Thursday, December 15, 2016

Hook's Little Mermaid now on Audible!

Thanks to the talented James Darcy, Hook has come to life in this thrilling audio version of "Hook's Little Mermaid."

Darcy narrates the tale of our favorite Captain, as the man before the Hook. You can hear his humor, his anger and his sadness as his journey takes him to a point where he must choose between vengeance and being the man a little mermaid knows him to be.

Below is an audio sample of the thrilling tale. To purchase your copy, check it out on Amazon today!



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

New Release! Red's Tangled Tale is Live!


 
New Release!!! Continue the journey of The Untold Stories in 'Red's Tangled Tale' by Suzanna Lynn! Available on all eBook platforms and paperback. 

“Red bravely faces the darkness, and in so doing, stumbles upon a secret that has been hidden away nearly eighteen years.” ~ Red's Tangled Tale

 
Everyone knows the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Well, at least they think they do. History would have many believe Red was a naïve little girl who brought treats to her grandmother in the dark of the forest. History had it wrong.

After the curse of the wolves came to Timbergard, Red’s father was the only soul brave enough to enter Blakx Forest. However, when the wolves claimed his life, his young daughter took up his bow and began hunting the beasts to fill her need for revenge.
When Captain Hook shows up in the village in search of the rare burning ash that lies on the far borders of the cursed forest, Red agrees to help get him safely through the dangerous land.

The trek through the forest becomes precarious when the group is cornered by a pack of wolves. Red is forced to make a decision that will alter the lives of everyone, including individuals she has yet to meet.




 





 
  
 
 
 
 
Get book one in the series for only $0.99 this week only!
 


Friday, October 21, 2016

Readers' Favorite 5 Star Seal for "Hook's Little Mermaid"

Rather a long time ago I had submitted "Hook's Little Mermaid" to Readers' Favorite in the hopes that I might get a review.

To be honest, I thought there was no chance someone would decide to look at my book, with all the amazing authors out there.  But thankfully, someone did!

Here's her review:

Reviewed By Liz Konkel for Readers’ Favorite

Hook’s Little Mermaid by Suzanna Lynn is a fun take on the classic story of Peter Pan. Everyone knows the story of Captain Hook and Peter Pan. Lynn spins the tale of Jameson Shaw as he searches for the boy Peter Pan who’s responsible for the death of his son. Jameson Shaw goes up against several obstacles as he makes his way to Neverland, including kidnapping and making a deal with a fairy, meeting Red Riding Hood, and fighting off a Kraken. With the aid of a fairy, it seems that his revenge against Pan will become a reality. His journey encounters several surprise turns when he meets the mermaids of Neverland and learns the truth of his son’s death.

As a fan of Peter Pan and J.M. Barrie, I love finding different ways of adapting the story into something new. I love Hook’s Little Mermaid! It’s perfect for any lover of fairytales. Suzanna Lynn takes threads of what we know of the tale and flips it all into a new direction. Picking up the traces of other fairytales is a fun treat for those who adore the classic tales. Knowing that Red’s story is the center of book two makes me wonder what other stories will be explored. The red cloak was a quick giveaway to Red Riding Hood. A glass coffin reminds Hook of a realm called Fairest which has a wicked witch that cursed a girl to sleep. A mermaid has legs when she comes ashore. Lynn has created a rich world full of potential and twists. Hook is fun, a fairytale for a new generation and a delightful take on old classics.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Red's Tangled Tale - Cover Reveal

Everyone knows the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Well, at least they think they do. History would have many believe Red was a naïve little girl who brought treats to her grandmother in the dark of the forest. History had it wrong.

After the curse of the wolves came to Timbergard, Red’s father was the only soul brave enough to enter Blakx Forest. However, when the wolves claimed his life, his young daughter took up his bow and began hunting the beasts to fill her need for revenge.
When Captain Hook shows up in the village in search of the rare burning ash that lies on the far borders of the cursed forest, Red agrees to help get him safely through the dangerous land.

The trek through the forest becomes precarious when the group is cornered by a pack of wolves. Red is forced to make a decision that will alter the lives of everyone, including individuals she has yet to meet.
The cover of the much anticipated "Red's Tangled Tale," book two in The Untold Stories, has been revealed!

With only two weeks until publication, you can now preorder your copy at Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo and Smashwords (Amazon will not have a preorder for this title but will carry it on November 1 when it is released).

In addition to the cover, fans will get exclusive teasers as well as a teaser trailer over the next two weeks, building to the anticipation of the release.

If you would like to join in the fun of the release, be sure to join the Facebook Party wherein numerous authors have come together to celebrate the release and will be giving away amazing prizes.
 
Lastly, you can help spread the word by participating in the Thunderclap campaign which will announce the release to social media on November 1 (link below).

 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Red's Tangled Tale - Release Party

Red's Tangled Tale is set to release on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, and I couldn't be more excited.

It is the second book in "The Untold Stories" series, and picks up with Red in her village, later running into the notorious Captain Hook.  You don't need to have read "Hook's Little Mermaid" to enjoy this book, though you will see how the two stories connect if you do.

In celebration of the release, a handful of my author friends have come together to take part in the release party hosted by Belle's Beastly Book Blog.  As you can see, the author lineup is rather impressive and I'm really excited to have them a part of it.

The party will include loads of giveaways, so that alone is reason not to miss it.

If you are on Facebook, you merely have to respond via the party link here.

It will be loads of fun, I can't wait to see you there!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2,000 fan giveaway!

The Author Suzanna Lynn Facebook page has officially topped 2,000 fans!  As a way to celebrate, I am having a huge giveaway.  Who doesn't love free stuff right?

From September 29 through October 5, you can enter to win one of five amazing prizes provided by Author Suzanna Lynn, Belle's Beastly Book Blog and Funky Book Designs.  Additionally, you can come back daily to gain additional entries by tweeting about it!

The contest is open to everyone, worldwide. No need to do anything but enter, we will cover the shipping costs! *note* If an item needs to be shipped out of the US, we will pay shipping costs, but if customs requires additional costs, that is on the winner. We mark the item as a 'gift' and give an accurate value. *note*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Penned Con 2016 Highlights

St. Louis Arch
Each year, I try to pick events that would allow me to get out and meet readers, as well as other authors.  Last year I had attempted to go to Penned Con in St. Louis, Missouri. However the unexpected death of my mother-in-law made the trip impossible. But this year, I was determined to go and meet readers and authors in the area.

Even before the event started, I found myself extremely impressed with the hard work Rick and Amy Miles (along with their entourage of helpers) put into it. I actually booked my 2017 table before I had even taken part in this years event!

My kids petting stingrays
Penned Con promised to be a family friendly event (which is was) so I packed up my three kids and husband and we headed to St. Louis.  We checked into the hotel (I always arrive a day early so I can relax and beat the check-in rush) and then headed to the St. Louis Zoo. Nothing beats watching your kids pet stingrays and sharks; seriously nothing.

On a side note, St. Louis really impressed me. The zoo, science center, history museum and many other places are all free to visit. Yes, the string ray petting did cost $4 a person, and let me tell you it was worth it. If you are considering Penned Con or any event in St. Louis, it's a great way to mix business and pleasure because it's very family friendly.

Once Penned Con started, it was a whirlwind of signing books, talking to readers, taking pictures and more. The keynote speakers each morning were phenomenal and incredibly inspiring.

Speaking on the panel (I'm on the far
right of the table)
I was also asked to be on a panel. The room was full, something I hadn't expected at all. As I looked around at the authors who would also be speaking alongside me, I thought, what am I doing here? I mean I was sitting right next to Denise Grover Swank (she's seriously a goddess when it comes to getting newsletter subscribers by the way). But I answered my questions and even offer a handout (which I had only brought fifteen because I figured there wouldn't be that many needed).  If you didn't get a chance to see that panel, I have the information here on my blog.


Yes, that's my eldest (in the black and
grey striped hoodie) ducking for cover
As I said earlier, Penned Con tries to be incredibly family friendly. They even provided special gift bags for younger kids (like my two little ones) that were super hero themed. The kids went around and authors gave them candy, stickers, buttons, bracelets and more. It was like trick-or-treating!

After the signing ended the first day, a room was opened up for Nerf Gun Wars. I cannot tell you how much fun this was. I'm not sure who had more fun, the kids or the adults! Thousands of bullets were shot as authors and readers ducked behind barricades made of cardboard boxes.

Day two of the event was full of more surprises when I had several fans come to the event to see me personally! Nothing can feel better than that. I hope that feeling never goes away. I even had a wonderful fan bring me a card and a special necklace, which I will treasure forever. Those fans reminded me why I write. Even if only those few fans enjoy my work, I've succeeded.

I can't believe I was nominated
alongside these amazing authors!
By the end of day two, I was nearly out of books. This was a relief because the bag I used to carry the books in weighed so much, my husband had trouble carrying it!

Then came the awards ceremony. While my eldest babysat the two youngest in the hotel room, my husband and I dressed up in our Luau attire and enjoyed the festivities. I was super excited to be nominated for Best Book Cover of 2016. And though I didn't win, it truly was an honor to be nominated.

Once all was said and done, I had a serious Penned Con Hangover. I missed the friends I had made, but was happy to be home because the event left me more inspired than ever to write.

If you are an author or reader, I highly recommend you mark Penned Con 2017 on your calendar. The atmosphere is so amazing, you will not regret it one bit.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sneak Peak scene from "Red's Tangled Tale"


"Red's Tangled Tale" coming Nov 2016
Enjoy this sneak peak of a scene in the upcoming "Red's Tangled Tale."
*note* this is unedited, so some slight changes may be present in the final book version. 
The wind began to pick up, throwing the hood of my cape back from my face. A few strands of ebony hair came loose from my long braid, swirling in the breeze around my eyes. I reached for the dagger I kept in my boot, making sure it was still secure. I was best with a bow but always kept a knife at the ready.
A howl cut through the night – the wolf was much closer now. The answering chorus was far to the east. He would get no help tonight.

I pulled an arrow from my quiver, fingering the red feathers of the fletching while I held my breath in anticipation. My heart raced, pounding so fiercely I could feel it in my ears. I strained to listen against the wind, hoping for a warning to signal the wolf was close.
From behind me I heard a snap; so soft and subtle it could have been a pinecone falling from a tree – but it wasn’t. The wolf’s growl started low in its chest, rumbling through the cold night. It had circled around, most likely catching my scent when the wind picked up.
The wolves were getting smarter, making it much harder to sneak up unnoticed. With my back in the hollow of the tree, I did not have a good vantage point to aim at the beast. The circumstances were less than ideal.

He was just behind the tree. I was certain he didn’t know exactly where I was, otherwise I would be dead. His long snout sniffing the air in an effort to find me. I was suddenly thankful for the shelter of the large dead pine. I shifted slightly, bringing my feet under me in order to leap if the need arise. I drew back on the arrow; there would be no time to aim given the close proximity.

I sat bolt upright as the wolf let out a blood chilling howl – the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. His comrades answered, still far to the east, but this time there was an urgency in their reply, as though to say “We’re coming.”

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Do Facebook Ads Work?


I gave this speech/demonstration yesterday during Penned Con and wanted to share it with the entire author/blogger community. I feel the more we help each other, the more we all succeed.
The information shared here is merely my one experience and results are not considered typical.
The chart on the left shows three months’ sales on my book “Hook’s Little Mermaid.”  It is a clean teen/ya fairytale retelling book (which is a pretty hot genre at the moment). As you can see, Amazon is the biggest seller of this book, bringing in 95% of the sales during a three-month period. Createspace is the lowest seller, bringing in less than 1%.

 
To make this experiment worthwhile, lets average these three months.  With the graph on your right, you will see how this is broken down. This is relevant because our ‘test’ takes place during a three-week period. It’s hard to judge three weeks against three months.

 
 
 
 Our final graphs show the results of a three-week ad placed on Facebook. I spent $75 and chose to target my audience (instead of choosing ‘people who like your page and their friends’). I picked to target women ages 15-65 in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia (as I have found most of my sales come from these countries). Then, using keywords that are relevant to my book, I was able to reach readers who are necessarily looking for a book. In the case of “Hook’s Little Mermaid” I tagged fan bases like “Once Upon a Time” “Grimm” “Colin O'Donoghue” “Peter Pan” and “The Little Mermaid.” This is, in no way, being deceptive. You’re not forcing your book on them, you’re merely suggesting “Hey, since you like Once Upon a Time you might like to look into this.”

As you can see in the final graph (which is only a three-week period verse the one-month breakdown), sales on Amazon average higher. And while Smashwords stayed relatively the same, Createspace increased sales by seven times what it was doing.
 
 
 
Questions, answered.
Do Facebook Ads Work?
Absolutely! However, it’s not just a magic button to make you an insta-best seller. It requires research and patience to find the right algorithm to get your book in front of readers who are interested.
How do I choose who to target?
It depends entirely on your book and genre. If you have written a crime thriller, you could target both men and women. While a romance is going to lean toward women. Age is very subjective. It’s hard to guess what age would read a certain genre. This will require research and fine tuning over time. Additionally, if your book has adult content, you don’t want to target younger (under 18-years-old) readers.
How do I pick keywords?
Picking keywords like “romance novels” and “young adult books” is far too broad. Instead, pick keywords with similar fan bases to your story.
Is there a movie or television show that has the same type content? Maybe your book is fantasy set in a mythical world with elves, dwarves and dragons. Then you might look into fan bases interested in those things. For example, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, etc. Have a super sexy romance with a lot of adult scenes? Then your keywords would be along the lines of Fifty Shades of Grey.
Choosing keywords like this isn’t riding on the coat tails of someone else’s success. You’re merely putting your ad in front of people who are interested in this type of work in the first place.
My ad has been on Facebook for a week and I’ve only had a couple sales. Am I doing it wrong?
No, not necessarily. A reader generally has to see an ad several times (I believe in the industry the magic number is seven) before they delve further into it. Maybe the first time it showed up in their feed they were on the way to work and didn’t have time to look. Maybe someone called them on the phone and they forgot. However, Facebook will continue to put that ad in their feed as long as they are a fan of the interests you listed as keywords.
How do I make an ad?
Making an ad is not always easy. For starters, never (AND I MEAN NEVER) use a photo you googled. Just don’t. Ever. Never ever. Go to a stock site if you must and purchase a photo. It is far less expensive than attorney and court costs in a copyright lawsuit.
Additionally, a genuine ad will create a relationship with your readers. For example, in my book “Hook’s Little Mermaid,” had I used a picture of Colin O'Donoghue for my ad, readers would not only be disappointed when they found out the book was not a ‘Once Upon a Time’ book, they would be less trusting of me as an author.
Your ad needs to have minimal wording but also be eye catching. Here is an example of my ad for “Hook’s Little Mermaid.” The tagline and pictures speak for the book.
I understand that not all people are good with programs like photoshop. Or maybe you would rather spend more time writing and less time making Facebook ads. This is where graphic design companies come in. There are many who will create an ad for you for a modest fee. I personally use “FunkyBook Designs” and their ads run $35-$50 depending on detail and the ad is yours to use however you chose. And a plus, they purchase the rights to the photos so you don’t have to worry about copyright infringement!
Well, I hope you found this information informative. If so, please share it, tweet it, pin it, reblog it; whatever it is you like to do. Remember, by sharing, we are all helping each other succeed!
 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Such a tease!

As most of you know, I am in St. Louis this weekend, attending Penned Con!  I will be at my table Friday and Saturday, in case you would like your books signed.

Additionally, all those who attend will get a special treat. I will have the cover to "Red's Tangled Tale" available for readers to see in advance! That's right! They get the first look!

For everyone else?  Well, this teaser will have to do until I hold my official cover reveal in October. Yep, it's a blurry teasers... because we don't want you seeing too much now do we?

I hope you enjoy!

If you haven't read book one, "Hook's Little Mermaid," then I suggest you grab a copy today!  You will get the learn to origin of Captain Hook and meet Red for the first time!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Witnessing a miracle

  
https://jamesriver.org/
The motto of my church James River Church. No copyright
infringement intended. I simply just love this!
          Today I speak to you as a wife and mother, not an author, because y
esterday, I witnessed a true miracle. No, I didn’t see a lame person walk, nor a blind man see. Those are miracles I would expect to see the power of God do.


            No, the miracle I witnessed was my husband accepting Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
            Now, you may not see this as much of a miracle. After all, taking the broken body of someone and making it work again sounds much more astonishing than working on the heart of a man. However, when the heart of that man was hardened and also hindered by social anxiety, it took God’s hand to move him.
            Let me give you a point of reference.
            I grew up in the church. At the ripe old age of five-years-old I gave my heart to God during a Vacation Bible School week. My parents went to church. My grandparents went to church. My aunts and uncles went to church. We were a church going family.
            As I grew older, I did backslide in my faith and leave the path that I knew I should be on. That’s the thing, I KNEW where I should be and that pulling of God at my heart had me coming toward Him.
            Then I met my, now, husband. He was not raised in church. His family didn’t not go to church. They actually had a cynical view of the church. He was a good man. He did good deeds. He helped people. But he didn’t not believe in Salvation. But I loved him. I loved him so much that I wanted to marry him in spite of the fact that we had different views on Christianity.
            Over the years, for holidays mostly, we would attend church. My husband was never hateful or angry about going. If I said “I feel we need to go to church this Sunday,” he would say “Okay, we can go.” Like I said, he has always been a good man and he wanted to make me happy.
            After ten years of marriage, loads of ups and downs, and feeling like I was at the end of my rope, I decided to attend James River’s “Sizzling Summer Series” sermon during July.
            It was Saturday night and I felt empty. I felt like my life was running short and my spirit was beaten. I spoke to my sister on the phone and told her I needed to get back to church but it was so hard because there was so much to do and my husband’s weekends were the only days to do them. Finally, I hung up the phone saying that I would ‘probably’ go to church the next morning.
            Before bed, snuggled up next to my husband, I murmured. “Let’s go to church tomorrow. I really need to feel God’s hands on my life again.” He responded simply. “Okay.”
            The next morning, I frantically struggled to get our three kids dressed, while dressing myself, and taking care of our small farm of cats, dogs and ducks (yes, that’s right, counting animals we are a family of fourteen). The kids were fighting, the ducks got out of the pen, and I was running around with half my makeup on in a dress trying to wrangle children and water fowl.
            The phone rang.
            “Hello?” I asked desperately.
            “Hey, it’s April,” my sister said. “Are you still going to church?”
            “You bet,” I chirped. “We’ll be there.”
            “Okay, I just wanted to make sure,” she said.
            “Okay,” I said. “Meeting you by the kid’s check-in?”
            “Yep,” she said. “Love you.”
            “Love you.”
            Then I commenced slapping on mascara while straightening my son’s collar and putting my youngest daughter’s hair up.
            Finally, after saying “Hurry it up. We have to go!” for what felt like the millionth time, we piled into the car.
            My heart was racing. I felt like I was suffering from the mother of all hot flashes. The kids were angry. My husband was snapping at them to stop fighting. And I was seriously thinking what a horrible idea going to church was.
            We pulled into the church parking lot and the enemy began his bombardment.
            “You don’t belong here.” “You’re fake.” “You’re only a pretender.” “These people know you’re not a good person.” “What’s the point?”
            These words had assaulted me for years as I tried to enter any church in a vain attempt to get myself on the right path with God.
            But I clutched my two youngest kids’ hands and walked through the doors of James River with my head held high.
            Like a wave washing over me, the voices stopped. I was greeted by the most overwhelming sense of peace I had ever felt. I literally felt the church tell me “You’re home.” The words of the enemy couldn’t even penetrate the walls of the church. I was safe. I was home.
            My husband held my hand through the service and I made a decision to rededicate my life to God; taking the path He had in store for me. We picked our children up from their classes, smiles spread across their faces.
            “Momma,” my son asked. “Can we go to church every Sunday?”
            “Yea,” my eldest sang. “I love this church!”
            “Absolutely,” I confirmed.
            That first day was the beginning for me. There was no question Saturday night whether we were going to church the next morning. We were going. Period.
            My husband attended with us every Sunday he was able. He was off most weekends, but once a month was forced to work a Sunday. On those days, I still had my sister and brother-in-law beside me for support.
            Each Sunday, at the end of service when the alter call was given, I would lean into my husband and ask “Would you like to go up?” He would kindly shake his head, or simply say “No.” He wasn’t mean, or rude, or upset. He just didn’t feel the need to.
            Though some days it was hard, I did not let his refusal discourage me. Instead, I would thank God for the seeds he was planting in my husband’s heart and ask that he continue to work in him.
            At one time, I would have never imagined my husband as a Godly man. A good man, absolutely, but Godly? No. I couldn’t see him raising his hands in praise or sitting down to pray with me. But the closer I got to God, the more I could imagine it because I knew all things were possible through Him.
            Then, last Sunday, my husband was unexpectedly asked to work. So I went to church with my children and sat with my sister and brother-in-law. Pastor John spoke on “Close to Jesus, far from Heaven.”
            In this message, he explained that our good deeds are nothing compared to the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. That, good deeds alone cannot get us into Heaven. If you would like to listen to the message (which I highly recommend) be sure to check it out here.
            After the service, I happened to see the pastor in the hall (which never happens because the church is so big I only ever see him on stage during service). I felt a pull… not a pull, a push. God told me “Go to him. Speak to him about Rowdy.” (Rowdy is my husband by the way)
            Nervously, I went up to Pastor John and spoke to him of my husband. How I wished he could have been there for the message because it was so true and powerful, and that my husband was not born-again but I continued to pray for him. The Pastor asked to pray for us, right there in the hall. The moment he laid his hand on my shoulder, I felt a wave of the Holy Spirit fall over me and the tears fell (I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, God has his hands on my Pastor).
            Pastor John encouraged me to continue to pray and told me to ask my husband to listen to the recording of the message during the week. He also took down our information and said he would have the pastoral team pray for us that week.
            As the week went on, I was given many struggles. After church I ended up having a case of hives that covered me from head to toe for three solid days. I then encountered two days’ worth of nausea and vomiting. Needless to say, asking me husband to do anything other than “Hand me to the puke bucket” wasn’t high on my list.
            But Saturday night came and I felt the gentle nudge of God tell me “He needs to hear John’s sermon before tomorrow.” I was nervous. I wasn’t sure if he would do it. I think I was even more scared that he would but wouldn’t feel the same effect that he had on me.
            But I took my tablet to him, had the podcast loaded and asked, “Honey, it’s really important to me that you listen to this.” I asked him to turn off the television and put in his headphones so he wouldn’t be disturbed. To my surprise, he did it.
            That leads us up to yesterday morning. We got up like every Sunday and headed to church. We were running late (the ducks have started laying eggs now, so our morning farming takes a bit longer), but made it into service with two minutes to spare.
            The Spirit of God was there. I held my husband’s hand while I raised my other to God. I could feel He was alive and working in my life.
            At the end of service, while every eye was closed and every head bowed, they asked for anyone who wanted a relationship with God to raise their hand. The pastor asked again. And then again as more hands were apparently raised (I had my eyes closed, remember).
            Then one final time. “You know God is pulling on your heart. Don’t miss this chance. If you know you don’t have a relationship with God, now is your time.”
            I felt Rowdy shift in his seat. Instinctively, I shifted with him and my eyes fluttered open for just a moment. I saw his hand come down.
            ‘He raised his hand!’ I thought. ‘What do I do?!’
            So, remember that part where I told you every Sunday for the past three months I had asked “Do you want to go up?” Yea, well, I panicked.
            Here I was, in church, the alter call going on and he had actually raised his hand; yet I was suddenly terrified to ask him to go up. I’m not sure what I was scared of. Maybe that, after all that, he would still say no. I’m not sure.
            But then the pastor asked that, those who rose their hands, if they would take a step of faith and come forward, the pastoral team would like to pray with them.
            I leaned in. “Do you want to go up?” I clutched his hand, nervous and excited.
            “Yea, I guess I would.”
            My heart soared. Here stood a man that had not been raised in the church. Had no foundation other than that he did believe in God but that good deeds and being generally a good person was what got you to Heaven. He was telling me that he wanted to accept Christ as his Savior.
            I poked my sister in the ribs to signal that we were headed to the front. She burst into tears of joy (yea, she and my brother-in-law had been praying hard for my husband).
            We were the last to walk down to the front as the congregation erupted into applause. But it wasn’t me leading my husband to the front of the church, he was leading me. He was leading us.
And there, at the mouth of the isle, stood Pastor John. He saw us coming; the smile on his face mirroring the one on my own. There, in front of him, stood the answer to the prayer he had prayed with me in the halls of the church just one week prior.
He hugged Rowdy, praising God for the miracle of Rowdy’s Salvation.
They ushered us into a small, quiet room, and spoke with my husband further about what Salvation was and what is symbolized. And there, in that little room, surrounded by men and women of God, my husband gave his life to the Lord.
So I’m sure you’re asking, what makes this such a miracle? Well, for one, my husband suffers from social anxiety disorder. Painfully. The idea that he would ever step in front of the thousands of people in our congregation, the lights eliminating his every step, was something I could never see.
Even as he walked us to the front of the church, his body was flushed and it radiated heat. He was terrified. But God is stronger than that. Even as the enemy tried to use his condition against him, God gave Rowdy the strength to come forward.
God took a man, who had never watched his family or friends give their hearts to the Lord, and lit a fire in his own heart. That, my dear ones, is the power of God.
I’m aware that there are many who do not believe in God, or at the least believe as my husband did; that good deeds and being a good person will grant you access into Heaven. I tell you this… Not one on this planet is without sin. It is only through Christ’s sacrifice and death that our sins are washed clean.
My grandmother (a very Godly woman and a true believer in Christ) sums it up pretty well. “If I spend my whole life worshiping God, and accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior, just to find out in the end that he doesn’t exist – well, I won’t have lost a thing. But if I lived my life without him, only the find in the end that he does exist; I will have lost everything.”
So if you are reading this and you have never had a relationship with God – or maybe you have but you have strayed from the path – remember that you need only ask God to work on your heart and give you the strength to step into the light.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Hook's Little Mermaid nominated for award!

Okay, I admit it, I've been a little MIA for a while.

In my defense I am a mother of three who runs the household, plus shares Funky Book Designs book cover design business with her husband and, of course, is an author.

I have been working like crazy to finish up "Red's Tangled Tale" which is the follow-up to "Hook's Little Mermaid" that everyone loved so much.

Loved so much? Well they certainly loved it enough to nominate it for Best Cover of the Year at the upcoming Penned Con book conference!

This is a doubly sweet nomination for me, since I'm both the author and the cover designer.

Sure, I'm going up against so amazing authors and designers. Heck, my own daughter (a huge Stacey Rourke fan) asked me if I would be hurt if she voted for Stacey's book instead of mine. Little traitor! lol... no seriously, she's a traitor. :P

Sure, we all say "It's an honor to be nominated" and it truly is.  Heck, I have a 20% chance at winning (a lot better odds than the lottery for one).  But it would be so great to win, having both written and designed the book that is nominated! :)

That being said, if you feel so inclined, be sure to pop over and vote!  You have to vote in all the categories for it to count, but there are only 9 I believe so it wouldn't take too long.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Get 50% off select books in the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale!

No, you didn't read it wrong, it is completely true!  Now through July 31, you can get two of my books at 50% off retail price (mind blown yet? Mine is!).

You can chose one, or both, books to read this summer or save for those cold winter nights, but they must be purchased during the month of July!

First, we have The Bed Wife Chronicles.  This 550 page fantasy romance is full of extremely streamy romance (and please note it is for adult readers).

Synopsis:
The Bed Wife Chronicles: Love brought them together. Would tradition tear them apart?

Once inseparable childhood friends, Luana and Baylin are now grown and living in two separate worlds. Luana, the daughter of the town drunk, cares for her family’s goat farm to make ends meet. Baylin, Prince and future King of Grasmere, is off combating the evils that lurk in the Kingdom.

However, Fate intercedes with a time-honored tradition that has been custom for the past five hundred years. Luana’s life is now forced into the hands of her long-lost childhood friend.

In the midst of it all, Baylin is forced to choose between his love for Luana and his fealty to his father and the Kingdom – knowing that his decision could potentially set the Keld Kingdoms against each other during a savage war.

All the couple wishes for is to be safe and happy together. However, constant struggles make it seem as though contentment is impossible. Trials and tribulations strain the delicate core of their relationship.

Will Luana and Baylin be able to overcome the demands of the Kingdom and find happiness? Or will resentment, hurt and duty consume them?


Next we have Hook's Little Mermaid!  This is a clean teen/young adult fairy tale retelling of Captain Hook before his hook and the little mermaid who stole his heart.

Synopsis:
Captain James Hook was once a good man trying to make a somewhat honest living. He is a pirate, after all. However, after getting word that a boy named Peter Pan played a part in the death of a dear loved one, Hook makes it his sole purpose to hunt down and destroy the fiend.

On his journey for vengeance, the captain encounters many new comrades, including a young girl named Red and a fairy called Tinker Bell, and both push him to reconsider his desire for justice.

The accidental rescue of a mermaid leads him on a whirlwind adventure in Neverland. The journey is not a simple one, considering Pan, the Lost Boys, mermaids, and magic all come into play. After several misadventures, Hook must choose between the possibility of a new life with love and his much-desired retaliation against Pan.

Once everything is said and done, will the captain be able to overcome his need for revenge? Will he let compassion steer him toward love? Or will Captain Hook live up to his villainous reputation?


To get your discount, simply add the title(s) to your shopping cart on Smashwords and then apply coupon code "SSW50" to get the 50% discount.

Don't delay, this is a one time thing, I will not be dropping these prices again in 2016 so grab them now!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Center Stage Moment: Suzanna Lynn interviewed by SF Benson

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with SF Benson to do an interview about my work.

I love reading the author bios. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? I certainly have always enjoyed writing. Even as a teenager, I wrote elaborate stories, songs, and poems. I simply never imagined I would actually be a published author someday.
 
Why did you choose to write your genre? I am a great lover of fantasy; it’s my favorite genre of books and movies. And you know what they say, write what you would want to read. I think fantasy allows you to break the mold and create a world that is truly unique.
 
What is the strangest story you’ve ever written? I suppose the strangest would be one that has yet to be published. It’s a vampire/zombie combo book that actually started out from a dream I had roughly three years ago (before I ever even thought of publishing my first book). It incorporates both modern and ancient history, which requires a lot of research. I’m not sure you would classify it as strange, but some of the history I have learned of while researching was pretty strange. [Sounds interesting.]
 
What are you currently working on? I’m actually in the middle of ...
 
To read the rest of the interview check it out at A Center Stage Moment.

Monday, April 25, 2016

UTOPiAcon 2016 Awards - Best Blogger Nominations

As a mother, I have to say I could not be more proud of my teenage daughter Belle.  Not only does she have the daunting task of being a middle school student and a role model for her two younger siblings, she has also taken on the job of running her own book review blog! 

The first month, I helped her, guiding her in the direction of what is expected of a review blog and how to run it. Then she took the reins and has been running it solo for nearly a year!

That being said, I would like to throw her name into the running for Best Blog and Best Blogger for the UTOPiAcon2016 Awards.

Additionally, Belle has worked tirelessly to use her blog as a positive for teens and adults alike who would like to redefine what 'clean teen and young adult' really mean. She only recommends truly 'clean' titles and will point out those that aren't in order to make sure teens are reading what teens should be reading.

In 2015, she also started the #AuthorsAgainstBullying campaigned which she plans to continue with in 2016.

For these reasons alone, she should get the UTOPiAN of the Year nomination!

So if you have yet to place your nominations, please look into Belle's Beastly Book Blog and see all the amazing work she is doing.

UTOPiAcon 2016 Nominations

This year's UTOPiAcon 2016 Nominations are under way and I shamelessly point out that two of my books qualify for numerous categories in the hopes of a nomination!

Mind you, there are so many amazing authors out there, it is hard to choose.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A PA is an indie's best friend!

No, this is not me, nor my PA. It's my daughter doing her
used car salesman impression!
Being a self-published author is no easy task. Somedays, you come away feeling like a sleazy used car salesman. “This here’s a beauty! Five-hundred and fifty pages of mouthwatering romance that is sure to satisfy. It’s a steal at only $4.99!” However, since many of us have neither agents nor publishers, the job lies on us to push our books.

With the release of my newest book - Hook’s Little Mermaid - looming, and the idea of yet another ‘buy my book please’ sales pitch, I was really getting anxious. Then a friend told me about her PA/PR, Jennifer of Storytime Book Reviews, and said I should see what she could do.
I was wary. I have tried several different blog services in the past (some very reputable). One service was a total waste of money. Another totally screwed up the blog tour and used the pictures and links of another author to advertise my book. The third showed minimal results. So I was pretty skeptical about, yet another, supposed helper.

However, after a rather lengthy discussion with Jennifer, I decided to take advantage of the discounted PR deal she was offering for March. I figured this would let me test the waters and it would help me get prepared for my release.
The first thing she did was set up a release party event on Facebook. I have never had a release party event before. I have been a guest author on other events, but never one in honor of a book I had released. Why? I didn’t want to have to host it myself and I didn’t have anyone to host it for me. This all filters back to the ‘used car salesman’ thing.

Next she set up a Thunderclap; something I had never done for myself. It would take people to my Amazon Author Central page on the day of the release so everyone could purchase the book.
Instantly I started seeing results. The Thunderclap was taking off like wildfire (it actually exceeded the goal set up for it). She lined up three days’ worth of guest authors to help with the takeover. She generated all kinds of buzz about the release. I was feeling amazing!

While waiting for Hook’s Little Mermaid to release, I still had my first series – The Bed Wife Chronicles – to worry about. She jumped right on it, sharing the freebie first book and getting it known out there. I saw a jump in my free sales, then after a week, new actual sales were rising as readers of book one came back for books two and three in the series.  These were results I was unable to achieve on my own, even when I tried to pitch my books to readers and blogs.
Then the blessed day came, Hook’s Little Mermaid was to be officially released on all eBook platforms. I woke up that morning, excited to start the day. I turned on the computer, went to the book link and my heart fell.

Not only had Amazon not linked the book to my Author Central Account nor to the paperback version (which again was still not linked to the Author Central Account), a reader who mistakenly purchased my newly released book left a one star review admitting she purchased the book by mistake.

Needless to say, tears were shed. My poor husband didn’t know what to do with me except bring me coffee and rub my back while I cried. I just knew all this hard work had fallen down around me. The Thunderclap would take everyone to the wrong link, meaning no one would be able to purchase the book. Everyone would see that one star review and think it was bad book. My life was over (you know, when you feel that way rational thought goes out the window).

I jumped online and messaged Jennifer through tear filled eyes. She, being in a different time zone, was still in bed by this point but jumped up and got to work. Within thirty minutes she had managed to help me get the book attached to my author account, changed the thunderclap, contacted all the blogs who were planning on sharing the ‘Author Central’ link so that they had the correct link, and had set the dogs on the one star review lady!  She contacted those who had gotten ARC of the book and asked them to immediately leave their reviews on Amazon to help counteract the effects of negative review.
She took a situation that I was simply unable to handle and flipped it in a matter of a half hour. This alone was worth the cost of her fee, as I’m sure my husband wouldn’t have known what to do with me!

The point of this story is … well there are several points.
First, you can’t do it all yourself. I suppose you could try, but the emotion drain it would case it not good for the creative juices of an author.
Second, do your homework. If you are going to look into some help, don’t only get references from that PR or blog, but also ask people in the author community. Obviously someone is going to give you the references of their unhappy clients. That’s why asking other authors is so important.

Third, get yourself a PA/PR already. Do you know how much time and stress you save by letting someone else handle it for you?  If you haven’t noticed, I highly recommend Jennifer. Mind you I don’t want her getting so busy that she doesn’t have time for me… but I think she can handle it!