Friday, August 14, 2009

Special Guest: Diane Craver

My Experience with A New Publisher

Since my publisher of Whitney in Charge is new, you might not have heard of them yet. Just this past March I learned about Desert Breeze Publishing from one of my author friends, Lula Thomas/Miss Mae. I immediately went to their website. After reading what they wanted in a manuscript, I felt it would be a good fit for the type of sweet romances I write. I asked others active in the publishing world if they knew anything about this new house, and was pleased to hear only positive things about Desert Breeze Publishing. Their first books were published in April, and I was told by a review site co-owner that the ones reviewed had been well edited and were top-notch.

Early April I emailed my manuscript Whitney in Charge to Gail Delaney, the editor-in-chief of Desert Breeze Publishing. I was happy to receive a contract from her during the same month. At the same time, another small publisher offered me a contract, but I felt Desert Breeze was the best fit for me as an author. I knew I'd submit my future novels to them. I especially liked the fact that they launched their company to provide a place for readers and authors to go where there are only non-erotica/non-erotic romance novels. You don't have to search through erotic romances and erotica that are offered on many other publishers' sites. I haven't regretted my decision in accepting Desert Breeze's contract.

Gail instantly posted my author and book information on their website. After I submitted my cover art form, Jenifer Ranieri contacted me for my input. It was nice to be included so much in the whole cover art process. I'm very pleased with my Whitney cover.

I can't tell you about my sales since Whitney in Charge just released on August 1. I do know that as owners of Desert Breeze, Gail and Jenifer have a great relationship with their authors. Both are available to answer questions and give frequent updates about the growth of their company. Just in the short time I've been with them, they have made great strides in the publishing world. They are definitely getting our books noticed by their aggressive marketing.

If you are an aspiring author or a published author looking for an appropriate home for your non-erotica/non-erotic romance novels to submit to, you should consider Desert Breeze Publishing.

Question for Aspiring Writers or Published Authors: What do you look for in a publisher?

Question for Readers: What do you think of my cover for my new release? What enters into your decision in buying a book by a new author? Is it the cover, reviews, excerpts, or the book jacket blurb?

Whitney in Charge
By: Diane Craver

Whitney Benson is tired of her older sisters’ attempts to fix her up with every single male they meet. Shannon and Regan cross the line when they arrange for her to go skydiving with the simple excuse that more guys like to float in the air than women. Whitney needs to find something else to keep them busy.

When she suggests that the three of them start a family business, the fun begins in their small town. And she thought being a TV producer in New York had been exciting.

Without going skydiving, Whitney meets two eligible bachelors, Jack and Ben, who constantly battle for her affection. Which one will she choose? Both men make Whitney realize, even a heart shattered by her husband’s death, can once again be made whole.

But did she have to fall off a cliff to learn that?


Shannon and Regan entered the room with determined looks, immediately making her wonder what they were up to. With her being widowed and their mother gone, both felt she needed direction and had told her so more than once.

“Whitney, we need to talk,” Shannon said.

“But first, let’s go into the kitchen.” Regan smiled, carrying Chinese food. “I brought your favorite.”

“And fortune cookies,” Shannon added.

Well, that wasn’t a good sign. When they wanted her to cooperate with their plans, Regan always thought food was necessary in winning an argument against the youngest sister. Two years ago, she’d been a television news producer for a popular morning program, but those two still treated her like the baby sister. Maybe if she’d had children with Rob, things would’ve been different. Probably not. She’d always be their little sis.

What plans did they have for her? She loved Shannon and Regan but at times they overwhelmed her. Whitney followed them into the kitchen, getting plates from the cupboard while Shannon made coffee.

Regan opened up the containers of food. “We think it’s time you get out of the house and do something exciting. Mom would want you to go on with your life. And…” She grinned as she scooped out fried rice. “We thought of something to do for you.”

Whitney shook her head. “That’s not necessary—”

“Yes, it is.” Shannon put a spoonful of sugar in her coffee. “You quit your job and came back to take care of Mom.”

“I didn’t mind. Both of you have families, and I didn’t have any reason to stay in New York.” Please don’t mention Rob.

Shannon carried the cups of coffee to the table. “Regan and I have thought of the perfect thing for you to experience.”

Whitney broke open a fortune cookie and read from the slip of paper, “You will soon fall in love with a handsome stranger.”

Shannon thumped Whitney on the back before joining them at the table. “That fortune fits right in with our plans for you.”

“I think it fits in with any single woman’s hopeful plans,” Whitney said. “But certainly not mine.”

“It’s a sign,” Regan said in an eager voice. “You’ll see.”

“Not a cruise. Remember, I told you I don’t want to go on another cruise.” Several months earlier, they made her go on a three-day trip while both took turns staying with their mother. They had meant well but going by herself and being surrounded by couples hadn’t been much fun. Shannon and Regan were disappointed that Whitney hadn’t fallen in love on the ship. The only available guy she might have been interested in was the recreational director and he was too short.

“We knew you’d say that, and we’ve heard you say how you’ve done it all.” Regan put a lock of auburn hair behind her ear and cleared her throat. “But we thought of something you haven’t done and will be a thrill of a lifetime.”

“And when we tell you what it is, please don’t say no,” Shannon said. “We already paid for it.”

Whitney stared at them. “Okay, you have me curious now. What is it?”

Regan set forks down on the table and mumbled, “Skydiving.”

Whitney gasped, spilling coffee on her hand. Why in the world would they pay for her to go skydiving? Had they lost their minds? “You can’t be serious. Are you trying to kill me?”

“You won’t be jumping by yourself. We talked to the owner about signing you up for a tandem skydive for your first jump. You’ll meet fun people.” Shannon patted Whitney’s hand. “And the female-male ratio is good…”

Regan nodded. “There are more guys than women skydiving. And the men are hot and love any woman who drops from the sky.”

With raised eyebrows, Whitney asked, “How would you two know?”

“We checked it all out before we got it for you,” Shannon said.

Regan grinned. “Shannon, you’re skipping the best part of our visit. We drooled over all the instructors before we signed you up. I did mention I thought you’d be the most comfortable with Nate.”

“Why Nate?” Whitney asked.

Shannon laughed. “Regan couldn’t take her eyes off him. He’s drop-dead gorgeous.”

Whitney swallowed a forkful of rice. If her sisters were correct and there was an overabundance of men, she knew why. Men wanted to act macho, but how many brain cells did they have to think jumping out of a plane made them tough? That wasn’t fair. Just because she wasn’t into skydiving didn’t mean it was stupid. When had she become so critical? She knew when. After Rob’s death, the optimistic, open-minded part of her died with him.

“Maybe you two should go skydiving instead of me.”

Regan shook her head. “No way. We want you to go.”

“But I’m afraid of heights.”

“It’s time for you to overcome your fear of flying.” Shannon took a bite of shrimp. “We want to go to Hawaii sometime. Remember how we promised Mom we would? Just the three of us.”

Whitney shrugged. “That’s different. I can fly to Hawaii without doing skydiving first.”

“I don’t think so.” Regan scooped a heaping spoonful of chow mien onto her plate. “You drove me crazy when we flew to Wisconsin for Aunt Martha’s funeral. You had such terrible anxiety attacks.”

Why did she have to have such stubborn sisters? The last thing she felt like doing was something stupid like skydiving, but she knew they’d never give up on her. They always thought they knew best because they were older and married. Big deal they were a bit older. Shannon just turned thirty-nine, and at thirty-four Regan was only three years older than Whitney.

Shannon nudged Regan, grinning with her eyebrows arched high. “Tell her about Jack.”

Regan shook her head. “Not a good idea.”

“Who’s Jack? Another skydiver?” Whitney asked.

“He’s a paramedic and single. He’s worked with Casey, but Jack’s not a firefighter. He’s not interested in meeting you.” Regan gave Whitney an apologetic shrug. “Sorry. It’s a shame because Jack’s a dead ringer for Matthew McConaughey.”

Shannon raised her eyebrows. “What did Casey tell Jack about Whitney?”

“Not enough obviously,” Regan said. “But I’ll─”

“No.” Whitney put her hand on Regan’s arm. “Don’t say anything. I don’t want to go out with someone who feels pressured.” She grinned. “Although resembling McConaughey might change my mind.”


Diane Craver said...

Good Morning, Pink Ladies!

Teresa, Sloan, Tracy, and Katherine,

Thank you so much for hosting me today and for the opportunity to share my new release, WHTINEY IN CHARGE, on your blog.

I'll be back later to see if there are any questions about my writing or my new publisher, Desert Breeze!

Dru said...

Diane, I'm glad that you found a publishing house that fits your needs.

I love the cover art for Whitney in Charge.

A lot of things play into whether I'm going to buy a book from a new-to-me author. The book blurb, the cover art, reviews, the exceprt and word of mouth.

Good luck with your release.

Diane Craver said...

Hi Dru,

I'm happy to see you here! And you were with me with my struggles in finding a publisher for Whitney - appreciate your support.

By the way, I never sent you my bookmarks and pens. Email me your address and I'll get them to you. If anyone else wants any, email me at

Sharon Sullivan-Craver said...

I have read Diane's books and I am very anxious to read "Whitney in Charge" and as she knows I will defintely give her my opinion of it.

Judy said...

Hi Diane,

I love your cover for Whitney in Charge. I have bought a couple books from Desert Breeze and had no problems. I have to admit that I am a cover person. I can usually look at a cover and tell if I am going to like it. That also seems odd to me, but I usually enjoy the book:)I also find that going to the blogs and reading the interviews, excerpts, and interactions give me a good perspective to a new author also. Good luck with your sales!!

Tracy Preston - Romance Writer said...


Thanks so much for being with us today. Your book truly sounds adorably endearing. It's going on my TBR list!

And I love your cover, btw. Definitely sparked my interest.

As to the question of what reels me in as far as a book goes...

1. Cover Art
(This is what makes me pick up one book over another. If the art is eye-catching, it will compell me to reach for (or click on) it instead of the one next to it. And in most cases, it will also let me know if it's the type of book I usually enjoy.)

2. Blurb
(A blurb will red or green flag a book for me. We all know what our personal perferences are as far as reading material -- so if you're writing in a reader's favorite genre, and your blurb is well-conceived, it WILL sell your book.)

Diane Craver said...

Thank you for visiting here - means a lot to me that you took time to stop by! I'm so glad you like my books. Even though you are the oldest sister, you'll love Whitney in Charge! :) And I know you broke the ice for your younger sisters so they would be allowed to do different things. At least, that's what my oldest sis says.

Diane Craver said...

Thanks, Judy for your input. I do think the cover is important as well as the blurb and excerpts. And word of mouth helps readers to decide whether to buy a book or not. I've been blessed with excellent cover art designers for my books.

Diane Craver said...

Hi Tracy,

My daughter LOVES pink - her room is pink, pink clothes, pink schoolbag and she wants a pink car. When she goes to pick a book, she likes the ones with pink covers. I have to show her your lovely pink blog. By the way, she was born with Down syndrome.

I agree with what you said and thanks for your comments.

And I'm glad you want to read Whitney. :)

Sandra Sookoo said...

Hey fellow DB author! I love your cover. For me, I'll most likely buy a book from the blurb. Covers are a wrapper. The book is what you're paying for :-) But, if the cover is eye catching, it's even better!

Diane Craver said...

Hi Sandra,
The blurb is definitely important. I think I rewrite the blurbs as often as the books. :) We have great covers at Desert Breeze.

Thanks for stopping by.

Unknown said...

hello Pink Ladies--I write for The Wild Rose Press (3 books) but I definitely have Desert Breeze in my sights. My style is more toward sweet and sensual than hot, and certainly not erotic. I hope to have a ms ready very soon to submit--keep your fingers crossed for me!!Celia

Diane Craver said...

Hi Celia,

I'm glad you visited this blog. That's great you're considering submitting to Desert Breeze!

Diane Craver said...

Pink Ladies,

I enjoyed being here today. Thanks again for hosting me.

Have a terrific weekend, everyone!

Diane Craver said...

Pink Ladies,

I enjoyed being here today. Thanks again for hosting me.

Have a terrific weekend, everyone!

Cate Masters said...

Great info, Diane! I love the cover for Whitney in Charge too. Best of luck with it!

Autumn Jordon said...

Diane, I agree with the others. Your cover is very nice and the blurb is great. I'm wishing you mega sales. You know you'll have one with me.


Gwynlyn said...

Great cover, and the family dynamics are intriguing. Best of luck!

Mary Ricksen said...

I love the book jacket too! It's great to have input in that too.
Good luck and sell a million!

Diane Craver said...

Cate, Autumn, Gwynlyn, and Mary,

Thank you so much - very nice surprise to see your comments!

I drew a winner for my August 15th contest and it's Judy. But there is another drawing on August 22nd for the second week of comments.

Also if anyone would like a Whitney bookmark and a pink pen with my tagline on it and website link, email me your address. (

Isn't this pink blog gorgeous? I love it.

Carol Ann said...

Sorry to be late in dropping by. I was intrigued to hear about your new publisher. I've heard of them but never checked them out. When I choose a publisher, I look for credibility and teamwork, mostly based on word of mouth from other authors. I'm excited to learn there is a publisher with a hands-off stance regarding erotica. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Carol Ann Erhardt

Diane Craver said...

Hi Carol,

Glad you visited and learned about my new publisher. It's a good place for me to be with what I write.

Have a great Sunday!

Cindy K. Green said...

I'm so glad you found a home for Whitney. It sounds like you're very happy there.
Best wishes,

Diane Craver said...

Hi Cindy,
Thank you so much. I'm excited about being with Desert Breeze Publishing - everything worked out so well. I'm glad I accepted their contract.

And you've been a good friend answering all my questions about publishers and being so supportive.

Diane Craver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diane Craver said...

Forgot to mention something of interest here earlier so thought I would now. Desert Breeze Publishing's yahoo group is having a membership drive until the 31st, if a new member signs up and posts why they are
there... They'll be eligible to receive a free download of their choosing. Here is the place to be:

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