Seventeen things I’ve learned after publishing seventeen books

1. Keeping a series bible is super helpful, time saving, and saves you from having to go back to check what color your character’s eyes are.

2. Outlining can actually help – in whatever form it comes in. Do what works best for you. Try new ways, retry old ways, create your own.

3. Covers that were so cool years ago can always be refreshed, rebranded, reimagined.

4. Beta readers should never be “yes” people. They should be “why” people, “what if…” people, and definitely “this doesn’t work” people.

5. Fellow authors are not your competitors.

6. Coffee and energy drinks are your friend close to deadline.

7. Build your own readership. Don’t buy or use other author’s mailing lists. End of.

8. Sprinting can help get you motivated to keep writing.

9. You can write in order, or out of sequence, the important thing is to write.

10. If the words don’t work, you are allowed to delete them and try again.

11. Remember those who were there at the start.

12. Always be approachable. You are a brand, whether it be online, in an email, in person at signing, even the elevator of the hotel after a signing.

13. Even if you think you can design your.own cover, really think hard about it. There are so many options now and as good as picmonkey is, it’s not for covers I promise you.

14. Know your tribe. Surround yourself with people who have your back as much as you have their’s.

15. Brace yourself, this is gonna be a doozy… You do not need to bankrupt yourself to publish a book.

16. Nobody owes you anything. Like seriously, nothing. Readers choose to buy your books. Fellow authors choose to read and promote you. Bloggers definitely don’t have to review your books. Make them want to. Make your cover and blurb irresistible to them. Make your words so compelling they can’t resist buying your books.

17. Last, never forget why you do this. Write for you, write for your character’s, write to get those ten million little story ideas out of your head but always remember why you do it.

Bonus – The day you’re not nervous about releasing a book is the day you need a reality check.

Book #17 – Game Ender – releases on April 17th and is available for pre-order now on all platforms

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Game Ender (Game #4) Cover Reveal and Pre-Order!!

Title: Game Ender
Series: Game Series #4 – The series finale
Author: BJ Harvey
Genre: Romantic Comedy with Heat
Release Date: April 17, 2017
Cover Designer: Najla Qamber Designs

From USA Today bestselling author BJ Harvey comes the fourth and final book in the Game series and this time it’s the reformed playboy and the single mom.


“You have chlamydia.” 

Three words no man wants to hear.

I’ve always been liberal with my appreciation of the female form, a firm believer in the ‘try before you buy’ principle, but living life to the fullest obviously didn’t end well for me considering the unexpected—and very unwelcome—consequence of my free and easy past. 

After living through the horrendous experience that was informing my recent sexual partners of my acquired ‘condition,’ I made a vow to myself – and a bet with my best friend—that the next woman I sleep with will be the ‘one.’

What I will learn is that even when something happens and the games come to an end, there’s always the chance of something—or someone—crashing in and changing everything. 
So this is my story. It may start with a venereal disease, but I promise you, I’m determined to get my happy ending.

“Mommy?” Rose asks, standing next to Kate and tugging on her top. 
Kate takes a sip of wine before looking down at her daughter with a smile on her face. “Yeah, princess?”
“What’s an ortasm?” 
Wine shoots out of Kate’s mouth, as she chokes. The rest of us either gasp, snort, or in Mac’s case, cackle with laughter.
Noah and Zoe’s Nate, never one to miss out on being the center of attention, decides to wade in with his five-year old wisdom. “I have a penith,” he says, before pulling down his pants to prove the fact.
“Oh God, I can’t breathe,” Abi wheezes, bent over in her chair and laughing like a loon.
“Daddy says that he’ll cut off any boy’s penis that touches me,” Megan, Sean and Sam’s gorgeous nine-year old daughter, informs the group.
“He’d be right, pumpkin,” Sam replies, pursing her lips and not looking at all surprised by her daughter’s announcement. 
“I’m so glad Riley can’t hear us. You don’t want to know the things she comes out with,” Mac adds just as Riley appears beside her. “Shit,” she mutters.
“Daddy told me I’m not allowed to talk about penises. But if you can then I can too.”
“Riley, this is adult conversation.”
“But you said adults have toys, like when I found a huge plastic penis in that red box at the back of your closet and you told me it was a paperweight.” 
Mac’s face goes red, and her lips twitch. “Ah . . . yeah.”
“You told me it was a paperweight.”
“That’s because it was, honey.”
“That’s good, because I put it on Daddy’s desk in his office this morning. You shouldn’t hide things like that.”
The rest of the group struggles to stifle their laughter but somehow Mac powers through it. “I told you about going into my closet, missy.”
Riley shrugs, her hand darting out to grab a handful of potato crisps from the bowl in the middle of the table. “I was looking for the chicken.”
We all go silent, waiting for the penny to drop. 
Mac’s head jerks back. “What?”
“Oh no. I’m not sure I want to know where this is going . . .” Abi says quietly beside us
“I heard you say you wanted Daddy’s cock.” Riley turns to her mother and narrows her eyes, her hands moving to her hips as she takes a hilarious—and very indignant—pose. “And I couldn’t find a chicken in your room so I looked in the closet. You shouldn’t hide Daddy’s cock. It’s mean for Daddy to keep a chicken inside.” 
“Ah . . .” Mac wide eyes move to Kate. 
“Riley,” Kate says, her voice full of humor. “I think you should go ask your Daddy about his chicken. Make sure you do it so that all of the uncles can hear too. I bet they’ll love to hear about the chicken.”
“I think I will,” she states with a firm nod before turning on her heels and leaving the room in search of her father. 
Mac can do nothing but shake her head. “I swear to God that child is not mine.”
BJ Harvey is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Bliss Series. She also regards herself as a smut peddler, suspense conjurer and a funny romance thinker upper.

An avid music fan, you will always find her singing some hit song badly but loving every minute of it.

She’s a wife, a mom to two beautiful girls, and hails from what she considers as the best country in the world—New Zealand.


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Paying it Forward – Cheap or Free and VERY Easy Graphic Options for Authors & Bloggers

I’ve wanted to write this blog post for a while now.

See, almost four years into this writing gig and I’ve learned some things… okay, a LOT of things, I’ve made mistakes – who hasn’t – and I cringe at what I’ve done in the early days in regards to graphics, but I wanted to share with writers – new and old – what I have learned about graphics, teasers, FB ads and the like. And I’m all about sharing what I’ve learned and paying it forward. Because let’s face it, we all started somewhere. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve sold tem books or a million, we all started at the same place.

So let’s get started 🙂

This was one of my early teaser attempts posted on Facebook 4 years ago;

See what I mean! It looks like it was made in MS Word aka 2007.

Firstly, let’s get a disclaimer out of the way. I am in no way an expert. I make mistakes as much as the next guy… or girl. This industry is trial and error. Marketing, promotion, what works and what doesn’t, we all learn my TRYING, but also by sharing what we’ve learned. What I hope you get from this post is that there are so many free – yes I said FREE – applications and websites out there that can be used to make cheap – or FREE — promotional material for your books.
Look, I get – and fully support the fact – that everyone has their own way of doing things and I’m a huge believer in being unique, staying your own path, and doing your own thing. People love things that are different (okay, maybe they do still like billionaires and bears but… yeah, let’s leave it at that,) but please keep reading for some useful websites I have found for graphics, teasers, free design stuff and the like.

So this is my FAVORITE site at the moment – https://app.designfeed.io/

You put in a quote, you put in the name of the book and the author name, you can also upload a stock photo you’ve purchased to use then you push ‘create it’ and it does! You’re taken to a screen with lots of different suggested fonts, placements, designs.

The best thing about this site is that once you’re done, it gives you the graphic in the major social media sizes. All that’s left to do is download and you’re done!

Two examples I have made are these two beauties;


This website is awesome for people with some design knowledge but who don’t have Photoshop or Illustrator etc. They also have overlays you can add to your image, frames to wrap around your graphics, and you can also add your own overlays to designs too. Another bonus is the big selection of fonts that can be used OR it allows you to access your own fonts from your computer.

Here is one graphic I made on the site;

– For free fonts, graphics, templates, mock ups etc., make sure you subscribe to Creative Market
https://creativemarket.com. Every week they have six new free goodies that you can download.

– Lastly, https://www.canva.com is an amazing website with both free and paid features. Most useful is their predesigned – and pre-sized – templates for all the different social media specifications and sites.

Here’s an example of a Canva design I’ve made.

Now, if all else fails and you’re still needing help, there are a number of designers you can pay to make teasers for you – and they won’t cost an arm and a leg and the promise of your first born, I promise!

Tease Me Designs – https://www.facebook.com/TeaseMeDesigns
IndieSage PR – https://www.facebook.com/indiesagepr

Other websites to check out;
http://www.hungryjpeg.com – awesome font bundles
http://www.appsumo.com – watch out for their once a year DepositPhotos deal to stock up on stock photos
http://www.canstockphoto.com – cheap stock photos available for purchase.

I hope this helps someone – even just one person – and you go on to make amazingly beautiful graphics to promote your work. If you have any other sites that you’ve find useful, please comment below.

P.S. Number one rule – always, always use stock photos you have purchased.

P.P.S. Sarah Robinson has an awesome blog post series going on right now featuring Indie authors and mistake they’ve made along the way. It’s well worth checking out HERE

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Crave’s Brand New Cover & 99c Sale

Title: Crave
Author: BJ Harvey
Genre: Romantic Suspense Standalone
Cover Designed by: Najla Qamber Designs
Back Cover Image Photography: K Keeton Designs
Back Cover Models: Storm Bailey and Cameo Hopper


“BJ Harvey is an author that creates stories that are easy to fall in love with.” – Goodreads Reviewer

“This is not our normal BJ Harvey read, this is more suspenseful and a little darker but we still have that trademark BJ Harvey heat. This book was full of suspense and intrigue, secrets and forgiveness. A book full of plot twists that will have your mouth gaping and heart palpitating. A fair few OMG moments and a few tears but most of all a rollercoaster ride that I just couldn’t put down.” – The Romance Cover

I have a craving.
A dark urge I’ve failed to resist despite years of trying to do that very thing. 
I’ve forced myself to hide behind a mask, a perfect orchestration to hide my true self. 
After I met her, my wants and needs, my inner most desires changed. 
She encouraged me to embrace who I truly am, and she was willing to do anything and everything I wanted, giving herself to satisfy my most carnal appetite. 

Then everything in my carefully managed world came crashing down around me. A moment in time, a loss of control, and the very thing I cherish was nearly taken from me. 

My fate now lies in her hands. 
The very life I’ve built for myself…everything I’ve ever done now waits in purgatory, all caused by a lack of focus at a time when my most concentrated attention was needed. 
The very thing I crave may now be the end of me.
“How do you do it?”
“Do what?” She trails off as my face moves in closer, my body putting aside any misgivings I may have had.
“Make me want this. Make me want you.” I sound drunk.
The effect this woman has on me intensifies the closer we get. “Do you need your arm twisted?” I decide then and there to just go with it. Follow my instincts and see how she reacts to the real Callum Alexander. “When it comes to you, I’m a done deal.”
“Prove it.”
“Luce . . .” I say her name, loving the way it rolls off my tongue. The way her eyes soften and the corner of her mouth curls upward are an added bonus.
“Yeah, Cal.”
“Shut up and kiss me.”
“Why don’t you shut up and kiss me?”
So I do, lowering my head and dragging my tongue along the seam of her lipstick-covered lips. I rake my hands through her hair, tugging just to the point of pain before plunging my tongue into her mouth, tasting and taking, touching every part of her from shoulders to hips. I push forward and feel her body jolt as she hits the wall.
Then it’s no holds barred. The kiss turns from wild to rabid in the blink of an eye. Her hands snake under my shirt, her fingernails biting into my chest as I press my body hard against hers. My cock is incessant in its protest, and every tilt of her hips against mine increases the need to take her right there in my hallway.
Minutes pass, but it feels like seconds because we’re too lost in each other to care. I wrench my lips from her mouth and lean my forehead against hers, my breath coming hard and fast, matching hers as we try to recover.
“I think it’s time for dinner,” I murmur between breaths, amazed that I’m still able to think coherently after a welcome like that.
“You’re a great date, Mr. Alexander,” she says with a grin as we move apart.
“All part of the service,”
BJ Harvey is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Bliss Series. She also regards herself as a smut peddler, suspense conjurer and a funny romance thinker upper. 

An avid music fan, you will always find her singing some hit song badly but loving every minute of it. 

She’s a wife, a mom to two beautiful girls, and hails from what she considers as the best country in the world—New Zealand.

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Game Saver (Game #3) is LIVE #DoctorHottie is ready to see you now

From the USA Today bestselling author of the Bliss series comes book three in a hot new spin off series featuring your favorite Bliss series characters who are yet to meet their match. This time it’s the turn of the hot doctor, Cade Carsen (from Temporary Bliss and Game Player fame) and Abi Cook (from Game Maker.)
How do you know when fake turns real?
Abi Cook lives her life by her own rules. She works hard, plays hard, and knows who she is and where she wants to be. 
Following a repeat one-night stand with the dashing Dr. Cade Carsen, Cade asks Abi for a favor: be the fake girlfriend on his arm for the duration of his father’s mayoral campaign.

Never one to turn down a challenge, she doesn’t hesitate. I mean, who would when all that’s involved is a little fake girlfriending with a side of hot sex, and with Doctor Hottie no less? 

But like any Game, there are always twists and turns, unexpected players, villains, heroes and ultimately, winners and losers. 
Game Saver is the story of what happens when two happily single people try for something less, but end up with something so much more.


“Are you at work already?” I ask, having a brilliant idea of swinging by her place for a quickie.
“Yeah, I’m sitting in my office.”

There goes that plan then.

“Is the door closed?” I ask, a rather nice image of Abi taking care of herself in her chair and describing it to me in vivid detail flashing through my mind.

“Cade . . .” she warns, but her tone is not cutting. There’s a vein of amusement and a raspy undertone running through it.

I chuckle. “Okay, okay. I’ll behave.”

“Good, because after last night’s efforts, I can still feel where you’ve been and that’s had me at level five all day. You instigating phone sex in my office when I can’t do anything about it for eight hours is just cruel.”

My mouth goes dry, and my groin tightens. “You can still feel me?” I ask gruffly, thinking phone sex is another fucking fantastic idea as I scan for the next exit.

“Cade, my vagina has had more of a workout in the past week than it’s had in the ten months between visits.”

That grabs my attention. “Ten months?”

“Shit,” she mutters. “Forget I said that.”

“There’s no way I’m letting you out of this one. Are you saying you didn’t sleep with anyone else after me?” Why the hell do I like that so. fucking. much?

“I was busy! Doesn’t mean I didn’t give my toy chest a good workout.”

“Yes. The toy chest. Guess what just got scratched onto our to-do list?”

“You mean the to-do-me-with list?” she says with a giggle.

“That too.”

BJ Harvey is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Bliss Series. She also regards herself as a smut peddler, suspense conjurer and a funny romance thinker upper.

An avid music fan, you will always find her singing some hit song badly but loving every minute of it.

She’s a wife, a mom to two beautiful girls, and hails from what she considers as the best country in the world—New Zealand.


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