Letter F on the A to Z April Challenge

Today is letter F on the A to Z Challenge. My book today is “Finding the Right Time” by Stephanie Hurt. Genre: Romance

Stephanie has previously been a guest author on this blog and you can find out more about her here, http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2QW

finding the right time

Lily has a dream that’s followed her since childhood. She’s standing on a porch watching a handsome cowboy walk toward her smiling, but she wakes before he reaches her.  The moment she moves to Savannah she realizes the dream is from another time, another life. She has to choose between two men, two moments in time. Finding The Right Time is a haunting love story that pulls you in to the struggles of time travel and reality.

Can dreams tell you about your past life? When Lily moves to Savannah to start her new career she moves into the very house she’s dreamed about since childhood. The landlord is a little too familiar and the cemetery on the property carries memories from her past. When she slips into the past everything comes back, even the man from her dreams. Can Rafe keep her in the past or will she slip from him again? Will their love transcend time? This is a powerhouse of romance that will keep you guessing until the end.

Stephanie  Hurt

Places to find me:

www.stephanie-hurt.com

Twitter:  @StephanieHurt4

https://www.facebook.com/StephaniePayneHurt

All of my books are available on Amazon, Smashwords, Allromanceebooks.com, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel, Oyster Ebooks, Apple iTunes, and CreateSpace.

Here are some randomly chosen links to other bloggers taking part in the challenge, please find time to visit their sites too.

http://nedyfay.wordpress.com/

http://wannabewriterlife.wordpress.com/

http://www.writer-way.blogspot.co.uk/

During the challenge we are asking people to comment on as many blogs as possible, all supportive comments are very much appreciated.

 AtoZ Banner [2014]

Guest Writer Dave Landry (Nov 12th)

Today my guest is Dave Landry, Dave contacted me a few weeks ago and asked to be considered as a guest on the blog, here’s how Dave introduced himself; “I’ve ghost written dozens of articles and am just venturing out as a freelancer. I would love this opportunity to gain exposure for my work. I specialize in finance and debt management but can cover a wide variety of issues.” Not the usual subject matter we have here on the blog, but after a few discussions we came up with a plan and Dave has written a piece for us. Let us know what you think.

Dave Landry

        Is Self-Publishing in the UK Difficult?

The internet has become a revolutionary resource for authors around the world; allowing them to bypass traditional publishing houses and self-publish their own material in the form of e-books or affordable book printing companies. This is a very liberating advantage to an author, giving them total control of their work and the empowerment to publish their own effort in a variety of forms, without having to adhere to strict guidelines from publishing houses.

However, the process can be difficult in the United Kingdom. Amazon is one of the key sites that authors use to self-publish e-books but it is becoming complicated and rife with policies that make it hard to publish, gain royalties, and gift books to friends and reviewers. Along with that, one of Amazon’s e-book competitors in the United Kingdom have recently ceased self-publishing activity.

Here are some of the basic problems in regards to self-publishing in the UK, along with some alternatives:

Advantages and Issues with Amazon

kindle

courtesy of Amazon.com

Amazon is the largest site for independent authors self-publishing their work into ebook format through the Kindle. However, there are many problems with Amazon that make it difficult for an author to self-publish their work.

Producing an e-book on the site has many advantages including global distribution, 5-minute publishing times, a “70% royalty,” the option to make changes to your book at any time, and publishing to Kindle devices and free Kindle apps. These benefits make Amazon the lead network for self-publishing on the e-book format in the United Kingdom, a format where over 11% of the sales are from self-published authors.

There are a number of disadvantages though making it harder for authors to publish and to share their works. One of the major issues with independent authors publishing books for Amazon’s Kindle site is with the alleged “seventy percent royalty.” This applies solely for books with a cover price between £1.98 and £6.60 ($2.99 to $9.99). If the price of the book is above or below that amount, authors only receive 35% of the royalties. This rule is apparently made so authors can keep their price down but as The Telegraph pointed out this prevents authors from making a modest income. Another problem with royalties is that an author has to clear £10.00 of royalty sales before the site deposits them their profits (in Australia, Amazon doesn’t offer direct deposit and will only send checks after $100 of sales have been made). Royalties are only paid out after 60 days have passed since the calendar month the sales were made in. So after a £10 minimum is reached, the author must wait 60 days to receive the royalties. This applies to each site, making marketing internationally difficult for the authors.

On top of this is the issue with taxing. All royalties are taxed doubly: authors are taxed from their local tax offices based on any income from sales, on top of a 30% tax from Amazon (since Amazon is an American company, all authors are taxed through the IRS as a foreign entity). This decreases the income an author receives greatly.  The second Taxation in the US can be avoided by an arduous process involving calling the IRS to obtain an EIN, as author David Gaughran explains here.

Lastly there is disadvantage in regards to the “gifting” option. Gifting allows an author to share their work with reviewers or friends. However for Amazon.co.uk, you cannot simply “gift” the book to another user. There is no option for this. Instead, users can create a customized gift card with the name and cover photo of the book. While, this is a way around the gifting option it is not as convenient, especially since gift certificates from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk are not interchangeable.

The Self-Publishing Shutdown

Since there are so many disadvantages with Amazon, perhaps self-publishing an ebook from another site would be the best option. However, Amazon’s UK ebook competitors such as Kobo and their site WH Smith, have recently gone offline due to complaints on the content from some self-publishers as reported by The Guardian. With censorship becoming an issue in the United Kingdom in regards to e-books, burgeoning self-publishing platforms are now on hold while site managers are reviewing content.

Some Alternatives;               

Yet there are some alternatives for self-publishing in the UK, if Amazon’s policies and issues with WH Smith are not welcoming to independent authors. There is Smashwords, which is a global distributor of e-books. Through the site, an author can sell their works on a variety of other sites like Amazon or Barnes and Nobles with minimal legwork. Smashwords also offers easy to use codes to “gift” free books to readers but their taxing policies are the same as Amazon’s.

CDS

Courtesy of Lulu.com

Another option is self-publishing physical copies of books through companies like Lulu. These sites offer discounted rates for bulk copies of a self-published work. At a minimal price and available in 15 different sizes and a variety of paper quality, Lulu seems to be an interesting alternative for the self-publisher, especially since it does offer the ability to publish e-books, or sell your physical copies on sites like Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

The ability to self-publish in itself is very liberating but it does seem that in order to have this opportunity, authors in the United Kingdom must abide by a variety of rules and regulations in order to get their work published without having to go through the tenuous task of finding a publishing house that would publish their work.

Thank you Dave,

Dave Landry is a financial adviser who frequently contributes to National Debt Relief to provide support to anyone going through bankruptcy or a financially difficult time. Dave is also an aspiring writer located in the US who has recently taken to researching self-publication and e-books in order to get his content out on the market faster and was appalled by some of the policies he found in the UK, hence the basis for this article. He wishes you luck in your publishing endeavours and hopes that this article helps you in some way!

Guest Author Serena Fairfax

My guest today is Serena Fairfax, please join me in welcoming Serena to the blog and let’s find out more about her.

serena_fairfax

1) Where is your home town?

London is my home and no one sings its praises better than Adele in  “Hometown Glory.”  Listen and hum along to it.

2)   How long have you been writing? What inspired you to pen your first book? 

Off and on for years.  I’d read some Mills & Boons and  tried my hand at it. Well, I never cracked the M&B nut although STRANGE INHERITANCE and PAINT ME A DREAM  were published by Robert Hale Ltd in its now defunct Rainbow Romance line.

3)  Tell us a bit about your childhood in India, have you worked any of your experiences into your writing?

My father was an international businessman (I fantasised that this was his cover story and that he was really a secret agent). Wherever in the world he was posted, we followed. We spent many enjoyable years in India  and as my mother was curious and gregarious we had  lots of friends from all backgrounds. Some of the incidents in WHERE THE BULBUL SINGS such as the suicide and the acid attack sprang from real life episodes. Then I was sent to boarding school in England (loved it- midnight feasts in the dorm with, dare I say, more than the odd tipple smuggled in, and inspiring teachers) followed by University where I read law and then qualified as a lawyer, which is still the day job.

4)  You’ve written 4 romances, there are so many sub-categories in this genre today where would you place each of your romances?

STRANGE INHERITANCE, PAINT ME A DREAM, GOLDEN GROVE and WILFUL FATE  (all  50,000 words) are what I categorise as light contemporary romances with a happy ever after ending.  Where THE BULBUL SINGS is contemporary women’s fiction (over 100,000 words) with a romance theme but essentially a story of a woman from the minority Anglo-Indian community who reinvents herself. IN THE PINK (45,000 words) isn’t a romance  but an entertainment.

5)  “Where the Bulbul Sings” is set in an Anglo-Indian community, what is a Bulbul?

A bulbul is an Indian songbird or, more romantically, nightingale. Bulbuls perch in Africa, Asia and as far north as Japan. They have short necks, long tails, wings are rounded and short and they vary in length from 13cms to 29cms.  They are highly vocal. Some bulbuls are rather drab whilst others have colourful plumage. Most bulbuls are monogamous but the yellow whiskered greenbul is polygamous!

6) How does the title reflect the story?

Ah, that’s for the reader to determine!

7) You’ve written another book “In the Pink” it is described as a wry comedy, tell us a little about the book and where the idea for the storyline came from.

A friend’s brief involvement with an NGO (non-governmental organisation) triggered the storyline and of course, I pumped it up and invented a lot of incidents and characters including the delightful Dame Marjorie Sandringham.

8) You are part of the “Romantic Novelists Association”, why is this a good group for aspiring romance writers to join?

It embraces a range of writer from newbies, the successful and still struggling and is supportive and encouraging to all. But what would be even better is if it were to go the extra mile to welcome to the membership, talented indie authors who haven’t before been published by traditional houses, thereby ending the unjustified bias against them. The local chapter meetings are a fun place to exchange ideas and the speakers give valuable tips on hot topics.

9) As an Indie Author, what marketing tools have worked well for you?

Marketing is 90% of an indie author’s work and is a hard slog but one mustn’t blush unseen. I give talks, appear at romance book fests (I’m participating in the Festival of Romance which is being held in November), blogging, guest posting, being interviewed on other writer’s blogs and joining writers’ groups. One never knows where it will lead.

10) Tell us about your latest book. Do you have a planned publication date?

My latest offspring is an erotic romance. I hope I’ve pulled it off (no pun intended). It’s scheduled for release as an ebook in December 2013.

Thanks so much, Rosie.

where_the_bulbul_sings_180For a direct link to this book click here for Amazon.co.uk

My books are available as ebooks on Amazon (USA and UK), Smashwords and the IBookstore.

Serena’s links:

Website     http://www.serenafairfax.com/

Blog : http://www.serenafairfax.com/serena_fairfax_author_blog/

Email:        info@serenafairfax.com

LinkedIn      http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/serena-fairfax/4a/852/a67

Twitter:      http://klout.com/user/Sefairfax?n=tw&v=connect_twitter

Facebook     http://www.facebook.com/serenafairfax

Amazon links:

STRANGE INHERITANCE (ASIN:B005KMVF34)

PAINT ME A DREAM (ASIN:B005LKMQZG)

GOLDEN GROVE (ASIN:B005JZ0RAO)

WHERE THE BULBUL SINGS  (ASIN:B0093MHTNM)

IN THE PINK (ASIN:B0051YFOTK)

WILFUL FATE (ASIN:B00802VMP2

Thanks for being my guest today Serena, and Good Luck with the next book.

Fall in Love With Reading 1-7th October

Seven authors and ten books for a $.99 sale from October 1-7th. (Prices may vary in the UK)

fall in love sale

Love Exactly by Cassandra Giovanni

Love ExactlyEmma Walker was a writer who’d lost herself to someone else’s anger–who had given up on ever feeling like herself again. Evan Levesque was a rock-god–the one all the woman wanted, but he’d  never gotten used to the loneliness between the stage and real life. With just one cup of coffee they’ll begin a journey of self-discovery  at each others sides, but can Emma handle Evan’s fame while dealing with her own demons? Emma’s checkered personal past, a bad relationship that haunts the edges of her memories, threatens to make everything implode  on them when Evan takes matters into his own hands. Sticks and  stones may break my bones, but your words…they’ll destroy my soul–Can Emma handle being put back together and facing who she’s become because of it?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo

Casted by Sonya Loveday

CastedJade had spent the majority of her life running from the Triad. The Triad,  are a powerful group, who would stop at nothing to obtain Jade and the  missing spell book for leader, Lorenzo’s, nefarious plans. And now that  she has absorbed the highly coveted magic contained inside the missing  book, there is nowhere left for her to hide. With the help of her  friends, Jade steps out from the shadows and learns how to fight back.  But no one is prepared for Elinor-the woman bound inside of the book  that’s trapped in Jade’s mind. Now she not only needs to protect herself from the Triad, but from what’s hiding inside her mind as well. Jade never expected the answer to it all would revolve around love. Edge is dark, mysterious, and a sworn member of the Triad. He also  hides a secret past that threatens the thin line he walks between good  and evil. Lives are at stake when Jade and Edge’s two worlds collide.  Can Jade learn to trust him when he says he is her pre-ordained and vows to do everything he can to protect her? But more importantly, can she  trust herself and the woman in her mind?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

 Waterfalls Down by Danielle Rohr

Water Falls DownWhat have they done to me here, to cause me to be unable to see beyond my cage?

Three teenagers committed and locked away in a mental institution act on  impulse, and manage to escape. Without a plan, money, ore even  identification Lynn, Chelsea, and Garret must find their way in a very  big, and very predatory world. After a great deal of travel and agony,  they find paradise in the form of Yosemite National Park. Battling the  elements of nature, as well as mental illness leaves these three broken, and defeated. Will they find the solution that can save them, or will  they fight against the current until they grow weak, and become just  another statistic?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Mere Enchantment by Alicia Rivoli

Mere EnchantmentA World Like No Other…

When a newly formed group of friends finds themselves fighting for survival, little did they know that was just the beginning.

When Chloe, Megan, Jason and Zach are forced to take cover in a nearby cave  from a violent storm they find their new friend Preston there as well.  Zach guides the group through the cave but as they go deeper strange  things begin to happen and they find themselves separated in a magical  kingdom surrounded by unusual people and wizards. Things get even more  dangerous as they travel the kingdom in search of the city of Mere and  each other.

As their journey unfolds, Preston discovers that the  bedtime stories he was told as a child are true and that his rightful  place in time must be realized. The kingdom itself has gone under attack as Jacan, a traitor to the crown, forces his armies through the magical borders.

Looking back Preston should have recognized that it was  all real. He should have seen the signs. But how could he have known?  After all, Jacan was just a villain in a story that took place in a far  off mystical land. How could he have imagined that the stories that his  father told him as a child were true?

How could any of them have  known that their destinies were already written, and that to discover  who they really are would take courage that they never realized they  had?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords

American Girl on Saturn By Nikki Godwin

American Girl on SaturnThe summer after graduation is supposed to be that first real taste of  freedom – but not for eighteen-year-old Chloe Branson. Just as that  breeze of freedom is making its way into her galaxy, her  secret-service-agent dad drops a meteor-sized bomb of bad news on her  and her sisters. An attempt has been made on the lives of Canadian  boyband, Spaceships Around Saturn, during their USA tour, and the guys  have to go into hiding ASAP. The only problem? In the midst of the  crisis and media frenzy, their dad volunteered to hide the guys…in  their house.

Six-year-old Emery is as ecstatic as any  self-proclaimed Saturnite would be, but Chloe and her seventeen-year-old sister Aralie watch their summer plans crash and burn like a falling  star. The SAS guys aren’t happy with the situation, either. Bad boy  Jules picks fights with Aralie about everything from his Twitter  followers to his laundry, and heart-throb Benji can’t escape Emery’s  fangirlisms for more than three minutes.

But after the super-cute  Milo kisses Chloe during a game of hide-and-seek, she finally  understands what Emery means when she talks about SAS being “out of this world.” If this is what Saturn feels like, Chloe doesn’t want to come  back to Earth.

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords

First I Love You by Genevieve Dewey

First I Love YouOne part Godfather, two parts Emma and a dash of Casablanca mixed together, “First, I Love You” isn’t a detective novel, a gangster novel, a mystery, a romance or a family saga. It’s a little of all of the above.

Imagine being a detective with a mobster for a father, or a mobster with a  straight arrow, good cop for a son. This is a relationship that is  tricky on its best day. Add in some well-meaning meddling from a mob  princess sister, an arrogant DEA agent, and gangsters running a human  trafficking ring and you have a recipe for a book that refuses to follow the rules. Told from the perspective and point of view of each the six  main characters this is the first novel in a trilogy about love,  loyalty, revenge and redemption.

Omaha Detective Tommy Gates has  kept his gangster father at arm’s length his whole life. Mickey Downey  has spent the better part of the last two decades trying to find ways to get back the son he lost through Witness Protection. Now Tommy has  taken an opportunity to work on a Federal Human Trafficking Joint Task  Force in Chicago where his father lives. Tommy’s sister Kiki and his  mother Mary see this as an opportunity to build a relationship between  the two. Tommy’s new DEA partner James Hoffman sees it as an opportunity to gain leverage over Mickey Downey. Tommy’s other partner, FBI Agent  Ginny Sommers wants to keep Tommy’s family as far from the case as  possible. When Kiki and James join forces, sparks fly and it sets fire  to a maelstrom of unexpected consequences for everyone involved.

Amazon

A Construct of Angels by Andrew Toynbee

A Construct of AngelsAfter accidentally triggering the spontaneous resurrection of a dead student, an ordinarily routine day for York-based paramedic Sara Finn erupts  into a series of events that propel her on a terrifying journey,  promising to forever change her pragmatic opinions of life and death.

Still haunted by her domineering and abusive stepfather and driven by a  life-long search for her missing younger brother, Sara finds herself  caught in the crossfire between warring forces, powerful beyond human  comprehension, that threaten to plunge civilisation into hellish chaos  and eternal darkness.

This, the first in the ‘Angels of York’  series, follows Sara’s increasingly dangerous adventures during the six  days that lead up to the September Equinox, a time of increasing  darkness. As the population of York is plunged into panic, overwhelming  the emergency services, Sara finds her loyalties torn between her  newfound companion, now incarcerated within York’s largest mental  institution, and her sworn medical duties.

Should she lend any  credence to his insistence that his purpose on Earth is to prevent an  imminent catastrophe? Or that it is being orchestrated from within the  city itself?

As her nights are filled with terrifying dreams and  she is once again confronted by the memories of her abusive childhood,  Sara is forced to accept that only one avenue remains open to her – to  put her own life to one side in order to help prevent the rapidly  approaching doomsday.

Amazon ~ Amazon UK

Deer in the Headlights by Staci Hart

Deer in the Headlights

Sweary, Sexy 18+ Romance

How do the Greek gods kill time? Because they’re always bored. It’s an  unavoidable downside of being alive for thousands of years. So, they  play games. Games with human players. Remember Shakespeare? Yeah, that  was Apollo. Bonnie and Clyde? Aphrodite vs Ares.

It’s Aphrodite’s  turn once again in the rounds of competitions, and she’ll defend her  domain: Love. She hasn’t lost a competition on her turf in over three  millennia, and she’s not about to start now. Apollo is her first  competitor, and he’s on a mission to win. If he wins, he’ll get a token; a favor that Aphrodite must fulfill. And with that favor, he’ll finally get the one woman he’s never been able to have.

Aphrodite and  Apollo will choose their human players, and if Aphrodite can’t get them  together before the clock runs out, Apollo will get his way. And she  couldn’t have that.

Lex and Dean are perfect for each other. They just don’t know it yet.

Dean is a perpetual bachelor, and a man-whore. A brooding, gorgeous, rock  star man-whore. Lex always has a boyfriend, but she’s never let anyone  in enough to let herself go. Not really. Not ever. Aphrodite has her  work cut out for her, but if she can’t make it work, no one can.

But she has more at stake than just Lex and Dean. Apollo killed her mortal  love, and that beef has been dragging on for thousands of years. Ares,  the douchebag, is forever trying to start a fight, and get Aphrodite  into bed. And Persephone, her best friend, is the one person she can  confide in, laugh with, and always count on for a healthy helping of  bacon when she’s having a bad day.

Follow the gods as they fight, laugh, cry, lose love, and gain power. Making a mess with humans has never been so fun.

 Snake in the Grass by Staci Hart

Snake in the GrassIt’s Round Two of high stakes Love Connection on Olympus, and this time, everything has changed. For Aphrodite, at least.

Ares is on deck, and Aphrodite is nervous. As much as she loves to hook up  with him, she doesn’t trust him as far as she could throw him, which  isn’t very far. He’s a big dude. They haven’t been together in a very  long time, but she can’t resist him. She never could. Even when every  part of her screamed that he was a liar.

Ares has a plan to keep  Aphrodite, for good this time. He wants to win the game, but he’ll hold  back to get what he wants. He’s sitting on a chance that he’s been  waiting thousands of years for, and he’ll do what he has to do to  convince her to stay forever.

The only thing that could stop him  is the secret that he’s been keeping from her for eons. If she finds  out, it will destroy everything.

Kat and Dillon have been through a lot, and everything has been to protect their younger siblings. They  have sacrificed everything to make sure their brother and sister are  safe. The players are tough and loyal. Fierce and determined. But they  become each other’s weakness, even though they fight it, and even though it means danger for Kat and her sister.

If Aphrodite can get the  players over their egos and issues long enough to see that they’re meant for each other, the competition will be a piece of cake. One that  she’ll eat a la mode, right in front of Ares, if she beats him.

Amazon ~ Smashwords

 What the Heart Wants by Staci Hart

What the Heart WantsIt’s 1984, and Tanaka Katsu is paving his way in the Yakuza. His marriage to Yuki was a business deal, and one that he has paid for with his  happiness.

Aphrodite can’t stand that he’s so miserable, and Hera, the goddess of marriage and monogamy, has a strong hold on Yuki, who  will do whatever it takes to get what she believes is hers. Aphrodite  won’t sit by and watch Katsu’s life slip away with no chance at love, so when he takes a trip to Vegas, she’ll introduce him to his match.

Kim never thought she’d be in the situation like the one that’s coming her  way, but what the heart wants is a powerful thing, and one that’s  impossible to walk away from.

Amazon ~ Smashwords

Blog Tour for Land of the Unaltered by Leti Del Mar

Today I began reading an advanced copy of this book ready for the launch and blog tour. So I thought I’d post ahead with a little information for you about the book.

 photo 480b7dc4-5dff-4157-b7ed-788677bced0d_zps88143d3d.jpg

Here is the pre-release synopsis to wet your appetite;

Rose comes from the capital of the Confederation of Cities where its  citizens live in luxury and the greatest fashion statement of all is  being Altered.  People change everything about the way they look as  often as they do their hairstyle but Rose is different.  Her position of privilege has made her an outcast and led her to suspect that something sinister is happening to the citizens and flees the capital along with a past that imprisons her in search of a fresh start in the Land of the  Unaltered.

Flynn lives in the Land of the Unaltered and hates the capitol and everything it stands for.  So when a spoiled capital girl is assigned to work with him, he wants nothing to do with her and is prepared to make her life  miserable.  But Flynn was not prepared for someone like Rose.  She  doesn’t fit the mould he expected and finds himself strongly attracted to her.  As she continues to surprise and outwit him, they begin to forge a bond that is tested when they discover a secret that could change  everything they know about Land of the Unaltered.

Land of the Unaltered is a Dystopian Romance and is the first instalment of the Unaltered Trilogy.

Leti Del Mar

Blog tour tab on my website (contains tour schedule):

http://wordswithletidelmar.blogspot.com/p/blog-tour.html

Book Links:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Land-Unaltered-Confederation-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00DD158FK

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/325731

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17875009-land-of-the-unaltered