Getting back into the swing of things!

Today has been a good day. For those of you “not in the know”, I have been on a pregnancy-and-depression-fueled hiatus for about this entire year (that would be 2017, for those of you in the future…or past).

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My little chef!

First I was pregnant with my second child (see below), and then I had this toddler following me around, who people tell me I’m responsible for. I gotta make sure he eats, sleeps, and doesn’t kill himself. That’s about it. Not difficult, you might say. Well, let’s just agree to disagree on that.

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No, thanks sassy parental judgers

So, I have been CRAVING to write so bad for weeks now. It’s just itching at me. Here and there in between screaming babies and those rare moments of peace, I’ll quickly load my Pages app on my iPhone, open a blank page and write some of the scenes happening in my head. Or, when I have a good 45 minutes of time, I’m steadily building the characters for two of my upcoming stories. It may not be much, but…

It is only the beginning. 

The pages are churning around in my head like a propeller wheel. I’m ready to write my next book.

WHICH UPCOMING BOOK(s)?

Some of you are shouting from behind your computer screens.

Well, you’re going to have to wait some more. Because, I’m not telling! I’m going to keep it one big secret (for now). Although, the two books won’t be much of a surprise to anyone! I also don’t want to disappoint anyone in case the story I’m working on isn’t the one you want right now. 

What I can reveal is that I have been churning on a vampire named Aiden from the Bellum Sisters and Jo MacKellen (whose stories is not as close to the surface for me; this one needs to simmer longer!) and, oh yeah, Kane and Tabitha have already begun their story (The Untouchables #5).

WRITING NEWS

I am currently trying to see about hiring a babysitter to sit my two babies for me for a few days a week. This would free up some excellent time for me to get back to work and have a novel completed within six months! I am so excited about this and will post more if, in fact, I do end up getting a sitter. Then, it’s back to writing! WOOHOO!

2017-07-23 23.25.44And this little SQUISHY gift from above is my beautiful Ellie. She smiles so much and let’s me know all that hard work was worth it!

Thanks for listening. I’ll be back in the next few weeks with my next upcoming sale on THE BELLUM SISTERS BUNDLE! Please stay tuned.

How I feel after a new book release

I don’t often write reflective posts. In fact, I don’t really blog at all, because site stats have proven long ago that no one is really listening. This is actually a good thing, because right now I want to discuss something (hold on as I pause here for a minute to try to find the right word)… troubling? No, troubling is not the right word. Maybe…unsatisfying.

There. That’s better. Unsatisfying.

Often times releasing a new book, something that I’ve worked months and months on, day after day, hour after hour, is a wholly unsatisfying experience. I can tell you what I hope to see happen after I release a book. Of course, this is what every author in the world wants to happen once they publish a book. They want to check their sales that first day and see a skyrocketed number. Anything over a thousand sales (for me) would be spectacular. But, you don’t see that. Maybe a few hundred over the course of the day from all retailers is more accurate. How disappointing.

You feel panic. You feel…sad. No celebrating, please. I am trying not to cry. 8 months of hard work. So many re-writes, including more than 35,00 in a week during content edits where I basically had to ignore my baby for 8 hours a day. And what is it for? Some paltry sales. I begin to think of my rent for this house I don’t own and how I can’t afford it like this. I think of the electric bill which was almost $300 this month. We’ve shut off the a/c and are thankful for cooler temperatures this past week.

Doubts creeps in. Well maybe the book isn’t that good. But, no, I think. It is really good. I know it. I can feel it. Just to prove my point, I’ve sent about a hundred copies of the book to readers (something I’ve only done once before, long ago) and while losing all of those potential sales, I did garner reviews. Reviews, I’ve heard, is a great way to sell a new release. When readers come to your new book release page and see that pretty green text with a glowing review on Amazon, readers will snatch up that book quickly; far more so than without that text or with poor reviews littering the page.

What if the sales aren’t coming in? What if reviews haven’t seemed to change a thing?

So, you think back to your advertising plan. After all, it’s not like you just hit “publish” and did nothing else whatsoever to promote your book. You made the first book in the series free and ran a week-long advertising plan using Facebook ads and numerous other advertising websites such as BargainBooksy (a great site!) to bring attention to this series. Well, I have had great success with this free book campaign. I’ve gotten nearly 7,000 free downloads of this book, which is remarkable considering I could not obtain a BookBub ad for this book. BookBub is considered the holy grail of book advertising, in case you don’t know. Interestingly enough, I’ve been able to give away more copies of Take Me without a BookBub ad than with one. Perhaps I won’t try to rely on BB so much in the future.

Now, you may think: 7,000 free books – that’s incredible! It is. And it’s not. You have to remember how us e-reader folks work. We see a book on sale (or free in this case), and we snatch that book up. However, then we go to work and have dinner and hang out with our family and life goes on and in the meantime we snatch up other free/discounted books having long forgotten about T. A. Grey’s title. That free book never gets read.

I do this all the time. I have all kinds of free/discounted books I downloaded on my e-reader that have never even been open. Maybe one day I will get to them. But I doubt it.

All an author can hope for is that a tiny percentage of those 7,000 free downloads will actually open and read the book, and that they will like it so much that they will purchase book 2. And many book 3. And maybe, finally, my new book. By that point, perhaps 1% of those 7,000 readers will go on to read book 4. I am not good at math, but that would be, what, 70 readers? 70 sales, potentially.  8 months of work. Even longer since my previous book, which released last Halloween. Income is dropping steadily; little money coming in, and I may, if I’m lucky be able to pay rent for 1 month off this profit.

So, what can you do to let romance readers know that “Hey, y’all! I wrote a new book and I’m pretty darn sure y’all will like it if you give it a try! Try reading the first chapter or two! You don’t even have to buy it. Just try it!”? Well… fact is, I don’t know. I’ve been self-publishing since 2011 when this whole she-bang started, and sometimes I feel savvy and in control and at other times I feel like I’m listlessly floating in a very large ocean.

That’s how I feel right now. Like I’m drowning.

There are no real answers. And all of my problems are the very same ones that thousands of authors, bestselling or not, have experienced and will continue to experience for years to come.

So, what I start to do next is ask questions: what’s wrong with the book, why can’t I gain attention to my brand, what can I do better, and so on and so forth. I am a fixer. A problem solver. A strategist. So, I think about it. I’ve come up with some answers, not that I know if they are “correct” at all. Let’s have a look at them:

  1. No one is really reading paranormal books any more (unless they are bear or dragon related). Rogue Blood is a paranormal, therefore a lack of interest.
  2. Billionaires, bad boys, & office-contemporary romances are all the rage right now. Although the Blackmoore family in this series are definitely billionaires (or at least disgustingly wealthy) and the setting is definitely contemporary, and maybe some of the heroes could be characterized as “bad boys” — few readers will touch this series or this book. Because it’s listed under the “paranormal” category.
  3. You could say: “Why, T. A., simply remove the book to a different category, to which I would say no. I will not lie or be deceitful. There are vampires and Were creatures in this book. And perhaps a touch of magic, too!” Paranormal is as paranormal does.
  4. Bosses. Erotic romances with an office setting are all the rage. But what if I don’t have any of these kinds of books in my backlist? What if I don’t even have an interest in writing these kinds of books? What if I don’t believe in fad writing? Which means, I don’t like to write what everyone else is writing. I don’t like to jump on bandwagons. I never have. Then, that means I have to stew in my pile of shit and deal with it, doesn’t it? And I really shouldn’t complain.

That means I have to stew in my pile of shit and deal with it, doesn’t it? And I really shouldn’t complain.

Strangely, every time I have finished a book and I’m preparing to “launch” it, I always get the same jitters. I’m nervous about how readers will feel about it. I’m nervous about being able to sell any copies. I’m nervous that my book will be hated. But now, more than ever, I’m just scared. I feel, at times, like it’s hopeless; that if I don’t write in one of these fads genres, which is so overly saturated, that I will never be able to pop my head above the water again. There is no lucky coin to flip that will make you sell XXX amount of copies in one day. So much of this business is luck or happenstance. I suppose I wish I had more of that mojo right now.

Of course, not everything is a complete downer. As I said before, I am a strategist. A planner. And I do have a plan to rectify my situation.

That plan is to finish writing my Bodyguards for Hire series. There is one book published in it right now: Jace. It’s a fun, sexy romp. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much as I did while writing that book. That on-going series is also shorter in length at around 50,000 words, a far cry from the 100k, plus-length novels of The Untouchables series that few people are reading. Since I have a baby now, which has upturned my previous writing schedule, shorter novels are the way to go, I think. I will be able to finish them sooner.

I can’t be writing one book a year. Even two a year is dismal.

So, what’s my plan? To pimp and write some more hilarious contemporary romances in the Bodyguards for Hire series. Gio (book 2) is set to release November 7th. If I can get it out earlier, I’ll do that. But I am trying to allow plenty of time for editing. Next up after that is Mac (book 3). I would love to have Mac out in December. Time will tell if I’m delusional about how much I can accomplish this year.

I am hoping to see an uptick in sales because of this series. Hopefully, more so than I’ve seen with Rogue Blood. I will very likely go on to write book 4 and book 5 of that series. I am thinking of some sexy twin Russian bodyguards who come to Miami for work. 😉 It will be great.

Will this solve my problems? I don’t know. All I can do is try.

 

One Week Celebration of Take Me: The Untouchables #1

Well, folks, Take Me has been out there in the Internet world for a straight week now. I’m very excited with the results and with the feedback people have given me! Thank you so much to everyone who’s bought the book and enjoyed it.  I’ve already been getting emails asking when the next book will be out. For some the date may not be soon enough, for others it shouldn’t feel that far away.

Take Me: The Untouchables #1 by T. A. Grey

The second Untouchables book is set to come out in the summer. You can always check on my website, my newsletter, or Facebook to see the latest news. As soon as I have specific dates I will announce them. For now, the next book in The Untouchables–Grayson’s story–will be out in July or August of this year. Yay! I know you guys are excited for Grayson’s story!

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Why does Take Me have people so excited? It all comes down to two unique individuals: Felicity and Dominic.

                                “I’m a Blackmoore, Felicity. I get what I want.”

Dominic is not someone to mess with and he’s certainly not someone who gives up easily. And so begins the love story of Felicity Shaw and Dominic Blackmoore. If you’d like a taste of the story then I’ve put up the first 5 chapter on my website. Yes, you can read the first five chapters for free! Stop on by, read the first few chapters and see of this erotic novel tickles your fancy. 😉 

As some of you may or may not know Take Me is the story about a love that blooms between two very different people at a very inopportune time. Dominic Blackmoore comes from an illustrious family whose wealth and prestige isn’t anything to sneeze at. While Felicity is a poor girl who will do anything, even lie, to get the dream job that will take her to greater things. That job offer comes from Dominic Blackmoore, and the instant they meet something shifts inside them.  That is after a devastating mistake in identity in one climactic moment! However, he’s supposed to “bond” with another vampire leaving Felicity off limits (in her mind). In his mind he can mate with the “proper” woman while having Felicity on the side. It isn’t his ideal choice but to have Felicity he will do anything.

“Tell me what I have to do to get inside you and I’ll do it. Name it. Anything.”
Her heart constricted. “I-you’re getting bonded to Julianna Greenwich.”
His jaw clenched, eyes turned flat. “And?”
Just like that she felt cold. Awkwardly she pulled her hands out of his hair. “And I don’t mess around with non-single men.”
“I can’t give you that. I need her.”
She winced. Why did those words feel like a blow straight to the heart?
“Yes, well, I’m not going to be a home wrecker. You can’t touch me anymore. We need to keep our distance.”
He turned his head away. Anger bounced off him in waves. Their arousal still saturated the air around them with that mouth-watering scent.
“She means nothing to me. I only met her for the first time the night I met you.”
“Yes, but she’s still going to be the one you’re bonded to a month from now.”

What do you think? Sound like a good story? I think it’s a pretty great romp. (Naturally I’m biased, haha!) Stop by my website to read the first five chapters, check out the reviews on Goodreads, or to purchase the book. The book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, All Romance eBooks, Kobo, and soon to be iTunes.

Happy reading everyone!

T. A. GREY

Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Goings On in 2013

Hello ladies and sparse gentlemen!

So far this year of 2013 has been quite busy for me. The Fallen King is still freshly released and doing well. Some of the feedback I’ve been getting from readers and bloggers is really good! YAY! Those of you who have already read it got the thrill of watching (or reading, rather) a villain become a hero. Some, I came to find out, didn’t believe he could do it, that his past travesties from the previous book Ties That Bind were too much. HA! He showed you. 😉 A  strong, albeit crazy hero, laid beneath his villainous exterior.

Paranormal romance books

Enough about The Fallen King though. What this post is about is all the stuff I’ll be doing (or trying my best to do) in 2013.

Some of you may know that I am already mad at work at the first book in my newest series The Untouchables.

paranormal erotic romance booksIn Take Me, book one, the first brother you will get to know in the famous Blackmoore vampire family is Dominic. You will get to watch him meet his bruid in the most unexpected woman under a wee bit of a misconception. Due out in late February Take Me will have you laughing one moment then your jaw dropping the next at what comes out of the hero’s mouth. He has such a dirty mouth. It’s a great thing to read, let me tell ya! You can read the first chapter of Take Me right now, but be warned it’s no light stuff.

So, what does the rest of the year look like? Here is the tentative schedule. I say tentative because things happen. Once the manuscript is finished you will all have more solid dates listed. As of right now here is how my release schedule looks:

February: Take Me: The Untouchables #1 

AprilThe Untouchables #2 

JuneThe Untouchables #3

AugustThe Untouchables #4

October/NovemberContemporary romance series *new book #1

So, at the very least you can look to expect the entire Untouchables series this year and also the beginning of my next which, for the first time, will not be paranormal. I’m excited, and a little nervous about that one! At the very least we’re looking at five books this year; however, if I can make it more then I will certainly do it.

If you want to read excerpts of The Fallen King of Take Me then you can find them at my website www.tagrey.com. I hope this list looks good to you. It’ll definitely keep me busy this year. 🙂 I hope you all have prosperous 2013’s and that you read many good books that put a smile on your face and take you away from life for awhile.

Happy reading,

T. A. Grey

The Black Friday Blog Hop – Win $5 gift cards!

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Welcome everyone!

I hope your Black Friday shopping is going fantastic, ladies! Please remember not to run over any small children with shopping carts or to clothesline any elderly to get to that discounted tablet.

I am very happy to be taking part in my second blog hop hosted by Carrie Ann Ryan. For this hop, I am going to show my next release and offer a link to Goodreads for those who might like to add mt latest paranormal romance.

The Fallen King is book #4 in The Bellum Sisters series

Life couldn’t have possibly gotten worse for the demon king Alrik. But it did. He lost the love of his life. Days spent clouded in black and gray were brightened only with the lovely Arianna near. Her light kept the darkness at bay if only for a few moments.

And now she’s gone leaving him alone. Now he has nobody. But he has purpose.

A purpose–steely determination—for revenge against the one who cursed him. His mother. She’s out there in the rift, gathering forces, for what, he’s unsure.  A mere human witch by the name Abbigail Krenshaw is the key to saving himself and killing his mother–or so a little old seer tells him under sword-point. Small, fragile, and breakable Abbigail almost reminds him of his lost love, yet she’s different  Strong, charming, always pushing him in ways that Arianna wouldn’t dare. He can feel her worming her way into his battered, blackened heart and can’t decide whether he wants to close her inside forever, or lock her out.

He needs Abbigail. He needs the human witch to sacrifice herself in order to save his tortured soul. He’s more than willing to sacrifice her for his purpose, but the more he’s around her the more difficult it becomes to uphold the decision. Can he really use her to save himself and let her die? His heart screams no but his mind says yes.

Coming to all online retailers 12.28.12

Find it on Goodreads

PRIZES 

To celebrate the Black Friday Blog Hop and my upcoming release I am giving away 4 $5.00 gift cards to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (your choice).

These are digital gift cards and I’ll email them right to you the day after this hop (Nov. 24th).

**To win just leave your name, email address, and which card you’d prefer (Amazon or B&N). Also, state what you love, or don’t love, about Black Friday!

DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL! I don’t want anyone to miss out because I can’t contact them!

Happy hopping everyone!

T. A. GREY

www.tagrey.com |  Facebook |  Twitter

Don’t stop now. Follow the hop and be entered to win Carrie Ann Ryan’s grand prizes!

Now what are those prizes?
1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $75 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more! (not open to international winners)

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The Fallen King

It’s almost here! I can practically taste it. Of course, I’ve been writing Alrik’s story for nearly two months now. I know everyone who read Ties That Bind probably let out a little scream of frustration at all that happened to the dark and troubled character at the end of the book.

 

Well, lucky for all of us, Alrik wouldn’t leave me alone. Remember when I told ya’ll about the new ‘bodyguard’ series I wanted to write? Heck, I even wrote several chapters into it (check out Playin’ for Keeps). So, even though I didn’t really want to, I set aside Playin’ for Keeps so that Alrik could shut up in my head.

I think all of you fans of The Bellum Sisters Trilogy will not be disappointed with this book. Alrik is one intense and interesting demon. Pair him off with a smart, funny & sexy witch/human and…let’s just say a lot of fun stuff happens.

Anyway, back to the point of this post. The Fallen King will be finished in a few weeks and from there on out it’ll be revised and edited by me and several others until it looks all shiny and perfect.

So here are some fun things you can look forward to start…soon:

  • Book cover reveal for The Fallen King
  • Blurb reveal
  • More snippets coming your way
  • The official release date to be named (I’m looking at the 21st or 28th!)
  • A preview at my next/new series (another very different paranormal series)
  • Cover reveal for my next series — The Untouchables
  • Chains of Frost print copies to be given away
  • The Black Friday Blog Hop where I will give away more prizes
  • The book launch for The Fallen King where I will give away free copies of the book and other things for some help in spreading the word!

Whew. Is that all?

Probably not. I’ve been busy and these next few months are going to be even more so as The Fallen King’s release date nears.

So, stay tuned, ladies and gents. Subscribe here, follow me on Facebook and Twitter and get the latest news as I send it!

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Twitter

www.tagrey.com

Happy reading, everyone!

TA GREY

 

A look at my newest story

Howdy ya’ll!

I’ve posted the first few chapters from my latest work in progress. Everything from the title of the book to the series title down to character’s names are subject to change. (Mostly just the titles really). People have been really talking and are excited to see what my new ‘bodyguards’ series is going to look like. Well, you can head on over to Goodreads and check out the first couple chapters and let me know what you think (or not).

Take me to Goodreads now!

By the way, I haven’t purchased the image yet. But here is the inspiration for Nathan. (You’ll know what I mean when you read it).

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Property of phillyphotog at http://www.bigstockphoto.com

Enjoy!

-T. A. Grey

www.tagrey.com