Tag Archives: Karly Stratford

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Year Three as a Full-Time Author

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This journey keeps taking twists and turns. I find it both scary and exciting.

Three years ago I quit my day job so I could go full-time with my writing.

Last year I barely squeaked into the black. I actually made money after all of my expenses. Granted it was only about $100, but I’ll take it!

I had grand plans for this past year. You know, 2020?

Yeah, things didn’t go exactly to plan.

First

I released the last two of my Decker Family Romances in the spring. They did okay. Not as well as I would have liked, but okay.

Second

The plan was to write my YA military sci-fi series.

I started the first book four times, wrote a total of 130k words, and had to scrap them all. Twice. Pure frustration drove me to writing something more soft and fluffy.

Third

I wrote these three sweet and clean romantic comedies for the summer. By this point in the year everyone needed a good laugh, so I obliged. These were not on my radar at the beginning of the year, but they have ended up being my most successful series so far!

I also enjoyed writing my first curvy girl romance. I’m a plus-sized woman, and it was fun to write about a bigger girl.

Fourth

Among all of this romance craziness, I released another Academy story in this anthology. Writing this Snow White retelling was so fun!

Fifth

Christmas is always a good time to release romances, and this year I jumped on the bandwagon. These four books gave me my best months ever on Amazon in November and December! Her Christmas Middle Blocker (another curvy girl romance) is in a collection with eight other books at the moment, but will likely be out soon.

Other milestones

I hit one million page reads in 2020! After I hit one million, I managed to get almost 350k in a month, so that was amazing!

These are some of the highlights of 2020.

Marketing is getting easier, but there are still days that I take a nap instead.

I’ve learned a lot about fulfilling readers expectations, which has really helped my sales.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this endeavor.

I’m glad 2020 is over.

The hubby and I spent the first two weeks of 2021 in a Covid-induced haze, so I’m starting the year a bit late.

I have big plans, but who knows what will happen?


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The Decker Family Collection is Here!

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I wrote the Decker Family books under my pen name, Karly Stratford. They released from last November to this March. I’ve finally made a box set out of them!

This collection includes five fun and flirtatious, full-length, sweet and clean romance novels.

They may not know it, but even a football player, a special ops pilot, a movie star, a YouTube sensation, and a billionaire are in danger of falling for the sassy women who will love them!

Book 1: His Mortal Enemy Second Chance Bachelorette
Flint’s an all-star running back. Brenna’s a big-city lawyer. They’ve been rivals since kindergarten. When they find out that the church from their childhood is getting torn down, they join forces to save it, and in the process they just might save each other.

Book 2: His First Love Second Chance Bachelorette
Brad’s an injured special ops pilot. Morgan is his physical therapist. They’d dated in high school. She won’t marry a soldier, and that’s all Brad’s ever wanted to be. Now they both must decide if their love for one another can bridge that gap, or if there is an alternate solution.

Book 3: His Movie Star Second Chance Bachelorette
Preston is one of the best stuntmen in Hollywood. His ex, actress Anna Jordan, is taking the world by storm. She knew she wasn’t good enough for him, but when a film she’s producing falls apart, she goes to Preston for help. The quest to save the film turns into a second chance, but will they take it before it slips through their fingers?

Book 4: Her British Billionaire Second Chance Bachelor
Chloe almost called Oliver before coming to London, but she figured a billionaire wouldn’t have time for a girl who’d never been brave enough to tell him how she felt. When he comes to see her she vows to do anything to spend time with him, even be his pretend girlfriend. Can she gather her courage and confess her feelings, or will they part again as friends?

Book 5: His Body Guard Second Chance Bachelorette
Is loathing at first sight a thing? Cody doesn’t have time for a body guard, despite threats from fans. Mia would rather guard a crocodile than Cody Decker. All of Cody’s attempts to ditch Mia fail, leaving him impressed and intrigued. When Mia’s past comes back to haunt her, a storm threatens to tear them apart. Only their determination will save their relationship.

Get your copy today!


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He’s Just a Friend

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It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about my pen name, Karly Stratford. I have a new release from her!

This is my first curvy girl romance. Being a curvy girl myself, I can pretty much relate to everything that happens to Val.

This is a Hallmark style, sweet and clean romance. It’s adorable! If you’re a fan of Hallmark romances, hilarious characters, and witty dialogue, this book is for you!

They were best friends in high school.

Sort of.

Could they be something more now?

Nate:
The last place Nate had ever thought he’d hear Val’s voice again was at a gallery stroll in Boise, Idaho.

Yet here she was. Vibrant red hair, beautiful smiling face, and her lips stretched in a laugh.

He couldn’t look away—he’d always loved her laugh—and he moved toward her as if in a dream.

Val:
Val’s breath caught in her throat. She hadn’t seen Nate since they’d graduated. Since he’d taken someone else to prom.

That had been messy.

Why was he here? Had he come to see her, the art, or had Fate drawn them together again?

Only one way to find out.

Can Nate and Val overcome their blunders of the past and soar into their future, or will their old mistakes come back to haunt them and drive them apart?

Get your copy today!

Excerpt

The couple meets at a gallery stroll where Val is showing her illustrations

“You look great, Val.”

“Thanks.” She ducked her head, just like she always did when anyone gave her a compliment about her looks. “You too.”

For some reason he felt he had to clear the Sadie thing up. “Hey, I had no idea she was the president’s daughter. I met her like twenty minutes ago.” He pointed. “The shop guys invited me here tonight. Apparently, it’s an ambush.”

That got a laugh from Val. “You have to stay on your toes.”

He laughed. “Do you live nearby?”

“I’m just outside the city.” Val’s eyes drifted past him, and he realized that there were people behind him that wanted to talk to her.

“What’s your number?” Nathan retrieved his phone. “I’ll call you. We can at least do breakfast or something while I’m in town.”

“Lunch. You know I don’t do mornings.”

“Brunch?” He raised an eyebrow.

“Maybe.” She held out her hand and he gave her his phone. A few seconds later she handed it back. “There you go.”

He gave her one last smile and jerked his head over his shoulder. “And now, for your adoring fans.”

“Bring it on,” she said.

That smile. He’d forgotten how much he loved her smile. It put him at ease and made him want to dance or sing. Things he didn’t normally do.

Was he giving her a dopey grin? He wiped whatever it had been off his face and said, “I’ll call you.”


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Two Years as a Full-Time Author!

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The journey has been different than I imagined.

Two years ago I quit my day job so I could go full-time with my writing. I wasn’t making great money at the time, but my husband is super supportive and brings home the bacon, so to speak, so I found myself in the unique situation of being able to follow my dream while not having to stress about money.

The first year was hard. I didn’t break even with my expenses, and frankly I was a bit disappointing.

Year two has been a roller coaster of writing and emotions and almost breaking even. This is what happened.

First

I rapidly released eight fairy tale retellings with my Fairy Tale Academy series. While the stories are solid, and people who read them love them, I missed the market a bit, and the series didn’t do as well as I would have liked.

Second

I released five sweet and clean romance books under my pen name, Karly Stratford, and those did really well. I enjoy writing them, but don’t want to go full-time romance. It’s not where my passion lies, although I do love getting emails from fans who say how my book made their day!

Third

I had my very first story come out in Audible. It’s part of a collection of horror stories. I love it SO MUCH! The narrator nailed it, and I now understand a little more about the power of audio books.

Forth

I was part of a collaboration of authors who decided to use our talents to raise awareness about child sex trafficking. I’ve made my initial investment in covers and editing back, and from now on all profits go straight to organizations that actively help fight sex trafficking.

I’m not going to lie, this project sort of consumed the middle section of my year. The topic is difficult to write about, and we faced a lot of opposition when trying to get these books published. But we did it! And I’m pretty sure the journey for this project has just begun.

Fifth

One of my writing groups put together a Fairy Tale and First Dates anthology! We had such a good time doing this, and I loved how excited everyone got when they were able to hold a book of their own in their hands. Totally worth the stress!

Those are some of the highlights for 2019

Some days it’s hard to look past the drudgery and the stupid marketing and the fact that I’d rather make cookies than write and see all the good that I’ve done, the books I’ve produced and the wonderful emails from fans that I’ve gotten.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this endeavor . Cheers to 2019, and I look forward to 2020!

Do any of you have big goals for 2020? I’ve got some, but I’m not sharing yet.


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