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August 18, 2015

Announcing … Steffanie Holmes! (My romance alter ego)

Metalheads Who Read, Writing Runes

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I’ve been hinting for a couple of months now about a secret writing project I’ve been working on. Well, I’ve finally decided to unveil it.

May I present to you, Steffanie Holmes – my new romance pen name.

Steffanie Holmes is the author of steamy historical and paranormal romance. Her books feature clever, witty heroines, wild shifters, cunning witches and alpha males who always get what they want.

I’ve actually been writing under this name for most of the year, so Steffanie already has a few books to her credit: The three-part Crookshollow Foxes series follows Alex, a clever, sarcastic heroine as she lands her dream job: curating her first art exhibition at the prestigious Halt Institute in the small English village of Crookshollow. But the dream quickly turns into a nightmare when Alex is forced to work with Ryan Raynard – the arrogant, reclusive artist who refuses to co-operate with her. When Ryan’s paintings don’t show up at the gallery on time, Alex heads out to his crumbling, gothic manor to give him a piece of her mind. But billionaire artist Ryan Raynard hides a dark secret. If only he was ready to fall in love again …

Start with book 1, The Art of Cunning, and read through all three, but watch out for the cliffhangers.

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Crookshollow is a series world – I’ll be setting many more stories in this little English village, including other couples, other shifter species, and more steamy sex. The next full-length novel in this series is a collaboration with another author, Alana Hart, and will be going live in October, just in time for Halloween. In the spirit of the season it will be a gothic romance, featuring ghosts and crumbling old houses and a homage to one of my favourite gothic writers. I hope it will be worthy of Poe’s most woeful laments.

But today I’m launching a new title for pre-order – Witch Hunter, book 1 in my Witches of the Wood series. The book is on pre-order for $2.99, but once it launches on September 29, the price is going up! So I recommend grabbing your copy today.

To wet your appetite, here’s the blurb for Witch Hunter:

Europe – 1351. Centuries ago a curse was placed on Ada’s family; every seven days a woman from her line must sleep with a man – any man – or the entire coven would lose their powers forever. As a fledgling witch, it is Ada’s turn to continue the seven-day cycle, but with the Black Death wiping out more men every day, who will she find to take into her bed? BBW Ada goes to a sacred grove to perform a ritual to bring a man to her, and a man appears. But he is as dangerous as he is handsome … 

Ulrich of Donau-Ries is a battle-scarred witch hunter, tired of the stranglehold his profession has over his destiny. His heart hardened by violence and the women who spurned him, Ulrich is determined to never again fall in love. But that all changes when he finds Ada, naked and waiting for him. She is the first woman to loosen the chains around his black heart. 

When Ada is accused of witchcraft, Ulrich seizes his chance to be close to her once more. In Ulrich’s dungeon, they find solace in each other, and innocent Ada learns to embrace her lover’s dark fantasies. But will Ulrich’s heart thaw in time to save Ada from being burned alive at the stake? 

Witch Hunter is a full-length novel with a cliffhanger ending, part 1 of a 3-part steamy romance series exploring Ada and Ulrich’s forbidden love. If you like dark, brooding heroes, magical forces, and fearless heroines who know what they want, then this novel will have you shivering all over.

Warning: all of Steffanie’s books are at the “steamy” end of the scale. In particular, Witch Hunter contains explicit sex scenes which include slight elements of BDSM and dungeon-play. If you’re not into that sort of thing, then I suggest you move along.

Right, you probably have some questions! I’ll attempt to answer some below, but any more questions, sing out in the comments!

Where can I find Steffanie Holmes’ books? And in what formats?

You can buy all three novellas in the Crookshollow Foxes series from Amazon, or read them free in Kindle Unlimited. Book 1, Art of Cunning, is also available in paperback, and the others will be soon, too.

Witch Hunter is only available for pre-order at the moment for the Kindle. Paperback will be available on this title too in September. Witch Hunter will also be in Kindle Unlimited.

If you want to read any of these books, but use another device other than a Kindle, just purchase on Amazon and email the receipt to hello@steffanieholmes.com along with your preferred format, and I will get a file to you formatted for your device.

Why are you writing under another pen name?

Put simply, it’s a branding thing. If you’re a reader, you might enjoy dark fantasy with dinosaurs and evil engineers (S. C. Green), but that doesn’t mean you like paranormal / historical fantasy with heavy romance plots and hot, steamy sex (Steffanie Holmes). By revealing my pen name I enable readers who enjoy both to find all my stuff, but by separating out the two types of books, I ensure that no one gets a naughty surprise!

Multiple pen names are common for authors who like to write in different genres: Think of Tom Holt and Tom Holland, or J. K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith, or Stephen King and Richard Bachman, or Dean Koontz and about 30 other names.

I’ve created a website to showcase Steffanie’s work at www.steffanieholmes.com, but I will be using this blog to share news and new releases from all my pen names (who knows, there may be more in future …), as well as continuing to blog about all the same random stuff. I’m maintaining separate mailing lists and Facebook pages for each name, but apart from that I’ll be running everything through this website.

Why “Steffanie Holmes”? Is there any significance in that name?

Haha. Well, it’s not my real name (although neither is Steff Green – it’s my maiden name. I like to keep my real name off the internet if possible). I chose it because “Steffanie” is a spelling variation on my first name, and “Holmes” is, of course, from Sherlock Holmes, the man I would’ve married had he been born in the right century and not been a fictitious character.

Why are you writing romance? I thought you were a serious author?

I am. Romance is serious to me.

Why am I writing it? Because it’s fun. My romances all contain elements of fantasy / science fiction, which is what I truly love to write. Romance has this bad reputation for being lowbrow, formulaic, and someone inferior literature – interestingly, it’s had that reputation since the 19th century, when the male literary elite used phrases like “this damned mob of scribbling women” to dismiss female writers (Jane Austen included). Yet the genre is full of innovative, thought-provoking stories, incredibly hard-working female entrepreneurs, and has inspired millions of women to dream big. I am proud as fuck to be part of that club.

I am still the same crazy history-obsessed metalhead chick I was before. Now I just have a few sexy books under my belt.

Will you still finish the Engine Ward series? I’m still waiting for book II!

I surely will. The second book is currently with beta readers, and I’m working on my edits on the third right now. I hope to launch The Gauge War in October, and Thorn before Christmas, but it will depend on everything going right at my end.

I will continue to put out more S C Green titles when the Engine Ward series is over. I’ve even got 1/2 of a new dystopian novel I am very VERY excited about written, as well as 1/2 of the first book in a young adult series. But, the truth is, I also have a mortgage to pay, and currently, I’m earning a lot more as Steffanie Holmes than I am as S C Green. The stories are also quicker to write, so I’ve been focusing on building up Steffanie’s catalogue this year.

In 2016 my ambitious plan is to release a new novel or novella every month, some for each pen name. Don’t worry, you won’t be short of stories to read from me, even if you aren’t interested in Steffanie’s books.

Will there be audiobook versions of any of Steffanie’s books?

Yes, eventually. I have been meaning to get audio done for the longest time. Right now it’s just not a focus, but I will get to this, I swear!

I love your books! How can I help ensure they are a success?

Awww, thank you!

The absolute best thing you can do is to recommend my books to other people. Sing out on Facebook (Steffanie has a page), pass your paperback on to a workmate, or lend your kindle to a friend. If you tell five people about one of my books and one of them becomes a lifelong fan, that is worth the world to me.

The next best thing you can do is to write a review of any of my books on their Amazon or Goodreads pages. Reviews help readers to find books they like, and they also enable me to buy advertising to get my books in front of a wider audience (most decent advertising opportunities require between 10-100 reviews). You don’t have to say much, even just a few sentences about your favourite parts of the book would be amazing!

How do I stay up-to-date with Steffanie Holmes?

Steffanie Holmes has her own mailing list, which you can join here. That’s the easiest way to stay up-to-date with all book news. You can also join the Steffanie Holmes Facebook page, and don’t forget that I’m also on instagram as @steffmetal.

I think that’s everything. If you have any further questions, sing out in the comments or on FB or shoot me an email at hello@steffanieholmes.com.

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