Happy 2nd Birthday, The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos!

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Two years ago today, I released my third novel, The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos. In the two years since, this little book and I have had a wild journey together. It was the first romance I published, which was nerve-wracking enough, but I’d decided to push the boundaries with the social issues I tackle in my writing.

A single dad, dealing with his daughter’s irresponsible mother while trying to put himself through college.

A tattooed Latina artist, determined to do more than just get by, and have a real career.

A little girl who brings them together through a Craigslist ad.

I wanted to crush stereotypes, to show the world that young single parents and tattooed women aren’t the “losers” they’ve all branded us as. It was my friends’ decisions to raise their children alone, but they never asked for strangers’ opinions on whether or not they’re good parents. It was my decision to get tattoos, but I never asked for customers at the jewelry store I worked at to rudely interrogate me about my body.

I wanted to tackle heritage, how colonization forces immigrants to assimilate into American culture, to give up the things that makes them unique, the things they eventually lose. Like the Italian my family no longer speaks, the Spanish my niece and nephew rarely use.

I also wanted to challenge gender roles and equality rules. Who says a man can’t raise his daughter alone? Who says that a woman can’t choose to be a nanny while she builds her career?

These things had been burning inside of me for years, and they all sort of bubbled out of me while writing The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos. I knew that a “traditional” romance was never told from the guy’s point of view unless it alternated with the woman’s, but I wanted to do something different. I wanted to break the mold.

Go big or go home, right?

I’ll probably never win any awards for this book, but I’m damned proud of it. It’s a great big middle finger to society and conforming, and that’s reward enough for me.


Single dad Max isn’t looking for love—or so he thinks.

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Chapter 1 · Chapter 2 · Chapter 3 · Chapter 4 · Chapter 5

Becoming Natalie: Epilogue

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t read the previous edition of Becoming Natalie, the following will spoil the ending for you. I recently added an epilogue to the book, and decided to post it here for those who’ve already purchased and read it. Click here to read a FREE excerpt.


Though the resort had been beautiful in the winter, with the glacial sky stretched over the frozen ocean, it really came to life in the summer. Natalie had practically counted down the days to June—for more than one reason. For one, the resort’s steady flow of guests had slowed down considerably during the colder months, which meant she had a lot less to do. For a while, she’d worried that she’d be out of a job, but Rohan had assured her that wasn’t the case.

“After all,” he told her brightly, “we’ve got renovations to do all winter.”

And renovate they had.

With Nigan back in commission, things really got moving. Between Rohan and his father, Natalie stayed busy making new materials for the spring and summer promotions. The Singh men had big plans for the resort—including a full-service spa and wedding planning. By the time June bloomed around the grounds, business was booming.

But the resort wasn’t the only thing growing.

Though they were taking things slowly, Natalie and Rohan had been dating for ten months. She wasn’t about to drop any L bombs any time soon, but once they were together, things between them were just . . . easy. She’d been slightly worried that dating another guy that was her boss would be a bad idea, but Rohan had wanted to immediately set boundaries.

“When we are working, we are Natalie Booth, marketing coordinator, and Rohan Singh, hotel concierge,” he said in bed one evening.

“You know,” she said, her head resting on his chest, “you can seriously drop the last names now.”

“I am serious. We need to make sure our working relationship doesn’t interfere with, well, us, Natalie.” Those deep brown eyes bore into hers. “I don’t want to screw this up,” he said softly.

“Neither do I.” She pressed a kiss to his cheek. “So we should probably make a rule about keeping things strictly professional while on resort property.”

“Well . . . minus our suites,” he said with a grin. He pulled her into his arms, and they stopped talking.

Still, things were going incredibly well, considering how often they saw each other. Natalie’s days were a blur of marketing meetings, hours designing posters and brochures, and scheduling ads across newspapers, radio stations, and social media. At night, she and Rohan either had dinner in the dining room or went out. And her days off—well, those were her favorite days of all.

Since Rohan still had family in India, he, his uncle Nigan, and his father Darius visited quite often. She’d gone with them for a few weeks in January. Visiting another country should have been slightly nerve-wracking, but with Rohan and his family, it was fun. He often whisked her away for adventures on weekends, too—whether it was running karaoke at a random Connecticut dive bar or exploring the lakes and parks hidden around the state.

“Lee!”

The door to her suite swung open, ricocheting off the wall. Layla lifted her head from the floor, then settled right back down when she saw who’d come in.

Natalie’s father balanced two plates piled high with waffles, a jug of maple syrup, and two tall glasses of milk. He hustled across the living area and plunked everything down on a nightstand—somehow managing not to spill anything.

“Dad,” she said, “I told you to just call room service.”

“And miss out on my famous waffles?” He shook his head at her. “It’s healthy to have a nice, home-cooked meal every so often.”

“I have home-cooked meals every day.”

“A restaurant in the resort you live in doesn’t count, Lee.”

“Dad.” She tugged her hair up into a messy bun, using the gesture to hide the smile pulling at her lips. “Darius usually cooks for us. He’s really talented. He can even make Italian food—”

Her father pressed a plate of waffles into her hands. “Eat, Nat. It’s getting cold.”

Shaking her head at him, she cut a bite with her fork, trying not to think about how annoyed the chefs might be with her father for barging in on their kitchen. She hoped he’d at least cleaned the waffle iron.

“So,” Dylan said between bites of waffles. “Are you happy?”

She set her fork down, considering. It was still kind of weird to live so far from any family. While it was true that her mother and stepfather were still in the state, they weren’t close anymore—and probably never would be again. Though it’d initially stung to find out that her mother had cheated on her father, Natalie had accepted things for what they were. After all, she and her dad were so much closer than they’d been. Even if he was the type to force waffles on her.

At least Grandma Booth had stayed behind in Florida for the summer.

“Yes,” she replied, answering her father’s question. Her eyes lifted to meet his. “Are you?”

“Well, your grandmother is driving me crazy . . .” He exaggerated a grimace. “But yes. I am.” He shook a finger at her. “Just don’t go doing anything drastic like getting married, young lady—at least not without letting your old man know first.”

“Don’t worry, Dad. I’m happy with exactly the way things are right now.”

And she was. Though it’d been hard to let her dad go to Florida, he was much more independent than he’d been while she’d stayed with him last summer. He was driving for a school bus company and planned to continue spending his summers at Laurel Lock. In a few weeks, she and Rohan would go visit him—Layla too.

“Now what about that meddling friend of yours? I never could stand the way she interfered with your life,” Dylan said.

Natalie lifted an eyebrow at him, but chose not to comment on the irony of his statement. “You mean Violet? We talked. We’re not as close as we once were, but she apologized. She’s really happy for me—and she got rid of that tool she was dating.” She shuddered. Between her and Violet, they had the worst taste in men—with the exception of Rohan.

As if on cue, knuckles rapped on her door and Rohan strode in. “Ah, Dylan Booth!”

“You can call me Dad—”

“Just Dylan is fine,” Natalie amended, shooting her father a look.

Rohan plopped down on the bed beside her and plucked the fork from her fingers. He shoveled waffles into his mouth.

“Hey!”

“I thought you said his father was feeding you?” Dylan asked, looking quite satisfied with himself. “It’s a good thing I’m visiting.”

Natalie sighed, then smiled. The more things changed, she mused, the more things stayed exactly the same. She could live with that.


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Let’s Get 50 Reviews for Just One More Minute!

jomm_50reviewsblitz_12012016I’m still unplugged to focus on my health, but I also don’t want to lose momentum with my career. It’s a double-edged sword. What I’ve decided is, while I won’t be checking Twitter/Facebook/etc, I’ll still post bookish things using HootSuite. And I’ll continue with my marketing plan for Just One More Minute.

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The next thing on my list is a 50 reviews blitz for this month, meaning I’d really like to get the book to 50 reviews or more on Amazon. Why? Because word on the indie author street is, once a book has 50-60 reviews, Amazon starts suggesting it in emails to their customers—hence more eyeballs on my little book. Since I can’t afford a NetGalley or even a co-op, I’ve had to get creative to get those reviews. For my last few releases, I’ve been offering incentives, AKA… presents.

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Here’s how it works.

Every time we reach a new milestone, I’ll give you, my readers, some kind of Just One More Minute bonus or giveaway. In the past, I’ve done this in multiples of five, but this time I’d like to try something different.

Right now, Just One More Minute has 4 reviews on Amazon. This is a great start! When we get to…

  • 15 reviews posted to Amazon: I’ll do a live reading on my Facebook author page
  • 25 reviews posted to Amazon: I’ll post a giveaway on my Facebook author page for a signed paperback copy of Just One More Minute*
  • 30 reviews posted to Amazon: I’ll post a raw chapter to my blog from Any Other Love, the companion novel starring Charlotte and Amarie (release date TBA)
  • 40 reviews posted to Amazon: I’ll post a bonus chapter to my blog, starring Rowan and Matt spending a day at the beach
  • 50 reviews posted to Amazon: I’ll post a giveaway on my Facebook author page for a signed poster of the Just One More Minute cover, a signed paperback, and other awesome swag*
  • 60+ reviews posted to Amazon: I’ll post a giveaway on my Facebook author page for my complete ebook library

I know we can at least reach 50 reviews by the end of December!

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So how can you help?

If you’ve already read Just One More Minute, great! Please go post a review on Amazon (and any other site, like Goodreads). Your review can be as simple as a couple sentences saying whether you liked the book.

If you haven’t purchased a copy yet, you can buy your copy here. After you read it, post your honest review on Amazon and any other site.

If you can’t purchase a copy but would still like to help, email me at elizabethbaronebooks@gmail.com and tell me which format you need. If you’re reading on a Kindle, please include your Kindle email address (and make sure you’ve added my email address to your approved senders list). I’ll send you a free review copy!

Please note that at this time, I’m unable to process emails quickly; I’m currently checking my inbox every Monday (though sometimes I sneak on in the middle of the week), to save my hands and wrists. Just be patient with me, pretty please. 😘

I know with your help, we can totally do this.

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*U.S. residents only

8 Reasons Not to Date the Band

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Last night @SeriousGirlGang threw one of their usual hashtag parties. They’re always a blast, and often trend, but #ReasonsNotToDateMe was especially fun. There are a lot of reasons not to date me, but since Mike took care of that problem three years ago, I thought it’d be fun to tweet from the point of view of the South of Forever gang.

It was way too easy to riff on these guys.

If you want to see all of my #ReasonsNotToDateMe tweets, click the tweet below to see the thread.

Since they were so fun, I figured I’d do a few more.

Reasons Not to Date Jett

  • I’ll spend all of my money on boots… then all of your money on more boots.
  • If you like hot showers, don’t hold your breath. I take long, hot baths.

Reasons Not to Date Koty

  • Because of my stint with the boy band ESX, I never have to work again, and I’ll always try to rescue you with my cash.
  • I have zero taste in home decor, unless you count stainless steel and leather.

Reasons Not to Date Savannah

  • I’ll put your kid in daycare behind your back so that I can focus on my painting career.
  • Most of the closet we’ll share will be occupied by half-finished paintings.

Reasons Not to Date Max

  • My ex is crazy. Like, legit crazy. She’ll sneak attack you without you ever even seeing her.
  • I have a B.S. in education, but I impulsively moved to Boston and joined a band instead of finding a teaching position.

Reasons Not to Date Poppy

  • I will always look more put together than you. I have outfits for days.
  • The first time I ever drove on my own—licensed, of course—was in a snow storm. Wearing wedges.

Reasons Not to Date Griff

  • Since I’m pushing thirty, I have a bad case of family fever.
  • If things with the band don’t work out, I’ll go back to playing minor league hockey. Or just retire early with my trust fund.

Reasons Not to Date Krista

  • I’m not looking for a relationship. To quote Group X: I just want bang-bang-bang.
  • Hos over bros. Sisters before misters. Period.

Reasons Not to Date Perry

  • I enjoy long walks to the liquor store and relaxing one-night stands.
  • My hair will always be cooler than yours. Fuck yeah, dreads!

For more of the South of Forever gang, pick up your free copy of Diving Into Him.

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Can We Reach 50 Reviews for Diving Into Him?

50 Reviews Blitz (Diving Into Him)

In case you missed it, Diving Into Him went FREE on the same day that What Happens On Tour came out. As of today, the book has eight reviews on Amazon (special thanks to everyone from Rockstars Among Us who reviewed)! This is fantastic and I’m so thankful to everyone who’s taken the time to post your thoughts. However, now that Diving Into Him is FREE everywhere, I really want to make a splash with it!

In order to do that, I need to do two things:

  • advertise with Bookbub (the holy grail of indie publishing)
  • trigger Amazon’s built-in support

Bookbub requires books to have at least 10 reviews to be accepted, and rumor has it that Amazon starts emailing customers about your book when you reach 50-60 reviews. This is where you come in. I really need your help!

If you’ve already posted your review on Amazon, thank you so much. (When you have a second, if you could copy/paste your review to Goodreads, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, etc, I would really appreciate it.)

If you’ve read Diving Into Him, but haven’t posted a review yet, please do. You can post your honest review here.

If you haven’t read Diving Into Him yet, grab your free copy here!

Now, let’s get to the good stuff.

For every five reviews posted, I’m giving you a special gift!

  • 5 reviews: live video reading of a scene
  • 10 reviews: giveaway—swag pack (U.S. only)
  • 15 reviews: Koty’s POV of Tyler interlude
  • 20 reviews: post-epilogue short—a date night
  • 25 reviews: bonus sex scene of Jett/Koty
  • 30 reviews: giveaway—signed 1st edition paperback (U.S. only)
  • 35 reviews: alternate ending in Koty’s POV
  • 40 reviews: giveaway—signed poster (U.S. only)
  • 45 reviews: video reading of a chapter
  • 50 reviews: live Q&A
  • 55 reviews: post-epilogue short—Jett and Koty discuss their future
  • 60+ reviews: giveaway—ebook copies of entire series

Now here’s where things get crazy. 😜 We only have one month to reach our goal! If we don’t make it, the blitz machine turns into a pumpkin. I know we don’t have to worry about that, though, because you rock!

Step 1: Grab Your FREE Copy
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or read on Wattpad

Step 2: Leave an Honest Review
Post Your Review

Step 3: Spread the Word
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Not sure how to write a review? All you have to do is rate the book on a scale of one to five stars, then write one or two sentences saying whether you liked or disliked the book.

40 Reviews: Max and Savannah’s First Kiss

40 Reviews Bonus!We did it! Late Friday I saw that we reached 40 reviews for The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos. Thank you so much to everyone who left a review! As promised, here’s Max and Savannah’s first kiss—in her point of view.


When their hands touched, his fingers grasping hers and lifting her from the floor, Savannah felt waves of warmth tingling through her. She wanted to ride that wave, drifting along wherever it carried her. As her feet found the floor, her hand remained in his.

She’d wanted him to kiss her from the moment they met in the coffee shop. Though he was a couple of years younger and not her usual type, he was sweet. He didn’t have the tall, muscular build that most of her boyfriends usually had, but give him a few more years and he’d fill out. Those full lips of his seemed like they were made for hers, locking into her like a puzzle piece. The stage was almost set. She just needed one more thing.

“I’ll be right back,” she told him. Before he could say anything, she danced out of his bedroom and into hers. All of her doubts no longer mattered. The heart wanted what it wanted—and at the moment, her heart was all about tangling in his sheets. Of course, if she was wrong and he had no feelings for her whatsoever . . .

She couldn’t worry about that.

Lifting the two canvases, she carried them out into the hall. She was about to take them into his room when movement from the living room caught her eye. Well, that was fine. They could always retreat to his bedroom.

If her sister—or anyone else in her family—knew her thoughts, they would give her a stern talking to about how she needed to focus, how she was once again tarnishing her reputation, and blah, blah, blah. She was sick of it. There was nothing wrong with a healthy sexual appetite. After all, she had to work off all that food she ate somehow.

Max knelt in front of an empty wall, stacking Chloe’s gifts into the shape of a tree. Her heart twisted. He was just so damn sweet. She could easily see herself having babies with him. She didn’t care that her thoughts were already careening that way. Sometimes love just took people by force. All she could do was hope she didn’t wreck.

Even if she did, she’d survive and move on.

She always did.

“Hold on,” she whispered to him, lugging the canvases into the living room. Giving up, she left one leaning against a wall and brought the bigger one to him.

“What’s that?” he asked, his voice husky.

Shivers ran through her. Oh yes, she was done for. All her life, she’d gone for the bad boys—the rugged ones with the dark looks and pasts, bodies built for ravaging and worshipping her body. Their hearts, on the other hand, not so much. It was time to do something different. After all, the definition of insanity . . .

She spun the canvas around, watching his face. “Ta-da!” She flipped on the light, revealing the Christmas tree she’d painted. It wasn’t her best work, but she was proud of it. She’d done it almost as an after thought, hurrying to get it finished after she wrapped up the other painting.

He blinked at her, and for a moment she thought he might be offended. After all, she’d probably stuck her nose into his Christmas plans far enough already. But he sprang to his feet. “I don’t know what to say, Savannah. This is perfect.” His voice was thick with emotion, and she felt her own eyes moistening. He crossed the room and pulled her into a hug. She felt herself melting into his embrace. “Thank you,” he whispered into her ear.

All systems go, she thought. Releasing the canvas, she wrapped her arms around his neck. “You’re welcome,” she whispered back, her lips brushing his ear.

This was it. He was going to kiss her, and to hell with what her family said about her libido. She held him close, feeling his heart beat against hers. She started to close her eyes, but noticed the forgotten second canvas.

Might as well seal the deal, she thought, pulling away from him. Already her body missed his touch, her skin aching to be near him again. Maybe this time it was the real deal. She always thought it was true love, until she ended up with a black eye or face to face with the other woman.

Grabbing the Christmas tree painting, she walked it across the room and slid it behind Max’s pile of gifts for Chloe. The scene was almost complete.

She scooped up the other painting, her heart thudding in her chest. If this didn’t reel him in, she’d know for sure that they weren’t meant to be. She’d let go of her silly feelings and focus on Chloe—and on finding another place to stay. By now she knew not to stick around when things weren’t working. One black eye, one broken heart was enough. She wasn’t one to hope for things to change.

She stood in front of him, holding the wrapped canvas like a baby. She hadn’t had any pretty paper, so her leftover packing paper had to do. Holding it out to him, she swallowed hard.

“What is this?” he asked in that husky voice.

She shivered again. She hoped he talked dirty in that tone. “It’s for you. I didn’t have a chance to buy you anything, and I didn’t really know what you would like, and, well, just look at it.” She was babbling. Biting her lower lip to shut herself up, she let her hands dangle at her sides.

Max peeled the paper off. He held out the canvas in front of him, studying the lines of Chloe’s face.

Her teeth dug into her lip. She was always nervous about doing portraits for people. Capturing someone’s true likeness and the essence of their spirit was nerve-wracking enough, and Max hadn’t even asked for it. He knew his baby girl’s face better than anyone else in the world. If she’d messed up even one line, he might find it offensive.

A gasp escaped his lips.

She swallowed hard, fists tightening at her side.

“It’s beautiful,” he said. “Thank you.”

Though his words sounded sincere, she still peered up at him from beneath her lashes. “You like it?”

“I love it, Savannah. How long have you been painting?” His voice rose in enthusiasm. Gently, he set the canvas down, leaning it against the couch.

Relief swept through her. Giving him a shrug, she said, “Since before I dropped out of art school.” Taking a step closer to him, she winked. “I wasn’t sure if I was gonna be able to finish it in time, and then you offered to go shopping. You’re so easy.” She gently shoved his arm, a smile playing on her lips. Shaking out her hair behind her, she steeled herself.

It was show time.

He laughed in response to her joke. “I’d say you have to buy me dinner first, but you cook for me all the time.”

She blinked at him, not sure her ears were working correctly. The heat spreading across his cheeks confirmed his words—and emboldened her. She closed the distance between them, ready to draw the curtain on her final act.

“That was stupid,” he said, backtracking. “I’m sorry—”

Pressing her lips to his, she cut him off. Doubt no longer plagued her. The second their lips touched, she felt the familiar tingles rocketing through her, caressing her. Might as well go for a standing ovation, she decided, and cupped the back of his neck, deepening the kiss.

When he kissed her back, lips gliding across hers like silk, his arms wrapping around her waist, she cemented her decision.

Tonight, she was all his.


Our next goal is 50 reviews. If you haven’t already, please go here and post a short, honest review—even if it’s a sentence or two, even if you didn’t love the book.

I promise you won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t love this book. I’m really just looking to get as many reviews as possible so I can submit to sites like Bookbub and receive access to other marketing opportunities.

When we make it to 50 reviews, I will post a video of me reading another chapter from The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos!

Haven’t read it yet? One-click now or shop all retailers here.

Help Me Reach 50 Reviews on Amazon for The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos

The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos, by Elizabeth BaroneIf you haven’t heard the news by now, my publisher is closing its doors at the end of this month, which kind of sucks. To be totally honest, I’m kind of in a jam. If you’ll help me, I’ve got some awesome goodies for you.

To make a really long story short, every book needs a marketing plan in order to be successful. There are thousands of books out there, and it’s easy to get lost in that sea. This is why it’s helpful to have a publisher, because they can assist you with marketing and open doors for you that you wouldn’t normally be able to access.

I’m tough, so I have no intention of tapping out of my writing career. This is only a bump in the road, and I just have to get a little more creative now. Challenge accepted.

I’ve adjusted my course but I need some hands on deck. (I don’t know why I’m making pirate references. Maybe it’s because I’m an arrrtist and I have arrrthritis. Okay, I’m done now. Matey.) The more reviews my books get, the better chances I have of marketing them. Before the big announcement, my book manager and I were working on getting 50 Amazon reviews for The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos. Here’s how you can help.

If you haven’t already, please leave an honest review for The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos on Amazon. It can just be a quick sentence, such as “I really liked this book.” If you didn’t love it, that’s okay too! All reviews help, even the 1-star ones. I promise, you won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t like my books.

Haven’t read The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos yet? Click here to grab a copy.

In exchange for your help, I’ve got some awesome goodies. If we make it to…

  • 40 reviews on Amazon, I’ll post Max and Savannah’s first kiss in her point of view
  • 50 reviews on Amazon, I’ll post another reading from The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos on YouTube
  • 60 reviews on Amazon, I’ll hold a giveaway for a signed paperback copy of The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos* (plus some temporary skull tattoos and other rad swag)
  • 70 reviews on Amazon, I’ll post Max and Savannah’s first time in her point of view
  • 80 reviews on Amazon, I’ll hold a giveaway for a signed book cover poster*
  • 90 reviews on Amazon, I’ll post a sequel short story in both Max’s and Savannah’s point of view
  • 100 or more reviews on Amazon, I’ll hold a giveaway for this exclusive 3D sugar skull painting by yours truly*

So there you have it. Go post your review now! We only need two more to get to the first reward. 😉

Thanks in advance for your help.


*Due to the cost of shipping, giveaways are open to US residents only.