Writers and their marketing strategy

We’re winding down the author collaboration. Today I ask six authors to share their book marketing strategy.

6 authors interview

What is your favorite marketing tactic?

Laurel A Rockefeller – Author of Queen Elizabeth Tudor: Journey to GlorianaCatherine de Valois: The Legendary Women of World History – I use twitter a great deal.  Some of my favourite tweets are quotes from the individual books which I think really draw you into the story.

Marilyn Brand – USA Today & NY Times Best Selling Author – I can’t say there’s anything about marketing specifically that I’m really drawn to or would consider a “favorite” activity. I love the writing process, though, and I truly enjoy interacting with readers and chatting with them about stories and things in their lives that are meaningful to them. So, I guess I’d lean toward Facebook conversations as a type of marketing activity, since it’s one way fans and potential readers can get to know me more personally and, as a result, come to understand my author brand. In any case, it’s been built organically, and I think that’s an important component of any successful sort of marketing strategy.

Karen -Anne Stewart – Author of The Rain Trilogies | Ash to Steele – Gillian, you know how much I suck at marketing ;). Marketing is my nemesis, my biggest weakness. Usually, I post on Twitter or Facebook. I do love blog tours, though! I’ve had a blast with each blog tour I’ve participated in, and I thank all the bloggers, readers, and organizers for their amazing parts in those experiences! Goodreads is also a wonderful place to market.

Kelsey Ketch – Author of the Descendants of Isis Series – Marking is definitely not my strong point. Unfortunately, it’s also a necessary evil to give your book exposure. Which is why I turn to book tour sites for media blitzes, highlights, and blog tours and email newsletter advertising sites to advertise my sales. There are a lot of great people looking to help you promote your novel. You just have to look in the right place.

Gillian Felix – Author of The Family Portrait Series | Blog Tours: A Win-Win For Authors and Bloggers  – Content marketing has been my favorite so far. My most successful piece of content so far has been an article I wrote as Haze—the hot handyman-turned-model in my series. Haze is multiracial and he talked about his challenges while growing up. That article has been featured in many online magazines and retweeted countless times. People really seemed to connect with him. Now, if only I could recreate that magic with the other characters.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson – Author of The Frugal Book Promoter |Imperfect Echos – Persistence. Continue reading


6 Authors share what keeps them motivated


Author collaboration continues with 6 authors answering 2 questions. Today we talk about motivation and reading habits. Enjoy!


What keeps you motivated and why?

When it comes to motivation, I’m a little like I am about writers’ block. There is always something I want to do that hits me on the head when I wake up in the morning! – Carolyn Howard-Johnson – Author of The Frugal Book Promoter |Imperfect Echos

Motivation seems to change. With the Rain Trilogy, one of my biggest motivations was to help shed some awareness on abuse and human trafficking. With Ash to Steele and Feel, the motivation was entirely different – just as personal, but in other ways. One constant motivation for me, is how writing is a form of therapy. If the day has been really trying, throwing myself into my characters is the best stress reliever. – Karen -Anne Stewart – Author of The Rain Trilogies | Ash to Steele  Continue reading

My Favorite Scene from Bad Uncle

Book cover Bad Uncle Family Portrait Book 5I have many unforgettable scenes in Bad Uncle (Family Portrait Book 5) so choosing one scene as my favorite was a task. The reason I love this scene is because of Kevin and Adriana’s relationship. One of the things readers are attracted to in the series is the relationship between the siblings.

In the scene below called Krav Maga, it is Sunday morning and Kevin, Adriana’s older brother is around teaching her how to protect herself. Adriana’s mind is not into it because her boyfriend is leaving for New York and, well the last time he went to New York she almost lost him for good.

Chapter 12: Krav Maga

“Focus, Adriana.” Kevin’s voice interrupted her thoughts as she rolled over. The training used to be fun and a great way to spend time with her brother, but today it was a hindrance. Adriana glanced at the pool; maybe if she could get him close enough to the edge, she could push him in and that’d be the end of their training for the day. She grappled with him in an effort to take him down, but he spun out of her grip, flipping her to the floor. He held his hand out to her to help her up; she roughly grabbed it and rushed after him, moving herself closer to the edge of the pool and off the mat.

“Come on, fifteen more minutes,” he encouraged and she thrust at him with fake punches and uppercuts.

Stopping to take a breath, he lectured her about paying attention when in combat and never losing focus.

“Oh, hi, L’Wren.” She looked towards the entrance behind him, and when he turned around, she successfully took him down and held his neck in a headlock. He tried to flip her over, but the angle his body was positioned made it impossible to do without seriously hurting her. He tapped out, but she ignored him.

“You should never lose focus when in combat, Kevin,” she mocked.

“What are you guys doing?” Concern coated L’Wren’s voice.

“Just playing around,” Adriana said casually as Kevin tapped the mat.

“Cool! I wanna learn how to do that.” Leighann was amazed.

“That looks dangerous,” L’Wren warned.

“Kevin’s been teaching me, so I’ll always know how to protect myself from evil boys,” Adriana said ignoring Kevin’s frantic tapping.

“He looks like he can’t breathe,” L’Wren pointed out nervously.

“He’ll live,” Adriana said sweetly. “You spending the night?” She directed her question at Leighann.

“Yes, L’Wren leaves tomorrow,” Leighann replied, still fascinated by the predicament Adriana had her brother in.

“Could you let my boyfriend go, please? He’s turning blue.” L’Wren’s concern grew and Adriana sighed, kissed him on his head and released him.

Kevin coughed and gasped for air as L’Wren ran to him.

“I’m all right, she got lucky.” He stretched his neck like it was no big deal.

“You guys play really rough,” L’Wren said in her mommy voice.

“Can you show me how to do that?” Leighann asked gingerly.

“NO!” Kevin and L’Wren said in unison.

“Let’s go in the house and leave Mom and Dad alone,” Adriana mocked.


I hope you give Bad Uncle a chance, if you’d like a copy in exchange for an honest review please use this link.

Family Portrait Logo

Bad Uncle Blog Tour Kickoff

Bad Uncle Family Portrait Book 5 banner

The Bad Uncle choose your own date tour kicks off on Monday corresponding with the release on Amazon.

Thank you to all the bloggers taking part, this could not have happened without you. I am always open to putting in blog appearances so if you’d like to join the tour, click on this link.

If you’d like to follow the tour click here.

To read excerpts from Bad Uncle click here.

Bad Uncle (Family Portrait Book 5) by Gillian Felix

Published by: Plain Talk Book Marketing LLC

Genre: Drama, New Adult

Warning: Strong sexual content, language and situations. For readers 18+

Book cover Bad Uncle Family Portrait Book 5Synopsis

Who needs enemies when you’ve got family.

The stars are aligned in Adriana’s favor, but secrets have a way of exposing themselves just when everything is perfect. As Adriana and Haze’s relationship heads south, Carys is ready to pounce. Will Adriana’s lies drive the man she loves into the arms of another?

Meanwhile Zax is finally with his dream girl, but why can’t he get his best friend’s girl out of his mind? When she turns to him for advice on how to be a better girlfriend, can he put his selfish desires aside, or will he follow his siblings and take what he wants despite the consequences?

When Kevin’s lifestyle puts innocent L’Wren in danger, his retaliation brings his ruthless uncle back to Los Angeles and into the lives of his family. In Bad Uncle you’ll get to know the man who has the power to change the legacy of the Banovic family forever.

Add Bad Uncle to your Goodreads shelf.

Purchase Bad Uncle on Amazon

Get introduced to the characters in Changes Book 1 FREE on Amazon, iBooks, B&N, Google Books, Smashwords, Kobo and everywhere digital books are sold in the US. If you are located internationally and would like to review any book in the series please use this form.

Bastards Brew (Family Portrait Book 3), Perfect Escape (Family Portrait Book 4), Bad Uncle (Family Portrait Book 5) can be read as standalones.

Bad Uncle tour specials

Giveaway click on the banner to enter

Bad Uncle tour giveaway



Let’s get social: Media page | Author on Goodreads | Bad Uncle on GoodreadsFacebook

Let’s get social: Media page | Author on Goodreads | Bad Uncle on GoodreadsFacebook

All About the Bastard

Book cover Bastard's BrewEverything we touch, we destroy.

When L’Wren’s ex-boyfriend Jeff suddenly disappears, she turns to Kevin to help her find him. With one phone call, Kevin makes sure that Jeff stays hidden and that L’Wren’s heart is broken, leaving the door open for Kevin to pursue her. But Kevin is not as free as L’Wren thinks; she is in the dark about his affair with her stepmother, Savi. Savi constantly reminds Kevin of his devious ways and uses their secret to keep him as her toyfriend.

“You don’t deserve to be loved, and you don’t deserve to be happy. You and I are the same … we’re broken inside. Everything we touch, we destroy. We don’t get happily ever after … we don’t get to ride off into the sunset. You know who gets that? L’Wren … she gets it, she gets the guy, and she deserves a decent guy.”- Savi

Kevin desires to be the man that L’Wren deserves, but before he can assume the role of white knight, he brews one last plan to get rid of Savi for good. Will L’Wren, the innocent victim in their twisted game, become a casualty?

Kevin may have sold his body to the devil in stilettos, but he’d be damned if he let her have his heart.

Purchase Bastard’s Brew on Amazon | B&N | Smashwords | Kobo | iBooks

Published by Plain Talk Book Marketing

ISBN-10: 1497367964

ISBN-13: 978-1497367968

For wholesale inquires please email Gillian@plaintalkbm.com

What people are saying about Bastard’s Brew

Click to read an excerpt.
Kevin BanovicFeaturing the loveable bad boy Kevin in Bastard’s Brew was an absolute must. Readers loved him and were eager to know more about him.

In Brew, we got to see Kevin and L’Wren’s relationship intensify. I introduced Victoria Johansson, who was only supposed to be in this book but readers liked her, so she puts in an appearance in the novels to come. Of course the series wouldn’t be what it is without some kind of scandal, so expect the unexpected where Vicky J is concerned. I actually loved writing her and I look forward to seeing where she takes me and the readers. She was not part of the original TV series, she just kind of happened as an ally to Kevin.  Apart from Kev’s frenemyship with Haze, he really has no one who knows both sides of him.

Victoria is the exact opposite of L’Wren yet they both make up an important part of Kevin’s life. Their paths never cross and I think it would be interesting to see the interaction between these two ladies when they do meet.

Of the four books in the series so far, if I had to pick a favorite, Brew would be it. I loved the intense drama. While writing it I never knew what the characters were going to do. I had an outline, but once I started writing, they clearly took over! So far this book was the darkest.

There was something wickedly exciting about seeing what Kevin would do next to try and get out of the blackmail – Rachel B

Continue reading

Hanging with the Banovic Siblings

Banovic Siblings Dec coverCollege boy Kevin Banovic’s casual affair with Savi DaCosta suited him perfectly. Things change when he finds out that Savi is his mom’s high school bestie. When Kevin tries to end their affair, Savi blackmails him.

After Kevin rescues Savi’s stepdaughter, L’Wren, from her abusive boyfriend, he can’t stop thinking about her. He must find a way to handle Savi, protect L’Wren, and keep his sanity.

Bad girl Adriana Banovic is pleased with herself for getting her nemesis expelled from Westwood Academy. As feelings between her and her latest victim Haze Lyndon escalate, an unexpected rival discovers her secret and threatens to expose her. With emotions on the line, will her new rival beat her at her own game or end up another casualty of Adriana’s wrath?

Zax Banovic has it all. Tall and handsome, he’s an academic genius, with a killer smile and a heart of gold. When his best friend gets into trouble, he feels responsible and covers for him. But his best friend is not as honorable and has other plans for Zax. Continue reading

Ready, Set, Drama! The Family Portrait Series so far

We’re 4 books into the Family Portrait series and I thought I’d chat about the series so far and what’s to come 😉

Ready Set Drama special

In Changes you were introduced to the Banovics and DaCostas. You got a brief history of these families and it left you wondering how they would all tie together.

Changes fits the name of the book as the Banovic Family experienced many changes from their life as a family and individually. Add to the mix, there’s the DaCosta family who’s also experiencing changes in their life. – Musings of Fictional Ally

My favorite: I loved the dialogue between Astrid Wilson and Adriana Banovic. Astrid is the queen bee at Westwood Academy and when Adriana reluctantly returns to school, Astrid’s reign is threatened and she goes out of her way to make Adriana’s life at Westwood Academy, horrendous! Adriana is no shrinking violet so hatches a plan to put Astrid in her place. Ready, Set, Drama!

Banovic Siblings Family Portrait

Banovic Siblings took you deeper into the lives of the Banovic Siblings and how they crossed paths with the DaCosta girls. Claws came out as well as the dark side of the second generation Banovic siblings.

I loved this one! This was my favourite. This is when the Banovic and the DeCosta children start to come into their own. They are not innocent like other NA book characters. Rachel P

You also got to experience the relationship between the first generation Banovic siblings; Robin, Roxanne and Adrian (who remains a mystery).

This book set the stage for the other books to come. Readers loved “Siblings” the most and it has the most reviews.

I’m sad that the book ends on a cliffhanger but it’ll make picking up the book 3 much more exciting! Jolanta Daab

My favorite scene: Adriana encourages Leighann to try pot for the first time, the result is a hilarious mix of hijinks and close calls. I laughed when I wrote that scene in the television script and a year later when I rewrote the scene for the book it still had me in stitches.

Bastard's Brew promo

Bastard’s Brew is my favorite so far. I loved that this book focused on 3 major characters and really gave readers a lot of meat. Adriana, Kevin and Haze all had major events happen in their lives. A lot of ethical issues were addressed, but knowing these characters, what is ethical to you and me, flies out the window by their standards.

What I really like about these books is that Ms. Felix delves deeply into the lives of each character. She doesn’t just skim the surface of everyone; I feel like I really get to know each of them really well. – Tina VanDynHoven

My favorite scene: This scene is my favorite because it broke my heart. Haze is one of the better behaved characters in the series so I celebrated with him when he got his well deserved big break, but it was overshadowed by a horrible incident. His relationship with Adriana was put to the test and we got to see a different side of her as she proved her love for him.

Perfect Escape promo

Perfect Escape was really hard for me to write. It dealt with the relationship with Leighann and her father… my own dad passed by the time I finished writing this book.

This book was about Leighann, who people loved since Changes and they really got to know her in “Escape”. We got to see how mean her mother can be making readers love Leighann even more. She got to experience her first crush, taking readers back to their first love in high school.

Being a mom, it was hard for me to read how heartless Savi is with Leighann. – Karen-Anne Stewart

My favorite scene: Zax sitting on Leighann’s stoop waiting for her to come out and talk to him. He orders chinese food, pops on his headphone and casually dines, like it was the most natural thing in the world.

That’s where we are are so far in the series. What’s to come?

  • More Frankie, Kristin, Zax love triangle.
  • Can Adriana continue to hide her secret from Haze?
  • Will Joel’s facade crumble?
  • Did Kevin really create the perfect escape? Will his “business” dealings catch up with him?

All will be revealed in Book 5 releasing in the summer 2015.

Learn more about the series here.


Logo for the Novel series Family Portrait by Gillian Felix









The Story of Changes

The Story

Changes marketing

The Banovic family is on the brink of financial ruin. Robin, the patriarch of the Banovic family, makes the heart-wrenching decision to sell the business he’d spent most of his life building.

Just when things couldn’t get worse for the Banovics, Robin’s father dies, leaving Robin nursing a world of guilt over years of things left unsaid. Just like in real life, sometimes a curse can become a blessing.

Turns out Viktor Banovic left his winery and prime estate for his children, but there is a catch. Viktor’s will stipulates that Robin, the eldest, cannot sell any of the properties without the signatures of his siblings. Sounds simple since all of the first generation Banovic siblings have gone on to build lives of their own, but nothing is simple in the Family Portrait Series. Robin’s brother, Adrian has been missing since after the death of their mother. So Robin hires a detective to find his him. 

In the meantime he steps to run the winery with absolutely no experience under his belt and hits resistance from people who are loyal to his father. Robin goes from one extreme to the next in a nano second. Luckily he has his wife Jayne by his side.

Leighann is confined to bed rest after she collapses during a hectic tour schedule. She sees her failing health as a way out of the spotlight and decides to commit career suicide, much to the chagrin of her momager. But walking away from her commitments has consequences that Leighann isn’t aware of. She leaves her mother and the only life she’s ever known to live with her sister in Los Angeles. There she enrolls in the prestigious Westwood Academy. 

For the first time Leighann gets a taste of traditional education and kids her own age. 

“High school is a lot like what I imagine prison is like. If you don’t have the right friends, you could be killed or raped in the shower.” ~ Leighann

But her problems haven’t even started yet, because unknown to Leighann, Savi has followed her to Los Angeles and where there is Savi, there is trouble. Bored and looking for a little action in her old stomping ground Savi hooks up with college boy Kevin Banovic. Can a hook up just be a hook up? Not in the Family Portrait series.

The Cast

Jayne & Robin Banovic, Adriana Banovic, Kevin Banovic, Zax Banovic, Leighann DaCosta, L’Wren DaCosta, Savi DaCosta, Haze C. Lyndon

Supporting Cast

Roxanne Banovic, Carys WilsonAstrid Wilson, Kristin Newman, Frankie Malone, Joel O’Leary, Warren Voss, Principal Johansson.

The stoners: Chellon, Kai, Jason

The changing faces of Changes

Changes Family Portrait covers

As you can see Changes has undergone lots of changes over the year it has been published. The first cover I felt was too dark. I wanted something with an actual picture on the cover. When Jovon Tucker did the trailer she used a Polaroid photo of Haze, which was Adriana’s mystery man and one of the major story lines that carried through all the books. So I got the idea to use a Polaroid.

The 2nd cover was never used, it was a mock up for the 3rd. I changed from the 3rd cover because I wanted to start branding the books. Then came the birth of cover #4. Cover 4 was actually a mock up to the final cover.

Changes Dec cover

This cover is the template for all the books in the series.

Changes Milestone

My greatest accomplishment and what I will always remember will be when Changes hit #1 on the Amazon bestseller chart in it’s category. Prior to that, the highest it had ever been was #25, then it rose to #11, which I was thrilled with. Until it popped up to #1. I was losing my mind with excitement. I checked later in the day and it was still there.

Changes number 11 Amazon

Changes on the rise again.

Changes #9 Amazon

Two days later I began to wonder if Amazon had made a mistake. After about a week I was over the moon. The feeling you get when your book hits #1 on Amazon never gets old. That was on April 25, 2014. I still celebrate that every year, that’s how much it means to me.

Changes #1 Amazon

Changes is free on Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks

Good to Know

The FASHION and Location play a very big part in the series.

Click to rummage through Adriana’s closet, Leighann’s closet and Astrid’s locker. 

Westwood Academy is actually modeled (location wise) after Albuquerque Academy.

Check out the locations that inspire some of the scenes. 

My favorite scene from Changes has to be when Haze goes to meet Chellon, his childhood best friend for the first time. They are going to room together, but Chellon is not the same guy Haze knew growing up. Here’s the scene:

Haze pulled up to the curb of a two-story, four-apartment complex.

The exterior looked nice enough; his mother would be happy. He was an only child, and his mother wasn’t exactly thrilled about him moving out to Los Angeles even though she grew up there. She felt a little better knowing that he would at least know Chellon, his high-school buddy. She comforted herself knowing that Chellon was a good, wholesome boy. Chellon called his mother every week. Chellon went to church, and Chellon studied hard.

Haze rang the door bell and waited. Chellon came to the door; he immediately bear- hugged Haze.

“You made it! It’s about freaking time!” Chellon beamed at his friend. “Come on in, meet the guys.”

The guys were Jason and Kai. They sat on a beat-up couch, rolling a joint on the coffee table. The inside of the apartment was messy … After all, they were college boys.

“They don’t live here; they’re just hanging out.” Chellon pointed out. “We party’n tonight!”

The one called Kai nodded at Haze. He seemed already high.

“You wanna hit?” Jason asked Haze.

“No,” Haze replied.

The boys lit up, and a cloud of smoke engulfed them.

“Lemme show you your room.” Chellon beamed. “I think you’re going to love LA. The girls out here are a different breed, man. Every one is better looking than the next. It’s like a feeding frenzy!”

My favorite character writing moments: any scene with the Stoners. Also Astrid and Adriana’s dialogue are hilarious.

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Growing Up Multi-racial in America

My name is Haze Christopher Lyndon and I was born in Madison Wisconsin, to an African American mother and Irish American father. Do I have an identity crisis? Nope, I know exactly who I am and what I stand for. Growing up I had a great life in the confines of my parent’s home. Outside that, life was different…

When I was a kid, going out with my mom, people often mistook her for my nanny. On the other hand when I went out with my dad, he was met with sympathy or admiration for adopting a black kid. At school I was either not “black” enough or “white” enough. I never understood what that meant, I’m 22 now and I still don’t understand what that means. As a result I never fit into any groups. I thank my parents. Why should anyone have to fit into a group?  Continue reading

Perfect Escape Book Review

Perfect escape book coverGillian Felix nails another gut-wrenching and magnetic addition to this series, doling out just enough reality and high tension energy to make putting Perfect Escape impossible to put down as my mental cinema played each scene out, complete with background music and full color action. These characters will forge a place in your heart and mind as they fall into three categories, the good, the bad and the ones who must straddle the line with great care. – Dii Bylo, Amazon Top 100 Reviewer


Kevin Banovic, Zax and Adriana’s brother, is behind a lot of the things happening with Savi.  He is so wrapped up in illegal activity that he can’t get out of it and if someone hurts a person he cares for, he hurts them back.  And he has his ways, and resources.  He is a bad boy on the outside with filled with good intentions and a heart of gold at times.  He is no doubt the most complicated character right now, at least to me he is anyway.  It was a great, and very entertaining, read! – Clarice Minchew, Book reviewer


I’m going to start with the ending of Perfect Escape (no spoilers) with my review because that’s the part that left me so emotional and needing book 5! I was heartbroken, but Gillian Felix left some hope in there – depending on which characters you’re rooting for. The way Ms. Felix weaves such a vast amount of characters together, intertwining their differences in age, personality, loyalty (or lack there of), and desires leaves me in awe – it is a difficult task that she has done to weave the story lines together so beautifully. – Karen Anne Stewart, Author Continue reading