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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Sale Price one week only save $2


For this week only I have reduced this novella from $2.99 to .99 cents.  All other sites also have the reduced price, depending on the exchange rate.
This book has always had some good reviews and is well worth a read.
I hope you enjoy it.
The first chapter can be read here

This book should be available from tomorrow.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Kindle Unlimited - US Customers Only (for now)

In case you haven't all heard, Amazon have unrolled their new Kindle Unlimited borrowing program.  The advantage to customers is that they can pay a subscription of $9.99 per month and they get to borrow an unlimited amount of the books offered in the program.  Needless to say, all mine are available to borrow.
Customers will be allowed ten titles at a time, so once you have read one or decided you don't like it, you can delete it and get another.  You can keep them as long as you like, but only ten at a time.
For the first month, Amazon are giving a free trial, so get yourself signed up if you want to take advantage.
At the moment it is only for US customers, but if it succeeds, as I am sure it will, it will soon find its way onto the UK site, quickly followed by all the others.
One more thing to add for today - does anyone have any tips as to how to remove superglue from a diamond ring!  I had an accident trying to open the tube this morning and now my wedding and engagement rings are stuck together.  Any solutions gratefully received.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Refunds on ebooks - is it fair?

I was driven to write this post by a number of reports that there are so-called reputable websites out there actually advising people to buy their ebook from Amazon, and take advantage of their 7 day refund policy.
A lot of kindle editions are not very long and for people with plenty of time on their hands, it is easy enough to read the whole thing, then return it.  One person had read of someone boasting of having bought, read and returned over 1000 kindle books, all for nothing.
If she had gone out shoplifting and got away with it, thus costing the shop owner money, would she still be boasting of it?  Probably not.  More likely she would be condemning the person who shoplifted and even reporting such a person to the proper authorities, and she would feel very good about doing so.  But people think nothing of doing the same thing with an author, who doesn't simply buy in books to sell, but puts their heart and soul into them.  It is not Amazon she is cheating, it is the author.
I haven't heard of any websites advising people on how to shoplift and if they did, they would probably get a lot of complaints.  It is no different.
The refund policy gives readers confidence to buy from an unknown author, but it does rely on people's honesty.
A lot of work goes into writing a book, sometimes three months worth, sometimes six and very often a couple of years.  Gone with the Wind took seven years to write so I read somewhere;  how would you feel if you had spent all that time wearing your brain out, writing the best book you could, editing it, proof reading it, perhaps even paying for those services, only to have someone think they are very clever to buy it, read it, then return it for a refund for no better reason than that they can?
Whatever it is you do with your time, painting, needlework, knitting, or whatever and you found you could sell those arts because you are rather good at them, just think about how you would feel if you spent months perfecting something only to have someone claim a refund because they could.
It is not right, it is not fair and it is soul destroying for the author.  If you truly don't think the book was worth the money, if you can't finish it or think it is badly written, by all means return it.  But not because you think it is clever to read a worthwhile book for free.
I have often likened people who publish badly written, grammatically incorrect, badly spelled, punctuation challenged twaddle and think that's ok, to bad dog walkers who don't bother to pick up their dog crap.  Other people leave it there, after all?  It gives us all a bad name and so does self publishing rubbish and expecting people to pay good money for it.  There is even someone trying to sell the questions and her own answers to a college exam, and wondering why no one wants to buy it.
I liken people who abuse the refund system as thieves, no better than shoplifters.
Amazon's self publishing program has given readers access to some very cheaply priced talent that they would not otherwise have ever seen.  Treat that talent fairly and there will be lots more;  abuse it and it will disappear.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Amazon Reviews

A lot of potential customers pay too much attention to reviews when it comes to books.  Amazon opened up a wonderful world for writers who had not managed to get published by traditional publishers.  Why not?  Well, not because they cannot write or have no story, but simply because traditional publishers will spend hundreds of thousands to get a book published, printed and distributed and they want to be 100% sure of a return for their investment.  So, with an unknown author and a story that is perhaps not in a popular genre, they will not take the chance.  So, there are many really good writers with really good ideas which would never have seen the light of day were it not for Amazon.  Gone with the Wind was turned down by lots of publishers and Stephen King was told he would never make a writer.
Unfortunately, while Amazon's kdp program has opened up a wonderful world for writers, it has also opened up a loophole for unscrupulous writers who want to get reviews posted that they do not deserve.  They get their family and friends to post reviews for them and they pay people on sites like fiver to leave glowing reviews.  These can usually be detected, but you need to know what you are looking for.
A book that has five star reviews within a day or two of having been published is likely using fake reviews.  A book that is really badly written, bad grammar, bad punctuation, too short, but has glowing reviews is fake.
I hate fake reviews because they are unfair to the rest of us who would rather earn reviews honestly.  There have been a lot of problems recently caused by one woman who thought it would be a good idea to get together with others, post their books to Goodreads lists and vote for them.  She thought that was a brilliant marketing strategy;  she would not agree that it was cheating.  It has, of course, backfired as now she is getting one star reviews for her books from all the people she upset.  These reviews are as fake as all the others that aren't genuinely earned, they are done out of spite and for revenge, but it is what happens when people try to cheat.
So if you are a writer, don't cheat.  Reviews will come eventually and if you are a reader, please don't decide on your choice based on this twaddle.

Newgate Prison

In case anyone believes something on Google which states that the prison opened in 1769, the first prison actually in use was in the time of King Henry II.  This from several sites about the prison:

Newgate Prison was a prison in London, at the corner of Newgate Street and Old Bailey just inside the City of London. It was originally located at the site of a gate in the Roman London Wall. The gate/prison was rebuilt in the 12th century, and demolished in 1777. The prison was extended and rebuilt many times, and remained in use for over 700 years, from 1188 to 1902.

Newgate Prison
The first prison at Newgate was built in 1188 on the orders of Henry II. It was significantly enlarged in 1236, and the executors of Lord Mayor Richard Whittington were granted a license to renovate the prison in 1422. The prison was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666, and was rebuilt in 1672, extending into new buildings on the south side of the street.

It was certainly in use during the time of King Henry VIII in the sixteenth century.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Countdown Deal - starting tomorrow, 6th July 2014 JUDAS PLEDGE is the first of the Summerville Journals, the story of Lord Richard Summerville, his marriage and his mistress.  Starting tomorrow, this book is on special offer, beginning at .99 cents or the sterling equivalent.   See the US deal here and for UK customers The second book tells the story of Rachel, Lord Summerville's beautiful mistress and for US customers the link is here. 

A review for The Flawed Mistress from the UK site:                                                    


This book is Hauntingly sad and, beautifully written. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It portrays an accurate description of how women were treated in Tudor times
I hope all my readers enjoy it as much.
It is 1553 and for five years the fifteen year old protestant King Edward VI has reigned with the aid of a Lord Protector. It has been twenty years since King Henry VIII broke away from the yoke of the Roman church and Catholicism is outlawed and a thing of the past. Bethany is the daughter of a wealthy merchant and her only concern is to avoid an arranged marriage to the impoverished baron her father had found to marry her for her dowry.

When the wealthy Earl of Summerville suggests a marriage which will make her a very rich countess she is thrilled and his confession that he is a hated catholic and that he expects her to be the same, means little. If Bethany had thought about it at all, she had believed that there were no Catholics left in England. Her eyes firmly fixed on a handsome, amiable husband and the title, wealth and huge country mansion that comes with him, she believes she will never have to adhere to that condition, she believes that there will never be another catholic monarch, despite his assurances that the catholic Mary Tudor will succeed her brother to the throne.

She has no idea how hard it is going to be to keep that pledge when Mary gains the throne and begins a brutal campaign to bring England back to the Catholic church of Rome. As Bethany's protestant family and friends are persecuted for their beliefs, beliefs for which they are prepared to die a horrible death, she finds the struggle to support her Catholic husband and give lip service to his faith to be impossible despite having fallen deeply in love with him.

This is a tale of love, passion and betrayal in an age when God is very real and the way he is worshipped worth dying for.

Read the first chapter of
The Judas Pledge and The Flawed Mistress


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