Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Frankenstein: Unleashed

Here are all the details on my upcoming release, Frankenstein: Unleashed. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this book. It was a little scary sometimes how easy it was for me to get into the mind of Victor Frankenstein. He was actually the easiest character to write about. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I hope readers enjoy the story. On a side note, I am very proud of the way this cover turned out. I think it's one of my best yet. :)


Elizabeth has kept her family secret well. As the last in a long line of witches, her dreams are prophetic. And Elizabeth dreams of murder. She knows that men are being killed exactly as she sees in her visions, but she has no means to stop their slaughter. Her dreams are not the only thing troubling her. With an engagement to Victor Frankenstein that has lasted for years, she has begun to believe that her destiny lies elsewhere. That destiny is revealed in her dreams in one instant and taken away in the next. Grief-stricken and afraid, she follows where her heart leads … to the body of Victor’s latest experiment.

Scarred at a young age by the death of his beloved mother, Victor Frankenstein has become fascinated with the possibility of bringing the dead back to life. After years of secret research, he has achieved some small measure of success. Though, he should have been more careful when he chose his last victim.

For Elizabeth accidentally gives life to the creation that Victor could not. He awakens with no memory, a body not his own, and only the name that she gives him … Lucian.

Warning: This story contains graphic violence, sex, and some graphic language.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Konrath's Publishing Predictions 2014

Since I know other authors read my blog, and I try to find helpful information, I wanted to share this.

Although some of his predictions are a little scary to think about, I believe that Mr. Konrath is spot on with his analysis of the industry. Whether or not all this will happen in 2014, I don't know. But I truly believe it will happen. I've predicted a few of these myself, especially the one about Barnes & Nobel.

A bold new world is developing for indie authors. It's time to get on board, or be left behind. Scary, huh?

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Konrath's Publishing Predictions 2014

Friday, December 20, 2013

How to get your books out of the "EROTICA" category on Amazon

So, you've written a book. You polished it to perfection and published it through Amazon. After spending time carefully deciding what categories your book should be listed among you see that Amazon (without your knowledge) has tossed your awesome book into the black hole of EROTICA.

Why? Well, the more I research the subject, I've figured out quite a few reasons. Some of them are downright stupid, as you could imagine.

First, let me clear something up. There is a big difference in EROTICA and EROTIC ROMANCE. They are NOT the same thing. In an erotic story the plot itself revolves around the sex. If you remove the sex, there is no story. In an erotic romance, the story revolves around the romance as well as sub-plots, there just happens to be sex in it. If you remove the sex, you still have a story. Yes, that is oversimplified, but that is the way I define the difference. No matter how you look at it, EROTICA and EROTIC ROMANCE are not the same thing. Oh, and NEITHER OF THEM ARE PORN. That is quite another category. PORN is sex just for the sake of sex. There is no plot, just sex.

But, I digress. I was looking all this up because two of my books got thrown into the black hole of EROTICA and I could not, no matter how hard I tried get them into the proper categories. I tried everything.

First, I went into the book's details page on KDP and manually selected the categories over again and republished. That didn't work.

Next, I called and called until I finally got someone on the phone. He was unable to help me, but at least he was polite.

When I finally got an email in response to the actual issue, and not simply a form letter blowing me off, the person explained that my covers were considered "mature content," and that I needed to change them. Okay, so I changed the covers. They weren't by any means obscene to begin with, but whatever. I wrote them back, stating that I had made the changes requested and politely asked that my books now be placed into their proper categories, seeing as how NEITHER of them is erotica.

I was very rudely informed that my books had been labeled as having "mature content." That Amazon reserves the right to decide what is "mature content," and my books would never be allowed into their general search feature.

What assholes, right?

Well, after careful consideration, I found a way around this. Now, I'm not trying to publish filth and slip it under the radar. Certainly, some of my books are erotic romance, but none of them are straight erotica. If Amazon is going to use that category, they should at least teach their employees the proper definition.

And for the record, I am very offended if someone says I write "smut." I want to punch them in the face. But, I'm getting off subject. LOL

Oh, before I go on, there are apparently "trigger" words that, if found in your book description, can get them automatically thrown into the EROTICA category.

I'm sure some people are wondering why it's so bad to be in the EROTICA category. Because EROTICA is where books go to die. Amazon lumps everything in there that "offends" them and books get buried. It's a good way to have your book (that you undoubtedly worked very hard to complete) never see the light of day.

Back to trigger words. It is perfectly all right to include a warning with your book. I do this. However, never use phrases like "mature content," "18 and over," "adult," etc. These throw up a red flag. (It is okay to say that your book contains graphic violence, and sex. I like to include that no werewolves were harmed in the making of my books. LOL) Also, when publishing through Create Space, NEVER click the button that says your book contains adult/mature content. Even if it does, that is what a description is for. That button is what getting thrown into the black hole is for. ;)

As I searched the net for information, something else that bothered and surprised me were the number of people that thought this "feature" of Amazon's is somehow protecting children. That's ridiculous! If your kid is shopping all by themselves on Amazon, and using your credit/debit card, something is wrong, and it isn't with Amazon. Besides that, it isn't the job of a retailer OR the authors to worry about what someone else's kid sees. That's called parenting. Placing an honest description on your book is all you have a responsibility to do. Period.

So, here's what I did. So far, it has worked.

The only choice I felt like I had, on my books, was to unpublish them both. I didn't just click republish though, like I know others have tried. I uploaded them both as completely new titles, with new covers, and slightly changed their descriptions.

Unfortunately, this means that one title will loose the slight momentum of about 90 sales thus far. BUT, it will be visible in the proper categories, which should lead to even more sales.

Once again, I'm not trying to be dishonest. I'm simply trying to help readers find my books, in the logical categories where they belong. I always tell readers as straight-forward and honestly as possible what they are getting in the book's description. 

I hope this helps someone else who is dealing with the erotica black hole.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday survival tips

I only have a few tips to share. First of all, AVOID everyone that you feel is a complete and utter asshat. If that is impossible, try some of the drink recipes below. LOL

The following drinks are from the menu at Original Sin, Dracula's nightclub in the Lilith Mercury series. All ingredients should be mixed to taste. Oh, and did I mention that I invented most of them? Yep. I tried them out on a friend of mine as well. I wanted to be sure that the names were catchy, and the flavors weren't nasty. ;)

Angel’s Halo: Raspberry Vodka & White Godiva Liqueur

The Devil’s Kiss: Vodka, White Godiva Liqueur & Cinnamon Schnapps

Bottled Sin: Raspberry Infused Vodka & Cranberry Juice

Original Sin: White rum, Apricot brandy, Lemon juice, Superfine sugar, Grenadine

If you're looking for something to go with all these great drinks, here's my favorite chili recipe.

Heaven & Hell Chili

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 

2 pounds hamburger, 

1 large onion (optional) I replace this with 1 tbs crushed garlic,

chopped jalapenos, you can use fresh ones or out of the can. I use the veg oil to lightly 

brown my peppers.  

1 package chili seasoning mix, or you can experiment with your own seasonings, 

3 drops (or more) of hot sauce, 

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with juice, 

1 8 oz can tomato sauce, 

1 28 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained, 

1 28 oz can light red kidney beans, drained, 

1 1/2 tablespoons powdered chocolate (you can use the baking kind or Nesquick.  )

1 4.5 oz can chopped chilies, drained. Trust me, this chili is awesome. 

Happy Holidays! May you avoid the asshats and have a great time! 

Friday, December 6, 2013


I always knew what that word meant, in a technical sense. However, until recently, I never truly "felt" overjoyed before. I've experienced happiness, but this goes so far beyond that.

Lately, I have been so excited as 4 of my books climb the charts over at Amazon. I'm not posting this to brag, but to share how I'm feeling right now. It seems that a lot of other writers get angry when they see someone posting about book ratings or good reviews. I think they are missing the point. Being happy for someone else when they succeed is the very best way to assure your own success.

Most people do not share their "wins" to be jerks. They are just thrilled that something good has happened to them. As I watch those numbers climb higher and higher, I don't want to rub it in anyone's face. Here's an example of what's going through my head.

"I can pay my bills now!"

"So, THIS is what it feels like to make real money doing what you love!."

"Oh, my GOD. People are actually reading my work and "getting" me."

"This is amazing!"

"I feel like a real author now."

There are not words to express how happy I am. That is what being overjoyed feels like. Not only are my book's rankings improving, so is my author ranking. Right now I'm in the top 100 in Horror and Paranormal Romance. That is freaking amazing! As far as I know those are two of the hardest categories to break into, simply because there is so much horror and paranormal romance out there. LOL

I'm positively giddy right now. I am watching my dreams come to life one day at a time. I wish I had the words to let you know how that feels.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It's been a while since I've blogged

I didn't realize until I looked at my calendar today, but it has been nearly a month since my last post. Since I really should be working on proof reading right now, here's a brief rundown of what's going on with me. Just so everyone knows I'm still alive.

These are in no particular order.

I've started doing yoga again to improve my flexibility.

I have 4 books on the top 100 lists (Dark Fantasy, Mythology & Folklore, Fairy Tales, Werewolves & Shifters, & Vampires) on Amazon and I am thrilled about it.

I've been working on proof reading Frankenstein: Unleashed (Jan. 2014) and am close to being finished.

I made myself take a week off for Thanksgiving and I feel pretty good about that.

I've discovered that my sister-in-law is an irredeemable twat. I feel less great about that. But, at least it makes my holiday plans much simpler. LOL

I've got some new ideas for Bound by Blood, once I finally get to work on it again.

My dog Roscoe continues to be a little jelly roll. LOL

I'm psyched for the new Hobbit movie.

I've ordered my husband and I matching wedding bands that look like the one ring. ;)

Okay, that's a glimpse into my exciting (Ha. Ha.) life. I've really got to get back to work. I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm still here.