Keli Gwyn
Recommended Read: Catch a Falling Star by Beth Vogt

Are you a fan of contemporary romances
with characters who capture your heart?

If so, Catch a Falling Star by Beth K. Vogt
is a story worth checking out.

And just look at that cover. Is it great, or what?


About the Story

What does a girl do when life doesn’t go according to her plan? At thirty-six, Kendall Haynes has seen some of her dreams come true. She’s a family physician helping kids with severe allergies and asthma achieve more fulfilling lives—a childhood struggle she knows all too well. But are Kendall’s dreams of having it all—a career, a husband, children—nothing more than a childhood fantasy? God says He knows the plans He has for her—why can’t Kendall figure them out and be content with her life?

Griffin Walker prefers flying solo—both as an Air Force pilot and in his personal life. But a wrong choice and health problems pulled him out of the cockpit. His attempts to get out of “flying a desk” are complicated by his parents’ death—making Griffin the reluctant guardian of his sixteen-year-old brother, Ian. How did his life get so off course? Can he get his life back on track…or has there been a divine plan all along?

Catch a Falling Star reminds readers that romance isn’t just for twenty-somethings and that sometimes letting go of your “wish I may, wish I might” dreams is the only way to embrace everything God has waiting for you.


My Thoughts

Like many readers of Beth’s latest release have said, Catch a Falling Star kept me up late. I was so engrossed in the story I’d intend to read one chapter but would end up reading another, and that often turned into two, three, four, or more, making for several late nights.

The characters pulled me in from the beginning. Dr. Kendall Haynes and grounded Air Force pilot Lieutenant Colonel Griffin Walker get off to a rocky start, and that’s the start of a captivating tale of two independent people whose road to romance is a rocky as the back roads they like to traverse in their beloved Jeeps.

While I enjoyed the story as a whole, two elements in particular added to my enjoyment. The first is that Kendall and Griffin aren’t your usual twenty-something twosome with the starry-eyed ideals of youth. She’s a successful on-the-shelf thirty-six-year-old career woman, and he’s a thirty-eight-year-old man who’s ruled out marriage. Watching two people who have all but given up on love and romance find just that is heartwarming.

Another element I enjoyed is the fact that the characters aren’t perfect. Both have issues to overcome and lessons to learn. Griffin made some mistakes early in life before he became a believer, mistakes that have lasting consequences. Kendall has dreamed of having it all–career, marriage, and kids–for so long that she’s willing to settle for less than the best rather than trusting the Lord to lead her to the man he has for her.

Watching Kendall and Griffin grow and change as they face a series of challenges and discover God’s plans for them is encouraging. Life doesn’t always go according to plan, but we can trust Him with our futures, a message that comes through without being preachy or in-your-face.

Beth is a talented storyteller who has written a story sure to delight romance readers of all ages, and I highly recommend it.


Questions for You

Do you enjoy romances with older-than-usual characters?

Does a flawed character with lessons to learn add to your enjoyment?

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Keli Gwyn
The What, Why and How of Tagging Books on Amazon

Tagging can be fun!

Lest you think I’ve changed my ways and am ready to hit the local overpasses or old buildings with a can of spray paint, let me assure you this version of tagging is totally legal. All you need is your computer, a desire to help your writer friends, and a minute or two.

In my post 12 Ways to Help Your Friends’ Pre-Release Promotion Efforts, I included tagging books on Amazon as one of the items.

The What of Tagging Books on Amazon

For those unfamiliar with tagging, it involves listing some keywords on a book or other product’s Amazon page. The keywords are terms those browsing Amazon use when searching for a particular product, in this case a book. Amazon offers a tagging primer. I’m going to add to the information found there.

The Why of Tagging Books on Amazon

By adding tags to a book’s page, we increase the likelihood that the book will appear when a potential buyer performs a search of tagged books using one of the keywords, or tags. To perform such a search, a site user clicks a tag while on a product’s page and is taken to that tag’s page. From there, the user can search other tags.

Let me be clear: tagging a book doesn’t mean it will appear higher on an Amazon product list when a buyer types the keyword in the main search bar. Placement on those lists is based on sales–not on keywords, number of likes, or number of tags.

The How of Tagging Books on Amazon

I used Wish You Were Here, a debut novel written by my friend and agency mate Beth Vogt, due to be released on May 1st, as an example of how to go about choosing tags. In order to help Beth promote her book, I added fifteen tags to the book’s page.

Because Wish You Were Here is a contemporary Christian romance, I started with four sets of keywords.

  • Christian fiction
  • Christian romance
  • Contemporary romance
  • Contemporary Christian romance

Since many readers are used to the use of the broader term “inspirational” for books with a Christian worldview, I added two tags using that keyword.

  • Inspirational romance
  • Contemporary inspirational romance

Those tags are general. Because I want potential buyers to get a good feel for Beth’s story if they scan the tags, I added four that are more specific to Wish You Were Here.

  • Colorado
  • Rockies
  • Humorous romance
  • Runaway bride story

Eager to do all I can to help Beth, I took tagging a step further. Since Beth is a friend, I emailed her and asked for insider info. I wanted to find out what other elements of the book I could highlight in the tags. Being a generous person, she got right back to me. Based on our correspondence, I came up with five more tags.

  • Colorado Springs
  • Estes Park
  • Llamas
  • Llama rescue
  • Thomas Mangelsen

At this point, I reached the maximum number of tags Amazon allows one user.  Here’s what the tag section of the page for Wish You Were Here looked like when I’d finished.

As you can see, all a person has to do to agree with a tag is click the box in front of it or click “Agree with these tags?” to agree with all those listed. To add additional tags, look for a little box just below this section on a product/book’s page.

By adding tags, I’ve helped Beth’s book appear on fifteen different lists. If I did a good job choosing my tags, I also piqued your interest in Beth’s book. Even without seeing the back cover copy, I have a hunch you’re getting a feel for Beth’s story, which is my goal when I tag an author’s book.

So that I don’t leave you hanging, I’ll add the blurb from the Wish You Were Here Amazon page, where you’ll also find some awesome endorsements and reviews.

Kissing the wrong guy days before her wedding leads Allison to become a runaway bride. But can it also lead to happily ever after?Allison Denman is supposed to get married in five days, but everything is all wrong: the huge wedding, the frothy dress, and the groom.

Still, kissing the groom’s brother in an unguarded moment is decidedly not the right thing to do. How could she have made such a mistake? It seems Allison’s life is nothing but mistakes at this point. And pulling a “Runaway Bride,” complete with “borrowing” her best friend’s car, doesn’t seem to solve her problems.

Can Allison find her way out of this mess? She prefers to be the one in control, and giving it up is not going to be easy. But to find her way again, she will have to believe that God has a plan for her and find the strength to let Him lead.

Wish You Were Here is fun and full of humor—sure to be a pleasure to inspirational romance readers.

• • •

I’d envisioned ending this post with an invitation to a tagging party, with visitors leaving the names of their books so other visitors and I could tag them. However, in doing my research for this post, I learned that Amazon frowns on such endeavors. Tagging isn’t intended to be undertaken in a reciprocal manner.

I will continue to tag books as I visit their pages on Amazon and suggest doing so yourself as a way to help your friends promote their books. I hope this post has shown you the value of tagging books on Amazon and provided some useful tips on how to go about it.

• • •

Have you ever added a tag a book on Amazon or agreed with those already there?

Do you think adding tags to a book on Amazon can help promote sales, or do you think tagging books is a waste time? Why do you hold that view?

• • •

Top image from iStockphoto.
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Keli Gwyn