Nancy Morse: THE KINCAIDS – DALLAS

The Kincaids, Dallas, by Nancy MorseI’m very happy to feature Nancy Morse‘s latest release on my blog today. Nancy is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary romance novels. You can read the summary below of her latest release The Kincaids – Dallas. It grips you from the get-go.

SUMMARY

Dallas Kincaid was five years old when the Kiowa swept down from the Llano Estacado in the Texas Panhandle and carried him off. For 13 years he lived among them before joining Sam Houston’s volunteer army to fight for Texas independence, and later riding with the Texas Rangers against the powerful Comanche Nation that threatened settlements in the newly formed Republic of Texas. Now, with the fighting behind him, the battle-scarred loner torn between two cultures has returned to the homestead he last saw as a child, to the mother and older brother he left behind, to the younger brothers he didn’t know he had, and to the love he never expected to find.

Orphaned after her white father and Apache mother were killed in a Comanche raid, Abby McKenna lives a lonely life on the cattle ranch owned by her cantankerous grandfather and suffers his cold hostility for bearing the stigma of being a half-breed.

Dallas’s attraction to Abby is threatened by his struggle to define his own identity and by her grandfather’s prejudice which will not permit the attentions of a man raised by Indians, no matter how hard he fought for Texas independence, giving Dallas one more battle to fight before he can lay the painful past to rest.

Available at Amazon, along with many other great Nancy Morse books.

Perfect Image for the Anxious Author

I love Kristen Lamb’s posts. This one, Why Your Book Isn’t Selling, I admit I haven’t even read yet. I will do later today after work, but this first image in Kristen’s post had me laughing out loud:

Skeleton Author Awaiting SalesIt sure hits home for every author at some time or another. This skeleton writer would also be appropriate at a book signing, when one prays for eager readers to come to the bookstore, buy one’s book, and approach one’s table to have it signed. Sometimes, those are hours of misery and isolation, and chatting with bookstore staff who try to hide their embarrassment on your behalf. Ah, good times, indeed!!

In order for you not to have to see my bones awaiting . . . I invite you to my Amazon book store. While there, take note of the image of me from only a few years ago (2013). My best friend recently advised that I should update the Amazon author photo because of how young I was then. Now that I’m older (3 whole years!!!), he said, readers may respect my writing more if they see a true-to-life photo. Um . . . first of all, shut up! But secondly, maybe I already do look like my skeletal friend in Kristen’s post.

Harlan Ellison, Kristen Lamb, and Making Money

by WheresTristanJust want to pass along this good rant by Kristen Lamb on writers getting paid (demanding to be paid, not being paid, etc.), called “Pay the Write.” Make sure you click on the link in her post to Harlan Ellison‘s pithy rant as well. Good way to end 2015–reminding ourselves that we’re professionals who need to be paid for our work, especially in this climate of free e-books and 99-cent sales!

Kristen’s blog post starts like this:

All righty. I’d vowed to take off for the holidays but *laughs hysterically* sure. Like THAT was going to happen. No, seriously, I’m working on resting more. I’m also working on learning to shut up. Clearly those two goals are getting re-slated for 2016 resolutions because the whole “Inside words stay inside…”

Not working out for me. So why not leave 2015 with a bang? Haters gonna hate.

To quote the great Tywin Lannister, Lions do not concern themselves with the opinions of sheep.

Today I’m going to say something that could quite possibly be grossly unpopular, but whatever. It’s for your own good. I’m feeding y’all broccoli to offset all that fudge and alcohol you’ve consumed during the holidays.

There’s a trend that just makes me see red and I’m calling it out today because if we do not address this 500 pound used paper elephant in the room, then it’s going to be really, really hard for you guys to reach your dreams, which I assume is to work as a full-time PAID writer.

For those of you who do NOT want to be PAID to write? The following does not apply. If you are content to work a full-time regular job AND slave over a manuscript as a second job and your ONLY reward is simply nice reviews, compliments, hugs, cuddles, and the joy your stories might create in the hearts of others?

I am NOT talking to you.

And just gets better. Go on, take a read here.

The Slayer’s Redemption with Marliss Melton

I cannot believe I missed posting for the entire month of October. I believe I created a smattering of Facebook posts and Twitter tweets, but they don’t end up here. Anyway, I wasn’t idle. In October, I finished working on The Slayer’s Redemption, written by bestselling author Marliss Melton and edited by yours truly.  I created the digital files, and the book went live around October 12. I am currently creating the print files so there will be a paperback version available by Christmas.

This is Book 1 in The Warriors of York series set in the 1100s. Book 2, The Black Knight’s Reward, will be out in the spring of 2016, which I will also edit. And I’m rather excited to be co-writing Book 3, The Crusader’s Challenge, which will be out by the middle of next year. Working with this talented author has been a blessing and is helping me grow as a writer.

The Slayer's Redemption #14b Final (small) copySUMMARY

Having cut his baby from the body of his dead wife, Christian de la Croix, known across the land as the Slayer, only adds to the rampant, lurid rumors concerning his violent misdeeds. Now, he desperately needs a wet nurse to keep his son alive, but the people around Helmesly Castle fear him, putting baby Simon’s life in peril.

When a stranger who calls herself Clare Crucis volunteers to nurse the newborn, Christian’s relief overwhelms him. But it does not last long, for Dame Crucis tells contradictory stories of her past. Is she really an angel of mercy—or the agent of one of his enemies, sent to destroy him?

Clare Crucis is, in fact, Clarisse du Boise, a lady being forced to kill the Slayer in order to keep his enemy, her stepfather, from executing her kinswomen. At her very first encounter with the Slayer, Clarisse questions the terrible rumors that abound about him. Certainly, his reputation for ruthlessness is well founded, but she remarks a sadness in the warrior and a longing to be loved that she had not expected. Still, to save her family, she must carry her plan to completion. But as her heart quails and she delays, the Slayer grows ever more suspicious. Is there a way she can save the lives of her loved ones while seeing righteousness prevail? All she needs is a champion.

(This is a thoroughly revised and expanded version of Danger’s Promise, previously released only in print.)

Available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and everywhere fine digital books are sold.

The No-Sales Dungeon at Amazon

I’ve been published by a publisher and I’ve self-published. Neither is a cakewalk. Both avenues take hard work, compromise, and a few regrets. In either case, after your book has been published, there’s Amazon. Many writers have a love/hate or hate/hate relationship with the ‘Zon, as we call it in the biz. Can’t live with it, can’t kill it. For some, it’s their bread and butter; for others, their dry, burnt toast.

If you’ve written something mainstream and the powers that be at the ‘Zon shine beneficently on your book, then it may be pushed before eager customers, with such phrases as, “Customers who bought this… also bought ….[name of your book here].” Ah, sweet success!!

However, if you write what is known as erotica or erotic romance or even “women’s porn” as it’s sometimes called (which is just rude) and you put a suggestive cover on said book, you may find yourself in Amazon’s dungeon. It is dark, windowless, and nearly impossible to get out of. And you’ll find that no readers are looking at your book down there. Worse still, if they search your book’s title, it may not show up in the results. That’s the curse and purgatory of the ‘Zon’s dungeon. Here’s the thing: even erotica authors have to sell books to make money to live so they can write more books. That’s how it works for any genre. And despite the current slew of 99-cent and free digital books, no, writers can’t use the zero “income” they earn by “selling” for free to buy food or clothing! Huh, go figure! But that’s another rant.

This rant is to do with Amazon tossing an erotica author’s books in the dungeon. For having a suggestive cover. On erotica. Suggestive. Not nudity. Someone’s idea of suggestive. Which must equal offensive to someone at the ‘Zon. How do I know the dungeon exists? Sorry, I won’t answer that, but you can determine the Amazon rank of a book by going here: http://www.salesrankexpress.com/. Type in a book title and you can see if it is labeled “none” (meaning safe for now until someone at Amazon deems otherwise), “not adult” (meaning safe forever), “ADULT” in big red letters (meaning off it goes to the Amazon dungeon). And the kicker is that it has to do with arbitrary reasons, as I said, such as a cover that is too suggestive to someone’s eye, or a keyword or a book description that rubbed someone the wrong way. And the other kicker is that you will find loads of erotic books labeled “not adult,” even if they are about college-age kids boinking (can I use that word?) their mom’s friends or multiple partners having sex without a plot or even a whiff of a story to be read anywhere between the covers.

Getting down off the soapbox. Almost. One final statement: Writers need to sell books to make a living. Readers can buy or not buy, and bad writing usually falls by the way side because of bad reviews and readers not buying. However, if a reader wants to buy books of a certain genre, then the playing field, or in this case, the digital bookshelf of Amazon should be level. If you’re in the dungeon, it’s not level. If a book doesn’t show up in a reader’s legitimate search of the site, even though the book matches the reader’s search criteria, right down to the title, then that’s censorship. Isn’t it?

See below: Writers are serious about selling!! (Jefferson Smith’s cartoon archive available here.)

Book fair etiquette

 

Historical Romance Network Releases Unexpected

unexpected coverDiscover a historical romance writer you’ve never read before or enjoy a free excerpt from one you already love!

My fellow Love Historicals author Anna Markland was selected as one of 16 authors to be featured in the Historical Romance Network’s excerpt booklet, entitled UNEXPECTED.

Anna’s THE ROVER BOLD is the first excerpt!!

Summary:

HE is a Viking nobleman who has turned his back on murder and mayhem, but he must fight for a stake in the new land of Francia. SHE is a Frankish orphan, named for the convent where she was left as a foundling. The religious life is her destiny. They don’t speak each other’s language, their only go-between an ancient nun. This can’t be a romance, can it?

Click here for your free download of UNEXPECTED. (epub or mobi formats available)