Showing posts with label Writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing. Show all posts

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Saturday Share - Reading Recs Week8 #KDPBest

Today I'm bringing you two books by the same author, the Angel Series by Suzie O'Connell. If you're in the mood for romance, these could be perfect!

Mountain Angel (Book 1)

Aelissm Davis figured she would eventually return home to Northstar, Montana, but not like this—out of options, chased to the secluded valley by an obsessive former friend and troubled by memories of her dead fiancĂ©. When a call from her stalker makes it clear he wasn’t deterred, Aelissm asks her overprotective uncle for advice. His decision to send Patrick O’Neil to keep her safe might become an even bigger problem. Pat is a haunted man with a kind smile and sad eyes. Aelissm knows he will leave, but there is something irresistible about him. He could be the best thing to ever happen to her… if she can convince him to stay.

Summer Angel (Book 2)

Escape to the scenic mountains of Montana with Suzie O'Connell's SUMMER ANGEL (Angel Series, Book Two). With characters who will steal your heart, a touch of suspense, and cozy romance, this series puts the happily-ever-after back in contemporary romance.

Or get them both in the  Angel Series Box Set: Books 1 & 2

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Saturday Share - Reading Recs Week7 #KDPBest

Today I'm bringing you two different mystery stories for you to sink your teeth into. Can you guess whodunit?

CLAIMING MOON by John Peters

People are dying in Southwest Virginia, their bodies ripped open, each missing a vital organ. The only clue? Year-old, dead human tissue left at each crime scene. Det. Frank Taliaferro is on the case, but he has to deal with a pesky reporter from the local newspaper – a woman who begins to get under his skin in more than one way. Murder, an ancient evil, and … romance?

A Shot in the Bark: A Dog Park Mystery by C.A. Newsome

Would you recognize a serial killer if you met one? Talked to one every day? Artist Lia Anderson doesn’t, and neither does anyone else who frequents the Mount Airy Dog Park. But a violent death brings Detective Peter Dourson into the close-knit group, and he is convinced someone is not who they seem. As the investigation uncovers secrets, Lia struggles to cope with warring emotions and a killer watches.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Saturday Share - Reading Recs Week6 #KDPBest

Today I'm bringing you two books with very different takes on action and adventure.

The Journals of Jacob and Hyde by Randall J. Morris is a whole new take on a Victorian classic. Jake is just a normal kid who enjoys reading bedtime stories. But there may be more truth in the legend than he realised.

The stories became shockingly real when he discovered that he was a descendant of Dr. Jekyll and that he had his own Mr. Hyde living inside him. Driven by a desire to do good, he attempts to hunt down and kill the remaining Hyde monsters. Can he finish off the onslaught of Hyde monsters and keep the girl he loves safe from their retaliation?

SODIUM:1 Harbinger by Stehen Arsenault is pure sci-fi gold.

In 1957, a group of wilderness adventurers are confronted with the unexpected. They are forced to defend themselves against an unworldly enemy. Will man's first encounter with aliens force them to run or will they stand and fight? This is the first thriller in the SODIUM series. Follow along as the unwitting group determine their own fate.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

That's soooooooo gay...

No, this isn't a rant! I'm confining them to from now on. Instead, I want to think about the way our language evolves. I think we all know that 'gay' has developed pejorative connotations that every campaigner and their dog is fighting as hard as they can. How many times have you heard a teenager describe as 'gay' something that's a little bit crap? Annoying, isn't it?

But I think it's pointless trying to stem that movement. This is language: it's a fluid, dynamic, living thing. Stifling it will kill it.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Saturday Share - Reading Recs Week5 #KDPBest

This week I'm bringing you two action-packed books that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to end.

Covert Dreams by Michael Meyer is an internationally acclaimed suspense thriller about a man who begins experiencing vivid, lucid dreams of a place that he has never visited.

From Munich to the burning sands of Saudi Arabia, follow Stan Halsey as he searches for his missing wife and struggles to reconcile his strange dreams with living nightmare.

PriorEarth Book One by Scott Langrel combines fantasy, horror and sci-fi and asks What would you do if everything you thought you knew turned out to be a lie?

In the aftermath of a storm that changes the planet forever, the survivors must adapt to a strange new world, and so begins a quest to save themselves from total annihilation.

Monday, 21 January 2013

When Sex Gets Boring

Yes, really. In certain circles, there seems to be a general malaise with the standard tropes of m/m sex. Anyone who's dabbled even slightly in the genre will know exactly what I'm talking about - a trope best described as 1-2-3-lube. If you don't know, don't ask!

Sometimes, it seems like every book contains the same damn scene. And while it might have been hot as hell the first time I read it, after the hundredth it's just...boring.

Continue reading at

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Saturday Share - Reading Recs Week3 #KDPBest

Baby it's c-c-c-cold outside! We got our first real snowfall of the year yesterday, it's five below outside and I for one am in the mood to snuggle up with something to take my mind off the fact that I can't feel my feet. Something with a bit of mystery and suspense. So this week I'm bringing you two books that will keep you on the edge of your seat whatever the weather.

Gone is a sci-fi mystery by bestselling, award-winning author Traci Tyne Hilton. When a rebellion Earth princess decides to shun her responsibilities back home by hiding out on a remote space station, she didn't figure on family getting in the way.

The disappearance of her younger siblings leads her on a quest into the darkest corners of space, and more than their lives hang in the balance...

Blood is a paranormal mystery, set on the Makoce Indian Reservation on Yellow Bird Mountain. A greedy oil baron unearths more than he bargains for when he starts to explore Native American lore, and discovers that there may be truth in their legends after all.

Fusing mystical creatures, Skin Walkers, humour, romance, murder and deceit with thrilling suspense, Blood is not to be missed!

Drawing the Line

In June 2011 when I first published Blood & Ash, no-one knew me. The wonders of anonymity - I could wander out into the big, bad world and do as I pleased. That is no-longer the case. A year and a half down the line, my identity has been compromised; the line between my fiction and my reality blurred. As an author - rather than just Kate-who-wrote-a-book - I try to keep some distance between my everyday life and my online life.

We all do, because we've all heard horror stories of fourteen year olds who announce a birthday party on Facebook, only to have the house trashed when three hundred twenty year olds gatecrash; or individual cases like the editor who got carjacked by an irate author whose book she rejected - who found her by stalking her on Twitter. This stuff happens.

Continue reading at

Thursday, 17 January 2013

KDP Select Revisited...

I hate to say I told you so. Really, I do. But back in November I wrote a post about over-reliance on Amazon, and in particular the Select programme. I decided to put my neck on the line and make some public predictions about how I envisioned the immediate future of indie publishing.

  • Indies will sign up to Select again in droves. Amazon will sell a record number of Kindles off the strength of their ebook store. The price per borrow will decrease, despite the increased pot, because of the increased marketplace and the flood of new Kindles out there. Authors will whine and wail and whinge, but they're tied in and there's nothing they can do until March.
  • Non-Select authors will see a (small) bump in sales from other domains - notably B&N and Kobo, both of whom have expanded their markets outside the US and are aggressively advertising. Those on iTunes will also benefit.
  • There will be a flurry of free books available from mid-Jan through to the end of Feb, as indies disillusioned with a slower-than-expected Christmas season decide to try a giveaway after all.
  • Amazon will harvest the best from the indie crop via their in-house publishing arms (for thrillers and romances, the two biggest genres on the store anyway). They will also sign up a significant number of indie books to their new film production branch.
  • Weighting will move in favour of Amazon's in-house authors.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Saturday Share - Reading Recs Week2 #KDPBest

The second week in my little project to bring you the best from the people I know. This week I'm introducing two stories in which high fantasy clashes with everyday life.

Day Soldiers envisions a world where a legion of vampires and werewolves has declared war on the human race.

The war has changed the world. The day now belongs to humanity and the night belongs to the things once thought to exist only in myths and legends...but there is hope. This new enemy has united humanity and an army has stepped forward to protect the light from the darkness. An army of heroes.

Betrayal of Magic is the story of Cadan Johnson, a seemingly-ordinary boy with a difference. He can perform magic.

The top-secret Department of Magic was set up in the 1930s when the US government because aware of the existance of mages and fantastical creatures. For the last eighty years, the agency has been commissioned with searching out and detaining these magical beings. Now a detainee within the Department, Cadan quickly realises the truth - that not everything in this world is quite as it seems.

Happy reading!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Saturday Share - Reading Recs Week1 #KDPBest

Something a little bit new, each Saturday I'll bring you some recommendations from authors who have been not only wonderful colleagues of mine, but also great friends. People who keep me sane and understand the insanity of what it is that we do for a living! They're also exceptionally talented people, and today I'm starting with two very different books.

Lessons - by Anna J. McIntyre is a wonderful (straight!) contemporary romance, described by reviewers as A deep, rich story of love, family and friendship.

Or if you're in the mood for police procedurals, small-town politics, and death before dawn, Big Lake by Nick Russell is the bestselling thriller full of humour and intrigue, described by one reviewer as "Mayberry meets Twin Peaks!"

Whatever you're curled up with this weekend...enjoy!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Is Amazon Killing Indie Publishers?

There's a lot of doom and gloom in indie halls at the minute. Freebies aren't working like they once did, there's a vicious rumour that the 'also bought' lists are changing to weight in favour of legacy houses, and you can't turn online without coming across a crowd of newbies all wailing about pitiful or nonexistent sales. Is this the death-knell for indie publishing?

I don't think so.

Monday, 26 November 2012

How Indie Publishing is Saving the World

There's a lot of crap talked about indie publishing. That the books are substandard; thrown up without care for craft or product or consumer. That so-called 'authors' just want to turn a quick buck. It's the new vanity publishing.

Let me be the first to call bullshit. Yes, sometimes all of the above is true. I have spoken to some of those so-called authors, the people who've read about the massive successes of Amanda  Hocking and Colleen Hoover and the 50 Shades of this world and think that they can emulate them. The mainstream media has a lot to answer for there, because pick up any newspaper with an article about indie publishing and that's what they'll tell you - that we're all millionaires waiting to happen, if only we write a book and publish it on Amazon.

The truth, of course, is far different.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Writing What You Know: Authorial Experience in Romance

I stumbled across a debate the other day that brought a lot of vague thoughts I've had into sharp relief: namely, the reaction of readers to m/m romance written by women.
As a gay man interested in reading works by gay men and having been lumbered with books in the past misrepresenting as such, I am entitled to research [if a particular author is male or female]...Fortunately, there are many others emailing me with the same views and discussing ways to network regarding this situation.

That's from a customer discussion on Amazon about a well-known m/m author who writes under a male pen name. As his fans were quick to point out, what kind of proof would be considered acceptable? Would a photo do? No, it could have come from anywhere. Would a live chat do? No, it could be one of the author's friends. Ditto a face-to-face meet. Ultimately we either accept the reality with which we are presented, or we don't.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Calling all European Authors!

I've always tried to do my bit for other authors, both here on my blog and over on the KDP boards (where I'm maybe too prolific for my own good). Over the last year and a half I've learnt more than I can ever remember from authors who've been there, done that and bought the T-shirt before my authorial aspirations were anything more than pipe dreams. I am a firm believer in standing on the shoulders of giants, and passing good advice back down the line.

In that spirit, I've been asked to co-moderate a new group on Goodreads, aimed specifically at non-US writers struggling with marketing to an audience 5,000 miles, several timezones and sometimes (it seems) a whole other world away. I therefore proudly introduce the European Writers' Group.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Sluts, Straights and Stereotypes

I hate the word slut.

More than hate; I despise it, I detest it, I loathe it. It is a horrible, judgemental, prejudiced word. It's one of those words that says far more about the person using it than the person it's addressed to. When I see reviews like the ones below, I have to grit my teeth to stop from screaming.

...of course A's always been lying to B and was just as slutty even if he isn't a cheater slut whore...

...And over half way in all I know about the MC is he's a slut and apparently is such a parting slut he flunked hos [sic] way out of art school. And he [sic] very slutty ... Still barely know slut besides his level of sluttyness just keeps getting worse...

[The MC] was an unlike able slut IMO. Reading all of his slutty thoughts got old really quick. The whole story is pretty much slutty thoughts and remembering past lovers and orgies...And of course there was no chemistry or emotions. Just two sluts fucking in the desert because they're both hot...

Continue reading at

Friday, 17 August 2012

45 Top Tips for Self-Publishing on Amazon

Those who frequent the KDP boards will be well aware of my alter-ego Diamondlifestyle, and no doubt my Newbies Start Here thread. If you're thinking of self-publishing on any domain, but specifically on Amazon, here's the answers to the top questions asked by newbie authors. The original thread is worth bookmarking, as I'm updating it when new questions and suggestions come in. From formatting, editing, proofing, tags, sales, reviews and reports, it's all here!

Monday, 6 August 2012; or, Drama, Drama, Drama

I wasn't going to go here. I've tried talking sense to the hysterics on a number of forums this past week when it would have been more productive for me to spend that time banging my head against a brick wall, but I'm going to do it anyway. Maybe it'll prevent something like the absolute nonsense and drama and stupidity I've seen sweep through the indie author community like a wildfire from happening again.

For the three of you who don't know, was a site that capitalised on the lending feature available on most Kindle books. This is nothing to do with the Loan Library available to Amazon Prime members. There has been a lot of confusion about this, so let me break it down.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

#FastDraft Update

I'm back! I've just spent 12 fabulous days in the highlands of Scotland, getting some much needed R&R and squirreling away at my #FastDraft challenge - 12 days, 20 pages a day. A tall order, right? Well before I break down the numbers, here's a little of what else I did while I was away.

Monday, 16 July 2012


On Thursday I'm leaving for a long-overdue holiday. Being a writer, however, it's going to be a busman's holiday! I'm heading for my little house in the Scottish highlands (inherited, someone actually gave it to my grandfather...) for two whole weeks. I doubt they've even heard of the internet up there, never mind actually have it. It strikes me, therefore, as the perfect distraction-free getaway. Nothing but me, nature, my writing pad and about 200 sheep. Heaven.