5 lessons learned from re-releasing Midnight Caller.
- A book can always be improved. Authors become blind to errors after reading and editing a manuscript many times. Let it sit (published) for two years and read it again. Errors will become obvious, and there might be major things about the story you would like to change, too. A re-release is your chance to make your story better.
- Interracial cover images are really hard to find whether you are looking for contemporary romance or historical. Rely on the expertize of a cover designer if you are writing in the interracial or multicultural genre. It will save you a big headache and hours of scanning stock image sites.
- In the course of writing a series often the idea or arc of the whole series will become clearer. Re-releasing the books will give you the opportunity to set the foundation you didn’t know you needed when you first started. Book 1 becomes even more important than it was before.
- As the series grows many secondary characters might beg for their own book. Re-releasing previous books in the series gives you the ability to develop these secondary characters, so that readers following the series will already know them when their book finally comes. It will also make writing their story easier as you, as the author, will also know the character.
- Many ebook publishers do not release boxed sets with books in a series. Boxed sets are popular and will add to your backlist. Investing in edits and new cover design does not only go toward the single book, but also to the boxed set edition(s) you can release through self-publishing.
Frederick licked his lips, drew a deep breath, and knocked on the door. No one answered. Had she heard him? He waited, staring at the back yard. The barn roof could use patching. The woodpile wasn’t well stocked, and the fence marking the property line had a few rotten and leaning posts. Good signs he was going to be with a widow. The bright spot was a well-kept rose garden, many of the flowers climbing and intertwining on a tall trellis against the side of the house. The sweet perfume mixed with the fresh night air. He breathed in deeply. A pleasant feeling bloomed in his stomach.
The door finally opened. Frederick whirled around and found himself face-to-face with the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She was young, couldn’t be much more than twenty, her black hair cascading past her shoulders with a slight wave. She had an ample bosom for her petite frame, the day dress she wore showing off every curve. The red color made her tanned skin look paler. Her hazel eyes seemed so innocent Frederick wondered what he was doing here at all.
“I was told you wanted company,” Frederick said. Why didn’t this woman have every man in town chasing after her?
She offered a tentative smile and opened the door further. “Yes. Please come in.”
Frederick stepped into the house and she softly shut the door behind him. Walking around him, her skirts brushed his side, making his stomach clench. She stood in front of him and assessed him as she peeked through her lashes, working her way down his frame.
He bowed. “My name is Frederick, ma’am. I am at your service.” His toes tensed in anticipation. This was going to be the best night of his life.
The woman shifted her weight and pushed a strand of black hair behind her ear. Nervous energy filled the room. He knew he was a massive man; hopefully the slight woman was not intimidated. She motioned for him to follow her. They walked through the kitchen into the dining room. “Have a seat.”
Frederick slid a chair back from the table and sat. He wanted to drink in her beauty, but that was not polite. He kept his eyes on the table.
“Would you like tea, coffee? Or perhaps brandy from my late husband’s liquor cabinet?”
“Coffee would be fine, ma’am. Thank you.” Some of his clients had him take his clothes off the minute he walked through the door. This woman was a slow mover. He liked that.
Unfortunately, she moved so slow he didn’t even know her name.
She brought him a cup of coffee and sat next to him, drinking a cup herself.
A few awkward moments passed with the two of them stealing glances at each other. He felt eager and uncomfortable, like he was a youth chasing the girls around the plantation yard all over again. The coffee, strong just the way he liked it, gave him the burst of energy he needed. It glided into his stomach with a bitter kick. This pretty young woman would give him more exercise than the old widows he usually visited.
“My name is Emma,” she said. “Emma Bennett.” She blushed, her cheeks a delicious red. “I’ve never done anything like this before.”
“You have nothing to fear, ma’am.” Frederick smiled. “I am here to please you.”
Life without love is painful, but in the Reconstruction Era South forbidden fruit can be deadly. A fiery romance between a widow and an African American man has more consequences than either of them imagined.
Slavery has ended, but racial prejudice remains in Kentucky. Emma Bennett guards a secret that could destroy her life. Until now she never considered the price of her security. Becoming a well-respected member in Louisville had seemed a dream come true, but at what cost?
Her husband’s death from a carriage accident releases Emma from her loveless, controlling marriage. Now she has a chance to find happiness and raise a family. But before she begins courting again she wants to experience her freedom. At the advice of the leading socialite in town, she takes a black lover to fulfill her sexual needs. His raw masculine power awakens feelings she didn’t know existed. After the first touch, she craves more.
Frederick works as a roustabout by day and moonlights as a prostitute. He knows better than to fall in love with his white client, but Emma enchants him the first time he calls on her. To keep them both safe, he works hard to put up barriers. Unfortunately, he can’t protect Emma from the slimy Mr. Hawthorne, who wants her as his bride. Frederick vows to keep her safe even if his forbidden love costs him his life.
Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical romance set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy.
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