Belle of Charleston, the first book in Southern Legacy serial, is a sweeping American historical romance. Belle of Charleston is a perma-free book, written from my heart.
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Southern Legacy is my best selling series. Matter of fact, Belle of Charleston was named one of the best books of 2015 by Digital Book Today…and Belle of Charleston is free!
Being a Southerner, I grew up believing that the war was because of state’s rights and not about slavery. As an adult, I discovered how differently others saw the South. When my children came home one day talking about the movie Mississippi Burning, I found myself trying to defend my home state. That is not the Mississippi I know, but I can’t dispute facts. Although those weren’t the actions of the people I know and love, there is no justifying the indefensible.
My purpose behind the Southern Legacy serial was to depict how all sides felt during the war: Southern, Northern, slaves, and abolitionists. I wanted to capture the romance of the antebellum South, but also portray slavery as it was—horrific.
Readers may not realize my intent. As I stated, this is a sweeping romance, but within the series I wrote about the Underground Railroad, including leaders I wasn’t aware of until my research, like William Still.
This is what one reviewer of the whole series, Southern Legacy, 4-Bk Collection, said.
I NEVER write reviews! On this series I have too. I read 100’s of books and have to say, this has been the most pleasant surprise. I urge everyone to buy this series. The characters are many and you will hate and love everyone of them from one moment to the next. The History is not so much captured in the Civil War itself but the feeling is captured. You can FEEL how each of these characters felt, whether they were from North or South, slave, or freedmen. Thank you to the Author for such a wonderful experience that kept me on edge, and awake at all times of the night. It was well worth it.
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Being an Indie bestselling author, I have had to overcome several obstacles. One of them was deciding how to release Southern Legacy. I have gotten hit hard with one-star reviews with readers upset this is a serial—despite the warnings that there are cliffhangers. I have no desire to get into an agrument with anyone, but the warnings have been up since the beginning.
Unlike some other bestselling authors, I can’t get bad reviews taken down…I have one-star reviews up that have nothing to do with my book—one was mad at Amazon about how its kindle was downloading, another lambasting about things that weren’t even in my book, and others that leave one and two star reviews for all the books they review. As you can guess, Amazon and I don’t see eye to eye. Little things that make a difference, like a reader being greeted by negative reviews when they look at my books. A couple of examples— The Governor’s Daughter, the first review you see is a one-star liked by only 2 people, yet there are 5 and 4 star reviews liked by 29 and 11 readers below it. Another, The Bastard Son. The first review is a one-star liked by 8, but there are other 5 star liked by 10 that you can’t even see when you look at the book. I have numerous emails from readers complaining that their reviews never went up. There is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Amazon has control.
I mention this because at conferences I attend and online with other authors, there are a group of authors that never let a negative review stay up, especially on a new release. They talked about making a simple phone call. I am not one of those authors.
Amazon and I butt heads all the time. Last year, they threatened to take my one of my books down, Fragmented. They froze my book and readied to take it down. Their reason—they said that Fragmented wasn’t mine—despite the fact I had the copy-right and proved it was mine. They told me there was nothing I could do. I finally got through to someone that would listen, but not before losing two weeks of sales.
In April, Amazon again went at me. They placed a warning on Winds of Betrayal. They said there was something wrong with the formatting. This was on a book that had been up for years.
This was the error they gave me—
“Formatting-Forced_background_color; Kindle Location: 5601; Comments: The background color for some texts appears to be forced in your book, because of which the text in the book is highlighted. This especially affects readers who prefer reading on black, sepia and green background. Please remove the forced background color. You can see this issue at location 5550 and 5564.”
First— this was the last page of the book where I listed my other published books. Nothing to do with the book itself. Second—Despite not understanding what the issue was with the formatting, I deleted the page and republished immediately. The warning stayed up for more than two weeks. This came when I just released the conclusion, Set Fire to the Rain, to the series and was doing promotions. I wrote to Amazon several times. I didn’t understand the warning, but more importantly why the warning hadn’t come down. During a vital time for my series, Winds of Betrayal couldn’t be downloaded and had a warning on it. Finally, I got ‘we’re sorry.’ They gave me no explanation on why it took so long to take the warning down— only sorry. Really…sorry? I got the line that nobody has anything against me. They just followed procedure, but it was a series of mistakes on their end on why the warning didn’t come down. They promised me they want to see me succeed. But to be honest…it certainly doesn’t feel that way.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that deals with these issues with Amazon, but I don’t know of another author that does. One of my best author friends got an email about the formatting on their new release. There was a formatting-forced in the middle of their book. Did she get a warning on her book? No.
So, it seems that Amazon’s rules are subjective…and there is nothing I can do about it. Amazon can do what they want. Let me say that Amazon is the reason I make money being an author. No matter the obstacles I have to overcome, I still owe Amazon. Could they make my life easier? Sure, but in the grand scheme of things, I’m just a little fish in their sea of publishing.
I wish thing were different…better…between Amazon and my books. Hopefully, one day it will be. I do have several of my books in Kindleunlimited. I certainly don’t hold anything against Amazon. I shop there all the time and am a Prime member. Like I said, to Amazon, I’m a small fish. Just another obstacle for me to overcome…because more than anything, I want to get my books in your handss .