not even his abuelo can fill. Until he meets Pen.

Both seeking a place where they feel like they truly belong, they end up finding each other, and in the face of tremendous fear and self-doubt, they end up finding themselves.

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Pen & Xander Cover Reveal

Pen&Xander.v9

Pen Prado has a passion for cooking. Specifically, cooking her father’s food in her father’s restaurant. It’s the heart of their immigrant neighborhood, a place where everyone belongs, and second chances are always on the menu. Except for Pen. Despite the fact that there’s something almost magic about her food, her father can’t imagine anything worse than her following in his footsteps. And when Pen confesses to keeping a secret from her family, he fires her, ensuring she never will.

Xander Amaro is undocumented but that doesn’t stop Ignacio Prado from offering him a job at his restaurant. For Xander, it’s a chance to make amends and to sever his toxic relationship with the druglord, El Cantil–a man whose been like a father to him since his own disappeared. Soon after, his mother abandoned him too, leaving behind a void that not even his abuelo can fill. Until he meets Pen.

Both seeking a place where they feel like they truly belong, they end up finding each other, and in the face of tremendous fear and self-doubt, they end up finding themselves.

Add it to your TBR list on Goodreads

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