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The Hunted Free for a Limited Time

The Hunted: A Storm Lake Novel

The Hunted: A Storm Lake Novel

Only for a limited time, only on Amazon: The Hunted is available for download as a #FREE e-book.

 
A monster hunter revisits her terrifying past while helping a reporter uncover the origins of Storm Lake’s creatures.
 
 
Get it while you can. The price goes back up to $3.99 after the promo.

Say My (Pen) Name

Readers, are you a fan of genres or a fan of authors?

It’s an important distinction and one that I contemplate more often since I published my books. What is my brand? Is it the genre in which I write or is it my writing style? What if I write in multiple genres? Can I keep my identity?

This morning I read the following in an article called “Marketing: Your Author Central Page” by Randy Ingermanson in his newsletter, The Advanced Fiction Writing E-Zine:

Many authors write all their books under a single name. That makes a lot of sense if all your books are related to each other in some way.

But if you write very different types of books, it might be better to write each type under a different name (or a different variation of your name). The reason is to avoid “brand confusion” in your marketing. When you have widely different target audiences, you don’t want to market all your books to all your target audiences. You want to market each book only to its particular target audience.

I’m sure that makes all kinds of business sense, but as a reader, I’ve always wondered why authors feel the need to go undercover like that. Eventually, they’re discovered and then their loyal fans flock to the newly discovered books. Why not skip the cloak-and-dagger stuff and admit you wrote the books?

Now I know it’s usually at the behest of the publisher, so I won’t blame the authors for this, but if, as Ingermanson says, you should market the book to the particular target audience, can’t you do that even if you keep your name?

Stephen King wrote novels under the name Richard Bachman. As soon as he was outed, the Bachman books sported the line “Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman.” His fans then bought the Bachman books in droves. Same deal with Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb. As soon as her fans discovered she authored the “In Death” books, they flocked to read them and now all the In Death books sport the line “Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb.” Ditto Anne Rice/A. N. Roquelaure.

As a reader, I find that annoying. If I love reading an author, I don’t give a rat’s ass what they write. If Nora Roberts wants to explore futuristic murder mysteries, as she did with the In Death books, I’ll read them. For God’s sake, I’ve read her Silhouette Romance books because she wrote them, and I don’t typically read Silhouette romances.

In my own experience with selling my novels, I’ve found there are two types of readers. One type will read anything I write, and they’re readers just like me. They follow the author, not the genre. The other type of reader will stick to the genre they prefer. They’ll read every single one of my romantic suspense novels, but they won’t read the SF thrillers or the urban fantasy (even if they have romance in them). The other readers in this category will read all my SF thrillers and horror stories but stay the hell away from the romantic suspense.

When I talk to potential readers at book signings and events, I’ll ask them what genre they enjoy reading. This helps me determine which of my books to introduce them to. All my books are under my name. I am my brand, and yes, I understand what Ingermanson says about brand confusion, but I trust my readers to eyeball my books and decide if the one they’re looking at is for them.

What I don’t want is to hide books from readers who will read a wide variety of genres and follow me, the author.

I recall thinking once that Stephen King could write about anything, even someone taking a shit (and he has), and make it interesting. I’ve since revised that opinion–Lisey’s Story and some of his later books had parts I considered boring–but the point is that I want to explore everything he writes regardless of genre. I’d prefer it if I didn’t have to wait for someone to out his pen name to learn he wrote another book. As a reader, this type of subterfuge annoys me.

Fellow scribes, how do you feel about this? Is it an issue for you? Readers, do you prefer authors who use multiple pen names for books they write in different genres?

Procrastinating with Innocence

I should be writing–not on my blog, but on my current WIP, which is a novel I’m plowing through for NaNoWriMo. I’m in the home stretch as far as achieving my goal for NaNo goes. I’ve hit 40,020 words and need only 9,980 more words to reach the NaNo finish line. That won’t get me a completed first draft–my novels typically hit at least 60,000 words. My longest, A Ring of Truth, reached over 90,000 words.

This is my long-winded way of saying I’m procrastinating, but it’s for a good reason. Okay, maybe not a good reason, but for a good excuse.

I recently finished reading Roald Dahl’s autobiographical book Innocence and find it lingering in my psyche. Dahl had an interesting life, though Innocence focused on his childhood years. I’m always fascinated by writers and their lives and how they became published authors. Dahl’s road to authordom was much easier than it is for most authors. The first thing he wrote was published and his career took off from there. Nice. I’m not jealous at all. Wink.

But that’s not where I want to focus. I’d like to share this quote about writing from the book. I find it if not inspirational then comforting, and any other writers out there might do the same, so I want to share before it slips off my to-do list (See? Good excuse, right?):

I began to realize how simple life could be if one had a regular routine to follow with fixed hours and a fixed salary and very little original thinking to do. The life of a writer is absolute hell compared with the life of a businessman. The writer has to force himself to work. He has to make his own hours and if he doesn’t go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him. If he is a writer of fiction he lives in a world of fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not. Two hours of writing fiction leaves this particular writer absolutely drained. For those two hours he has been miles away, he has been somewhere else, in a different place with totally different people, and the effort of swimming back into normal surroundings is very great. It is almost a shock. The writer walks out of his workroom in a daze. He wants a drink. He needs it. It happens to be a fact that nearly every writer of fiction in the world drinks more whisky than is good for him. He does it to give himself faith, hope and courage. A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.

I can relate to needing a stiff drink after a writing session. I’ve often wanted a shot when I’ve finished writing for the day. Sometimes I’ve wondered what it would be like to, as has been attributed to Hemingway, “Write drunk; edit sober.”

I don’t do it, of course. The pull might be there, and it feels like an enticing crutch, but the desire isn’t enough to make me grab that drink. I can’t imagine writing under the influence, and after I’m done for the day, I have so many other obligations to catch up on that I can’t sit down and drink. The point is, Dahl has put into words precisely the feelings I have some days when I’m faced with that blank page at the start of a writing session and the weariness that comes after completing it.

To again quote Hemingway: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

It’s these revelations from famous authors that help me realize I’m not the only writer who gets creatively constipated.

I’m in the home stretch on my NaNo project. I need to get back to it. But this digression has helped brace me for the sprint ahead better than a shot of whisky could.

For those of you working on a NaNo project (or just plugging away at your personal writing goals), how do you find encouragement when your spirits sag? Did you find any reassurance in that Roald Dahl quote?

Sylva Fae Author of the Week Blog Tour

Sylva Fae

Sylva Fae

Introducing Sylva Fae

This week Mom’s Favorite Reads is featuring Sylva Fae. She writes children’s stories and loves beauty and nature. You’re certain to find her among the fae, listening and learning.

I first got to know author Sylva Fae in an online writing group and fell in love with her positive, gentle spirit. Her books are wonderful for young children, and my grandkids own more than one.

Mini Bio

Sylva Fae is a married mum of three from Lancashire, England. She grew up in a rambling old farmhouse with a slightly dysfunctional family and an adopted bunch of equally dysfunctional animals. She spent twenty plus years teaching literacy to adults with learning difficulties and disabilities but now lives in Cheshire, juggling being a mum, writing children’s stories and keeping up with the crazy antics of three naughty rabbits.

Her earliest memories are of bedtime stories snuggled up close to mum to see the pictures. It was a magical time, those last special moments before dozing off to sleep would feed dreams of faraway lands and mystical beings. She now wants to share that love of stories and inspire children to create their own magical adventures.

Sylva and her family own a wood and escape there at every opportunity. Adventures in their own enchanted woodland, hunting for fairies and stomping in puddles, have inspired Sylva to write stories for her girls.

Sylva published her first children’s book Rainbow Monsters, in 2017. She has since published four other children’s picture books, an anthology of Christmas stories, and has a short story published in the IASD charity anthology, You’re Not Alone. Two of her books have won Best in Category for children’s books at the Chanticleer International Book Awards. She also writes a blog, Sylvanian Ramblings, and enjoys doing developmental editing as part of One Stop Author Services. Recently, Sylva joined the editors’ team at Mom’s Favorite Reads and regularly contributes articles to the magazine.

Books to date

Books by Sylva Fae

Books by Sylva Fae

Rainbow Monsters – Winner of 2017 Chanticleer Little Peeps Award

Mindful Monsters – Shortlisted for 2018 Chanticleer Little Peeps Award

No Place Like Home

Yoga Fox – Winner of 2018 Chanticleer Little Peeps Award

Bea & Bee

Elfabet – Illustrated by Katie Weaver

Children’s Christmas Collection – With authors Kate Robinson, Paul Ian Cross, and Suzanne Downes

That Pesky Pixie – a series of stories for a story app

www.getbedtimestories.com/library/that-pesky-pixie

  • An Itchy Situation
  • A Stinky Start!
  • A Dastardly Plan
  • A Feast for a Fairy Queen
  • Three Pesky Pixies and a Monstrous Mouse

Contact Links

Blog                 https://sylvafae.co.uk/blog/

Amazon           author.to/SylvaFae

Facebook        https://www.facebook.com/SylvaFae

Twitter             https://twitter.com/sylvafae

Pinterest          https://www.pinterest.co.uk/sylvafae/

Book Links

MyBook.to/RainbowMonsters

MyBook.to/MindfulMonsters

MyBook.to/YogaFox

MyBook.to/BeaAndBee

MyBook.to/Elfabet

www.getbedtimestories.com/library/that-pesky-pixie

You can find a list of sites featurning Sylva Fae on Mom’s site.

 

Mom’s Favorite Reads UK Store

Mom's UK Store

Mom’s UK Store

Great News!

Mom’s Favorite Reads now has an Amazon UK store.

My Valiant Chronicles books are included in the “Mystery Suspense Thriller” section (click on the “Show More” button a couple of times to uncover them.)

If you’re in the UK, you’ll be able to purchase any of the books offered in the store. If you’re not in the UK and one of the books sparks your interest, you can search for it in the Amazon store for your country.

Browse through the variety of books on offer and download your next favourite read today.

Happy reading!

 

50 Best Indie Books of 2018 on ReadFreely

 
About Three Authors: Poison Pen

About Three Authors: Poison Pen

Voting is almost done for this year’s ReadFreely’s 50 Best Indie Books of 2018.

 
Poison Pen made the shortlist, and I’d love for you to help me out and vote for it. You can vote twice for each email address.
 
Here is a direct link to the form for voting for it (they seem to have a bug that redirects links to their home page, but clicking on it a second time usually does the trick):
 
 
Thanks for your help, and thanks to the readers who nominated it.
 
If you’d like to check it out, you can find it at various retailers using this link.
 
Also, anyone in the Newmarket area can check it out of the Newmarket Public Library (just got the cheque in the mail for that one–woohoo) and read it for free.

The Amazon Game: Are Books Disappearing from Amazon’s US Site?

Lately, indie authors have noticed something hinky with Amazon’s e-books. They seem to be disappearing from the Amazon US site.

When my novels fell victim to this crime, I tried to find them via my Bookshelf in KDP. Here’s what I found, using my novel Poison Pen as an example:

I’d never seen this “feature” before, but today I noticed that when you hover over “Live” on your KDP book, you get this:

PP_Availability

When you click on “See title availability details” you get this:

PP_AvailabilityReport

When you drill down into “View details” in the row pertaining to Amzon.com (notice the Status for it says “Limited availability”), you get this:

PP_USAvailability

Notice how in Canada it says “Unavailable”?

Scroll back up to the image with the Availability Report for Poison Pen. Notice how the row for Amazon.ca says “Live”? When I view the details on that, I see this:

PP_AmazonCAAvailability

It seems Amazon isn’t removing e-books and making them unavailable for purchase. They are mucking around with visibility depending on the country you’re in. This is causing frustration amongst authors who want to check their pages on countries they don’t reside in.

What’s scary for us non-US residents is the fear that users searching for books to read will no longer find these books in the search results. I’ve often searched in Amazon US for something and then clicked on the CA link to view it on the Canada site. Now that I understand (I think) what’s happening, I’ll do those searches on the Canadian site.

I’ve also noticed that direct links will get you the book’s page in the US even if it’s unavailable for you to purchase there.

While this new feature *cough* bug *cough* will take some getting used to, we’ll have to see how it shakes out and affects sales.

Amazon: unilaterally moving the goal posts for authors once again.

Injury Shortlisted for Best Book Award

InjurySo excited. I received this notice from ReadFreely and would like to politely beg, I mean, request you to please vote for Injury:
 
Hi Val,
 
At ReadFree.ly we’ve started an exciting new competition to crown the Best Book We’ve Read All Year. And Injury has made the shortlist….
 
…So what do you need to do? Nothing really; you’ve already done the hard part, you’ve written the book. However, you may wish to encourage your fans to visit our site and vote for Injury: there’s a link on our homepage, or they can go here – http://www.readfree.ly/bbwray2018/ ….
 
If you’d like to read Injury, you can download it here for #FREE: https://www.books2read.com/injury
 
Thank you for your help and support!

NURTURE Book Tour – The Gods of Winter by Gerald G. Griffin

The Gods of Winter Nurture Book Tour banner

Today I’m proud to participate in a book tour promoting Gerald G. Griffen’s new literary fiction novel The Gods of Winter.

Interview with Gerald G. Griffin:

Once readers have read The Gods of Winter, what are you hoping that they take away from it? What feelings and emotions are you hoping they have?

This is one question difficult to answer, for in the end it is not what I want or hope for, but what is to be.

The book is out there, and what feelings and emotions it elicits is up to the readers. Wrapped in a mixture touching upon several genres — mystery, thriller, romance, horror and mystical, the novel offers a wide scope of situations allowing for an abundant range of feelings and emotions to be felt, and it is up to each reader as to which of these feelings and emotions arouse he or she.

My hopes are not involved in this, except for the hope that I’ve written a compelling story.

But to answer what I think you’re really asking, we need to go to my purpose in writing the novel. It was dedicated to Jane A. Valentine, my departed fiancée, portrayed by Gloria Hopkins in the book’s story, and my purpose, through Gloria, was to show what an exceptional person Jane was, really beyond the measure of words. A being with such an exciting, daring spirit for enjoying life to its fullest, thankful to be alive to do so, and passing this joy to others, sparking them to greater heights of wonder. A person with a fiery spirit that could be adorably challenging, but a spirit showered in innocence that could be a quiet jubilation, soothing and caressing, making anyone who came in contact with her to feel good to be alive.

Jane Valentine was a rare creature of God. Her abrupt passing before her time was not only a tragic loss to myself, but a tragic loss to all of humanity who knew her and could have known her if she had not died.

Well, what I want is for those people, and many others, to know her, which brings us back to the purpose of The Gods of Winter.

Beyond the trappings of the novel was the real purpose of the book; always before me as I wrote it, to let the world, or as many people as possible, know of the precious existence of Jane before her memory was lost to time. And sharing Jane’s memory to many was the outcome I wanted to be, above any hoped-for feelings or emotions.

Book Synopsis:

The Gods of Winter cover with drop shadowThe stuff of legend. Fiction based on fact. A story to behold. Its humor, laughter, strife, sadness, and tragedy are the stuff of legend.

Bob Daniels, against all odds, becomes a noted psychologist. In unlikely fashion, he meets Gloria Hopkins, a noted stage performer. A rare and daring love ensues, but it’s thwarted by an inexplicable force of madness. The two are pulled into a harrowing journey to save their love, and as they interlock with a range of vibrant characters, in desperation they face the impossible.

The Gods of Winter: A story of pondering gasps, ending in deep awe. 

Title: The Gods of Winter
Author: Gerald G. Griffin
Genre: Fiction – Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Romantic Suspense
Formats: Paperback
Published by: SBP
ISBN-13: 9781946540102
Pub. Date: October 16, 2017
Number of pages: 356
Content Warning: some adult language and violence
Age Restriction: 19 years of age or older
Purchase at: Amazon.com, B&N, Amazon.ca & Amazon.co.uk

Author Bio: Gerald G. Griffin was born in Flint, Michigan, and graduated from high school there as class Valedictorian. After obtaining his BBA at a local college, he attended graduate school at Michigan State University, receiving his MA and PhD in psychology, by this time married, with two sons. Following graduation, he accepted a position with a psychologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. One year later Gerald set up his own private practice in Atlanta as a consulting psychologist, and his practice eventually grew to the point of necessitating two fully staffed offices at different sites, with a smaller one in his home. During this professional growth, Gerald’s social life also grew, including the fraternity of many friends and the fellowship of a country club. Through all of this, Gerald managed to write three published novels. While in practice in Atlanta, Gerald was listed in Marquis WHO’S WHO in the South and Southwest, Personalities of America and Notable Americans. Nancy Cline, a member of MENSA, said in review of Gerald’s writings: “In this age, yes, there’s a nobility of spirit and the courage to preserve and to protect that nobility. In the field of fiction we have men of great stature. To that list add the name of Gerald G. Griffin.”

Once his sons were grown and out on their own, Gerald and his wife divorced. Caught up in his bachelor wanderings, Gerald reduced his practice to part-time, in one office, while still managing to write, mostly ghost-writing, though he wrote a fourth novel, never published. Then he met Jane Valentine, a well-bred, well-educated lady from London, England with a zest for life and a demeanor to enjoy it. Gerald and Jane became engaged and moved to the bedroom community of Gainesville, Georgia. There, among the small city’s peaceful settings around Lake Lanier, Gerald dedicated himself full-time to writing, turning out the published novel, OF GOOD AND EVIL.

Gerald and Jane’s relationship in Gainesville evolved into a remarkably close, fulfilling love between them, marked by spontaneous explorations and sprees of happy sharing. Then came tragedy. Unexpectedly, Jane died from a mismatch of events, shattering Gerald. Out of this shattering, Gerald was overwhelmed by a compelling urge to write the published novel, THE GODS OF WINTER, fiction based on fact, dedicated to Jane, Gerald’s literary odyssey to keep the memory of Jane — her indomitable spirit, her extraordinary being, her rare caring nature for enjoying life, giving this joy to others — alive, inspiring others, for all time.

Gerald now lives quietly in Gainesville, in a quaint house atop a hill, surrounded by the simple beauty of Nature, woods and wildlife, and the deer Jane so loved, becoming enthralled at their sight, that sight to Gerald now having a touch of Jane’s presence.

Find and follow Gerald on his website, Facebook page and on Twitter.

 

Calling All Book Bloggers and Authors #thebookrobinhoods

AuthorsIf you love to write, if you love to read, if you love to read and write, then let The Book Robin Hoods be your new hangout.

Here, you will find the Book Thieves, the featured reviewers of the Book Robin Hoods. They are hand-picked, vetted to ensure their honesty and reliability. Once approved, book thieves can receive review requests from authors.

Here, you will find The Storytellers. As a blogger, you can request ARCs from selected authors. Val Tobin’s books are featured on this site! You can find her on the Storytellers page. Read posted excerpts from novels in the Forums and discover your next favourite author.Bloggers

Note: The Book Robin Hoods do not work with erotica/nonfiction/graphic horror authors at this time, nor do they work with first-time reviewers, meaning that reviewers have to have previous experience and a running blog or platform, however small.

Form for bloggers to join: https://goo.gl/forms/MWVkZ9EVJkpPHY1y1

 Form for authors to join: https://goo.gl/forms/dbGK2fs9Kh3y23tz1