Stuckey’s Bridge on the Travel Channel

Stuckey’s Bridge and yours truly will be on “Most Terrifying Places in America” on the Travel Channel on the dates and times below. Mark your calendar. Tell your friends.

Sep 30
11pm ET | 10pm CT

Oct 1
2am ET | 1am CT

Oct 4
2pm ET| 1pm CT

Oct 21
2pm ET| 1pm CT

Oct 25
12pm ET| 11am CT

I’m so excited!! I think the history of Stuckey’s Bridge is very compelling. Enough so, that I wrote a book about it. I’m glad the Travel Channel called me to do the show, as it means someone love the legend as much as I. Strangely enough, I seem to be the resident expert.

Check out my brand-spankin’-new audiobook of The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge, narrated by the amazing J. Rodney Turner. I’m sooooo very pleased with it!!

It’s available at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. Here’s a sample:

Thank You, Goodreads

Today ends the Goodreads-hosted giveaway of my coming book, WITCH DANCE, and I want to take a moment to extend a big, huge thank you to Goodreads! If anyone knows how to do a successful giveaway with no sweat equity from an author, it’s Goodreads.


Goodreads was launched in 2007, and in the first year, it gained 650k members and 10 million books. By 2012, they had grown to 10 million members! By 2013, they had doubled to 20 million, at which point Amazon gobbled them up. They have about 50 million visitors per month now. Wow!

I’m sure some would say the acquisition by Amazon is both good and bad, though I don’t see much bad except that someday we’ll all be owned by the giant that is Amazon.

The good is that your Kindle and your Goodreads account are now synced. When you purchase a Kindle book on Amazon, it automatically shows up on your Goodreads account that you’re reading it. That’s kind of cool, unless of course you read ‘mommy porn’ and don’t want your friends to know. LOL

Anyway, back to the giveaway. For a very reasonable fee ($119), Goodreads hosts giveaways for authors. They run the entire promotion and distribute the Kindles to the readers (included in the $119). Well, that’s a whole week’s worth of work I don’t have to do, and up to 100 Kindle copies out there in the world that can’t be pirated like they could if I simply emailed them out myself. The best part is when a reader enters your giveaway, your book automatically goes on their “want to read” list for their friends to see. The next best part is eight weeks after the giveaway, Goodreads emails the winners and reminds them to leave a review. I guess that’s the least a reader can do for a free book.

Now, we just cross our fingers, hoping for good reviews.

If you’re an author with a Kindle book available on Amazon, run over to Goodreads and check out their giveaway promotions. Seems awesome to me! Click HERE!


Easy as Pie Virtual Book Tour

pieDo you have a new book coming out? Try a virtual book tour. I actually fibbed a bit about the easy-as-pie part, but hey, nothing worth doing is ever easy, is it?

Even if you’re traditionally published, publishers don’t support book tours anymore. So, a writer is left with two options: 1) schedule events and signings yourself or 2) do a virtual tour. Either way is a lot of work, but the virtual tour is far less expensive. You can pay someone to put it together for you, but remember, nobody cares more for your work than you do. You will be much more passionate and energetic about promoting your tour than anyone else on the planet. That being said, if you’d like to put together your own tour, here’s what you need:

  • Preparedness
  • Organization
  • Communication

Ask everyone you know who has a blog and has the kind of customers you could entertain. Don’t ask the guy who writes the auto repair blog to host your chick lit book. You don’t need a lot of blog hosts, only enough to fill a week or two – maybe eight or ten sites. Don’t bother blogging on weekends. Most people blog Monday through Friday. Fill in any holes with Release Parties on Facebook and Live Twitter Events.

  • Prepare all of your blogs, interviews, excerpts, links, media kits, photos, etc., far in advance and keep them in a folder on your computer desk top. Write blogs on why you wrote the book, when and why you started writing, the era the story took place, even an interview your main character. To make it a little easier on yourself, schedule some blogs to simply be short snippets from the book, or even just the synopsis and your bio. Don’t forget to include buy links with every post!!!!
  • Organize your schedule, along with host information, email addresses, etc. You need this all in one place. Excel spread sheet, anyone?
  • Communication with your hosts is key. Keep all correspondence – Invitation, Response, Follow up, Confirmation, Reminder, and Final Thank You. You’re not being a pest. You’re simply making sure all your hosts are on the same page. You also need to communicate with your audience. I suggest posting the schedule and links on one page (maybe your website?) and direct everyone to that page to see the schedule. Don’t try to update six different sites. That’s too much work.

The secret is to be WAY ahead of yourself. Give yourself at least two months, minimum, to plan. You have blogs to write, promotions to do, organizing and scheduling to accomplish. Don’t squeeze yourself into a corner and get stressed.

Give away freebies to attract readers. You can offer eBooks, gift cards (Amazon will let you email them saving on postage), swag, or you can set up an account and do an official raffle. Rafflecopter is awesome. Rafflecopter allows you to give readers entries for specific actions like following you on Twitter, liking your Facebook page, signing up for your newsletter.

Consider offering an end-of-tour Twitter Chat on one day for one hour with a specific hashtag. Announce it throughout the tour. Invite other authors in your genre to participate, so you can discuss your book with them if you have a roomful of lurkers but no tweeters.

book tour 4banner-elly-book-tourHave some crafty photo-shop-type person make you a banner announcing your tour and post it EVERYWHERE. Here are two I used. One matched my book cover, one matched my website. Notice I put my website as the landing point on both advertisements. That way, I only needed to update sites or links on that one page.

When the tour is over, the hosts thanked, and the giveaways done, clean up your sites. Remove dates from your website and blog, but leave the posts and links up. They will continue to bring business for a long time.

Promote Promote Promote – before – during – and after!!!!!


Lori Crane is a bestselling and award-winning author of historical fiction and the occasional thriller. Her books have climbed to the Kindle Top 100 lists many times, including “Elly Hays” which debuted at #1 in Native American stories. She has also enjoyed a place among her peers in the Top 100 historical fiction authors on Amazon, climbing to #23. She resides in greater Nashville and is a professional musician by night – an indie author by day.

Thank you all for a successful book tour!

elly cover_webI’d like to blog a gigantic thank you for a successful ELLY HAYS book tour. I have to admit it was majorly stressful putting it all together, but in the end, the stress and preparedness paid off. Everything went off without a hitch. I’d like to thank my hosts: Pat Fitzhugh, Anna Belfrage, Ionia Martin at Readful Things, Sandi Layne, Patricia Zick at Writing Whims, David Lawlor, and Christoph Fischer. These folks are the nicest bunch of bloggers, authors, and friends a girl could ask for.

Now, without further ado, here are the winners of the eBooks offered at various stops. If you’re name is here, please email me at and claim your prize. The prize is a copy of your choice of OKATIBBEE CREEK or AN ORPHAN’S HEART and it can be claimed as a Kindle or Nook.

Nov 5 this blog Elly Hays video debut – NikiMarie

Nov 7 Anna Belfrage’s blog – Sharron McAvoy

Nov 8 Readful Things – Julian Froment

Nov 13 Writing Whims – Francis Guenette

The $25 Amazon gift card prize for signing up for my newsletter will be announced Nov 18 in the newsletter. Still time to get in on the drawing!! Hurry up! Sign up at

If you’d like to see what we chatted about at the Nov 4 online release party – click HERE. If you’d like to see our live Nov 16th Twitter chat, go to Twitter and search hashtag #ellyhays. Hillarity ensued as I tried to get author PC Zick to sell author Anna Belfrage’s book during PC’s book tour. Leave it to the blonde to mess things up. Yeah, that’s me. ♥ you all!

Thank you!1394868_10201454031930551_434799525_n

ELLY HAYS book tour – Last Stops: Reviews and Twitter Chat!

elly cover_webThe last stops of the ELLY HAYS book tour are for reviews.

One is on the other side of the pond at author Christoph Fischer’s and the other is right here in the U.S. at author PC Zick’s. They are both amazing and talented authors, and I’m thrilled they both liked Elly. I respect their opinions greatly and feel a huge sense of humility and thankfulness for their kind reviews. Pop over and tell them both Hi. Check out their books while you’re there.






twitter-chat-tree-11The very last stop of the tour will be tomorrow (Saturday, Nov 16, 4-5pm Eastern) for a LIVE Twitter chat. If you’ve ever thought about putting your own stories out into the world, come chat with us and we’ll be happy to point you in the direction. I’ll be joined by authors PC Zick, Anna Belfrage, Pat Fitzhugh, Beem Weeks, and book cover designer/formatting genius/video trailer producer/swag guru Rob Hess from Elite Book Design. Come asks us questions and hang out.

Join us through and use hashtag #ellyhays. If you’re not familiar with Tweetchat, it is a live, single-conversation Twitter feed, so you don’t have to surf through other Tweets. Also, you only have to put in the hashtag to join the conversation and don’t have to add it with every Tweet – Tweetchat will automatically do it for you. Gotta love technology!

See you tomorrow!!! ♥


ELLY is in Ireland!

elly cover_webThe ELLY HAYS book tour has taken a detour to the beautiful Isle of Green. Today, we stop by Ireland at “History with a Twist” to visit with author David Lawlor. Stop over there and check it out. You can comment and win an eBook, but you’ll have to scroll down to the bottom of the page, passing amazing authors and their GREAT books. Don’t get lost. 🙂 Click HERE to visit!

While you’re checking out great books today, go to Amazon HERE and check out David’s books, “The Golden Grave” and “Tan.”

My ELLY HAYS book tour is stopping at Writing Whims today!

elly cover_webELLY HAYS is at Writing Whims today!

If you’ve ever wanted to know anything about me but were too shy to ask, author PC Zick at Writing Whims did the asking for you. Run over to her page HERE and read my amazing and jaw-dropping answers. 😛

THEN, comment on the interview and be entered to win a free eBook.

THEN, check out PC Zick’s books on Amazon HERE. Her latest is a “Civil War Journal of a Union Soldier” which is a real journal of a real person who was really there. It’s stunning. I read it! I also loved “Trails in the Sand.”

ELLY HAYS book tour – at Sandi Layne’s today!

elly cover_webToday’s stop on the ELLY HAYS book tour is at author Sandi Layne’s blog. Sandi asked me why I wrote ELLY HAYS, and that’s what the blog is about. Elly isn’t just another story — it is the story of my 5th great grandmother. I am honored and proud to share her life with you, TWO HUNDRED YEARS later. You can read the article right HERE!  Also, don’t forget to comment over there to win a free eBook.


While you’re at it, check out Sandi’s award-winning books on Amazon right HERE. She is a fabulous and prolific writer! I hope to have that many books out someday. 🙂

ELLY HAYS Book Tour – Interview with Elly

elly book tourHi everyone! Thanks for stopping by the book tour today. We’re in the middle of the ELLY HAYS book tour which will wrap up on Saturday with a Twitter chat. Please check for a list of events, also, check the bottom of this page for a giveaway!

Today, we have with us the heroine of ELLY HAYSthe one and only… Elly Hays!

Lori: So, Elly, since you’re my 5th great grandmother, I know quite a bit about you, but please tell our readers a little about yourself.

Elly: Sure. I was born in 1774, just before the Revolutionary War, in North Carolina, right on the border of Tennessee. We actually lived in Tennessee. The varying records from both states make my descendants crazy when they try to look up the family.

Lori: Tell me about it. (I need a sarcasm font.)

Elly: My dad’s name was Samuel Hays and my mom was Elizabeth Priscilla Brawford.

Lori: Where were your parents from?

Elly: Dad was from Tennessee, mom was from Virginia.

Lori: Is Tennessee where you met your husband?

Elly: Yes, James Rodgers was born in Tennessee. We married there when I was only 16 years old–just a child.

Lori: Yes, by today’s standards, you were just a child. Did you make your home in Tennessee?

Elly: We lived there for a long time. After having 11 children, we finally moved in 1812.

Lori: What happened in 1812?

Elly: Well, the first thing that happened was a massive earthquake in December 1811 the shook the Ohio River Valley to its core. That was followed by two more earthquakes in January and February of 1812. Crevasses opened up in the earth, homes were destroyed. I even heard the Mississippi River was flowing backwards in spots. Our home was ruined.

Lori: So, what did you do?

Elly: At the same time, the War of 1812 was just beginning in the north, so James wanted to move further south to keep the children out of harm’s way. He convinced me to move.

Lori: To the Mississippi Territory?

Elly: Yes. Well, I believe you modern people now call it Alabama.

Lori: Yes, Alabama is a state now.

Elly: It was back then too, but not until 1819. We had already left that god-forsaken hell-hole by then.

Lori: Why? What happened?

Elly: What didn’t happen? We didn’t know when we moved there, the Creek Indians who occupied the land were in the middle of a civil war.

Lori: A civil war? That must have been terrifying.

Elly: That wasn’t the worst part. They also didn’t want us settlers living there, so they tortured my family for years. Every day was something else. One day, they slaughtered all my farm animals. The next day, they destroyed my crops.

Lori: Oh my! What did you do?

Elly: I fought back the best way I could. My number one priority was to keep my children safe, but in the end, I couldn’t even do that.

Lori: So, what happened?

Elly: Well, the final straw was when they burned down our house and everything in it.

Lori: What did you do then?

Elly: Well, you’ll have to read the book and find out, won’t you?

Lori: Well, you heard her. Get your copy of ELLY HAYS! You can pick it up HERE.

Grandma Elly, thank you for coming by the blog today. We loved meeting you.

Elly: It was my pleasure. I hope everyone enjoys the story.



1. EBOOK!  Every comment on this post during the book tour (Nov 4-16) will be entered to win an ebook of the 1st or 2nd book in the Okatibbee Creek series, OKATIBBEE CREEK or AN ORPHAN’S HEART. Your choice of Kindle or Nook. One winner will be chosen. Prize will be delivered by email. Winner will be posted here in the comments on November 17, 2013. Visit each stop of the tour to increase your chances. An ebook will be given away at each stop. Tour schedule is posted below.

2. $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD! If you sign up for Lori’s newsletter by November 16th, you will be entered into the drawing for a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card. One winner will be chosen. Prize will be delivered by email. Winner will be announced in the newsletter on November 18, 2013. Sign up at


elly cover_webNov 4-16, 2013 – ELLY HAYS Book Tour. Meet the Author. Win Prizes. Get the Book.



ELLY HAYS book tours stops today at Readful Things

elly cover_webThe ELLY HAYS book tour stopped by Readful Things this morning and left a short excerpt. Pop over there and check it out. There’s also a GIVEAWAY!

And while you’re there, check out her other blogs. If you’re looking for a great read, she had lots and lots of suggestions. Click HERE! 

The entire book tour schedule is posted on my website HERE.