Friday, August 31, 2012

"Cake" | Angie Hollenbeck Photography | Lacey WA Photographer

This week I am so excited to share this with the world! The cover above makes me giddy every time I see it! The lovely cover model is a prior client of mine...and that photo is one I had taken this Spring in one of my boudoir/pin-up styled sessions! In honor of this fun and exciting time, I am featuring the talented author - Elise Marion!

Below is an interview with Elise. Enjoy!

What "hats" do you wear aside from writing?
Aside from making a living as a writer, I am also a military wife and mother of 2. I spend my days balancing my time between the two, and let me tell you, it's not easy! Because I am independently published, I do not have the same resources as an author published by a major house, which means I spend a LOT of time wearing what I like to call the 'marketing' hat. I spend just much time promoting on twitter, facebook, blogs, and other romance sites, as I do writing in an effort to spread the word about my books. I also personally choose all of the photos for my cover art before having it designed, work with editors to polish my work, and organize promotional virtual tours for each book as it comes out. I also write a blog that reviews books and showcases independently published authors of romance like myself.

How long have you been writing?
My love for writing really started as a love of books. That evolved into an active imagination and flair for storytelling and by the time I was 12 I was sitting down to write my first novel. I wrote poetry all through high school and also penned my first couple of romance novels. They were beyond cheesy and mushy, but I got my start scribbling out my gooey love stories on notebook paper.

How did you decide to become an author?
Years ago I got an idea for a Historical romance that just wouldn't get out of my head. I hadn't written anything in a long time, so I decided to give in and get this story on paper. After two computer crashes and about a year's worth of 'I'm not going to rewrite it.....okay, I'll rewrite it', the book was finally done. I immediately rushed off to find agents and publishers interested in my work. I never realized until then that publishing is a business. I mean, I did know this before, but the impact of it didn't hit me until the rejection letter started rolling in. None of the agents said that my work was bad. In fact, most of them said my work was good but they couldn't represent it. Their reason? They didn't think they could sell it. Publishing is about trends, point blank. If your book isn't what's trendy (Twilight, Hunger Games, etc.), then agents just aren't willing to take a chance. It's all about moving 'units'. For me, though, it was about getting my voice heard, about living that dream of seeing my book in the hands of others and having them love the characters I'd created as much as I do.

It wasn't until June of 2011 that I discovered the world of indie publishing. Getting a Kindle at my baby shower opened my eyes to the revolution that is happening in publishing. Ebooks have become the wave of the future and more and more authors can be discovered by publishing their work digitally. After weeks of research and work on preparing my book for the ebook market, I finally published my first novel to Amazon. Barnes and Noble, the itunes bookstore and many others followed. I've published 3 novels, 4 novellas and 1 short story since then and I have to say that doing this was the best decision I've ever made. Those agents that didn't think there was a market for my book were dead wrong, but I didn't do what I did to prove anything to them or anybody else. I did what I did for me and it's been the start of something really spectacular in my life.

What inspires you?
I am really inspired by love and the human connection. Yes, it sounds corny, but I am a romance author! :) My stories are about people from all walks of life, all backgrounds. Other than that, I think it's the idea of building a legacy that inspires me. I aspire for so much, even if it's a long shot. The dream of seeing my books on the NYT bestsellers lists or on the big screen...these are the things that push me to keep writing.

What is your favorite book that you have had published and why?
I think that my favorite is, and always will be my first. It's my baby. It's the one that put me on the map and I am so attached to the story and the characters. As a writer, you do get bad reviews from time to time, but that is one story I hate to see bashed because of the power I feel it has. It's all about love overcoming adversity, and in that particular story adversity is a tame word for the kind of emotional torture I put those characters through. I think that the Historical style is also my favorite to write in, which is another reason I love that first book so much. I think it's style totally defines who I am as an author.

Briefly describe "Cake".
Cake was a blast to write. I wanted to create something fun and funny, but also emotional and heartwarming. It is about a wedding planner named Taylor Vaughn who is desperately in love with her best friend. When he asks her to plan his wedding to another woman, Taylor struggles with her feelings for him and whether or not to reveal them. On the other side of that is a new love interest, a man named Ethan who designs and bakes stunning wedding cakes...I'm talking Cake Boss stuff here. Taylor approaches him about making some cakes for weddings she is planning, but it soon turns into something else.

Essentially, Cake is about that precarious of position of friendship between men and women. Taylor and her best friend, Caleb have been together all of their lives, grown up together. At some point the possibility of more becomes a question but Taylor will find herself torn between the two men. Ethan isn't shy about making his feelings known to Taylor, but she is still unsure. In the end, it's not so much about which of them will choose her, but which of them she will choose to give her heart to.

When is it available? Where can one purchase it?
Cake was released July 2, 2012 and available for purchase now at these ebook retailers:
Barnes and Noble:
AllRomance Ebooks:
(Coming soon to iTunes, Kobo, Sony, and Deisel ereader stores)

It is also available in Paperback form at Amazon:

Thanks Elise! Take some time on this holiday weekend - download it on your Kindle, kick back, relax, and enjoy some "Cake"! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Milestones & Stages! Angie Hollenbeck Photography | Lacey/Olympia Area Photographer

The last few weeks have been quiet around here as there has been a lot going on! My oldest son turned six (tear) and my two younger children have birthdays (two days apart) in the beginning of October so I have been racking my brain with gifts, photo sessions, and trying to remember to mark down each milestone. I saw this idea of Pinterest awhile back and decided to pick a photo of my kiddos and write down a few unique things to their age. 

So with BIRTHDAYS, BIRTHDAYS, BIRTHDAYS, and more birthdays on my mind I decided that instead of simply marking the milestones down on my children's photographs,  that I would offer it to clients as well. So, with that said, below are a few examples of what I now offer! This is a complimentary service to those with children (and/or pets) that they want photographed. All I need is a list of things they are into currently and I do the rest!