J to tha M Review: The Transplanted Tales Series

Rounding Out our Kate SeRine Week Celebration

J and I were going to do a chat review of Kate’s Transplanted Tales series, but our best laid plans did not come to fruition for a couple of reasons. I’ve been lunatic busy and distracted this week, and J abandoned me for the Bobby Long concert in Atlanta this weekend, which, in all honestly is one of the only acceptable excuses for skipping out on your partner in crime, damn her. Second, we realized we’ve already posted all the things we adore about the Transplanted Tales and are bordering on being gushy, which gets close to that fluffcoud line. Since I’m left alone in the wheelhouse this weekend…well, you all know who floats the cotton candy boat around here (hint – it ain’t me). In that light, I made the executive decision to give you all the rundown on the novels that have captured our fangirl love and trust that you’ve picked up enough in the J to tha M chats here and here this past week to get that we’d definitely give the books in the series 5 monkeys right down the line.

I first heard about RED on a blog somewhere when the story first came out and was intrigued enough to put it on my want to read list. A few months later, a note from Kate’s critique partner, Cecy Robson, came across my local Greater Seattle RWA chapter loop that RED was free for the day. I mention this just to show that those free days really can work ;)  I immediately downloaded, and when scrolling through my Kindle carousel for what to read next, saw the fun cover and opened the book.

What do you get when you cross an egomaniacal fairy godmother, an arrogant genie, and a couple of wandering plagiarists whose idea of cultural preservation is stealing the stories of unsuspecting villagers and passing them off as their own?

If I were tossing back a few shots of Goose with the guys at Ever Afters, I might chuckle at such an intriguing setup for what has all the promise of a hilarious punch line–except the punch line of this little beauty isn’t funny at all. ‘Cause what you get, my friend, is a pissing contest of epic proportions.

After I read those first lines from RED, I knew we were going to be friends. Me and the book that is, and I wasn’t disappointed. Haven’t been, as a matter of fact, even three books later. Most of you know how much I enjoy clever twisties in the stories I read, and the Transplanted tales have that in abundance. I could go on and on how Kate has woven the classic fairytales and literary characters together in a way that makes you not only totally buy into her version, but wish there really were Tales from the land of Make Believe living in the Here and Now. If you enjoy a clever weaving of familiar stories and characters turned on their, um, tales, and incorporated into an original and extremely fun new world, give Kate SeRine’s Transplanted tales series a try. Then come back and tell us what you think!

Thanks – M

Transplanted Tales by Kate SeRine

About the Books:

Red by Kate SeRine

RED

“My name is Tess Little. But everyone calls me Red.”

Once upon a time, a spell went awry, stranding Make Believe characters in the ordinary world. Since then, Tess “Red” Little—a/k/a Little Red Riding Hood—has worked as an Enforcer for the Chicago branch of the Fairytale Management Authority. But, consider yourself warned—she’s not just some waif with a basket of goodies. All grown up and with nothing to lose, a gun and combat boots is more her style. And Red’s new assignment threatens to be short on happily ever afters…

Someone is murdering transplanted Tales in gruesome fashion. The list of fictional characters capable of such grisly acts is short and includes more than one of Red’s old flames. And if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s another complication, in the form of sexy, enigmatic Nate Grimm, the FMA’s lead detective and part-time Reaper. Used to following her own rules and living life on the edge, Red has managed to avoid taking on a partner until now. But Nate’s dark side makes him perfect for a case like this. That is, if she can trust him. Because if there’s one thing Red knows for sure, it’s that believing in the wrong person can have big, bad consequences…

The Better To See You by Kate SeRine

The Better to See You

Once upon a time, a spell went awry and Make Believe characters were cast into the ordinary world. And the results aren’t always happily ever after…

Everyone thinks fairy godmothers can do no wrong. But if not for a certain spell mis-cast by Lavender Seelie, Cinderella’s former fairy godmother, the Tales would not be stuck in the Here and Now. Fortunately for Lavender, she’s about to get a second chance at a happy ending…

The Refuge, a sanctuary for wayward Tales, seems like the perfect place for Lavender to start a new life—especially when she discovers an unexpected ally in Seth, the brooding werewolf who’s been typecast as a villain ever since his run in with Little Red Riding Hood. But when humans from nearby towns start turning up dead, their bodies mutilated with archaic Tale symbols, Lavender wonders if Seth’s deep sensuality has blinded her to the truth. And that distraction could put innocent lives in danger. Including her own…

Along Came a Spider by Kate SeRine

Along Came a Spider

Along came a spider…

When Trish Muffet is attacked at a grisly crime scene, the last person she expects to come to her rescue is Nicky “Little Boy” Blue. But since walking away from everything two years before, Nicky’s been doling out vigilante justice as “The Spider,” taking on the vicious predators of the night in hopes it’ll lead him to his ultimate target – Vlad Dracula. And he needs Trish’s help.

Although Nicky’s renegade style goes against everything Trish stands for, she’ll do what she must to bring Dracula down. With danger stalking her, Trish knows the only person she can count on is the one man who has the power to leave her breathless. There’s no way she’s letting this spider frighten her away…

About the Author:

Kate SeRine (pronounced “serene”) faithfully watched weekend monster movie marathons while growing up, each week hoping that maybe this time the creature du jour would get the girl. But every week she was disappointed. So when she began writing her own stories, Kate vowed that her characters would always have a happily ever after. And, thus, her love for paranormal romance was born.

Kate is a member of Romance Writers of America and of Indiana RWA and has been a finalist in the Fire and Ice Contest (2010), the Finally a Bride Contest (2010), and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence (2013), and is the recipient of The Emily (2012) and the National Readers Choice Award (2013). She is represented by Nicole Resciniti with the Seymour Agency.

Kate lives in a smallish, quintessentially Midwestern town with her husband and two sons, who share her love of storytelling. She never tires of creating new worlds to share and is even now working on her next project.

Find Kate on her website, blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for great Transplanted Tales prizes and swag from Kate!


How to Create an Irresistible Author Brand in 3 Steps

Branding: First Step to Successful Marketing

Guest Post by Nando Rodriguez

successful author brandingAs an author, your personal brand should be enticing and as rich in character as your book topic. But we fail to brand or market ourselves with gusto because it means we have to label ourselves and categorize our worth within a genre—and you’re so much more than that, right? Are you funny, mysterious, helpful, or maybe even inspiring? And even if you could pinpoint your USP (unique selling point), how can the world possibly ask you to stick to just one heading? Think of your personal brand as an identity that incorporates you at a 360-degree level versus just one-dimensional and you’re already ahead of the game. Here are 3 tips to creating your personal brand.

1. You vs. Your Genre: How Do You Want to Be Seen?

Realize that you have hypnotized your audience with your words and subject matter, and they feel connected to you. Whether you penned a how-to or a memoir, your readers want more of you—and that’s a great thing, so give them more. It’s your chance to come out of the editing room dungeon and into the public light.  You’ve struggled in finding your writing voice, but now it’s time to find your personal brand’s voice. This is the tone, image and voice you want people to recognize when they see you at a book signing, visit your website, or listen to you in a podcast. And feel free to step outside of your genre for this, as it’s your time to shine as the author, or you can fully be an extension of your book’s brand. Ann Rice did this well when she was recognized as the queen of the vampire genre and would attend public affairs cloaked in darkness and mystery. Personally, I think it’s great marketing, but I’m not sure how long I’d be able to keep that persona going.

2. Identify Your USPs (Unique Selling Points)

When you go into business and you’re successful, it’s because you’re the solution to someone’s problem. UPS solves logistic problems, Applebee’s solves hunger problems and the Miami Tourism Board solves my yearly burn out problems. What problems are you solving? What are your unique selling points? Will your personal brand be seen as a leader in children’s genre, the self-help king, or possibly the quirky author whose humorous observations have sold millions of books, like David Sedaris? David solves problems. He helps people escape their personal lives as he involves his readers in his world for an entire book, and if you listen to David in a podcast, he’s 100% genuine in that he doesn’t do well with attention. It makes for an awkward listen, but you know what you’re getting when you tune in. His unique selling points are his idiosyncrasies, his quirkiness, and his powers of observation, which he then converts into humor.

Once you have explored the three items above, you will be able to establish your personal author brand and conquer the world, or at least Twitter. Be proud of your voice and expertise but make sure it aligns throughout. And don’t worry about being left behind once you have branded yourself, you can always rebrand at a later time and upgrade. Look what happened to Sofia.

3. Align Your Social Media Platforms & Everything Else

Once you’ve found an identity that resonates with you, “I’m an author who happens to be funny and writes about corn,” align all your social media platforms to that persona as well as your business card, website, and anything else that represents you, your book and your brand. This will further your brand by establishing trust and cultivating loyalty with your readers. On my way to work this morning, I looked up and noticed that Beyonce’s image was now gracing New York’s Times Square. Just last week it was Sofia Vergara plastered over three billboards sipping on a Pepsi. But as I was trapped in what felt like a “can you spot the differences” with my memory, Pepsi’s strong branding shone through. No matter whose image was on the billboard, Beyonce or Sofia, they aligned their branding across the board, literally.

What are your struggles with personal branding? Do you have problems narrowing down your particular USP? We want to know. Ask questions here, and we’ll do our best to answer!

Nando spends the majority of his time primping his hair and admiring his keratin treatments, but he also likes to help people brand themselves. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, or visit his websites http://nandoism.com and http://www.interviewingU.com.