Lilly Gayle and something new…

No, that’s not the title of her book. This blog is a guest post with Lilly Gayle and her first release, Slightly Tarnished, and “something new” called Wholesale Husband.

But first Lilly wants to share some words of wisdom and, of course, I agreed. So sit up and pay attention, there maybe a quiz at the end. (just kidding <g>)

The Dangers of Social Media

Social networking can be a great promotional tool for writers. By using social media sites like Blogger, Facebook, and MySpace, authors can post blogs, announce new releases, and add buy links. Authors can make “friends” with readers and interact with other writers.

My first foray into the social media frenzy was in 2006. I wasn’t published then, but my daughter had just gotten married to a soldier and they were living in Germany. She wanted us to stay connected and uploading pictures to a website is much faster than sending email attachments. She sent pictures of Germany, and I posted pictures of home so she could still feel a part of everything that was going on here in the states.

Then in 2007, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I posted chemo pictures and surgery updates so my daughter could stay abreast of my treatments. I also used the MySpace blog to write about my thoughts and feelings. It was cathartic and it helped me stay sane.

When I was first diagnosed, I prayed not just to survive, but to survive with dignity. I didn’t want to break down or appear weak. I told anyone who asked I was doing fine, but on my blog, I posted the brutal truth. I was afraid. I never asked “why me,” but that didn’t stop me from getting depressed.

On the day my hair started falling out, I asked my husband to shave my head. That same evening, I got an email from someone I thought was a friend. Basically, she told me she thought I was self-absorbed and a liar and that she didn’t want to be my friend any more.

Seriously? I hadn’t gotten a letter like that since 5th grade. But I was an emotional wreck, no matter how brave a face I put on. So, I blogged about it. I didn’t name her, but someone very dear to me who was also friends with that person knew who I was talking about because that person sent her a copy of the email. And the person dear to my heart accused me of “airing” my dirty laundry in public and trying to “force” her to choose between me and the other person. She did choose. And it wasn’t me.

In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have posted something so personal. At the time, I was hurt, shocked, confused and—bald. I was in the middle of chemo and felt like crap. And I wanted someone to understand how it felt to be dumped on during one of the worst times of my life. It seemed easier to blog than talk to people.

Fast forward to 2010. My first book was published and Facebook is the new MySpace. So, I set up an author page on Facebook under my pen name. I also set up a fan page. I still maintained a Facebook page under my real name for exchanging pictures with my daughter, since she no longer used MySpace. I also started a blog on Blogger. But promoting a book requires more than Blogger and Facebook. So, I got a Twitter and Good Reads account.

Good Reads seems more geared toward readers, but I post reviews and make sure my books are available. I like Facebook better. I understand it. When someone posts something on FB, comments and replies show up under the original post. Everything seems to follow a “thread” and conversations are easy to follow. Not so on Twitter.

Comments show up in response to something someone else posted, but I can’t find the original comment or follow the thread. Most of the time, I have no clue what people are talking about. But a writer friend told me some readers hate the constant promo bombardment from writers and prefer when they interact. So, I decided to interact when I saw a comment someone posted on Twitter about not understanding women who’d rather have a bad man than no man at all. It seemed like a good conversation starter. So, underneath that, I posted: Did you ever want to tell a friend her new bf is a looser who looks enough like her ex to raise red flags?

Nothing specific. But my comment didn’t show up under the original post. It showed up by itself—as if I’d just randomly bashed someone. And when I checked my email, I found a reply on Facebook from a writer friend who said something about following mom’s advice and biting your tongue. I replied with something along the lines of “But did she have to move him in? And is handy man even a real job?” I hit

reply. And then suddenly realized my post was on Facebook. Not twitter. I forgot the two were connected!

In reality, the woman is just an acquaintance. I run into her maybe twice a year and she always has a new man in her life—men who are interchangeable. Long, greasy hair. Wife beater. Grungy. And the worse he treats her, the more in love she is. She doesn’t have a Twitter account but she might have a Facebook page. She’s not my “friend” on Facebook but six degrees of separation and all that, she could see my post. And I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

As I was contemplating what to do about my faux pas, my brother called. He saw the post on FB and thought I was talking about my best friend’s new boyfriend, who coincidentally does look a bit like her ex-husband.

Obviously, my friend knows her boyfriend isn’t a handy man, and he’s not living in her house, but how many other people would see my post and make the same wrong assumption my brother did? And that could hurt my best friend.

I felt so stupid. And naïve!

I deleted the Facebook post. Then I spent a good fifteen minutes trying to find the freaking post on Twitter. It took some doing, but I found it. By then, there were so many new posts on Twitter that my comment was nowhere near the original comment I thought I was replying to.

Everyone knows not post their home address on social media sites and then announce they’re going to Europe for two weeks. And who’d be stupid enough to gripe about the boss if the boss is a Facebook friend? Some things are obvious. Some aren’t. So, the best advice is not to post anything on the internet if there is even one person on the planet you wouldn’t want seeing it.

And yet, here I am posting my story on a blog…where anyone can see it. So, just consider this a reminder of the unexpected dangers of social networking.

Sad but true, Lilly.

And now for the things we want to repost, splatter on Twitter, and share on Facebook–Lilly’s spectacular covers and amazing blurbs!!

Up first–Slightly Tarnished.

Victorian romance laced with danger.

When a brooding English earl with a SLIGHTLY TARNISHED reputation marries his dead wife’s American cousin to save her from her uncle’s vengeful schemes, the sea captain’s daughter with a taste for adventure sparks desires he thought long dead.

Nicole Keller has always been headstrong and independent, but after a failed business venture and a sinking ship take her father, her home, and her childhood sweetheart, Nikki must support herself and her mother. But moving to England and marrying Chadwick Masters, Earl of Gilchrest isn’t what she has in mind. And falling in love with the mysterious earl could endanger both their lives.

And now for the something new. Coming soon–September 28th to be exact–Wholesale Husband

Wholesale Husband-Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press~

She needs his name. He needs her money. But can a rich New York socialite and a poor Irish immigrant find true love in the gilded age?

Betrayed by her fiancé and heart sick over her father’s death, Clarissa Burdick is further devastated when she learns she can’t inherit her father’s company—the company she loves—until she’s twenty-five or married. And Clarissa is neither. So she sets out to find a husband strong enough to protect her from her uncle’s thugs, too uneducated to run the company himself, and poor enough to marry a woman in name only.  But Irish immigrant Devin Flannery is smarter than he seems and more educated than Clarissa expects.  Her Wholesale Husband soon proves a greater risk to her heart than her company.

Meet Lilly–

Author bio:

For the past thirteen years, Lilly Gayle has found time to write in between her regular duties as a wife, mother, and radiologic technologist. But now that her two daughters are both grown and her first book has finally made it into print, she hopes to devote more time to writing and less time to such mundane things as housework.

Lilly Gayle lives in north central North Carolina with her husband of twenty-nine years and her youngest daughter who is in her third year of college. Her idea of the perfect weekend is a trip to Emerald Isle with her husband, a good book, and her laptop.      

Thanks so much for coming by today, Lilly, and sharing your exciting new release!  Remember, the release day is September 28th (that’s next Wednesday, people. Write it down!)

And for those of you visiting, Lilly is giving away an ecopy of Slightly Tarnished to one lucky reader. But you gotta leave us a comment to be entered!

<3 Amie


18 thoughts on “Lilly Gayle and something new…

  1. Thanks for having me on your blog today and allowing me to share my excerpts along with my stupidity. lol! BTW, Slightly Tarnished is my first published historical but second published novel. TWRP published my paranormal romance, Out of the Darkness last year.

    1. See, learn something new everyday! WOW! SO this is Lilly’s *THIRD* book (in a singing voice). YAY! Lilly!

      And thank you for coming on and sharing your story. And thanks to everyone who stopped to comment. Not only did you come by for a chance to win a copy of Lilly’s *second* book (See, I’m a quick learner). A lot of you shared your own stories.

      Unfortunately there’s a lot of people out there who are quick to judge when it’s not their place. Past hurts and our own experiences taint what we see in other’s lives, but we should all strive to make the world a better place–through books, actions and help for each other. Today we did that! Go, us! :)

  2. Oh, Lilly, I’ve made a few “goofs” myself along the social media highway. I have this wierd sense of humor that sometimes does not come off well. My quips somehow don’t sound as funny online as they do in person. I’ve had to learn to temper it, rein it in, so to speak. As for friends who didn’t understand you were going through a horrendous time in your life–fear, depression, feeling sick and losing your hair–well, let’s hope they’re never put in the same devastating position. In short, may their panties chaf and their pantyhose creep down. Great post. Can’t wait for your release. Sounds like a great story!!! I’ve got my Kindle ready…

  3. Oh, Vonnie. You are so funny. And I do get you. lol! Thanks for making me feel better about all that dirty laundry I air in public. haha! I’m sarcastic by nature–funny sarcastic, I hope. But sarcasm does not come across in print. And sometimes adding lol or jk doesn’t make a difference. If someone misinterprets the intent of your words, they probably won’t get the joke either. Unfortunately, that filter that seems to be missing between my brain and my mouth doesn’t exist between my brain and my fingers either.

  4. I, too, have made those blunders and hid from the cyber-world for days, red-faced, I might add. Now, I’ve decided only to post things about my book. Besides my family, this is one of my greatest accomplishment and one I’m proud of. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  5. I can’t believe anyone would bash you at a time in your life when you were struggling. Can’t. Believe. And that person called themselves your friend? That’s no friend. I understand you wanting to vent – especially with what you were going through – and you know what? I don’t see anything wrong with you venting. This was a time in your life when you needed to do what was best for YOU. And letting it out is healthier than keeping it in. True friends understand that. I’m sorry you had to learn who really were and weren’t your friends. :-)

    BUT..Yay for you, Lilly! You’re a survivor. And a fabulous person and writer. I can’t wait to read Wholesale Husband!

    Wait, this was supposed to be about Social Media wasn’t it? Hmmm. Well, social media is what brought us Vonnie’s fantastic response, isn’t it? LOVE it, Vonnie!

  6. Thanks for understanding, Sara. But until my recent “episode” on Twitter, it’s made me self-conscious about every word I post. I still don’t understand the desperate need to hang onto a rotten man until the next one comes along, but IF I share such thoughts again, I’m going to make it clear that I’m not talking about a TYPE of woman, not a particular one. Ug! I still don’t know if my friend saw that post and thought I was talking about her. Maybe she thought I changed details to make her “think” it wasn’t her. And I’m afraid to ask. Or explain. My daughter suggested I forget the whole thing because discussing it with my friend if she did see the post will only make it worse. And if she didn’t see the post before I deleted it and I bring it up, then it will just make her paranoid, esp. if she goes back and tries to find the post and sees that it’s missing.
    So, once again, I’m venting my frustrations on the internet. lol!

  7. Oh, Lilly. First I must agree with Sarah, that this “supposed” friend of your’s was no friend. Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say. Second, you are an inspiration to everyone who has been through the difficult disease cancer. You got the best of that situation in the end by beating the disease! And third, boy oh boy, do I ever GET the social media snafu issue. Been there, done that. I always pause before I hit send, just to double check I haven’t completely stuck my foot in it. Still occasionally happens though. I can’t wait to read your Ab-Fab stories!! Congrats on so much wonderful success!!

  8. Great post ladies. Lilly- it makes me so angry when people who are supposed to care show their true colors at the worst possible time in our life. At a time when you had EVERY right to be ‘self absorbed’ and needed them, they only thought of themselves. You are far better off without ‘friends’ like that. Hugs and thank you God for your recovery! Next- I have Slightly Tarnished (won from another blog a while back) and can’t wait to read it! Wholesale Husband sounds like a fab read, too. Congrats on your success!

  9. Wow – what a great post Lilly. I was cringing along with you. Wish I could have been there to hold your hand, be a listening ear or done something useful when you were so ill and miserable. I’m so glad you’ve won your battle though and to have met and chatted with you online and read your books. I ‘get’ you too, and love your wit and personality : )

    About social media and my experience: At the beginning of this year, I became pregnant with my third child. A few people found out and it splashed all over FB. Sadly, the pregnancy made me extremely ill – deadly so. After trying every drug under the sun including drugs for cancer patients, and being unable to be in the hospital for the whole pregnancy with two other children and getting sicker and weaker by the hour, the only other option was to have a medical termination. I’m wiping away tears here telling you. On FB – friends were all hearing I was pregnant and excitedly telling everyone, and congratulations were coming thick and fast. I got my hubby to post what was happening as I couldn’t bear all the goodwill. I still think it was the right decision to post that. I’m a fairly open person, and I quickly found out who my true friends were. Including finding out who I thought was my BF really wasn’t. Zilch support from her, but amazing from others which really opened my eyes.

    But yeah – since then, I’ve been particularly careful about what I put up too. Everything is connected now isn’t it? I have a chuckle reading comments from my nephew. He forgets that EVERYONE in the family who he’s friended can read it too. What an insight! : )

    Congratulations on Wholesale Husband coming out Lilly. I can’t wait to get my copy!

  10. My heart bleeds for the decision you had to make LaVerne. I’m not pro choice. Neither am I pro life. I believe the decision to terminate a pregnancy is the most private and painful decision a woman can make. Yes, I think we need laws to prevent late-term abortions as an alternative to birth control. But no one has the right to judge the heart-wrenching and painful decision of a woman faced with an impossible choice.

    My older sister has Fredericks Ataxia (FA) a genetic disorder of the central nervous system that affects every cell in the body. She seemed normal as a child, but by age 12, she had pronounced scoliosis and was becoming uncoordinated. When she was 13, the doctors put a Herrington Rod in her spine. She wore a body cast for 9 months. The doctors told her she’d never walk again. She did, but not for long. As hard as she struggled, the disease stole her ability to walk.

    By 21, she was in a wheelchair most of the time. But she could still stand, maneuver. Transfer. By 25, she’d deteriorated more and was confined to a wheelchair. The doctors told her she wouldn’t live to be 30.

    I’ve watched her suffer. I’ve seen the pain in my parents eyes–witnessed the strain it put on their marriage. And when I got pregnant, I asked if there was a genetic test for FA. There wasn’t. But if there had been, I would have terminated the pregnancy. Not for myself. But for the child-to save him or her from a life of pain, misery, and loneliness.

    Thanks to God, neither of my daughters has the disease. Do they carry the gene? I don’t know.
    My sister, is now 54. She’s in constant pain. She has to be strapped in her wheelchair to keep her from falling out. She’s unable to control her bodily functions and must now wear a diaper. She can no longer dress or feed herself and requires constant care. She can no longer form coherent words, though she still hears the words she wants to say in her head. She can no longer control her atrophied fingers enough to use a computer–her only understandable form of communication for the last five years. She has severe muscle cramps and blinding headaches. She can’t sign because she can no longer control the muscles in her arms or her brain enough to send the signal.

    She can’t even control her eye lids enough to blink yes or no answers. She refuses a feeding tube, preferring death to losing the one thing in life she can enjoy–tasting.

    She’s going deaf, she’s had two strokes, and she cries all the time now. Visiting her has become such an emotional toll, I hate going to see her. I can’t understand her, and seeing her frustrates her so badly she winds up crying to the point of choking on her own tears. It breaks my heart.

    So,I will not judge you for your decision. You chose medical termination to save your life. You chose to be a mother to children you already had rather than take a gamble on an unborn child who’s existence was killing you.

    I would have chosen medical termination to stop a child from being born into the hell that has become my sister’s life.

    In my sister’s own words, “No one should die so painfully and slowly. It would have been better for everyone if I was never born.”

    She would be better off. For hers sake, I wish she hadn’t been born. But knowing her, having her in my life shaped who I have become. She’s been the inspiration that keeps me going when I might otherwise have pitied myself. But it pains me to know my life was shaped at her expense.

    You read Out of the Darkness, LaVerne. Megan’s thoughts about her sister and her feelings of survivor’s guilt weren’t something I dreamed up. They’re my true feelings and emotions expressed in fictional form.

    1. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing that Lilly. It just goes to show, no-one should judge another for their thoughts, feelings and actions. There is so much that goes into each decision people make and unless we’re inside their skin, we can never truly understand the magnitude of their private thoughts and battles. Megan was a wonderful character. Now I know why she’s lived with me long after I finished the book – she was real : )

      I hope your sister’s suffering will be over soon Lilly. Life can be so cruel. Much love to you and her, xo

    2. Lilly, that’s an amazing story. My heart goes out to your sister and those like her. Most of y’all don’t know (some might) but I have rheumatoid arthritis–that’s the crippling kind that turns fingers into gnarled ginger roots. I’m two years in and doing fairly well, though it seems to be progressing faster than I would like for it to be (if I got to chose, anyway). But it seems to me that the minute I get to feeling sorry for myself and thinking I don’t know how I’m going to get through the rest of the day, God puts someone in front of me that makes me feel truly blessed. I’ll get in line behind a burn victim with half a face, or a vet with one leg missing, or any number of problems that make me stop and take count of what I do have. Make me stop and be thankful. Even when everyday I hurt, I’m exhausted, and I can’t do the things that I did before.

      I do not know why we have to go through the things we do–your sister, you with your cancer (my mother’s a survivor, btw), Laverne and many others that have commented on this blog. I can only hope that there is some benefit even though it might be hard to see in the midst of the crises we/you/I face. Maybe if only it helps us understand our fellow man and not be so judgmental. because not long ago we were close to that as well…

      Thanks everyone for sharing.

  11. Wow. My intent when writing this post was to share a moment of naivety and warn others about the dangers of social media when we post to quickly. I ended up sharing a painful moment in my past. And some of you shared not just your social blunders but your own painful stories. No one judged or called me stupid. I thank you for that. And I thank you for sharing your stories. But most of all, I thank Amy for her sage wisdom:

    “Past hurts and our own experiences taint what we see in other’s lives,”
    What amazing insight into the human psyche. It’s hard letting go of past hurts. I try not to carry a grudge. Perhaps understanding that those who hurt others have most likely been hurt themselves will help me move forward without the hurt.


  12. Lilly and Amie, great blog. Amie, I think you’ve updated your blog site, haven’t you. Looks great.
    Lilly, you just stepped all over my toes with the dangers of social media. LOL My main danger is spending too much time on email, tweets, and Facebook. Best wishes for you both!

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