Saturday, January 31, 2015

Serpent's Bite is Now Available!

It went live this morning!  Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered!  Serpent's Bite is currently available on Kindle.  If you haven't read book 1 in the series yet, it is also available on Kindle (set a calendar reminder--it will be free to download from February 1st-3rd).


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Windows 10 for free

A few days ago a friend sent me an article about how Windows 10 is going to be offered free to 7 and 8 users for a limited time.  I hate to say it, but this kind of thing makes me tense.  Change on my laptop always does--I spend a lot of time here, and rolling the dice on a makeover of my most used space carries a huge anxiety factor.  I don't like change for the sake of change, so it should be pretty obvious...

I didn't understand Windows 8.  I don't hold it against anyone who loved this OS, but I had to install a third party client to make the tiles go away and bring back my familiar start menus.

And I still don't understand the tiles.  Sometimes I get to a screen where I MUST use the tiles to do something, and I ESC out and find a different way to complete my task.  Or I just don't complete it.  I have to wonder how much Windows 8 cost companies in productivity due to employees like me.  Don't get me wrong--I love tiles on my touch screens, and I get that some computers have them now, but mine does not.

This is why I'm not an early adopter.  I wait until after the first patch has been offered, crashed everything, fixed again, and people start complaining that they didn't fix a handful of minutiae with it.
My husband, however, did want the aforementioned upgrade (he didn't get the tiles, either), and Windows 10 does appear to be an improvement.  The tiles have been down played to occupy a smaller spot in the start menu (I still cringe when I see them, because they've beaten me with the stupid stick too many times before), and from what he says, the OS is much more cloud-centric now.

I'm still going to hold out for the first patch to get fixed.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

3 a.m. stress-induced inspiration

I've had some down time recently due to my child being sick (better now, very thankfully).  We ended up in the hospital for a couple of nights, and while I didn't have my laptop with me, I did manage to pen a new story idea after bedtime one night.  It was one of those crazy middle of the night dreams, and I woke up wondering if it could be worked into a novel.  I think it can, but I'm going to wait a few days just to be sure that isn't the sleep deprivation talking.

It's a sort of scifi futuristic story, so a little outside of where I've built my name, but maybe.  Or, maybe I'll publish it under a different name.  I'll see how it goes if I get the time to write it.

Due to a lag in editing progress on the 4th Redemption book, I came home with a determined attitude and promptly decided that I might go back and tie up a few loose ends from the Waldgrave series.  I've been asked a few times about side characters and where they ended up, so I figure if I have time, I'll write some novelettes leading up to the next Waldgrave novels.  Why not, right?  It might be fun to share the tidbits that didn't make it in, like where Marie ended up and Rollin's back story.    I wrote those outlines tonight, as well as outlines for the next three Lena Collins books, and edited another couple of chapters.  I'm really hoping I get Redemption 4 edited on schedule, but we'll see--If I don't, then I guess I'll shift my timeline a little and make up any losses in April.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Serpent's Bite -- Now Available for Pre-Order


After the writing blitz last month, the pre-order for Serpent's Bite: Redemption Book 3 is now live!

You can check it out on Kindle here.  (If you're looking for the series on another platform, please see my post here, and then email me directly for the availability schedule.)

This series is currently available in Kindle Unlimited.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chores are like nesting dolls

Despite my best intentions, I still have three pumpkins hanging around my basement.  Yes, they've been there since August, and yes, I have everything I need to get them out of the basement and into my pantry.  I'm sitting on my couch, right now, thinking about how I should really go down there and carry them up, because the baby is sleeping and it's an excellent opportunity.

But if I'm going to roast them, I've got to do it all at once so I don't have to set up and take down my food mill and dehydrator multiple times.  I've also got to clean the refrigerator before this effort is undertaken, because three pumpkins takes up a heck of a lot more space than one would think.  To clean the refrigerator I need an empty trash can and and empty dishwasher...

So I guess what I'm looking at here is doing the dishes this afternoon so that I can clean out the fridge tonight, and then roast pumpkins tomorrow.  The roasted pumpkins can be stored in the newly clean fridge overnight.  Then I will mill the next day, store the pumpkin goo in the newly clean food containers from cleaning out the fridge, and then clean and store the food mill.  Then dehydrate for the next 3-5 days...

Some days, I wake up with the best intentions of getting stuff done, and then I get buried in the bigger picture of how everything chore in my house seems to be contingent on everything else.  It's like it all has to get done or nothing can get done.  It's like the logic center of my brain is conspiring to validate my own laziness and procrastination.

I'm getting up now.

Wish me luck.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Redemption series is now in KU

Just a quick note--Spider Catcher and Rabbit Bones are now enrolled in KDP Select, which means you can read them for free from the Kindle Owners Lending Library if you have Amazon Prime, or read them for free if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.

Stay tuned for the launch of Serpent's Bite later this month.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Putting one of my series in Kindle Unlimited

Over the last few weeks, I've found myself spending a lot of time thinking about the various publishing options out there.  There are a lot of them--everything from vanity press to traditional publishing.  Even within Kindle Direct Publishing, there is a choice to put the book into the Kindle Select program, thereby making it exclusive to the Kindle for 90 days.

I have dabbled with Select a few times in the past, but never saw enough of a response to warrant keeping the titles in.  By that, I mean that I don't think Select increased my readership enough (or, let's face it--at all) on Kindle to warrant taking the book away from fans on other platforms.

...And along came Kindle Unlimited, Amazon's new paid subscription service that is bundled into the Kindle Select program.  I am hearing from some fellow authors that they are reaching new readers through Kindle Unlimited.  I am hearing from other authors that the program did nothing for them.  It seems that genre is a big factor in whether or not the program benefits a specific series or even a specific book.

After some consideration (and believe me, this was a big decision), I have decided that I'm going to try putting the Redemption series into Kindle Unlimited in the coming months, just for 90 days, to see what happens.  During this time, the Redemption books will be unavailable at other ebook venues, but Waldgrave will still be available everywhere.

I have started the take down process to remove the books from other vendors, including Nook, Kobo, and Apple, and I expect they will be down sometime in the next 2 weeks.

I know there are a few fans out there reading on Nook and Kobo (and others), and if that's you, please shoot me an email.  I don't want to make the books inaccessible to anyone, so I want to work out an availability schedule on those other platforms that won't conflict with Amazon's terms of service.  I'm also seeking beta readers for Redemption, so feel free to throw your name in the hat if you're interested!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Animal prints in the snow

We still have about a foot of snow in the back yard, accumulated from several storms in the last few weeks.  We're scheduled to get more today, but this morning I was completely tickled to look out back and see the various trails and prints of all the critters who have passed through.  It looks like we've got quite a few rabbits back there, some mice that seem to traverse back and forth from the apple trees to the garden, and a possible raccoon that has been scoping out our garbage cans and has left the pine trees for the shelter of the play set.

Small wonder that I suddenly have a craving to go and reread Brian Jacques' Redwall books.  :)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Update on Serpent's Bite


Here is an updated cover for Serpent's Bite, Redemption Book 3, which I will be releasing end of this month.  I'm in the final stages of editing now, and I expect to put up a pre-order in about 2 weeks.

It is such a huge relief to finally have this one off my plate...for anyone who's been following for a while, you may know that this manuscript has been a bear.  The first book I wrote in the Redemption series was actually what is now books 2 and 3 (Rabbit Bones and Serpent's Bite).  My initial readers couldn't make it past the first third of that manuscript, though, because they wanted to know what had happened during Ember's previous stay on the island.  These details were discussed later in the manuscript, but they said it just wasn't working.

So I started writing a new introduction.  The introduction got too long, and I decided it would be a short prequel.  Then I dropped the "short," and Spider Catcher was born out of snips and edits of various pieces of that original manuscript.  I took what was left after excising what is now book 1, and started to flesh it out.  Without all of the history and background explanations, there was a lot more room to focus on the plot and characters and developing the story, and soon I had a novel.  Then two addition to the other novel I had already taken out.  From one manuscript.

And that, friends, is the writing and editing history of the last two years of my life.  I've been wrestling with a bear, trying to make complete plots and catch continuity errors, and oh yeah, this entire story used to be told in the first person.  :P

The relief I am feeling right now, that I can finally proceed to a rewrite and edit of book 4 (tentatively titled Pale Hound), which was originally book 2, is immense.  Let's hope it's smooth sailing from here.  In any case, thank you all for your patience--stay tuned for the pre-order around January 14th-18th ish.