Giving It All Away

Just so you know, I’m privately panicking, occasionally wandering around my house muttering and distracting myself with dogs and wine.

My next novel is less than a month from its drop date. This one comes out with a small press that leaves all the marketing to me.

Have I mentioned that I didn’t study marketing in school? I was a music major. (In other words, my parents donated a lot of money to a small private college in VA.)

A year ago, when I signed my book deal (which technically doesn’t feel like a deal as I am not getting a single penny unless the book actually sells and even then, the publisher is getting nearly every penny it makes. Mentioning again, that I was not a business major), I thought, “I can market this book. It’s a good book. I’ll be clever and creative, and I have an entire year to promote it!”

Somehow eleven months slipped by, nine of them obscured by COVID, and the last three by the release of my memoir, 100 Dogs & Counting, and now the last two weeks have been obliterated by the ongoing battle to save the lives of my foster puppies from parvo.

I feel like I’m back in middle school and I’ve waited until the night before its due to start working on my research paper.

I need to build momentum for the release on January 7. I should have been doing more on social media, plus reaching out to traditional media outlets, pitching podcasters and writing press releases. I have to get the remaining early copies I bought into the hands of reviewers. This is on me. Me.

I’ve decided to embrace the same words I’ve been telling myself the last two weeks as I watched my puppies suffer and fight, and some of them die. “All I can do is the best I can do.”

Add in a pandemic, the impending holidays, and several COVID scares, and there is enough stress piled on my plate for five or ten people, so I am (sort of) letting myself off the hook.

Meanwhile, I’m working on finding more bookblogger and bookstagram reviewers. I’d set a goal of getting a reviewer in every state. Here’s the map of the states I have left.

If you are a bookblogger or bookstagrammer or have a decently large social media following or you know someone who is any of those things, and you live in one of my blank states (or a country not listed), let me know. Actually, if you have a platform from which you’d be willing to share my book and you live in one of the colored-in states, I’d still like to hear from you. I’m happy to give a copy (or an ecopy if you’re international) to pretty much anyone willing to help me market this book.

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I’ve been giving away a copy of the new mass market paperback version of my best-selling novel, Girls’ Weekend every week leading up to the release of Blind Turn. If you’d like to be entered to win a copy this week, all you need to do is comment on this post (here on the blog or on Facebook). If you share this post and tag me, I’ll enter you five more times.

And since I’m down to the wire, and late putting up this week’s giveaway, I’ve decided to give away two copies. I won’t draw names until Monday so that gives you plenty of time to think of something clever to say in the comments. (I’d welcome marketing suggestions, especially from you people who actually studied business in school, but you can also simply comment that you’d be keen to win a copy of Girls’ Weekend.)

Beginning Monday, I’ll be posting daily on my Facebook page in a countdown to the release date with excerpts, LIVES, book giveaways, book suggestions (it is the holidays after all), and a daily opportunity to be entered in my GRAND PRIZE giveaway of ALL of my novels, plus swag goodies and more.

As far as my release date goes, I’ve decided that for Blind Turn, which took seven years to finally make it to publication, there’s really no reason to rush it. I’m going to think of this book launch as an event in Slo-Mo.

Yes, it’s technically out on January 7, but it’s also out for the rest of its natural life, right? So, pandemic or not, I’ll be trying to talk readers into buying this book for months to come. Not on this blog, promise. (I’m sure you’d get tired of that.)

While the inciting incident involves a texting and driving accident, this story is timeless –it is about forgiveness and family and all the ways those two words are intertwined. I think forgiveness is the currency of any real, long term relationship. I hope my book will start a few conversations about that interdependency.

Even though it is approaching much faster than necessary and giving me undue anxiety, I can’t wait for Blind Turn to reach the hands and hearts of readers. I’m overly excited to introduce you to Jess and Liz and Jake and Kevin and even Willard and Homeboy (big ol’ hounddogs, cause you know if it’s my story there have to be dogs underfoot).

Okay, wrapping up this post, and hoping you can help me give away a few books. It is the season of giving, after all.

Hey, thanks for reading. I know you’ve got lots of options, so thanks for sharing a few of your minutes with me.



If you’re curious about what I’m up to, check out my website,

If you’re ready to preorder Blind Turn, click here.

If you’d like to subscribe to my (sometimes) monthly e-newsletter, click here.

And If you’re a dog lover, check out my other blog, Another Good Dog. And if you want to know what is really happening in the animal shelters in this country, visit, Who Will Let the Dogs Out.

I’d love to connect with you on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram, and I’m thrilled to get email from readers (and writers), you can reach me at

I’ve got a new novel coming January 2021! Blind Turn is a mother-daughter story of forgiveness in the aftermath of a fatal texting and driving accident. Learn more about it and read a few early reviews here.

My book, 100 Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues was released this past July from Pegasus books and is available anywhere books are sold, but if you’d like some help finding it (or want to read some lovely reviews), click here.

Author: Cara Sue Achterberg

I am a writer, blogger, and dog rescuer. I live in the darling town of Woodstock, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley with my husband and three rescue dogs (who rescue me on a daily basis). Find more information about my books, my dogs, and all my writing adventures at

8 thoughts on “Giving It All Away”

      1. Please stay encouraged! The new book sounds wonderful & absolutely one I would read. A bit of advice….just breath! It works for me to remember my mind, heart, soul & spirit all need breath!! I am sending wishes of a very Merry Christmas to you and yours and those delightful, yet; a bit demanding furry babies!!!


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