Sometimes a happy ending takes a few generations.

White in a Losing Postion 7149Coulson’s Wife—the first book in my Coulson Series is free. Recently it was featured on BookBub, which means thousands of downloads within a couple days—and it also means some new reviews.

One issue I’ve always had with the Coulson Series—particularly Coulson’s Wife—is that it doesn’t neatly fit into a genre, and when marketing it somewhere like BookBub, it will inevitably get to some wrong readers.

The Coulson Series is a family saga—yet no such genre category is available at BookBub. Over the last few years, Coulson’s Wife has been featured at BookBub under Woman’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, and this last time, Historical Romance. Readers of romance—historical or contemporary—often expect happily ever after, and when a book marketed under romance fails to deliver that happy fix, they feel betrayed and angry. One way to vent is a negative review. I get that—and I understood the risks when going for a romance category.

Of all my books, Coulson’s Wife seems to generate the most varied of reviews. I’ve had readers tell me they loved it—others hated it.

A recent three-star-review wrote, “No happy endings here, I kept waiting for it to happen, and it never did. Thoroughly frustrated. I know there was no promise of such, but still frustrated. I would give it even less stars, but that would be unfair, just because I personally just hated the storyline.”

Contrast that review with this 5-star on the same book, “Amazing, wonderful, moving, all the things that I can say. I laughed and cried. Enjoyed the book, and think everyone would enjoy it as much as I did.”

For readers looking for the happy ending—they’ll find it as the story progresses throughout the series. Why? Because sometimes a story is multi-generational; sometimes the happy ending comes for the children—the grandchildren—because of the sacrifices and lessons of those who came before them.

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Writing Historical Fiction

Tarzan_of_the_Apes_1918When writing a historical novel—which I consider any story taking place in another time period—attention to historical detail is paramount, unless you don’t mind irritating your readers. Readers of historical fiction are a savvy group and will notice things like inventions and events appearing prematurely in a story.

After releasing Coulson’s Wife, my first attempt at historical fiction, the reviews on my historical accuracy were favorable. However, there was one reviewer who, while she claimed to like the book, questioned the historical accuracy of several things mentioned in the story. She didn’t know if hysterectomies, refrigerated milk, or movies existed in the timeframe mentioned in the story (around 1918).

The answer: yes.

According to my research, the first hysterectomy was performed around 75 years before the character in my story had one.

As for refrigerated milk, I suppose her real question, did they have refrigerators back then? According to Wikipedia, the home refrigerator was invented in 1913. Before that time, they used iceboxes.

The final question—movies. I didn’t just mention movies, I mentioned a specific movie—one that was actually released at the time it is mentioned in the story: Tarzan of the Apes. Like Mary Ellen in Coulson’s Wife, it is one of my favorite books. As for that old movie—you can watch it here, on YouTube.

In my opinion, writers in the future are going to have a challenging task adhering to historical accuracy when writing a story taking place during the last decades of the 20th century, considering the rapid technological changes that occurred, and the advent of social media. Lucky for them, they will have Google—or maybe something better—to fact check.

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Mother’s Day for the Coulson Family

Coulson Women
Sometimes a writer doesn’t realize the underlying message of a book or series when he or she starts writing. It wasn’t until I finished the fifth book in the Coulson Series that I realized what the stories were really about—the women. The strong women who held the family together.

Don’t get me wrong, the men of the Coulson Series were no wimps. Randall Coulson built an empire; Harrison kept it going, and Garret, well Garret is Garret.

But, it was the Coulson women who directed the ship, changed its course. To the women of Coulson, Happy Mother’s Day.

Mary Ellen, who didn’t choose motherhood—but embraced it.

Vera, who because of her demons was incapable of being a good mother—yet still wanted the best for her children.

Alexandra, who was always there for her son—and lovingly welcomed a daughter she never planned.

Kim, who lost a child she never met—yet by the end of the series, was preparing to greet a new one.

To all the women out there—real and those we create in our imagination—Happy Mother’s Day.

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What will you be reading this summer?

Sugar Rush
While summer doesn’t technically arrive for a couple months, here in Havasu we’ve been feeling the arrival of summer, with increasingly warmer days, in spite of yesterday’s rainstorm. In about a month our local schools take off for summer vacation.

For some readers, vacation time signifies extra reading time. If you enjoy light, happily-ever-after romances, you might consider adding some books from my Unlocked Hearts series to your summer reading list.

One of my favorites is Sugar Rush, which takes place in my home town of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. If you take a closer look at the book cover, you’ll see the London Bridge in the background. In case you don’t already know, Lake Havasu City’s founder, Robert McCulloch, bought the London Bridge in the late 60s and transported it from London to our little desert community, where it was reconstructed and officially opened in 1971.

Another reason I’m partial to Sugar Rush—it includes my dad’s homemade hot fudge recipe. If you like chocolate (and who doesn’t) you have to give it a try.

Of course, summer is weeks away, so maybe you should just read Sugar Rush now.

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Is Anna J. McIntyre in the house?

Alter EgoMy alter ego—Anna J. McIntyre—has been low key these days. It isn’t that I haven’t been writing. I have. But my focus the last two years has been on my Haunting Danielle series, written under my real name, Bobbi Holmes.

I thought it was time I revisit my Anna J. McIntyre page and make some updates—because there have been some changes.

For one thing, the books in my Unlocked Hearts series are no longer exclusive on Amazon. You can now buy the eBooks at iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and of course—Amazon. Go to my Unlocked Heart’s page and you’ll find links by each book for the various vendors.

Another change, the first book in the Unlocked Hearts series, Sundered Hearts, is now free.

I’ve also updated this site—making it easier for you to find books from The Coulson Series at your favorite eBook vendor: Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords , or Barnes & Noble. You’ll find the links on The Coulson Series page.

Happy reading!

Anna J. McIntyre aka Bobbi Holmes

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99 cent SALE – While Snowbound
Sale ends in 3 days!

Young couple walking together hand by hand  in park, rear viewIf you hurry, you can grab While Snowbound for just 99 cents! Sale ends in just 3 days, then the eBook returns to its normal price of $3.99!

Only Available at Amazon! Click here!

 

While Snowbound

Snowbound with the famous rocker might be her best friend’s fantasy, but it isn’t Ella’s. Nor is she impressed with the fact Brady Gates was voted sexiest man of the year – twice. Ella was looking forward to the isolation of her mountain cabin and the peace and quiet she needs to finish writing her book. Rescuing the careless celebrity in the midst of a blizzard and taking him to the safety of her remote cabin was not how she intended to spend her time on the mountain.

Weary of lovestruck fans climbing into his bed uninvited and the ever present paparazzi, Brady Gates had planned to take an incognito break from his hectic life and spend several weeks alone at a remote mountain cabin.

Finding himself stranded in a blizzard doesn’t bother him half as much as the fact the one woman he wants is the one woman who is the least interested in him.

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What you may not know about The Coulson Series

Books_edited-1While I normally don’t respond to reviews—good or bad—I thought it might be fun to create a mock interview, where the questions posed come from questions or thoughts raised by Amazon reviewers.

Hope you enjoy the interview!

Q. I finished reading Coulson’s Wife and I wonder why certain secrets were kept and not revealed. Don’t you think you missed an opportunity for added conflict, tension, and drama?

A. What some readers may not realize, Coulson’s Lessons (which is book 3 in the series and originally titled Lessons) was actually the first book written. When readers wanted to know more about the characters in Lessons (when they were younger), I decided to write what would become Coulson’s Crucible. But before I started that book, I was compelled to write Coulson’s Wife. Had certain secrets (I don’t want to give a spoiler) been revealed in book 1, it would not have worked. Yet, all the secrets are revealed in Coulson’s Reckoning.

Q. I was enjoying Coulson’s Wife but there was one part where William’s comments are attributed to Randall. I found that confusing. Don’t you use an editor?

A. I confess to sometimes typing the wrong character’s name. (I do it when talking too.) The book has gone through several editors and numerous beta readers—and unfortunately that error slipped through. I am very sorry. We have since corrected the file.

Q. I really enjoyed Coulson’s Wife, yet didn’t feel Coulson’s Crucible resembled the first book. I missed the historical references.

A. As a family saga, spanning four generations, each book tends to be unique to that generation, yet as they move along, they intertwine. The historical references were handled differently in Coulson’s Crucible, as it took place in the 1960-70s, and I didn’t feel it required the same background summary required in Coulson’s Wife.

Q. Why didn’t you have Vera reconcile what happened to her when she was a teenager? She never seems to realize that is why she makes certain decisions.

A. Exactly. When writing The Coulson Series, its characters became real to me. Real people are complex and flawed, a mixture of good and bad. And sometimes they never understand why they behave in certain ways. That was actually the point of the story—and this being a family saga, those unresolved issues and family secrets can resonate for generations to come.

Q. The series was great but all the stuff about how the Mormon religion is the way to go could have been left out.

A. Ummm…I think you are thinking of another book. The Mormon religion is never mentioned in the story.

Q. I know you call the series a Family Saga, do you see it fitting into another genre?

A.  A marketing problem with The Coulson Series, in my opinion, the books in the series tend to genre hop. Coulson’s Wife is more historical fiction. It might also fall into woman’s fiction because it focuses on the changes for women in the 20th century.

Coulson’s Crucible is more drama. Coulson’s Lessons is contemporary romance. Coulson’s Secret and Coulson’s Reckoning are mystery romance.

Q. There are a lot of people in the series and their families seem to interconnect. How can I keep them all straight?

A. You will find a Coulson Family Tree on this website, and in the last book in the series, Coulson’s Reckoning.

Q, Will there be another book in the series—perhaps about Garret and Alexandra’s daughter?

A. Readers have asked me before, and I have seriously considered it. Yet for now, my focus is on my current series, Haunting Danielle.

Q. Now that you bring up Haunting Danielle, why did you publish that series under your real name (Bobbi Holmes) and The Coulson Series under your pen name (Anna J. McIntyre)?

A. I didn’t want to confuse readers, because the tone of Haunting Danielle is radically different from The Coulson Series. It isn’t just that Haunting Danielle is a different genre—paranormal cozy mystery—it is G-rated, with no graphic sex, no significant swearing—basically something you wouldn’t mind sharing with your teenager or grandmother.

The Coulson Series does contain graphic sex, language some might find offensive—it’s intended to be realistic and gritty. I don’t feel the sex scenes or language is gratuitous; they are necessary for the story. But, it will offend some people.

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