Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Saving Grace

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Well here it is!

My long-awaited Pan Macmillan Momentum story Saving Grace is now up on Amazon and available for liking, tagging and even pre-ordering.

Here's the premise to tickle your taste buds:

It’s 1878 and London’s most beautiful and hard-hearted prostitute, Grace Fortune, is preparing for her next job. She’s the special initiation ‘gift’ procured by a mother in fashionable Mayfair for her son’s twenty-first birthday.

When Grace discovers she is to be servicing the man whose secret she’d guarded at the cost of her once-secure position as a housemaid and whose betrayal has plunged her into this hated life, she wants revenge.

That is, until the re-emergence of malevolent forces that destroyed the couple’s young love. Now David and Grace must reconcile the past and fight for a different kind of justice to salvage their dignity and find happiness.

This story is rated "Medium Hot" (3 out of 5 flames) and contains F/M pairings.

You can order it from Amazon here.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bad Reviews - the Downside of Free Promotions

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In August, after I got back the rights to my first book Lady Sarah’s Redemption, I decided to enrol it in the Kindle Select program so that I could play around with the 5 free promotion days allowed me during the 3 months exclusivity I promised Amazon.

Initially the book sold well with mostly 4 star reviews. I was pleased to see it enjoy a new lease of life as it had been first published in hard cover so was an expensive product for a debut author to promote. It was available mostly in libraries in the UK and Commonwealth.

It's by no means my best book as the first half focused on the romance while the second half ramped up the suspense and intrigue. Writing it made me realise I was as much a writer of intrigue and suspense as I was of romance, and I've learned to balance the two more successfully in my subsequent Beverley Eikli and Beverley Oakley books. Here are a couple of the Amazon reviews for Lady Sarah's Redemption.

4.0 out of 5 stars
Intriguing October 19, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is quite a historical romance. I would have liked to see some sensual scenes in it, but it is full or action, scandal and quite a tumultuous love story. If you like historical fiction, this is the book for you. I was quite pleased with it.
4.0 out of 5 stars

Keeper November 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The beginning was a little confusing. After I figured out who was who, the story was wonderful with enough suspense to keep me reading to the end. The love story/ romance was clean and wholesome. The ending left you feeling warm and fuzzy.
4.0 out of 5 stars

Rachel Hyde (Myshelf Review) 
I enjoyed this twist on the old gothic novel standby plot of the governess in the mysterious household. This imaginative writer stands a lot of the expected clich├ęs on their heads and treats the reader to something rather different and refreshing. Spoilt Lady Sarah has some lessons to learn, as does man-with-a-past Roland and his "ugly duckling" daughter Caro. There are some surprising turns in this novel and the characters find themselves in rather more peril than might be surmised by reading the above description. The ending is a bit far-fetched in some respects, but don't let that put you off diving into this talented new writer's debut novel. If you think standard Regencies need a bit of shaking up, then this might fit the bill.

I'd written my first romance at the age of 17, so 23 years later when Lady Sarah's Redemption was published the the elation I felt at seeing it in print was overwhelming at the time. I really was like a new mother.

Obviously time and distance mutes these feelings while the thick skin we develop through countless rejections during our unpublished years stands us in good stead if or when we get less than favourable reviews, later.

Bad reviews can sting but they’re inevitable and one can’t afford to be a delicate little petal when confronted with screaming headlines which proclaim our hard work as ‘Dull and Boring’. After checking out my latest Amazon reviews, this was the last thing I read before I closed my computer to go to sleep last night. Rather than drift off thinking about how much someone disliked my book I was more interested in mulling over the curious phenomenon of people who publicly revile a ‘free purchase’ they’d never have bought in the first place.

So, this is by my dissatisfied reader who admits she never got beyond the first few pages; who admits, also, it wasn’t the kind of book she’d pay for, yet somehow feels justified in posting the following review.

1.0 out of 5 stars
Dull and boring November 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
If I cannot get interested in a book in the first two or three pages, I don't continue reading in the hopes that the plot will pick up. Such was the case with Lady Sarah's Redemption. From the start the author was overly descriptive with things that didn't really contribute to moving the plot along. The first few pages were so dull and boring, I knew I had no interest at all in finishing this book. Luckily it was free. I would have been very disappointed had I paid for it. There are so many books out there waiting to be sampled/read that I won't waste time on one that doesn't hold my interest from the start. This was a 'Kindle- delete'!
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Readers who indulge in free downloads of books only because they’re free are often the first to denounce them in a public forum.

People who pay money for a kindle download have usually decided it’s worth the price tag on the basis of the first chapter which is provided free.

So while free promotions can be great, first-time authors enrolled in Kindle Select must beware. Not all their readers will write a review with the respect and discernment generally displayed by those who’ve paid for it.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ellora's Cave Cover Art

It's always exciting to receive the cover art of one's next book. I've been particularly spoiled, with two covers in three weeks. Here's the latest from the first in my new series for Ellora's Cave. The series is about a viscount's legitimate family - his wife of 20 years and their two daughters - and his illegitimate family, which includes a son and two daughters. The children obviously have very different experiences and expectations on account of which side of the blanket they were born.

Book One - Her Gilded Prison - has the following premise: 

The lovely Lady Sybil’s 20-year marriage has not produced an heir - which is hardly surprising since her husband cannot bear to be parted from his long-term mistress.

When heir-apparent, handsome cousin Stephen arrives at Grange Hall to be briefed on his duties as the next Viscount Partington, he sets many feminine hearts a-flutter, including those of Sybil’s two daughters: plain, dumpy Hetty and fiery, exquisite Araminta.

Then a unwelcome contender for the viscountancy emerges. Presumed dead, Edgar turns out not to have died on the battlefield - but nor has he distinguished himself there, either.

In order that mutton-headed Edgar never inherit what her husband has spent his lifetime creating, Lady Sybil devises an extraordinary plan...

In his wildest dreams, Cousin Stephen never expected his duties would be so diverse.

I don't yet have a release date but I'm hoping the book will be out in time for next year's Romantic Times Convention which I'll be attending in Kansas City in early May.

Eivind will fly me over and the plan is then to go on a 10-day motorcycle ride through California and Nevada before Eivind flies back to Australia while I attend the 5-day conference. He'll then return to LA with the girls to meet me and and we'll take them for a week's holiday to Disneyland.