Happy Birthday... To ME! @DonnaFaz

I wish for lots of birthday fun
to last until the day is done.
Hoping that all my wishes come true,
and my cake is as sweet as all of you!

I'd like to take this opportunity 
to thank all of you, 
my blog followers, my readers, my friends, 
for filling my life with such joy. Thank you!

Dare To Be Different

Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons.

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

There are two types of people in the world…you and everyone else.

Be among the few who dare to follow their dreams.

Don’t take yourself too seriously; no one gets out alive.

You can’t always wait for the perfect time; sometimes you must dare to jump.

Aspire to inspire before you expire.

If you’re always trying to be normal, you’ll never know how amazing you can be.

Embrace your weirdness.

Dare to be different.

I dare you!

Bacon Zucchini Fritters #Recipe

I realize it's awfully soon to be offering another recipe, but I've had one of those days today. You know the ones, where you’re feeling creative in the kitchen. I pulled some ingredients out of my refrigerator and pantry, and I wondered what I could make with them. I had bacon, a zucchini, Locatelli cheese, eggs, flour, you get the picture. I came up with a recipe that is so delicious I decided to write it down. When you write it down, you know it’s good.

Bacon Zucchini Fritters

Serves 3-4


5 strips of bacon, fried crisp, drained, chopped
3 cups zucchini, grated (leave the skin on)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese (I used Locatelli brand)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced (slice a little extra for garnish)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for frying

Mix together all ingredients, except the oil, until well incorporated. Heat a frying pan on high until its hot, add oil to the pan, and then turn the pan down to medium heat. You want the oil almost to the smoking point. Use an ice cream scoop (a large spoon works too) and fry the fritters in batches for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and fry on the other side until golden. Remove to a serving platter and keep warm.

I served these fritters as a side dish, garnished with thinly sliced scallions and a dollop of sour cream.

Potato Soup ~ Delicious #Recipe ~ @DonnaFaz

It's winter here on the east coast of the US, and nothing warms a person up like a steamy bowl of delicious soup. Here's a recipe for Potato Soup that will fill your belly and make you smile. Enjoy!

Potato Soup

1 pound bacon, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups chicken stock, or enough to cover potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

1 In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until brown and crispy (be careful not to burn it). Remove bacon from pan, and set aside. Drain off all but 1/4 cup of the bacon grease.
2 In the bacon grease remaining in the pan, sauté the celery and onion until the vegetable soften. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cubed potatoes, and toss to coat. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Return the bacon to the pan, and add enough chicken stock to just cover the potatoes. Cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender.

3 In a separate pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream. Bring the cream mixture to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir the cream mixture into the potato mixture. Puree about 1/2 the soup, and return to the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with warm, crusty bread.

Facebook Offers Authors A Call To Action Button #eNovAaW

Lately, Facebook hasn’t done much to enamor me as a user. However, they are offering authors a new feature on author fan pages that I think is fabulous and I couldn’t wait to tell everyone about it. It’s a Call To Action (CTA) button. It’s easy to set up, easy for visitors to use, and a great thing about the button is that Facebook tracks how many CTA clicks your button receives. So, quick! Go to your Facebook fan page and set up your CTA button right now.

To set up the button, simply click it (marked on the image below with red arrow #1) and choose which action you want your visitors to take. Your choices include Shop Now, Book Now, Contact Us, Sign Up, etc. I have used Shop Now and I connected visitors to the Buy My Books page on my blog. But you could just as easily use the Sign Up button as a way to build your newsletter mailing list. Now that I'm thinking about it, I may edit my CTA button from time to time to see which CTA gets the most attention from page visitors.

To find out how many CTA clicks your button has received, simply look on the right hand side of your author page (marked on the image below with red arrow #2).

As annoyed as I have been with Facebook recently, I have to give the company a standing ovation for this new feature.

How do you think the new CTA button should be used? Share your ideas in the comment section. All opinions and ideas welcome!

Set up your CALL TO ACTION button. It's easy...and it's FABULOUS!

Do Facebook Ads Sell eBooks? #AmWriting

Last week I wrote a blog post describing my Twitter Ad experience. Over the next few days, I was asked by several people (one of whom was an editor from BookLife) if I have used other platforms for book advertisements and how those ads performed. I have used Facebook to advertise—I'm not talking about "boosting" a post, but rather a real ad targeted at romance readers. The questions caused me to do a little digging and I found a graph from one of my Facebook ad campaigns that is fairly comparable to the Twitter ad I posted about last week. Here are the bare facts regarding the Facebook ad:

Date of ad: October 26th and 27th of 2014—48 hours
Total Spent: $50
Total Views: 33,811
Engagements: 1,136
Engagement Rate: 3.36%
Cost Per Engagement: $0.04
Book Sales: 0
          *Amazon Sales Rank on October 25th :   #94,220
            Amazon Sales Rank on October 26th : #101,690
            Amazon Sales Rank on October 27th : #165,114
            Amazon Sales Rank on October 28th : #175,668

After looking over all the information, I must conclude that paid Facebook ads do not sell books. However, there is no way for me to tell if the exposure was a benefit; after all, over 33,000 people saw my book cover, my name, and the fact that I’m a USA Today Bestselling Author, and over 1,100 of them noticed enough to engage with the ad in some way (with a "like" or a share or a comment).

If you’ve used Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc, I’d love for you to leave a comment below and tell me about your experience, whether successful or unsuccessful. Thanks! This is great information for Indie Authors to have available.

*To find your book’s Sales Rank on any given day, log into AuthorCentral.com, click “sales information” located along the top bar, click “sales rank” in the dropdown menu, and then click the down arrow in the box marked “all books” to choose a particular title. Once you’ve selected a title, use the various time spans offered (2 weeks, 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, all available) to gather the information you need.

Do Twitter Ads Sell eBooks? #AmWriting

According to Business Insider, Twitter says 232 million people are “monthly active users” on their platform. After searching Google for some information on how effective Twitter ads are, I decided to conduct a little experiment of my own. I like to see how things work with my own eyes. Here are my results:

I prepared my ad content according to Twitter’s instructions. Their ad dashboard makes it very easy to set up an ad. Because I was promoting one of my iBooks, I targeted readers, and more specifically, romance readers. I also targeted #iBooks. On the final day of my ad, I asked some author friends to RT my ad to see if that helped my ad’s visibility. I’m certain that’s why the graph (below) shows more views on the final day. I spent $10 a day for 5 days.

Total spent: $50
Total views: 21,934
Engagements: 252
Engagement rate: 1.15%
Cost per engagement: $0.20

The most important piece of the puzzle:
Number of iBook sales: 0

Have Twitter ads worked for you? I’d love for you to leave a comment. Have you used Twitter ads and found the same result as I did? Please leave a comment. Information sharing is a great thing!