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A Story of Two Pen Names

April 16, 2015


The original plan was to release the first season of my new serial in Spring 2015. Here we are and no serial. Here’s what it is… When I started publishing, I started with this name. I made not all of my mistakes, but many of them on this name. (Kind of like how the parents learn on the first child.)

Then I created a second pen name and released a book on that. At the time, it seemed super logical to have more than one pen name for brand differentiation. Also, this name was supposed to be my “more commercial” name. And the other name was just going to be… experimental. Like… it didn’t matter if it succeeded or failed. It was mostly for me, and if other people liked it, well awesome.

In a twist that probably surprises nobody but me… my other name is the one people care about. It’s the one that sells the best. It’s the one where authors inside my genre actually know who the hell I even am. Whereas here it’s like “Zoe Who?” This is not me “complaining”, it’s just getting you up to speed on things.

I also found it very difficult to maintain and manage two blogs, two facebooks, and two twitters. It’s extremely difficult for me to be social under two different names. I’m an introvert, so it’s hard enough under one name. But I have ended up being social mostly under my other name. I do my facebooking and twitter over there and pretty much ignore the social aspect of this one unless I have a new book.

I know it’s the wrong way to do it, but it’s too weird for me to manage two social media profiles so it is what it is. If I had things to do over, I probably would have started the other pen name instead of this one, kept my head down, written my books, and expanded into multiple genres (with different branding on the LOOK of the books to differentiate and labeling on the books themselves), that way I would not be running on a treadmill to stay in the same place.

I had thought about making a third pen name, but screw it, I’ll put anything new I create even in a different genre than what people are used to from me, on my other name. This doesn’t mean I’m abandoning Zoe. I’ve basically created a world here and want to continue writing in it and I want all that to happen under the Zoe name. It’s just that things have shifted in the opposite direction where the other name is the main brand and this one is the “experimental one” that has no pressure and can rise or fall, whatever.

But being that name, it means I have to really focus hard on the other name before this one. I am in a stage where I need to rebuild/reboot both names a little bit and get more serious about work. I can’t realistically do both at the exact same time. It’s a ton of work just to build ONE name so that anybody cares about it. (This is a tough business and it’s not getting any less competitive.) So continuing to split my focus is not working.

So I am planning new Zoe stuff. I’m VERY excited about this serial and rebooting Zoe into a slightly different direction (same world, just less focus on romance. It will be more dystopian urban fantasy so the main plot is the main plot and any love interests are a secondary concern rather than being what everything revolves totally around.) But since Zoe has now become the “experimental, meh whatever” name and my other name is the main one now, it means I can’t pretend this name still has priority.

I think my fear in relinquishing that is I think… what if the serial does AMAZING somehow and people love it and I’m basically not getting it out there faster and the name really could succeed and blah blah blah. But honestly, it doesn’t matter, it’s the bird in the hand thing. The other name has a real chance and Zoe right now is a pipe dream. But we’ll see. I’d love for both names to be moderately successful. And I’d love it even more if I had a time machine and could just write under ONE name. But live and learn.

That’s where we are. Right now the serial is on the publishing chopping block for mid to late fall. So it’s not like it’s a million years from now, but without the sales and interest from readers, I can’t focus so much energy and attention on Zoe while letting opportunities for the other name slip away.

Thank you for your patience. If you somehow don’t know my other name and would like to know, you can send me a message on the contact link at the top here. It’s not a “secret” but my family is uber religious and they have little church friends, and I would prefer not to throw that shit in their face since many of them know about this name. (That’s another thing I would have done differently, not tell ANYONE in my real life about the writing thing. It’s taken time and experience to realize how much I don’t want to talk about the writing life in real life.)

Unleash The Moon on $2.99 sale now through Saint Patrick’s Day Only!

March 10, 2015

perf5.500x8.500.inddNow through Saint Patrick’s Day only, Unleash The Moon will be on $2.99 sale. I’m linking below to the featured retailers where the book is on sale. If you shop at one of these retailers via a different country store than the US store, check your country store separately. I tried to make it on sale for more than just the US. However, the links below are to the US stores:

Kobo Books

Barnes and Noble Nook

Google Play

Thanks for reading!

Blood Lust on sale 99 cents Today Only

February 13, 2015

Blood Lust is on sale today only for 99 cents. It is the first book in the NOW COMPLETE Preternaturals Series. If you would like to know the full reading order of the series, here it is. (Though the books can be read in any order and all work as stand alones.)

Sale Links for Blood Lust sale (Should be available in US, UK, and CA) This is a Bookbub sale. I’m listing the US site portals; please check the UK and CA separately.

Barnes And Noble Nook

Kobo Books

Google Play

Coming Up Next:

November 9, 2014

Unleash The Moon may be the last book in the Preternaturals Series, but it’s not the last book in this world! It also won’t be the last you see of these characters.

I’m busy planning many entry points into this world which will include stand alones, trilogies, series, and serials.

In the future you can expect more books involving: Cain and Tam, Fiona and Z, Hadrian and Angeline (I’m not saying you won’t get others, this is just what’s currently percolating), as well as a side story about two very minor characters in Unleash The Moon whose history I find interesting and think you will enjoy as well.

But Coming NEXT… in Spring 2015 will be my dark paranormal serial (title and further details to be announced), which will introduce new characters and be set in the dystopian world introduced in Unleash The Moon.

Stay tuned!

Unleash The Moon: Now Available

November 5, 2014


Unleash The Moon is now available.

Places you can get Unleash The Moon: (This is the 6th and final book in my series. Books in the series can be read out of order with little trouble because of how they are structured… each focusing on a different couple. However, if you want to read in order it is:

1. Blood Lust
2. Save My Soul
3. The Catalyst
4. Life Cycle
5. Forbidden
6. Unleash The Moon

Kobo Books

Google Play


Barnes and Noble


Unleash The Moon Sneak Peek (Buy links at the bottom. New outlets added!)

October 23, 2014

Unleash the Moon Copyright 2014 Zoe Winters. All Rights reserved.

She should be more distressed by the general situation, but the anxiety over the wolf had been successfully distracting her over all the possible threats to her safety here. The magical humans were the real enemy. She knew that. But it was hard to keep that thought in the forefront of her mind when the wolf kept growling and watching her like she was a bone he wanted to gnaw on.

Finally, the tension eased and he shifted back to his far-too-gorgeous human form. This guy had to be working out somehow because nature didn’t just give somebody muscles like that. Jacob had spent hours in the compound’s gym every week, and yet even he hadn’t been this delicious-looking.

Sydney’s hand flew to her mouth when she realized her fangs had popped out. Did she want to sleep with him or have him for dinner?


He wasn’t the only predator here. Too bad nature hadn’t given her anything to back that up with.

The werewolf noticed her gawking and came to the edge of his cube, the closest he could get to her. He stood in all his naked glory staring her down until she averted her eyes. God, Syd, what is wrong with you?

If the attraction were mutual, maybe he wouldn’t try to break through the glass and maul her, but the hard look in his eyes gave her little hope of that. She glanced surreptitiously through the veil of her blonde hair to watch him turn and move to his clothes in the center of his cube. She tried unsuccessfully not to ogle his back and his ass and the back of his thighs. Stop, Syd!

She was stopped from further angering the wolf or embarrassing herself beyond repair by the too-happy robotic voice. “Number 5857B, please prepare to exit your cell for daily exercise.”

The glass door on her cube slid open. But then, so did the door to the right of her… 5856. The wolf. His eyes glowed as he glanced over. Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. There was no longer any barrier stopping him from coming into her cube. Was that how the previous occupant had gone out? It hadn’t been lost on her that the wolf was just 5856 and she was 5857B. They weren’t exactly subtle around here.

But then warm air that smelled like raspberries hit her in the face, and suddenly for some reason she felt very calm and peaceful.

The robotic voice spoke again: “Please follow the glowing arrows to the exercise yard, and remember to play nice with your friends.”

The word friends, snapped her out of the calm enough to think yeah, right. She wasn’t sure why she’d had that mental break for a second where everything was roses and chocolate hearts, but she was mostly back to normal. The tension of moving in a single file line with the rest of the preternaturals who were far stronger than her was more than enough to shake any sense of peace she’d felt.

She followed the glowing arrows and the werewolf in front of her. His white T-shirt practically glowed against his olive skin. Just underneath where the fabric ended on his arm was a black tattoo with the number 5856. Sydney guessed it hadn’t been a voluntary tattoo and was thankful she didn’t have one. Yet.

As they walked down the hallway, she couldn’t help being mesmerized by the way his muscles moved under the shirt as he walked. She wanted to lick… no bite… no stroke…

The wolf in front of her growled, startling her, and her face flamed. His back was to her. How in the hell could he know she was thinking inappropriate things about him?

Sense of smell. Oh yeah. Wow, this was mortifying. Sydney blushed even harder and was thankful when they reached the open air of the exercise yard. The moon was waxing. It would be full in just a couple of days. She wondered if she’d have to come out here with therians when that happened.

They’d all have to shift under the moon; they wouldn’t be able to control or stop it. What if the wolf came after her then? Maybe if she talked to him. Maybe she could diffuse the situation somehow. Maybe when he was in wolf form he’d remember she was a friend and not food.

She followed him to the edge of the yard and tapped him on the shoulder. “Excuse me.”

He rounded on her and growled. “WHAT?” That dangerous glow was in his eyes again.

“I-I’m Sydney.”

“No,” he said with a nasty sneer, “You are 5857B. And you’d better get used to it.”

She couldn’t believe she’d been attracted to him just minutes ago. More than just threatening and intimidating, out here where he could talk to her, he was just plain unpleasant.

“Well, sorry,” she mumbled. “I just thought we didn’t have to hate each other.” Because I was hoping maybe then you wouldn’t go psychotic on me later.

Sydney took several steps back as he moved into her space.

“Let me be the one to educate you about things here. We are not going to be allies. You will never speak to me again. And if you have any sense in that stupid blonde head of yours, you won’t attempt to call attention to yourself with any of the others, either. You are an abomination. We smell your weakness, and everyone in this yard wants to rip you apart to undo the mistake your idiotic parents made. Stay the fuck away from all of us or learn the consequences of being what you are.”

Sydney was stunned into silence. It wasn’t as if she thought they were going to cuddle on the couch for movie night or anything, but she also hadn’t expected such acidic words from someone who didn’t even know her.

“GO!” he growled, pointing to the far end of the yard.


Noah watched Sydney scurry away from the other prisoners. Good. Now if she could do that for just one more night because two nights from now, he was busting them out. She hadn’t recognized him. But of course, she wouldn’t. Her sense of smell wasn’t as developed as his. And he’d changed so much from when they were kids. Then again, she had, too. She’d transformed from a child into a woman, and the looks a few of the others gave her as she passed, left no doubt.

He growled. He’d never get out of here with her. And he’d chew his own arm off before he left without her.

If he hadn’t been sure before, he was sure now. Sydney was his true mate.

Just before he’d been kidnapped, Noah had asked his dad about mates. The words Cole had spoken would never leave him: “You can take anyone you want for a mate, but a true mate is determined by blood and destiny. She’s out there somewhere. You’ll be happier if you listen to the instinct and don’t try to mark anyone but her.”

(official release date November 5th. This is a definite release date. Retailers already have final files.) $2.99 pre-order and release day sale not available through Smashwords, Apple, or Barnes and Noble (due to delays with premium distribution with Smashwords and the fact that Nook still doesn’t allow pre-order outside of using Smashwords.) However, the $2.99 pre-order price is available at: Google Play, Amazon, and Kobo Books.

Kobo Link for $2.99 Unleash the Moon Sale. Click Here. (I think that’s the US store, but it’s available pre-order on sale in all countries Kobo is sold.) Link for $2.99 Unleash the Moon Sale. Click Here. Sale link. Click Here. (Note that all Amazon stores except for India have a pre-order button and the price is the exchange rate price that matches up with the $2.99 price.)

Google Play $2.99 sale link. Click Here. (Note that the non-US Google Play stores also have pre-order, and it is also on sale at the exchange rate.)

Links for Pre-order where there is no sale and it is regular retail: $4.95:

Smashwords link. $4.95. Click Here.

Barnes and Noble Link. $4.95. Click Here. (Believe me, it annoys the crap out of me that Nook does not yet have a more direct way to get a pre-order button. If they did, I could offer you the sale here. Nook is behind the ball on everything they do.)

I’m not sure if it’s up at Apple ibookstore yet. The ibookstore completely mystifies me. But if it’s not there for pre-order yet, it will be.

Unleash The Moon, Preternaturals Book Six: Title, Blurb, and Cover Art Reveal

October 7, 2014

I can now share more about the 6th book in the preternaturals series.

Title: Unleash the Moon

Official Release Date: November 5th, 2014
Now Available for Pre-order.


… Can two souls trapped in separate cages ever find each other?

Twenty-six years have passed since the link between heaven and earth was severed and all hell broke loose. The fighting raged until the human magic users took over the cities, driving most of the preternaturals into hiding.

This is the world Sydney Burgess has grown up in, locked inside her father’s compound. As the daughter of a human mother and a vampire king, she has all the weaknesses of a vampire but none of their strengths. Anthony keeps her on a tight leash, ever-vigilant against the constant imagined threats to her safety. But all she wants is to break free and start a real life.

Noah Riley has lived in captivity for the past twenty years, so long he barely knows how to be a werewolf anymore. Even with a photographic memory, most of his past before the facility feels fuzzy at best. His strongest memories are of the little girl he protected during his childhood: Sydney. When he reaches his full power on his twenty-eighth birth moon, he’ll have a chance to break free to find her and finally reunite with his family.

But vampires and werewolves are mortal enemies. Even if Sydney is Noah’s true mate, the vampire king would kill him before he ever let a filthy werewolf near her, especially one of questionable sanity.