My Inspiration for Dirty Empire

Tomorrow is release day for Dirty Empire! I rewrote this book I think three times to get it just right. This story is different than anything else I’ve ever written. To start of this story is inspired by Greek mythology. Most people don’t know this greek myth but when I heard the idea for Dirty Empire instantly popped into my head.

Aphrodite’s first husband was Hephaestus, the god of blacksmiths and metalworking. She was unfaithful to Hephaestus and had an affair with Ares, the God of war. Hephaestus found out about their affair and set a trap. He caught them in a net and the entire village came out to see naked Aphrodite and Ares caught together. Poseidon finds this to be very cruel and rescues Aphrodite from the net. She gave birth to two of Poseidon’s daughters.

In Dirty Empire; Hazel is Aphrodite, Miles is Hephaestus and Maverick is Poseidon.

“Lucky for you, I’m not a man to apologize, even if I accidentally took another man’s wife.”
He lets his shoe fall to the floor with a thud before untying the other and dropping that one too. It takes a while for me to process what he’s saying.

So you’ll drop me off? At the next island?” I ask, hope filling my chest for the first time today.
Maverick shakes his head before standing up and unbuttoning his dress shirt. A slight grin coats his lips. “Oh no, Pumpkin. Miles is going to come after me, and without you, I have no leverage.”
He takes off his shirt and leaves it in the middle of the floor. His washboard abs are on display, each one perfectly sculpted in a way that could only be achieved by hours spent at the gym. “I’m not a knight in shining armor, Pumpkin. I’m a villain.”

I married a monster.
Years ago my husband was the perfect man, until I was faced with his abusive side. I thought my husband would kill me but Maverick saved me. He seemed like my knight in shining armor. However, Maverick comes with his own set of baggage.


Self-Published: Create a Marketing Plan

If no one has told you yet you need a marketing plan. This will be your life saver as far as selling books goes. Last week I made a post about the four P’s of marketing. The first one is product and I think it goes without saying that you need a well-written book but relying just on writing a good book is foolish. The days of being able to throw a good book up on Amazon and it selling like hot cakes is over. There is far to much competition now on Amazon to not do any marketing.

So what is a marketing plan and what does it look like? Well first I want to suggest a book to you called the 1-Page Marketing Plan. Its an excellent book and can really help you create a marketing plan. In the mean time there are a few key things you need in your marketing plan.

Target Audience: Who is going to buy your book? Get REALLY specific. For example: My customer is 30 years old. She’s married with two kids and works a full-time and she uses romance novels as a way to escape and relax. If you don’t know where to start with this do some research. You can simply good “Who buys (your genre) books.” As you get further into your writing career your target audience will become more specific but start with what you have.

What’s your message?: When people think of your name what do you want them to think of? I would come up with one sentence that describes what kind of books your write and why they should read it.

How are you going to reach your audience: AKA where does your audience hang out? Are they on Facebook? Instagram? Do they prefer to walk into bookstores and pick up books? I can not emphasize enough how important this is. If you don’t know where your audience hangs out you can’t reach them.

Sales Funnel: “The purchase funnel, or purchasing funnel, is a consumer-focused marketing model that illustrates the theoretical customer journey toward the purchase of a good or service.” In today’s society I think its important to just straight-out write your sales funnel. If someone doesn’t know who you are how are you going to make them buy your product? There are steps involved to get from point A(Someone doesn’t know you) to point B(Them buying your book and becoming a loyal customer.) You need to write these steps out.

For example: Step One: I’m going to advertise a free e-book to collect email address. Step Two: I’m going to create automatic emails over the next week after they sign up so they can get to know me. Step Three: Educate my newsletter about new releases and hope they purchase my new books.

This is a simple sales funnel but basically you want to build a long term relationship with a reader and get them from point A to B.

Nurture Audience: How will you keep that relationship with your readers? In simpler terms this can be public relation or content marketing. You want to continue to give your readers content and attention. I suggest setting up a FB group for your super fans and show up in there often.

These are just some things to get you started and to start thinking about how to market your book. As mentioned before I high suggest the book 1-page marketing plan.

I can not stress enough how important it is to have a plan in place to how you will sell your book. Your book WILL NOT sell itself.

Self-Publishing Marketing: The 4 P’s

Hi! Today I want to go a bit in-depth on marketing as a self-published author. I went to school for marketing and it has helped me tremendously with my writing career, but I do realize that this is something authors really struggle with. I plan to start a series on my blog all about marketing but for today I thought I’d start with something simple; the 4 P’s of marketing and how they relate to your self-publishing career.

Product- This one seems pretty straight forward. The product is your book but it goes even deeper than that. Your product is your cover, your blurb, your genre, and your writing style. You are going to have a hard time marketing if you don’t have a good overall product. Covers are HUGE in indie publishing and you want to make sure you have a high quality cover because this is the first thing a reader is going to see.

Price-This is my favorite P to talk about because how you price your book determines who shows up to buy your book. A book that is priced at $0.99 and is available on Kindle Unlimited attracts a different fan-base than a book that is priced at $6.99 and is available on all platforms. Decide on a target market and that’s going to determine how you price your book.

Placement- I’m going to translate this to distribution. How are people going to get your books? Are you exclusive to Kindle Unlimited? Are you wide? Do you want to be in book stores? Libraries? This is all part of your marketing.

Promotion: This is what most people think when they think about marketing. Some examples of promotion is Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads, Goodreads Giveaways, Social Media, Newsletter emails, etc. Basically it’s how you are getting your product in front of your target market.

These are the basic 4 P’s of marketing. As I’ve mentioned I will continue to go into depth on marketing as a indie author but I think it’s good to talk about the basic’s first.

Review: The Magnolia Duet

I listened to the audio for both book and OMG Joe Arden did an amazing job with Mose’ss character. I’ve always been a huge fan of Magnolia and I have been waiting for her book since reading Ruthless Queen. Meghan did an amazing job bringing Magnolia’s character to life on the page. Magnolia is the most badass Heroine I’ve ever read. She holds nothing back and for awhile I really thought she wasn’t going to give Moses a second chance. Moses reminds me like a 1920’s gentleman… but in a good way. He drives a Rolls Royce and he just comes across as real smooth. Overall I think Meghan March did a great job with this duet.

Read Now


The thing about ghosts is they’re supposed to stay dead.
That’s exactly what I am, but I can’t stay away from Magnolia Marie Maison for one more day, let alone another year.
We’ve already got fifteen of those between us.
As it stands, she’ll want to kill me as soon as she lays eyes on me. And knowing her, she’s completely up to the task.
But I’m a man on a mission, and I’ve got everything riding on this.
So, here I come, Magnolia. This ghost is ready for whatever you got.
After all, there’s only one way I want this to end—’til death do us part.

Writing Strong Characters

Writing strong character’s is what can make or break a book. When writing a book you want the reader to fall in love with the characters just as much as you do. So how do you create strong and believable characters?

Create your characters beforehand

If you are a plotter this will be a no-brainer but for those who like to write by the seed of their pants this might not be so obvious. My characters are the only part of the book I plan out before starting. I like to have a good grip on who my characters are. I suggest getting a piece of paper and filling it entirely with stuff about you hero/heroine. What do they like to do? How did they grow up? What problems or issues do they have? How do they eat do they scarf their food down or take small bites? Write down everything even if it’s not essential to your story line. If you don’t have a good idea of who your character is your reader won’t either.

Be consistent

Once you start writing you might discover that your character is more self-conscious than you thought. Or maybe they are coming across on the page different than you intended. Either way you want to make sure you are consistent in your writing. I often have to go back to the beginning of my story and ask myself, “Is this something X would really say?” In the beginning you are still learning your character so make sure to go back and check for consistencies.

Dialogue, dialogue dialogue!

This is something that I personally struggle with but I’m getting better. You can tell a lot about a character by the way they talk. Are they a people pleaser? Do they say yes a lot when they really mean no? Do they have a accent and say the word Y’all all the time? Don’t forget that dialogue is going to be a huge part of creating strong believable characters. Also make sure the dialogue is actually matching who they are. If you character is uneducated they probably aren’t going to be using big descriptive words when they talk.

Your character will develop

Your characters should go through some kind of change. Isn’t that the point of a story, to see a character go through change? So just because you have this perfect plan about who you character is don’t forget by the end of the book they are going to change a little bit. They shouldn’t be a completely different person but there should and will be character development.

I hope these tips were helpful. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for more information.