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Showing posts from 2012

Dark Persuasion Wins Award

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Yesterday I was informed that Dark Persuasion came in as a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards for 2012. The official "award statement" is as follows: Award-Winning Finalist in the 'Fiction: Romance' category of The 2012 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News  The list of official winners/finalists can be found at USA Best Book Awards.
To be recognized as an independent publisher is wonderful, especially when I competed against authors from big-named traditional publishing houses.  Over 1500 entries were received from mainstream and independent publishers, which were then narrowed down to over 400 winners and finalists. Entries were judged by a panel of industry judges with extensive editorial, PR, marketing, and design expertise. Needless to say, I'm stoked!
Of course, every book I write contains the help of many friends and professionals. My beta readers who give me feedback are invaluable, as well as my two main editors, and Robin Ludwig, my graphi…

Five Star Review from NightOwl Romance

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Okay, I'm stoked. I woke up depressed this morning about all the work I put into my books wondering if I really want to continue writing.  Really...I did. 


Then later this morning I get an email from NightOwl Romance that the review to my book, Dark Persuasion, was published.  Suddenly, I was smiling again.  Five Stars - ***** - Top Pick Award. 

I guess I will keep writing!

Read Review Here

Final Cover for Dark Persuasion Print Version

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Finally, Dark Persuasion is at the printers.  A proof is being generated. As soon as I receive a copy and have a chance to swoon over handsome Jimmy Thomas aka Patrick Rochester on the cover, I'll take the next step. I need to make sure the interior has no glaring errors. Once I do, I'll sign off.  A few days later it will be up on Amazon and flying around the world on other venues.  I'll release the Kindle version when Amazon lists the print version.  As a reminder, the eBook version is for sale now on B&N, iTunes, Diesel, Sony, and Kobo.
Thank you for your patience. This book is dear to my heart, for some reason, and I want to make sure I've given my readers an enjoyable few hours of fantasy. 

Dark Persuasion - iTunes

Finally, Dark Persuasion is on iTunes. I am praying this is the revised version that was uploaded after the recent copy editing. If it's not, hang in there, a new version should be reloaded behind it.

Still waiting for Kobo and Sony to pick up. :sighs:

iTunes - Books - Dark Persuasion

Available for download on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iBooks and on your computer with iTunes.

Barnes & Noble Kicks it Up a Notch

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Well, good news for B&N. They're coming up with similar technology like Amazon's Kindle. About time.

Their newest feature is downloading the Nook reader to your computer, just like you can download Kindle to your desktop. Don't have a handheld Nook? Want to read on your computer? Here's the place to go to get the application.

NOOK FOR WEB

Next nifty feature, is "Read Instantly" feature, which is like the Amazon "Look Inside" feature. The cover to the book has a small turned up corner in the lower right-hand side. When clicked you're given a sample of the book. Here is a link to Dark Persuasion.

READ INSTANTLY

As much as I like Amazon, Barnes & Noble is a classy site. I hope they continue to evolve to meet the needs of readers.

Distribution Update for Dark Persuasion

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Dark Persuasion now available on Kindle and Nook. It will be available on Kobo in the future. I've decided not to distribute through Smashwords any longer due to their lag time.

If you have an iPad or an iPhone and use Apple for your books, please remember you can download apps from both Kindle and Nook for your Apple Products. You do not have to go exclusively through Apple to purchase books.

As far as the print version, I've had to put that on hold this month. It probably will be delayed until July, but I'll keep you advised upon its release.

I'm happy to say I've sold a fair amount of copies already. Only one review has popped up thus far on Amazon, but I'm not surprised. On an average only .008% of the people who read any of my books leave a review, though I often get positive comments elsewhere on blogs, Facebook, and in email. I think there are a lot of shy people who read, and a few outspoken who post reviews--whether good or bad.

If you've read t…

New Trailer

New Release on Kindle

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NEWS: Kindle - Dark Persuasion is up and ready for purchase.

Hope you enjoy! You can be assured, it contains a happy ending. Of course, I do tend to torture my characters before that bliss arrives.




It's Hard to Let it Go

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I thought that I would post an update on the progress of Dark Persuasion's release. I've been going through another rounds of my own edits recently. 87,000 words of text can be overwhelming. I've corrected a few more inconsistencies and deleted a few more superfluous words/sentences that just don't need to be there.

The formatting of the print version is a time-consuming task. It has to look "print perfect" before going to Lightning Source to put into book form. My practice has been to work on the print version first, and then convert it to eBook HTML, which equates to additional hours of formatting. It's no easy task. The one good thing of being traditionally published, is they do all the work! Not so, with an independent author.

Most of my beta readers have read and commented. Overall, the story has been well received. I've taken to heart a few suggestions regarding rough places in the story and either clarified or expanded where needed. I …

Invaluable Eyes

If love is blind, so is proofreading. After working on the text for Dark Persuasion, the words have become a blur to me. Thank goodness, I've found a group of invaluable eyes that are helping me find my typos, missed words, and incorrect references.

Dark Persuasion is currently out to my trusted friends, some of whom have walked this path with me before. I trust their opinion regarding my stories and appreciate their help. Already, I've incited one to hate Rupert, but that was inevitable. He's probably the best antagonist I've written, except for Robert Holland's looney wife. She seems to draw a lot of comment, too.

In any event, I'm slowly correcting mistakes and polishing the interior. I'm still shooting for an early June release. I linked The Price of Deception to this blog on all the Kindles to generate interest. I sold over 1,000 copies of The Price of Deception since last Thursday, which is a miracle.

Using the KDP program to put The Price of I…

Lilly Collins - The Sister

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Another character in Dark Persuasion, who plays an important role, is Lilly Collins. Charlotte has three sisters. The eldest sister is married and lives in the Americas. Lilly is her middle sister, who is also married but lives nearby. Charlotte is the youngest of the three and has a close relationship with Lilly.

Once again finding visuals is always fun. I thought the picture to the left said it all. The look on her face is priceless. Across the room sits Rupert Rochester in the parlor of her father's house visiting Charlotte. He is definitely a man she does not trust and for good reason.

You will discover that Lilly is very protective of Charlotte. In many ways, Lilly is Charlotte's eyes at important occasions such as her coming out ball. She chaperons Charlotte's meetings with Rupert Rochester and doesn't hold back her ill opinion of the man. She's also Charlotte's maid of honor at her wedding. Lilly wholeheartedly agrees that Patrick is the best choice and…

Rupert the Rascal

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While introducing you to Dark Persuasion, I've focused a lot on Patrick Rochester. Of course, with the handsome Jimmy Thomas as the visualization of my hero on the cover, it's hard not to focus in that direction.

Dark Persuasion, though, is more than a story about Patrick and Charlotte. Another main character, is Rupert Rochester, Patrick's younger brother of two years.

Today I surfed Dreamstime attempting to find a picture that came close to my visualization of him. I'm not sure this one is exactly how I picture him physically, but his actions are spot on. Now, just add a group of women standing around drooling, and you've got the picture of the flattering rogue that I've created.

Of course, like any other character, there are reasons he acts as he does. Rupert is no different. His childhood has forged him into a man who doesn't care to feel much of anything. His hobbies are to conquer women and make a study of their underskirts, rather than the law classes…

Excerpt - Dark Persuasion

With great trepidation, I give to you an excerpt. Patrick meets Charlotte. Of course, it's subject to change and further editing.
My readers wanted a tortured male. I give to you a tortured male. The character of Patrick Rochester is a dear. I loved creating him, and I hope you'll fall for him as I did! That's half the fun of romance novels, isn't it . . . falling in love.
* * * *
Patrick strolled into the crowded assembly hall of his uncle’s palatial residence. It appeared as if the entire region had been invited to the gala. The walls were lined with mingling groups of ladies and gentlemen. The sound of violins and cellos filled his ears. Dresses of silk swooshed by him in the arms of men dressed in their finest formal wear. Dance cards twirled from the wrists of women. The atmosphere radiated gaiety among the attendees. Patrick, however, could not revel in the moment. His nauseated stomach over what lay ahead would give him no rest.

He had paid particular attenti…

The Language of Congenial Intercourse

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Sorry to disappoint you, but this post is not about sex. It's about congenial intercourse, which we could also term as the art of conversation. Let’s face it, our abrupt language today leaves much to be desired when compared to the Victorian era filled with manners and polite communication.
My style of writing in the past has been somewhat remiss of the way people spoke in the late 19th century. This time, I’m trying to make it more true to form. I will admit, it’s been a challenge. I don’t want my text to read like an Elizabeth Gaskell novel, who by the way had some hefty run-on sentences. Take this one for instance: 
The chill, shivery October morning came; not the October morning of the country, with soft, silvery mists, clearing off before the sunbeams that bring out all the gorgeous beauty of colouring, but the October morning of Milton, whose silver mists were heavy fogs, and where the sun could only show long dusky streets when he did break through a shine. (I’m out of brea…

Final Cover Design - Breathtaking!

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Robin Ludwig has finished my cover. I'm so grateful for the beautiful job she did putting this together for me.

If you're wondering how it came about, I can tell you it's a composite of three different photos. Jimmy Thomas and his beautiful model were purchased with a different background. The background of the trees (which alone will be the back cover of the print book), was a separate purchase from Dreamstime. The banner and floral swirls came from Dreamstime, too.

I'm extremely happy Jimmy Thomas noticed and liked the cover. He's favorably commented on the design on both Facebook and his Romance Novel Covers website. Frankly, I think he deserves the best in final cover art and this proves it. He has a wonderful portfolio of photos to use in a variety of genres. Some are a bit erotic for my writing and visuals, but they're nice to drool over nonetheless.

I'm more than happy to recommend Robin Ludwig to other authors. If you have an idea of what you wan…

Editing - I Said It's the Very, Great 'ing of it All

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You know what would be great? Hours on end just to write stories. Nothing else but buckets of words poured onto my computer keys, filled with conflict, romance, love, and for the most part, happy endings. That would be the life for me.

Unfortunately, the part I dislike most about writing is editing. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the rewrites. You know, it's those embellishments to your story that you make to polish it like a shiny new car. You fix those inconsistencies, add a little more umph, and perhaps another chapter or two.

What I dislike, is the tedious and difficult hours upon hours of checking that every word is in the right order, used correctly, hasn't dropped an "r" off of "your" or a "h" off of "his." It's that time you realize you should have gone back to your ophthalmologist last month and had your prescription to your glasses updated.

Then there are those dang words you just can't keep from typing. It…

The Chapters

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This weekend I am going to start the heavy editing of Dark Persuasion. Hopefully, I can hunker down and focus without distraction, except for the occasional "I need attention" clawing from my cat.

I tried something a bit different for this book. Underneath each of the chapters there will be a subheading that gives a hint as to content and who is the center of attention for that particular portion of the story. As a teaser, I thought I'd share them with you today. There shouldn't be too many spoilers, except for three chapters I've deemed need to be kept unknown. Sorry, but I've omitted those subtitles to protect the plot. Muwahaha!

In other news, I've turned to Robin Ludwig, my cover designer, in desperation. I just can't seem to decide what I want for this book. The main picture I chose, the background is still under consideration, the text layout and fonts are up for grab. Robin has the eye that I don't, and I trust her to help me through th…

First Draft Dark Persuasion Completed

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“And the sunlight clasps the earth, and the moonbeams kiss the sea. What are all these kissings worth, if thou kiss not me?” (Percy Bysshe Shelley)
Is it possible to fall in love with your characters, even the despicable ones? I don't know what happened to me with this book, but I'm afraid I've fallen in love with Patrick, Charlotte, and Rupert.

When I first started, I wondered after writing three other novels if there was anything left in me to write. I guess the well hasn't dried yet, because this one turned out to be a geyser in disguise.

I started writing the last week in January, and had my first 8,000 words down by February 5th, which was a good start overall. Ten weeks later I've stuff 83,000 words into 42 chapters.

My mind was constantly musing over this storyline. It didn't stop churning but for a couple hours a day. Scenes and lines kept coming like a psychedelic schizophrenic overload. At the beginning, I was writing chapters out of order. Then …

The Victorian Wedding

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I thoroughly enjoyed writing the wedding scene of Patrick and Charlotte. Of course, you know, me. I had to throw in a little conflict on the way to the altar, but you'll be happy to know they were pronounced man and wife.

Everything in the Victorian era seemed to be dictated by proper etiquette. Weddings were no different. There were rules about fashion, the time to wed, and the reception. It was quite an interesting read doing research about the subject. I tried to incorporate as much as I could within my text. Hopefully, I will not get raked over the coals in reviews for errors on my part.

If the bride married in a church, a gown with a long train and a veil of the same length was the style of the era. The veil remained over the bride's face until after the wedding ceremony. I've read conflicting statements regarding kissing at the altar, so I let Patrick have a smooch anyway.

Pure white had not yet become the standard of choice in wedding dresses. Colors varied. T…

The Antagonist

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Definition (copied from Answers.com)

One who opposes and contends against another; an adversary. The principal character in opposition to the protagonist or hero of a narrative or drama.
I confirmed a fact during the penning of Dark Persuasion. I love writing the part of the antagonist. Actually, last evening I worked on a rather heated scene between two brothers and took liberties I've not done before. It may shock you, but how in the world can I get you to react to the antagonist if I don't shock you?
He's supposed to be despicable.He's there to irritate you and irritate all the other characters.He's the opposition who wants to ruin the happily ever after.He's the type of guy you'd really like to get rid of.
He is the antagonizing antagonist. Meet Rupert Rochester.

Rupert is Patrick's brother, two years younger. When I started the story I had thought of making him a cousin or perhaps a friend. However, as I thought about building their characters an…

The Victorian Trousseau

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This week I worked on the proposal of marriage offered by Patrick Rochester to Charlotte Gray. After torturing the man for a good five pages, she finally relented to marrying him.
Her sister, Lilly Collins, is actively involved in preparations for the wedding. One task that she is helping Charlotte with is preparing her trousseau. This French word refers, of course, to a bride's bundle of personal possessions amassed prior to the wedding that include undergarments and clothing. Late in the 19th and early 20th century a collection of household wares (tablecloths, towels, linens, etc.) were included.

My story is set roughly around the 1885-1890, so Charlotte's collection of personal items deal mainly with fine undergarments and clothing. Below is an excerpt from Vintage Connection describing a typical trousseau around 1884. It would include the following:


"... a dozen chemises trimmed with embroidery or insertions, a dozen nightdresses, six well-trimmed combinations…

The Romance Genre - It's a Tough Gig

Every time an author sits down to write a book, you ask yourself a lot of questions. Is the story any good? Is the plot okay? Are the characters believable? Is there enough conflict and suspense? Is it too predictable? The list goes on and on.
I just received a new book on how to write good conflict and suspense. The only books I read are how to be a better writer. I always hope that my next novel will show growth in my craft and become more appealing to readers. I'm still tuning my style and finding my voice. Of course, this being my fourth fiction, you'd think I would have found it by now!

Today I stumbled across a few historical romances on Amazon from best selling traditionally published authors. I wanted to read why people liked what they wrote or why they didn't like it. Wow, what an interesting exercise, which reminded me that the romance genre is one tough gig.

Here is a sample of the few colorful comments written in reviews:

Tiny Taste of First Impressions

I'm over halfway finished with the novel. A few weeks ago, I was writing like a maniac, but then my life situation threw me a few curves and my time to write came to a screeching halt. I hate it when I lose momentum.

At the present time, I'm looking at Chapter 18 and am at a pivotal point in the storyline. Sometimes you reach a point in a story where you stand at crossroad with a variety of paths to follow. Right now I'm at the intersection trying to decide which way to go.

As usual, I've picked a story that's not the cookie-cutter formula for romance. You may find Charlotte Gray a gullible, weak-willed woman who is easily duped by the men in her life. Of course, she has the disadvantage of not being able to see her suitors. She can only formulate her impressions about a man based on his voice, words, actions, and through the recommendations of others. Charlotte Gray may follow her inward instincts, but what if she is wrong? It's a challenge indeed.

Th…

The Debutante

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Taking a lunch break! It feels good to have Internet access for an hour. I've been so pent-up not being able to express myself except through a few posts via telephone on my Facebook page.

In the meantime, after unpacking my boxes from moving into my condo, I've settled down into a routine of writing once again. Apparently, I didn't forget to pack the muse. He arrived safe and sound with no damage.

Dark Persuasion is coming along wonderfully. If you haven't guessed by now, my heroine is quite different than any other woman I've written about. She is blind. Writing from her point of view has been a challenge. I'm relying heavily upon her other senses to portray her surroundings.

In addition, I've also had to deeply examine what it would be like not being able to see. How would you judge a man when you met him? It's a challenge not seeing a person's facial expression and looking into their eyes -- the window of their soul. Could you fall in lov…

The Characters

As I begin to pen this book, I'm hesitant to tell my readers too much about the synopsis. It's going to be a bit different and unlike anything I've tackled. I like the challenge, and I hope that it makes me grow in my writing skills.

When I get closer to release, I'll open up more about the background of the story. I can only say that I'm going to have to do some heavy collaboration with certain individuals to make the story not only believable, but heartfelt as well. As a result, I hope one day to introduce you to those I've found to help me with this storyline.

Who are the characters? Well, after much agonizing I've come up with names. I'm beginning to formulate their personalities early in the story. Here is the cast:
Lord and Lady Rochester (must have aristocrats)
Patrick Rochester (nephew to Lord Rochester - that handsome likeable guy in the pictures)
Rupert Rochester (the not so likeable brother to Patrick, because we all need a rascal to …

A New Story

Inspiration for stories are often birthed in my heart in the strangest ways. My wandering thoughts and pondering of various life situations are usually the place of creation.
I know I'm due for The Price of Love, book three of the Legacy Series, but I need something in between. I had tried to write Radcliffe and had finished five chapters. However, when it came to conjuring up my paranormal ghost, I hit a road block. I just couldn't find the imagination to continue. It felt uncomfortable and the wrong time to pursue paranormal romance, and I was tired of staring at a blank page.

Dark Persuasion is bubbling up like a well at the present time. The story seems to be coming in bits and pieces and scenes are floating in and out of my mind. I seem to be grabbing them out of the air and writing the story piecemeal, which is not the way I usually work. However, when the muse arrives in a black jacket, leather boots, and handsome face, you're inclined to get motivated.

Th…