New Release: SECOND CHANCES by HM Ward & Stacey Mosteller

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**search this book for a cameo appearance from a Ferro family member**

by H.M. Ward & Stacey Mosteller

SECOND CHANCES is out today!

Description:

A New Adult, Standalone Novel by New York Times Bestselling author HM Ward & Stacey Mosteller

Sex. Betrayal. Forbidden Love. Lawn Boy.

I’m not a catch. I’m not even certain I’m what they’d call ‘mentally stable,’ not anymore. Too much has happened too fast and it ripped my soul in half. I’m alone, with a plastic stick in my hand that says the one word we’d been so eager to see: Pregnant.

Lucky in love once is a miracle, but I lost him, and this baby is all I have left. My life turned to ash in a blink and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Years pass and I’m still here, but it doesn’t feel like it, not until the lawn guy, Daniel Clement, checks me out. Me. A yoga-panting, pony-tailing, frumpy-butt, frizzy mommy who’s covered in whatever the baby tossed on me at lunch.

Daniel’s dark eyes linger too long, as if he likes what he sees. I’m shocked and flattered, but he’s too young. The age gap between us is over a decade, but that doesn’t stop him. If I sleep with him, everyone will think I’ve lost my mind. Maybe I have. Every time I see Daniel’s sexy, toned body glistening in the sunlight, I consider feeling him pressed against me, naked. The few times his fingers grazed my skin were heaven, but once the clothes come off–he’s a god and I’m… me.

I’ve been alone for so long. Surely one kiss won’t hurt anything; one taste of his mouth should be harmless. Things don’t have to go that far, but I’m wrong.

Love only comes around once in a lifetime. Only fools think otherwise, and I’m the biggest fool of them all.

Type: Stand alone New Adult novel

amazon   bn   kobobutton   iTunesbutton

(paperback to follow)

What people are saying about this new novel:

“Second Chances pulled at my heart strings and had me ugly crying before I made it past the first chapter.” -Stacy
“A home run in the co-author department!” -Crystal
“The story is both fairy tale mixed with a shot of real life, sprinkled with a helping of sexual tension and finished off with a serving of meddling parents.” -Azz
“This story is funny, sexy and heartfelt. It’s filled with lovable characters and relatable situations! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to hire a lawn boy.. because, really, every woman needs her own Daniel!” – Melanie

 

 

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Writer Beware: Stupidity is the Latest and Greatest Selling Tool of All

scamalertThey had me fooled. I mean how many times can I keep falling for the same line? The fact that I was in sales for years makes it worse. Although I didn’t learn this specific sales move, I should have spotted it sooner. Shame on me.

This scam uses classic tenants of irrational human behavior, sales theory, and closing techniques, making one the most brilliantly skeevey sales tactics that I’ve ever seen. Get your sunglasses ready. It’s that blindingly brilliant, well, except for the part where they screw us writers over, again and again.

Everyone roots for the underdog, and we remember our 1st day of work at location X and holy fuckbunnies, did it suck. We want to show mercy. It’s part of our humanity. Most of us don’t walk around kicking three-legged dogs and laugh. We think ‘poor baby’ even if we fail to act. This sales tactic is taking advantage of those two traits, empathy (which evokes the ‘poor baby response’) and our desire to see the underdog succeed. Like I said, it’s brilliant, and completely unethical.

Find out how a $500 photo session gets kicked up to $2,000+ and why some people paid for it. The photographer actually made the writer feel so bad because ‘she didn’t know, poor baby’ that the writer keep forking over cash out of sympathy.

Or the newest – ‘free’ pictures from a new photographer who sends a bill for SO much money and she’s soooo poor. She didn’t know! The models cost X and the studio cost Z and if you don’t buy anything from this shoot, she’ll be upside down. ‘I’m new at this, help me out,’ the underdog cries. Awh, poor baby, I could probably buy one even though they aren’t what I needed (like at all).

You’d think smart writers wouldn’t fall for this–but we are–and since no one is talking about it, these parasites are feeding on the Indie community with most of us unaware. And they’re parasites because they’re not new at this at all. They stumbled into a scenario that ensure a good payout and left their ethics at home. Kick that dog!

Prepare to be educated. Yes, I’m going to look really stupid in this post. Hindsight is 20/20 and a bleeding heart is like watching a train wreck plus more cliches that I can’t think of because I need a fucking helmet.

It grieves me to post this, it really does, but since it’s happened to me multiple times in the past 6 months alone, odds are this is an epidemic and not an isolated insistent. Actually, I know it’s not limited to me which is why I’m taking the time to write this post.

Authors beware.

Did I catch your attention, yet? I hope so, because it could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. There are thieves acting as ethical business professionals among us, posing as editors, photographers, graphic designers, etc.

Well damn, Holly, that’s harsh. But author buddy, it’s the sad truth. This industry is toppling, the same thing happened to the record industry and the photography industry–as the big boys try to hold on by their nails, every day more and more writers figure out that they can actually make a living with their words if they turn Indie. More power to you. But what happens? The industry is suddenly engulfed with stories that need graphics, covers, editors, narrators, and the five million other things it takes to get a book to market. The excellent professionals are booked up until 3 Christmases from now, so what’s a newB to do?

You hire a freelancer, someone new. They may have even been highly recommended as one such photographer was to me. (This same trick was pulled by an editor as well. They plant posts about this great person who’s cheap and fast and then lots of people agree and BAM! Money machine.)

The example I’m going to use here is photography. I don’t mean graphic design, that’s a different ball game. I mean hiring a professional photographer to get your cover image and shots for promotional materials. That’s it.

Why hire someone when I can use micro stock for a few bucks? Good question. The main reason is because of the number of images of surly teens, brooding men, and glowing humans is disproportionate to the number of new books hitting the market thanks to self-publishing. Micro stock costs anywhere from a few bucks to a few hundred, but everyone and their dog is using the same images. If iStock would stop rejecting photographs that don’t convey smiley happy people we’d have more to choose from, but alas, they think smiling people are the way to go. They missed an entire market by doing so, which means you need a graphic designer to photoshop the tar out of the picture or hire a photographer to shoot an original work.

stripped

Here’s an example of a photoshopped pic. I took a plain old stock image, played with the colors (which isn’t enough to differentiate your cover from someone else’s any more) and made something new – a torn Polaroid. Those suckers are hard to tear, so I had to make it look torn. There was no existing stock to superimpose one image into the other.

The other, obvious, option is to hire a photog (photographer) to shoot a couple that no one has seen before. The cover of this book prior to the change was all over the place. I’d had it on pre-order and while I did, a ton of people copied it.

strippedjacketmedNote: Readers are buying based on the cover picture. If yours looks like someone else’s there will be buyer confusion. They’ll even read the book and then say, ‘Holly dude, that book was out there for you.’

Yeah, it wasn’t my book. They didn’t notice my name wasn’t on the cover, even though it’s usually there and HUGE. The pic here (blue background, guy staring off, was the original cover. Correcting the crappy skin tones, adding depth, and changing the color wasn’t enough to keep confusion from occurring so the cover was changed.)

So, hire a photographer – sounds easy, right? It should be, but oh my god, the number of snakes in the grass is insane. While I owned my studio, the ratio of people who said they were a professional photographer was around 1 in 3. That stat means that you have a very good chance of hiring someone who is totally clueless and really doesn’t know how to shoot, but several of them have learned how to sell and skipped the ethics classes (or slept through them), and guess what? You can’t always tell who’s who.

Photographer incident #1:

Photog X is recommended online because she’s good and will do a shoot and burn for $500. A shot & burn is when the photog photographs the session and hands you unedited digital images. That means the color, exposure, and a bunch of other stuff can be off if they don’t know how to shoot. A camera is a computer that you hold to your face, but it has no idea what’s important to you. You have to tell it that you want this side of the guys face to be dark and that the crap in the background needs to fade to black. An experienced, good photographer knows how to change the settings on their camera, meter for light, and use what they need to get the shots they want WITHOUT USING PHOTOSHOP TO CORRECT MISTAKES. Yeah, I said that. Photoshop is a tool that should be used only to enhance. If you can’t get a solid black background out of your camera without PS, you don’t know how to use your camera. The PPA will fail you and your skills aren’t up to par to charge people, and yet, that doesn’t stop anyone.

So, with this underdog newB photog, I requested full copyright with model releases and the RAW files from the entire shoot. I saw her work. She was underexposing and didn’t know crap about light, but both were things I could fix and I was willing to take the chance. For me to do the shoot–it would cost at least a $100 and a day in Dallas. $500 saved me time, plus I’ve been sick and standing wasn’t an option some days, so $500 was perfect (and cheap).

After I requested all rights to the images, I was quoted $700. I agreed. We then spent ALOT of time choosing models. We pick a few and gosh, they cost more than she’d thought. She’s so sorry, she’s new at this. <–*FLAG*

I disregard the flag because ____________ (she’s cheap, new, free, recommended, or whatever dumb reason you conjure). Her explanation of the increase in rate made me have the ‘poor baby’ response. And it’s possible that this shoot could change her life because she’s been eating Ramen noodles out of a hobo can for the past few months, and this is life-changing. I know this stuff because she told me. Fine, she didn’t say hobo can, but it’s the image conjured. She’s butt poor, a starving artist like I was.

My response: Poor baby. Rah rah underdog! You can do it! Of course I’ll help! (Predictable irrational reaction). I agree to the higher model price because it’s almost shooting day. We’re at $900, now.

TS1New girl finds out that I was an award winning photographer. I mention the workshops I held across the country and that I’d been sponsored by industry leaders like Millers, Whitehouse, Asukabooks, etc.

She gets a ton of free shooting info from me by acting dumb-’short lighting? What is that? How do I do fall off?’

Good god, I started thinking she must be shooting on auto and that this was a horrible mistake. I ask her. Oh no, she doesn’t shoot on auto. I check her pics. Exif data is stripped, so she’s not totally dumb. This is the information in the picture, put there by the camera. An image that isn’t stripped shows the photographer’s camera settings. It’s like being naked, so photogs tend to strip out everything except the copyright info. NewBs don’t realize it’s there so the fact that it was gone was interesting. Yes, I was looking over her shoulder. I wanted to see what she knew, if she was shooting on full manual or what. It would have told me everything from her lens, camera body, to her aperture, but she stripped it.

A couple weeks before the shoot she asks again about the backgrounds and requires a pose list. Weird, but okay. That should make things less confusing and if she’s only shot weddings a shot sheet is normal. I give her one that could be done in an hour. I tell her how to shoot each one so she’s methodically moving through sets and backdrops. It’s basically four poses with a lot of sister shots. If you shoot, you know an hour is about right if you’re going slow.

She tells me that the studio has a 3 hour minimum and that we should do 4 hours because the pics will be better. Ugh, she’s new, but she’s also right. Around the 3 hour mark the models are more into each other than at 1 hour, so I agree. Okay, the cost is $1200 because of the studio. More, poor baby response on my part, still rooting for her. I say fine and now we’re a week out and I need the shots. <–This is the trap. She’s backing me into a corner and I don’t see it coming.

She adds a day or so later, ‘I misunderstood–the studios rates went up and the guy, well, his rate went up too.’

I’m annoyed now, but dumb enough to say fine because she messed up my timeline. Now I’m baffled that someone so highly recommended could be so stupid. That is until I realize that I got played. She’s manipulating me, specifically my emotions, and doing a stellar job.

When I asked for the contract, she didn’t want to send one. ‘I’m new, I don’t have one.’ I tell her to specify the terms and send it along with the model releases. I tell her again to join the PPA that they’ll supply her with forms and legal help should she need it. At this point she still sounds dumb. ‘What’s a model release?’ I explain that I can’t use the images without the release.

She says okay to everything in the email and when I read the contract she does not release any rights to me at all. I told her that I was paying for a commercial shoot, what are you doing?

Oh, I didn’t know that’s what you meant. The disk is an extra $2,000 but I’m not giving you the copyright. I can’t sell that. You can use the picture for a year.

What. The. Fuck.

She wasted so much of my time that I almost said yes. Instead, I told her that her behavior was totally unprofessional and told her what she should have done, still thinking she’s a newB. Of course she doesn’t reply. I chalk it off that she’s stupid and don’t tell anyone.

Turns out the jokes on me, because this is the way this girl operates. She uses people (or fake accounts) to pimp her name because Word Of Mouth (WOM) is golden. It’s the best kind of ad you can get. (See Tracey and Underhill). Then, she pulls the cheap card, because she’s new–its a logical reason, and an acceptable one. We root for her, the underdog, the new girl who’s just trying to get her foot in the door. We fall for her lies and feel sorry for her. Poor baby. Then, the price goes up, up, up because she’s NOT new at this and guess who isn’t dumb after all? It turns out that she’s done this before.

A LOT.

This is a new sales technique that combines several iron clad techniques, works great online, and unless you know what you’re looking at–you’d never see it coming. Hell, I know sales inside out and photography, and I thought she was sincere. Silly me.

Here are a few tips on finding a good photographer and avoiding getting taken advantage of:

1. Do NOT hire a newB. They either are lying or don’t have the skill set you need to shoot a decent cover image. What they hand you will not look like the stuff on their site because that stuff has been enhanced by photo editing software. The stuff that comes straight out of camera is GOOD if you hire someone who knows what they’re doing and newBs do not.

2. Some photogs steal work from other photographers and post it on their site. Gasp! No way! Way, dude! Way! It happened to my work. One day this picture showed up in a groupon ad for a photo session by another photography studio. They didn’t even bother to remove my logo. This picture was stolen more times than I can count. And for this shoot, I did everything – the hair, make up, the clothing, jewlery, etc. And this is a highly processed image, not to cover a mistake but to smooth her skin so it looks flawless. The rest of the effects were done with lighting in studio.

B&AAHere’s her before and after picture. A good photographer can make a model look older or younger, thinner or bigger with lighting. Lighting is important and it’s something that new folks have no clue how to use. Beware of ‘natural light’ photographers. It’s usually code for ‘i don’t know how to use my flash or off camera lighting.’ There are very few natural light photographers (meaning they use the sun) that are truly good at it and understand the principles required to get the same effect. The shot above is NOT natural lighting. It’s a single light source, placed in the ideal spot to optimize her curves and make her look a little older.

3. Ask for a commercial rate, not a portrait studio rate. They are different with different expectations. I’m going to start doing my own cover shoots again. I don’t need more than an hour of shooting time with an experienced model.

4. Rates are all over the place, but here’s a benchmark. My flat day rate was $10K plus location, make-up, and modeling fees. That included limited usage rights (like an ebook with limited paper distribution of under 2,000), no touch ups. AKA, a shoot and burn. Half day and hourly rates were available. I shot a Miss Texas contestant for $2K. She needed 3 edited shots with files for a national pageant. Note: I wasn’t a cheap photographer. I was very selective about who I worked with and charged WAY more for portrait sessions. In my mind, from being on both sides of the fence, an author shouldn’t pay more than $100 for a single, unedited image. This is why a bunch of photographers are doing shoots on their own and selling directly via their site. The pictures are usually under $200, and once it’s sold, it’s gone. However, there are sister shots that someone else could buy, but the odds of seeing it are less than with microstock. You also need to get the releases and have them in hand.

5. Honestly, ROI (return on investment) sucks monkeys on this type of investment. Say you find a college kid who does a shoot and burn that hands over the copyright for $500. That includes location and models and any other fees. That’s a bargain price. He probably went upside down shooting it, and it still cost you way more than a stock site. How many more books do you have to sell to make that money back?

6. Check for memberships. PPA members (generally speaking) are less likely to screw you over for several reasons.

7. Watch your contract terms. If its not written in the contract, you don’t get it. And it makes no sense to me to pay for a shoot if I’m forced to change the cover in a year or two.

7b. Watch which country the photog resides in-copyright varies from place to place. Photographers deal with the same issues we do with copyright and piracy. We should be working together, especially since that market collapsed over a decade ago and ours is collapsing now.

8. A good photog can quickly answer any questions you have and help address your needs in a way that considers your budget. Example: Photog X is teaching a class on Saturday and a student may be happy to sell a shot for $100. Or they advise you to shoot later because the rates drop at location X and your cover HAS to be shot there. Or they tell you the lady who owns location C is cray cray to the max and will let us shoot there, but refuses to give the location release. A good photog should help you, know what they are talking about, and be able to convey things to you in laymen terms to your satisfaction.

9. They should provide a contract immediately following the initial quote. It locks in their prices, and the shooting dates, so they can’t pull the crap the woman mentioned above did.

10. You’re better off buying prefab covers. It takes care of all this stuff and gives you the best bang for your buck. Seriously. I’ve seen some that are $30. A shoot isn’t the way to go imho, even if you have the money. For me, it’s the time. If I shoot my own covers, it’s because it’s fun, not because it makes financial sense.

catalystcoversmKeep in mind that I’m a pretty kickass photog. That’s weird to say, but Mike will come in here and correct it if I don’t, so there you go. The people I almost hired didn’t come close to my skill set, but I physically couldn’t shoot then due to illness and they knew it.

Like I said, this wasn’t an isolated incident. It’s happened again and again, and not just with photography.

Be skeptical. Read your contracts. Know your rights and which rights you need to buy or license.

These ‘dumb’ people aren’t the stupid folks that they say they are. How’s that for classic irrational human behavior? No one likes to kick the new guy while he’s down right after his dog died and his grandma wrecked his bicycle. :( Life’s tough. Wear a helmet.

I got your back jack, Indie peeps. We’ve discussed these people on various boards. Beware of false WOM. I keep falling for that one. I must need a helmet. Mines gonna have glitter on it so they can see me coming. Also, I gotta say, the stupidity of going after the big names and screwing them over, wow. These people have balls so big I don’t know how they can walk. Yes, we outed you and yes there are blacklists growing longer every day. Do yourself a favor and be an ethical business person. Learn your skill and learn it well. Don’t swoop into the wreckage and pick off new authors who’ve used their life savings to put out their first book. They’ve been eating freeze dried noodles too and stealing from them is a hideous thing to do. Shame on you!

Author friends, you know where I hang out. And if you see that HM Ward recommended someone, odds are it’s false. I haven’t got an editor, photographer, or anyone that I would recommend at this point for anything. Don’t let people bullshit you, because the market is being flooded with it from both sides. Writer beware.

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Without Amazon You Would Have Never Had Your Ferros (Tru Dat)

seanferroDUDES! Go SIGN THIS!

Without Amazon, you would have never had your Ferros. Period. The series was too risky, risque, and out there for a NY publisher to touch it. Amazon offered me the freedom to decide and allow the READERS to be heard. So read this and be heard.

You’re going to hear a lot about this in the next few weeks, so here’s a drive-by.

***The crux of the matter between Hachette and Amazon – DO YOU WANT TO PAY MORE MONEY FOR BOOKS?***

How about $14.99 for an ebook? That sounds fun, right? NO. By the way, Mike has been boycotting Hachette since they priced ebooks over $12, years ago. He hasn’t bought a single book from them since then.

Hachette wants to keep book prices high, while Amazon wants them low. You’re going to be called on to boycott Amazon by famous people shortly. They’re going to say a bunch of stuff, but the bottom line is MONEY. It’s always about money and the publishers want more.

Oddly enough, these insanely high prices don’t go into the author’s pocket. In fact, had I chosen to go the trad route, I’d be lucky to have kept 10% of the money made from my books. THAT’S INSANE. I wouldn’t have been able to pay my medical bills at that rate, never mind feed my family, which is why I never signed with them or anyone else.

“New York Publishing once controlled the book industry.
-THEY DECIDED WHICH STORIES YOU WERE ALLOWED TO READ.
-They decided which authors were allowed to publish.
-They charged high prices while withholding less expensive formats.
-They paid authors as little as possible, usually between 2% and 12.5% of the list price of a book.

Amazon, in contrast, TRUSTS YOU to decide what to read, and they strive to keep the price you pay low.”

I hope this blows up in Hachette’s greedy face. Next time you have a stroke about a $2 ebook, thank God for Amazon otherwise all the ebooks would be $14 if companies like Hachette got their way.

GO SIGN! Unless you like paying $15 for an ebook, then don’t sign. And I’m gonna get flamed by the trad community for posting this, but screw that. The READERS MATTER! Go be heard.

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16 New York Times Bestsellers in About a Year

Okay, about a year ago I was trucking along and thought – I’ll publish DAMAGED even though I’d had it sitting on my laptop (in the dead to me folder) of unfinished stories that I’d lost interest in writing. I added swing dancing and finished it – hit publish. That was the tipping point for me. I’d hit the NYT once before that (SCANDALOUS) and it was so weird.

I never expected to hit it, not in a million years. And when I first went indie, they’d said, ‘over our dead body would an indie ever grace our prestigious list.’ So they weren’t a dream of mine. Like, at all.

NYTAR15

OMG! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!!!! THE ARRANGEMENT 15 made the NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers list! Eeeeeep!!! Dude, this is something that I never thought would happen-like ever- this makes my 16th NYT bestseller in a little over a year. It’s CRAZY CAKES, MAN! I feel like I should get a fluffy dress and have a party. Maybe swing dance?

Dream big. Keep on truckin’ b/c you never know which book it will be. Long live fankenferro! Bwhuhahaha. And that book had a nice guy hero. It was a total wtf. Seriously. No alpha male. No sex. And it was NA. *blinks* It musta been the swing dancing and the saddle shoes. Saddle shoes are sexy. ;)

Just had to share. Talk about weird milestones that I never thought would happen. Indies can do anything! Go us! Go us! Eat cake trad pubs! Bwuahahahaa!!!!

Mmmmmm cake.

Okay, I’m supposed to be finishing a series and I’m procrastinating. That said, go indies! Saddle shoes are sexy! Men who can swing dance are sexier! And I need some cake!

(PS – a little tip – brand the hell out of EVERYTHING!) :)

SIXTEEN!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you so much!!! More Ferros coming shortly.

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Ferro, Fan Fiction, and Kindle Worlds!

avery.jpgI discoveredfan fiction after I released my Demon Kissed series. There were people that loved the world so much that they wanted to contribute to it! Sometimes they’d bring their own characters to life in it, and sometimes they’d play with the characters that I created. That’s totally awesome. And, as a writer, really weird. Those are my characters!  And when other people play with them, it’s like they’ve rented a condo in some small part of my brain — and it can be crowded enough in here at times.  :o)

But, fan fiction has been around forever! The problem has always been, what do writers do with those stories after they write them? No matter how great their stories are, they can’t distribute them – after all, it isn’t entirely their story (remember, they’re borrowing space in my brain, so there are usually copyright issues.) So, some great stuff has ended up locked away on somebody’s hard drive, or tucked away in some dark corner of the internet.

Kindle Worlds is a great solution! I’m inviting the awesome Ferro fan fiction writers that are out there to share their stuff with the world. I’m cool with it! Will Ferro fans want to read it? I have no idea. Like anything creative, there’s going to be stuff that misses the mark. But, there will also be some incredible stuff that never would have seen the light of day without Kindle Worlds. And even I want to read that stuff!

I’m planning on writing for a long time to come. So, fans aren’t in trouble of running out of HM Ward books or Ferro hotness.  This move just brings out a lot of great stories that were being written anyway and lets everyone have a chance to decide if they’re worth reading.

If you caught my announcement earlier in the month, about HM Ward Press, you already know that I think some of my fans are amazing writers. Enough so that I’m writing some (stand-alone) novels with them and putting both our names on the cover. The talent is out there – and a lot of readers are always looking for great books. This is really exciting and a new step that hasn’t been taken before, and the cool part is that it allows new writers to explore parts of the Ferro story that I’ll never have time to write. For the love of all things Ferro, let’s see what we can do! Head over and check it out.

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New Release: SECRETS & LIES by HM Ward

SECRETSandLIESnewcover1200

SECRETS & LIES is out today!

Description:

A new serial by New York Times Bestselling author H.M. Ward

They say the best way to get over a broken heart is a random hook-up. So my new BFF is dragging me to a bar. All I have to do is wear a slutty dress, choose a dude, and do the deed, right? The thing is, this isn’t me. I’m the good girl — the one who has sex for love. But, since the love of my life is shacked up with someone else, I guess it’s time to move on.

One night, one time. That’s all. I’ll have a clean slate.

A guy with a sketch pad, sitting alone, catches my eye. I’m a sucker for the artistic type with dark hair and bright blue eyes. Soon we’re in his hotel room doing things I’ve never done. His smoldering body, perfectly toned with hot skin and a firm touch, has my mind reeling with the things to come. We’re both naked and glistening with sweat, breathless.

And then he darts, right before doing the deed, abandoning me in his room. He doesn’t return.

A week later I see him again, and realize that he wasn’t just a random guy. My heart clenches at the massive mistake, and I still don’t grasp the extent of it. I should have run and never looked back.

Genre: New Adult Romance
This story unfolds over multiple volumes, approx 115 pgs ea, this is 1 of 7

amazon   bn   kobobutton   iTunesbutton

(paperback to follow)

What people are saying about this new Ferro series:

“A MUST read.” -Debi

“Funny, sassy, smart, quirky, light, sexy, heartbreaking & intriguing.” -Melanie

“Smoking hot mystery man, and… strong characters you will also love. It is well crafted to leaving you wanting more.” Marianne

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New Release: THE ARRANGEMENT 15 by HM Ward is Out Today!

cover_Arrangement15LG

THE SERIES WITH OVER A MILLION COPIES SOLD
Volume 15 in the New York Times Bestselling Arrangement Serials

It’s hard to trust anyone anymore. Everyone is suspect. And I have no reprieve, no rest. I can’t sleep after all I’ve been through.

Sean is slipping away, receding back into the monster he was. Alone, I’m being smothered by death’s cold shroud.

Too many people have died — this ends tonight. If it kills me, so be it.

Genre: New Adult Romance
This story unfolds over multiple volumes approx. 125 pages each.
~The Arrangement Vol 1-15 are on sale now.~

GET IT TODAY AT THESE RETAILERS:

amazon   kobobutton

 (itunes, nook, and paperback to follow shortly)

For more information on this series, click here. I know we have a lot of new fans that have never encountered a series like this before. The main thing to know is that it has over a million rabid fans and that I write more when they ask for more. The series is fan driven, which is really unusually and way cool. Thanks for reading!

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News from HuffoPo-EXCLUSIVE: H.M. Ward to Launch New Book Publishing Company

For those of you who missed it, here’s the article about H.M. WARD PRESS. :) More books! Hooray!!!!

Article by Jeff Rivera

HMWARDHOLLYHM Ward, arguably one of the most successful indie published authors in recent years, may have sold over 5 million copies of her books in less than three years, but she has been anything but stingy about helping other authors. Ward has made it her mission to lift other indie authors up and that includes launching a new publishing company called HM Ward Press.

In their first joint interview, Holly, as her friends call her and her husband and business partner, Mike Ward reveal the details of the project they’ve been keeping hush-hush for months.

Okay, so now I’m excited. When will you launch this new press?
HM: We already have two authors under contract now. We’ll hopefully release the first book after RWA. The whole concept behind the press is that these are co-authors. The first author is Stacey Mosteller. She is published. No one we’re working with is new. They’re proven authors. They’re great writers. Most will be New Adult titles but some will be Middle Grade.

Mike: So, right now, there are two authors that are under contract, that she’s tapped on the shoulder. They’re thrilled to do it. It’s a very different paradigm than anything traditionally done.

Can you tell us about the first book that will be released?
HM: 
It is a New Adult Contemporary Romance. It’s what every reader is looking for when they read Damaged or Stripped or the Arrangement. It does not include any of the characters in the first books. These books are totally standalone. They’re not intended to be a series, not upfront. Obviously, the potential is there for anything, but that’s not how they were originally intended.

Mike: That’s part of the reason why these may have not been put out already by Holly alone because if they didn’t fit with her previous series that she was already immersed in, it had to be put aside for the time being. And this is a way to still get those stories out.

And how will the creative process go for the co-authors?
HM:
 The creative process is very similar to James Patterson’s co-author program but the publishing process is very different. I have a backlist of concepts and stories that I’ve been building and never fleshed out or released myself; just because of time-restraints. I did a book every two and half weeks last year and I still didn’t get everything out that I would have liked to. Some stories have been very well fleshed out, thoroughly outlined where I’ve built out the whole concept but just didn’t put in the time writing them.

Mike: She has tapped a couple of people on the shoulder where they are great authors, where they write fast, they write in a similar style, they are exactly what her readers are looking for. She’s providing these co-authors with the first thorough outline, going over the whole story with them, talking about the ideas the characters, what the story is going to be like when it comes alive. The co-authors are going to take that very first draft, and Holly will go through it, they’ll be a process of revisions back and forth, and Holly will take it the final step, doing her own writing, whatever she hasn’t already worked into it through the revision process, and then that book will be released.

So, tell me about the business behind HM Ward Press. Who gets the rights to the books? How are the royalties split?
HM:
 HM Ward Press is buying all rights outright. So, we own the rights, we own the book. The co-author gets full credit as co-author for their contribution, but one of the key differences is that they’re getting paid a livable wage for their contribution, for really making the story happen. It’s higher than the average advance from the Big 5 for genre fiction writing and that’s the goal, to maintain that. So, right off the bat, they’re going to get more upfront than they would if they published anything on their own.

Mike: And then following that, once the book releases, they’ll continue to earn based on how it performs. They would earn additional bonuses on top of whatever they were originally paid. They’ll earn far more than they ever could traditionally. There are no royalties. It is 100% transparent. The author, upfront, knows exactly what they’re getting, they can watch the book perform and they’ll know what they’re going to get back out of it, they’re much more immediately invested in how it performs, there’s no waiting to earn out or months for royalty checks.

So, what are the advantages of co-authoring with you, instead of just doing a book themselves?
Mike: 
The way it’s working right now, Holly has her fingertips on the pulse of indie publishing. She knows who’s out there and so she’s looking for people that write well, write fast, that have a similar style, that her readers would want to read anyway. Her readers are always looking for something new. They want what she’s putting out, but people can still read a lot faster than she’s able to write, and it ends up being win-win for the co-authors, for the readers, and maybe the publishers will make note of it. The co-authors are also getting the advantage of working with Holly, a talented successful author who is just a great resource for anybody that’s in indie publishing, they get access to her fans and her readers and they’re going to get paid substantially better than they would if they tried to become traditionally published.

Holly: There’s so many talented authors out there where they’re just going to be buried. It’s the slushpile that moved from the editor’s desk to Amazon. It’s not a matter of querying, or approaching us, I’m personally tapping people that I know my readers are looking for.

How many books will you be releasing a year?
Mike:
 We’re still ramping up and because it is so time-intensive for Holly, hopefully it’ll be 4-6 books in the first year, and will increase from there. We’d love to see that output double the second year.

So, how will you promote these books?
HM: 
The same way I market mine–social media, web, email, etc.

Mike: Holly is in a unique position. Her readers want more. As long as it’s an HM Ward book in style, and feel and content, it’s more of a matter of getting the books out there to her fans than a matter of advertising or marketing.

Are you worried about oversaturating the market with HM Ward books?
Mike:
 At this point, I’d love it if Holly was able to slow down a little bit. She’s had herhealth issues, she’s incredibly busy, she writes tremendous hours, and if it got the point where she was comfortable slowing down where the readers wanted to see her slow down then maybe … but, I just don’t see that happening. They want the titles. They’re reading a book a week. And Holly, even being Holly, can’t write that fast.”

See the article over here on Huffington Post

This article was in Huffington Post on 5/29/2014

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Book Expo America 2014 HM Ward

photo

So this event (BEA) was totally crazy! I was running non-stop between signings, meetings, and speaking.I thought I’d share some pics of the awesome fans and the stuff that was going on. The book signings were insane. I ran out of books in less than an hour and the tee shirts were gone within a few minutes. The first line wrapped all the way down the hall to the ladies room which was way long!  Then they cut off the second line when they saw the books were about gone. Thanks to the ppl who helped me during both signings! You guys are awesome! And EVERYTHING is gone-even the signs. :)

Thank you to everyone who came out and said hi! You guys rock! The pic below is me sitting in the author area right before things got crazy. As you can see, Mr. Turkey left his home in Canada to come visit me. (He’s supposed to be in Cherry Hill with Sid, but he was abducted by Mel). His sign is made from a toothbrush. :)

photo (1)

And a special thanks to Anderson Porter who got me this chair so I could sit here and visit with you guys. You wouldn’t believe how hard it was to get this chair. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

And thank you also to the guy who helped me move my books to the signing location. I thanked you twice in person, but I didn’t realize how screwed I was until I lifted the box of books. OMG! Thank you for carrying them to the singing table on the other side of the Center.photo (3)

Here’s a group of fans having tea with me at the Ritz. It was more like a cake party. Mr. Turkey wore his finest.

And these are the tats they got later. It’s the Ferro family crest. :)

ferrotats

 

Thanks to everyone who came out! I can’t thank the fans enough! And the random nice people who helped me!

 

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