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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Let's talk about Editing.

I'm not one to write advisory articles on the art of writing, I don't consider myself experienced enough, yet. However, I'm closer to understanding the process than I was a year ago.

So, Editing - everyone will remind you that 'you must must edit', 'don't produce anything without editing', and of course, they are all quite correct. At least two thirds of these people will tell you NOT to publish until your book is 'Professionally Edited'. If you're in the same position as I am, that is a totally unachievable option, financially.

What I'm really here to talk about is 'Self Editing', of which I know plenty about.

I am one of those writers that will sit and write most of the book first. Then I will go back and start the big 'Editing' process. Once I've had all the fun in the writing, it's time to go on to months and months of editing, re-editing etc. In fact, I'm big on editing, it absolutely must be done many, many times and even then, some more. Why? Because as a self editor, it's the only way you're going to iron out the crinkles.

The writing is really what we all want to do, and it's certainly the part I love to do the most. Yet it plays such a small part in the creation of my books. Editing takes up most of my time, by far. I find there are many different stages to editing, and with each stage the book should be improving from its first draft.

1 - When I first read the entire manuscript, I will only do a few obvious changes ie spelling, punctuation.
2 - I'm a lucky gal and now have a beta reader. This will be the draft that I'll send. It would be great to know many beta readers at this stage. Like everything else, it takes time to find these very precious people who will work with you, just for the sheer joy.
3 - At this point in time, I will leave the manuscript to sit for a while. Time out.
4 - Edit all that the beta reader has fed back to me. Not all beta readers will do the editing role and you may not agree with everything they suggest. That's why it would be good with many beta readers, to compare their notes.
5 - Now comes the electronic editing process. I'm presently using Prowritingaid because yes, you guessed it, it's free if you register. This, for me, is a hardest editing stage. I do a chapter at a time, taking many months. If your short of cash, it's worth it's weight in gold. At the moment, that's as near to 'Professional Editing' that I can get. Again, you may not agree with all it's suggestions, so just ignore some of them. But do look at them all.
6 - Before the next stage you will need to put the manuscript down for a couple of weeks if you can. then go back and read the whole manuscript again. This is your last chance to do any major changes ie changes to plot, check your facts, check for those inconsistencies. You could even send it back to a beta reader, if you have many.
7 - Months down the line you are now ready for beginning the publishing stage:-
a - if you haven't already done so, you need that all important title.
b - if you haven't already don so you, need that all important cover.
c - First I download to Createspace on Amazon and just do the paperback. Order a copy to have yet another read. Still time to do changes if necessary.
d - Happy with the hard copy? Time to go over to Amazon Kindle and download a Word copy.  On the one occasion I did my kindle version from Createspace, it was an absolute mess. I always treat these as two different copies. Make sure the two books link, to advertise that it is available in kindle and paperback.
e - Book now officially published, it's time to get 'Marketing'. I would do a bit of marketing before publication, ie informing blogs and sites the date of publication. But, we're not discussing marketing are we.
From hereon you will forever be Marketing and may even go back and do yet more editing. So long as you don't make any major changes, you can still call it edition 1. If you do need to do any major changes, then that's a different tale.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Book Review Sci-fi Romance 4 out of 5 stars

Guild of Empaths: HealerREVIEW: Guild of Empaths: Healer by E. Jaye

4.0 out of 5 stars

Sci-fi romance with a great medical plot

I liked the scifi-fantasy aspect of the plot in this book. The author managed to pull off some pretty complicated theories of otherworldly medical issues. I'm not much of a 'romance' reader, so wasn't a big fan of this side of the tale. However, there was plenty going on in the plot to keep me entertained, and I really wanted to know what was going to happen to the lead female role. The two main characters are very likeable and the story unravels around them. A great sci-fi setting that could lead on to a series quite comfortably. Some small editing problems but nothing major to get worked up about.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Featured Author, D White writes a Paranormal Ghostly Tale

This weeks Featured Author is Dylan White (Goodreads - Paranormal, Fantasy, Dystopia & Romance Readers, Writers & Reviewers) 

goodreads author page

 Crossover: 3 (The Apparition Trilogy) 

Dylan White

The pressures keep piling on for Jade. She has to meet with a mysterious old woman, she has to keep Sean from going Dark, she has to face a swarm of Feeders, and -- on top of all that -- she has to get a job. With Sean’s intentions cast into doubt, Jade also has to do some digging into his past. What she unearths could not only endanger their relationship, but Jade’s life as well. Now Jade has to keep secrets from Sean as much as he’s been keeping them from her. Jade knows, eventually, everything must come to light. And when it does, Jade might have to die to have a love worth living for ...

About the Author

Dylan White has written "The Apparition Trilogy," an award-winning play, this biography, and two others. He doesn’t like coffee is just fine with people thinking he’s weird because of it. He lives in his own little world but makes his home with his wife and two children who amaze and inspire him every day.


Monday, 17 February 2014

Listen to the Readers

E-Book Formatting FairiesI Came across this interesting little survey based on 'Readers Habits & Preferences'.  

I found it on a blog called e-bookformattingfairies.blogspot . I've included the opening paragraph and an example of the 44 questions. 

You can follow the above link to read the questions and answers in full, or look at the summary and conclusion. It really does make interesting reading if you're an author trying to build up your own marketing brand.


The Readers Sound Off! How They Read, What They Like and Where They Find Us

By: Marie Force
New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author
I’ve recently concluded the first of what I hope will be a regular reader survey. Putting a finger on the pulse of the customer is always a good idea in business, and our business is no exception. I drafted the questions with the help and input of numerous other authors who took advantage of the opportunity to ask some of their most burning questions.
The survey was conducted from June 1-30, 2013, via Survey Monkey, and as many as 2,951 people replied to most of the 44 questions formulated by myself and more than a dozen other authors.

Example questions:- 
*Do you prefer to read kindle, paperback? 
*Are you more or less likely to buy a self-published book from a known-to-you author? 
*What is your primary source of information about books? with answers such as FB, Goodreads Blogs 
*How often has a free book introduced you to a new author you wouldn't have tried without the free offering?etc.  

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Guardian Dragons receives great reviews for 2014

FANTASTIC Reviews for Book 1 Guardian Dragons:-

My THANKS go to reader Laurie for an amazing 5.0 out of 5 stars in January

Dragons...Love them = January 11, 2014 By Laurie Johnson

The more I read of the Guardians and the world they live in the more I love the book. The description of people and places made you feel like you were there.

Meeting the characters and learning their roles in saving the world was an awesome read. The difference between the twins and where they went in life surprised me. I didn't expect it when I met them. The dragons are protectors of the magical wall between the two worlds of Light and Dark.

Heather is known as the "Changeling" and is the only person who can cross through the magic wall..She is adventurous and anxious to see what she can do as a Changeling. Her childhood friend, Leon, is one of the kings sons and is much more reserved than Heather but he can not tell her no and they always try to out do each other on their quests. Heather decides she wants to see if she can change into a sea creature and survive underwater. Leon summons Prince Gadon (ruler of the underwater Huphins)to help him with the request. Meanwhile things are happening that are about to change their world as they all know it.

My THANKS go to reader DaniGirl for a wonderful 4.0 out of 5 stars

A Very Interesting Read! February 16, 2014 By DaniGirl

I found Guardian dragons a very interesting read, the world is unlike any I have previously read and drew me in quickly which is always great to find! Although the first book was about meeting the characters and setting up the issues for the rest of the series I finished it eager to read the second book! There are a lot of characters and each of them different from the others, and of course awesome new creatures to meet. I loved the ideas and species that this book introduced, and I think this series has great potential to become an amazing series! Its a great read to any fantasy lover. I'm off to read the second book, Flight of a Changeling! I'm anticipating that book to be a 5 star rating

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Grab a new Love Story for Valentine's Day

Gambling on Love (Stories of Serendipity) [Kindle Edition]

Anne Conley

*Gambling on Love, the sixth installment of the Stories of Serendipity by Anne Conley is a Valentine’s Novella. 

*All of the books in the series, while revisiting some of the characters, are intended to be stand-alones, so they can be read out of order.

*This book is the continuation of Kathy and Luke’s story, which began in 'Chef’s Delight'.

WANTED: someone to donate sperm the old fashioned way to create my child without emotional attachments. Must pass a health check. Must pass interview. Interested parties please meet at the McDonal Hotel at 11:00 am on March 1. If chosen, will need to pass a STD screen. Chosen applicant will be monetarily compensated upon positive pregnancy test.

Kathy is thirty-four years old, and her biological clock is tick-tick-ticking away. When she breaks off her long distance relationship with Luke because of his reticence to take the relationship to the next level, she decides to take matters into her own hands.

Luke didn’t mean to drive her away. He just made a mistake. He had a plan. And apparently his grand Valentine’s Day proposal wasn’t going to cut it. Luke is desperate to stop Kathy before she makes the biggest mistake of her life, but will he get to Vegas in time?

Secondary characters from Chef’s Delight, Kathy and Luke continue their story in this new installment of Serendipity, a novella around 23 thousand words.


“Hi there…” The sexy voice caught her attention, and Kathy’s eyes took in the tall drink of water in front of her. He was rocking a pair of brown leather pants, and a skin tight, baby blue tee shirt, showing off a rippling torso and tattooed biceps that could melt the panties off Mother Teresa.

“Hi.” She shook his hand, reminding herself to firm up her grip, show some assertiveness. But the warmth in his hand traveled up her arm to her face, and she felt his gaze on her intensely.

He smiled a flirtatious grin, and she saw even, white teeth, making a mental note to ask about his dental history, whether it was natural or if he’d had a lot of expensive orthodontia to get that beautiful smile. Luke had worn braces as a teenager, but the whiteness of his teeth was all natural. Focus, Kathy.

She motioned for him to have a seat, and he slid into the booth across from her with the grace of an athlete, so her first question was, “Do you play any sports? What are you good at?” She flipped to a new page on her notebook, after making a brief note about the Jesus Freak, and waited patiently for his answer.

His eyes slowly consumed her while he composed his thoughts. “Well, it all depends on what you’d consider sport. But I do have incredible stamina, or so I’ve been told.” A deliberate smile spread across his face, and Kathy looked down at her paper in an attempt to conceal the flush she knew was taking over her face. This guy was forward.

“Okay…Any medical history? Food or drug allergy? History of illness? Cancer? Heart Disease? Weird genetic stuff?”

He shook his head leisurely, side to side, in a hypnotic rhythm as Kathy spoke. His hand reached for hers, and she found herself watching, trance-like, as his finger made little swirly designs on her palm.

“Ahem. Kay. Are you clean? As in STD’s? Of course, we’ll be tested, if you pass the first two rounds of questioning.”

“Why all the questions? Why not just pay me and get it done. I can make sure it’s pleasurable for both parties. It’s what I do.” His finger continued tracing lines on her palm, sending little shivers up her arm.

She was prepared for some men to ask why she asked her questions, but the second part of his statement gave her pause. “Excuse me?”

“Why do you need to know all this stuff for one amazing night?”

“So that I can know that I’ve done all I can to have a healthy child. If you have a history of men dying in their thirties of a heart-attack in your family, you’ll drop down on the list.” She waved her hand impatiently with her explanation, releasing his grip. “What did you mean, it’s what you do?”

His smile was seductive. “I do this all the time, although I’ve rarely had so many questions thrown at me on the first round. Sure, some people are nervous, if it’s their first time, but I can make you forget your nerves.” His knee rested against hers now, and distracted her further. She shook her head to clear the lust fog this man was putting her under.

“You’re a prostitute?” Kathy sputtered. She wasn’t surprised; this was Vegas after all. She’d heard they were everywhere. But she’d never really thought male prostitutes looked so…so…hot.

As if he could read her thoughts, his mouth curled into a smirk before he replied, “I prefer the term escort.”
Kathy thought about that. If worse came to worse, it was a possibility, but she really didn’t want to have to tell her child that their father was someone who regularly got paid for sex. Never mind that she was stooping to pay someone to father her child, but it was the principle of the thing. She made a notation and looked at the man again.

“I have your number and will call you if no other suitable men are to be found.”

He nodded and stood.

“By the way, how much do you charge?” He told her, and she nearly choked. It was three times what she’d been planning to pay. And she’d thought she was being generous.


Anne Conley lives in a small town in East Texas not unlike Serendipity, with her husband, two kids and numerous goats. She brazenly stole her pseudonym from her great-grandmother, a true pioneer woman who raised seven kids alone: churning butter, plucking chickens, kitting clothes, and putting coal oil on every visible wound. Anne’s Stories of Serendipity feature real people, living life and finding love in a small town. She also has a Paranormal Romance series, the Four Winds, about archangels “falling” in love and coping with turning into humans. Her writing is escapist therapy, and she succumbs to it every chance she gets.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Book Review: Historical Crime, Bloody Winter by A Pepper

Bloody Winter: A Pyke Mystery

Bloody Winter: A Pyke Mystery [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Pepper

5* roller coaster ride of a plot, 9 Feb 2014

Thank you so much Andrew Pepper for such a great book. Wow factor. I wish I could give it 6 out of 5.

I am a great fan of this series and adore the main character Pyke. One of the main events that stands out for me, in this particular story, is the realistic version the author gives us of the Irish Potato Famine. Very atmospheric and grim. As for the plot with Pyke, spot on. Another intriguing tale of this roguish character and his antics.

I highly recommend this entire series. I have bitten my nails through them all.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Valentines Book Giveaway

Thanks to I am involved in a VALENTINES GIVEAWAY 
Why not click the link below and see all the prizes that Moonrise Books are offering in this exciting Rafflecopter. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Fantasy Adventure Featured Author A Sumida

This weeks Featured Author is Amy Sumida (Goodreads - Paranormal, Fantasy, Dystopia & Romance Readers, Writers & Reviewers) 

Out of the Darkness (Godhunter #11)

Out of the Darkness (Godhunter #11)

Amy Sumida

Seasons have returned to Faerie and the fey are not happy about it. There hasn't been anything but summer in the land of the fey for thousands of years, so long that most have forgotten what the seasons are. The nights grow longer and Faerie grows colder as winter approaches, and it falls upon Vervain to help the fey through these changes. As if that's not enough, a murderer is on the lose and everyone seems to think it's her. Can the Godhunter find her way out of the darkness or will Faerie be lost to her forever? 

Out of the Darkness is part of a series split. It can be read alone or together with Into the Void. It features a split cover which can be placed beside Into the Void to create a full picture.

Amy Sumida
About this author


Amy Sumida lives on an island in the Pacific Ocean where gods go to play. She sleeps in a fairy bed, high in the air, with two gravity-defying felines and upon waking, enjoys stabbing people with little needles, over and over, under the guise of making pretty pictures on their skin. She has no filter, making her honesty a little hard to take sometimes, but she has been fortunate enough to find friends who appreciate this... or at least tell her they do. She bellydances and paints pictures on her walls but is happiest with her nose stuck in a book, her mind in a different world than this one, filled with fantastical men who unfortunately don't exist in our mundane reality. Thank the gods for fantasy.

On a serious note, she's the author of several books, including the Godhunter series, Feeding the Lwas, The Magic of Fabric, and Enchantress. She's been writing since she was a little girl but first decided to pursue writing as a career when she gave her high school English teacher one of her books to look over and unbeknownst to her, that teacher passed her book around to all her friends. A month later she was accosted in the halls by a teacher she didn't know, begging her to write a sequel. She's been writing novels ever since.
She enjoys serious, kick-ass heroines in her literature. "Nothing is more attractive than a woman who goes up against overwhelming supernatural odds with a sense of humor," she says. "Who wouldn't want to be that woman? I want to be that woman. So that's who I write about, the woman I want to be." Her main characters are strong, witty women, who in the midst of trauma will crack a joke, or find the nerve to sass a villain even when they know it's not in their best interest. Add to that, strong male characters who aren't intimidated or emasculated by the main heroine's strength and you have a dynamic partnership. Amy's books aren't about women being more powerful than men or subjugating men in any way, they're about women who can be strong and yet allow their men to have their own strengths as well. More importantly, her heroines have humility and weaknesses that make them not only believable but easy to relate to.
She's also an artist and you can find her paintings for sale on, her favorite subjects are scenes inspired by Hawaii and her series of "Living Vodou Dolls". She loves the beautifully unusual.

Monday, 3 February 2014

January in the life of an Author

January's Decisions

Wake up Call:
Okay, I'm averaging 4.4 overall for my three books in the fantasy series Aarabassa World. However, I had a bit of a rude awakening recently. If I'm honest with myself, I pretty much agreed with all the comments I was given recently in a review for Book 1 Guardian Dragons. Given that it is quite a saturated market in the author world and this makes it very competitive, I still feel I had a bit of a wake up call.

Later in the year it is my intention to produce an omnibus of books 1, 2 and 3. Before I do this I need to take another look at each book and do some major editing. Once the omnibus is produced, it will represent my original intention of putting out one big book of the series. However, because I was a new author, I was advised to split it up to small books. Readers are more likely to try a smaller book from someone they have never heard of.

Learning Curb:
Now then, sales have never been high on the richter scale and I never expected them to be. This truly does take years of presence as an author. Changing my role from a novice to an experienced author will take many, many years. So, a year down the line we can say I am no longer a mere novice but I haven't quite reached the finishing line. In fact I don't believe any artiste ever gets to their peak. Hopefully we just keep getting better until our brains fizzle out.

My plan to put a novella out there is still on target. It has been delayed due to re-editing of the fantasy series. I think 2014 will be a slow year for me as a published author. It will be worth it if I can improve on the work I have already produced and gain the following of regular readers who have confidence in me that I can produce a jolly good tale. 

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Fantasy Adventure Featured Author M Lein

This weeks Featured Author is Mark Lein (Goodreads - Paranormal, Fantasy, Dystopia & Romance Readers, Writers & Reviewers) 

An Emerging Threat 

(The Seeker's Burden)

by Mark Lein

An evil stirs, casting a shadow across the Islands. Two men begin quests to find the source of the darkness. One is a young scholar, given no choice but to follow the path ahead. Tragedy shapes him, nearly driving him to despair; an inner struggle pervades his journey. The other is a warrior forced to the task through a sense of responsibility. His royal blood and his knighthood drive his course. Their searches, though separate, have the same goal: to find whatever or whoever may be responsible for the darkening of their world. This book tells the story of their journey and the creatures, both friend and foe, that they meet along the way.

About the Author

Mark LeinThe author grew up in small towns across the country, spending most of his childhood in the foothills of the Ozark mountains of Northwestern Arkansas. Throughout his life his favorite books have been sci-fi and fantasy, anything Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Terry Brooks and a little Isaac Azimov. Graduating from college in 2004 he became an Army Infantry and Intelligence Officer and continues to serve to this day. While he was deployed to Iraq for 14 months back in 2007-09 he first began writing with this book in mind. His civilian work includes Intelligence Analysis and providing expertise with military training programs. He now lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife and 2 children.