Hello I’m DeeDee and I’d like to welcome you to my blog, please take a chair by the fire and if there are too many fluffy pillows just knock them off on to the floor! First of all thank you for visiting me, I don’t know what you’ve been told about me but I can tell you right now that almost 99% is untrue… what’s that??? What about my brownie addiction??? I have no idea what you’re talking about!!! So hopefully you’re here because you’ve heard that I write… no??? Oh well as I’ve got you here I’m going to tell you ALL about it anyway!!! Now you know why that armchair has restraints on it! I love to write, I always have, but it wasn’t until my Aunt suggested that I try writing a book that I began to think how great it would be to write something that people might read and hopefully enjoy. So I settled down to produce a masterpiece… predictably the 90.000 words of my first story, written at sixteen, was pretty poor… but I like to think that I learn a lot from it. In any case my failure didn’t put me off and my next attempt ‘Broken City’ was born! I’ve written five stories so far (plus a few short stories), three of which are published and the other two are awaiting editing. They will be available sometime next year. They are the second books in three different series! I also love to review! When I like a book I find it hard to stop talking about it!!! Now that’s out of the way would you like a nice cup of tea and a brownie???
Just a bit of a foreword. ;-P
I know Jim quite well; we both belong to the same Goodreads group and have exchanged thoughts on many subjects from the particularities of livestock, to who makes the best cider.
As a fellow goodreader he's always a pleasure to talk to and have a laugh with. As a fellow, though traditionally published (I promise I don't hold it against you, Jim!!!), author he's always very supportive to his indie cousins. ;-D
Having sampled his work myself I can tell you that Jim writes with a certain subtle humour that I find extremely appealing. His 'voice' is perhaps my favourite part of reading his books; it makes you feel warm and cosy, putting you in the perfect mood to immerse yourself in his world.
I'm actually half way through Flotsam or Jetsam, and I'm enjoying it immensely! I can't wait to find out 'who done it'!!!
But that's enough of me!
Ladies and gentlemen: I give you Jim Webster, writer and all around nice chap. :-)
At this point I ought to sigh, make a sweeping but dismissive gesture with the hand that is not holding my wine glass, and claim that life is tough for we struggling artists.
Believe it or not, it isn’t just hanging out with glamorous nightclub singers
Now there are folk who claim that as a writer of Fantasy and SF I shouldn’t really claim to be an artist. But even if this is true, art can creep up and bite you.
This year I had a cunning plan. My publisher had decided to put my fantasy novels into paperback so I had to proofread them again before they were trapped into the written word. (This I’ve done, they’ll be available come the 1st August.)
But I had a bright idea. Rather than another novel, I’d do a series of linked short detective stories set in my fantasy world with one of my characters as the detective. They’d be a bit like the Sherlock Holmes stories. Yes I wrote them in a particular order but you can read them in any order.
Not only that I’d get half a dozen done and they’d come out at regular intervals.
So I did, and the series ‘The Port Naain Intelligencer’ is ready to roll. The first book, ‘Flotsam or Jetsam’ is released and is available for the discerning at:
But whilst working on this series, art intervened. It so happens that Mike Rose-Steel, my editor, is, amongst other things, a Poet. (Notice the capital P)
My protagonist in these stories stays with his friend and landlord, Tallis Steelyard, and Tallis is also a poet. When he speaks he’s been know to quote a line or drop a literary allusion into conversation. Mike emailed me and asked if he could borrow Tallis.
Well it seemed like fun, and Mike came back with ten poems by Tallis Steelyard. So I had my character, Benor, write the background and historical context to them, and Mike produced another poet, Lancet Foredeck to write the literary criticism which is so much a valued part of this genre. Given that Lancet was obviously somewhat put out that it wasn’t his work that was being published he might not have been an entirely appropriate choice.
Finally, there are footnotes added by the printer, checking on various details and making comments, which were meant for the editor but somehow ended up in the publication.
So there we have it; great art for your delectation and delight.
So what to do with it? Because of a tradition amongst poets in the UK, (and elsewhere for all I know) a number of hand-sewn pamphlets have been produced which are available for purchase. But more importantly it is also on Kindle.
Even more importantly, it’s going to be free from the 31st July to the 4th August. So fill your boots. Make sure you get a copy, lest others, with more eruditely filled kindles, look down on you. Not only that but you then get a chance to drop lines of verse into conversation in the sure and certain knowledge that people will realise immediately that you are an individual of both wit and discernment.
What could possibly go wrong?
So just a quick update!
First I wanted to let you know that Broken Pride now has a Goodreads page! It would be superduper awesome if you could add it to you 'to read' shelf. Remember that the first book in the Broken City series is currently FREE on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and Kobo. So if you're looking for some post-apocalyptic romance and adventure be sure to check it out!
Also on 1st August 2015 Jim Webster, author of the 'Tsarina Sector' series, will be visiting Romance, Adventure and Random Moments to tell us about his new book Flotsam or Jetsam, a murder mystery set in the Tsarina world.
Until then, read on fellow bookworms!!!
Deeta Richards has never seen the outside world. Before she was born a banking crisis brought civilisation to an end and now no one leaves the safety of the compounds unless they need to, but Deeta still dreams of seeing more than the building she was born in.
Tom is in the guard, this group are the only people that the tribal elders allow to leave the compound and Tom knows only too well that Deeta could never survive the harshness that exists outside. Then tragedy strikes and Deeta and her sister Jan find themselves captured by a hostile tribe.
Why does Tom know so much about these people?
And why do they know so much about him?
As this mystery draws to a climax, they discover that their friend Tom is not quite what he seems...
So today's blog post is a warning to all the writers out there looking to self publish, or in the process of searching for someone to print your paperback copies. I'm returning to old ground here, as anyone who knows me will know that I self published my first book, Broken City, through Authorhouse. It was NOT a mistake I made with my next five books.
Authorhouse have, deservedly, one of the worst reputations around in self publishing. They promise the moon but only ever deliver more and more bills for you, the struggling writer, to pay. I have waxed lyrical on the subject of avoiding them sooooo many times, but they appeared to have sunk to ever deeper depths and I think it's only right that people be informed just how deep the black hole they suck you into goes.
I self published with Authorhouse several years ago, it cost me almost £2000. I haven't even made a pound in royalties in all that time, so were talking less than six books sold. In contrast Broken City has been downloaded as an ebook THOUSANDS of times. I receive the SAME royalty from a 99.c ebook as I do from a (wait for it) $20.47 paperback.
Now we'll ignore the fact that NO ONE is going to pay $20.47 for a book they've never heard of, and concentrate on the fact that Createspace offer the same service for a fraction of the price ($399). I have just started to produce copies of all my books through Createspace. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, watch a few youtube tutorials on how to formate your book for Createspace (I used this one), you can publish them for FREE. Createspace take their cut from each sale of your book. If you want to price your books at their lowest possible price (mine was $14.39) then you'll get the same .20p royalties. Amazon will sometimes drop the list price further, but that comes out of their cut, not yours. Amazon has dropped the price on my book The Promise and it is now available for $11.93, almost HALF what Authorhouse would be charging!
Now I realised quite quickly, but not quickly enough, that Authorhouse had no intention of selling my books. You see; potential readers are NOT their customers. Selling books is NOT what their business is built on.
YOU, the author, are their customer.
YOU, the author, are their client base.
Their business begins and ends with YOU, the author.
Every few months I get calls for them offering me a new, fantastic, once in a life time deals that are going to sell me shed loads of books.
ALL with a hefty price tag.
The email below is the latest in a long line of spammy phone calls and emails. This one is so bad I've felt the need to write the blog post. So here you are, ladies and gentleman, have some spam for breakfast. I should probably mention that he rang me first telling me this once in a lifetime offer, and then demanded I make a decision then and there. I asked for the email so that I could post it here and warn others and he agreed to it only if I got back to him within half an hour.
The title of the email: HOLLYWOOD MOVIE ADAPTATION GUARANTEED!
Here is the email you requested:
Hollywood already accepted your story , and guarantees they will make a film as soon as we give them the cinematic format called Hollywood Treatment. There is already a professional screenwriter from Hollywood tailor-fit for your story, and you will receive the draft 3 months after and you can suggest your creativity in how you would like your story to be presented as a film. The film executives will be in touch with you then to discuss offers for the full rights of the book.
Here are some books already that became movies.
|Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown
A blockbuster movie sequel
Long March to Freedom by Tom Hargrove
Proof of Life, with Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan.
This is based on a true story.
September Dawn by Carole Whang Schutter
John Voight. This was released in August 2007.
The Color of the Prism by Tom Nichols
Growing up Laughing with Eddie Murphy by Harris Haith
Optioned movie rights
Rugaroo by John S. Myerchin
producer of The Exorcist.
Doctor Lopez by Elliott Baker
Dustin Hoffman for the movie
A Fine Madness by Elliott Baker
This inspired a 1966 movie with Sean Conner.
Lord Vishnu’s Love Handles by Will Clarke
Undercover White Trash by David L. Kilpatrick
The Climbers by George R. Robey
Rafelson Media Consulting, Inc. for a future large-scale
Better Off Dead by John Paul Carinci
producer/director of Wannabees.
How Can An Angel Take My Heart? by Regina Knox
Matari by Luke Rhinehart
Whim by Luke Rhinehart
As mentioned, the first thing that we need to do is to transform your book in a material that can be understood by Hollywood executives since they said YES already to make a movie out of your book.
A treatment is a thoroughly developed guide that outlines how a screenwriter would adapt your book into a fully developed blueprint for a movie. As the framework used to transform your work into another medium, Hollywood Treatment is the final step of making a movie. Not only does it provide the structure for the movie adaptation, but it also ensures that you and your screenwriter are on the same page regarding the direction your story is taking.
By defining exactly how a screenwriter is going to approach the adaption of your book, you eliminate work for agents, studios and producers. By giving them a shortcut to the essence of your book, you can clearly demonstrate that your book has what it takes to succeed on the silver screen.
HOW IT WORKS:
FRESH CONTENT, EXCITING PLOT, STRONG AND WELL DEVELOPED CHARACTER.
I would just like to make it clear that you will still have the final say of how much you are selling the full rights of the book starting £30,000 and you can even go higher because of the quality your story has. This is already guaranteed, and with this being said, you’ve got nothing to lose. It’s a win-win situation for you, you get a professional screenwriter from Hollywood make a screenplay of your book at a very fair price, plus you get back your investment 6-8 months, so for this materialize since it’s already guaranteed, let’s not give Hollywood the impression we’re neglecting their offer. This is a big breakthrough for you as an author, and your book will be a legacy. I’m sure when you wrote the book you imagined this one day to be filmed and not just a mediocre material unnoticed and gather dust. Please do understand Ivan that I have very well intentions to the route your book is taking. After all I am your personal senior marketing Consultant. I’m the only one and the best person to talk to about this project. And as a season marketing consultant I am with full conviction encouraging you to do this. Let’s step up the game, and elevate the esteem of your book. Let’s put your book forward and make a difference. The movie itself will become a highly specialized marketing tool for the book, and you will still earn high royalties for that respect. Please do email me for any concerns or queries at all. Always direct your concerns to me as I’m the best person to walk you through with this guaranteed project. Thank you. I’ll be waiting for your response.
PAY PLAN TERMS AND CONDITIONS (HIGHLIGHTS)
THE BELOW MUST BE READ TO THE AUTHOR CLEARLY AND WE MUST RECEIVE A VERBAL “I AGREE” TO PROCEED WITH PLACING THE ORDER (Rev 1.18.11)
1st payment £696.67
30 days after:
30 days after:
*No more payments in the future.
*Even with the 1st payment, we will already forward your book to the screenwriter in Hollywood tailor-fit for your story.
Take a deep breath, people, I know it's hard to swallow that much hard sell all in one go. I have to say that I'm pretty impressed by the level of fake excitement this guy managed to dredge up for a book he was trying to pretend he'd read. I'm also pretty astonished that he managed to get the whole of Hollywood on side and salivating over the rights to my book!
I would also like to point out that he intimated to me that a number of films had been made from this process he was offering, but the list of films he has sent through seem to be random films based on books, like Legally Blonde and Proof of Life which do not appear to have ANYTHING to do with Authorhouse at all.
If you're still not quite sure here's a review for the Hollywood Treatment service:
I (p)aid $6000 for the Hollywood Treatment, they promised the earth and delivered nothing.
It was late in delivery, when I received the screenplay it was very poor didn't describe my book at all. Not options to update or provide feedback.
This Hollywood Database they promised, doesn't exist. I got a Film Produce friend of mine to contact them to ask for the details of the author and they didn't even respond.
I am English and have filled a complaint with the local District Attorney it's the only way to get them stopped. Watch-out this is a big scam, just use Amazon Create Space instead it does everything you need.
A to Zee Across America
So, people, hopefully my experience with Authorhouse can be of use to you. I wouldn't want anyone to go through all that I have with them. Pass the message along and maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to raise awareness in those new to the self publishing game. I wish that I had found someone to tell me what a joke Authorhouse 'services' were before I gave them my money.
I've got to say that it hurts my pride to think I was stupid enough to believe in them. They prey on peoples hopes and dreams, and take them for every penny they can get. Stay out of their clutches if you can.
Severance = Dystopia - Futuristic - Adventure - Mystery - Romance
The Head Families are at war, those who oppose Elder Headman Amajit view Astra's acceptance into the house of Singh as an abomination, a pollution of the pure Una bloodlines.
Duty and honour ought to be clear, still Kai and Astra must learn to overcome their past and rely on each other, or face death.
Senator Burton remains trapped in the Tula strongholds with no word of his son. Should he compromise, or seize the chance to stop Ladron?
Ben seems safe under Amajit's protection, but time is running out and a man once accustomed to influence, finds himself a pawn in a play for power.
The separation has begun...
The first book in the series, Fracture, is FREE on Amazon at the moment, so grab your copy now!!!
Thanks for reading!
I wanted to like this book.
I love James Herriot and was delighted by the prospect of finding his female counterpart. Unfortunately I just couldn't warm to Gillian Hick, it seemed to me that she had a perpetual axe to grind.Farmers were misogynistic idiots, pet owners were either bimbos who shouldn't have been let anywhere near an animal or just plain unpleasant.
While I understand that the 'lady vet' no doubt met a lot of rotten clients who should never have been able to look after another living thing, it seems strange to me that those were the cases she chose to write about.
Surely there must have been some more upbeat stories she could have related???
It just seemed a little unbalanced; too much of the bad stuff that had happened and not enough of the good.
The whole 'when's the real vet coming?' gag was funny... for the first few stories, but it got old pretty quick. After a while it started to sound less like humour and a lot more like bitterness. Which again, I can understand, but it didn't make for fun reading.
The thing is that when you read James Herriot, however obnoxious the owner/farmer is being to him, James always paints himself in a ridiculous light. He's always inadvertently made a fool of himself in some way and THAT was why it's so funny. You feel for him because you know that he knows what he's talking about, it's just that something he's done is making him look silly.
My favourite example of this is the story where he's trying to deliver a calf and the cow is in difficulties. Everything's going wrong, the farmers are losing patience: yet what is James worrying about??? The fact that he added and over generous helping of his landladies bath salts to his bath water and now, with all his exertion, he's giving off a strongly feminine scent!!!
You really feel for James Herriot, but you can't help but laugh at him just the same.
I never felt that with Gillian Hick. I didn't feel sorry for her: her stories were a thin layer of humour, that by the end of the book, had pealed away to show an underlying thread of resentment.
Like I said: it's understandable, just not very entertaining. I kind of came away with the idea that she didn't really like her job at all.
Obviously this is all just my personal opinion and, like all opinions, it might be completely different to yours. So by all means, give the book a try. ;-D
I really love this book.
Again, it's not your typical Georgie Heyer. This is a medieval setting, not regency.
The reason I'm so fond of this book is the friendship between Simon, Alan and Geoffrey. Everything works against them being friends, but they overcome the obstacles because... well, basically because they're awesome!
I will just note that, although this book contains some romance, it's more of an adventure. I love that about it; there are battles, politics and intrigue, along with strong themes of loyalty and honour.
If you like more romance than history in your historical romance, then this probably isn't the book for you. However, if you want a more than a standard 'boy meets girl and they fall in love' with nice dresses scenario, (Oh, stop looking at me like that: we ALL read them!!!) then give this book a try. ;-P
One of my favourites! I love the friendship between the four friends, and how their different characters play off one another so well
First there is Sherry, the hero of the piece; Sherry is an overgrown school boy with (mostly) good intentions, he’s kind to Hero but doesn’t love her and is generally so careless that he doesn’t know when he’s upset her.
Then there is George, one of Sherry’s best friends (although that didn’t stop Sherry proposing to the object of George’s affection). He’s in love with a girl who won’t have him and so spends a lot of his time down in the dumps or angry. Unfortunately his cure for both of these ailments is to duel. Trouble is he’s such a good shot no one wants to meet him!
Then there’s Ferdy, not too bright but a good friend never the less, his battle with Nemesis is a highlight of the book.
Gil is the final friend, a clever chap who is the only thing holding the group together.
I loved how these young men kept seesawing between maturity and childishness, one moment calm and dignified and the next behaving like school boys. I also liked how they fought over the Heroine:
“Who told you could call my wife Kitten?”
I enjoyed this one, it's a very light and easy YA read.
I've been really in to re-imagined fairy tales lately and I liked the premise of this book. In fact I think it would make a good film.
I've already bought the next instalments, but I have one reservation: I don't like love triangles, or squares, or any other formation and I have a feeling this series is heading in that direction. If that IS the case, then I'm totally team Jared. Brody (I don't even like his name) did NOT float my boat, in fact, he sank it!!!
He's a bit of a damp squib, is Brody, a moody, petulant little boy. When he gets angry (which is most of the time)he refuses to talk to the heroine to show her how displeased he is with her.
Grow up and stop acting like a five year old, Brody, no one finds mood swings attractive!
I didn't find anything about his character enticing and I couldn't figure out what it was about him that had the heroine hot under her collar. The only thing that anyone really had to say about him was that he was rich and handsome...
Jared on the other hand (yet another name I'm not keen on) was pretty cool. I liked his mysteriousness, I liked his quips and I liked that he was trying to decide if it was worth his time to help the heroine, even as she was trying to decide whether to trust him or not. The only thing is that I have a feeling he's MUCH older than her (by say a hundred years!!!) which would be a bit icky if they got together considering she's about 16...
*Nice light read.
*Suitable for younger readers.
To celebrate the release of The Vow I'm giving away two copies of The Promise and a copy of The Promise and The Vow via smashwords!
All you have to do to be entered into the draw is share the poster above. Smashwords supports kindle and nook, if you don't have an e-reader the file can be downloaded on to your computer.
So get sharing!!!
Okay, so today I was writing a Kissy Kissy scene and I always find them EXTREMELY hard.
*The kiss* is one of the highlights of a romance book, it's the moment your hero and heroine finally show how in to each other they are. It's a BIG DEAL! The reader has probably waited 200 odd pages for this moment.
Now when I'm writing 'the kiss' I have to constantly fight the desire to simply state: 'they kissed' and move swiftly on.
When I'm reading, I feel cheated if I don't get a bit more info than that! On the other hand, I don't really find an explanation of the mechanics of the thing very 'romantic'. In fact a lot of kiss scenes leave me gagging!
So I got to thinking: what IS it that I like to read?
AFTER A BIT OF THOUGHT I CAME UP WITH A LIST OF WHAT I LIKE:
1. I want to know how this moment makes them feel closer, not just physically but emotionally as well.
2. I want to see their relationship change. The kiss showed the truth about how they felt for each other, lets not kill the moment with a: it was *just* a kiss, remark.
3. I like anticipation before my kiss, please don't hand it to me in the first few chapters. I like to work for my dose of kissy kissy; if I've had to wait, I'm more invested when it finally happens! (The second/third/etc book in a series can ignore this rule! ;-P)
4. Sweet gestures!!! The hero gets bonus points for gently caressing the heroines cheek or lifting her chin!
5. Build up! Not just throughout the book, but also in this moment. Holding hands, hugging, reassuring each other about something that has happened, it doesn't really matter. Just get me to question whether this will be 'The' moment.
6. When the heroine is embarrassed and the hero helps her to get over her nerves.
7. Non aggressive touchy feely. (Not to be confused with grabbing at bits and bobs!) This is 'the kiss', you're supposed to be proving that your love is pure! ;-P
AND WHAT I DON'T:
1. If I'm still reading, I already know the hero is hot, please don't feel the need to remind me at this delicate moment, it just makes the heroine look like a shallow bimbo.
2. Please, please, please don't mention tongues: It's as much of a mood killer as mentioning spit!!!
3. Please don't throw this beautiful moment of trust in to the middle of an argument! I've waited forever for this, I want it to mean something! 'The kiss' is a gesture of affection, not an underhanded way to win an argument!
4. If the hero is kissing her, yet there are unresolved issues about whether or not they are free to do so. (i.e. do they have a not quite ex?)
5. No fighting! Either the hero is a rapist, or the kiss is by mutual consent.
6. Endless staring at each others mouths... this just gets creepy after a while.
7. Kissing a random person to make the hero/heroine jealous. Congratulations: your hero/heroine is a douchebag!
8. Do NOT tell me how innocent the heroine is and then turn her into an expert. I do not buy it!
9. Stop eating each other, if you're hungry get take out!
So, now it's your turn! What do you like? What don't you like? Comment below and tell me!
So here it is at last!!!
This story really creeped me out.
It was just so horribly PLAUSIBLE!!! I could so easily believe that in the not too distant future we would all have an Auto. I could believe that the invasiveness of an Auto would quickly become "normal", and that all those innocent seeming updates would quickly turn into a nightmare if they were assessable to someone you didn't want to see them.
I've read a short by this author set in the same world ( in A Splendid Salmagundi) and both books left me the same vaguely unsettled feeling. Like I needed to close my Facebook account, get rid of my phone and get off grid AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE!!!
This was a great read; it had adventure, romance and hero that was sometimes out of his depth, but all the better just because he wasn’t always impossibly cool!
Jak is just a normal every day kind of guy (I mean alien, make that good looking alien!), who finds himself unwittingly drawn into the machinations of the baddie (aka The Sooner).
I don’t want to give away too much of the story, so I’ll just say that the main characters were likeable, and I was also fond of some of the secondary characters too. Sten in particular was funny, Keenan was just so nice and Cass’s mischievousness was hilarious. I loved the way she said things to give the most impact. Definitely one to keep on your (virtual) bookshelf.
P.S. look out for the crazy Doc in the first part of the book, when he asks Jak if he's Sten’s father I was in stitches!!!
I love, love, love, Freddy!!! He is one of my top (if not THE top) Georgette Heyer heros.
Surprised that's how I feel?
Then let me explain:
Freddy isn't your average GH hero, he is a pink, NOT a rake, NOT a nonsuch and certainly NOT 'in the petticoat line'. He is quite simply everyone's friend but no ones crush. His cousin Jack (Who IS a rake, IS a nonsuch and is VERY much in the petticoat line) thinks he's amusing in the way that you might find a kitten or puppy amusing. Which effectively made me hate, hate, hate Jack for the rest of the book! Because the thing about Freddy is that he tries REALLY hard and make's things work out right.
He isn't suave, he isn't able to just swan about and fix everything effortlessly, and I loved him for it! The happy endings he managed to salvage out of horrible tangles where all the better because he'd given his all to make it happen. And being ready to take a bashing for your girl, even when you know without a shadow of a doubt your gonna be beaten to pulp, makes a true hero. A nonsuch would have known he was going to win, and therefore his willingness would not be as brave.