Saturday, May 21, 2011


1st, the $25 Amazon gift certificate: Samantha Fury. 
  • Because: she sent that luscious photo of one of my favorite models, making it the most helpful suggestion. At first I thought it was the one I'd already tried unsuccessfully, but this photo is a little different. The one I already had is black & white, which would be hard to color, but also the head positioning in the older one is straight forward, which wouldn't work. But this one is perfect, with his head turned as if he is listening to the Siren's song.
2nd, the $10 Amazon gift certificate: Amber Autry-Munnerlyn.

I will give a $1 Amazon gift certificate OR a coupon for a free download of Siren (99 cent value) to each of the other entrants. But since I don't have email addresses for all of you, I'll be contacting you through Face Book to ask your choice. The Amazon certificate requires an email address, but the Smashwords coupon is something I can simply give to you directly for you to use.

SIREN is now up and available on Smashwords, where the first copy sold within an hour. It's also up on Amazon UK, where at least one copy has sold within minutes. You can see the page for it on Amazon US already but I don't know if it can be bought yet since my bookshelf page says it isn't available yet. All the same, it'll be available sometime this evening, and here's the link:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


(Note 2: I've added two new designs to the contest, based largely on what you've had to say so far. So if you've got time, take a look and see what you think of #4 and #5.)

(NOTE 1: If you have to comment anonymously, pls include your FaceBook name of some other way I can reach you- probably not good to show your email address on the comment.)

I'm about to release my first totally independent novella, SIREN. This 25,000 word novella. It's gone through an outside editor, and is ready to go. Except for one thing. It has THREE covers. So I'd like you to help me decide which one is the best one for the story.  THERE WILL BE PRIZES.

SIREN is a 24,000 word novella, a sensual historical sea fantasy romance set in 1851, during the time of the great Clipper Ships. From the beginning, Siren is a mystery to the hero, John Wall, so main story is told entirely in his point of view, to emphasize his inability to know or understand the mysterious being of the sea.

For seventeen years, John Wall has sailed the seas, braving storms and pirates to bring his cargo safely into port.

Sometimes he sees the Siren and hears her clarion voice above the crashing waves:
"Come to me, John Wall. Come to me."

But the Siren's song is death, so John resists its lure--
Until the night he meets the King of Storms.

Masts shattered, sheets ripped and sails torn, his men-- gone--
John clings fiercely to the wreckage, defying death.
And the Siren comes for him.
"Come to me," her beautiful voice sings.

Their lips locked in a kiss, John Wall slips beneath the sea.

What has he found? Heaven? Hell?
Or something beyond his wildest imagination?

Read the blurb and look at the three proposed covers, on this post. And comment. If all you want to say is "Great cover!", that's fine with me. But the commenters who give some helpful, insightful suggestions  (I get to decide) will be given an extra FIVE chances toward winning the prizes. Yes, you can say you don't like something, and yes, you can point out flaws. Remember, my crazy eyes often don't see something that's perfectly obvious to other people, so I don't take offense to such things if they're not rudely presented.

You MUST be willing to give me your actual email address if you are a winner because all prizes must be sent by email.

1st: $25 Gift Certificate to Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Sony, or other ebook retailer the winner chooses. This will be MY choice of the most helpful comment. no promises that I'll actually be able to use the best comment though.
2nd: $10 Gift Certificate to an ebook retailer of winner's choice, randomly drawn from all commenters. (Don't spam me with hundreds of "nice cover" type entries. I'll just delete all but one anyway.) Commenters with helpful suggestions or comments beyond "nice cover" remarks will be given five entries into the drawing.
3rd: Ten $1 Gift certificates to AMAZON ONLY. These will be randomly drawn in the above manner.
Bonus Prizes: Two Free copies of SIREN from Smashwords

Nobody gets more than one prize.

DEADLINE: You've got till NOON, Friday May 18, 2011, to enter. I have to cut it off then so I can get the book out. And I'll announce the winners on Friday night on this blog.

And look for SIREN's release on Amazon, Smashwords and other ebook retailers. I'll post precise links when I get them.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you have to say!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oh, the Treachery!

Temporarily FREE on Kindle!
Okay, so it's not really treachery. Maybe more of a slippery slope. But since I once broke my wrist by slipping on a flat, nearly level rock AFTER climbing down a cliff, I'm a little bit hyper-vigilant about slippery slopes.

It seems two of my books, FIRE DANCE and THE MUDLARK, are caught in a price war between Sony and Amazon. Sony marked them down to $0.00 (which as near as I can tell is a contract violation), and Amazon consequently matched the price (which is NOT a contract violation).

Temporarily FREE on Kindle!
I have no idea how this might have changed my sales numbers on Sony- and in fact I can't get any communication from either them or Smashwords, my distributor. But I can tell you Amazon reports that I've had over 35,000 downloads of my FOUR directly published books in less than a week.

So I should be excited about two huge bookstores giving away my book without my permission? You bet. Here's why:

At first sales of the other two, non-free directly published books as well as the three published by other publishers, dropped drastically. But within less than a day, they rose. They had been dragging after a four month run at the Top Seller lists on Amazon, and needed a little infusion of something. My plan had been to direct-publish a novella- my historical sea fantasy romance, SIREN, but formatting problems, three back-to-back conferences in April and a huge increase in cover art requests have slowed me down for anything that doesn't have a firm deadline. So Free Reads is just the boost I need right now to go along with the next release.

That's most likely about 20,000 new readers in the US and about 4,000 in UK, at least glancing at my books on their Kindles. And from my experience, a fair number of readers will go buy another book by me, once they've read one. I particularly like seeing my UK sales go up, tossing both HIS MAJESTY, THE PRINCE OF TOADS and LOKI'S DAUGHTERS into the UK Top Sellers lists. Before, they'd gone all but undiscovered.

So what am I going to do about Sony? Nothing, probably. Will they pay me? I don't know. But in the meantime, I'm issuing an open invitation to all readers. GO GET 'EM!

About Me

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I write write write. Sometimes I travel. Then I write some more. And I have a great family who understand that I write write write.