Articles

Release Day! Vengeance Is Sweet

200

It’s here! Today is the official release day of Vengeance Is Sweet, my reissue of an urban fantasy novel previously published under my Jo Ramsey pen name. This is a Kindle exclusive, so only available on Amazon.com…and it’s a 98,000 word novel for only $2.99.

The novel was available as a Jo Ramsey title for about two years, until I requested that the publisher give me back the publishing rights to it. One of the problems I had with it was that it didn’t fit Jo Ramsey. Under that name, I write young adult fiction. Vengeance Is Sweet is not YA; it’s adult urban fantasy with romantic elements. The only thing that, to the publisher (and I did agree at the time), made it not a Karenna Colcroft title was the absence of any sexual or erotic content.

But when I saw the sales numbers under that name, I started thinking we had made a mistake by branding it as Jo Ramsey, so when I got the rights back I chose to try to correct that mistake. I also did some fairly major revising of part of the story, including cutting about 10,000 words.

I really enjoyed writing the novel to begin with, and revising it was a lot of fun too. I’d forgotten how salty and sassy Omara, my vengeance demon main character, can be. The story has humor, action, a wiseass demon, and other elements that I hope readers who missed it the first time around will really enjoy.

 

Bittersweet Reversion

Last week, I received an email with an attachment. A reversion letter, returning rights to me for my books Their Home Port, Reflected Love, You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This, Dancing Away, and With My Heart. The books were returned due to lack of sales, which I fully understand. Unfortunately, the best efforts of me and the publisher weren’t enough to get readers to buy those books.

It’s bittersweet because the publisher in question, Jupiter Gardens Press, is the one I credit with giving me the boost I needed as a published romance author back in 2009. My two titles published before JGP took me on were short erotica stories, with a publisher that operated more as a co-op. JGP was the first publisher to take a chance on longer stories from me, and they were also the ones who gave me my start as a published young adult fiction author under my Jo Ramsey pen name.

I hadn’t sent anything new to JGP since 2013. I’d already gotten rights reverted on a few other titles that weren’t selling, including that first 2009 book of mine that they published. Although I’ve continued promoting the remaining books, it unfortunately isn’t surprising that things have turned out this way. I’ve never been great at promoting, though I do my best, and with no new Karenna Colcroft books from that publisher in the past two years (and no new books from Karenna at all since March of this year), the backlist faded away.

I sincerely thank JGP for giving me that first real break six years ago, and for all the hard work, mentoring, and advising–and faith–they invested in me. I wish the company nothing but the best.

As for the reverted titles, I plan to re-release Their Home Port at some point in the future. The rest…well, they’re now at rest.

Changes in the Works

My first romance was published in 2009. It came after two and a half years of attempting to write erotica and/or erotic romance (back then, I wasn’t even sure what the difference was!), posting stories online, and finally finding a publisher that gave me a chance.

In the just-over-six years since, I’ve honestly lost count of how many books (including novellas and stand-alone short stories) and anthology contributions I’ve had published. And at this point, something around half of them are no longer available anyway.

As I think I posted a few months ago, since last summer, my health has gone down, and my stress level has gone up. The last new erotic romance I wrote was Stepping Stone Not Doormat, which came out in February. The next book I tried to write, Dawn Over Dayfield, stubbornly refused to be any kind of romance, though there is a fairly hot blowjob scene in it.

And when I sat down a couple of months ago to try to write a follow-up to Stepping Stone Not Doormat, something in my brain kind of imploded. I wasn’t able to even get the story off the ground, and the harder I tried, the more stressed and anxious I felt. When I finally had to put it aside a couple of weeks ago to start on a young adult novel I’d already committed to a publisher (under my Jo Ramsey pen name), it was a relief…and I’ve written three times as much on that novel in two weeks as I did on the attempted romance in over a month.

That told me something I’d been trying to deny for months: It’s time to step back from writing romance for a while. How long a while? I’m not entirely sure. Until my brain and emotions are ready to try again, I guess. I’m going to put more time and focus into my young adult fiction instead, and I hope some of you will check out my Jo Ramsey books, if you’re inclined to read YA stuff. I do plan to try to self-publish a few of my reverted books, along with a couple of things that didn’t find homes because they’re too hard to categorize, over the next couple of years. And Dawn Over Dayfield will be available next March from DSP Publications, the non-romance imprint of Dreamspinner Press. So there will be Karenna Colcroft releases. Just no *new* erotic romance for a while.

I hope my readers will hang in there, check out any of my backlist that you haven’t read, and keep an eye out for the self-published stuff as well as Dawn Over Dayfield. I won’t be disappearing completely; you can still find me on social media and this website. But sometimes tough decisions need to be made, and unfortunately, for me this is one of those times.

Tech Rant (Again)

I’m sure I’ve ranted about technological issues on here before, because I have a lot of them. Technology and I are definitely NOT close friends.

First of all… my YA pen name, Jo Ramsey, has not had a website in nearly three weeks. It was working great, then all of a sudden became a 503 error page instead of the website. My hosting company told me it was a WordPress issue, and that even if it wasn’t, I wasn’t paying for website support and therefore they couldn’t do much for me. They told me to go to WordPress for support.

WordPress apparently doesn’t have a support helpline, or if they do, I couldn’t find any contact info. They do have support forums, but when I tried to read the posts about how to fix 503 errors… I might as well have been reading cuneiform.

Back to the hosting company. I uninstalled WordPress and reinstalled it, because they said that might fix the problem. It didn’t. I still get a 503 error, and now all the information that was on my website is completely gone, lost when I uninstalled WordPress. (I checked internet archives. Because I had the site set up so “robots” couldn’t crawl it, the site is not archived anywhere.)

I’m paying a friend of my 19-year-old to come over, read the WordPress forums, and try to fix the site. Hopefully that will work. If not, I have no clue what I’ll do.

And then, on another type of technology, last week my “person” loaned me his recording machine so I could work on the vocals of a song we’re doing together. The instrumental tracks were all done; I keep redoing the vocals because they haven’t been right yet. The machine has an auto-tune function, so my plan was to record the vocals and apply auto-tune to see if that would give me the desired results.

Person also gave me the manual for the machine. I read the pages on the auto-tune function’s use four times before I started, and then followed each step to the letter.

Somehow, instead of ending up with a tuned recording of the vocals… I lost the previous vocal track AND the three instrumental tracks.

The machine has “lost” recordings on us before, and Person has been able to recover them by removing the memory card and reinserting it. We’re hoping that will work this time. If not, fortunately we have the instrumental of the song saved as an MP3 (which I did so I could practice the vocals), so we can import that back onto the machine.

Sometimes I think I should live in a technology-free cave…