Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Love/Hate Relationship for The Price of Innocence

My recent promotion on The Price of Innocence has once again skyrocketed the book into best seller sales ranks, giving it more exposure than usual.  It appears that I am having a repeat of my 2012 experience when I participated in May with a free giveaway.

Since this book was first released in 2009, I have consistently advertised it as historical fiction, with romantic elements.  It is not historical romance. If you’re looking for traditional feel-good romance, that is not The Legacy Series. If you read the series, proceed with caution. It’s not the normal cookie-cutter story to sweep you off your feet.  It is a family saga that covers twenty-plus years. My characters face hardship and challenges. The story is filled with reality; and its themes are the price we pay for innocence, deception, love, and passion.

The Price of Innocence has been reviewed by Writer’s Digest (read here the critique), Coffee Time Romance, NightOwl Romance, Mama Kitty Reviews, and others. The book was my debut novel. It has been read worldwide and accepted by many fans who are eagerly followed the series to the end. 

Lastly, I want to thank all of my new readers for downloading the book. Whether you love, hate, or average me out, it’s been wonderful meeting you all. I’m not offended if you find the story difficult. Read according to your tastes.  However, like any author, I am blessed and graciously thankful for those who have supported the series and sent me communication letting me know how the story moved and touched their hearts.  It has taught me the power of how readers can get emotionally involved with characters regarding their struggles, love relationships, and overcoming family discord to find happiness.

And thanks to BookBub!  They are a great source for getting books in front of readers.

I love being an author.  One of my favorite scenes from the movie Silver Lining Playbook is below that puts things into perspective and keeps me smiling.  I do apologize for the language but it makes a humorous point that not everyone needs to love your books, even if you're Ernest Hemingway.



Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Price of Passion - Released

Today, The Price of Passion was released on Amazon.  Other venues will follow in the next few days as my distributor ships them to various retailers.  A print version will be released in about two months.


So what was I thinking when writing this story?  Read below.

Let's face it, sometimes you read a book and have expectations.  As an author, I understand that many of my readers have held expectations as to the outcome of my characters in The Legacy Series.  A few have found fault about the paths I led them down while others have enjoyed them nevertheless.

Like people in real life, we expect certain things out of characters.  Their behavior can disappoint us or thrill us, depending on the choices they make in life.  In The Price of Passion both Robert and Jolene are faced with decisions regarding who they will marry.

As writers who study character development, that is really is what it is in a nutshell -- the development of personalities that our characters possess.  Each is slightly flawed or extremely flawed.  However, if you haven't picked up in the series by now, each main character is really faced with how they deal with innocence, deception, love, and passion.  Each carries a price in life.

Characters in books are supposed to grow.  You may discover in Book #4 you would like to slap Jolene up the side of her head or tape her mouth shut.  Yes, she is bullheaded, prideful, and fiercely independent.  Like others, she has a lesson to learn, so hopefully by the time you read "The End," you'll discover that she has grown into a mature young woman.

What about Robert?  Does the rogue finally settle down and pursue Grace?  Does mild-manner Alastair find love?  Does Geoffrey Chambers ever stop being a pain in the you-know-what?  And then there is Philippe, Suzette, and Robert, with a past that is enough to make your head spin.

The focus on this last chapter is, of course, on the younger generation.  However, in the end, I've tried to wrap it up neatly with a nice happy everafter bow, except for one part that may surprise you.

I hope you enjoy it.  As usual, I cried in a few spots and laughed in others while writing it.  Authors get engrossed in their characters' lives as much as readers.

And by the way, thank you for following me on this journey with The Legacy Series!  You are the best.

Fondly,
Vicki

Monday, February 1, 2016

New Covers for The Legacy Series

With the release of The Price of Passion, the series will have new covers.  Below are the finals.  Enjoy!  You'll see them go up in the next month or so.  Book 4 is still going through tedious editing but on the way.



Saturday, November 7, 2015

Update on The Price of Passion

For those of you patiently or not patiently waiting for an update about book four of The Legacy Series, you will be happy to know that I’m almost in the home stretch of completing the book. However, let me clarify that throwing 70,000 plus words into an MS Word document doesn’t mean my task is finished. After that, I will have a painful process of self-editing before I send it out for professional editing.

During the initial stages of editing, I sometimes embellish with additional text, cut things, and rearrange things. Right now I have a “to-do” list as I near the end of the story. After that, I run it through Grammarly and Autocrit, my two favorite programs and make corrections. There are multiple re-reads and formatting checks to make. Finally, I hire an editor, who can take a month or more to edit and find things that I missed. When returned, it’s correction time. Then finalization of the eBook formatting and eventually off to distribution. Oh, and in between all of the above, I have the cover to think about.

Once the book is out, I’m usually exhausted, depressed, and telling myself this is the last one. Of course, as far as The Legacy Series is concerned, book four will be the last one. I just couldn’t bring myself to write another generation with characters dying off from old age and young men going off to fight in World War I, who never come home. Don’t make me go there, please.

The good news is that very soon I am lowering the price of The Legacy Series box set to $0.99 until January 1, 2016, in the hopes of gaining more readers before the release of The Price of Passion. Feel free to share the 99 cent deal to your friends on social media. I will also be purchasing advertising.

I’m happy that overall the reviews on the box set have been very strong. Readers in the United States and the United Kingdom have given it five-star ratings. Thank you!

Don’t forget, too, for other updates to follow my blog. You can subscribe here - SUBSCRIBE

If I don’t touch base with you in the next few months, have a wonderful upcoming Holiday Season.

All my best, Vicki Hopkins

P.S. Remember, if you're bored while waiting, my pen name of Nora Covington currently has threenovellas waiting to be read. Blythe Court is my favorite and received great professional reviews. Check it out! 

"A wonderfully heartbreaking read that serves a powerful lesson on love." 4.5 Crowned Heart of Excellence InD'Tale Magazine (June 2015) 

"Blythe Court by Nora Covington is a thrilling tale of a rakishly handsome marquess and his lovely lady." 5 Stars - Readers' Favorite (June 2015)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Update on Life

Gee, I can't believe the last time I posted here was July 2014!  Where have I been?  Well . . .

Periodically, I have worked on two other books - a contemporary romance and The Price of Passion.  Most importantly, however, I just finished two more novellas under my pen name, Nora Covington - Whitefield Hall and Blythe Court.  Recently, I released a box set of all three that includes Thorncroft Manor.

NEWS! Thorncroft Manor was reviewed and received a 4.5 Crowned Heart of Excellence from InD'Tale Magazine (March 2015) Comments were, "There is but one flaw in this otherwise perfect romance - not enough story!"  Apparently, the reviewer wanted more of Caroline and Bramwell. 

I have discovered that writing novellas is a challenge.  It's a bit difficult to scrunch a story into 30,000 to 40,000 words.  Sometimes they seem rushed to me, too, and I find the tale moving along at lightspeed. However, many authors are finding that there are a growing number of readers who prefer shorter stories due to busy schedules. 

Blythe Court has definitely turned out to be my personal favorite of the three. If you're into handsome men and unrequited love, you'll love the mystery and danger.


Also, The Legacy Series Box Set is on sale starting today for one month through April 15, 2015 for 99 cents!  Such a steal!  I will be doing some advertising to push it along as well.



Stay tuned as I refocus upon The Price of Passion.  About 75% of my readers want book #4, while 25% seem content to end it at The Price of Love.  I'm giving into the majority.  The book is almost half finished, so it's coming along.  Just keep in mind there is always that theme that everything in life carries a price -- even passion.

Cheers,
Vicki

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Need Something to Read?

While you are waiting for book four of The Legacy Series to be finished (see word count off to the right - currently starting Chapter 10), you might be interested in my new endeavor! 

I'm dipping my keyboard into romantic suspense (Victorian era) under the pen-name of Nora Covington. Follow the link below to check out the current release and the new set of novellas coming your way. It's "Romance With a Kiss of Suspense."

The first book in the series was released on July 5th (Thorncroft Manor), and I'm working on the second novella (Whitefield Hall) in a set of six coming your way.  If you want to know why Nora, please read the "About" me tab at my website to explain my reasoning behind the pen name.  In the meantime, these new short releases will hopefully keep you entertained while I'm working on The Price of Passion.

Stately homes, mysterious characters,  and suspenseful romance set in Victorian England

Available Now - Thorncroft Manor

Caroline Woodard was convinced that she would die a spinster. Her headstrong personality was not her best quality, or an attractive female characteristic to eligible Englishmen. 

Upon her cousin's invitation to be her maid of honor, she travels to Pendeen, a small village on the Cornwall coast of England. Soon after her arrival, Caroline is introduced to Bramwell Croft, who will be the best man. Even though he is a wealthy owner of a tin mine, Caroline finds him to be a brooding and disagreeable man. Instantly, their personalities clash like the tempestuous sea that pounds the rocky coastline. 

When she is forced to spend more time at Thorncroft than she would like, she finds herself strangely intrigued and attracted to the gloomy lord of the manor. However, as time goes by, Caroline cannot help but wonder if she will be his next victim of seduction or perhaps murder. 

"Romance With a Kiss of Suspense" - Novella (Approx. 38,000 words) - Thorncroft Manor is the first in a set of six individual novellas placed in stately English homes, with mysterious characters and suspenseful romance, during the Victorian era.  

Thanks to Period Images for the great models posing for historical romance.

All my best,
Vicki



Saturday, June 28, 2014

The History of the Legacy Series

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I thought that I would take a moment to talk about The Legacy Series and how it came about. If you have not followed along at my Legacy Series Books Blog, you probably don't know the whole story.

The Price of Innocence was written in 2009. It is my debut novel.  I researched my fingers to the bone on that book, studying about legalized prostitution in France, the infamous Chabanais brothel, and the challenges of the poor in 1870's Paris.  

Since its release, it has garnished a lot of criticism, most of which started when the book hit the #1 spot in historical romance on Amazon for three days in a row in May of 2012.  Great to be #1, but it's almost like having a target on your back.  It was edited in 2009 by Autumn J. Conley, a book editor, who has been in the business for 28 years. In addition, it has been subsequently proofed and updated a few times by additional editors afterward. 

Is it my best book?  No, but it was my first book -- the book that launched my career as a writer. Even though it may not be great, it did receive a favorable critique from organizations such as Writer's Digest and other good reviews from romance sites.  Like any other author out of the gate, you grow in your craft and learn.

The Price of Deception came about a few years later.  After release, I was hounded by readers to write a third installment. Many fell in love with the book, which frightened me that I would not be able to live up to the expectations for a third one.  Interesting enough, I wrote it during a six-month period when I had huge challenges in my life.  I was caring for my eighteen month old granddaughter and working full time.  During those six months, I had pneumonia and then fell a few months later breaking my shoulder.  It made the best selling paid list on Amazon a few times and the Movers & Shakers list, too, in 2012. It's times like that, you take screen shots to keep the memories! 

As much as my fans wanted The Price of Love, I frankly felt stumped trying to figure out where to take the story. I made premature promises on its release and let people down, for which I'm very sorry.  However, if the inspiration isn't there for an author, writing a story is torture.  It took me longer than I anticipated to decide what to do with Jolene and Robert, plus the remainder of the dysfunctional family.

Now that is past, the emails continue from fans to keep the story going. The Price of Passion has begun, but I'm off right now working on a new release under a different pen name.  I will return to it shortly and am shooting for the end of the year.  However, I make no promises.

As the series continues to either enthrall or enrage readers, it has sold over 18,000 paid eBook copies, plus many print copies, since the first book was released. In addition, over 22,000 free copies of The Price of Innocence have been download. What is even more amazing, is that my sales on Apple and Nook have skyrocketed in the last six months regarding the series since The Price of Innocence went perma free.  I have only 48 reviews on Amazon and 222 ratings on Apple. That is astounding.  I'm hopeful that the series will continue to do well in the years ahead. 

From the bottom of my heart, I thank those who have supported me as an author and sent some of the most moving and wonderful private emails letting me know your feelings about the series.  I've had a few comment that they'd love to see it in a TV series.  Yes, in my dreams, too, but it takes getting noticed with substantial sales for that to happen. 

Remember, the best way to thank an author for a book you love is to write a review -- even if it's just a few words. 

Have a great weekend.  It's rainy and cool in Oregon, so I'm going to write to pass the time.

All my best,
Vicki