Sign up for my newsletter!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

{RELEASE DAY}: Everlasting Hope

 Today's the day! Everlasting Hope is now available :-)

Writing this book has been quite the journey, and not because it was necessarily difficult to write, but because this story was never supposed to exist. When I finished Eternal Life, my plan was to dive right into Jax's story so that he, too, could find his happily-ever-after. There was just one problem--I had no story for him. No suitable love interest that could handle him. No obstacles or plot. I was truly stuck. So I did what I do best and I procrastinated. 

Slowly, ideas began to tumble around in my head, and I moved away from Jax's story and instead focused on Abby. After the devastating lost she'd suffered, I couldn't help but wonder how she was doing. Was she healing and moving on? What she still lost in grief? But most of all--what did Isach's letter to her say?? 

Then, the ideas came harder and faster, and I knew I needed to tell Abby's story before Jax's, though he plays a large role in this book. Originally, I'd considered letting Jax and Abby get together, but absolutely nothing about that felt right, so don't worry: they don't end up as a couple. I promise ;-) But you'll have to read the book to find out what does happen. And you can start with Chapter One for FREE!

Read Chapter One

Add to Goodreads

BUY NOW! 



When all magical hell broke loose and the vampires fought the witches, the very human Abby Benson was the one who had to pay the ultimate price. Devastated by an unexpected loss, she spirals into grief—until she realizes she has the one thing no one can take from her: hope.

Determined not to give up, and with the help of an unlikely ally, she sets out to reclaim what was taken from her. But to get what she wants, she and her family will once again have to wage war with the witches. This time, though, the stakes are higher, and there won’t be another second chance. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

{TEASER TUESDAY}: A Desperate Kiss

Only 1 week left until you can get your hot little hands on Everlasting Hope! So, just for you today, I'm sharing a scene that was quite unexpected, not just for the characters involved, but for me as well. I had toyed with the idea of letting his happen, but as I was writing, it just didn't feel natural. Then BAM! 

Read on and enjoy :-) 




FULL EXCERPT: 

I had no idea what possessed me to kiss Jax. Maybe loneliness. Maybe the lack of physical contact I’d had recently. Or maybe I did it because I was so certain that he’d push me away, tell me we couldn’t do this. I never in a million years expected him to kiss me back, but that’s exactly what he did.

He tangled his hand in my hair at the base of my neck, holding me in place as his other hand trailed down my arm and side until his fingers curled around the curve of my waist. I shivered at his touch, but I didn’t pull away. Neither did he.

His tongue flickered across my bottom lip, and I didn’t hesitate to part my lips and welcome his kiss. With a groan, he backed me up until I was pressed firmly against the car, and then he kissed me hard and deep. I snaked my arms around to the back of his neck and locked my fingers. I whimpered, and he kissed me even harder until I was certain I’d pass out from a lack of oxygen.

Then, he released me, and my body sagged. If not for the car at my back, I would’ve crumpled to the ground. Jax’s chest heaved with his hard breaths, and I focused on that rather than risking a look at his face. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see whatever emotion would be reflected in his eyes.

The only sound louder than the creatures in the bayou was my pounding heart. Why had I kissed him? Why had he kissed me back? What did any of this mean? I swallowed the lump in my throat and licked suddenly dry lips. Slowly, I released my hold on the back of his neck and let my trembling hands trail down his arms.

“Are we done here?” he asked, his voice raspy.

Pre-Order Now!

Haven't started the series yet? No problem! 

You can get Eternal Curse: The Cursed Series, Book 1 for FREE!


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

{TEASER TUESDAY}: Time to Move On?

 Only two weeks until Everlasting Hope releases into the wild! Who else is excited?? 

As I mentioned in last week's #TeaserTuesday post, this is Abby's story, and there's a lot happening with all of the characters that you've grown to love. But poor Abby is really struggling, and she's drowning in grief. Chloe tries so hard to help her, but Abby's a bit... resentful of her cousin. So, of course, Jax jumps in and offers his unique brand of help. Read on ;-) 




FULL EXCERPT:

“Want to tell me what’s going on around here?” Arms crossed, I slouched back and stared at the TV.

“What do you mean?” Jax’s gaze never wavered from the game.

“Don’t play stupid. You suck at it.”

He glanced over at me, the corner of his mouth lifting in an almost smile, his blue eyes sparkling with mischief. Whoa. The breath rushed from my lungs at the sight of him looking at me like that. Anyone with half a brain would agree Jax was sexy, but when he gave that look? I had to refrain from fanning my face with my hand. Chloe told me once that this very look Jax was currently giving me was his I’m-going-to-say-something-to-piss-you-off look, but it had never failed to make Chloe’s heart race. I could totally understand why.

“Seriously, Jax. What’s going on?”

“We’re all wondering the same thing.” He returned his attention to the TV.

“What?” I asked, confused. “Please just stop with all this... whatever this is. It’s not cute or funny.” I huffed and glanced up at the ceiling to collect my thoughts. “Chloe once told me that you were the only person who wouldn’t sugar coat things, that you always told her how it was, even if she didn’t want to hear it. Can you please do the same for me right now?”

Jax paused the game, tossed his controller onto the table next to Wyatt’s, then twisted to look at me. “Chloe talked to you about me?”

I rolled my eyes. “You’re pathetic, you know that?”

He laughed, and despite my mood, I laughed, too. Jax leaned back so we were shoulder to shoulder, and the physical contact set off a chain reaction of conflicting emotions. The touch was both comforting and disconcerting. On one hand, I missed the intimacy of having someone—a guy—close to me like this. On the other hand, I couldn’t shake the guilt and awkwardness. For so long, Isach had been the only man to touch me, and this was Jax, the guy who was still very much in love with my cousin.

“We’re just worried about you. That’s all,” he said.

I shifted to put some space between us but didn’t say anything.

“We know you’re not handling things very well, but we have no idea how bad it really is because you refuse to talk to anyone about it,” he continued.

My chest constricted at his words. Chloe hadn’t been lying when she said Jax would lay it all out with blunt honesty. I was no longer so sure I wanted to know what was going on.

“I tried to talk to you this morning, and you barely said anything. Chloe’s tried every day since Isach’s death, and you’ve shut her out. Even Trent tried to offer some help.” Jax shook his head. “We’re at a loss how to help you, Abby.”

I swallowed around the lump in my throat. “You mean you haven’t asked Whitney or Wyatt to read my thoughts?”

“They offered, and Chloe threatened them with severe bodily injury if they invaded your privacy like that.” His lips twitched with a smile. “She even made me fear for my life, and I wasn’t the one doing anything wrong.”

“For once,” I muttered, which earned me another deep laugh from Jax. “I really do appreciate everyone’s concern. I do. But I need to deal with this in my own way. When Rachel died, I locked myself in my room and didn’t come out for days. Same thing when Marc died. But eventually, I came around. I will this time, too, but it’s going to take a little longer.”

Jax nodded. “What helped after Marc and Rachel died? What made you want to start living again?”

“Isach,” I whispered and closed my eyes. “He made it so easy to forget all the pain. Of course, back then, he’d been using me. Probably used his magic, but at least it had helped.”

“So, is that what you need this time, too? A guy to pay attention to you, help you forget?”

I gave Jax a dirty look. He wasn’t serious, was he? Replacing Isach wasn’t going to suddenly make everything better.

“Why? You offering to be that guy?” I asked.


Pre-Order Now!


Haven't started the series yet? No problem! 

You can get Eternal Curse: The Cursed Series, Book 1 for FREE!


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

{TEASER TUESDAY}: A Story of Hope

Everlasting Hope is set to release in exactly 3 weeks, and I couldn't be more excited for this book. I mean, I'm excited for every book I write and release, but this one is like the cherry on top of a sundae.

This book is Abby's story and how she's dealing after the events in Eternal Life. (Hint: she's not coping well.) At the core, this is a story about hope and not giving up, which is fitting for a lot of people, I think. Especially authors who are constantly told not to give up, to keep going and trying and persisting. It was fun to explore these same concepts in a different context. 

Abby's book really is the culmination of so many things. We get to see a lot more of Jax (YAY!) We meet some new and highly interesting characters (more YAY!) We reunite with some prior characters, and I think the reasons why will be surprising.  We learn that not all alliances are created equal, and you can't always trust those closest to you. 

Needless to say, there's a LOT going on in this book. So, who wants a teaser??




FULL EXCERPT:

“What’re you cooking?” I asked.

“Bacon, scrambled eggs, and toast.” He moved gracefully from the stove to the toaster. Even though he wasn’t exerting himself, his muscles still strained beneath his blue T-shirt.

No wonder Chloe had been torn between him and Trent. They were both gorgeous in their own ways, and they were good guys, too. Kind, compassionate, funny, loyal. They’d both move heaven and earth for those they loved. They were like Isach in that respect. God, I missed him so much.

Jax set a plate of food in front of me, and I inhaled deeply. My stomach rumbled. He planted his hands on the counter and shifted his weight forward as he studied me.

“What?” I asked.

“You’re not as gray as you were last night.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

He shrugged, straightened, then crossed his arms over his chest. “You tell me.”

I rolled my eyes. I’d forgotten he could see a person’s aura and determine their emotions. Talk about annoying. Between him being able to do that and Whitney and Wyatt being able to read thoughts, I was walking on proverbial eggshells. Maybe moving in here wasn’t such a great idea.

I grabbed my fork and scooped eggs into my mouth. Swallowing, I said, “Everyone keeps telling me things will get easier with time. Maybe that’s finally happening.”

“Hmm.” Jax turned away from me, fixed himself a plate, then returned to sit beside me.

Head down, I focused on my food so I wouldn’t have to say anything, or risk him figuring out what I was trying to keep hidden.

“I don’t believe that, by the way,” he said.

“Believe what?” I glanced over at him, and he met my gaze. His eyes were full of compassion.

“That loss and grief gets easier with time. It doesn’t. We just get better at handling the pain.” He averted his gaze and shoved a slice of bacon into his mouth.

Momentarily stunned, all I could do was stare at him. What did he know about loss? I opened my mouth to ask him, then snapped it shut. Chloe had told me all about Hannah, how Jax had loved her and how tragically he’d lost her. He’d also lost Isach, too, though I wasn’t sure those two were quite as close as Isach and Trent had been.

“Morning.” Chloe walked into the kitchen. Her gaze landed on me and Jax, and her steps faltered. “What’s going on here?”

The corner of Jax’s mouth lifted in an arrogant smirk. “Someone’s jealous.”

Chloe narrowed her eyes. “I’m not jealous.”

“The aura doesn’t lie,” he said in a sing-song voice.

Chloe huffed and shook her head, but I didn’t miss the almost smile she fought to hide. Only then did it hit me that Jax, in his own bizarre way, was mourning the loss of Chloe. He loved her, and she hadn’t chosen him. He’d lost the woman he loved. My heart softened toward him and what he was going through. I wondered what was worse—knowing the person you loved was dead and you’d never see them again, or seeing the person you loved every single day as they went about their life in love with someone else. 

Pre-Order Now!


Haven't started the series yet?  No problem! 

You can now get Eternal Curse: The Cursed Series, Book 1 for FREE!

Monday, May 10, 2021

The Journey to Self-Publication, Part 20: Perma-freebie

I've gotten quite a few questions about why I finally decided to delve into self-publishing and how I'm doing it, so I figured why not create a new blog series!





Every Monday, I'll be sharing a piece of the self-publishing puzzle---from how I came to this choice to writing, editing, marketing, sales, and everything in between. Please remember that this is simply my experience, how chose to do things. Others do things differently, and that's fine! So, your mileage may vary, but in the end, I hope seeing yet another way of tackling self-publishing will help you on your path. 

Need to catch up on previous posts? Find them here:



It's been almost two months since I've blogged about my self-publishing journey. Mostly because life has gotten in the way, but also because I've been busy writing new books and promoting my current series. I've learned a LOT these past couple of months, though, and I can't possibly share all of that in this single post, so instead, I'm going to focus on the perma-freebie. Also known as free-first-in-series or a reader magnet. 

What is a perma-freebie, you ask? It's essentially a book that is permanently free to readers, usually across all book retailers. Now, I know it might seem counterintuitive to just give a book away for free like this, but there is a benefit, I promise!

Having the first book in a series available for free gives readers the opportunity to try a new author with no risk. They're not out any money, but if they like the book, chances are very high that they'll go on to buy the rest of the books in your series, which are not free. So by giving away that first book, you've earned sales on other books, and you've gained a new reader, who will hopefully go on to buy even more books from you. 

I decided to test this out. So, back in late March, I set my first book, Eternal Curse to free. Now, this isn't as simple as going into your Amazon KDP dashboard and setting the price to $0.00 -- Amazon doesn't allow you to do that. You have to price match, and well, you can't price match unless the book is available for sale elsewhere. Here's how I did it:

1. Removed the book from KDP Select / KU. This is extremely important. When you're enrolled in KDP Select / KU, Amazon requires exclusivity, which means your book cannot be available for sale anywhere else. If you do not un-enroll from KDP Select / KU first and Amazon finds out, the penalties can be steep. So, be sure to do this first!

2. Uploaded to Smashwords. There are a lot of great distributors out there to choose from, but I went with Smashwords because I was familiar with the platform and I knew they gave me an easy option to "make my book free" which is what I needed. 

3. Asked Amazon to Price-Match. Once the file was approved via Smashwords and distributed to all the various vendors, I collected all the buy links that showed the book price at $0.00, then I emailed KDP support and asked them to price-match my book. I included the links I'd collected as proof. Within a couple of days, Amazon honored my request. (Side note: I was very lucky in how quickly and smoothly Amazon price matched for me. I know some authors who have had a lot of difficulty with this, so be forewarned.) 

And now, my first book is a perma-freebie :-) 

But the real question is -- is it working? My answer is both yes and no. LOL. I know, I know... hear me out, though. 

I've seen steady free downloads every day since making the book free, so I know it's getting in readers' hands, which was goal #1. Goal #2 is to see sales follow to know readers are buying the rest of the series, and while I have seen steady sales and pages read each day, the numbers aren't quite as high as I'd like. I've been very transparent in this blog series, so I'm not stopping now. Here are my current numbers (for April thru May 9th):

Free downloads: 347

ebook sales: 55

Paperback sales: 5

KU pages read: 8,972


Again, I'm not breaking any records or hitting any lists, but things are holding steady. (I do need to note that paperback sales number--I generally don't sell many print copies at all, so I was surprised to see some print moving.) I've invested in some ads to promote the perma-freebie, along with the rest of the series, so here's hoping that pays off in the long run. As always, I'll keep you posted on my progress. 


Got questions?

Drop 'em in the comments!









Wednesday, April 14, 2021

{COVER REVEAL} Everlasting Hope: A Cursed Series Novel

 That's right! The Cursed Series continues with Abby's story in Everlasting Hope... And today, I'm revealing the gorgeous cover! Ready??





When all magical hell broke loose and the vampires fought the witches, the very human Abby Benson was the one who had to pay the ultimate price. Devastated by an unexpected loss, she spirals into grief—until she realizes she has the one thing no one can take from her: hope. 

Determined not to give up, and with the help of an unlikely ally, she sets out to reclaim what was taken from her. But to get what she wants, she and her family will once again have to wage war with the witches. This time, though, the stakes are higher, and there won’t be another second chance. 


Coming June 1, 2021

PRE-ORDER NOW!

READ CHAPTER ONE!

ADD TO GOODREADS!



EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: 

“What’re you cooking?” I asked.

“Bacon, scrambled eggs, and toast.” He moved gracefully from the stove to the toaster. Even though he wasn’t exerting himself, his muscles still strained beneath his blue T-shirt.

No wonder Chloe had been torn between him and Trent. They were both gorgeous in their own ways, and they were good guys, too. Kind, compassionate, funny, loyal. They’d both move heaven and earth for those they loved. They were like Isach in that respect. God, I missed him so much.

Jax set a plate of food in front of me, and I inhaled deeply. My stomach rumbled. He planted his hands on the counter and shifted his weight forward as he studied me.

“What?” I asked.

“You’re not as gray as you were last night.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

He shrugged, straightened, then crossed his arms over his chest. “You tell me.”

I rolled my eyes. I’d forgotten he could see a person’s aura and determine their emotions. Talk about annoying. Between him being able to do that and Whitney and Wyatt being able to read thoughts, I was walking on proverbial eggshells. Maybe moving in here wasn’t such a great idea.

I grabbed my fork and scooped eggs into my mouth. Swallowing, I said, “Everyone keeps telling me things will get easier with time. Maybe that’s finally happening.”

“Hmm.” Jax turned away from me, fixed himself a plate, then returned to sit beside me.

Head down, I focused on my food so I wouldn’t have to say anything, or risk him figuring out what I was trying to keep hidden.

“I don’t believe that, by the way,” he said.

“Believe what?” I glanced over at him, and he met my gaze. His eyes were full of compassion.

“That loss and grief gets easier with time. It doesn’t. We just get better at handling the pain.” He averted his gaze and shoved a slice of bacon into his mouth.

Momentarily stunned, all I could do was stare at him. What did he know about loss? I opened my mouth to ask him, then snapped it shut. Chloe had told me all about Hannah, how Jax had loved her and how tragically he’d lost her. He’d also lost Isach, too, though I wasn’t sure those two were quite as close as Isach and Trent had been.

“Morning.” Chloe walked into the kitchen. Her gaze landed on me and Jax, and her steps faltered. “What’s going on here?”

The corner of Jax’s mouth lifted in an arrogant smirk. “Someone’s jealous.”

Chloe narrowed her eyes. “I’m not jealous.”

“The aura doesn’t lie,” he said in a sing-song voice.

Chloe huffed and shook her head, but I didn’t miss the almost smile she fought to hide. Only then did it hit me that Jax, in his own bizarre way, was mourning the loss of Chloe. He loved her, and she hadn’t chosen him. He’d lost the woman he loved. My heart softened toward him and what he was going through. I wondered what was worse—knowing the person you loved was dead and you’d never see them again, or seeing the person you loved every single day as they went about their life in love with someone else. 


Need to get caught up? 

Start The Cursed Series now for FREE!!!


Monday, March 8, 2021

The Journey to Self-Publication, Part 19: Pricing Promotions

I've gotten quite a few questions about why I finally decided to delve into self-publishing and how I'm doing it, so I figured why not create a new blog series!





Every Monday, I'll be sharing a piece of the self-publishing puzzle---from how I came to this choice to writing, editing, marketing, sales, and everything in between. Please remember that this is simply my experience, how chose to do things. Others do things differently, and that's fine! So, your mileage may vary, but in the end, I hope seeing yet another way of tackling self-publishing will help you on your path. 

Need to catch up on previous posts? Find them here:



One of the best things about self-publishing is your ability to control pricing of your books. When I first put Eternal Curse up for pre-order, I had it priced at $2.99, and despite all my efforts, I wasn't seeing any movement, so I dropped it down to $0.99, and I immediately started seeing some sales. So, I've left the book priced at $0.99, and I've done so for a few reasons, but the primary one is because I'm a new author, no one really knows me, and my ultimate goal with book 1 is to hook readers into wanting to buy the rest of the series. If that means I need to keep the price of book 1 lower, then so be it. 

Another benefit of self-publishing is the ability to enroll in Kindle Unlimited. While the exclusivity of this is certainly restrictive, it does offer other benefits, such as payment for pages read and the ability to offer "free" days, which are set dates when you can offer your book for free. Now, why on earth would anyone want to give their book away like that? The short answer: visibility! Let me explain why a well-planned and strategic pricing promotion can work to your benefit, and what my personal results were with doing this. 

Recently, I offered Eternal Curse for free for a period of five consecutive days--from March 2nd through March 6th. Now, I didn't just decide to do this -- I planned this out very carefully. I chose the dates well in advance and then lined up several promotional ads and events to help make the most of these free days. 

First and foremost, my goal with these free days was twofold: (1) get my first book in as many hands as possible to raise awareness of both me as an author and my book/series, and (2) entice people to go on to buy the rest of the series. Obviously, for this to be effective, I needed to have the rest of he series finished and available for sale (which it is). So, here's what I did...

1. Adjusted Prices of All Books: Obviously, I set the free dates for book 1. I decided to keep book 2 priced at $0.99, but then I raised the price of books 3 through 6 up to $2.99. Why? Because I figured if people got book 1 for free, they would be more apt to buy book 2 for only a buck, and because I know how book 2 ends, if they get to the end of that one, they'll probably want to go buy book 3 and beyond. My hope is that by the end of book 2, they'll be hooked and not mind paying a tad more for the rest of the books. And really, $3 for each book that is well over 350 pages / 100,000 words isn't too much, in my opinion. (Lord knows I've paid more than that for a lot less. LOL)

2. Paid Ads: I took out 2 paid ads--one in eReader Cafe ($40) and a series promotion ad via Written Word Media ($100). Now, something to note here is the difference in the ads and the importance of having other books available. The eReader Cafe ad was solely for book 1, the freebie, and the link promoted sent readers to just book 1 on Amazon. The Written Word Media ad was for the entire series and included the Amazon series link, so readers could essentially get the first book for free and then buy the rest of the series all with one click. 

3. Social Media Push: I really need to give all credit for this to my PA, Kris Riley. She worked so hard to spread the word of the freebie on my social media and hers, and she personally reached out to other authors, bloggers, and PAs to have them share as well. And each day of the sale, she'd post in various Facebook groups. 

4. Takeover Event: During the second day of the freebie sale, I did a full-day takeover event in the PNR Authors Gone Wild Facebook group, and you betcha I shared news of the free book. I invited everyone to go download it, too! 

So, what were my overall results? 

Day 1 (no ads running): 
57 free copies downloaded
0 paid copies sold
404 KU pages read

Day 2 (newsletter sent / eReader Cafe ad running / FB takeover event):
817 free copies downloaded
9 paid copies sold
212 KU pages read

Day 3 (Written Word Media series ad running):
1,253 free copies downloaded
31 paid copies sold
1,568 KU pages read

Day 4 (no ads running):
191 free copies downloaded
6 paid copies sold
2,826 KU pages read

Day 5 (no ads running):
112 free copies downloaded
11 paid copies sold
2,408 KU pages read

Grand Totals:
2,430 free copies downloaded
57 paid copies sold
7,418 KU pages read


That's a LOT of free copies, and while it stings a bit that I'm not making any royalties on any of those, I realize that I probably wouldn't have anyway. If not for being free, those 2400+ people probably would have never heard of me or given my book a chance. But now they have / are, and with luck, they'll become fans who will purchase more of the series and/or future books. 

Overall, I'm pleased with how this worked out, and as a result, I'm putting things in place to move to a perma-freebie plan, but more on that in a future post ;-) 


Got questions?

Drop them in the comments!