self-pub seminar II–covers and promotion

I’m pleased to announce the Self-Publishing Seminar I hosted earlier this month was a success. We had a great turnout and covered a lot of ground.

Of course, there was a lot of ground we couldn’t cover. Three hours is just not enough to dig deep! Because I had to gloss over cover art, book packaging, and social media in the first seminar, I’ve scheduled another on September 12th, same time, same place. We’ll delve into promotion and all sorts of post-press ‘I hit publish, what now?’ kind of stuff. A lot of it is new territory for me, too, so I’m trying new methods and doing tons of research to make sure I’m ready for some great discussions.

If you missed the first seminar, don’t worry! I haven’t set a date yet, but I’ll be hosting that one again sometime this winter (when it’s too cold to be doing anything but reading and writing, anyway!). So keep writing, and we can hit the ground running in 2016 with the workshop that helps you choose service providers, format your book, and get published.

PS Self-Publishing II: Book Packaging, Social Media, Promotion, and Author Branding is by registration only and there’s only one spot left. Please sign up ASAP if you want to come, or put yourself on the waiting list.

Happy writing!

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candy-filled cookies


imageI didn’t realize the ticket to perfect M&M cookies would be going gluten-free, but apparently it is.

Seriously–I struggled for years to create an M&M cookie that looked as good as it tasted. They always spread way too much, unless I used more shortening than butter, but then they didn’t taste good.

These aren’t the yellow-golden babies I used to long for, but I bet with granulated sugar and white rice flours, they’ll turn out (looks like I have an assignment for another day!), but they are so thick and don’t have that crazy spread I dislike so vehemently.

Candy Cookies

1/3 c butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 c cookie flour *
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 c candy-coated chocolates **
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter and sugar. Add cookie flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt–mix until crumbly. Add vanilla and egg. Beat until dough comes together and is sticky. Add candies and chocolates. Mix well. Scoop onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

*Cookie flour is a really fancy way of saying I mixed equal parts of brown rice flour and sweet brown rice flour with xantham gum, baking powder, and vanilla powder. Since I have a cookie problem, I keep a canister of this stuff in my freezer. If you do not have a cookie problem (and I commend you!), try this: 1/2 c rice or other grain flour, 1/2 sweet rice flour or other starch/starchy flour, 1/2 tsp xantham gum, 1/2 tsp baking powder.

**Live large and put in 2 cups of colorful chocolates instead of semi-sweet chips. I wanted to hoard the rest of my M&Ms for another baking spree.

Happy snacking!


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I have a newsletter!

I’m pretty excited. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, but I didn’t have much to talk about. Except I do (I always manage to keep posting, right?). My next book is coming out soon–hopefully before summer’s done. And I also have some super-secret side projects that will pop up now and then, stuff I’ll want to tell you all about once there’s announcements to be make and stories to share.

So sign up! Button’s on my sidebar, but you can also click the lovely link here: Barb Rude’s newsletter.

Look for my email right around the season change. It sounds like a good a time as any to talk about what’s past and look ahead. That means my first issue is just around the corner.

Happy Reading!

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new writerly stuff

I’ve been busy writing about writing and self-publishing for the library, and it just now occurred to me that I could share this fun stuff with you.

Apparently, I’m really good at compiling information and listening to myself talk for three hours. I hope these workshop handouts and resources are as helpful to you as they are to the participants.

Happy writing!

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cashew cookies

I wanted to name these cookies Cashew Condors. Because if you take an egg-shape and put a cashew nose on it, it looks like an adorable baby condor, as featured in this lovely library find:

this is a fun cookbook.

this is a fun cookbook.

Alas, my cookies were not so cute. And I’m not surprised that my stuff never looks like the stuff I see in cookbooks and Pinterest (nailed it!), but I didn’t expect it to look… well, like not birds at all. Besides, it was a poor cashew to cookie ratio. So I went with round and fat little coins, that went into the oven looking something like this:



It’s a gluten-free recipe thing, that dry-yet-greasy dough. I’ve come to like working with it, even if it’s not as yummy to eat as its glutenous counterparts. (That doesn’t stop me, if we’re being honest here.)


Funny thing is, they weren’t quite what I was trying for, which was basically a peanut butter blossom only with cashews and more cashews. They were a bit drier, a lot firmer, and very chewy. Not too sweet, either, and normally that’s not a compliment when it comes from me. For this cookie, it’s a good thing. It really is.

And I’m not disappointed that these cookies turned out like nothing I’ve made before. Variety is the spice of life, and it’s nice to branch out. I might try to make a more buttery version of this cookie in the future, but the recipe as it is can stand on its own.

Oh, you were waiting for the recipe? Whoops! Here you go :D

Cashew Cookies

65 g unsalted cashews, ground into meal (about 1/4 c)
2-3 tbsp canola oil
1/3 c sugar*
1 c sweet brown rice flour (or sticky rice flour)
1/4 tsp xantham gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
whole cashews

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream oil and cashew meal until creamy and smooth. Add sugar and beat well. Add flour, xantham gum, salt, and baking powder, and mix well. Mixture will be crumbly and dry. Add egg. Dough will be dry-ish yet oily.

Press into small thick rounds (cookie will not spread during baking). Top with whole cashews.

Bake for 9-11 minutes.

*Increase to 1/2 c sugar if you want this cookie to jump from not-too-sweet to decadently sweet.

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demonspine cover reveal

Here it is–the cover for Demonspine, Book 2 in the Angelhide series, plus a sneak peek at the cover copy:


After solving her own murder and saving Heaven from a bureaucratic coup, Aggie retired from her three-day stint as a guardian angel. She has a contract with God to prove it—no one in Heaven will bother her until she dies again.

Except she didn’t make that deal with the Devil. His favorite artifact has been stolen and for some reason, he wants Aggie to serve as his personal sleuth.

But really, what was Lucifer thinking? Aggie’s completely mortal. Suppose for a moment she could actually procure a lead, track the thief back to Earth, and find their super-secret lair. Then what—knock on the door and ask for it back? And how is she supposed to defend herself when she inevitably gets busted snooping? Worst. Mission. Ever.

Oh, and Lucifer conveniently forgot to mention that he won’t protect her from all the enemies she makes doing his dirty work. Great.

Apparently, there’s no such thing as retirement for guardian angels—even the clueless, wingless variety.

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new angelhide cover

I’ll be the first to admit: I have no idea what I’m actually doing with the self-publishing thing. Writing a good story? I feel fairly confident about that–but I can’t make myself beg for retweets and likes. Everything is a learning experience. That’s the nice way of saying “I make lots of mistakes.” I’m okay with that.

My first cover was also fairly–let’s be honest here–bad. Maybe it sufficed as a poster or something, but it wasn’t a book cover, and it definitely wasn’t an ebook cover. Too dark, too muddled. This is the new cover:

Angelhide - book 1 of the Angelhide series

The most exciting part of this cover re-reveal isn’t this image–it’s the one that comes next: Demonspine, the sequel to Angelhide. The art is almost ready, the back matter is getting tweaked, but most importantly, the story itself is with my meticulous betas.

Demonspine is coming. I’m so excited. Stay tuned for the cover reveal and a free sample!

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