Update: Facebook still hates pen names

*Find the original post here*

In spite of this, the old Facebook fan page has finally been deleted! What did I need to do to get it shut down? Well it was very simple. To start with, I only had to send 15-20 emails to Facebook support. At first, I got automated responses to these emails. Then I finally got a single personal email stating that my account would not be unlocked and further messages would go unread. Which makes sense, since obviously none of my earlier emails were read because even though I explained the pen name situation, sent proof of this, and asked what else I needed to do to prove my identity, I received only form rejections in response.

Then I sent a message to Facebook appeals. Another automated response and rejection. Then I looked online to find other options. I found three other emails and a nonworking phone number. All three new email addresses were sent to an email dead zone with an automated response, never to be seen again. Then I reported the problem on Facebook directly. And then in the help forums. Nothing. Meanwhile, I had several people report the old page, but nothing ever came of that.

Suddenly, I had a bright idea. Part of the reason that I couldn’t log back in to my old account after it was shut down was because I used to log in from a VPN in China. So using an old IP address wasn’t so simple. I had already moved from China to the Middle East. Sure I could sign back up for the VPN, but it’s blocked on the campus of the boarding school where my husband works (so that students can’t access certain sites) and no amount of pleading to the IT department would persuade them to unblock it for me. Thanks, IT! I could go to a mall or a Starbucks or something and put in all my credit card information over an open Wi-Fi connection, which besides being a bad idea, is difficult on the slow open signals I’ve found.

So what did I do? Well I did any sane, rational person would do. I went to Greece. That’s right. I had to go to Greece to unlock my Facebook profile.

So to recap, I emailed Facebook a bazillion times, tracked them down online to fall into an email and phone dead zone, had dozens of people report the page, and after several weeks of this finally flew to Greece to renew my VPN on a secure connection so that I could log in from a known IP address and regain access to my account. And that’s all!

Okay, it’s possible I was already going to Greece for vacation, but that’s not the point. The point is that Facebook locked my account on a whim, and refused to unlock it because I have a pen name. Why? Probably because no one was reading any of the emails, for starters. I would be surprised to find out that Facebook even employed a support staff at all, and it wasn’t just Rudy the intern checking the occasional email in-between coffee runs.

So the moral of the story is don’t get your account locked. Because they will not be held accountable if you do. You will not reach a live human being. They do not care. Prevent this from ever happening to you by reading the first post I wrote about this here. And please spread this around to help other writers avoid this situation.

Facebook hates pen names

I have a bombshell to drop. Jessica Stone is not my real name. Like many writers, I use a pen name. In order to keep my alter ego separate from my real self, I originally set up two different Facebook accounts. My personal account, which I’ve had for years, and my account as Jessica Stone with a separate fan page for my novels. I’ll admit I set it up, then ignored it for months. When things settled down recently, I logged back in to update the page and to start using that account for real.

Facebook found this suspicious. They locked me out in the middle of my changes because they decided my account was hacked. Want to get back in? No problem. Either log back in from an IP address I used months ago, which was impossible because I moved to another country. Or, send a government issued ID with my pen name on it. Anyone else have a passport for their pen name? No? Me neither.

With a story coming out in an anthology in a couple weeks, time was of the essence to get this fixed. Knowing that this could be a problem in the future, I panicked and started a new fan page tied to my real life personal Facebook profile. I didn’t want to do this, but I didn’t see another option. I figured that after I reported the problem, Facebook would get rid of the old accounts, since I couldn’t do it myself.

I have reported it and reported it, but they refuse to take down the old fan page. I had friends report the old page several times. It’s still there. I’ve sent them multiple emails with my passport and my publishing contract which clearly states that Jessica Stone is my pen name and asking how else I can prove my identity,  but all I get in reply is form emails stating I haven’t shown a proper passport. In the meantime the old fan page is still up and has gotten over 200 new followers since the release of the anthology. My real fan page has been getting likes, too, but it’s confusing to people who want to follow me, only half of whom actually are.

So what’s an author to do? I’d like to tell you all to leave Facebook. Hell, I’d like to leave Facebook, but I think we all know that’s no realistic. So what can you actually do? Well, first I can tell you how to avoid this problem.

Option 1: Do what I did after the fact and create a fan page tied to your real-life profile. Want to keep that privacy wall up? Good luck with that on Facebook, but if you want to try you could do…

Option 2: Create a separate Author profile and fan page. Now add a couple of people you trust as admins as well, so someone can log in if you get locked out.

Want to keep your identity secret and separate and not have anyone else have access to your account? Good luck. Since I’ve been trying to figure out how to fix this, I’ve found out that I am far from the only author who has had this problem. It’s increasingly common.

What else can you do? Share this message. I don’t want other writers to have the same problem that I’m having right now. Complain. Pass this around. Tell other writers. Tell your friends. Tell your mom. Tell Facebook.

Oh, and if you’d like to follow me, like my Facebook page if you liked this post. My REAL Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jessicastoneromance

Love is… covers!

Big news! I’m happy to announce that I have a story coming out in the Love Is… anthology  on August 5th. The proceeds for the book will be donated to  Reach out and Read, which prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.

We’re celebrating the upcoming release today webring style, with a series of cover reveals for several of the individual stories. Anyone who comments on each of the blogs listed here, will be entered to win a copy of the anthology when it’s released. One person commenting here on my blog will also be entered. The link for the next blog is at the bottom after the cover reveals.

Antho_LoveIs_HiRes2 Love is…

…forty stories of first loves, friends to lovers, and heat of the moment. Join forty authors, including multiple New York Times and USA Today bestsellers, as they take you on a romantic ride through time and space. From the dazzling ballrooms of Regency historical romance to contemporary love from sweet n’ dreamy to kinky n’ steamy to the wide open frontier of science fiction romance and magical worlds of far away fantasy realms, sample the best that romance has to offer! Every short story is the perfect candy sized nugget to read over a cup of coffee or before falling asleep at night.

 

 

Here’s the info on my story, Shanghai Nights.
JS-SN-Ebook

Love is…street food and a dry towel. 

Moving is hard. Moving to China, even harder. Caitlyn Peters turns her whole life upside down when she hops on a plane to Shanghai to start over after losing her job in North Carolina. But soon she’s questioning the wisdom of her decision. Between the language barrier, lost luggage, jet lag, and a burst pipe that leaves her soaked, she’s almost ready to take the next flight home when an attractive stranger steps in to save the day. With his help, she begins to discover another side to the city. Suddenly Shanghai is starting to look like the best decision she’s ever made, but navigating the cultural differences may prove too challenging even with his help.

For more covers and to be entered into the drawing, leave a comment here and head over to Holly Trent’s blog for the next cover. Covers will also be posted on our facebook page throughout the day. Good luck!

TROPICAL NIGHTS Blog Tour

TROPICAL NIGHTS was released today and I’m kicking it off with a blog tour. Stop by the participating blogs to read excerpts from TROPICAL NIGHTS. You’ll also find guest posts and a giveaway for a $25 gift card to Amazon. The tour schedule is below so have fun and enjoy the tour!

TROPICAL NIGHTS Tour Banner

 

1/17 – Book Monster Reviews (guest post)

http://bookmonsterreviews.com

 

1/18 – Elle James’ Blog  (Guest Post)

http://www.ellejames.com/

 

1/20 – Night Owl Reviews (Spotlight & Excerpt)

http://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Blog/Articles/Tropical-Nights-by-Jessica-Stone

 

1/20 – Nette’s Bookshelf Reviews  (Spotlight & Excerpt)

http://nettesbookshelf.blogspot.com

 

1/20 – Toot’s Book Reviews (guest post)

http://tootsbookreviews.blogspot.com

 

1/20 – Rage, Sex and Teddy Bears (Spotlight & Excerpt)

http://ragesexandteddybears.blogspot.com

 

1/21 – Charlene Blogs (Spotlight & Excerpt)

http://charleneawilsonblog.blogspot.com/

 

1/23 – C&F (spotlight)

http://contests-freebies.blogspot.co.uk

 

1/24 – More Than a Review (guest post)

http://www.morethanareview.com

 

1/26 – For the Love of Bookends (Spotlight & Excerpt)

http://loveofbookends.blogspot.com

 

1/27 – Why I Can’t Stop Reading (Spotlight & Excerpt)

http://whyicantstopreading.wordpress.com

 

1/28 – Romance Junkies (interview)

http://www.romancejunkies.com/rjblog

 

1/29 – Mythical Books (guest post)

http://mythicalbooks.blogspot.ro

 

1/29 – Paranormal Romance and Beyond (spotlight)

http://www.ashlynnelaynne.blogspot.com

 

1/30 – The Lusty Literate (Spotlight & Excerpt)

http://thelustyliterate.com

 

1/30 – Books-n-Kisses (Spotlight & Excerpt)

http://www.books-n-kisses.com

 

1/31 – Booker Like a Hooker (Spotlight & Excerpt)

http://bookerlikeahooker.blogspot.com

 

2/02 – Wicked Readings by Tawania (Spotlight & Excerpt)

http://wickedreadingsbytawania.blogspot.com

 

2/02 – Vampires, Werewolves, & Fairies, Oh My (guest post)

http://vampireswerewolvesfairiesohmy.blogspot.com

 

2/02 – Two Sassy Chicks Book Blog (Spotlight & Excerpt)

http://twosassychicks.wordpress.com

TROPICAL NIGHTS – CHAPTER 1 SNEAK PEEK

Tropical Nights is releasing tomorrow and to celebrate I’m sharing Chapter 1.  

Tropical Nights Large small

EXCERPT

Chapter 1

Lucas shoved his cell phone back into the bag. Even though it was far too hot to play tennis, his brother, Toby, had somehow managed to talk him into it. Something about Lucas needing to work out some tension and what better way to do so than by hashing it out on the courts. He did need to work out some tension; that much was true. After what had happened in Miami, he needed to clear his head so he could focus. But as soon as Lucas arrived, he received a message from Toby canceling the match. Typical. Lucas rummaged around in the bag for his keys. Suddenly, something slammed into the back of his head.
“Oh, I’m so sorry! Are you okay?”
Lucas rubbed his head. He spun around to give the owner of the errant ball a piece of his mind, but he stopped when he saw her running toward him. She was tall, almost as tall as Lucas. A short, white tennis skirt and a red tank top was all that covered her lean, athletic body, and a sheen of sweat on her skin glowed in the afternoon sunlight. She stopped in front of him, frowning, and he noticed that a small scar sliced through her right eyebrow, making what might otherwise be a flawless face somehow more beautiful. Red earrings glittered in her ears, but what really caught his attention were her eyes, which were a brilliant brown and gold mixture like her hair. She stared at him with concern.
“I asked if you were okay?” she said again slowly, leaning closer.
Lucas frowned, embarrassed for standing there like a fool gaping at a beautiful woman. It’s not like he hadn’t known his share of beauties in Miami. This creature standing before him was probably no different than they were: self-centered and out for blood. He shook his head. “Is it too much to ask to keep the ball on your own court?” He glanced over at her empty court. “Or were you playing both sides?”
“Funny, though I guess I am playing alone now. Sorry about that.” She arched an eyebrow at him. “Looks like you are too?”
“I was just leaving.” Lucas grabbed his bag.
“Aw, come on. Let me make it up to you. Let’s play a match.”
“I don’t think that’s—“
“I’m Alicia,” she said, sticking her hand out. She wasn’t going to give him a chance to escape.
Lucas stared at her for a moment. He didn’t know what her agenda might be, but he had time for a match and wiping that pretty little smile off her face might be fun. “Okay, fine.” He shook her hand. “I’m Lucas. Think you can keep the ball inside the court?”

She grinned. “I’ll do my best.”

* * * * *

Alicia held up her hand to indicate a break. She’d been ready to leave earlier when her student sent that ball hurling toward Lucas as he’d left the court. She almost felt bad about it until he opened his mouth. She knew his type: tall, dark, and conceited. Just like the boys back in prep school. Sauntering over to the bench, she repressed a smile. She had let him win a couple of sets by a convincing margin and she was going to milk this for all it was worth. She’d enjoy teaching him a lesson.
Lucas jogged over to her as she took a long sip from her water bottle. “Tired already?” He swiped at his damp forehead with the back of his hand.
“No, just hot and a little thirsty.”
He grabbed his water and leaned against the chain link fence. “You know, you can quit now if you want. I’ll understand.”
“You’d just love that, wouldn’t you?” Alicia wound her long ponytail into a bun and splashed some water on her neck.
“Come on, now. I’m trying to win gracefully here. I wouldn’t want to embarrass you.”
“Your concern is touching, but why don’t you put your money where your mouth is?”
“Oh, come on. I was kidding,” he said, but she could see that he wasn’t. “Besides, I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking your money.”
“You won’t be taking my money,” she said. Hook, line….
“Okay, fine. Let’s wager.”
“Great!”
“How about twenty bucks?” he asked.
“Make it fifty, and you have yourself a deal.”
Lucas whistled. “You’re not fooling around. Fine. Fifty it is. I could use a nice dinner tonight.”
She smiled and shook his hand. No, I could use a nice dinner tonight.
* * * * *
Alicia tapped her racket twice on the ground. If she got this point the match would be over and she’d win. She tossed the ball into the air and hit it hard. Lucas lunged to the left corner of the court and swung as the ball flew past his racket. It landed just inside the foul line and bounced out.
She raised her racket in the air and grinned. “That’s game!” she said, jogging over to the side of the court. “I believe that you have something for me.”

He stormed toward her. “What the hell was that?”
“What?” She smiled and tilted her head innocently.
“You were holding out on me!”
“Oh, please. We made a friendly bet. Or are you trying to weasel your way out of that now?”
“Unbelievable!” He grabbed his bag.
She rolled her eyes. “I should have known that your fragile ego would be bruised by losing to a girl.”
“My ego? What about your ego? Who hustles tennis? Don’t you have anything better to do?” Lucas took some money out of his wallet and thrust it at her. Alicia grabbed it, but he didn’t let go. He pulled her close to him, so close she could feel the heat of his breath. A shiver raced down her spine as he held her gaze.
“I wouldn’t have taken your money,” he growled. “It would have been unfair.”
She snatched the money out of his hand and spun around. “Liar.”
“Interesting choice of words,” he muttered before turning and walking in the opposite direction.

Copyright © November 2014 by Jessica Stone

Cover Art Copyright © November 2014 by Buffi BeCraft