40th Birthday Mega Ebook Sale! Save $12 on 7 books!

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The final two covers for Emi Lost and Found!

Yeah, somehow, I didn’t make an official announcement on my blog! I’ll blame this on jelly-brains, which is the state my head was in for a couple of weeks. So, sorry about the jelly-brains.

For those of you blog-only-followers, my apologies for neglecting you! I’ll make you wait no more! Here are the covers for Time Stands Still and Never Look Back, photographed and designed by the lovely Christi Allen Curtis and assisted by Katrina Boone!

TSS.cc LR NLB.cc LRMake sure you zoom in and read all the new back cover copy! When I re-do things, I re-do them RIGHT!

Anyway. You can’t tell me that these covers are not PERFECT for this series, because they are in every way possible. Emi (aka Alex) is stunning and natural. Her expressions capture the emotions perfectly. The colors, the daisies… they’re all just so lovely. I could not be happier with the way they turned out!


New Cover and Edition of Emi Lost and Found


The entire Emi Lost & Found series is getting a facelift, and today, we announce the release of a special edition of the Complete Emi Lost & Found series! This ebook-only edition features new artwork created by the lovely and talented Christi Allen Curtis (with the trusty assistance of Katrina Boone). In this version, you will not only get Lost and Found, Time Stands Still, Never Look Back and the two bonus short stories (Love, Lost and In the Mind of a Dying Man), but you’ll also get the prequel, Not Today, But Someday!

In the coming days/weeks, we will be releasing new covers for all of the individual books. The content remains the same… same beautiful story of romance and loss, friends and family, true love and soul mates. They’re all just packaged in nice, new designs.

Impatient, are you? Here’s an eensy peek at what’s to come!

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Want to win your own copy of the Complete Emi Lost & Found Series? Enter the Rafflecopter Drawing!

Not sure what all the fuss is about?

4.8 stars on Amazon!  4.67 stars on Goodreads! (Beware of spoilerific reviews on both sites!)

Emi Lost & Found series – Winner of the Best Happily Ever After of 2013 – HEA Bookshelf

“THE BEST BOOKS YOU’RE NOT READING. This series runs the gamut of emotions. I felt everything from pure joy and happiness to absolute devastation.” – Kelli, Alphas, Authors and Books Oh My

“Lori Otto managed to pull me in to the story so that I was so engrossed, entwined with it, so much that I didn’t know where the story ended and I began.” – StacyHGG, Books Unhinged Book Blog

Not Today, But Someday (prequel) – Nate Wilson knows he wants Emi Hennigan from the moment he sees her. Emi knows she needs Nate after one night together. A life-long friendship is born, and a pact is made to ensure that nothing will come between them.

Lost and Found (book one) – After swearing off love with Emi in a silly high school pact, Nate has been seeing other women in hopes of finding one that evokes stronger feelings than the ones he’s been harboring for Emi since he was a teen.  Over the span of a year, boundaries are crossed, feelings are confessed, and their unique friendship begins to blossom into something more. With a promising future ahead of them both, fate intervenes to bring two soul mates together.

Time Stands Still (book two) – No man could compete with Nate, Emi thought, until one night – one evening, one party, one journey, one second alters her course completely. That night, her brother’s best friend, Jack Holland, comes back into her life with a mission.  In a year’s time, he slowly finds a comfortable place in Emi’s life, but only time will tell if it’s right for Emi – and enough for him.

Never Look Back (book three) – To say Emi’s life over the past two years has had its share of peaks and valleys is an understatement – and her friends and family would agree. In the conclusion to Emi Lost & Found, Jack guides Emi through a year of self-discovery, and teaches her that faith in true love – and in soul mates – can yield happiness from even the darkest of places.

Are you ready to get your copy? NookKindleiBooks (coming soon) – Smashwords


If you want to help spread the word, here are some graphics to help you! (Oh, and that main image at the top looks great on Instagram!)

Facebook Page Cover:

Complete ELAF Facebook Cover Photo

Facebook Personal Profile Cover:

Complete ELAF Facebook Personal Cover Photo

Facebook Group Cover:


Facebook/Twitter Profile Picture:


General Silliness:


Feel free to link back to this post so your friends and followers can get more info! Thanks!

Goodbye to my quirky, lovely, illustrated covers


Let me make something abundantly clear. I love these covers, and while they are actually the ‘third’ edition to me, they are the ‘first’ edition to almost everyone who’s read my books. The are the books, and for most of the readers, I think by the time they reach the last page, they agree that they’re perfectly suitable for our quirky and creative Emi.

At the time of the design of these two years ago (and I still can’t believe it was that long ago), I needed covers that said something about the books. I was going through a phase when I couldn’t get enough of Indie-artist-designed posters for Indie-bands. I loved the hand-drawn illustrations of the Decemberists posters, and I happened to know someone who could do those kind of drawings.

After we began the cover design process, I quickly realized that the cool quality of these quirky sketches probably wouldn’t be accepted mainstream, especially for a contemporary fiction book that bordered on romance. So I didn’t have the artist, Summer, go too off-beat with them. They were still illustrations, though, and not photos of couples in the heat of passion, so I knew they’d stand out in the genre. I wasn’t sure if they’d stand out in a good or bad way, but I was willing to take a chance on them.

In so doing, I have built a fan-base of very loyal readers who recognize the uniqueness of the series and appreciate the non-conformist book design. They associate Summer’s beautiful drawings with Emi Lost & Found, and most of them have grown quite attached to them. In my opinion, they have built a brand that I am still a little afraid to move away from.

When I told my inner circle that I was going to redesign, I got mixed responses. Some were very much in the “I love the covers” camp, and they were nervous about what I would come up with (and I don’t blame them). Others were honest, and said that they felt these covers hindered mainstream acceptance of my books. I’d read one too many wonderful reviews that hinged on the statement, “if you judge books by their covers, don’t do that with these.” These covers turned out to be quite divisive. People either loved them or hated them.

Two women in Florida – Christi and Katrina – approached me after my Book Bash experience last year. They hadn’t heard of me at the time, but one of them was drawn to my table by my covers. She loved them, and it touched me. They read my books, and they loved them. Both have a ton of creativity, and express it through photography, art and design. Their book blog takes photos inspired by the books they love, and they did a photo shoot for Emi Lost & Found. Katrina did a beautiful painting of Emi for me, and Christi sent me a gorgeous print of my quirky, illustrated books in a very Nate-centric setting. I love them both.

Together, we began brainstorming new covers using photography. I knew long ago that, deep down, these particular covers should feature actual people, photographed professionally. I am not a fan of stock photography because I see way too many Indie books using the same damn pictures, over and over again… and if I’ve learned anything from past hobbies, it’s that I am most certainly not a photographer.

Christi and Katrina could help me get covers using original photography and wonderful art direction. Katrina’s schedule got very hectic, so after the photos were taken, Christi spent hours pouring over the photos, drafting up designs for me to look at and dealing with my nit-picky self (but I swear, I’m not that bad).  They both would meet up at Starbucks and brainstorm some more. What they’ve come up with is far beyond what I was expecting.

They found our Emi. They captured the feeling of each book, because they were fans of the books. So much heart and soul has been poured into them, and I really think that will show through in the end. They still don’t feature couples in the heat of passion. They all feature Emi and Emi alone, which a lot of people that I discussed the new covers with were unsure about. They felt couples would be better, but I didn’t. If you’ve read the books, you’d know that even pictures alone could completely spoil the series. In the beginning, middle, and end, these are Emi’s books… it’s her life and her story. Everyone needs to keep that in mind when reading, and I think this will be a good reminder.

So, that’s how we got here. This week, we will reveal the new cover for the bundled series e-book. In the coming days/weeks, we will reveal the new covers for Not Today, But Someday, Lost and Found, Time Stands Still and Never Look Back. A handful of people have seen them, and I am happy to report that they all selected different covers as their favorites, so I really think they will appeal to a much wider market of readers.

If I’m going to achieve my dream of writing full time, I have to do everything I can to support and feature my books in a positive way that appeals to more people. That’s the truth. I know the books themselves are good. The series rates at 4.67 stars on Goodreads and 4.8 on Amazon… I believe in the stories. So do my loyal readers. Now I just need to get more of those loyal readers, and I think having these new covers will help me reach my goals.

I will always cherish my illustrated covers, though. They are special to me in a way that many people don’t understand. The new covers are equally beautiful in their own way, though, and I hope they find a place in peoples’ hearts, too. They’ve already found a home in mine.

Turn the Page Book Blog reviews my books!

Wow. I just got an email from fellow author Megan McCooey, and she told me she reviewed my books. I knew she had read Not Today, But Someday, and I knew she liked it, but I didn’t know if she’d finish reading the series. She did… and she loved them! She said I was BRAVE! Awesome. I am, damn it! 😉

I’ve had some book-related disappointments this week, but this makes up for them all. She reviewed all three books separately, so know that SPOILERS are revealed as you read through these reviews. If you haven’t finished the series yet, know you may stumble on something you don’t want to read quite yet.

Thank you so much, Megan, for taking your precious time (as a fellow writer, I know how precious it is) and reading about Nate, Emi, Jack and their crazy families and friends. It truly means the world to me.

Oh! and she also nominated my blog for an award, so that’ll be a separate post tonight. 🙂

More T-Shirt Styles Available!

T-Shirts on RedBubbleHi, everyone! I’ve added some new designs to the T-Shirt arsenal. 😉 We now have Team Nate and Team Jack shirts with logos about 60% the original size, as well as shirts for Nate’s Art Room, the Nathaniel J. Wilson Gallery and the Holland Foundation. (Not pictured is one version of Nate’s haiku… I’m working on another of this one and will post it soon.)

Update on availability of books…

Right now, the iBookstore is being update with my titles.  Currently, Lost and Found, Not Today, But Someday, and the Emi Lost & Found series are still for sale there, but Time Stands Still, Never Look Back, and Contessa are going through the approval process.  Check here for updated links within the next day or two.

Also, Contessa is now available in paperback from Amazon.com!

Temporary price cuts for all full-priced novels!

Over the next few days, you will see the prices dropping for all of my full priced novels. I know some of you may be upset by these price cuts, but I hope you understand my reasoning… or will at least give me a chance to explain.

My books went on sale in March of 2011. That’s more than a year and a half ago. I felt that they were good enough to be read by more people than my friends, but I had a hell of a time getting the word out there to readers. Self-promotion’s not my thing; I’ll be the first to admit that.

Anyway, interest picked up a little in September of this year. I don’t really know what made it happen, but on one of my Lost and Found free days, I had thousands of downloads. These turned into modest sales of the other books in the series. Sales waned again in October and November, and then out of the blue, a promotional site with a lot of clout touted Lost and Found (which–again–was free), and thousands more of you downloaded the book. I’d never dreamed that I’d get that many downloads in a few days. Those downloads have turned into sales of the other books again–and this time, I’m starting to create a small following of devoted fans.

Without these readers who paid full-price for most of the books, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I can’t thank you guys enough for believing in my books enough to pay your hard-earned money for them. I hope that you still feel like the price you paid for them was fair. I feel as if they’re undervalued, but for a self-published author, I can’t ask for much more than that.

So many of you have said that more people should know about these books–and I agree with you. I’ve felt that Emi’s story was a good story, a moving story–an important story–since I started it back in 2008. I’m so happy other people are catching on. I feel like I’m at a pivotal point now, where I need to take advantage of the small amount of buzz I’m getting and try to bring more people into the fold.

So in an effort to introduce more people to the Emi Lost & Found series, I will be temporarily lowering the prices of the books in that series to the following:

Time Stands Still – $1.99
Never Look Back – $1.99
The Emi Lost & Found series – $2.99 (gasp!)
In addition, Contessa will also be offered for $1.99 for Nook and Kindle. Lost and Found will remain free.

Once these prices go into effect, they will remain at the lowered price until January 2nd. That’s a week from now. It takes a few days for price changes to happen, so check here for links to the books on your favorite reseller site.

If you’re recommending these books to friends, this is the time to introduce them to Nate, Emi and Jack.

*It’s not likely that Apple will be participating in the sale. If you read books on your iPad or iPhone, check out Smashwords. You can get epubs that go right into iBooks from there! You can also download the free Kindle or Nook apps from the App Store!

Help make my birthday wish come true!

The short of it: I’d like to sell 38 books today.

The long of it: I’m thirty-eight today.

I wrote stories when I was a sophomore in high school. By the time I was a senior, I’d abandoned fiction and delved into poetry and essays. I loved to write. I got derailed somewhere in college. I thought I’d be an ad copywriter, but my copywriter professor encouraged me to go into creative writing. I took a few journalism classes, but my head wasn’t really in the game my final year, and when I got a job in outdoor advertising, I took it and never looked back. My writing days were over.

Through the years, I’d thought about writing a novel, but I never could think of a plot. I don’t know if you’ve ever just decided one day that you were going to be an author, and then tried to force that to happen, but a novel is not something most people can sit down and write on a whim. I always got frustrated when I couldn’t think of a good story, and soon the desire to write was overshadowed by another creative pursuit that I’d put all of my energy into. While some of these hobbies placated me for awhile, I’d eventually grow tired of them after a few months (jewelry making) or years (photography).

On my thirty-fourth birthday, I had no idea that I would become an author over the next couple months. On that birthday, I was in the midst of reading a popular series, and thinking to myself that I could write better than the author whose books had captivated the world. In November of 2008, distinct and original characters started to develop in my daydreams. Nate was first, followed shortly by Emi and Jack and their families and friends. Once the characters became actual people with pasts and futures and hopes and disappointments, their stories started to reveal themselves to me. I learned Nate’s fate, and then Emi and Jack’s. When I started crafting the story, I worried that this would be another fleeting hobby, and I was scared to tell people that I was writing a book. I didn’t want to quit or fail like I’d done with all of my past interests. Deep down, though, I knew that this was my calling. I’d never felt more like myself than I did when I was writing the stories of other people’s lives. I’d never been happier.

Now, on my thirty-eighth birthday, I’ve published three full-length novels and one novella. I’ve written another two and a half books and I’ve started three others. I have full outlines for both of my incomplete series, and new ideas come to me all the time. None of those books are abandoned, and I have full confidence that they will all be completed. There are characters in my mind that have stories to tell. I’m their conduit. I tell their stories and I try to find people to read them.

Because I’ve held a full-time job as I’ve written every word of every page, I have very little time to promote my books. Every night, while I go to bed proud of my word count, I feel like an utter failure as a marketer. I don’t have the passion for promoting the book like I do for writing it. I’m lucky that I have a few fans that help me out and tell friends about the series, but it’s not enough to help me reach my ultimate goal. I want to write full time. Somedays I feel like I need to write full time. The sad truth is, I don’t sell many books.

I know some of you who haven’t read the books might assume that they’re bad… but the reviews say otherwise. Maybe not everyone will love the books, but enough readers have been touched so deeply by Nate’s and Emi’s and Jack’s stories that I know I’ve tapped into something. Strangers have contacted me out of the blue from all over the world, and it means so much to me to know that they love the characters as much as I do. It makes me realize that these books have the potential to sell well and touch many more lives– it’s just a matter of getting the word out there.

*** HERE’S MY WISH ***

I would like to sell 38 books on my birthday.

Today, consider buying one of the books in the Emi Lost & Found series on Amazon. If you’ve already bought them, consider giving Lost and Found as a gift. If you’re not sure that your friend, mother, sister, girlfriend, or wife will like them, suggest the first book to them and have them check out a free sample. Spread the word to ten people you think might be interested. Have them check out the reviews. The first book in the series is only 99¢. The other two are $3.99 each, or you can buy the entire series in one ebook (and get some bonus content) for $7.99.

The novella Not Today, But Someday, which is the prequel to the series, is available for the Kindle, Nook, or any other digital reader on Smashwords. While I’d prefer you purchase the book from Amazon or Barnes and Noble for a mere 99¢, I will be up front in telling you that the novella is free on Smashwords. If you have no money to invest at this time, a free download will still make me giddy.

I know some of you think this series is for women only, but it’s not. They’re stories about life and love, and two of the books are actually told from a man’s point of view. Even if you don’t want to read the book today, please think about purchasing it to support a girl who’s simply trying to live her dream by doing something she loves.