Monday, February 10, 2020

Valentine's Promo!!

Calling all romance readers! It’s more than candy hearts, chocolates and flowers at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Love and Romance Book Festival. 47 romance books featured plus a chance to win one of the following:

Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, [name of your book], will be featured on [date]. Wait until you read my romantic tip to enhance your love life. You won’t want to miss it.

Bookmark this festival and tell your friends:

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Welcome Ann Everett

Double Pen Names/Double Trouble
By Ann Everett
Have you considered writing under more than one pen name? If so, what I have to say may help you.
First, let’s talk about why you want to write under a penname, much less multiple pen names. 
It’s common practice to use different pennames for different genres as in Agatha Christie/Mary Westmacott, Anne Rice/Anne Rampling, J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith, and many more. Some well-known authors, like Dean Koontz, have written under numerous pennames. 
There are other reasons. Maybe you don’t want your family and friends to know you’re writing…in case you fail. Maybe your real name is too hard to spell or pronounce…or it’s too common. Or, perhaps, someone already has your name and you don’t want to be confused with them. Although, if my legal name was Nora Roberts, I think I’d use it. Reaping a few sales off her sway wouldn’t be a bad thing, and hey, since I write romance, some of her readers might like my work!
Or, you might use my reason. I don’t have a pretty name. Pattie Ball sounds like something you’d order at a concession stand. “Give me a corn dog, a Frito pie, and a couple of Pattie balls.”
Ann, (my middle name) and Everett, (my husband’s middle name) is a much prettier…IMO. I had no trouble choosing it. But once I decided to add an additional pen name, it was a much harder decision. I wanted to reverse the initials. Instead of AE, go with EA. So, I made a list of all the combinations I liked, then researched Amazon to make sure the names weren’t already in use. I decided on Emma Ames. That also reversed the syllables which I liked.
Second, why did I want another name? Well, for many years, a couple of Christian fiction members from my local critique group, suggested I clean up my steamy romances and release them under a different pen name. They thought I could tap into a different market. The s-e-x scenes were the only thing keeping them from recommending my books to their readers.
I started with a small-town humorous romantic mystery series I’d written back in 2006, but didn’t publish until 2011. Editing the books into a milder story wouldn’t be as difficult as some of my contemporary romances. The hardest part, which I’d not thought about, wasn’t re-writing the stories, but everything that came later.
 I’d been so focused on editing the books, deciding on new titles, and covers, rebranding never crossed my mind! Holy Moly!! What was I thinking?
Emma needed social media accounts, an email address, a website or at least a page added to Ann Everett’s site. When you say all of that really fast it doesn’t sound like much, but it is!
Because of the time I was putting in trying to ‘clean up’ Ann’s books so Emma could get them out into the world, I was already neglecting Ann’s social accounts along with her website. Up until 2019, I’d been consistent in blogging each week, but that fell by the wayside once Emma came on board.
I’d vowed to have all of Emma’s 4 planned books in place by the time 2020 rolled around. I almost met that goal.  In 2019, I published 3 books for Emma and 1 for Ann. I’m currently working on the last of Emma’s books and should have it completed by March…fingers, eyes, legs crossed!
I feel like I went about this in reverse. I really should have had Emma’s social media accounts, email, and website in advance of the books. If you’re planning to add an additional pen name to re-release some of your published books, my advice is:
Set up social media (I’m still working on this) 
Get a website in place or at least add a page to one already in existence. If you have plans to add a site later, go ahead and purchase the URL, that way, you’ll have it in place.
Add an email 
Order bookmarks, business cards, etc. If you only have two author names, you can order two-sided…one for each name. 
If you do book shows/fairs, consider your table set-up to separate the two genres. 
If you’re re-doing a series, you’ll need to change the series names. The steamy contemporary romance series I’m currently ‘scrubbing’ is Bluebird, Texas Romances, the clean versions are Sparrow, Texas Romances.
Naturally, if you’re re-releasing a book, you’ll want to find a new cover. In my case, something that depicted the ‘sweetness’ of the story…no naked bodies!
Start looking for blog opportunities early and have some in place by the time the book is ready for release.
You’ll also need a new tag line, logo, bio, and headshot to brand your new name. 
If you already have an account set up with KDP, you’ll need to link your new name so that you just have one account. Both of my accounts are set up under my ‘real’ name. Easier for tax and royalty payments!
When choosing a pen name, you might also consider where your book will be shelved. I didn’t think of that when choosing mine, but it so happens, Evanovich and Everett will be shelved close together. Emma Ames didn’t work out that well. No romance bestsellers near her…maybe she’ll be the first! Hey, I can dream.
And, if you’re re-publishing a different version of a previously published book, be sure and add that as a disclaimer in the front of the book so readers know you’re not trying to pull a fast one…. because publishing the same story in two versions is anything but fast!

Ann’s Bio

Ten things about award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, Ann Everett.
She’s married to her high school sweetheart.
She loves shopping at thrift stores.
She doesn’t remember her first kiss. 
She hates talking on the telephone.
A really sharp pencil makes her happy.
She secretly wants to get a tattoo. 
She’s thankful wrinkles aren’t painful.
She thinks everyone should own a pair of cowboy boots.
She sucks at math. 

Ann’s social media:

Swan, A Bluebird, Texas Romance

A small-town girl rising to fame.
Swan Malone never imagined leaving Bluebird, Texas, but when her college cheerleading gig leads to fame, and her first film becomes the top-grossing movie of the year, she realizes dreams really do come true. However, not everything in her life is as good as a fairytale.
A soldier barely hanging on.
Nothing could have prepared Army Sergeant Teague Shanahan for what he endured while held hostage in enemy hands. Battered and scarred, he returns home hoping to put his life back together but finds he’s still a prisoner of his past—too broken to be fixed, even by the woman he loves.
Welcome to Bluebird, Texas
Where a girl with stars in her eyes fights to save a man with demons in his soul.

Book links:

Monday, February 3, 2020

It's Fine, We're Fine

My husband and I spent the weekend together, sick. In our almost twenty-five years of marriage, I don’t think it’s ever happened before. We might get sick one at a time, or he and the girls would be sick, but the two of us? Never.

I had a cold. Not a big deal, other than feeling and sounding yucky. I went to the Minute Clinic, to make sure it wasn’t something more. Despite the nice lady examining my ears and not noticing the hole in my eardrum (I’ve had it since I was four, but it’s a good/fun way to determine what a doctor is like when I let them discover it themselves), she said it was just a cold. Then my husband started getting symptoms, and of course, blamed me for giving it to him. There wasn’t much I could say, until he developed a fever and I sent him to the doctor. She diagnosed him with the flu—ha! Not my fault. And yes, I got a little bit of satisfaction from that. Did I mention twenty-five years of marriage?

Anyway, we spent the weekend taking care of each other. It was kind of nice. I force-fed him chicken soup (with curry—a new recipe—it’s really good!) and Echinacea tea. He checked on me to make sure I was okay and let me nap. And the Princess entertained us with her New Zealand exploits.

Did I say entertained? More like terrified us. I’m pretty sure she has a death wish. She went bungee jumping, flew in a helicopter, and went on this swing hundreds of feet in the air (it involved some sort of drop, like a bungee). We knew she was doing it. We didn’t like the idea, but we weren’t about to stop her. We just asked her not to tell us about it, or when she was going to do it, until afterwards.

We should have thought of technology. She sent photos. They weren’t bad, and her smiles are amazing. But the videos? Those I could have done without. There’s a reason I don’t do those things, and why I didn’t like the idea of her doing those things. Thanks to the videos, they’re no longer “ideas.” 

But she’s fine. We’re fine. It’s all fine.

And we’ve all recovered.

While I’ve got your attention, A Heart of Little Faith is free this week. Really. If you haven’t read it, I’d love you to grab it, read it and leave a review (you don’t even have to leave your name). If you have read it, well, I continue to leave my plea for reviews. But seriously, it’s absolutely free. So what are you waiting for? You can get it here: Amazon.