Monday, September 18, 2017

Autumn Book Festival Giveaway

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I love the fall. It's my favorite time of the year. Usually, I do something special. This year is no exception. I doing a giveaway ~ Autumn Book Festival Giveaway ~ I'm giving away a Kindle Paperwhite eReader!!!

AUTUMN BOOK FESTIVAL
The Giveaway goes from today until October 31st! It's easy to enter. Several ways...sign up for my newsletter, follow my penname, Colleen Connally, on BookBub and Amazon, subscribe to my Youtube Channel, or follow me on Twitter @jhines340. Enter for your chance to win! 

Don't forget if you are near Nashville October 4-7th—stop by and see me at INDIE ROMANCE CONFERENCE at Lebannon, TN. Check out this link for information.

INDIE ROMANCE CONFERENCE
Stay Tuned...I'm so excited. I will have a new release by the end of the year— 

Under my penname, Colleen Connally ~ The Three Realms Series ~

Past of Shadows

COMING SOON!





Sunday, September 3, 2017

We the People!

My daughter and I enjoyed a few days away together. Such a lovely time. It's not often that I get to spend quality time with just her. I let her choose a place within driving distance. Being a history teacher, she chose Philadelphia. 

Given my love for history, I jumped at it. I hadn't been to Philadelphia in over twenty years. We had a great time. One of the things I enjoyed the most about the city was that all the research I have done over the years for my American historicals was vindicated. As in my series, Winds of Betrayal, the cry for freedom echoes on the streets of Phildelphia.




What I found that vindicated my research further was with my book, Southern Legacy. Southern Legacy was written with a purpose. It is my most personal book. Southern Legacy is a sweeping romance, but underneath the romance is the message I believe the whole country needs today, an acceptance of who we are. Southern Legacy was written to give a voice to the different perspectives of the Civil War: Southern, Northern and slaves. 

I wrote about Philadelphia in Southern Legacy and the Underground Railroad.

I know that Southern Legacy is first and foremost a romance. That I'm not denying. Yet, I feel its more. At the end of the book, there is a passage I would like to share...
You looked beyond the color of their skin and saw them as people. I have had time to think on all the things in my life and have come to a realization that the world would be a better place to live if we all judged others by their deeds and not by their appearance. I have determined that it must have been the way your father raised you. It is my desire for you to raise our children in the same manner. I want them to see the good in all people for I have seen the worst. 


My daughter and I went to the National Constitution Center. I would highly recommend a visit to the center to every American. I was inspired by the performance of We the People. We Americans should never forget the path it took to gain our freedom and exactly what freedom means for us all. America is a nation of diversity...no matter of our color, religion or sexual orientation. We are Americans...we are the people.

American stands for us all.

(The pictures above came from visiting the Liberty Bell.)

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Free eBook ~ Amazon Echo Dot Giveaway! Enjoy Your Summer!

THE GOVERNOR'S DAUGHTER
FREE~ LIMITED TIMEJULY 24-28th
Cathryn Blankenship has no desire for a season in London! Why on earth would her father want her to leave her home in Charles Town? Upon Cathryn’s steadfast refusal, Governor Blankenship is forced to assign a young lieutenant to watch over Cathryn on the journey and ensure his daughter’s appearance in London. Cathryn finds Lieutenant Jake Pennington the most aggravating, maddening man she has ever met...a man Cathryn soon admits she is in no hurry to see leave.

But fate has other plans for her in a world she is ill prepared to enter. She descends into a place where love and betrayal go hand and hand, where greed and treachery are second nature, but moreover the threat her father believes he has sent her is awaiting her arrival. When fate tears her apart from her Lieutenant, Cathryn finds herself desolate and alone. Soon Cathryn makes fateful decisions that will eventually send her back to her home where she will have to fight for her life. And the only one that can save her is the one she believes deserted her.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

INDIE ROMANCE CONVENTION ~ Join Me!


If you are going to be around the Nashville area the first week of October, come and join me at the Indie Romance Convention. I'm so excited to attend! Going to be lots of fun, come meet some wonderful authors, grab some great reads and most important— have a great time!

I love Nashville. I fly there all the time going back and forth to my home in Mississippi. The convention is in Lebanon, Tennessee, just around thirty miles from Nashville. I will be featuring my book, Southern Legacy...even though my next release will be under my penname, Colleen Connally. The reason is that being in the South...Southern Legacy is the perfect book.

So come and join me. Pick up a signed copy of Southern Legacy at Saturday's book signing. Would love to see you there!

Monday, June 19, 2017

'It's a dangerous game you set to play, Miss Corbett. One that can have far worse than deadly consequences!' Winds of Betrayal 4-BK Collection

'It's a dangerous game you set to play, Miss Corbett. One that can have far worse than deadly consequences!'

WINDS OF BETRYAL 4-BK COLLECTION

Now ~ the complete set including the dramatic conclusion — Set Fire to the Rain— is only $1.99 until June 26, 2017. Winds of Betrayal, The Darkness of Deception, The Heavens Shall Fall and Set Fire to the Rain!
The complete set...if bought separately is $15.96.

Spies and Traitors; Love and Betrayal!

A rousing historical saga of the fight for our independence. Read and remember the cost of our freedom.

In the midst of the struggle of America's bid for independence, Hannah Corbett makes a fateful decision, descending into a world of deceit. Spurred by revenge, she heads to New York, setting in motion a dangerous game for which there is no return. Searching desperately for the man who betrayed her family, she faces the cold and brutal reality of the life of a spy. Caught in a web of lies, living with betrayal, she is trapped. She has nowhere to turn except to a man it would be treasonous to love, setting duty and desire at war. Her heart is ripped apart when she must choose between the man who risks his career and life to protect her and the only thing that has remained constant in her life...her belief in her cause.



Sunday, June 11, 2017

BELLE OF CHARLESTON'S LEGACY

Belle of Charleston, the first book in Southern Legacy serial, is a sweeping American historical romance. Belle of Charleston is a perma-free book, written from my heart.


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Southern Legacy is my best selling series. Matter of fact, Belle of Charleston was named one of the best books of 2015 by Digital Book Today...and Belle of Charleston is free!

Being a Southerner, I grew up believing that the war was because of state’s rights and not about slavery. As an adult, I discovered how differently others saw the South. When my children came home one day talking about the movie Mississippi Burning, I found myself trying to defend my home state. That is not the Mississippi I know, but I can't dispute facts. Although those weren't the actions of the people I know and love, there is no justifying the indefensible.

My purpose behind the Southern Legacy serial was to depict how all sides felt during the war: Southern, Northern, slaves, and abolitionists. I wanted to capture the romance of the antebellum South, but also portray slavery as it was—horrific.

Readers may not realize my intent. As I stated, this is a sweeping romance, but within the series I wrote about the Underground Railroad, including leaders I wasn’t aware of until my research, like William Still.

This is what one reviewer of the whole series, Southern Legacy, 4-Bk Collection, said.

I NEVER write reviews! On this series I have too. I read 100's of books and have to say, this has been the most pleasant surprise. I urge everyone to buy this series. The characters are many and you will hate and love everyone of them from one moment to the next. The History is not so much captured in the Civil War itself but the feeling is captured. You can FEEL how each of these characters felt, whether they were from North or South, slave, or freedmen. Thank you to the Author for such a wonderful experience that kept me on edge, and awake at all times of the night. It was well worth it.



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Being an Indie bestselling author, I have had to overcome several obstacles. One of them was deciding how to release Southern Legacy. I have gotten hit hard with one-star reviews with readers upset this is a serial—despite the warnings that there are cliffhangers. I have no desire to get into an agrument with anyone, but the warnings have been up since the beginning.

Unlike some other bestselling authors, I can't get bad reviews taken down...I have one-star reviews up that have nothing to do with my book—one was mad at Amazon about how its kindle was downloading, another lambasting about things that weren't even in my book, and others that leave one and two star reviews for all the books they review. As you can guess, Amazon and I don't see eye to eye. Little things that make a difference, like a reader being greeted by negative reviews when they look at my books. A couple of examples— The Governor's Daughter, the first review you see is a one-star liked by only 2 people, yet there are 5 and 4 star reviews liked by 29 and 11 readers below it. Another, The Bastard Son. The first review is a one-star liked by 8, but there are other 5 star liked by 10 that you can't even see when you look at the book. I have numerous emails from readers complaining that their reviews never went up. There is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Amazon has control.

I mention this because at conferences I attend and online with other authors, there are a group of authors that never let a negative review stay up, especially on a new release. They talked about making a simple phone call. I am not one of those authors.  

Amazon and I butt heads all the time. Last year, they threatened to take my one of my books down, Fragmented. They froze my book and readied to take it down. Their reason—they said that Fragmented wasn't mine—despite the fact I had the copy-right and proved it was mine. They told me there was nothing I could do. I finally got through to someone that would listen, but not before losing two weeks of sales.

In April, Amazon again went at me. They placed a warning on Winds of Betrayal. They said there was something wrong with the formatting. This was on a book that had been up for years. 
This was the error they gave me—


 "Formatting-Forced_background_color; Kindle Location: 5601; Comments: The background color for some texts appears to be forced in your book, because of which the text in the book is highlighted. This especially affects readers who prefer reading on black, sepia and green background. Please remove the forced background color. You can see this issue at location 5550 and 5564."
 First— this was the last page of the book where I listed my other published books. Nothing to do with the book itself. Second—Despite not understanding what the issue was with the formatting, I deleted the page and republished immediately. The warning stayed up for more than two weeks. This came when I just released the conclusion, Set Fire to the Rain, to the series and was doing promotions. I wrote to Amazon several times. I didn't understand the warning, but more importantly why the warning hadn't come down. During a vital time for my series, Winds of Betrayal couldn't be downloaded and had a warning on it. Finally, I got 'we're sorry.' They gave me no explanation on why it took so long to take the warning down— only sorry. Really...sorry? I got the line that nobody has anything against me. They just followed procedure, but it was a series of mistakes on their end on why the warning didn't come down. They promised me they want to see me succeed. But to be honest...it certainly doesn't feel that way.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that deals with these issues with Amazon, but I don't know of another author that does. One of my best author friends got an email about the formatting on their new release. There was a formatting-forced in the middle of their book. Did she get a warning on her book? No.
So, it seems that Amazon's rules are subjective...and there is nothing I can do about it. Amazon can do what they want. Let me say that Amazon is the reason I make money being an author. No matter the obstacles I have to overcome, I still owe Amazon. Could they make my life easier? Sure, but in the grand scheme of things, I'm just a little fish in their sea of publishing.
I wish thing were different...better...between Amazon and my books. Hopefully, one day it will be. I do have several of my books in Kindleunlimited. I certainly don't hold anything against Amazon. I shop there all the time and am a Prime member. Like I said, to Amazon, I'm a small fish. Just another obstacle for me to overcome...because more than anything, I want to get my books in your handss .