Today I learned that I tested “negative” for COVID-19.
Aside from a few people, I’ve kept very quiet about the process. It was personal, and terrifying, from start to finish. I wasn’t certain what I was going to do if I tested positive, but I knew if I tested negative I needed to get the information out there. Getting the test isn’t the end of the world, and you should do better than me to remember that.
Because I felt like I was all alone. No one talks about it. No one gives any indication how many tests come back negative – we’re not tracking that, and we should be. I had my first panic attack and my second. I cried…a lot. I recorded a few quick videos for big moments in my son’s life. In short, I took shit too far, but I had so much fear in my body that it happened. I worried about how unready I am to leave this world and not enjoy all the perks of being a mom. How many stories I still have to tell and how many adventures I’m yet to have.
While you wait for results, you’re isolated. Alone. You can hear the rest of the house carrying on without you, and it’s gut wrenching. All you want is to stay positive, but all you can think about is how you can’t hold your child. How your husband is left doing ALL the cleaning and cooking. How your elderly mom (sorry mom, but at 72, you’re elderly), is taking care of the child when Mike has to report to work because military are essential personnel.
So, here we go. Let’s start. It’s a bit long, but I blame the length of the process for that, so I hope you’ll stick with me until the end – which is when I got the call this afternoon. This will a post about what I went through, but I’ll do a timeline post at the very end, as the timeline for everything was truly the worst part.
When the symptoms first started it wasn’t that I was in denial, it’s that I didn’t have the fever OR the dry cough. I had a sick child, a sore throat, a boring cough, and a single day of horrendous stomach issues that just resulted in a lot of restroom visits, but no real issues with said visits. (Ironic I can write erotic sex scenes but I struggle to discuss pooping).
Sunday the 22nd I woke up sick. Common cold sick. No fever, no dry cough. I did experience fuzzy thoughts and a ton of dripping nose issues. I took some cold medicine that night. I totally dried out and was fine. Mentally, I didn’t have a second thought. Monday, I took a daytime cold medicine, and aside from being high as kite (which is normal for me), I was fine.
Monday night things took a turn for the worse. I could feel pins and needles in my legs. They were on fire, then they were icy cold, then they were just asleep. Over and over. I had a good cry. I panicked. I went to sleep. I woke up, I wish I could remember the sensation but I made Mike get out of bed and hold me. The next day, I learned I’d had a panic attack.
Tuesday my mental state kept slipping. Though I wasn’t any sicker, the fear grew and grew. I didn’t sleep until nearly 4 am, fear that I’d stop breathing the main cause. When I did sleep, I woke up three times choking so hard I couldn’t breathe, and my eyes watered.
Wednesday, I went to Quick Care. They were wonderful. I was admittedly treated like I was infected, but I get it. They did everything they could, right down to taking chest X-rays. X-rays were clear. My circulation and pulse were strong. I had no fever – I never had. I knew what came next – I’d be told to go home and isolate and don’t waste the test.
To my surprise, not only was I prescribed medicine, but I was told to go to take the test. My underlying conditions – the very ones rendering me a terrified lump – were the same ones sending me to get the test. Asthma. A single kidney. A small heart murmur.
I’d like to say I calmed down. That knowing I would go for the test helped. It didn’t. I hardly slept that night. Aidan gave me a Button to help me feel better and I sure as shit clutched that adorable little toy as I tried to sleep and brought it with me. Per the doctor’s suggestion, I was up at 5 am to head down to the drive thru testing site.
I got there at 6:45 am and piled in behind an already growing line of cars. I was the second line of a wrap – the first being close to two sets of tents. Though there were cop cars, no people stood outside the cars. I drove up and left my foot on the brake as all the others did. Would I be done soon? Do they start early?
I sat for 45 min. The panic growing. The queasiness increasing. I looked into other cars. All around me, only single people sat. I hoped none had large families at home should they get the result no one wanted. Trepidation swarmed me as I continued to worry I was too far down in the line to receive a test. This location only did 250 a day and I was 7 minutes later arriving than suggested.
Around 7:30 a man in a bright safety vest began walking. He went from car to car passing out masks and informing us to leave our windows up. Opening it would result in removal.
So I sat there, with a giant mask that impeded my vision and made breathing harder. I talked to the universe (I’m not a “god” person). I worried about what came next. I emailed my husband, texted my mom and checked in on Aidan, ensuring he was still asleep.
Then we started to move. My throat went dry but I drove. Start, stop. Start, stop. Then I reached the curve. I rolled my window down. They asked if I had symptoms or was in contact. I started to say symptoms and show my doctors note. I was cut off, pointed in a direction and told to roll my window up.
Next, a man knocked on the window and I rolled it down. He told me to secure my hair and watch his finger out the front window. He took my temperature – read it aloud – 99.8, and told me to pull into a line. He wrote it on a clear plastic holder, stuck a yellow paper in, and slid it under my windshield wiper.
My heart slammed in my chest as the world grew dizzy. I’d not had a temperature before. How much could I Google as I got closer to the cops since I was sitting still. Everything showed accurate except for -0.5. Then I remembered panic makes you feverish. It could be nothing. I chanted it to myself, along with the word “negative” over and over again.
I pulled up and stopped under a tent. Two people in hazmat suits asked for my ID and insurance card. They wrote furiously, ignoring me as they did before muttering only two cars under the tent and then shooed me along. The next man was ironically quite jovial. We talked about the test, and while he did it he mentioned “Scrambling your brain,” with a small laugh.
I pulled forward again. This time to get information on the results. When I’d get them, how to exit the facility. A whole bunch of info on the sheet contradicted what the man said, but the important part was this: call in 7 days.
So I went home.
I’d love to say I was this big, brave girl who went and slept in another room, hand sanitized every after move, and enjoyed herself. I didn’t … well I did all the things, but I was a mess. I was afraid, deathly afraid.
During the day I’d be fine. Then that night it would get bad. I’d get the circulation issues and weakness in my legs again. I’d cry. I’d rant to my husband who isn’t an emotional person – aka I drove him nuts. I’d lay awake at night swearing I wasn’t breathing correctly. My chest hurt on and off but never like the described articles of which I read 100% too many.
I bought a pulse oximeter. It was my best friend. Except for after a bad round of shortness of breath on Saturday that lead to my inhaler. My heartbeat spiked and it freaked me out. Everything physically trembled. I almost went to the hospital but fear of exposing myself kept me in my place. When it didn’t stop, I did call. Take some walks, call back.
Thankfully, the walks helped. Unfortunately, that ended the small mental superiority I had. I spiraled. When it was quiet in the house, I made videos for Aidan. Twenty seconds max because I couldn’t control the emotion beyond that. One for his birthday in May. One for his first day of big kid school. One for when he drives. One for his wedding day. I gave into the fear and I’m not proud of it, but creating a memory for my son, who already didn’t understand why the person who was always there couldn’t be, was more important.
I was ready to fight. I didn’t know what it was, but I was ready. To this exact moment something is still wrong. I still have mucus dripping down my throat despite a ton of meds. I still have random heartburn. But that’s for another day.
Results should have started coming in yesterday. They didn’t and I was a wreck of symptoms last night. While stuff gets worse at night, I have a bad feeling I aided to it.
While at work, my phone blared next to me. The screen showing “COVID Testing” (which is what I labeled it). I thought it was finally time. My heartbeat slammed in my chest as I answered and began to shake.
I thought I’d get answers. I didn’t. First I got bombarded with questions to confirm I was me. All I wanted was the stupid results. Then, the nice woman finally gave them to me “negative”. I cried. No, I bawled. I heard her talking about the paper for “negative” results, but I hardly focused. She warned me I was negative today, but my immune system is lower and to be careful. My mom walked up and I somehow mouthed negative to her.
I hung up. I kept crying. I ran across the house shouting “Mommy’s better!” and scooping Aidan into my arms. I twirled him. I put him down. He came back for more hugs. He asked me to sleep in bed tonight. We bounced and danced. Then I called my husband to tell him as well.
At the end of the day, I tested negative. I received the news so many want and are unable to get. I’m beyond fortunate. The fight against COVID-19 isn’t over. We still need to stay home. We still need to flatten and then eradicate the curve. My husband still has to come and go – each time putting us all at risk again as he shares rooms at work. So let’s do this together. Let’s stop going out, stop sitting on porches and patios with friends. Let’s remember that while you aren’t scared, someone else, somewhere close, is.
Thursday, March 12th:
Dry, scratchy throat.
Monday, March 16th:
A cough began. It wasn’t a deep cough. It wasn’t wet. It wasn’t dry. Additionally, Aidan began to sneeze and cough – the same nasty cough he had from November until early January.
Thursday, March 18th:
Stomach issues from hell today. I was able to secure a telehealth call for Aidan for the next day.
Friday, March 19th:
The doctor said he didn’t seem to have it, but we needed to get him down to the mobile pediatrician site in Kenner to see what he might have. While we waited, he was tested for strep and flu – both negative. Due to no circulation or fever, they said it was a likely a cold.
Sunday, March 22nd:
I woke up with full on cold symptoms.
Wednesday, March 25th:
Went to the doctor. Clear lungs. Sent for testing.
Thursday, March 26th:
Took the test at the Alario Center.
Monday, March 30th:
Received my negative result.
The end of a series is always so exhilarating. It’s also equally as sad. You grow in tune with the characters and the world after 8 months together. For me, saying goodbye to this mystical, magical New Orleans also comes at a time when I’m about to have to say goodbye to New Orleans as my home for a new military stationing.
It’s poetic, really, but it’s also terribly sad. I’ve grown to love Lita’s recklessness, Ivy’s determination, and Deidre’s passion to do better. With this book, a new witch joined the trio and while she was standoffish and cocky and first, Grace revealed herself to be a lot deeper. Scenes were cut to keep the story on track, but her backstory with Jonathon is one I might tell as a freebie on the site one day.
Now, without further blubbering, happy release, Much to do About Hexes!
Grace Harper was still adjusting to life in the Big Easy when the vampire clan who followed her from New York attacked her. The last thing she'd wanted was to file a police report, but a cop witnessed the event and saved her the human way when her magic failed.
Tanner Cole never hesitated to save a damsel in distress. It just wasn't often they turned around and hexed him as a thank you. He loved women and found himself in quite a pickle thanks to said hex. He couldn't be with any other woman until he took down the vampire clan who attacked the young witch he'd saved.
Grace hadn't meant to hex Tanner, but she didn't always think before she cursed. Now he won't let her out of his sight until the vampires are dead and his hex is dissolved. Too bad neither were prepared for the way danger and tragedy could bring even the most different people together.
“How did you stop? That’s going to be important to ensure you do again whenever you feed. We all have triggers, and once we’ve found it, that’s it.”
“You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me.”
“Let me guess, your witch friend climaxed?”
“What, is that standard or some shit?”
“Pretty much. It’s tied to a change in the donator’s body chemistry the first time you feed.”
“Are you telling me if I drink from someone and they don’t orgasm I’ll drain them dry?”
“Pretty much, but with your reputation, you shouldn’t have an issue getting that done if you’re done with synthetic.”
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Last night, before a terrible tragedy ended one of my favorite parades, a member of the Sirens walking krewe looked at Aidan and dug through her bag to find this siren’s bottle just for him. Though she didn’t say why, I believe it was because of the note inside, and how powerfully it would resonate for a 3-year-old with a cast up to his thigh, stuck in a wheelchair during what is arguably the best time of year if you live in NOLA.
“I’m not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my own ship. “
My son is my hero. Period.
19 days ago he suffered an accident while out having the time of his life and found himself in more pain than should be fair for a small child - a broken bone, just under his knee near the growth plate.
In that moment, fun vanished for him. He wasn’t himself. My smiling, loud, non-stop talking child wouldn’t smile and he wouldn’t talk for
nearly 10 waking hours.
Within those first 24 hours, he was smiling and laughing once he was splinted. In that time, he also went to the ER. I had to stand by and listen and watch as he was essentially tortured (through no fault of the ER staff) in getting X-rays and a cast. Even still, he found calm and would sing and play.
Over the next 19 days, his world was different. My child who loved to say “I’ll do it” and run to do said thing, had no way to do it. The child who made it a game to climb on and off things to help, no longer could. The toddler who loved squatting down to build train tracks and race hot wheels, could only do so if someone let him - which we of course did. He couldn’t play with his friends. He couldn’t even go potty alone - something he’s been doing since before he was 2.
But you know what? He didn’t complain. Within a day of the full leg cast, he’d figured out how to butt scoot along the floor by putting his good foot under his bad. He taught himself how to roll over by tugging on the blanket and pulling himself - while mommy and daddy held it. Within seconds of being in a wheelchair on day 4, he was off, free once again.
He’s figured out how to play, admittedly by himself. He’s learned not to cry when his friends don’t stay by the wheelchair at school, play dates, and parades. Aidan “runs” through the house by scooting along the floor, giggling and grinning as he goes. He suffered through getting a cast off and a new one on at a hard angle for his stiff leg and while it sounded like an exorcism during it, five minutes later he was laughing and giggling asking to come back and see his leg photos again. He’s a fantastic terror, chatting everyone’s ear off and shouting “I’ve got a broken leg” to try and get stuff at the parades.
Throughout everything, he hasn’t lost his shine. He’s not once given into the sadness that I swear an adult would. He’s not complained about being stuck in one spot or losing his beloved bath time. (Though he literally pushed up off the ground with joy when I opened a cast cover that will let him swim!). Even last. night, when he was in pain because Mommy and Daddy didn’t do the best lifting jobs and made him sore.
He is a hero.
We write books with these strong, masculine leads and heroines we either identity with or strive to be. We often times forget that there are other hero’s, little ones with bigger hearts who tackle adversity in a way adults couldn’t fathom.
I only have a few novels with kids - and I’m not going to link them because that’s not what this is about - they’re not “characters.” They’re more plot elements, unique as they needed to be to let Mommy and Daddy shine.
I want us to do more. Romance is about the kids, too. Let’s all make a story where a young child is the hero in a parent’s life, not just an accessory.
2019 was all about visibility. I wanted to not only reach new readers, but be more visible to those already following me. I wanted to connect with those around me where I seemed to fail in the past.
what did I do?
I tried monthly blogging.
That didn’t yield results. I’d give away free things each blog if people would just comment. I’d share all over social media, and nothing would happen. So, after six straight months, I gave up.
I started back at book signings.
this was the best use of my word ever. I made new friends, created new partnerships, and overall just enjoyed being in a book obsessed setting.
I sent weekly newsletters.
While these were focused on recommendations, I usually had more - like a question, recipe and tons of giveaways. Did it work? Not really. My list of 2000 dropped down to about 1500 and I’d get maybe 2-3 engagement. Which, if it was you, I LOVED that!
I joined a boxset with new authors.
this improved my readership and my friendships as it launched the Hexed in New Orleans world AND hit the USA list, but it overall did not create the relationship with readers that I wanted. Do the books sell? Yes, but I’m after the engagement and fun more than the sales.
I posted daily on my business page.
Facebook algorithms are a pain. However, with over 10k followers I was certain if I posted daily, people would be interested in “hanging out”. Some days this worked, most it fell flat. I did giveaways, questions, fun things and more. Nothing stood out as working more than something else.
I tried to giveaway as many things as I could.
the goal? Entice someone to try something new. I never required more than a share to enter, and still, most went not entered.
What started on a high note as a key goal turned into a depression-like state after 7 months. Was Facebook causing some of it? Yes, but overall, it wasn’t. People didn’t seem to want to engage with me. Was it me as a person? Do my books sound shitty? Worse, do my books suck?
come November and December I slipped on deadlines and gave up pretty much everything. It’s not about fame or fortune for me, it’s about creating the communities I love as a reader. It became impossible to care because it feels (yes present tense), like no one needs the escape or wants the escape my stories bring. Writing grew tiresome, the characters didn’t stop talking, but I no longer cared if anyone ever knew their stories.
It’s not pretty, but it’s the truth. Without any indication my stories were enjoyed, it made no sense to keep pumping them out, no matter that I have 77 outlines waiting. And worse? If it wasn’t the stories no one wanted, it was me.
In my personal life, I’ve never cared if people don’t like or engage with me. I’m confident in myself. However, that disintegrates when my work is in question. It annoys me, but it’s what brings me to 2020’s word.
2020 is going to be about remembering why I started - to fulfill dreams. I am going to spend the year focusing on why I first picked up a pen in second grade to write a silly story about a snowflake.
I want to focus on the dream being the most important part - not on caring if people share my dream or believe in it.
2020 is about Lexi. It’s about the stories I want to tell, the worlds I want to share and to hell with caring if people don’t want them. I want them.
this is my call to action for you in 2020 - fight to love and live your dreams. ❤️❤️
Never judge a book by its cover ... but really, we all do. That’s not to say we’re bad people, simply that striking images get our attention. That’s okay!
As an author, it can be hard to find not the perfect cover, but the perfect cover artist. I, myself, have been so very fortunate to have stumbled upon some artists I rely on for premades (milktee designs, the write wrapping, book cover design by selfpub designs) , and others who I trust more than I can say with customs. I jokingly tell people I have three cover artists I go to whenever they will let me bug them - Dreams2Media, Fantasia Book Cover Designs, and The Illustrated Author. All three produce not only fantastic images that bring my idea to life, but also seamless processes that make you feel trusted and listened too - things I find integral when someone is bringing tour work to life.
If you've followed me since 2016, you know I completed a steampunk adventure novel, The Race. I created a cover based on the assets available at the time, but I didn’t love it. I didn’t want to give the project to anyone because I didn’t know I didn’t love it. Let’s take a peek, shall we?
It’s also not surprising that I consider those three ladies my friends. Melissa Stevens, from The Illustrated Author, and I talk regularly. I couldn’t tell you what we were talking about one day a few months ago, but it lead me to sharing that I had the above cover, but knew it didn’t fit the market any longer. Despite me not realizing she did steampunk, Melissa told me she could make a snazzy, current, cover. I was ready, but before I show you the reveal, I want to go behind the scenes so that fellow authors know what to look for when finding an artist, and so readers can see a peek into the world of creating just the right image.
Though brief, I hope this gives everyone a little behind the scenes fun!
It Starts with Questions
I cannot tell you how much I love answering questions. It forces me to delve into things I hadn’t thought of ... and if you’re me might have forgotten (sorry, Melissa, I know I threw the hair in last minute lol).
Bring on the Mockups!
One of my favorite parts of working with Melissa is the mock-up. I know she’s working. She knows she’s working, but I have NO idea what’s going on! Then boom! I’ll get an inbox with a pretty. She’s checking direction. She’s checking big picture. And most times, she’s putting a better twist on a cover than my stale, boring background idea. You haven’t seen them, but I can think of 4 covers she’s done this for 😂.
From there, sometimes I see a variety of images, sometimes I see nothing until the end when she’s asking if I see anything that needs changes. This time, there were a bit more, but I think it’s because she could tell how freaking nerdy I was waiting to see. I get this way with all steampunk covers.
So, let’s take a peek!
See those different versions? Let’s break them down!
1. The initial mock-up that made me squeal because they were inside a mother flipping airship!
2. A look at the full spread - likely shared bc I came undone at the ebook version.
3. Me going “oooo ummm he has pirate hair”
4. Melissa showing me the beauty of her hand-painted hair. Idk about you lovelies reading this, but goodness am I jealous of those full curls!!
5. The “last chance to look it over” image.
Nine times out of ten, I’ve got no revisions. That’s not artist dependent, that’s because I’ve learned to trust them and take a look at what I have. Of course, sometimes I’m a pain - as I bet all 3 ladies will agree too :D
so after randomly remembering my guy has “pirate hair”, and after Melissa went boss lady creating those FAB curls, I was all “umm can we do a more steampunk color than green?”
Not only did Melissa do this, she did it twice!
Two utterly stunning options. So much so, I drove myself to a local store known for steampunk novels, and browsed the shelves. I couldn’t decide. I almost jokingly asked Melissa if I could do both and just randomly change them out on amazon 😂😂
Needless to say, I picked one. One stood out as a fit without “disappearing” in with other titles in this genre. Are you ready to see which?
Ta Da!! The book cover process (in minor detail) all lead up to this glorious cover that is dripping with steampunk goodness.
I can’t thank Melissa enough for letting me know she did steampunk and that something much better could be done to capture the spirit of the novel! While I don’t know when it will release because I now have motivation to do self edits and find an editor, I couldn’t wait to share. Whether it’s my first release of 2021, or the end of 2020, I cant wait to head to the skies.
This past weekend I had the honor of attending Literary Love Savannah as an author. I held off writing this post because I wasn’t certain the direction it should take. Should it be about the prostitute who died in the bar who set my imagination whirling? Should it be silly about all the moments we had when we thought no one listened? Maybe it needed to be heartfelt for all those readers who snagged my books and made me feel like I did belong back at the convention scene.
Did I figure it out? Nope, but it’ll come to me as I go. It’ll be natural and organic and real.
Mike, Aidan and I piled into the car at 5 am on Wednesday to make the drive.
Thirteenish hours later, not only had I realized there was a thin line between romance and horror tropes, but we finally arrived in Savannah!
The weekend is both a reader and an author’s paradise. From seeing old friends for the first time in years, to meeting people I’ve connected with over social media to brand new friends, there was no shortage of amazing connections. We often forget how solitary the author life is, and when we come together, we’ll, we’re a lot of fun!
This weekend was about finding a piece of myself I didn’t know I’d lost since becoming a mom. Sure it was fantastic meals, epic parties, and soooo many books, but it was a time for me to enjoy being me. Over the past few years I’ve slipped into just being a “mom”. At LLS I was more. I was the author. I was the girl dashing through her first escape room. I was the woman struggling to find her “beauty” in time for a ball where I’d positioned myself to gain more than a few dirty looks if my sequined gown drew their eye and they deemed me unworthy. It was a place where a new shared world of stories was born and I was included simply because I was a friend.
I went to LLS because I wanted to find my footing in the author world - something I know I lost after choosing to part ways with my publisher. I got so much more.
Thank you to everyone. Thank you for the dirty stories during erotic trivia. Thank you for nights of chatting about nothing and everything. Thank you for entering my book worlds and staying for awhile. I’ll be seeing you, LLS, you haven’t seen the last of me yet.
If you'd have told me 5 years ago that I'd not only still be publishing, but thriving, I would have been shocked to say the least. Five-years-ago-me loved the stories I had to tell. She also believed she only had those few stories in her, that she would never reach her readers, and that she would fizzle and burn out - no matter how brightly she burned on day one - in a matter of years.
Only, she didn't. One series led to another ... and another ... and another ... and I think you get where I'm going from here. My greatest fear 5 years ago was not that I would fail to find my audience (though that is a struggle), but that I would run out of worlds to weave and stories to tell.
40 solo novels later (and a had full of anthology stories), and I can say that didn't happen. I'm here, I'm stronger. I have no intention of slowing down or stopping the race.
First grade me fell in love with reading stories. Second grade me fell in love with telling them. 31-year-old me hasn't changed a bit. Whether you're looking for swashbucklers, alpha males, heroic heroines, and even the occasional relateable villain (I'm looking at you, Seraphina), you can find them in my worlds.
Thank you to the cover artists who've worked to package my stories in spectacular bindings. Thank you to the editors who polished my work - and to the ones who didn't , thank you for teaching me to be stronger. Thank you to my publisher, though I am no longer a member of the house, you started a dream for a young writer. Thank you to my author friends who kick my butt into to gear, who help me through plot points, and who listen to the millions of ideas that I can't seem to contain in my head if I wish to work on a current project. Thank you to my family who's stood beside me, sharing, reading, and supporting my work. Thank you to my readers - without you, I'd just be a crazy lady with voices in her head.
Of course, what's a birthday without presents? Follow this link to grab a FREE ebook!
Until next time ....
This morning, my 39th solo novel released on Amazon. Thirty-nine. If you’d have asked me if I thought I’d have accomplished that many solo stories in July 2014 when my first novel released I never would have believed it.
Yet, here I am.
Each and every release is as exhilarating and terrifying as the last. There is no “getting used to it.” Every book is a little part of me, and sending it off into the world is scary. On the plus, I bet I’ll be fantastic at sending the kiddo off when he’s 18 after all this practice. Thankfully, he just turned 3 so I’ve got a ways to wait.
Once Hexed, Twice Shy actually began 2 years ago and was shelved due to other series and a lack of time as a brand new mom. Then, I had the opportunity to join a UF boxset and knew I had to finish it.
The problem? The story could only be 60k max and I was looking at 25k with just the first few chapters. Suddenly, Hexed and Dangerous was born and it utterly changed the dynamic of the Hexed in New Orleans series. My characters have a crazy backstory that I never imagined two years ago. But you’ll have to read the books to learn more because my lips are sealed!
Today, the first official book in the series released. To date, my releases are small quiet affairs. This time, I saw preorders that outdid my normal release day sales! The pressure was on but I loved every minute of it.
Get hexed with this teaser!
“I already have a ring,” Sam muttered, thinking about the carat solitaire diamond still sitting in a drawer upstairs. It belonged to his mother, and when she’d passed, she’d left it to him in her will.
Join the release party for a special giveaway. Plus! Every book is a BOGO! Just comment below with a photo of the book on your device (or head to the Facebook event and claim both you BOGO and your giveaway entry!
We all have that 1 "taboo" thing that we love. For me, it's serial killers. Don't ask me why, but it is. This post isn't about that though, it's about Pandora's Box. Want to know why .... just keep scrolling!
In my newest series, Pandora's box doesn't quite unleash sins - it alters DNA! The seven sins are reassigned to the supernatural world at large. Don't take my word on it though, here's a little teaser!
Some millennia ago, seven stupid humans opened the box and unleashed magic into the world. Instead of sins, the box actually created Supernaturals.
Want to know more? Well, you're in luck! Not only is this the start of my newest series - Hexed in New Orleans - but it's also OUT NOW in the Shadows and Sorcery Set. 20+ stories, 99¢ until Sunday, one-click today!
Now if you'll direct your attention away from the drool-worthy six packs (or the thick book he's holding ;)) I'll explain why this is important to an author. Reviews do so much more than give you a chance to voice your opinion - which is awesome anyway. They allow you to truly help an author. First and foremost (to me at least) is knowing that I've reached readers. Whether your review is talking about how much my books touched your heart or you're cursing me out for too much sex scenes, I love knowing that my books made it onto people's kindles and stirred a reaction in them. I will admit, I write because it's what it's my head and heart. However, without readers to enjoy my work, there's no point in pushing these ideas out from the space in my brain! Hearing from you in any fashion makes the dream so much better.
Of course, there is more than that. Reviews help with sales. When a review is posted on Amazon.com (or a blog) it reaches other readers. A great cover and a stirring blurb are wonderful, but people like opinions. Opinions good and bad help to sell books, which allows the author time and money to continue to write them! Always a plus, right?
It doesn't stop there though. Reviews are always required to help authors with promotion. Typically, it requires 10 with a 4.5 rating, but Amazon requires 50!!
Think it sounds easy? You're wrong.
I have a street team of 34 amazing people that review books early and most of my stories only have 4 reviews. Why? Because not everything will appeal to everyone of course! Sales could lead to more reviews, but it seems most readers don't know how important they are. I know I've sold more than 10 copies of each book ;). When a book hits 50 reviews on Amazon they start to include it to interested parties in emails, on your homepage as recommended and as suggested books on other pages. It's an important resource because not all readers live on Facebook or other social media platforms to see our ads.
Starting today (December 9th, 2015) if you leave a review of one of my books on any Amazon platform (does not include blogs or goodreads) and email the the link to it email@example.com I'll send you the next book in the series FREE!! Yes, you did read that properly. This will of course only apply once per series. Please note this is in no way seeking positive reviews. Review it however you want and all reviews count.
Guess that means there's only two things left to do - read and review!
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