IN HER SHADOW Thrill-fest and Release Party!

When I finished the first draft of my novel, I called my mom, sniffling. “You should rest,” she said. “You just birthed a novel.”

baby book names

Yes, as a parent and poet, Mom gets it. I hesitate to draw many parenting/writing comparisons, not having kids myself. Judging from what others who do have shared, however, numerous parallels fit. “Birthing” a book is intense, exciting, gratifying, sometimes painstaking and frustrating work, all made more enjoyable, manageable and profound by the support of others. So I suppose I should now welcome you all to my “baby” shower. May the diaper games begin! ;) Kidding. As bizarre fun as that sounds, I think we’ll venture elsewhere, starting with what matters most at this party: you all.

I can’t thank you all enough for joining me in my journey this past year-plus, in whatever capacity you have. I wish I could list everyone I’m grateful to by name, but that would be about as breezy to read as one of those “old fashioned” phone books. Here are the highlights:

I’m particularly grateful to my parents for never saying “don’t” and always saying “dream;” my husband, for reading nearly every word of my every draft and tolerating my maniacal writer-dom in ways even I sometimes can’t; my friend and mentor Mike Sirota, for running my pages through the Simon Cowel-like ringer and being there through days dark and bright; my agent John Rudolph for believing in me, thinking outside of the box and helping me become a stronger writer; digital publishing manager Yassine Belkacemi for uploads, formatting and fielding my endless questions with considerable patience; Steena Holmes for her beautiful work on my cover and tireless support; and my furry and feathered office pals, Zoe and Wombley, whose animal-love I thrive on.

To my blogging friends, the WANA crowd and Jedi master Kristen Lamb, fabulous folks I’ve met through Bouchercon, ThrillerFest and the Southern California Writers Conference and friends I’ve fallen in writer-love with through words and pages, THANK YOU. I hope you know you’re like permanently implanted in my heart. ;)

Now for the FUN STUFF!

I’m stoked and honored to invite you all to the IN HER SHADOW Thrill-Fest Giveaway raffle. Some of my favorite thriller authors have joined in by offering up some spectacular prizes. Up for grabs include signed books by Amanda Kyle Williams, David Freed, DP Lyle, Donna Galanti, Stacy Green and Amy Shojai. I’ll be giving away three copies IN HER SHADOW, hot off the presses in a couple of weeks, each accompanied by an interview with me.

A lowdown of the prizes:

Each prize includes a signed book and, in most cases, an interview with the author. The interviews may be conducted by phone, Skype or email and, potentially, shared on your blog or website. You can also gift your prize to a thriller-loving or “writerly” friend. The interview details will be worked out via email, based on the author’s preference and what works for you, at the raffle’s end. Check out these tantalizing covers:

raffle books

How to enter:

Hop over to the GIVEAWAY tab on my Facebook page, using this link. The raffle widget will guide you through a variety of simple ways to support participating books and authors. While not necessary for the raffle, I hope that when you visit the authors’ Amazon pages, you’ll click that little “like” button if you indeed like what you see. You can also gain raffle points by commenting on this post. (See below.)

The raffle ends this Saturday, January 12th at midnight. You can utilize every raffle option once daily, today through Saturday, for a maximum of 50 raffle points per day. Not too shabby, right?

For even MORE fun, join me and my friend Karina, the Goddess of Terrifying Trivia, tonight for a virtual launch party on Facebook. We’ll be giving out more prizes and having a heck of a lot of goofy, thriller-related fun. The party goes from 5pm to 9pm PST, and you’re welcome to pop by for a virtual drink or linger all party long. You can also join us on Twitter: #InHerShadow. For further details, visit:

IN HER SHADOW Thrill-Fest Launch Party on Facebook

In Her Shadow - Finalx2

I hope to see you there! So much love and gratitude,


*Using the following prompt, post a comment below between today and Saturday for another chance to win. I’ll give 10 extra points for the most creative comment. Ready…set…GO!

How is writing like or unlike childbirth or parenthood?

Leave a comment


  1. If you leave your writing in the cereal aisle of the supermarket, it goes to the lost and found and you don’t go to jail.

  2. August, congratulations on your baby! Love that analogy and it’s so true. Are you glad it’s a girl? :) Thanks so much for including me here. You are an inspiration to follow. Wishing you a rainbow of success – double rainbows!

    • DOUBLE rainbows? Score! And yes, I’m SO glad it’s a girl. ;)

      Thanks for the support, Donna. Success is a team effort, and I’m thrilled to consider you part of mine! *raises glass*

  3. August, I have been following your progress with your novel from afar but do know I have cheered your every movement. I could not be more delighted with the release of your first of many novels and am looking forward to years of great reading. Congratulations, for you have worked so hard for this, and you have remained constant to yourself. Well done, August.


    • Your ongoing thoughts and support mean so much to me, Karen. Trust me, I feel them! My very best wishes to you and your pursuits, too. :) Thank you again and again.

  4. My baby is stuck in there and won’t come out. We need an intervention or I’m going to die.

    Congratulations, your baby looks so pretty. Can’t wait to see wait she is all about.

    Also hope to be “crowning” soon. ;)

    • Thanks, Renee! I don’t know whether to rush to your aid with worry or laugh my BUTT off. You are one of the wittiest bloggers out there, and if you’re stuck, I’m confident you and that baby will find a way. ;) Here’s to crowning soon, and a painless launch into the world.

  5. *what* she is all about, dagnabit.

  6. Catherine Johnson

     /  January 10, 2013

    How exciting! Congratulations, August! Wishing you a mountain range of success.
    One minute you are carrying diapers everywhere and the next you are waving them off on the school bus, which must be the stage you are at now, August. Best wishes!

  7. Wow, this is the most creative contest I’ve seen for a book release. I’m seriously in awe of you. Congrats on the book release! Terrific job leveraging connections from conferences to make a killer contest. :)

  8. Congrats on your baby, August, and thanks so much for including me in your list of thrillers. Looking forward to meeting the winner.

  9. Congratulations August!
    I am in Wisconsin and am checking email notifications on my phone.

    I think that is a great analogy since a pregnancy has its ups and downs. The birth although anticipated can also be feared since one can hear so many horror stories.

    Once “the baby” arrives we protect it like a mother bear and will do everything in our power to give it the best start ever.

    At some point our work is done. We have to let it go off into the world on its own…

    I am sure that your baby has been given all the tools it needs to succeed!
    I can’t wait to read it August!

  10. Writing is definitely like parenthood – you feel like you’re never really prepared; yours is more beautiful than anyone elses, and is perfect, except when it’s driving you nuts; and it seems to take forever, but before you know it, you have to release it into the world. Oh, and its younger siblings are always clamoring for attention, too.

    Congrats on the release!!!

    • Ha! So well put, Jennette. The new one’s been kicking the heck out of my “oven” amidst all of the first “kid” focus. :) Thanks for the support!

  11. Well, since half the time being a parent makes you feel like you don’t know diddly, I’d say equating it to writing a novel is spot on.

    May you get author stretch marks from IN HER SHADOW and wear them proudly. :-)

  12. August, I am so proud to know you! You are doing an amazing job. You deserve every success, hunny! Enjoy! And a book is absolutely like childbirth…and then child-rearing. Once you birth them, they never go away, LOL, and keep coming back for money. (I know, I know, books are supposed to make you money, but I’m shelling out a lot at the moment on cover artists, copyeditors, and so on, so that’s my frame of reference!). Good luck and best wishes!

    • I’m so touched, Kathy. All of that means a ton coming from you. :)

      I KNOW those invested funds will come back to you when your kids become rich and famous!

  13. This is so exciting! I hope to join the virtual launch party if I can tonight. In the meantime, I am, according to my Kindle, 83% done reading the book and wish I didn’t have pesky work stuff getting in the way of finishing it during the day!

    As for comparisons between writing and childbirth/parenthood… the thing that strikes me is that pregnant women tend to focus a disproportionate amount of time and energy worrying about the process of giving birth. (Writing equivalent=finishing writing the book.) They forget that the really hard work begins after the baby is born and continues for the rest of their natural lives. (Writing equivalent=marketing is a thankless job that never ends, but is oh-so-necessary in the life cycle of a book.) Lesson: Don’t focus so much on the writing of the book that you forget what happens after it’s finished. I am tremendously guilty of this.

    • I’m so touched that you’re reading my infant, Audrey. LOL Thanks so much for the thoughtful words and support! You’re SO right about the heavy lifting post-birth—equally worthwhile and exhausting. Best of luck with your book and all that happens after. :)

  14. Congratulations August on the release of your book = I look forward to reading it.

  15. I’m not a parent yet, but based on what I know from friends, here’s how I think writing a book is like parenting. As much as you love your book and try to turn it into the vision you have in your head, sometimes is frustrates you and won’t do what you want it to :)

  16. Congratulations August!
    Raising a book or a baby, there is DOUBT that you are any good at it. Also it’s pretty cool how can you see bits of yourself in them. :)

  17. Wow, what a birth! Yay, it’s finally out! Whew! Now, like with any parent, the work begins as you guide and nurture that little baby through its publishing life. Yet, like any parent, not everyone is gonna love that little baby like Mama does. And that’s the tough part. We Mamas are pretty protective of our babies.As in, “Don’t mess with my baby!” LOL! But I couldn’t be more pleased for you August. We can’t wait to hold that baby now ourselves. This is so exciting! Congratulations and best wishes for a successful future! {{Hugs!}} :)

  18. Your baby’s in my Kindle. Thanks for sharing her.

    Another way sending a book out into the world is like sending out a child: Your child (book) will make unexpected-to-you friends. As a result, your horizons will widen, your tolerance will grow, and your world will get bigger.

  19. mgmillerbooks

     /  January 10, 2013

    Wow. Soooo happy to see the big turnout, and all the support. This was my wish for you. Books ARE like birthing babies, but when it comes down to the human element, I’m still in parent mode because I want better things for you than I had, and I also want you to have opportunites I never did. You’re well on your way to success, young lady, and that makes this old man proud :)

  20. lynnkelleyauthor

     /  January 10, 2013

    Huge congrats, August! Your baby is awesome, just like her mommy! The little prodigy has already learned to walk and will soon be running with the big kids! Cheers!

  21. My characters are worse than rebellious teens. I have no control over them.

  22. So excited for you- Congrats! Enjoy all the success that is headed your way:)

  23. Congratulations, Darling! I’m super excited for you ~ enjoy your party tonight. I’ll stop in a few times between fixing dinner and homework stuff.

  24. Raani York

     /  January 10, 2013

    Congratulations, August! I’m so proud to be able to call you my friend!! – I LOVE your book. It nearly scared me to death, but I love it. I’m nearly done reading and hopefully will be able to write your review this upcoming weekend!!

  25. Hey there August, it’s been too long since I came here. A big congratulations to you… we all appreciate the hard work that comes with giving birth – I wish your baby great success :)

    I’m thinking the difference between birthing a novel and a baby is the gestation period is much longer, but when they leave home, they don’t come back…

  26. Unlike parenthood, you don’t care when or where or with whom the baby was conceived, you’re just glad it happened.

    For some, the gestation period exceeds that of an elephant. For others, a randy rabbit.

  27. Congrats, I can’t wait to read it. xxxx

  28. Awesome sounding party, August, and I can’t wait for your release. Congratulations!

  29. Ha ha! I spend all my time telling myself that my writing isn’t my baby – so I don’t get upset when someone says that’s crap! (ask Donna Newton!).

    But your book is excellent and you deserve the success I’m sure is coming your way.


  30. lynettemburrows

     /  January 10, 2013

    I’m late to the party, but I wanted to say congratulations, August. Hope your baby bounces from reader to reader to bestseller list!

  31. Woohoo – fun giveaway August! I actually just bought your book this past weekend, also bought Stacy’s and am in contact with Amy to do a book review of her audio version! I guess I just like all you and couldn’t wait! LOL. Much success to you!!!

  32. Congratulations, August, and enjoy every minute of this amazing experience. I just popped into the party on F/B – what a bash!

  33. Aloha August,

    Success with the Birthing Party and like I say to all new parents I meet: GET SOME SLEEP!

  34. Congrats on your beautiful baby! Just added it to my Goodreads “to-read” list. Love seeing another female thriller writer out there…yay!

  35. inkspeare

     /  January 11, 2013

    Congratulations, this is wonderful :)

  36. Raani York

     /  January 12, 2013

    August, congratulations to your baby from me as well. I’m so happy to be able to read your book… and I can’t wait to finish it and write the review… :-)

  37. GO AUGUST GO!!!! waaahoooo! i’m very excited for you! xoxo

  38. Congratulations, August! I’m so happy for you!

    I love the analogy. Some babies take less time to develop than some stories do. ;-)

    • Ooh, great point. And they all have different personalities and quirks… Hopefully my next doesn’t have colic. LOL Thanks for the cheers and wishes, Diana!

  39. SUPER congrats, August! Oh, I’m so happy for you!! Unfortunately I just saw your post today, so I can’t enter the raffle.

    The nice thing about your own books NOT being like children is that you don’t have to feel guilty when you realize you have a favorite. :)

  40. Karen

     /  January 14, 2013

    Two of my friends have read your book…they can’t wait for the sequel!! CONGRATS!!

  41. I have followed you and commented and enjoyed every minute. However, I was getting a colonoscopy last Wednesday and haven’t felt well since, so I missed this post until today. I hope all went well and I do so congratulate you on publishing your novel.

  42. Hi August, Congratulations on this. I am so happy for you! :-)

    When I said I was going to buy your book, I had the idea of ‘In Her Shadow’ in paperback in mind. So I went to Amazon to place an order but was surprised to find that the book is available on Kindle only. To be honest, I am not a big fan of e-book. Well I do have some collection of classics that I downloaded on my Itunes and read them from time to time, but for me the pleasure of reading a paperback is much greater than the screen.

    I have bought the book, nevertheless, but would definitely place an order when the paperback version is available, hence giving me the pleasure of reading that I have always wanted. When is paperback version available by the way? I couldn’t find it in your website.

    And 389 pages…. Boy, that’s a number! :-D

    • Thanks, Subhan! I’m sorry the paperback hasn’t been available sooner. It should be by February first, or sooner. I’ll keep you posted!

      Stay well, and thanks again for the support. :)

  43. I’m so FREAKING thrilled for you August!!!!!!

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