Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Year in Review(s)...

I entered the world of self-publishing in late 2012. I went into it with my eyes wide open and with absolutely no expectations. All I wanted to do was to finish what I had started...which was to write the book I wanted to write. I set my sights low, held my breath and lo and behold the unimaginable happened. I sold a book, and then I sold another...and then another.

I’ve published three novels since November 2012 – Ice, Mistletoe and Give Me A Reason – and I couldn’t be happier with the response they’ve received, so I’ve decided to share a few comments and reviews left by readers on Amazon US. 

So here is my reviews:

Ice – published in November 2012.

Awesome - December 5, 2012 - "I was captivated by the story, the characters, and how descriptive the writing was. It was like I was watching versus reading. Once I started, I did not want to put it down, and now that I am finished, it still lingers in my thoughts. I may read it again, which is something I do not do!!!"

Ice is Hot - December 6, 2012 - "I really enjoyed this exciting story. If you like romance, excitement and a well written book, I highly recommend this novel."

Finally a hot romantic story - January 10, 2013 - "Good story line, attractive characters, hot sex and nice ending (epilog). I hope there will be more books published by this author."

Profound story! - April 2, 2013 - "Just like certain movies that leave a “footprint” on our hearts, this is such a book. The story is engaging and vibrant without bombarding us with needless prompts. One of my life’s joys is reading and this story has rewarded my indulgence. It is rare, indeed, when a novel comes along that captures our imagination and allows us to immerse ourselves in the story to a point where we feel that we are part of the cast. When an author can make us feel like we are part of the characters and more importantly, feel their connection, we have a writer that has a creative and special talent. I await with anticipation Lyn Gardner's next book!"

At the time of this post, readers have been kind enough to leave 135 comments/reviews on Amazon US for Ice...with an average rating of 4.5.

Mistletoe – published December 2012

Sweet, funny, endearing, romantic and even whimsical at times, oh and Santa Claus too! - December 5, 2012 - "This is the first book I have read of Lyn Gardner. I was feeling a little bah humbug and saw this little treasure in my search for some new reading. I was pleasantly surprised, the story is at times funny, witty, charming and doesn't shy on the sexy times :) I read it in one go and I would recommend it if you want to smile and feel warm and fuzzy. I enjoyed the story so much I am about to start another of Lyn's books, ICE."

A beautiful and unexpected Christmas Present - June 22, 2013 - "Sometimes we wish that the magic of Christmas that once was so much a part of our childhood could return once more. The older that you get that dream becomes even more precious. My mom passed away on Christmas morning about a decade ago and I buried that joy I once felt beneath a blanket of grief. After reading ICE I saw that Lyn had written another. With misgivings I purchased it for my Kindle and began to read MISTLETOE. From the moment that Percy trotted toward Santa I became enthralled. I have only two quotes and you can take it from there: "They had fingered, they had tongued, and they had toyed." "Theirs was a love of the soul. "With laughter and tears of joy, Enjoy!"

Awesome read! - November 24, 2013 - "I loved the Christmas plot and the romance! If you want to get in the holiday spirit with romance to help you believe in Santa then Mistletoe is a perfect solution. It's sweet and believable and will leave you asking Santa for a sequel!"

Sweet and Sappy - December 31, 2012 - "I just love sweet and sappy Christmas stories! This one having a particular familiarity to my own life is definitely one of my favorites. I too found my sole mate and she and I have been together 17 years, raised a family and we ALL BELIEVE IN SANTA CLAUS !"

At the time of this post, readers have been kind enough to leave 50 comments/reviews on Amazon US for Mistletoe...with an average rating of 4.4.

Give Me A Reason – published October 2013

A must read for anyone not just the LBGT community - December 26, 2013 - "Suffering from extreme post traumatic stress syndrome, Toni Vaughn cannot get past the wrongful imprisonment and abuse she suffered at the hands of sadistic guards, until she meets Laura MacLeod. Friendship develops into love with all the complications that come with helping the very damaged Toni come out of her nightmare. All of us would like to find our own Laura to help overcome life's wrongs. This is a well developed story a little longer than what most people would consider light reading, but well worth the time. I personally could not put it down and read it more than once. As usual, Lyn Gardner's words are captivating and truly bring the characters alive. This is a story that covers many emotions that are often difficult for words but Ms. Gardner find them, beautifully. Love and understanding can conquer all. Please keep writing Ms. Gardner, I wait for your next work. Cannot recommend her books enough."

Best book of the year!!!!!! - December 10, 2013  - "One of the best books I have read in a long, long time. Lyn is wonderful at bringing her characters and their situations to life for the reader. I definitely recommend this book to anyone!!!!! But I especially recommend this book to anyone who might have suffered some sort of trauma in their lives. I deal with PTSD and this book helped me look at some things differently and it has helped me. Enjoy!!!"

A MASTERPIECE - December 27, 2013 - "When I bought GIVE ME A REASON I already knew Lyn Gardner to be a very good author from having read ICE. However, I was still awed by the quality and psychological depth of this book. The relationship between Laura and Toni develops bit by amazing bit. Also, since I myself have anxiety disorder, I found it very interesting to experience struggling with fear through Toni's eyes. GIVE ME A REASON is one of the most wonderfully memorable books in my 35 years of reading lesbian fiction.
I will buy any new book by Lyn Gardner."

Absolutely AMAZING!!! - December 1, 2013 - "This book is long, but there is not one time I was ever bored with it. I could not put the thing down it was THAT GOOD!! The story is very well written and keeps you plugged in the whole time. I would HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this book!!!"

outstanding!!! - December 17, 2013 - "This book was awesome. It kept me interested from beginning to end. I laughed as well as cried. The book kept me up through the wee hours of the morning reading. Kudos to Lyn."

A great read be prepared to be entranced - November 16, 2013 - "One of the best books I've read in a long time. I could barely put it down. I didn't expect the and can't wait to read more by this author."

Excellent - November 12, 2013 - "You want a reason, I'll give you 6
1) The subject matter will have you hooked from page 1
2) The characters are funny, flawed and totally relatable.
3) Their romance develops naturally
4) The author takes the time to paint a complete picture not gloss over events to get to the end
5) Satisfying important!!!
6) You get bang for your buck not 10 dollars for a pamphlet!

Read about Toni and Laura, you will not be disappointed."

At the time of this post, readers have been kind enough to leave 64 comments/reviews on Amazon US for Give Me A Reason...with an average rating of 4.9.

Now, in case you’re wondering, I’ve received a few reviews that were not 5-star, but since this is my blog, and I’m celebrating an unbelievably successful year, I prefer to post what made me opposed to what made me frown.

I’d like to thank all of those who took the time to post reviews and comments on my books because I suck at self-promotion and quite frankly, without your words, mine would go unread.

I wish you and yours a very happy, safe and healthy New Year!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Belated Christmas Present...

I received notification today that my story Mistletoe is today’s Indie Book of the Day. (Insert huge smile here)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Q and A...

Writer Michele M. Reynolds contacted me recently and asked if I’d like to do an interview. If you care to read the Q and A between yours truly and Michele, check out her blog by clicking here

I’m also told that she’ll soon be releasing a new book, so bookmark her blog and check back often for details.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Fussy Librarian

Just a heads-up...

My book, Ice, is being featured at The Fussy Librarian, a new website that offers personalized E-book recommendations. You choose from 40 genres and indicate preferences about content and then the computers work their magic.

It's pretty cool...check it out. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013


On Saturday, October 25, 2013, I self-published my third book – Give Me A Reason. I’m happy to report that response for this release has been overwhelming. I’m beginning to receive emails from readers from all over the world telling me how much they liked my story, and more than one has mentioned the editing of GMAR.

As an Independent author, I don’t have a publisher’s editorial department to scan my books for errors, typos and redundancy, or to even suggest changes. What I do have is a small group of friends who have spent hours reading and re-reading GMAR in hopes they can catch the mistakes that I, as the author, can no longer see because even if the word isn’t is in my mind.

These friends I speak of are my editing department. They are my beta readers, looking for consistency. They are my detectives, looking for loopholes. They are copy editors, intent on finding missing punctuation. They provide feedback, suggestions, and critique, and as far I’m concerned...they have done themselves proud.

They aren’t professionals. They have busy lives and other interests besides reading my words, but each found the time to help me in my quest to become an author, and I am forever in their debt.

I’ve read some articles recently about Acknowledgements in books, and some, let’s call them more learned than I, feel Acknowledgements aren’t necessary. The opinion is that the reader simply doesn’t care. The reader won’t even pay attention to the words written to thank others because it doesn’t matter to them...but it matters to me. It matters to me a lot.

At the very end of GMAR, I put a section entitled Acknowledgements, and I thanked my friends for their help, but I made a mistake. I should have put their names at the front of Give Me A Reason...because that’s where they belong.

So I’d like to take this blog post to publically thank Susan, Marian, Joyce, Mike, Bron and Candice for their time, for their eagle eyes, for their opinion, but most of all...for their friendship. Throughout the process they have propped me up when I needed it, jumpstarted my thought process when I got bogged down by details, but they were not only my sounding boards...they were my conscience.

I’m sure “we” have missed a few things in GMAR. We aren’t professionals, and I hope the book isn’t graded on a missing word or a misplaced comma if any still exist. I hope that all those who buy it understand that this novel was not a small undertaking by any one of us. It was a dream of one, spurred on by the friendship of others.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Coming Soon
To a Virtual Bookshelf Near You...

How do you survive in a world that terrifies you?

What makes you face another day when dying would be so much easier?

When all hope is gone...

Tentative release date is November 1, 2013...or before. :)

It’s About Talent, Not Pedigree...

Nice tag line, but it’s not mine. It belongs to a site called Gigaverse.

A few months back I was contacted by Simone Collins, formerly of HubPages. It seems that Ms. Collins decided to start her own website, tailored to those of us who may want to turn our hobbies into something so much more.

The beta version of went live a few weeks ago, and while they are still working out some bugs, I think it definitely shows promise.

As an Independent author, “Gigaverse is about talent, not pedigree” really hits home because the founders of the site don’t care if you’ve attended an ivy-league school. They don’t care if you have initials after your name and diplomas out the wazoo...what they care about is helping those of us passionate about our hobbies and fledgling online careers, and turning them into something so much more.

I could go on and on about all the free services Gigaverse offers, but instead I think I’ll leave it up to you to decide.  I seriously hope you check out Gigaverse, and no. I’m not getting any kickback for posting this. I am, however, an Independent author who truly believes it’s about talent...not pedigree. :)

Oh yeah. This wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t at least give you the links to not only my interview, but also (major face plant) my inclusion in the page entitled “Tips and Insights from Successful Online Authors.”

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I Have A Reason

As you can tell by my last post, I haven’t updated this blog in a few months. I profusely apologize to those who may check in now and then for updates, but I do have a reason...and it’s called Give Me A Reason.

I’ve been working on my next book, Give Me A Reason, almost non-stop since self-publishing Ice and Mistletoe, and last week I finally managed to write the words “The End.” That’s the good news. The bad news is now begins the editing and fine-tuning process. Fun, fun, fun...not always.

Okay, editing is definitely not a bad thing, but it does take a fair amount of time, which is why I wanted to post something on the blog. The world isn’t flat, and I haven’t fallen off. I haven’t given up on writing – quite the opposite, and hopefully when GMAR is published, you’ll agree that my time over the past several months has been well spent. At least, I hope you agree.

Give Me A Reason tells the story of one woman’s struggle to live in a world that terrifies her. It’s a story about strengths and weaknesses, about faith and hope, and about old friends who refuse to give up and new ones who need no reasons other than it’s who they are.

It’s an epic tale, and at times it’s dark and possibly disturbing, yet at others it will bring a smile to your face and a flutter to your heart.

I prefer to think of myself as a writer of romance, but Give Me A Reason is not just a romance. It’s a journey of self-discovery, of accepting truths, of facing demons, the power of family...and the power of love. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Somebody Please Pinch Me!!

Like everyone else on this planet, I have my highs and I have my lows, but was un-flipping-believable.

First, my book, Ice, was reviewed on “Ya Gotta Read This” – receiving 4 stars and a great review!

Second, Harper Bliss asked me for an interview!!

And finally, I received an email today telling me that my book, Ice, is the Indie Book of the Day!!!

I think I’ll go lie down now. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

You Say It Like It's a Bad Thing?

I’m not a person who likes labels. I use them at times. I just don’t like them. So, I’m wondering when the word “independent” turned into a bad thing. The dictionary says the word means true or liberated, so why do so many book review sites refuse to give books by independent authors a read?

Before you go any further, in case you don’t know, I write books involving women who love women—also known as lesbian fiction. So, not only am I an independent writer, I also write in a genre shunned by many reviewers. I understand that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I get that, but broadening one’s horizon is just that—isn’t it? And as if that wasn’t enough, to add insult to injury, heaven forbid you only write eBooks. (That’s me, at least for now.)

Now, I know that there are many who want to hold a book in their hand. I own books. Real books with real pages and glossy jackets crinkled and ripped—who doesn’t, but times they are a-changing. People can now carry a library in their briefcase, backpack or handbag. They don’t have to squint if the writing is too small or run to the neighborhood pharmacy for a pair of cheaters, all they have to do is to adjust the display. That’s not a bad thing, and neither is being an independent author.

The other day I read a very interesting and entertaining article in the Wall Street Journal about Hugh Howey, author of Wool. He has sold a half-million eBooks, signed a movie deal, and now has a “print-rights-only” contract with Simon & Schuster...and he did it his way. He’s independent in the truest sense of the word. I won’t go into details, but Mr. Howey stuck to his guns. He didn’t give in. He didn’t crumble at the feet of publishing houses with decades of experience. He stood up. He said no.  He’s a millionaire. Wow.

Of course, he didn’t write lesbian fiction...but I do. :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

How’d I Get Here?

I started my career/hobby quite accidentally. Long story somewhat shorter—I got hooked on a television show which led me to fan fiction, and after reading dozens if not hundreds of stories, I started writing my own.

I’ll be the first to admit that my first story had a tremendous amount of punctuation, sentence structure and repetitive errors in it, but the story itself was a good one, and it garnered a lot of attention, so I wrote another, and then another, and then another. Four years later, due to the constant prodding by my fans and my friends, I bit the bullet and decided—what the hell.

I’m not a person with a lot of self-confidence, but I knew if I didn’t try, I would always regret it. So, I took six months and rewrote one of my first, short fan fictions, and turned it into a full-fledged book entitled Ice. I did some research, chose a publisher, and holding my breath, I attached it to an email, and off it went. Thirteen weeks later, the unbelievable happened—the publisher contacted me and wanted to publish my book! CPR was required, trust me.

But a funny thing happened on the way to getting published. I changed my mind. After some discussion and the delivery of a contract, as I read through the legal document, I realized that I wasn’t willing to give them what they wanted. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to walk into a bookstore and see my book on the shelves, but if the words inside the cover aren’t mine—what’s the point?

I’m not saying that I wouldn’t benefit from a publisher’s editing staff or their marketing department, because I know I would, but all in all, I think I’m doing okay. With the help of a lovely lady who acts as my very underpaid editor, I’ve self-published two eBooks so far, and I’m happy to report that in December 2012, Ice and Mistletoe held the #1 and #2 spots on Amazon’s Best Seller Lesbian Fiction list. I’ve received dozens of emails from people, who are now fans, and I’ve also been blessed by some really marvelous reviews from the readers, and for me, that’s what matters the most.

Yes, there are some typos in my books, and yes, I’m sure missing punctuation or dangling participles exist, but by the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, I think I’m doing my job. Yes, not all the reviews display 5 stars, but I never thought I’d please everyone. I was only going for a couple. :)

There you have it – my first ever blog post. How’d I do?