Making those Ads Count!

It’s all about getting noticed. Rising above the noise. There are thousands of books being released every day. How do you get seen? Why do readers click on one ad and not another? Does your indie ad look professional? Is everything spelled correctly? Did you forget important information?

I always get a kick out of creating ads for my series. Actually, I adore it. This morning I knocked out three new ones. Same catchphrases, but different images. I run so many of these now on Facebook that I don’t want my band to get boring. All the images are purchased stock photos from As for the details of price and links, I always place that outside the basic ad. That way it can be changed often. Sometimes it’s a description of the book or an excerpt to tease the reader. And of course, prices go up and down.

As a romance author I have to be careful not to show too much otherwise a reader will think the books are more erotica than romance. And there is a difference between the two. An image that is too suggestive is often times banned from some Facebook group, so it’s a fine line for most romance authors.

How did I do compare to other Romance Book advertising you’ve seen? Leave a comment below.

Amazon Reviews:

The Love of Gods

I just wanted to highlight the customer reviews that are beginning to appear on Amazon. Each, no matter the number of starts given, is a gift to an author. It lets us know if our storytelling has touched you, entertained you, or where we need to work harder on perfecting our craft. Thank you for taking the time to tell other readers about the first book in the Legends of the Pale Series, The Love of Gods.

stephen r. huggins

5.0 out of 5 stars  A Welcome Surprise

May 27, 2019 Format: Paperback

“This was my first time reading a “paranormal romance” and I was delighted with the experience. The characters were distinct and well-rounded, the settings described with just enough detail to make the scenes snap, and the dialog both intriguing and believable. The pacing of the novel kept me moving right along wondering where the plot would take me next.
This has got to be a difficult genre to write for, yet Tarrant Smith carried it off with great flair. If you are ready to step out of the hum-drum of routine fiction, this is a great place to start. I now plan to tackle Smith’s other novels. I’m confident I won’t be disappointed.”

C. Jackson

5.0 out of 5 stars  A Page-Turning Supernatural Mystery/Romance

May 29, 2019 Format: Kindle Edition

“Smith manages to combine mystery, romance, and the paranormal in this riveting tale. I read The Love of Gods over two days, eager to learn more of the world of gods, shifters, witches, and demons. Well-developed characters and a tight plot left me turning pages until the very end. While I’m waiting for the next book in the series, I’m going to read her other work. I highly recommend this read if you love romance, mystery, or paranormal stories!”

Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars  For the Love of This Book!

May 5, 2019 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

“The Love of Gods (The Legends of the Pale Series) by Tarrant Smith features a pantheon of gods and goddess, witches, demons, shape shifters, fae, werewolfs and demigods all trying to eek out a somewhat normal existence in the modern world…”

“…The cast of characters—gods witches, et. al—really work in this novel. Smith does an amazing job of explaining to the reader the character’s backstory. Mythology can be so confusing, but in this series it isn’t. Trying to tell a story with a murder mystery coupled with a love story and mythology seems impossible, but Tarrant Smith does it with elegance and grace!”

Excerpt from: Resurrected Darkly (book 5, The Darkly Series)

The hero of Resurrected Darkly has always been a favorite of mine. Crank is an ancient fey warrior who has lost everything; his king, honor, and name. When the reader and Ena first meet Crank in the fifth book, his mind is broken. This book is all recovery, redemption, and risking your heart once more.

An excerpt from Chapter 10:

Crank followed Ena up the winding flight of stairs that led to the House of Caw’s private rooms. A lifetime had passed since he’d last seen these quarters, and like so much gathered dust, memories stirred as he strolled slowly through the rooms he’d once known so well. Much had changed—and yet, he decided, much had not.

He had relinquished his post as Gwenhwyfar’s captain not long after the birth of Caw’s last son. And, if Crank remembered correctly, Neb had been still crawling at his mother’s feet the last time he’d seen Caw. They’d had naught but angry words for each other on that dark day.

Whether out of respect or laziness, Bran had not changed the placement of the booty his father had collected over the centuries. The family room remained cluttered with artifacts from a distant age. History lined the walls and lay upon every available flat surface. Everywhere Crank looked, he saw fragments of a shared past, a past where he and others had served Arthur. There, on the far wall, hung a cracked shield, the result of a dispute between himself and Caw. And there…there, in an honored spot upon the fireplace mantel, sat a gold chalice, a gift from Arthur after the birth of Caw’s first son. Crank stopped dead when he spied the portrait of the unseelie whose name the house still bore. From the paint-covered canvas, Caw stared back, his image dusty and full of unspoken censure.

Coming to a halt as well, Ena followed Crank’s gaze. “I hate that picture,” she declared.

“It does give one pause,” he replied, averting his gaze.

Crank smiled when his eyes happened to fall on the charmed harp he’d helped Caw steal from a rival. As a personal favor to Arthur, Crank had tagged along that day to keep Caw from getting himself killed. As it turned out, the harp wasn’t the only thing they’d stolen from Drest. During the harp theft, Caw met and abducted his future mate, mother to the horde of young warriors Caw later sired. Crank found himself chuckling at the pleasant memory of his friend, the formidable Caw, attempting to instill some semblance of discipline among his wayward and headstrong lads.

“What’s so funny?” Ena asked, turning her lavender eyes on him.

“’Tis nothing, lass,” he replied. He’d followed her through the larger family room into a smaller antechamber. This room had once been Caw’s training area. It now looked similar to the room they’d just left but was more austere in its seating arrangement. Despite the change, Crank felt very much at home inside the House of Caw.

“Father uses this room when he is in negotiations or dealing with business that doesn’t have to do with the den. Court obligations,” she clarified.

Crank just nodded. He was still seeing the room the way it used to be. “Your grandfather trained in this room.”

“You knew Caw?”

“Aye. We often sharpened our skills by sparring against one another. Your grandfather was a fine swordsman.” Glancing at her, Crank smiled. The look on her pretty face was one of utter shock. “Remember, lass, I be as old as dirt.” Again he found himself grinning at her reaction.

“My father has never mentioned you,” she replied, a ring of challenge in her tone.

Crank simply shrugged off her doubt and walked farther into the room. If Caw had regaled his offspring with their adventures, he would not have used Crank’s current name. “Your father was a babe at the time. He would not remember me,” Crank lied. Pulling his gaze away from the dead coals resting in the fireplace, he studied all four walls. Although the rest of the room had been transformed, the hard, gray stone wall remained. The individual stones had been neither polished nor painted, nor had any tapestries been hung.

“Why has Bran not adorned the walls?” he asked, changing the subject.

“He likes to say that his father hoarded people and objects but preferred the latter. I guess my father is just the opposite.”

Resurrected Darkly is only $4.99 or Free on Kindle Unlimited

Excerpts from: The Love of Gods

I always enjoy sharing snippets of my books. Here’s a random sampling from my latest book, The Love of Gods.

From Chapter 1:

Now it was her turn to laugh, a nervous little titter of unease. “All right. Will this date include a tour of where all the bodies are buried?” she asked, accepting his dare.

The soul remembers. The soul endures because it is not bound by the laws of time. The thought came to him unbidden, along with a hope he had no business nurturing.

Lugos grinned. “No, Keely. That’s second date material.”

She slid her sunglasses back up on her nose and put the Mustang in gear. “Have a nice trip, Lugh. See ya when ya get back.”

He stepped away just as Keely pressed down on the gas pedal, his eyes and heart following her down the long blacktop driveway until the trees finally obscured his view.

Long after the roar of the Mustang’s engine had faded from his hearing, Lugos stood there.

What had he done? The familiar path lay before him yet again, and so did the yearning to set his feet upon it. He had revealed his true identity to her many times. In each lifetime, there had been difficulties; but in the end, the truth of who and what he was had been something she had found a way to accept.

From Chapter 5:

As if cued, Bride glided into the room and announced the arrival of tea and cakes. Lugos watched her float by in her long skirts, a blurred stream of reddish-gold light trailing behind her like a ghost. The color of Bride’s power had always reminded Lugos of dying coals. When she stopped moving, the comet effect ended, but the goddess’s power made her skin appear a bit unworldly, as if tiny flecks of dancing flame lay just under the surface. Even more unsettling, Angus’s twin sister had never made the effort to move much past the restrictions of Victorian fashion or social decorum. Not until Martha Stewart came to the petite goddess’s notice had the all-consuming passion for crafting unsettled an otherwise predictable mind. None of Lugos’s kin truly looked forward to Bride landing on their doorstep—at first, because they didn’t want the constant reminder of her canonization, but now because things like Rhiannon’s vase happened. And because it was difficult to get the goddess of home and hearth to leave before she’d re-purposed every possession you ever held dear.

From Chapter 14:

“If you feel unsafe, even with me, then this will do more damage than that.” He nodded toward the knife. “But, Keely, you’ll need to empty the entire magazine into me, all fifteen bullets; the same goes for Rhiannon, here. Even if you aim for the head and heart, that will only buy you a little time.”

“Excuse me?” Keely and Rhiannon asked in unison. Keely made no move to take the weapon from his hand.

It was only then that Lugos started to breathe again. He’d been afraid to breathe. He’d been terrified that he’d lost her yet again. The thunderstorm outside began to dissipate as rapidly as it had materialized.

“What Lugh is trying to explain to you in his sweet and clumsy way is that he’s immortal, as am I. You can’t actually kill him, only slow him down.”

Lugos watched helplessly as a series of emotions flickered across Keely’s face: disbelief, alarm, fear, and then again disbelief. “I don’t believe that nonsense. Ain’t no one ever escaped death but Jesus Christ,” she said firmly.

Find it on Amazon

Facebook Ads

I’m all over Facebook these days. Running ads and making use of groups where I can tell the world about my books.

If you see one of these boosted posts, please share it. I always hear about someone or something going vial. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the Darkly Series became the next Game of Thrones? It has dragons, swords, and steamy love scenes. And with my books, you know you’ll get a satisfying ending!

All the books are free on Kindle UNLIMITED and the Kindle editions of the Darkly books are .99 cents up to 4.99. And my newest book, The Love of Gods is only 5.99 on Kindle.

You can find all of them on my Amazon Author page.

(I always wonder if purchasing ads with Facebook is cost effective. At least for the next few weeks, I’m betting that they are. I’ll be sure to report back at the end of this experiment.)

Literary Titan: Review

The Love of Gods

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 4star.png

The Love of Gods, written by Tarrant Smith is the first book in the paranormal romance series, The Legends of the Pale.

The story is an intriguing combination of a murder mystery and love story. As with any good romance, the story has a masculine hero – Lugos.  Despite being a god, Lugos prefers the company of humans. Whilst Lugo is investigating the death of a high-ranking witch his relationship with Keely Ann Lee, a Southern bar tender develops from a simple friendship into romance. Unbeknownst to Keely, Lugos has loved her over several different lifetimes. This time, he will do all he can to protect this mere mortal.

The story is set in Pale, which are a group of supernatural communities, but the characters are spread over different physical locations including Ireland and America.

There is a large and daunting cast of characters, which appear and disappear throughout the book. The author provides a comprehensive character list at the beginning, which is appreciated, but flipping back and forth gets a bit disruptive. The number of characters is further complicated by the fact that these are paranormal characters such as demons, witches, gods, shifters, demigoddesses and familiars. Each character has their own special powers as well as personality and location. That said, it did not take long to get my head around the number of characters and any fan of epic expansive fantasy novels will appreciate the intricate backstory that Tarrant Smith ha created.

Interwoven into the story are both paranormal and human experiences. Characters constantly move from using human technology such as cell phones, luxury cars, classic cars, security systems and Google maps to teleportation and shape shifting. They move from the mundane such as using passports to shifting from human form to animal form. This adds interest and intrigue and ensures the story is fast moving.

The dialogue between characters is rich and realistic and enhances the relationship between characters. The tale is also enhanced with some interesting metaphors, for example, Keely is described at one point as “a puddle of need”; which is my new favorite phrase.

The Love of Gods is a well-written story. The dialogue is engrossing and most of the characters and their loyalties are intricate but explained in depth. Both the love story and the mystery will keep you guessing until the end.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is a book review website which consists of mostly fiction books, but we do enjoy non-fiction works that we’re excited about. All reviews are the reviewer’s honest opinion. We love books and read constantly (seriously, it’s an addiction). We’re always open to book review requests and have aspirations of one day being sucked into the Twilight Zone episode with Burgess Meredith where all he wants to do is read, but can’t until the world ends; you know what I mean? View all posts by Literary Titan »

Two books released this year…and working on more!

Yes, I know that I just published Resurrected Darkly, the final book of the Darkly Series, and I also introduced readers to the new world of the Pale with The Love of Gods, but that’s no reason to sit back and rest. I just have too many characters running around in my mind, some on two legs and some on four. Very soon I will be sending The Fate of Wolves off to my fabulous editor to begin the process of getting that book ready for release later this year.

The third book, The Dreams of Demons is in rewrites already and I’m diligently working on book four, The Souls of Witches. Each book illuminates a different community within the Pale. On occasion, previous characters may be involved, but I deliberately designed this series so that the books could be read out of order without a reader feeling lost.

Now, here’s a sneak peak at The Fate of Wolves.

Deegan Volkov was a werewolf—a direct descendant of the first dark soul who’d committed the vile crime for which his ancestor and the other four had been cursed. It was his fate to suffer.

He had killed many under the guise of protecting his pack of curse-born and curse-bitten brothers. The monster that dwelt inside Deegan had always taken far more than it ever gave. So, when he was faced with yet another impossible choice, Deegan had known no other way. No other path had been open to him. But this last agonizing loss had been too much for his heart to bear, and he’d howled his pain and despair to an uncaring moon never expecting a miracle…or her.

How could Eva Azoulf exist? She was a female werewolf in a world where all the cursed were men and the very last of an extinct bloodline. She was an impossibility, one that Deegan’s wolf was set on claiming for himself. But the man in Deegan craved more than just her body. To heal his torn and tattered soul, Deegan must find a way to win her heart. 

Rave Reviews for the Darkly Series!

Kept Darkly, Surrendered Darkly, and now Resurrected Darkly have all received five stars from Readers’ Favorite.

“For readers hunting for romances with strong leads and intense emotions, the Darkly Series is a great reading choice. I really enjoyed author Tarrant Smith’s character-building techniques and vivid descriptions, laying the thoughts and feelings out alongside almost cinematic moments of action to bring Sel and Riona to life.” -for Kept Darkly

“Something which I really admire about the Darkly Series is the strength and realism of the world in which it is built, connecting characters and concepts from other books, whilst at the same time delivering the same high-quality hot romance novel for its readers every time.” -for Surrendered Darkly

“Having read several works in the Darkly Series recently, I think I enjoyed Resurrected Darkly most of all because of the deep, dark nature of its hero, Crank. His emotional and psychological journey back to life really enhances the romantic plot of the novel, elevating its intimate scenes beyond the physical, and into the powerful capacity that such intimacy has to remind people of the gift of life itself.” – for Resurrected Darkly

Start the Darkly journey with Enchanted Darkly and Bound Darkly. All the Darkly books can be purchased on Amazon

New Review! Kept Darkly

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

Kept Darkly is a work of paranormal romance fiction penned by author Tarrant Smith, and is the third book in the Darkly Series. In this return to the world of the stringent laws of Fey society, we meet the Seelie Queen, a unique seer, as she puts into action a political match which she thinks will benefit her nation as a whole. The queen intends to match her champion Sel to Riona, the bastard princess of the Unseelie King Melwas, but two problems stand in her way. Sel is very much loyal and in love with his queen, and Riona is a feisty, powerful Unseelie female who is sick of being used as a pawn in other people’s games.

For readers hunting for romances with strong leads and intense emotions, the Darkly Series is a great reading choice. I really enjoyed author Tarrant Smith’s character-building techniques and vivid descriptions, laying the thoughts and feelings out alongside almost cinematic moments of action to bring Sel and Riona to life. There is a wider, more complex story at work in the court and the kingdoms in general. However, the plot is constructed so that it does not overload with information but gives readers plenty of help to understand the wider implications of what’s going on around them. The central romance is unpredictable, steamy and very satisfying to read, and there was also a flirty, fun bonus story with more thrills for romance fans. Overall, Kept Darkly is a well-written addition to a deep and complex series

Interview: Tarrant Smith


Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I graduated from Queens College in North Carolina with a degree in English literature. I currently live near the beautiful town of Madison, Georgia with my husband, son, dogs, and the odd assortment of stray cats. As a kitchen witch, I have always sought out and nurtured the magick that can be found in the mundane trappings of everyday life.

My outlook is decidedly romantic, hence my chosen genre. The Darkly Series and my new Legends of the Pale Series follows unlikely couples as they struggle against themselves and outside forces to find lasting love. Enchanted Darkly, was the first book in the Darkly Series and published in 2010. Little did I know that this one book would inspire an entire series based on Celtic mythology and Arthurian legend. The Darkly Series books are closely tied to one another and are best read in order: Enchanted, Bound, Kept, and Surrendered Darkly. Resurrected Darkly is the final offering and becomes available May 1, 2019 on Kindle.

Unlike the Darkly Series, the Legends of the Pale Series was designed to appeal to a broader array of readers. These books also fall into the genre of paranormal romance, but they are not tied as tightly together as my previous series. Ideally a reader should be able to read this books out of sequence and never feel as if they’ve missed anything. The Kindle edition of The Love of Gods will be released May 1, 2019.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Love of Gods is my latest book and is the jumping off point for the new Legends of the Pale Series. My goal was to tackle the same type of paranormal world but this time with a modern feel to it. It just made me laugh to imagine an ancient god using a cell phone and navigating an increasingly connected world with all it’s technological pitfalls. I also wanted readers to have the freedom of reading the books out of order without feeling as if they’d missed a huge piece of the series cannon.

The Pale itself was inspired by the idea that there are entire communities that live separate but alongside what most of us consider to be modern/normal society. Mundane examples of such groups would be the Amish, the Tinkers, gypsies, some small witch groups, some religious sects, and so on. Each of these examples are radically different from each other and yet they have their own set of rules by which they live and govern their lives and communities. What if groups like these were more than human? What if there were self-governing communities that lived on the fringes of modern society that were other; such as shifters, demi-gods, demons, werewolves, and earthbound ancient gods? This is not a new concept but I believe my personal spin on it has created an interesting universe for me to play in as an author.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Though I don’t think of any of my habits as unusual, though someone might. As part of my writing life, I workout and weight lift because many of my characters are fighters and I want to personally experience that sort of physicality. I am also able to write anywhere and often do for hours at a time; coffee shops, the library, the sofa or in bed. I tend to wear a pair of big and fuzzy, wolf-feet slippers when I’m writing at home. My husband bought them for me while I was finishing up The Love of Gods and they make me smile. Also around that time, I had written about half of The fate of Wolves so they were appropriate footwear for crafting a story about werewolves. I have coffee every morning before I start writing and a glass of wine in the evening when I’m done.

What authors, or books have influenced you?
There have been many, but as to the style, Karen Moning and Christine Feehan are the two biggest influences. I just love their multiple series and their ability to create vivid characters.

What are you working on now?
I am currently handing over the second book in the Pale Series, The Fate of Wolves to my editor, while also finishing up the first draft of the third book, The Dreams of Demons. I’ve started the fourth in this series, The Souls of Witches, and periodically jumping between book three and four if I find myself stuck with a scene.

What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
In 2010 I would have said without hesitation that Goodreads did the best job of getting the word out about my books, but now I’m not so sure. Of course I keep a presence there, but it is a crowded field nine years later. Facebook and Twitter help, but my best vehicle for getting my books looked at is my own author’s website and Amazon itself. Their promotions and ads are very effective.

Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write a well crafted story and have it professionally edited. These are the two steps you as a writer have the most control over and it will set you apart from the masses.

What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Just write the damn story. Too many times our internal-critic sabotages our progress. That voice slows the act of writing down and it makes us second guess ourselves as storytellers. If you take the time to fully flesh-out your characters they will tell you their own story. Your job is to let them tell it. Let them express their fears and their hopes. Take the journey with them without trying to control every action, every decision.

What are you reading now?
I have a friend, Katharine Wibell, who wrote the Incarn Saga and I am currently reading Ullr’s Fangs, book two of this young adult series.

If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Pride and Prejudiced, The Mists of Avalon, and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron.