I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave you all without something new from me this summer. I am so excited to announce that not only is the compilation of my Maura’s Men Series available in Ebook format. It also includes the much anticipated origin story for the Evil Vampiress herself, Maura.
After escaping the clutches of the evil Vampiress Maura, three friends struggle with the past in finding a new way of life and love…
Xander’s nightmare past has left him with some serious control issues. Without the burning hatred that kept him going when he was under Maura’s thumb, he had nothing else to live for. Maura had destroyed everything he had once been. Jaded and closed off to the world around him, Xander is completely unprepared for the arrival of Cat.
Claude is nobody’s hero, yet he finds himself saving another damsel in distress. He should have learned his lesson the first time. The charming and intelligent Gretchen threatens everything Claude has come to accept about himself.
Shane needs help. His addiction is getting out of control. His friends are on the verge of putting him to ground. Then there is Molly, the love of his life. He’s spent years wallowing in guilt over her death only to find out she was brought back by Maura of all people. Shane is forced to make a choice. Will Shane continue to let his past destroy his future or find a new approach to winning Molly’s heart?
So it has come to my attention that one of the creators of the #HotandSticky Summer writing challenge is a total creeper who preys on young women across social media. In light of this news, I am no longer going to be completing the challenge under the #HotandSticky banner. I have also stopped following the Stripped Cover Lit channel on YouTube.
A summer writing challenge to reinvigorate the writing soul! Set for the months of June through September I created my contract and am steadily checking off my to do list. Check out my contract video and Week 1 Update Below!
If you are an avid reader like me, it can really have an
effect on your bank account. Here are my top places to get bargain books.
Library– Of course, the library is the number one place to get books. Not only
is it free to borrow physical books but most libraries have expanded to loaning
out ebooks as well. On top of borrowing books, public libraries may also have a
small section of books for sale or for free. These books are typically older
books that are no longer being checked out at a rate sustainable for the
library. Bonus if the books are for sale you will know that you are
contributing to your local library programs and collection.
Store– Brand New books for $1! Heck, yes! Most of the books are overstock
or lesser known titles. My local store
typically carries general fiction, mystery, religious, and self-help titles. Of course, the availability and selection will depend on the store in your area.
Checking Out Titles at the Dollar Store!
Store– Books are generally priced in the $5 and below range. There are
books of all genres typically available. The downside is the quality of the book.
There is no guarantee that pages won’t be marked up, have personalized stickers
and stamps from strangers and occasionally a missing page or two. So while it’s
a great place for books on a budget be sure
to check the book thoroughly for damage.
Store Clearance Bins– Grocery stores usually only sell best sellers, and there is a high rate of rotation. That
means you can generally find brand new bestsellers on clearance from 10% up to 50% off
the cover price.
So many Books at the Thrift Store
Clearance– Brick and Mortar bookstores
are fifth on the list because they generally have lower discount rates on their
books. You may pay more at a local bookstore than larger chain stores, but I like to shop local as much as possible.
Internet– The internet is last on my list simply
because you can’t physically inspect your book before it arrives. Even more
reputable dealers like Amazon and Barnes and Nobles can have bad print runs
with blurry covers or cut off text.
Where do you get your bargain books? Drop suggestions and links in the
Serpentine Creative now has an official YouTube Channel! If you love my contributions to this blog check it out for more content straight from me to you! Also enjoy my totally cheesy book trailers and music inspiration for my novels.
A pen name, pseudonym, nome de plume, or literary double is
an assumed name used by a writer instead of their real or legal name.
Reasons to use a Pen Name
Writing in Multiple Genres – The most common use of pen names today
is by established authors who don’t want to aggravate their base readership by
producing novels outside their established genre. Examples include Nora Roberts
who uses JD Robb to pen her suspense novels and Jessica Byrd who changed her
name to JR Ward to publish her highly
successful dark suspense The Black Dagger
Switching Publishers– Perhaps you have an exclusivity deal with a
publisher under your current name, but
you have a project they aren’t as excited to publish as you are. Using a pen
name would allow you to take that work to another publisher or even self-publish.
Anonymity– Maybe you just want some privacy or a strict separation between your personal and
professional life. Much like in the past, many authors have day jobs or
positions within their community that would be negatively impacted by their
choice of writing. There have been several cases in the news about teachers who
were fired or shut out of their community because it was found they wrote
erotica or dark romance.
Name too common or complicated– Becoming an author has been made
easier than ever with the rise of free self-publishing platforms. Standing out
amongst the millions is even harder if you have a common name like John Smith
or Mary Johnson. In this case, you want
to choose a name that will help distinguish you from all the rest. On the flip side, if you have a long first or last name or
a name with more consonants than vowels, you may stand out negatively. Hard to pronounce names mean less
word of mouth recommendations and if your name is too long it might not fit
neatly on your covers.
Things to consider when choosing a Pen Name
The similarity to famous Authors– You might think it a great
idea to choose a pen name like JP Rawling or James Peterson, but it can actually hurt your ability to sell. The literary world is full of diehard
fans who will gladly pan your work and spam your books with negative reviews in
defense of their favorite authors.
Does the name you chose fit with your chosen genre– A name like Sly
Nyx will be more widely accepted amongst Paranormal Romance, and Fantasy readers than Historical fiction.
Can be a variation of your real name– If you aren’t feeling
particularly creative or have a name “issue” as mentioned above, it is
perfectly okay to shorten your name how you see fit. It will also make filing
your taxes easier since it is still technically your legal name. Example, Elizabeth Marie Johnson could become
Eliza Mar or E.M. Johns.
Position on Brick & Mortar Shelves- A much-overlooked factor in choosing a pen name. Depending on the number of items in stock a name towards the end of the alphabet like S-Z is more likely to fall on bottom shelves and
away from the valuable eye-level shelf
space key to grabbing reader’s attention.
Need a little help
coming up with a name? Check out these fun pen name generators!
I told you I had a lot of big things coming this year! One of them being a romantic shifter short, featured in the Shifted Into Love Anthology! My short, Coy Wolf is so spicy it’ll knock your socks off.
Shifted Into Love is a hot collaboration by SevenWomen Authors of Color. The Release date is set for February 1st but you can reserve your copy today on Amazon!
Blurbs for Shifted into Love
From the sands of Egypt to the decadent halls of Zargobia, these seven stories will take you on the paranormal adventures your heart craves; foiling assassination attempts to shifter speed dating to being auctioned off to the highest bidder or fighting your way through the pack to claim your mate. Every story features the sexy shifters your heart and body desires, they break barriers and definitely some hearts.
Genesis is here for two things and two things only: free food and shots. Fresh off a devastating heartbreak, the last thing on her mind is dating…especially a shifter.
Forced on a weekend getaway to the Inn for her friend’s twenty-first birthday, Crimson finds herself unable to obey the Inn’s one rule. Hands off the shifters! Sebastien, the infuriatingly handsome Pack leader and the Inn’s star attraction.
In the world of glitter, Death is handsome. He walks the world as a large wolf dog by day, a blood drinking vampire by night. Then he meets a guardian angel. The two share a poignant love breaking all boundaries giving in to their passion.
Protection assignments when the target wasn’t aware of her protection weren’t Cora’s usual fare but when someone tries to kill the prince with her nearby. She’s more than up for the challenge.
Tarnished by scandal, Jade is abandoned by her Pack, family and friends also trying to escape the taint of the scandal. Jade, with nowhere and no one to turn to, finds herself at the infamous, After Market searching for protection and a safe shelter from the storm of scandal following her.
Akil takes one look at her wild beauty and claims her as his own. But Sabra bows to no man, and she vows to never yield. Their passions topple one another in a battle of wills that threatens to claim them both.
On the hunt for a mate, the gathering is the perfect place to start. Armed with a plan and a modest list of qualifications she sets out to find her ideal match. Tyr checks every box on Sequoia’s list except the most important.
I am a big promoter of Authors Supporting Authors. We were all readers once and most of us still are. This year in an effort to put my money where my mouth is. I have been chatting it up with some of my contemporaries on social media and low and behold, a book swap happened. Author Ursula Visser is my new book buddy and she sent me the most fantastically wrapped books I have ever received. Check out this evidence of her packaging mastery.
Yes! That is wooden confetti!
Carefully wrapped in paper and tied with gold laced thread, I was almost to amazed to open it. Of course, she was gracious enough to send some promotional material as well as provide me with delicious tea to relax and read. So what was inside the wrapping, you ask?
Not One but Two Books!
I am beyond grateful for the generosity of the writer’s community and I hope to be able to participate in more book swaps in the future! In the meantime, I will be diving right into Ursula’s Dragon Queen Series.
Want copies of your own? Both books are available on Amazon Here If you would like more information about Ursula Visser and her work check out her website and social media:
I hope everyone had a
fantastic holiday season! I know I did. I love spending time with family
and friends, especially when it involves copious amounts of decadent food and drinks.
Even with all the parties I still managed to be somewhat productive.
If you are a follower of this blog, you may have noticed our recent changes. After several years
of back and forth, I have decided to take the leap and make things official.
Welcome to my brainchild Serpentine Creative LLC.
Keep tabs on this blog for updates and sneak peeks at what else I’ve been up to during the
holiday season. I have so much in store for the New Year but don’t want to ruin
the surprise! Let’s make this a happy and productive 2019!