updates

Upcoming Release and A Sale!

White Witch Magic, the sequel to Black Mountain Magic, will be released this Tuesday, February 21st! To celebrate, right now until the end of February, you can get Black Mountain Magic from Smashwords for only 99 cents. Just input the code “CD94D” when you check out!

Witches and Lycans and hillbillies, oh my!

Lorena Mills is a witch, but she’s not very good with potions and incantations. Working for a government agency that puts down dangerous uprisings of supernatural creatures, she does much more paperwork than spell casting. When her less-than-magical job lands her in the small Appalachian town of Blue Ditch, Kentucky, in the shadow of Black Mountain, her life starts to get a whole lot wilder.

In the forests surrounding the town, Wolvites—twisted, bestial creatures who hunt and kill humans—are posing a threat. When handsome, charming, and altogether reckless local Deacon Kelley insists on taking matters into his own hands, Lorena has more than monsters to worry about. He won’t stay out of her way, and he won’t take no for an answer.

Deacon is a Lycan–in modern terms, the non-shifting descendants of werewolves–and he and his family have protected Blue Ditch for generations. But now, something too sinister to be controlled by their efforts alone is stirring, and the Wolvites are far more vicious than they’ve ever been. Will Lorena be able to stop the threat and uncover the deadly secrets surrounding it before it’s too late?

To keep the town, and Deacon, safe, she’ll have to—and she’s really starting to like this town.

Learn More/Buy | Get it for 99 cents at Smashwords with code CD94D

 

We need peace in the valley, y’all.

City girl and unpracticed witch Lorena Mills never dreamed she’d be living in a small Appalachian town in the backwoods of Kentucky, but here she is. Mated to a handsome, brash, and sometimes aggravating Lycan named Deacon Kelley, she’s slowly becoming a better witch and more of a backwoods kind of gal.

Lorena’s job in the town of Blue Ditch is to study the creatures known as Wolvites—once thought to be feral, mindless beasts, now known to have human forms—in an effort to advance science and magic. However, when Lorena is kidnapped by the nefarious witch Neala, who once tried to destroy Deacon’s family, she discovers she doesn’t know nearly enough about either subject. Neala wants Lorena to cure her Wolvite mate Dafydd of a quick-killing virus that is ravaging their species: except, there is no cure. Lorena has to find one, and fast, or the Wolvites will slaughter Deacon’s family.

Forced to work with the Wolvites, Lorena learns about their culture and gains sympathy for them, thanks to a kinder, gentler, diplomatic Wolvite named Kendrick who would like to see an end to the violence. Lorena would love to facilitate peace between the Wolvites and Lycans, but is such a thing even possible?

If she wants to keep Deacon—and his family, and the entire town of Blue Ditch—safe, she’s going to have to find a way. Good thing her powers may be stronger than she ever imagined…

Learn more/Pre-order

Have a great weekend!

 

A Few More Days On Sale!

Just a reminder, Black Mountain Magic will be 99 cents through the rest of the weekend before it goes back to full price on Monday. So if you’d like a copy–cheap–get it while it’s hot!

Also, remember you can get an Authorgraph for this or any of my books!

Black Mountain Magic – Kentucky Haints #1

Witches and Lycans and hillbillies, oh my!

Lorena Mills is a witch, but she’s not very good with potions and incantations. Working for a government agency that puts down dangerous uprisings of supernatural creatures, she does much more paperwork than spell casting. When her less-than-magical job lands her in the small Appalachian town of Blue Ditch, Kentucky, in the shadow of Black Mountain, her life starts to get a whole lot wilder.

In the forests surrounding the town, Wolvites—twisted, bestial creatures who hunt and kill humans—are posing a threat. When handsome, charming, and altogether reckless local Deacon Kelley insists on taking matters into his own hands, Lorena has more than monsters to worry about. He won’t stay out of her way, and he won’t take no for an answer.

Deacon is a Lycan–in modern terms, the non-shifting descendants of werewolves–and he and his family have protected Blue Ditch for generations. But now, something too sinister to be controlled by their efforts alone is stirring, and the Wolvites are far more vicious than they’ve ever been. Will Lorena be able to stop the threat and uncover the deadly secrets surrounding it before it’s too late?

To keep the town, and Deacon, safe, she’ll have to—and she’s really starting to like this town.

Buy it at:

Amazon| Barnes & NobleKobo | Smashwords | iBooks

 

Have a great weekend!

Self-Pubbing Check In

I have about two months under my belt now with my self-publishing experience. My first self-published book, Black Mountain Magic, went live November 15th and I put it on sale for 99 cents on December 15th. I made a post talking about what I learned when I first started this adventure and I’m going to make another update now.

As of today, I’ve sold 218 copies on Amazon, 22 on B&N, 4 on Kobo, 5 on iBooks, and 1 on Smashwords, for a total of 250 books sold. About 75% of those sales have been the result of paid advertising, which I haven’t broken even on, so don’t cheer for me yet!

Here’s where I’ve done promotion. If you’re looking into doing paid promotion, my experiment may help you out:

Total: $203 spent on promotion.

Out of all these promoters, the only two who were any good and worth the money were Ereader News Today (which is ALWAYS gold) which netted me 106 sales on Amazon, and Bargain Booksy, which netted me 73 sales on Amazon. However, I paid twice as much for Bargain Booksy for less sales, so take that as you will. Would I use them again anyway? Absolutely.

The others got me between 0-10 sales. BKnights gave me back my money (I didn’t ask for it) but in the form of a credit to use on Fiverr. Books Butterfly guarantees your sales or your money back, but in the introductory email they tell you this is just ‘store credit’ to try their services again (also they weirdly track your visits to their site and list them in the email). Since they didn’t work for me I’m not even going to bother asking for a refund and chalk it up as a learning experience. Maybe it was my genre or the timing of running the promotion on a holiday (I didn’t pick the date of the promotion, they did).

Ereader News Today (usually referred to as ENT) continues to be the BEST site for promotion outside of BookBub (which is incredibly difficult/expensive to get into) and I’ve used them for almost all my books in the past. Some authors don’t use them because they mistakenly believe you have to have a certain number of reviews for them to accept you.  This isn’t true, you simply have to have an overall decent rating if  you have any reviews at all.

What I’ve learned so far: you gotta spend money to make money. But spend it in the right place!

Other things I’ve learned from self-publishing:

  • If you think understanding your sales with KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) will be easy, you’re gonna have a bad time. Amazon continues to lead the market in not making a lick of sense, so don’t expect the various confusing parts of your sales dashboard and your sales rank to correlate or reflect each other accurately at any given time. Just smile and nod, and understand if you want to get anywhere with self-publishing at all, you need to be on Amazon.
  • Smashwords has a hilarious attitude about Amazon, to the point I’m pretty sure they try to gaslight their customers into believing there’s no such thing as a Kindle. Don’t mention the word Amazon anywhere in your book. In fact, if you wrote a book about the Amazonian jungle, you’ll probably want to avoid publishing it on Smashwords. They seem to believe they’re going to be bigger and better than Amazon. Just smile and nod.
  • Send your book to reviewers and review sites yourself. Don’t pay for reviews, as this could get you kicked off Amazon for life. Of the 1,000 sites you send a review request to, about 10 will say they’ll review it and 2 will. However, don’t believe the scare tactic of “Reviews are the only way to sell books! Ooooh!” It’s not true. I’ve sold 250 copies with one review. I would rather get them organically than pander.
  • Trying to size book covers correctly is the devil.
  • If you’re not a super-duper popular author, the only real reason to produce a paperback copy of your book is so you can buy insanely discounted copies for yourself to not sell to people who don’t want them (also so you can run a Goodreads giveaway because you can only give away physical books).
  • Just keep writing.

So that’s my two-month report. The second book in the series, White Witch Magic, will come out February 21st and I’ve already racked up a wonderful 16 presales for it! I’m a superstar!

Ch-ch-ch Changes

I’ve made a big important decision about my writing career, and I thought I would share it with all of you today. After much thought and consideration (and a lot of research), I’ve decided to make some changes that feel right, and I think I’m finally in a good place to make them.

I’ve decided to become a hybrid author.

What the heck is that?

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, no, I won’t be splicing my genes with some other author to make myself into some sort of weird book-writing chimera. A hybrid author is an author who is both traditionally and self-published. It’s something a lot of the hip kids are doing now, as it gives an author more creative options. I am currently only traditionally published, but that’s about to change.

Why have I made this decision? Here are a few reasons:

  • I have an established readership/following now. It’s small, but it’s mine, dammit! Hopefully through my already established social media presence and this blog, I can show up to the self-published party without worrying that not a single person will have any idea who I am. I’ll have a few people to mingle and eat cake with in the corner.
  • I want greater creative and career freedom. I don’t just mean with what I write (I’m still sticking to largely paranormal romance and some smutty stuff here and there) but also as far as covers, distribution, and promotion. I have some graphic design ability (check out my Twitter, Facebook, and G+ accounts for my graphics-making chops) and with a stock photo account in hand and some visions in my head, I think I can make myself some pretty killer covers that I’ll cherish.
  • I’ve gotten better at writing. I’m not as green in the self-editing and plotting arena as I used to be when I was a wee writer. This does NOT mean I won’t still make use of beta readers and professional editors, but I think (or hope) I know enough now not to make a fool of myself.
  • I know the business side of writing a lot better than I used to. I also learned all I could about self-publishing platforms, pricing, and formatting.
  • Even if the whole venture flops, I’ll still be ahead. My income from writing now is minimal, so even if the response to my self-published work is lukewarm, I’ll probably be making about what I am now with traditional publishers. But if it does even slightly better than lackluster…I’ll be ahead!

I’m excited about this experiment. I want to be my own boss, so to speak, even if my employee is a pain in the butt. Will I continue to publish traditionally? Of course. I just want to open my options.

Additionally, I’m going to be making a major overhaul to my woefully neglected newsletter. As soon as my first self-pubbed book comes out (details soon) I will be offering free stories as an incentive to those who sign up. Those kind few of you who are already signed up, I will make sure to contact you to offer you these free stories as well!

I’m a little nervous and a lot eager. Watch this space for lots of news in the near future!

Next Week Update

Just a note that things will be a bit out of whack here on the blog next week, as The Burning City will be released on Tuesday and I’ll be focusing a lot on that.

As an update, unfortunately I’ve decided to cancel the Facebook party for release day due to lack of interest–however, I will be doing a giveaway here on the blog instead and there will be multiple giveaways on other blogs where I’m doing guest spots, as well. I’ll make sure to link to those on Tuesday so you have lots of chances to win!

Hope to see you on Tuesday for release day, and if you live in the U.S., have a great holiday weekend!

Upcoming Promo For The Burning City

The third novel in my Siren Song urban fantasy series, The Burning City, will be released on July 5th from Kensington Books/Lyrical Press. There’s lots of fun stuff going on for the release, including multiple chances to win prizes!

Here’s a list of events and places I’ll be:

The main event is a Facebook party for release day! Prizes will include:

* Two $10 Amazon gift cards (e-mail delivery only)
* The complete Siren Song series in e-format
* An autographed paperback copy of The Burning City

Never been to a Facebook party? It’s easy to participate. All you need to do is show up during the party (3-6pm EST), chat, and have fun! Use your FB account to click the +Going button at the top of the page, and FB will even remind you when the event is coming up so you don’t miss it. Hope to see you there!

  • On June 28th, The Burning City will be featured in a Teaser Tuesday at Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours–stop by for an exclusive excerpt!
  • On July 4th, The Burning City will be featured at Cover Reveals.
  • I will be doing a promo blitz on July 5th through Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours. 20-30 blogs will feature The Burning City that day. I will post more information when I get the list of participating blogs. This blitz will feature a $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!
  • On July 5th I will be visiting author Suzanne Johnson to talk about The Burning City. I will be doing a surprise giveaway there, as well!

I may end up doing other promo as well. I’ll keep you updated!

Some happy news!

Just a little announcement today!

Yesterday, I signed a contract with Siren BookStrand for my paranormal erotic romance It Takes a Thief. It’s tentatively scheduled to be released in August. I will talk more about it and have more information to share soon!

I’m really excited about working with Siren. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them from their authors and they’re one of the top publishers for erotic romance. They seem to be interested in cultivating the careers of authors too, so I’m hoping to publish more with them in the future.

I’m feeling quite positive about writing things right now. This marks my eighth publication (not counting short stories in anthologies) and it will be my second release this year (The Burning City comes out in July and I have a novella, Through the Darkness which will be released in fall/winter with Muse It HOT). My novel-length works are urban fantasy and romance, but I can’t help myself, I like to write smutty novellas, so my shorter works tend to be of the erotic variety. We all need hobbies, don’t we?

Anyway, that’s the good news! More info about it coming soon.

Siren Song news

Just a reminder, The Wicked City is still free right now at all retailers, and will be until June 5th! If you like urban fantasy and want to get a taste of the Siren Song series, this is the perfect opportunity. Click below for more details and the links to all retailers!

Also, the third book in the Siren Song series, The Burning City, will be released on July 5th and right now it’s up for grabs on NetGalley if you’re a reviewer. Click the cover to pick it up!

Get some free books and have a great weekend!

Bloggy Blogstuff

I’m going to quiet down here on the blog until April 1st, when the A to Z Challenge begins. I’ve been blogging myself silly getting all the posts ready for April and I want to take a little breather before the chaos starts. I’m also co-hosting the Insecure Writer’s Support Group on April 6th. So I’ll be taking a little break from blogging until April 1st, unless there’s some exciting news to share. In the meantime:

If you missed my A to Z Challenge theme reveal on Monday, it’s right here. I’m so grateful for all the responses and folks who visited my blog! I’m a little nervous now, I hope I can live up to everyone’s expectations. I promise I’ll try to be entertaining, funny, and informative. Try! Also, there was some concern voiced and I want to assure my readers–I am NOT making fun of romance novels or romance authors with this theme. I am a romance author! The theme will focus largely on writing techniques and mechanics in general, I simply chose the romance novel format because that’s what I write. Yes, it’s supposed to be a silly parody with exaggerated details, but I promise I have the utmost respect for romance books and authors…I do hope you’ll visit and judge for yourself!

In other news, if you haven’t seen, I have a book up for nomination in The Romance Reviews Summer 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards. I need to get fifty nominations by the end of March to get into the actual voting-to-win round, and I’d really appreciate a nomination if you can spare one! I’m not quite halfway there yet. Last winter my novel The Wicked City won best urban fantasy in the same awards. You need to sign up for the site to nominate, but it’s quite easy. Thank you so much!

So that’s it, it will be quiet around here until April 1st–unless it’s not–so I can warm up my blogging muscles and take a little rest. I may also have a big (good) upheaval in my life over the next few weeks that will take my focus offline somewhat. However, I will still be around on Facebook and Twitter if you want to chat.

Have a lovely week! Get ready for April!

A few updates

Just a few little updates today, about some upcoming and current things I’ve got going on:

  • Yesterday I did a guest post at author Calisa Rhose’s site, discussing the connection between urban fantasy and romance. If you comment on the post you’re automatically entered to win an e-copy of The Wicked City! The contest runs until 9pm EST time tonight, so there’s still time to join in.
  • If you don’t win a copy, never fear, The Wicked City is on sale right now for 99 cents at all the retailers listed. Cheap!
  • This coming Monday, January 25th, sign-ups for this year’s April A-Z Challenge begin! I’m really excited and I can’t wait to participate again. I’m planning a rather ambitious theme this year, but I think it will be lots of fun. Thankfully, I have a few months to work on it.
  • I’m also going to be participating in the Lost & Found blogfest on February 1st. If you want to join in, there’s still time! The theme is love–lost love, found love…it’s almost Valentine’s Day, after all.
  • In case you missed it, I’ve started a newsletter. Each edition will feature a contest and prizes, so make sure you sign up!

That’s all my updates for this week. Do you have anything special to share?