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You guys rock.

Iron has been out for two weeks today and… Wow. Just wow.

I had very modest hopes, going into this indie publishing thang. I’m just a nearly broke girl from Jersey with a story in her head and the determination to see it into print, come hell or high water. I didn’t (and, well, still don’t) have a lot to spend on marketing. So, I went with a soft launch (giggity) and figured I’d see what happened while I continued to work on book two, Faster. With only a single title to sell, whose sequel is roughly a year away from publication, I wasn’t expecting much. I just hoped one or two people out there would take a chance on it and pick up copies–and, even better, that at least one of those two would like it!

So far, I’ve sold copies every single day. Some days more than others, but all of them are more than I had ever hoped. Some have even been sold internationally, which just boggles my mind (and makes me jump up and down with excitement). When I wrote myself up a “three year plan” and tried to figure out my dream job goals for the years to come, I had only hoped to “break even” in Iron‘s first year. (Again, a modest goal as I had kept my production costs low as a newbie author with no fan base.)

Well, two weeks in I’m just about a third of the way to that goal. And that freaking astounds me. (In the best possible where-are-the-tissues way, of course!) I know there will come a day when I won’t always be riding this high. Sales may dip, or I’ll get some bad reviews and spend a few hours hiding under my exploding TARDIS blanket with a box of tissues for a whole ‘nother reason… But that is not this day. Right now, I’m feeling a bit like a rockstar and I have all of you to thank for it.

Thank you for reading Cat’s story. Thank you for not minding her potty mouth and penchant for bemoaning her luck. Thank you for giving me such wonderful reviews. Thank you for spreading the word and sharing the existence of this wacky little urban fantasy with others.

But, most of all, thank you for giving Iron a chance.

 

Release day is here!

ironFinal-FJM_ARE_200x300Iron is live!

::tosses confetti… then pouts when she realizes she will now need to vacuum::

Oh! And its National Coffee Day, so–ya know–its just going to be a great day all around. (And since I’m sipping my Tim Horton’s from my Iron coffee mug, it’s pretty much perfection to a little ol’ caffeine fiend like me.)

To purchase Iron, please check out the Books section on my website, or follow one of the handy dandy links I will be inserting right here. Iron is available in eBook form on Kindle, Nook, and iBooks. It is also available in paperback exclusively through Amazon.com.

If you’re a visual person (much like I am), you can also checkout my Pinterest board dedicated to this series and the images I find inspiring for it here! I’m sure I’ll also be posting a ton of Iron related pics today (and in the days to come) on Instagram, so make sure to follow me at mrsrobinlcole.

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it and hope you enjoy reading about Caitlin’s adventures as much as I did writing about them!

Tomorrow is when everything changes.

Tomorrow, Iron will be released across multiple platforms.

This is it. My first book will be live; published and ready for reader consumption. Reading those words–typing those words–is an incredible mix of emotions. Its surreal and it terrifying, but more than anything it is absolutely fucking amazing. I cannot even begin to put in to words how I feel right now, and how this whole whirlwind crash course in the world of indie publishing all together has made me feel… But I’ve got some thoughts swirling around in my brainpan right now, so I’m going to try.

Continue reading “Tomorrow is when everything changes.”

Cover Reveal!

I can’t wait any longer! I wanted to wait until I had a hard release date set, but I’ve been dying to share the cover of Iron, the first book in The Warding, my debut urban fantasy series.

So, without further ado–here it is!

ironFinal-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700

Isn’t she a beauty?

I am absolutely over the moon with the work that the lovely Fiona Jayde has done. It is simply stunning. She captured the essence of Caitlin perfectly. Thank you so much Fiona!

Iron is slated to debut in mid-September 2015. It will be available as an eBook on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo, as well as in paperback from Amazon.com. As soon as I have the hard release date I will let you know, so check back here at the blog or visit me on Facebook at Robin L. Cole, Writer.

Also keep an eye out for a sample excerpt of Iron in the “Books” section, which is coming very, very soon.

Cooking the Book IV: Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

I promised my Cooking the Book posts would continue, so here we are with installment #4: The One Year Mark.

My very first recipe on this cook through of Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking was her Bolognese sauce recipe, back on July 4th of 2014. So, this weekend marks my official “One Year” mark.

Originally, back in the summer of 2014, a few friends and I decided that we wanted to try and at least 90% of the recipes of Essentials book over the next year. Obviously, I did not reach that goal. No one did. ::cue the sad trombone music:: We failed across the board. While it was a lot of fun sharing our experiences with the food and posting delicious pictures as we went along, a few people lost steam early on. Not everyone became as enamored with this cookbook as I did. A few of us kept chugging along throughout the year though; turning out Marcella recipes weekly. But–even then–none of us reached that coveted 90% mark.

And to that I say… Oh well!

I have no intention of stopping until I reach my goal. I love this cookbook. I’ve even enjoyed this cook through so much I started a Project Life-style scrapbook dedicated to it, lovingly dubbed “Essentials Experiences,” which housing my pictures and thoughts of the recipes! (And yes; I even keep said book right next to the cookbook on the shelf for quick reference. Also yes; I will totally do a post on that Project Life project if you care to see it. I’m ridiculously proud of it.)

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: damn near every single recipe I have tried in this book has been simple yet outstandingly good. There has only been one flop in the lot for me. (Sorry Anchovy Sauce!) Essentials has earned the nickname of “The Book” around our house (and in our family). I can say I’m making something, and my mother or husband will instantly ask, “Is that from The Book?” Marcella is the patron saint of Cole Kitchen and I look forward to another year of cooking through this fantastic cookbook.

Onto Part IV!

Continue reading “Cooking the Book IV: Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking”

Goodbye and Hello

I’m a firm believer that when something stops being fun–when you stop enjoying it–its time to walk away. If its not longer something you feel passionate about or something that feeds your soul, its not doing you any good. I’m not one of those fake it and grin until you make it kind of people. And that is why I will no longer be posting makeup and skincare item reviews on this blog.

As you’ve probably noticed, my posting schedule took a bit slide downhill over the past few months. I was having a really hard time finding things I cared enough to try for you guys. I was beauty burnt out. I just wasn’t excited about anything anymore. Sure, I’ve found a product here and there that I loved… But I just wasn’t running to the computer to share it with you guys anymore. Sitting down to write a review felt more like a chore; I just didn’t have anything new to say. I found myself getting so much more joy out of writing the cookbook cook-through posts than I did yet another lip gloss review… Which made me realize it was time to hang up my beauty blogger hat, step back, and take a long, hard (giggity) look at what would make me happy again.

It was then I realized that the answer had been staring me in the face all along…

Continue reading “Goodbye and Hello”

Cooking the Book III: Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

I wish I had more time to spend in the kitchen.

As much as I love makeup, I think if I was offered the opportunity to switch up my career path and do anything else, I would likely be someone’s personal chef. I really could spend most of my hours tinkering away in the kitchen every day, trying out new recipes and feeding people. Half the time I want to cook things even when I’m not hungry, just to… I don’t know; create, maybe? To feed others. To make people happy. Must be my Italian genes. I just have a deep need to make people happy by feeding them.

Anyhow; I digress. Lately, when I do have the time to cook, the noms I’ve been whipping up have been from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Back in June, a few lady friends and I decided to challenge ourselves to a cook book cook though. (Original post and second installment, respectively). We are trying to cook at least 90% of the recipes in the book over the next year. However, given that I only average 3 recipes a week, it will likely take me far longer and I’ve become okay with that. I don’t have any intention of stopping until I hit that 90%! We’ve all been sharing our experiences with the food and delicious pictures with one another as we go, and it has been a great time.

I’ve never been quite this enamored with a cookbook before (and I read cookbooks like novels). Damn near every single recipe I have tried in this book has been pretty simple, yet outstandingly good. It has gotten to the point where I can tell my husband–a terribly picky eater–that the meal’s recipe is “from The Book” and he instantly gets excited for it, no matter what it is. Marcella is quickly rising to saintly status in the Cole Kitchen, and I always look forward to seeing what new dishes become family favorites.

I love sharing my cooking experiences almost (or maaaaaybe even a smidgen more) than my beauty reviews, so here I am; back with another collection of yummy images and musings on the recipes I’ve tried since!

Continue reading “Cooking the Book III: Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking”

Cooking the Book II: Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Farmers Market Herbs and BreadI don’t know how much you guys enjoyed my post regarding the Cookbook Cook Through my friends and I are currently doing, but I loved sharing it with you. To recap, as briefly as I am able, a few lady friends and I are cooking our way through at least 90% of Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking over the next year. (Given that I only average 3 recipes a week, it will likely take me far longer, since I don’t have any intention of stopping until I hit that 90%.) We’ve been sharing our experiences with the food and delicious pictures with one another as we go, and it has been a great time.

It has gotten me excited about cooking again. I love to check in every morning and see what awesome dishes my friends are cooking up, and they inspire me to choose my next kitchen adventure. (It doesn’t hurt that I haven’t had a single bad recipe from this book yet!) While I’m still not in the kitchen as much as I like (being far too frazzled on most weeknights), I’ve been making a conscious effort to cook at least one new recipe on each day I’m off from work.

It helps that all of the recipes have been good–most are outstanding and even the few that didn’t wind up suiting our tastes were still tasty and completely consumed (rather than being terrible disasters that wound up in the trash). I don’t know of any other cookbook that has yielded up such consistently tasty results, at least not in my collection!

So, here I am; back with another collection of yummy images and musings on the recipes I’ve tried since!

Continue reading “Cooking the Book II: Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking”

Sugarpill Cosmetics Sparkle Baby Palette Review

Sugarpill Sparkle Baby Palette

“Let your inner princess shine! A high-glitz eyeshadow collection for living dolls. Ultra girly, shimmery shades to satisfy your sweet tooth!”

Man, oh man–I feel like we were waiting for this palette! It was months ago when I first saw swatches of the single shadows from this collection up on a few blogs and from that moment on, I was stalking the Sugarpill Cosmetics website, waiting to pounce the moment this baby became available.

I adore Sugarpill shadows. They have some of the boldest, craziest colors I have ever seen and their quality is stellar. Every single shadow I have tried from them has been buttery smooth, super pigmented, and downright phenomenal when it comes to lasting power.

Sadly, I don’t find myself reaching for the Sugarpill shadows I have (i.e. the Burning Heart and Heart Breaker palette shades).The problem? I just don’t have much call for bright blues, reds, and oranges in my day-to-day makeup life. I wish that were different, of course, but as it stands I find myself sticking more to the neutrals of my Urban Decay Naked 1 or 3 most days instead.

So, when I saw they’d be exploring their “softer” side with the ultra girlie, mostly pastel shades in this, the Sparkle Baby Palette, I was over the moon. The day it went up for sale, I made sure it would be mine!

Continue reading “Sugarpill Cosmetics Sparkle Baby Palette Review”

Benefit Dandelion Blush Review

Benefit Cosmetics Dandelion Box Blush“Fake awake in just one stroke with Dandelion—Benefit’s long-lasting, pressed highlighting powder in ballerina-pink. Its shimmery, satiny, and radiant formula leaves an immediate perk-me-up finish that brightens up your face—even at eight in the morning.”

I’ve only recently started getting in to blushes. For years, I didn’t wear any. My rosacea flush was terrible, and I had such a fear of being too red/pink that I just never even bothered to try applying any.

As the years went on and I learned to keep my rosacea in check, I found myself sometimes having the opposite problem: without blush, my naturally pale complexion kind of looked… Well, sickly. I was pale and washed out. I needed a touch of color on those days, so I slowly began dipping my toe into the world of blush and found one or two that I loved–usually peachy or coral-toned blushes that didn’t call too much attention to my pink undertones. I just knew, in my heart of hearts, that pinks would look terrible on me–so I never bothered to try them

Then, the Tarte Rainforest After Dark Eye and Cheek Palette came into my life. The blush included in it–described as a “nude rose”–was a pink shade. I tried it on with trepidation… And fell head over heels in love. I found myself wearing it every day, even when I wasn’t using the eyeshadows in the palette. Me, loving a pink blush!

I felt like Ariel, singing about the whole new world of makeup that had just been opened up to me!

Around the same time, I went on a bit of a Benefit Cosmetics kick. I had already fallen in love with their ‘Hello Flawless!’ Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation and, again, a floodgate was opened. It was a brand I had always heard such wonderful things about, but had–for some unknown reason–had never bothered to try for myself. That had to change. I had to try more and more of their products. Their Dandelion Blush was one of the first things I had to get my hands on.

Continue reading “Benefit Dandelion Blush Review”