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Coulson Family Saga: What has changed…

I decided it was time to update the covers of The Coulson Series. While at it, I figured it might be a good time to change the series name to Coulson Family Saga. After all, that’s what the series really is.

I also decided to put the series in Amazon’s KindleUnlimited program for a while. What this means is that readers who belong to the program can basically read the books for free. For other readers, who aren’t in the program, they can buy the books for the same price, yet for the time being, they will only be available at Amazon.

In making these changes, we put the books through another round of editing and uploaded fresh eBook files at Amazon.  I also decided to make a bundle of the series, which means readers can buy all five books at once, for less than ten dollars. That’s less than what some single Kindle eBooks cost.

While I uploaded the new covers last week, they haven’t showed up on the books yet. So, if you look at Amazon, you may find some of the Coulson books wearing the old covers—some with the new.

I also pulled the paperback version of the Coulson Family Saga—temporarily. We never released the fifth book in the series in paperback. But we are planning to re-release the first four books—along with the fifth book—reformatted, re-edited, and updated covers.

The paperback books themselves have already been formatted and the new covers created, but I am just waiting to hear back from the printer on how to proceed regarding the series name change. Once that gets straightened out, and the proofs reviews, I will let you know when the paperback books will be available.

For more about the Coulson Family Saga, click here.

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.

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.

Countdown to the Release of Coulson’s Reckoning!

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When Sophie Marino comes to Coulson looking for clues to the 1960 murder of her infamous grandfather – hitman Anthony Marino – her inquiries ignite a series of events, exposing three generations of Coulson family secrets.

It’s a time of reckoning for the Coulson family.

Welcome to Coulson

coulson signOf Coulson’s Wife, one reviewer wrote it was “a bit far fetched.” I thought about that observation, wondering what about the story he found unbelievable. I don’t think the human story of Mary Ellen and Randall was far fetched, especially for that moment in time.

I then wondered if the reviewer was referring to the fact Randal Coulson founds the town of Coulson. If that was the part he found difficult to believe, well, truth really is stranger than fiction.

Coulson and its founding were inspired by the true story of my home town, Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The fictional community of Clement Falls was inspired by the Hualapai Mountain near Kingman, about an hour from Havasu.

Coulson is approximately 15 years older than Lake Havasu, but they share a similar history. I suppose I could have really thrown an unbelievable element into the story – like have Randall Coulson buy the London Bridge, take it apart, drag it across the globe and reconstruct it Coulson. But, they already did that in Havasu.

Rebranding Books from a Series

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It’s sometimes a little confusion to some of my readers – those who read Lessons when it was first published two years ago, only to discover Lessons is now titled Coulson’s Lessons – and that instead of being number one in the Coulson Series, it is now number three. How did that happen? I am so confused!

Well, actually, I’m not confused – but I may have confused a few of my readers.

I first wrote Lessons, an adult love story – and then The Senator’s Secret, which is more mystery than love story. Readers first met most of The Senator’s Secret characters in Lessons.

I then decided I wanted to go back in time, and write about the people from Lessons, when they were children – to show how they first met and formed their relationships. I wanted to give readers more insight into their history.

When I started writing, I found myself jumping back one generation – to first tell the story of the grandfather that started the empire and founded Coulson. But the story ended up being more about his wife, in Coulson’s Wife.

After Coulson’s Wife, I wrote Coulson’s Crucible, which introduced many of the characters from Lessons. For some it might have been a character overload. I’m just hoping the story of Garret’s parent pulls the reader successfully through the book without too much confusion.

After Coulson’s Wife and Coulson’s Crucible, it was decided to rebrand the series – and rename the first two books written. Lessons became Coulson’s Lessons and The Senator’s Secret became Coulson’s Secret.

As I’ve mentioned before, there will be at least one more book in the series – Coulson’s Reckoning, which will tie together loose ends woven throughout the books.

Yet, for those who despise having to read all books in a series to get a complete story, I promise you can read any of the first four books, without having to read any of other books from the series.

Bookmarks and Paperbacks Coming Soon!

Bookmarks

It’s been a busy week around my office. All of my books will be coming out in paperback in the very near future – in time for Christmas.  Today we finished up the design for our new bookmarks. As you can see, it is double sided – with the QR Code on the backside, to quickly bring scanners to this website.

Sales on The Coulson Series have been brisk – with the recent release of Coulson’s Wife and Coulson’s Crucible, the first two books in the series.

For some of my readers – those more looking for a lighter, fluffy romance as they expect to find in one of my Sensual Romance books, Coulson’s Wife may come as a bit of a surprise.

One reviewer wrote: I’m actually giving this book 3.5 stars…I’m not sure if I just like it or really liked it. This is not a happy ever after book. I was so sad at the beginning of the book young Mary Ellen being forced to marry a man she doesn’t know or love. I know that these things happened but it’s still not right. My heart broke for her, even more when she falls in love with her husbands best friend. I kept hoping that the two would get there happy ending but that’s not what happened. I shed quite a few tears while reading this book but I couldn’t bring myself to put it down. It was well worth reading.

I’m flattered this reader couldn’t put it down – in spite of the fact it wasn’t what she expected. Personally, I don’t think the ending is as much sad as it is bittersweet – and I hope readers understand this is the story that begins the family saga – and each book tells a very different story in the family’s history.

Coulson’s Wife tells the unusual marriage of Coulson’s founder. Readers learn of a family secret that won’t be revealed for almost a century – in the fifth book of the series, Coulson’s Reckoning.

Coulson’s Crucible tells the story of the second generation – and introduces children that we meet again as adults, in Coulson’s Lessons.

The third book in the series, was actually the first written – Coulson’s Lessons. It was initially released as Lessons. I’ve been told While Snowbound, in my Sensual Romance Series is more sweet than sexy. For my readers looking for a bit more heat, they might read Coulson’s Lessons. Of the first four Coulson books, it is the steamiest.

Coulson’s Secret, originally released as The Senator’s Secret, is more murder mystery – a who done it.  If readers pay attention, and have read Coulson’s Crucible, they may start figuring out some of the connections between new characters introduced in Coulson’s Secret – and characters they met in Coulson’s Crucible.

If you’ve read and enjoyed Coulson’s Wife, I would really appreciate an honest review at Amazon.

Thanks!

Coulson Series New Releases

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We just completed a comprehensive re-edit of Lessons and The Senator’s Secret.  Recently I pulled the books from all venues, although there may be some floating around on online stores that haven’t received the memo – yet.

So far, the new versions have been released on Amazon in eBook format only. They will get to the other sites shortly, and hopefully by Christmas we’ll have the paperback versions available.

They also have new names and new covers. Lessons is now Coulson’s Lessons, and The Senator’s Secret is now Coulson’s Secrets.

Why did I do this? To prepare for the three new books in my Coulson Series. Within the next few weeks you should be able to find Coulson’s Wife and Coulson’s Crucible on Amazon eBook bookshelves, before they hit the other venues. Expect the fifth book in the series – Coulson’s Reckoning to be out in 2014.

I first wrote Lessons in 1995  and it will – technically speaking – be book three in the series, even though it was written 18 years prior to Coulson’s Wife.

Coulson’s Wife tells the story of Randall Coulson’s bride and her unusual marriage. Readers first heard about Randall Coulson in Lessons. He was Garret Coulson’s grandfather, and founder of Coulson. This story begins in 1900.

Coulson’s Crucible begins in 1960 and introduces us to much younger versions of the characters we first met in Lessons. It also tells the turbulent relationship of Garrett’s parents and reveals a deadly family secret.

Events revealed in Coulson’s Wife and Coulson’s Crucible will collide in Coulson’s Reckoning, when over a century of Coulson secrets and lies are finally exposed to the characters we first met in Lessons.