Sunday, September 15, 2019

Release Day!

Need something to do besides watching football on a Sunday? Ghouls in the Grocery Store is out! The penultimate chapter of the Bloodlines saga focuses on Tiffany Stephens and her daughter Ellie after the tragic events of Sacrificed.


After the murder of her husband by enemies of her uncle’s coven, Tiffany Stephens wants a normal life for her five-year-old daughter. But little Ellie’s blood hold the key to the vampires’ salvation or their destruction, and there are those who will stop at nothing to obtain the child.

Jake Wong will do anything to protect his best friend’s daughter, but can he convince Max’s widow second chances are the best thing for both of them as well as Ellie?

Amazon US
Amazon, all other countries
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

Friday, September 13, 2019

Enforced Rest for the Wicked Writer

I have a minor procedure this morning, so Bella and I will be crashing on my recliner and watching Supernatural on Netflix while I shake off the effects of the anesthesia.

Have a great weekend, everyone! We'll catch you on the other side.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

No Rest for the Wicked Writer

I've spent the last couple of days working on the last three releases for this year and the first two for 2020. It means setting up what I call the blurb pages, i.e. the document that lists the pertinent information about the book, such as title, series, author, ISBNs, ad blurb, links, prices, etc.

As I'm entering the information on Bowker, I realize I've almost used up the first 100 ISBNs I purchased back in 2011. That's two per book, one for the EPUB and one for the trade paperback. What happens when I start doing audio? Or hardbacks? It all adds up quick.

DH and I discussed the purchase of more ISBNs over lunch this afternoon. I'm leaning toward purchasing the 1000-pack after the first of the year. If I get my act together with Alter Ego's releases, I'm going to need a lot more than 100.

Some folks advocate not using ISBNs, and that's their prerogative. However, I've found that having a company name, logo, and ISBNs specifically assigned to that company means retailers of all stripes take my little publishing business more seriously.

After all, I not just a writer. I'm a mad and fluffy micro-publisher!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Saving the Planet One Dog at a Time

This is Bella. After swearing upon all the gods that are, have been, and ever will be I would not get another dog after my last beagle's death four years ago, this sweet, little thing seduced me into adopting her.

Bella is a Yorkie-Maltese mix. She was at a no-kill, pet rescue down the road from us. The people at the rescue have tried to place Bella twice before I met her. In both instances, the owners returned her a month later. The things they complained about? Well, they are relatively minor issues, and patience and love were not used to correct the behavior they objected to. Let's just say over the last three days, we've had to give her lots of cuddles because she always thinks she's going to be punished.

Since we still don't have a house yet, Bella is the perfect size for an apartment. She loves to curl up next to me while I write and edit though she just moved over to DH's recliner (where she's sitting in this picture) because Mommy's having one hell of a hot flash, and she's too warm even for Bella.

Now, I'm getting on my soapbox. Dogs are not fashion accessories or status symbols. They are pack animals. They want and need contact with other members of their pack. If you bring a dog into your home, you are that dog's pack. Treat them right, and you'll have someone so loyal to you, they will put their life on the line for you. They will love you unconditionally. If you're not willing to return that commitment, please, PLEASE don't get a dog.

Okay, I'm climbing off my soapbox now. It's time for our walk.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

I Love the '80's

Last month, I had too much fun looking up what are now obscure songs from when I was in high school and college, so I'm continuing in September.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Cheaters Never Prosper

I've been avoiding the subject of a bunch of authors slammed by the Amazon ban hammer over the last year. Why? Because I wanted to see how things shake out.

Maybe it's because I used to be an attorney, but I never take anyone at their word anymore. All the parties in a lawsuit are after something. Something they don't necessarily want the judge, jury, mediator, or arbitrator to know. And no one is totally innocent.

But a few recent cases actually made me take Amazon's side.

Their TOS is pretty fucking clear. (Except for where the line between erotica and pornography is. These days, most of us who write in the erotica genre have a clue where the mines are in the field and know better than to cross them.) But here's the thing, Amazon ain't REQUIRED to carry anybody's shit.

Including mine. Which is why I've tried to keep my nose clean since the 2013 Pornocalypse.

But like Faleena Hopkins and others before them, there's a few bad actors who are trying to proclaim their innocence and accuse Amazon of picking on them. Some of their reasoning is rather disingenuous.

Michael Scott Earle lost his arbitration case against Amazon last week. His attorneys' press release on the matter was, at best, laughable. What the press release left out was that MSE tried to sneak his books back on Amazon through another publishing company prior to the arbitration.

Furthermore, MSE went all-Faleena in trying to trademark single words or common terms within pop culture. "Dragon Slayer" was denied by the USPTO. However, "Tamer" managed to get through. There's currently a lawsuit to overturn that approval backed by the Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the Author's Guild.

Then there's Alexa Riley, or actually the two young ladies who use the pseudonym of AR. Back in July, a lot of people were surprised that Amazon would *gasp* ban a top-selling romance author!

However, Amazon did not ban all of AR's books. They only banned AR's self-published books, not the ones published by Harlequin.

The ladies haven't admitted to anything, though there's a lot of speculation and suspicion in the writer communities including accusations of book stuffing, i.e. including multiple stories in a file without labeling it as a bundle or anthology. I do know that they used words in erotica titles that were banned back in 2013, such as "virgin".

Whatever pissed off the Powers That Be at Amazon was exacerbated  when the ladies also tried an end-runaround of the ban by signing a distribution deal with Entangled Publishing. The AR books Entangled put up on Amazon near the end of August disappeared from the retailer within hours.

I'm going to stick with the same thoughts I had when the subjects come up, as they invariable do, on writer-related social media. Would you go into a casino and disobey their rules?

Seriously, what happens if you count cards in blackjack, exchange the dice on craps, or swap out the ball at the roulette table? If you're lucky, you only get banned from the establishment.

Well, it's Amazon's house and Amazon's rules. They can ban anyone they want for just about any reason they want. Just be happy the company isn't run by the Mob.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Happy Labor Day!

I looked up from finishing the first round of edits on Ghouls in the Grocery Store to find out it was September already.

Unlike DH, I don't have today off. That's part of the joy and curse of being self-employed. I need to wrap up this project and do the same for Resurrected so I can take some time off in a few weeks to go to GK's graduation from boot camp and visit with a friend who recently moved to the same state where the base is located. No cook-outs today is a small price to pay.

I hope the rest of you enjoy your day off!

Friday, August 30, 2019

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day is a day to celebrate workers' rights. All the things our predecessors went through, including being murdered, to give us the workweek and benefits we have now. I could go on and on about how those rights are being eroded.

But the paradigm is starting to change. More and more people, like me, are jumping on the entrepreneurial bandwagon. We feel we have to work harder and faster than everyone else around us to succeed.

And we end up burning ourselves out in the process. The very things our predecessors fought so hard for, we don't take them into consideration. No one is forcing us to work so hard except ourselves.

Especially creatives. We need time to refill the well. More and more of my colleagues are taking one day of the week to themselves. To read. Walk. Play with their children. Spend quality time with their significant others. Watch the stars spin across the sky. To refill that well.

So no matter what you do for a living, take a moment to simply breath this weekend and enjoy being alive.