KDP Countdown Confusion

The KDP Countdown seems like a good deal for authors. You get to run a special for your book (.99 in the case of my book Goddess) while retaining the 70% royalty rate of the regular price. (My regular price is $2.99.)

I ran my first countdown deal just after Thanksgiving and wanted to give it a try again. That’s when I discovered the fine print. While doing a little research, I learned that because I had already run a countdown deal last month, I wasn’t eligible to run another one in the U.S. Fine, I thought, I’ll run the deal in the UK and change the price manually for those of us in the New World. I wouldn’t get the same royalty rate, but that didn’t seem like a big deal. I did my due diligence and read that I must change the price before the countdown deal began. Unfortunately, what I didn’t discover until it was too late was that I had to change my U.S. price 24 hours before my UK deal began.

So, bottom line, I am running a countdown deal, but only in the UK. Oh, well. Merry Christmas to my tea-loving readers. Everyone else will have to wait of for my next special.

Best wishes,


Goddess After Christmas Sale

If you find a hot guy wearing nothing but his stockings under your tree this Christmas, then happy New Year to you. But hang onto the mistletoe, because Goddess will be on sale for  $.99 on Amazon and Amazon UK from December 26 to 30. A Readers Review Blog calls it “A sizzling and emotionally charged read.”

Happy Holidays, everyone!


How to Write Dialogue Tags

When I was a screenwriter, dialogue tags were simple. I wrote the name of the character and underneath, I wrote his/her dialogue. Easy, peezie, lemon squeezie, as my daughter used to say.

Writing dialogue tags in a novel is a bit more complicated. We usually use “he said” or “she said” to indicate who’s speaking. But often, the dialogue doesn’t need to be labeled because it’s easy to figure out from the context who is speaking. When I go through each draft of my book, I ask myself which “he saids” are necessary and which can be cut. It’s amazing how much stronger the dialogue is when I’ve eliminated unnecessary words.

I also try not to use variations  on “he said/she said.” “He exclaimed,” “he shouted,” “he whispered,” “he cried,” and the like are usually just distracting. They take readers’ attention away from my (hopefully) wonderful dialogue.

But there are times when using another tag is necessary. That’s especially true if you have more than two people in a conversation. You need tags to keep who’s speaking straight, but then you end up with a page  of “he saids” and “she saids.” That’s when I throw in a few variations, just to keep things interesting.

The other time I feel it’s necessary to use a verb other than “said” is when what a character says and how she says it are contradictory. “I’m going to disembowel you,” he whispered. “I love you,” he spat.”

When writing a first draft, my inclination is to us the dreaded ly adverb to indicate the emotion behind what the character said. “Let’s go!” Joe said urgently. “I want you naked,” she said hungrily. That’s fine, as long as it stays in the first draft. Underlining the emotion behind a speech is a mistake inexperienced writers make. Most of the time, we need to trust that readers will understand from the context how the dialogue is being said. If they don’t, adding a horrible ly adverb isn’t the way to fix it.

Another thing that bothers me is when a lot of action is added onto dialogue.

“I love you,” he said as he pulled a diamond ring out of his pocket and placed it in her palm.

First, it would be hard to do all that action in the time it took to say three words. But more importantly, the words tend to get lost in the midst of the action. In general, I think it’s better to keep action separate from dialogue.

He pulled a diamond ring out of his pocket and placed it in her palm. “I love you,” he said.

That’s so much better.

Best wishes,



**REVIEW** ~ Goddess, by Kelee Morris

A beautifully written review by Tina Williams!


Contemporary Erotic Romance

Adult/18+ Read


Book Blurb

Wife, mother, PTA president… Sex Goddess?

For Julia Nelson, it was only a faded tattoo, almost forgotten, like the sex-charged dreams that inspired it some 20 years ago.

For renowned, rugged-sexy archeologist Dr. Ashland Stewart, it was his greatest discovery, the sacred emblem of an ancient goddess culture.

Two symbols, eons apart, yet exact duplicates. It must be a coincidence. But when Julia and Ashland meet, their connection is instantaneous, powerful, erotic.

Julia’s suburban life is safe and comfortable. She has everything to lose.

Ashland’s world is remote archeological digs and flings with younger women. He’s sexually free but emotionally guarded.

Ashland awakens Julia’s long buried inner goddess with breathtaking passion and insatiable desire.

But their sexual adventure becomes increasingly perilous as their emotional barriers crumble. Will Julia risk falling in love and soaring to new heights, or will she return to her…

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How Many Books Can One Writer Juggle?

I’m generally a goal oriented person. When I’m working on a book, I try to stay on task, whether it’s the first draft or tenth. I want to get to the end, cross the finish line, put a checkmark on my to-do list.

But sometimes moving a book forward makes me feel like Sisyphus, with my damned rock stuck in a crevice. I try to stay focused, but all I’m producing is uninspired crap. It’s not long before I realize I’ve spent the last hour of my writing time looking at cute cat videos on Facebook.

While I was trying to interest an agent in my first novel Goddess, and when I subsequently prepared to publish it myself, I felt very disconnected from my creative side. My writing time was spent sending out query letters, working with a designer on a cover, and asking (i.e. begging) advance reviewers to take a look at my book. I know being a writer is at least 80% marketing, but it didn’t feel very satisfying.

To make myself feel better, I read through a screenplay that I wrote a decade or so before called Anywhere’s Better Than Here. It’s about an ambitious television reporter stuck in the most nowhere town in America. Her only hope of making it back to a major television market is by landing a big story with the help of a local yokel cameraman.

The script never quite worked as a straight comedy, but if I emphasized the two characters’ love/hate relationship more, I thought it would make a great romance novel. I worked on the script-to-book translation in my spare time. It was relatively easy – mostly fleshing out the characters and scenes. More importantly, it felt creatively satisfying. I almost finished the first draft of the book by the time Goddess’s publication date arrived.

But then I felt like I needed to start on book 2 of the Goddess trilogy. After all, I didn’t want to leave readers hanging, especially since I’d written a cliff hanger. I wrote an outline and the first few chapters, but I just couldn’t get inspired to go further. After beating my head against the wall for almost a month, I decided I needed another break. Anywhere was calling to me. I was still excited by the characters and the story. I was itching to keep writing. It felt right.

Now I’m part way through the second draft. It needs work, but I’m very pleased with most of what I’ve written. I feel a little guilty that I’m not working on Goddess, but being inspired is too great a high to let go.

Who else likes to have more than one iron in the fire? I’d love to hear how it works for you.

Best Wishes,



How Much Should an Ebook Cost? A Tale From Two Perspectives

You’re a writer. You worked for months, possibly years, to bring your creative dream to fruition. The book’s good, damn good. At least you think so. Now you’re ready to upload it to Kindle. Of course, you want to be payed a fair price for all of your hard work. Perhaps you also have dreams of escaping your soul sucking day job and becoming a professional writer. You earn higher royalties on Amazon if you price your book between $2.99 and $8.99. Many traditional publishers charge the same price for their ebooks as a printed copy.

So, how should you price your book?

You’re a reader. You read traditionally published authors and you’re willing to pay a premium for their books because you know the author and you’ve read the reviews of their latest book in major magazines and newspapers.

But you also like to check out new and up-and-coming writers who publish their books without benefit of an agent or editor. There are so many self-published books out there (500,000 released every year). How do you even choose? You’ve read the reviews, but you know from past experience that they often can’t be trusted. More than likely, the book will stink and you won’t read past the first few chapters.

So, how much would you pay for the book?

Being a self-published author is tough. It all comes down to supply and demand. In a over-saturated market, it’s difficult to get noticed, let alone make money. If books were widgets, we’d be face with a market where way more were being made than people to buy them, and no way to know if the widget you chose is a hand crafted, made-in-America product or a cheap Chinese knock-off. As I mentioned in a previous post, an author’s only choice is to price the book at $.99 (or in some cases free), market the hell out of it, and hope for the best.

I’d be interested in the comments and experiences of other authors.

Good luck and best wishes,