Monday, September 15, 2014

How to Deal with Pre-Release Jitters 101

My perspective on writing and pre-publication jitters.
Or how I cope with publication anxiety.
(Photo copyright Meg Gichka | Can Stock Photo)

I have a confession… I'm dealing with pre-publication jitters. It's not the first time I've felt a twinge of anxiety (ha, twinge) before a book release. With this new launch, however, I feel like I'm back to square one--er--book one. It's curious. I've published a bunch of books... So why now? Maybe it's because I'm writing in a new genre (actually an "old" genre, since I started out writing sweet historical romance). So in a sense I'm starting from scratch, because these books aren't YA.

Whatever the reason, I've been feeling a tad stressed lately. I'm moving forward, making my deadlines, doing what needs doing, but I'm having to work through these feelings. Praying. Breathing. Trying to get perspective.
And since I'm a very visual person, I came up with this mental image the other day of what publishing is like:

I'm like this girl (above). I'm really just making paper flowers and setting them out in the water. Maybe it's a lake, maybe it's a river…but I'm picturing waterlilies. People (readers) find my flowers out there on the water. That's my hope anyway. Whether they like them or not is really out of my control. Well, mostly. I do my best to create the best stories I can. I try to make sure my paper flower is "pretty" -- i.e. it's a story that hangs together, beginning to end, with characters I love. I care about quality. I care about editing and proofreading. I care about professional presentation, etc..

In the end, it's a book. I made it. I like it. ;)

But not everyone sees things the same way, right?

To "my reader" -- aka the people who "get" me -- my book is a flower. They like it. They thinks it's pretty. Maybe.They enjoy it and maybe start looking around in the water for more flowers. Awesome. Perfect.

But then there are these other people who frown and say, "That's not a flower. Besides, what I really wanted was a hamburger." Or a basketball. Or whatever. :)

Those just aren't my readers.

It's fine, really. Honestly. I get it. I don't like everything I read either.

I don't know how many readers I have out there. (Helllooooo, readers! How are you?) I hope you find my paper flower floating in the water and you think it's "pretty." Entertaining. Moving. Heartwarming. Whatever it is you're looking for in a book. And I hope it didn't get too soggy in the water. :)

For those who don't like it (shrugs), it's okay. I hope you find your hamburger. I really do.

Image © Michael J. Bennett | Wikimedia Commons
So, help me out here -- how do you cope with the jitters and stress?


Friday, September 12, 2014

Freebie and Upcoming New Release!

Freebie Alert!

Get Chain Reaction for the low price of free! Grab your ebook copy now for your Kindle, Nook, or favorite e-reader device if you don't have it already. Did I mention it's free?? :)

Why free? Giving away free books is simply one tool in an author's toolkit to find new readers. And what better way than to give them a free short story? I can't think of any.

If you haven't yet tried Haunting Joy, download the free short story prequel Chain Reaction to get a little sneak peek into Joy's world. If you like it, please consider picking up a copy of Haunting Joy. (And tell ten friends, which will bring you good luck--and good looks. ha ;))

Scroll down to see excerpt below!

Upcoming New Release

Haunting Joy Coming Soon on Audiobook!

 +  =

New audiobook cover for Haunting Joy!

For those of you who prefer to listen to audiobooks--say on a long car ride or in short bursts on your bus ride to school--stay tuned for the release of Haunting Joy in audiobook format. Narrator Stephanie Ballard is a joy to listen to--and I mean it! She really brought the character to Joy to life. (So thrilling as an author to experience that, I tell you. :)) And she is also just soooo very easy to listen to. I love her voice.

(Yay! So excited!!!)

It should be available verrrrry soon on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. I'll let you know as soon as I know!

Chain ReactionA Short Story (Prequel to Haunting Joy)

When a "reveal your secret crush" chain letter goes awry, Joy gets caught in the middle--possibly with the help from her first haunting. A short, lighthearted contemporary romance for teens and young adults.


I was just getting the hang of high school, when a chain letter revealing my secret crush fell into the wrong hands.

Before the haunting, I guess there were a few things the old me should have picked up on that weren’t quite right.

I remember this one day way back in ninth grade, rushing to class, trying to beat the bell. It was February, and by then I could get to all my classes without getting lost. I knew all the halls and the side halls, and the stairs, and which water fountains had the coldest water—all that stuff. It was a big school too, with two floors, laid out in a big square donut. I knew when I had time to swing by my locker, and to be honest, I was finally starting to feel like I wasn’t about to die any second. That day, as I flew past the open double doors leading to the caf, I knew immediately we were having pizza for lunch, because it had that Italian, oregano-y smell in the air. Their pizza was pretty good too, so I was looking forward to lunch.

I was steps from the door to my Freshman Chemistry class when Sarah Lenard bumped me hard and shoved a folded paper into my hand.

Joy,” she hissed in my ear. I don’t know why she bothered to whisper my name. It wasn’t like she didn’t have my full attention after that body slam.

“Hey! What are you doing?” I rubbed my side.

“Before lunch,” she warned.

“Before lunch, what?” I asked, spooked by her super-secret whispery voice.

Maybe she didn’t hear, because she slipped into the mob of students, ninja style.

I hustled into class, still rubbing my side, and took my seat.

After checking to make sure no one was watching me, I unfolded the note and read the heading:


A chain letter.

Ugh. I loved and hated chain letters. I thought they were fun sometimes, but mostly they were just plain annoying. And sometimes—on rare occasions, and you never knew when—they were downright dangerous. The crazy stuff they made you confess. I mean, really. And you had to give copies to like ten of your friends, and then they had to give copies of theirs to ten of their friends. Or else. Or else something terrible would happen to you. And your future children. Or your dog. Or something.

Not that I believed in bad luck.


<<< End Excerpt >>>

Where to Find My Books

Amazon US | Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
iTunes /iBooks
Kobo US | Kobo Canada
Google Play

Excerpt of Chain Reaction © Lena Goldfinch, 2014, All rights reserved.

Monday, September 8, 2014

New Release, New Genre! (And Excerpt for The Unexpected Bride)

My very first efforts at writing books were historical romances, sweet romantic stories of love and hope. My first efforts were even finalists in such contests as the RWA Golden Heart and the ACFW Genesis Contest, among others, which was a huge honor. So before there was ever a fantasy book like AIRE or SONGSTONE, or a YA romance like HAUNTING JOY, there were these sweet historical stories of love and hope.

I'm returning to these stories and writing some new ones as part of a new series called The Brides, named this because they all feature, er, brides ;) and have "Bride" in the title.  The stories are loosely connected (i.e. can be read in any order) and will feature mail-orders brides, marriage of conveniences, one Beauty and the Beast inspired tale (yes, I'm a Beauty and the Beast nut!), and at least one runaway bride. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

The first of these stories, The Unexpected Bride is coming out this October 6th, and the ebook is now available for pre-order. A Goodreads Giveaway for the paperback edition is also now running , so be sure to enter for that and put it on your To-read shelf. :)

Meanwhile, the blog will be going through some changes, so please be patient with me as I work those out? There's only one of me as, alas, cloning has not proved effective. (Multiplicity, anyone?? ;))


Available for Pre-order for KindleiTunes, and Kobo! (Nook and Google Play are still pending--so stay tuned on that.)
See Excerpt below for a sneak peek at The Unexpected Bride and enter to win a free paperback on Goodreads!


What's a man to do when his father orders him a bride?

Rebecca Sullivan has been "Becky" all her life, a real hoyden. Her childhood sweetheart taught her to ride bareback and shoot a rifle, but then he chose a "perfect lady" for a wife--a real Southern belle, who's now expecting a baby. Heartbroken, Becky signs up to be a mail-order bride to a Seattle man, sight unseen. She resolves to squelch her hoydenish ways and become a "perfect lady" for her future husband.

If logging-operation owner Isaac Jessup had wanted a bride, he'd have chosen a sturdy frontier woman, not some fragile lady from back East. Ready to explain the mistake, honorable Isaac takes one look into Rebecca's vulnerable eyes...and knows he'll marry her, even though this delicate waif is obviously unsuited for wild Seattle.

Can an unexpected marriage ever be a match made in heaven?

Book One in The Brides Series
GENRE: Sweet Historical Western Romance / A Mail-Order Bride Novel

Available for Pre-order for KindleiTunes, and Kobo! (Nook and Google Play are still pending--so stay tuned on that.)

See Excerpt below for a sneak peek at The Unexpected Bride and enter to win a free paperback on Goodreads:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Unexpected Bride by Lena Goldfinch

The Unexpected Bride

by Lena Goldfinch

Giveaway ends October 06, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.
Enter to win


The lean-to was chilly and not for the first time, Isaac considered boarding it up proper and calling it a barn. He sat on the stool and began milking the goat, all the while mentally preparing for the worship service they planned to go to later that morning. The Scriptures he'd read first thing that morning were fresh in his mind, and his prayers kept returning to the problem of Rebecca. One inner voice urged him to send her back home, but another voice spoke of commitment. He'd said vows before God to love and keep her till death do them part. Those weren't words he was willing to dismiss lightly.

"What's her name?" Her voice was suddenly in his ear, quite close.

Isaac jumped. The goat bleated at him.

"Sorry, girl." He patted her side and resumed milking her with slow, careful hands. He glanced over his shoulder toward the subject of his thoughts.

Rebecca stood watching him, leaning over the rail and peering in at them with curious eyes. He was surprised to see her out this early. She usually left him to his morning chores, and most times he'd get back inside the cabin and find her already up preparing breakfast.

"What's her name?" she repeated.

"Name? The goat?" He looked at the goat dumbly. It was a goat. He'd never gotten much further than that. She gave them a daily supply of milk, but other than that she was generally a nuisance. She liked to butt down the stall door. And whenever she got loose, she'd eat what few vegetables he was able to grow in the summer. She also liked to nip at his shirts and underthings when he hung them out on the line--if he was lucky. Most times she'd tug the whole line down and drag it through the mud.

"Yes, the goat," Rebecca said, a pleasant-sounding smile in her voice. "Don't tell me she hasn't got a name?"

There was something nice about hearing a woman's voice in the morning. It reminded him a little of when he was young, and his mother had chatted with him in soft tones while they ate breakfast. As if speaking too loud would jar them too quickly out of whatever dreams they'd had the night before.

Rebecca's soft voice put him much in mind of those times.

"All right. I won't." Isaac focused on his milking.

"She doesn't have a name?" Rebecca pressed. "How can you have an animal that doesn't have a name?"

"Never gave it much thought. She's good for milk, but other than that she's nothing but trouble, always munching on the laundry."

"Well, then I think your choice is clear. Either you call her Milky or you call her Trouble." Her teasing tone brought a reluctant smile to his lips.

"Well, then, if I have to choose, then I guess she's Trouble."

The real Trouble was standing behind him, her elbow propped against the top of the rail, her chin cupped in one dainty hand.


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