Sunday, March 31, 2013

Wait! Change! It's the Law of Attraction!

The Carole Remy blog came into being on January 14, 2013. But something didn't feel quite right.

The Value of Waiting

Following the Law of Attraction and Taoist principles, I immediately stopped posting and waited for inspiration. Waiting is a really important aspect of the Law of Attraction, one that is often overlooked. If something doesn't feel quite right, keep paying attention, but pause.

Two weeks later, the blog fell into place, and it's been humming ever since. What was off in the first place? I had thought exclusively of marketing my erotic romance novels. I'd looked at lots of writers' blogs, liked what I saw, and thought I would do the same thing. Trouble is, that's not me.

To work for me, this blog needed to be an expression of my life, something personal. It needed to include animal rescue and the Law of Attraction, for starters. Both are integral to my life and needed to be well represented on this blog.

Why Waiting Works, and Boy, Does It!

Why does waiting for inspiration work? It can be frustrating to do nothing when you want to do something, anything! Trouble is, doing 'something' often ends up being counterproductive, if it's not the right something.

The willingness to wait is a neon signal to the Universe that you are ready to receive abundance in whatever form it comes. When we act too quickly, it's like we're saying, No thanks for your help, Universe! I know best. When we relax and wait attentively for signs that we're on the right path, the world opens before us. What looked like giant obstacles become fun jumps on the agility course of life! (You knew I'd get dog agility in here somehow, right?)

How do I know the pause worked? Once I included dog rescue and the Law of Attraction on the blog, it was like I released a giant sigh, Yes! This is me, this is right. And readers responded immediately. The blog's bounce rate is under 20%. That means readers come for one post, and they stay to read more, a lot more. Yeah!

Learning as You Go

One of the wonderful aspects of Internet publishing is that you can fix things! Whew! It took several tries to get a look for the blog that feels right. Unlike with a print magazine or newspaper, the earlier versions have vanished into the ether.

The same is true for the e-book versions of my novels. Twelve Nights and Who Is Candid? have gone through two cover changes and three blurb changes each, in just two months! And Beauty of the Beast, releasing on May 7? Check out the post about the Epic Fail Frankenstein Book Cover!

Being Open to Change is Part of the Law of Attraction

Just as waiting is an often ignored aspect of the Law of Attraction, so is willingness to change. When we are open and flexible, we see opportunities. When we let go of the notion of being right, we can recognize better options, which we can then let go of for even better options!

How does willingness to change fit into the Law of Attraction? The underlying principle of the LoA is that  your present energy attracts similar future energy. Joy attracts more Joy. Rigidity unfortunately is also self-reinforcing. If you think one path is the only way, you aren't even going to see all the more useful paths open before you.

So even if you love, adore, and cherish the current cover of your novel, be aware that an even more awesome cover might be possible. In fact, the changing covers of my novels are a perfect manifestation of this phenomenon. I LOVED each original cover design. Because I loved, adored, and cherished each original cover, the Universe placed before me the opportunity for even more adorable, lovable covers!

The secret to successful, tranquil change is to truly love where you are now, but without clinging. Adore your awesome life, but keep your eyes and mind open to mind-blowing possibilities!

Have you ever waited for just the right moment? How did that work out? Are you comfortable with change, or does it scare you? Please join the conversation! I'm eager to hear your thoughts.

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Epic Fail Frankenstein Book Cover!

First, Happy Friday! Krystal's Enchanting Reads is featuring both Who Is Candid? and Twelve Nights today. Head on over for excerpts and a guest blog I wrote especially for Krystal. Thank you, Sweetie!

Playing Dr. Frankenstein

The Law of Attraction says that when something seems hard, the timing just isn't right. Well, this time I didn't listen. The cover design process of Beauty of the Beast is a perfect example of,

If it's right, it's easy. If it's not easy, it's not right!

First let me introduce Marissa Lepe Preciado, my amazing assistant who is the prime mover in building the book covers for my novels. Marissa is also a medical doctor who is studying to become a veterinarian. Working part-time for me fits her study schedule, and boy, do I win on this one!

Yes, guys, she's single!

We found a photo on Shutterstock weeks ago that looked absolutely perfect for Beauty of the Beast. The girl in the photo is youngish and innocent, maybe a little young but not too far off. She's eye-catching. There's a storybook feel. The clothing could be 1950's, when the novel is set. Her hair is long and reddish and wild. Perfect!

This was the first photo I ever bought from Shutterstock. We were convinced she would be our best cover ever! First hint that all would not go as planned was that it was impossible to use the photo as the full/cover and still fit in the title Beauty of the Beast. Since Twelve Nights and Who Is Candid? have full cover photos, we wanted to keep things consistent, but there was just no way. So Marissa put her in a box.

And then we started really looking at her... She doesn't look exactly happy. A little stunned, which fits the story, but she needed to look thrilled as well as stunned. Also, Mary Jane is quick-witted. We had to do something about the eyes and the mouth. Dr. Frankenstein begins.

Overnight, I picked out half a dozen different eyes and mouths. One mouth that I liked for the smirk. Some people's eyes just look intelligent. Did you know that you can type "intelligent eyes" into Google Images and actually get beautiful, intelligent looking eyes?

So, now Marissa would just put in the new eyes and mouth. I tell you, she's talented!

Okay, this mouth didn't work!

Brighten up her own lips, not so good... But you may notice that the eyes have a different sparkle. Turns out there's an app to sparkle up eyes. Who knew?

Here she is with the best eyes we could find, and her own mouth at an angle. We thought maybe we could fake a smirk that way. Not so much... We did find a font for the title that we liked and ended up using. Marissa also created the Sexy Fun Erotic Romance tag line, which I love!

Let's see. What else did we try? We searched and found the model's name, not easy, and found unretouched photos of her, even harder. Everything was in Russian, which slowed us down a bit. I didn't buy the photos, so I won't post them here, but you can find her on Google Images. Her name is Valeria Bondar, and she really is lovely! We read about the photo itself, which the photographer had deliberately altered to make the model look like a lifeless doll. Unfortunately for us, he succeeded!

Marissa widened her face—the real model had lovely broad cheekbones. She tried two or three more mouths. The one above is a noticeably spectacular fail! And then we gave up.

We went back to Shutterstock, looking for an EASY cover photo! Within five minutes, we found the perfect photo. What I loved first is that she's wearing a towel, which is a signature for Mary Jane in the novel. Then I noticed, she's gorgeous! Okay, the red hair color isn't 1950s, but... she's stunning! Thirty minutes later, the Beauty of the Beast cover was complete. And although a mother isn't supposed to choose among her offspring, I have to say this is my favorite Sexy Fun Erotic Romance cover!

Moral of the story, If it's right, it's easy. If it's not easy, it's not right!

I hope you've gotten a chuckle from our adventures playing Dr. Frankenstein. It occurred to me at one point that with the old photo, my novel might be mistaken for necrophilia! Frustrating as the repeated epic fails were, they did keep Marissa and me laughing.

Have you had a cover adventure you could share? Have you tried and tried at something, and then when you gave up and started over, it came easily? I can't wait to hear your stories!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thankful Tuesday! Bloggers, Family, and Friends!

I thought for this Thankful Tuesday, I'd share some mementos that make me think of cherished family and friends. I'll write about each of them in a minute.

First, I want to thank all the blogs that have hosted my novels this month! Please check out these posts and give them some love! The links go directly to the reviews of Twelve Nights and Who Is Candid?, and to my guest blogs (except the last two, which aren't posted yet).

Let me start with a big thanks to Roxanne Rhoads and the team at Bewitching Book Tours, who put it all together! If you'd like to book me for your blog in April for Who is Candid? or in May for the launch of Beauty of the Beast, please contact Roxanne or me directly.

NOTE: The spacing is somehow messed up, but I'm publishing the list anyway hoping you won't mind too much. Marissa, the beautiful tech whiz, will fix the HTML tomorrow. Arggg! This is what I get for trying to fix it—I made it worse!

review of Who Is Candid?

review of Twelve Nights

reviews and excerpts from both novels!

interview about how I came to write Twelve Nights

reviews of both novels!
guest blog: Novels and the Law of Attraction

spotlight on Who Is Candid?

spotlight on Twelve Nights

review of Twelve Nights

guest blog: Why Write Erotica?

March 27
guest blog + reviews of both novels
Erzabet's Enchantments

March 29
guest blog: Did Who Is Candid? Actually Happen?
Krystal's Enchanting Reads ...

Thank you all!!!

And now to the friends and relatives who enrich my life on a daily basis—You are appreciated! Here are a few mementos I keep in the bedroom to help me feel close to loved ones who are thousands of miles away.

My daughter Margaret brought me back this Buddha from I think Phuket, somewhere in that part of the world! She travels with her job and brings me back thoughtful gifts that each reflect my taste and beliefs. Daughters are awesome!

My sister Maggee painted this hand for me on a glove mold. It's become a perfect symbol for me, as I now use my hands practicing Reiki. And it's a great place to hang other mementos!

My daughter Lynde found these snowflakes in Alabama and brought them to Mexico to put on our Christmas tree. I love them!

Here's the tree Margaret made and Lynde adorned. Best tree ever! Best Christmas ever!

Ganesh is my hero! He's the Hindu elephant god of new beginnings and prosperity, and he rocks! I have six Ganeshes in my house, including this one my sister Patricia brought me from India. This Ganesh is reading! Perfect!

My friend Marissa Lepe Preciado crocheted this cat for me. We do animal rescue together. I'm allergic to cats, and she wanted me to have a pet cat!

When I left Alabama for Mexico, my friend Peggy Howland invited me to pick something from her mantle to take with me, to remind me of her loving care! I picked this butterfly, who is lovely and strong, just like Peggy! 

It doesn't take a lot of stuff to create a home. These few mementos are home for me, wherever I live. Each reminds me of someone who holds a permanent place in my heart. 

What mementos are special to you? Who would you like to thank for being part of your life? If this post inspires a phone call, or an e-mail, or a hug—Woohoo! Have a fabulous Thankful Tuesday!

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

New Sexy Fun Erotic Romance Book Covers!

One of the amazing things about online publishing is that you can keep refining your publicity!

One of the exhausting things about online publishing is that you can keep refining your publicity!

It may have looked for the last few days on the blog as if I've been totally obsessed with the 2013 PATA Manzanillo spay/neuter campaign. That would be true! And now our little rescue puppy Chito needs help with his medical bills. Please check out these posts if you haven't already.

Back in book world, things have been progressing nicely behind the scenes. Today we're ready to reveal a whole new cover look to the Carole Remy Sexy Fun Erotic Romance novels! It all started with an epic cover fail... just a teaser... this Frankenstein's monster fail is so epic it gets its own post—watch for it!

When we got past the epic fail, the movie-poster-quality cover for Beauty of the Beast inspired us to reinvent the other two covers as well. Here's a sneak peak of the Beauty cover, which will get the whole reveal treatment in a few days. I LOVE this cover!!

Once we found the perfect Sexy Fun font, we decided that each cover deserves its own Sexy Fun Erotic Romance tag line. So that's what we did! The changes to the Twelve Nights cover are minor, just the new tag line and a little tweaking. Aren't the girls beautiful!, and intriguing, and a little bit scary...

The cover for Who Is Candid? got more of a makeover. Since Candid aka Lucy is being chased by the paparazzi and the entertainment magazines through most of the book, we thought it would be fun to try a magazine style cover. Finding just the right font to look tabloid-ish and still book-ish was a fun challenge. Then we moved the Sexy Fun Erotic Romance tag line up the page, down the page, into the middle of the page, until finally (like Goldilocks) it felt just right! Peekaboo! Who Is Candid?

So, what do you think? My personal challenge was to get past looking at the covers as art, and to start thinking of them as cereal boxes. Yup, cereal boxes! The breakfast browser in the supermarket aisle wants to know if they're getting corn flakes or granola, and the same goes for the novel browser on Amazon.

So now you know—if you like independent women and masterful men, and you think laughing is erotic, these Sexy Fun Erotic Romances are for you!

What do you think? Have you had a book cover adventure of your own? Do these covers start to create a brand identity (like Kellogg's cereal!)? I'm looking forward to our conversation!

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Miracle Puppy Needs Our Help!

In the post about the March 2013 PATA Manzanillo spay/neuter campaign, I wrote about a sweet little street puppy that we took in and kept alive for the few days of the campaign. Little Chito is now in a pet hospital in California, and she still needs our help. You can contribute toward her medical expenses through her page on Even a dollar or two helps. Thank You!

Here's Chito's Story

Chito was brought in by a wonderful rescuer of street dogs named Doña Maria. She's being checked by Dr. Gabriela Leyva Chavez, one of the stalwarts of PATA Manzanillo.

She was put on an IV drip, and warmed up with socks stuffed with raw rice and microwaved. I started giving her Reiki as we worked to stabilize her.

Here's Stan Burnett, President and heart and soul of PATA Manzanillo, rigging up the IV so we don't have to hold it all night.

The awesome Dr. Michelle Jack, who ended up taking Chito back to her animal hospital in Venice Beach, is checking her heart rate with an IPhone EKG. Got to get one of those for Colima!

We stayed late into the night after everyone else left, trying to get her temperature up into the normal range.

Finally Chito stabilized and we all relaxed a bit. Celebrating are Dr. Michelle Jack in scrubs and Zoe Katsulos, owner of Inside/Out, a humanitourism company that fundraises and brings volunteers to Manzanillo for the clinic.

Here's Chito snuggled into her nest for the first night. At this point it was still very touch and go, and we hoped to find her improving when we got back early the next morning.

And she had improved, if marginally! Chito was able to walk around and pee and even poop. You wouldn't believe how we cheered that first poop! Her favorite pastime was still to sit quietly in someone's lap, but she was interested in her surroundings.

Dr. Ester from Mexico City was instrumental on getting Chito started on parasite medication, vitamins, and something else that I can't remember. Each morning and night, Dr. Ester would find us and inject Chito with blue stuff and clear stuff. The third morning, a little round worm fell out of Chito's butt as Ester injected her. Yeah!

By the end of the first night, Zoe, Michelle and I had decided that no way was Chito going back on the street! Michelle pulled many veterinary strings and got her into the cabin on her flight home. You can see in this photo at the airport the way Chito is responding to all the love.

The night before, at Zoe and Michelle's hotel, Chito even enjoyed a normal puppy moment rolling in the grass!

Snoozing in the carrier. What a way for a baby Mexican street puppy to fly!

After a long and complicated trip to California, Michelle and Chito crashed! Whew! Made it!

Chito is now staying at the pet hospital where Michelle is a vet. Turns out our baby has a urinary track infection and anemia, probably due to a parasite in her blood stream. She's being treated for both, and the prognosis is good! Michelle is using up her brownie points getting Chito the best care possible at the lowest cost. Still, we need your help to cover the medication and tests. If you can spare even a few dollars, please contribute on Chito's page on

Chito's Future

Chito will be going from the hospital into foster care with Michelle's lovely dog walker, Karen Dowe. You can keep track of her progress through her Facebook page and through Michelle's. Once she's fully recovered, Chito will be available for adoption to the Best Owner Ever! If you'd like to be that best owner, please contact Michelle.

Thank you for reading Chito's story! If you have questions or comments, please share! I'll be happy to pass along current questions to Michelle, or you can contact her directly on her Facebook page. And please, if it's at all possible, contribute a mite to Chito's care!

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

519 Spay/Neuters in 5 Days!

Whew! I'm back in Colima from the March 2013 spay/neuter campaign with PATA Manzanillo. It was a hectic, long, incredibly well-organized five days. We started at about 7:30 am and ended around 10 pm each day, and sterilized a total of 519 dogs and cats. Vets came from the US and all over Mexico to help, about 8 operating at any given time.

The in-Mexico cost of the whole campaign is amazingly only about $1000 US, since almost all the labor and much of the materials are donated. If you'd like to help us, you can donate in any amount via PayPal and get a US tax-deductible receipt through Friends of PATA. 

If you'd like to participate as a volunteer, and combine your trip with an awesome vacation, you can do so through Inside/Out: Journeys for your Inner Self in the Outdoors-Humanitourism.

Here are some photos of the campaign. You can find more on the links above and on the Carole Remy Author Facebook page.

First step for owners was to register their pets at the signup area in the auditorium. When we arrived at 7:15 am, there were typically 15 to 20 owners already in line. You can imagine how super-organized these volunteers (in red t-shirts) were!

Here's the recovery area, all set for customers. The tables are for cats, the floor areas for dogs. About 20 volunteers worked this area over the five days.

Animals were prepped for surgery by a team of vet students supervised by a licensed veterinarian. The cats and dogs received a mild tranquilizer and then anesthesia right before surgery.

Dr. Gabriela Leyva Chavez and Diana, two of the tireless members of PATA Manzanillo. These ladies make it all come together, all year round!

As well as outstanding local veterinarians, dedicated vets came from all over Mexico and the US to help. Here's part of the team. Generally about eight surgeries were taking place at any given moment.

This vet flew in from Texas along with a team from their animal hospital.

This amazing and lovely vet came in from Mexico City and worked tirelessly through the whole five days. She took special care of this baby girl, who has today been flown to California for extra treatment and eventual adoption!

Dr. Michelle Jack flew in from California for the week, and is taking this beautiful little girl back with her for treatment at her animal hospital. If you are interested in adopting this miracle baby, you can contact Michelle on her Facebook page.

You never know what you're going to encounter! Michelle wired this cat's broken jaw back together. On the left is Zoe Katsulos, who runs Inside/Out. Contact her if you are interested in volunteering at next year's campaign.

An IPhone ap electrocardiogram. How amazing is that? Michelle sent a cat's EKG (not this animal - this pooch was a demonstration) to a veterinary cardiologist friend in the US and had an accurate diagnosis in minutes.

A team of volunteers washed surgical instruments. You can imagine the steady stream of work, with about eight surgeries going all the time!

First job for volunteers in the recovery area was checking temperatures. Animals that came in from surgery too cold were warmed up with socks filled with raw rice, heated in the microwave. Extreme cases were placed on a heating pad. Animals that came in too warm were cooled down with ice packs and cloths soaked in ice water.

The recovery area in progress, cats at the back, dogs in front. Once the temps were stable, all dogs and cats also got their ears cleaned and were checked for ticks in the ears and paws. Those with fleas got a flea grooming as well.

A lot of dogs got the full spa treatment, thanks to Holly, a perpetual motion wonder of clipping and cleaning!

Once the recovering animals began to wake up, they were vaccinated for rabies and given oral medication for parasites. Then they were placed in cages to wait for their owners. A whole team of volunteers kept busy cleaning cages as they freed up, ready to be used by the next animal.

Another big job was keeping everybody fed! A steady stream of volunteers brought delicious meals for breakfast and lunch, and provided dinner back at their accommodations for all the vets every day.

Behind the scenes the whole time was Stan Burnett, organizer and heart of the campaign. Whatever we needed, he found. Here he's working on the careful records kept for all 519 surgeries. As you can imagine, organizing and raising funds for the campaign is a year-round job for Stan. You can help by donating here.

Then on the last day, there's the tear down and storage for the next year. These dismantled kennels are a tiny portion of the apparatus needed to pull off a campaign of this size.

And here's why we do it! A happy family, reunited with their beloved little pooch, who won't be contributing to pet overpopulation! Let's give a special shout out to the wonderful, responsible owners who brought their beautiful babies in for sterilization. Thank you all!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this amazing campaign! Remember that if you'd like to help out, contributions are always needed, and 100% of your donation goes directly to the animals. All admin costs are absorbed by volunteers. Make your US tax-deductible contribution directly through PayPal at Friends of PATA.

Please join me in congratulating PATA Manzanillo on another excellent spay/neuter campaign! Do you participate in similar campaigns? Tell us all about it! Any questions or comments? We're here and eager to chat!

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