I have a new release today!
My second book of the Last Play Christmas Romances is out here.
Today I thought I would tell you the story behind my pen name. I decided to use a pen name, because while my Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy books are pretty clean, they are not squeaky clean—like Hallmark clean.
I don’t know about you guys, but when I find a writer I like, I often read all of their books. An easy way to pick up negative reviews is by giving your readers certain expectations and then not fulfilling them.
For instance, Karly Stratford fans are now expecting sweet, clean romance books. That means no swearing, no sex (or even a mention of it really), and keeping innuendos and talk of beer and stuff like that to a minimum. The fans know what they want, and when they don’t get it, they get angry.
So, I didn’t want a new fan of Karly’s to jump into my Jagged Scars Series which has some mild swearing and a lot of fighting / violence. The books are not for the same readers.
That’s why I took a pen name for my sweet romance books. Next year I plan to put a book out for Karly every quarter. Certainly not as fast as most romance writers, but since it’s a secondary genre, I’m okay with it.
Some authors have a hard time coming up with a pen name, but this one came pretty easily to me. You see, my mom’s maiden name is Karlene Stratford. I thought Karlene was a bit old-fashioned, so I changed it to Karly.
Now my poor mom has had dementia for years, and while she still remembers most people, we can have the same conversation four times in ten minutes. So she doesn’t know I’ve borrowed her name, but I think if she knew, she’d be okay with it.
How much would you bet on true love this Christmas Season?
Leon Reyes, tight end for the Denver Storm, plans to spend the Christmas break training and playing video games with his childhood buddies. His plans don’t change when quarterback Will Kent bets him to contact his first love and try to rekindle the flame, because his first love is happily married with two kids. What Leon didn’t count on was rescuing his back-door neighbor and junior-high crush, Sadie Jones from a dog attack. His friends then double-dog-dare Leon to bring Sadie to the block party, and Leon never backs down from a dare. The dare leads to a kiss, and Leon is swept away by things he’d forgotten about Sadie. Things he didn’t realized he wanted.
All Sadie Jones wants is a quiet Christmas to finish her business proposal and forget her jerk of an ex, Brian. When she hears Leon and his buddies in their back yard she goes over to tell them to shut up so she can work, but ends up getting attacked by a dog, and saved by Leon. When he asks her to the block party she accepts. When he kisses her she slaps him. When he decides to make it his personal mission to help her rekindle her inspiration for writing she begins to remember why she had a crush on him all growing up, and why she keeps saying yes when he asks her out.
When Sadie’s ex tries to take her proposal, and Leon sends his massive Twitter following after the guy, everything falls apart. Can they put their own issues aside and salvage their budding relationship, or will the Grinch get his way?
Check out Amazon for the rest of the series as well!