It’s been nearly two years since I published Painting Rain, and I really don’t know how I let that much time pass without posting some bonus content from it. For shame!

I’ll try to make it up to you.

This scene is the first part of an entire chapter that was deleted from Painting Rain. I was several thousand words into this particular scene before I realized that I had no idea where I was going with this story line and that it really didn’t serve a purpose. So it ended up on the cutting room floor.

This scene happens during her trip from Dalthia to Faria. I hope you enjoy it!

I wallowed there until the carriage gave a mighty jolt and I was thrown from my seat. I fell to my knees, catching myself on the bench opposite where Sarah was trying not to slide from her own place. Then one side of the carriage dipped low, throwing me against the door, where my panicked gaze darted out the window and fell to the ground, which was much closer than it should have been. The leather strap that supported this side of the carriage must have snapped.

 

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If you’ve already subscribed, an email with the link should already be in your inbox.

 

Spotlight and Giveaway

Hello readers!

This is the post put together by I Am A Reader. Please pay special attention to the sale prices of Just Ella and Keeping Kinley!

I’d also encourage you to head over to the I Am A Reader site and check out the other authors she has highlighted to see if there is anything else that catches your fancy.

 

Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen

Ariella was only looking for a distraction, something to break up the monotony of palace life. What she found was a young man willing to overlook her title and show her a new and vibrant way of life. But when her growing feelings for Gavin spiral out of control and clash with the expectations of her station, she will discover that the consequences of her curiosity are far more severe than she’d imagined.

“I watched in helpless horror as two guards hauled Gavin to his feet and dragged him from the room. My voice was frozen, unable to protest as another guard took hold of my arm, leading me upstairs. From the confines of my room, I stared into the darkness beyond my window, hoping to catch one more glimpse of Gavin. He was gone, and I wondered if he would have been better off if he had never met me.”

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Praise for Just Ella

“This book is so well written it felt just perfect. Honest. I loved it from beginning to end.” -Aimee Brown, Getting Your Read On

“Full of those tender moments you want to go back and read again, plus exciting moments, clever humor, and some suspense as well.” -Jana, The Writer’s Assistant

“Loved every second of this book. It was engaging, eventful, beautifully written and hard to put down. It’s wonderful for all ages!” -Jen, Goodreads

 

 

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He gave me a sad smile and shrugged. “I apologize if my bluntness offends you. I figured you would leave if you were upset by me.”
“That would be very rude of me.”
“It’s what I’d expect.”
“Why? Because that’s what a noble would do?”
“Well.” The confusion was back, forcing him to make a slight concession. “Any other noble.” It was somewhat gratifying that he no longer felt compelled to lump me with the nobles he despised. However, the fact remained—I wasn’t a noble. And I knew he would think even less of me when he knew what I was.
I wouldn’t lie. “I told you, I’m not—”
“Come now, Ella. Your tree climbing hasn’t got me fooled.” He used an almost paternal tone, his eyes laughing. “You are nobility, aren’t you?”
I buried my hurt. “No, I’m something worse.”
“Oh, come now, I don’t think that badly of people. The only thing that might be worse is royalty.” How charming he was, even when insulting me.
I stood silent for a moment, wondering if he would catch on. When he continued to gaze at me, I simply said, “Exactly.”
A look of horror crossed his face and I gave him a sad smile before turning to leave.
“Oh,” I heard him stuttering behind me, sounding utterly mortified. “No, I…my apologies, miss—Your Highness,” he corrected himself sharply. “Princess, I’m so very sorry, I…”
I shook my head as I turned to face him again. He looked so different: the confidence, the grin, the amusement were all gone, replaced with a look akin to physical pain. “It’s all right,” I said quietly. “You’re not wrong.” I should have inclined my head, waiting for him to bow before I left. Instead I lifted my hand in farewell.

 

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Author Annette K. Larsen

I was born in Utah, but migrated to Arizona, Missouri, and Virginia before settling in Idaho.

Though I dabbled in writing throughout school, being an author seemed like an unattainable dream. It took me seven years to write my first book, Just Ella. During that time, I taught myself how to write a novel. Not the most time effective method, but it gave me an education I wouldn’t have received from a class or a how-to book. Something about the struggle of writing without a formula or rules worked for me.

I write clean romance because I love it. Jane Eyre is the hero of my youth and taught me that clinging to your convictions will be hard, but will bring you more genuine happiness than giving in ever can.

I love chocolate, Into the Woods, ocean waves, my husband, and my five littles. And I love books that leave me with a sigh of contentment.

 

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Also by Annette K. Larsen

 

 

Keeping Kinley is on Sale for just 99 cents!

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Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 12/28/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

12 Days of Clean Romance

I was lucky enough to be asked to participate in this event. Kathy, over at I Am A Reader chose 12 authors to highlight as a 12 days of Christmas theme, but with clean, romantic books! This promotion includes lots of giveaways, so check it out!
I’m copying her post here, so that y’all can look over the details.
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* $100 Kick-Off Giveaway *

12 Days of Clean Romance!

This promotion is hosted by Kathy from I Am A Reader and features 12 of her favorite authors whose books you can trust to be clean, fun and 100% worth reading!

Just look at this great list of Participating Authors!!

12 Days of Clean Romance Schedule

Jennifer Peel – December 4th
Taylor Hart – December 5th
Rachael Anderson – December 6th
Josi S. Kilpack – December 7th
Janette Rallison – December 8th
Jennifer Griffith – December 9th
Taylor Dean – December 11th
Sheralyn Pratt – December 12th
Heather B. Moore – December 13th
Annette K. Larsen – December 14th
Lucy McConnell – December 15th
Cami Checketts – December 16th

In total $500 will be given away as part of this promotion so be sure to sign up for email updates so you don’t miss any of these giveaways!

If you have a blog and want to help promote these authors for the chance to win additional gift cards you can sign up here.

 

Now on to what you are here for

The $100 Giveaway!!

 

Giveaway Details

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 12/17/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Deleted Scene

I have been a major slacker lately about updating my website. Sorry about that. I have a new deleted scene to share with y’all, but first I’ll give you an update on my current project.

The book that I am working on right now, which will likely be titled If I Could Stay, has been sent off to a few beta readers, and I’m waiting for feedback and fine-tuning. I’m optimistic  that I’ll be able to put it up for pre-order in about a month or so.

What’s this book about? Good question, and one that I’m excited to answer! This will be my first contemporary novel. Not only that, but it’s also a romantic suspense (emphasis on romantic, of course). Leila is my main character, but that’s not the name she goes by. She’s had many names because she’s in hiding. She trusts no-one, but when she finds herself stranded on a deserted highway in the middle of winter, she has to trust the guy that comes along to help her.

That’s all I’ll say for now, or at least until I get a blurb written (my least favorite part of writing, BTW). But I love these characters and it was a lot of fun to be able to infuse my writing with more modern humor.

Just a heads up: There’s a bit of swearing in this book. Hopefully that won’t discourage you from reading it. It’s mild and infrequent, but I felt it was necessary at certain moments to keep it realistic.

Now, for some bonus content! Those of you who’ve signed up for my newsletter will have received the email and the link to this new deleted scene from Keeping Kinley.

Those who haven’t signed up: you should! All it does is guarantee that you get my latest updates, and it gives you access to deleted scenes, scenes from my heroes’ points of view, etc… So sign up here if you want more Ella, Lylin, Marilee, Raina or Kinley!

 

Riding the eBook Industry Roller Coaster

When Just Ella had been out for just a few weeks, Amazon took notice of the fact that I was selling a few copies a day, which meant I was quite a bit more successful than a lot of self-pubbed authors, so they picked it up and marketed it for me. That made all the difference. I had the power of the great Amazon marketing machine in my corner and my sales shot up.

Knowing that, when Keeping Kinley was published with Kindle Press, I was very excited. I would have the full weight and power of Amazon marketing on my side. I thought I would see a marked increase in sales over my last couple books. After all, surely the combination of my own efforts with the Kindle Press team would equate to many more sales than I had been able to generate by myself, right?

I have spreadsheets of each month of sales for each of my books. It was pretty disappointing to compare my Painting Rain first month with my Keeping Kinley first month and realize that it was pretty much a wash. The numbers were very similar, and if anything, my Keeping Kinley numbers were actually lower.

The why of those numbers has been bugging me, and I’ve been giving it a lot of thought.

The eBook market has been an interesting thing to watch as it has developed, not only as a reader, but as an author as well. When Kindle, Nook, and iBooks came on the scene, they broke open the publishing industry. They made both consuming and publishing books as easy as a click of the mouse.

Prior to those platforms, any author who wished to be published had to either be chosen by a publishing company, or they could go the route of “vanity publishing.” My understanding is that it was known as vanity publishing because only people who were too vain to realize that their book just wasn’t good enough would be willing to shell out the money to have their own books published. Vanity publishing was synonymous with bad writing.

A lot of us had a front row seat as that changed. More and more authors who had been summarily rejected by the publishing industry became brave enough to publish their own books now that the big eBook distributors allowed you to do so without the need to cough up a bunch of cash.

When I first finished Just Ella and started querying publishers in 2012, the industry was just on the cusp of of changing. People were starting to read books published by the authors themselves, and it turns out that some of them were really well done. Thus the change from calling it “vanity publishing” to “self-publishing.” There was no longer a heavy stigma hovering over self-published work. After all, we live in a world of computers, and maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing to change with the times. Perhaps we didn’t all need to be held captive by the publishing industry.

Looking back, I realize that Just Ella hit the eBook market at exactly the right moment. Readers were ready to give self-published authors a chance, especially when such books were usually priced at half the cost of traditionally published books. Just Ella was comparatively cheap and with the help of the ‘look inside’ feature that amazon offers, readers could sample the book before committing to the buy.

No one was more surprised by the success of Just Ella than I was. When my first day of big sales numbers rolled in, my husband and I both agreed that it was a technical glitch. But the sales continued the next day and the next. I slowly realized that it had been included in some emails that Amazon had sent to readers. The pump was primed, and I had jumped into the market at the opportune moment.

Since then, a lot of people have read my books. A lot of people have liked them. So with the success of my first, I anticipated that the launch of each subsequent book would be even more successful. After all, I’ve gathered a fairly loyal following and my name is known by a few people (at least in my niche market). However, that hasn’t been the case. Each of my book launches has been less and less successful. The numbers aren’t as high right off the bat, and the sales taper off more quickly.

When even Keeping Kinley (with the Kindle Press team on my side) didn’t compare to the success of Just Ella, I had to wonder: What gives?

My guess is this.

Demand for ebooks rose sharply when:
1) Self-publishing lost its stigma and those books started to be welcomed and anticipated by readers.
2) With the Kindle app and other eBook reading apps, people were given the ability to read anywhere they went. We now have access to hundreds of books from our phones and can consume books at a higher and faster rate.

This demand for more books was met with a response from authors.
1) Authors who had been too timid to publish before decided to give it a try. Many had multiple books finished and just waiting to be published.
2) As self-published authors learned how to navigate that world, they have banded together to cross-promote; they’ve teamed up on series and anthologies; they’ve taken an industry that used to be exclusive to the big publishers and they’ve figured out how to do it on their own. They write and edit and market from their couches and their home offices. Some do it full time, others do it as a hobby in their spare time. Regardless of how they got into this, self-published authors have claimed their spot in the publishing industry.

Huzzah!

However, all of that means that the eBook market has been absolutely flooded with new content. The number of books published every day is staggering. Even just looking at the clean romance genre, which used to be minuscule, I now come across new books constantly. That’s great for readers. As a reader, I love it.

As an author, I have to adjust to it. And I also wonder how long this trend will hold. Is it already turning in a new direction? Will the demand for books stay high? Or will the ability to stream Netflix and other on-demand TV shows and movies right to our phones mean that consumers choose to watch their entertainment instead of read it?

If the demand for books does go down significantly, will some authors decide it isn’t worth their time and pull out of the game? I saw a Facebook post recently from an author who was disappointed with his sales numbers. He was thinking about throwing in the towel and not finishing the sequel he had planned. I wonder how many authors might do the same. Will that become a norm? Will those who can’t find an audience in a bloated industry back out altogether? Maybe.

So then, should other authors be leery of jumping into the publishing game? That depends entirely on what they’re after. Writing isn’t a way to make a quick buck. Books sell well when they’re great books, and it’s been my experience that the best books are the ones written by those who love the writing.

I wrote a piece several years ago about suffering for your art. My advice now would be a lot the same as it was back then. If what you’re doing is truly your art, you won’t mind the suffering. Writing keeps me sane. Writing is my time to think grown-up thoughts and interact with grown-up (though fictitious) people. Any author will tell you that if you’re in it for the money, you should pick a different career. But if you’re in it for the joy of it, for the sanity it brings to your life, and for the love of characters no one else realizes exist, then in the end, what the market does or doesn’t do won’t matter.

I could wonder, research, and try to understand the grand complexities of eBook supply and demand, publishing trends, and marketing, but nothing I learn is going to change the fact that I love writing books—so I’m going to keep doing it.

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80 Clean Romance Novels $.99 Each

Hello!

I hope everyone is adjusting well to school being back in session. I know that I’m still trying to get my footing as I work out a new schedule for mommying and writing.

I have some great news. Not only are the first four Dalthia books ALL on sale for $.99, but they are part of a sale that includes 80 CLEAN ROMANCE Novels.

There are multiples genres included. We’ve got contemporary, historical, suspense, YA, and paranormal. But all are ROMANCE and all are CLEAN. So check them out, see what tickles your fancy and grab up some cheap reading!

*I should clarify that I have not read all of these books. In fact I think I’ve only read two of them (besides my own, of course). This was put together by my author friend Lindzee Armstrong, and she gathered all the authors and info. Each author has asserted that their books are clean, but I cannot personally endorse them since I haven’t had a chance to read them yet. 🙂 Happy reading!

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$0.99 Summer eBook Sale!

Heads up! Just Ella is part of a multi-author summer promotion. All 57 of these books are only $0.99! June 19th-22nd.

BE SURE TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE HEAT RATINGS! These books run the gamut, so be sure to grab those that you will enjoy.

heat 1 Nothing but sweet kisses, no language, mild violence
heat 2 Passionate kissing, minimal mild language (a.k.a. Bible curses), mild violence
heat 3 Closed-door sex, moderate language, moderate violence
heat 4 Steamy sex with some description, some graphic language, some graphic violence
heat 5 Steamy sex with graphic description, graphic language, graphic violence

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New Just Ella Paperback

Hello Readers!

The paperback of Just Ella with its new cover is up and running. So if you’ve been wanting one for yourself or a friend, then have at it!

When designing print covers, the hardest part by far is figuring out how to do the spine. I’m so happy with how this one turned out though! It took a lot of experimenting, and a lot of me trying to explain my ideas while my husband looked at me like I was making no sense (because I was probably doing a lot of hand gesturing and not enough actual explaining), but we got it done!

I’m especially glad that I was able to keep the painting from the original cover as the background for the back cover. It all just works, and it’s so light and happy.

June has been great month. The launch of Keeping Kinley was successful, and I get excited every time I see a new review, whether it’s for Keeping Kinley or for any of my other books.

Perhaps now I can buckle down and focus and writing something new!

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Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to all who entered my giveaway, especially those that wrote reviews and shared on social media. This has been a great first week for Keeping Kinley, and I’m proud of my little book baby for doing so well out in the real world.

Now for the winner!

 

You have won a signed paperback of Keeping Kinley! I’ll be in touch so that we can work out the details.

Thank you again everyone for your support, for reading my books, and for coming back for more.

Keeping Kinley Release Day

It’s launch day!

Keeping Kinley is officially released, which means that all you wonderful readers who pre-ordered should have your copies ready to read on your Kindle.

A big THANK YOU to all who nominated Keeping Kinley on kindle scout and then left reviews. I ended up with over 60 reviews before the official release, which is huge!

In celebration of this 5th (and probably final) installment of the Dalthia series, I’ll be giving away a free signed paperback.

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