Monday, 3 August 2015

The advantage of exclusivity at Amazon!

The advantage of exclusivity at Amazon. And yes this may sound a bit like a Promo for Amazon. But that said, I do think Jeff Bezos deserves a pat on the back for giving the great unpublished a worldwide platform that never quite existed before Amazon opened its virtual doors.
Indeed there were small on-line presses and a lot of small niche/romance publishers had their own web sites, some with stores, but it was a hit 'n' miss market place for readers and authors alike. OK, so... there were others who first dreamed up mass market on-line e-book stores, some succeeded like Smashwords/Lulu et al, and others dreamed up e-book readers, and yes, Kindle stole the lead on good marketing. Plus Amazon's uploading facility was slick, unlike other cyber platforms, though it's fair to say one or two of the others have improved somewhat, but not all.
So why have I chosen to keep the majority of my books exclusive to Amazon? Ans: Loyalty! It gave me a second crack at getting my books to readers, some old republished editions along with new ones, and I've found Amazon staff a pleasure to contact, and have in general received a polite and charming personal footnote to e-mail correspondence, except in one case when a female member of staff was clearly having a bad day at work or was simply devoid of social graces, hence her response was curt and unhelpful. But, out of the blue, I received a follow-up e-mail from a male who had taken up my query and had run with it, and the response was great: mission accomplished!
So yes, despite the fact other authors complain about Amazon's bully tactics, and at how Amazon's exclusivity deals restrict other opportunities, I'm a fan of Amazon and loyalty is two-way stretch in my little book of honour against the odds, and I'm betting not one of you can claim greater sales on any of the other cyber platforms, and I'll second wager, the majority of your income is acquired via Amazon.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

A Collaborative Charity Project by Award Winning & Best Selling Authors!

Live at Amazon!
This anthology comprises novellas penned by not only ex mainstream best selling authors, but self-published and award winning authors as well.  

We dare you to step back in time to the era of The Three Musketeers, Charles I, Charles II. We further dare you to face our swashbuckling heroes and strong heroines, who brave the uncertain times of war and rebellions. If you think only men wield swords, and women don't spy on the enemy, then think again... 

Book Blurb:

War, Rebellion, Love and Romance!

While England is ravaged by Civil War, divided loyalties abound and Victory is not always as imagined. With a king beheaded, a king in exile, and a Lord Protector ruling the land, the future looks certain for many and fraught with danger for others. ‘Tis true to say, characters have shaped their own destinies: but at what price, and what price must be paid for the future?

The Countess Spy – Anita Seymour

Oliver Cromwell is triumphant and the king is dead,

But Elizabeth, Lady Tollemache will never give up on the Royalist Cause and pledges her loyalty to the exiled King.


The Price of Convictions – Anna Belfrage

Matthew Graham has the choice between staying in Scotland and Risking death, 

or leaving his homeland and breaking his heart.

Not the easiest of choices...


Si tu Dois Partir – M. J. Logue

Russell thought he would never be worthy of the only woman

he’d ever wanted: Thomazine thought he was an idiot...


The King’s Courier – Francine Howarth

“Breeches do not maketh man, any more than skirts maketh woman.”


The Chambermaid – Andrea Zuvich

“I am as you find me. The wheel of fortune has turned,

And Vauxhall Manor’s rightful heir has returned.”


Secrets of a Princess – Kelli Klampe

“They will take you even if they know the cost will be their very life.”


Goblin Damn’d – Susan Ruth

“I fear this gentleman does not understand the jeopardy he is in. One cannot simply walk into Woodhall and hold guns to people’s heads.” 


Saturday, 23 May 2015

Latest Regency Release - The Waterloo Legacy.

The final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte’s La Grande Armée, is oft remembered as a great personal victory for the Duke of Wellington. But, there is no denying, a high price was paid on the 18th June 1815. It was a day of great losses of men, of badly maimed and fatally wounded personnel. Thus, I have purposefully stepped away from the harshness of battle scenes, and of blood and gore. No doubt the latter will be recalled time and time again within other novels commemorating the 200th bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo. Instead, my story is that of wives, of mistresses, of terrible secrets and lies, and the consequences of stolen moments of unbridled passion.
As always my novels are penned with British English spelling and grammar usage, which is not quite on a par with US English usage. Please bear with me on local English dialects and character thoughts, for they are, often as not, grammatically incorrect. I can only hope you will enjoy stepping back in time to the sights, sounds and scents of a bygone era.

Pennard Hall, Somerset.

When news of Wellington’s victory at Waterloo arrives at Pennard Hall, excitement and trepidation prevails. Thus, with Pennard’s heroes homeward bound, a grand homecoming ball is in the making. But a letter arrives, a letter from another woman, and Isobel, Countess of Weston, is quite aware life can never be as it was before. Worse, a terrible sin in the dowager countess’ past suddenly threatens to undermine the structure of lawful inheritance. Albeit sage advice is proffered by the Duke of Wellington, and makes perfect sense, can Isobel’s son remain as heir to the title: Earl of Weston?
Excerpt from opening chapter.
Chapter 1
Pennard Hall, Somerset 1815: 24th June
Having escaped to the garden, sitting alone and utterly devoid of distractions, it was so very difficult to brush aside the image of light blue eyes turning smoky grey in sunlight, and of manly lips curving to a quirky smile. Would that she could erase that special memory of her heart’s desire and the relaxed manner of his basking in the afterglow of mutual bliss. But it was all too vivid: even the remembered sweet scent of flattened meadow grasses, where they had lain surrounded by moon daisies swaying gently on a balmy summer breeze.
....Both had known the love expressed between them was oh so wrong, but heady euphoria had taken hold in the madness of the moment. Although it was true love back then, illicit love, he still expressed undying love within his letters: letters she kept hidden.
....Oh how oft she had pondered over portraits hanging in the upper gallery, and studied the likeness between her son and that of Earls’ of Weston down the centuries. Mathew’s appearance bespoke untainted bloodlines, as did that of the present earl’s younger brother, whilst her husband, the earl, resembled none of the former.
....It was quite bizarre, for Michael Melrose, Earl of Weston, was fair, with light brown eyes, and florid features. Albeit of good height, he was so unlike the taller, dark-haired, blue-eyed Melrose trait, it was little wonder there were those within society who had looked upon Michael with a curious eye. Similarities to his mother, the dowager countess, had always excused his appearance. But his sister, May, had let slip observations from time to time of a curious bent in relation to her brother’s likeness to that of an unrelated family, and the very fact the family were not of Isobel’s acquaintance, she had no means to verify May’s comments.
....Thus daydreaming, and duly caught unawares, a sudden flash of pink in her peripheral vision drew her attention, and her heart sank. Oh lordy. So often, when she slipped away to write in her journal, someone would come looking for her.
....“Izzie . . . Izzie . . .” came a plaintive plea from her sister-in-law. “Where are you?”
....Holding her breath whilst tempted to take flight, instead she remained seated behind the trunk of a favoured walnut tree, half hoping the lovely May would pass her by unnoticed.
....“Izzie. . . Izzie, I know you are out here, somewhere,” yelled May, quite unladylike in manner, followed by a sharp: “Isobel, answer me.”

....If May was resorting to Isobel then something was amiss, and she called out in response: “I’m here, by the walnut tree.”

Saturday, 16 May 2015

A Prequel to my English Civil War Series.

Prequel to The Royal Series

Debt of Honour
Book Blurb:

A 17th century prequel (novella) set in the year 1642 when Civil War in England is no longer mere rumour, it has become reality with muskets primed and swords drawn. Death or Glory is the motto of the Earl of Axbridge, his men at arms likewise and all in the name of King Charles I.
The earl – handsome, virile, a courtier and the King’s Emissary to the Low Countries has long since harnessed and hidden his passionate nature from his wife. Sadly upon his return to Axebury Hall with an orphaned child at his side, hell rains as he never thought to encounter. Nonetheless, betrayal comes in many guises. Who then has betrayed his King and, the master of Axebury Hall? There is only one way the earl will defeat the enemy from within the family fold and that is by the sword. Unfortunately he cannot avoid hurting a woman who is as close to his heart as his son and that of the girl who has lately become his ward. Thus, I give you the earl, his son and a young lady who will bind them in ways that will one day present the greatest challenge to the earl’s credibility as a man of honour.
See Left Hand Column for point of sale. All my novels and novellas are available via all Amazon bookstores.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Update on New Release and the joys of a Collaborative Anthology

This is a collection of Georgian and Regency novellas, and all written with a charitable aim in mind, which means all the royalties will go to a chosen charity.
The actual getting together  for a collaborative working relationship is just the first stage in finding like-minded people, more especially when the participants are from all around the globe and not one member of the group has met the other in person. Trust is a major factor, but as the group slowly bond so mutual support from within builds, and almost every aspect of the process becomes enjoyable as the project proceeds. 
In the early stages of our anthology characters came to light and names were cross-referenced, and thereby namesakes cropping up in different storylines saved the anthology from falling foul to the unmentionable of a Lady Jane Marchment in one story, and a Miss Jane Whitcombe stepping out in another story. Admittedly Jane is a common enough name for the eras depicted, but two Jane's in the same anthology . . . Well, simply put, we were not at home to Mr Cockup.    
As always in writing stories, blood was sweated, tears were almost shed, laughter arose from amusing quips, and we came through with  a Sensual blend of Chocolate, Romance, Murder and Mystery at "Masqueraders".

The background setting is the beautiful City of Bath, famous for its Roman Spa, its Abbey, its Pump Room; Assembly Rooms, and Sally Lunn’s bun shop. The city itself has been made famous within the literary world by the likes of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and other authors of Georgian and Regency historical novels. Thus Bath is renowned as a place for intrigue and romance, but few readers will have stepped across the threshold of Masqueraders’, a notorious and fashionable Chocolate House, that existed within the city from 1700 to the latter part of the reign of William IV. What happened to it thereafter, no one knows, for sure. Nor does anyone know why Sally Lunn’s bun shop disappeared in the mid 1700s  and remained undiscovered for decades until renovation work and the old ovens were rediscovered behind panelling in the 20th century.

So it could be said, essence of chocolate drifting on the ether denotes where the seemingly mystical Masqueraders’ once existed, and it is that spiritual essence that has brought authors together from around the globe, to pen a delightful collection of Georgian & Regency romances, that are, all, in some way, linked to The Chocolate House. We sincerely hope you will enjoy the individual stories, and be assured all the royalties earned will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London.

The stories:
A Rose by Any Other – Giselle Marks.
A Fatal Connection – Elizabeth Bailey
The Runaway Duchess – Francine Howarth
Death at the Chocolate House – Susan Ruth
A-Pig-in-a-Poke – Jessica Schira
A Little Chocolate in the Morning – David W. Wilkin.

   Amazon UK - Amazon US 

Venturing to the darkside of erotic fairy tales!

For this novella I've stepped back in time with an erotic fairy tale theme, admittedly with a twist in the tale that may, or may not please some readers. But there really are no rules in the game of writing love stories, and predictable stereotypical romance heroes are just that, predictable from the moment they step to the page. Thus, this story is far from predictable, and the hero far from stereotypical in the way he conducts himself, or in the way he wins the heroine's heart.
The back cover blurb:
A Gothic tale of lust and love in the vein of Beauty and the Beast: the classic fairytale.
Thus, on Putney Heath in the year of 1783 stands a house renowned for two ghosts of a scandalous bent, none of which deters patronage to Madame DuPont’s infamous abode by wealthy gentlemen. With the sudden death of Madame DuPont, and accrued debts of which her daughter has no hope of paying, Celeste is faced with the horrors of the debtors’ prison or the unspeakable of having to sell her body for monetary gain: as had her mother. But fate intervenes with a guardian angel, and marriage to Captain Wendover is soon the answer to her prayers but not her dreams. Life though has cruel twists and turns and Celeste discovers true love runs deep, much deeper than she had anticipated when a man from her past steps back into her life.