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Here’s a little taste

I have got the edits for The Croaking Raven back, and I thought to share the first chapter with you. I hope you like it. But first, here’s what the book is about:

Harper George, a crisis negotiator for the Metropolitan Police Service, is having a bad day. A hostage has died, the MPS has given her the boot, and she has to handle a heist negotiation drunk. It doesn’t end well. It’s about to get worse. A criminal organisation wants Harper to work for them. When she refuses, people start dying. The seemingly random deaths turn out to have a common nominator: Harper, and a negotiation she has failed. Someone wants revenge, but who and why? Harper is determined to solve the mystery before more people die – and before she has to give in to the criminals’ demands. But then it’s too late. Harper has to face the toughest negotiation of her career: that for her own life. 
Chapter One

“Here’s to Johnny.” Harper saluted with her glass to an audience of zero, and then drained the contents. It wa…

Genre hopping. (And a cover reveal!)

I have written a thriller. Or maybe a crime novel. It could be a suspense story too. I’m not entirely sure. I haven’t written this kind of book before.

I’ve been genre hopping.

All my books so far have been romances. There are paranormal romances and contemporary romances. Romantic suspense and romances just for romance’s sake. This book:no romantic elements whatsoever. And no paranormal elements either, for that matter.

I didn’t intend to switch genres. I have quite a few Two-Natured London books still to write, and I didn’t really have time for this book. But the idea struck and wouldn’t let go, so I had no choice. What’s more, I believe I will write another book in this genre too. Because I liked it.

The lack of romantic elements was refreshing. I didn’t have to think of every interaction between characters in terms of romantic interests. And unlike in romances, the heroine didn’t have to find fulfilment in the form of a husband and the happily ever after.

New elements replaced the old.…

Running a Facebook ad? Here's five things to consider.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I have a new Facebook page. Last week, I tried my hand in advertising on FB for the first time. The experience was positive. Partly it’s because advertising there is easy; partly it’s because I had a limited campaign to run.
I ran a Kindle Countdown Deal for the Two-Natured London series on amazon.com from Thursday to Sunday, which I advertised from Friday to Saturday. Having a limited time, specific location, and selected books made it easy to compose the advertisement. I had my target audience (readers of paranormal romances), and FB knew where to find them.
Facebook makes it easy to advertise there. Compose the post – I had a large colourful picture to add with mine for maximum attention – and click a button. You can then choose the target area (the US in this case), target demographic (women between 25 and 60 for my books), the sum you’re prepared to use (FB tells the minimum, you can choose how much you’re prepared to use), and the number of day…

Readers and the social media

“If your readers aren’t on Tumblr, there’s no point in wasting your time with it.” The above wisdom sailed down my Twitter stream the other day. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the good sense to favour it so that I could give you the exact quote or – more importantly – who came up with it. But the message is understood without them:
In order to reach new readers, you have to be present where they are. It won’t happen the other way round.Back in a day, authors would only be available at a given time and place, i.e. on book tours. Readers would either show up or not, depending on the popularity of the author. Book tours haven’t disappeared anywhere, but they have become a luxury that publishers pay only for selected few. For most self-published authors, they aren’t an option at all.

Thankfully, there’s the social media, where authors can be available at all times for everyone, everywhere. Depending on the popularity of the platform you use, the number of potential readers you could reach can …

Prologues, yay or nay?

I don’t like prologues. Never have. They are usually boring, overly long ramblings of things the author thinks a reader needs to know to understand the book. At worst, they are a necessary read before one gets to the actual book without any real content; at best they give a short glimpse to a character that then promptly dies, inciting the events thatfollow.
Whatever form they take, I have never written one for my books. I have heartily embraced every writing advice that tells to delete them. My books don’t need them.

I was, therefore, rather surprised when I found myself writing a prologue. The book was doing fine without it. It didn’t even occur to me to add it. Yet, the moment the notion of writing it entered my mind, it felt self-evident that the book needed it. So now it has one.
I’m writing a thriller – of sorts. Most of it is in the protagonist’s point of view. It works when I’m trying to keep the reader as much in the dark as the protagonist is, but at times it can be limiting. S…

Exclusive or not, part 2.

A quick blog post on a familiar topic: Kindle Unlimited. Mainly to draw attention to two posts, Author Earnings Report for October 2014, and Hugh Howey’s blog post about it.
The previous time I wrote about the topic, Howey held that he might move his books exclusively to Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. After the latest report, he’s having second thoughts. He notes that especially those indie authors with middling sales aren’t doing very well on KU, mainly because compensation per borrow is less than what they would make per sale. Moreover, he finds troublesome a system that rewards those who do well while leaving others worse off. Therefore, he might stay off KU for ethical reasons.
Howey isn’t against KU. He encourages authors to experiment. If your books aren’t on other platforms yet, sign up for 90 days and see what happens. You can always leave if it doesn’t work for you. However, he questions the need for exclusivity. Perhaps it’s time that Amazon drop it. As he says, Amazon is by far…

Exclusive or not?

I’ve read two posts in recent days about pros and cons of selling books exclusively on Amazon. In the first, Hugh Howey leans towards exclusivity. His books move well through Kindle Unlimited, and even though he earns a little less per book there, the sales on other venues aren’t enough to compensate the loss of those loans, should he take his books out of KU. Another post took a view that it’s bad for competition to have only one major operator in e-book business, and so one shouldn’t limit the sales to Amazon. Both views have their merits.
Not all of us have a choice, though. For many self-published authors, Kindle Unlimited has meant an almost complete stop of sales, and the loans haven’t compensated the loss. On top of dwindling borrows, the compensation per borrow has gone down. But books don’t really sell well on other platforms either, so for those currently exclusively on Amazon, the idea of taking the books off KU to sell them elsewhere seems like too much of a gamble. Because…

Uninspired? Here are five things you can try.

We’ve all been there: the book is going fine enough and the story is solid, but inspiration is gone. No matter how much you stare at the screen, it won’t return. When that happens, the temptation to abandon the entire project can be great. But before you do, there are some things you can try.
I wasn’t terribly inspired when I wrote my latest book, It happened on a Lie. The story was there, but no matter what I tried, I was bored and couldn’t bring myself to finishing it. I didn’t want to abandon the manuscript though. I had a cover I wanted to use for it, and I liked the characters.
My solution was to start fresh with a different writing style. I wrote shorter paragraphs and chapters than I usually do, and took away all but the necessary descriptions and backstory. And all of a sudden I had a new story in my hands. It wasn’t what I had thought to write, but it inspired me. In no time at all, I had the book ready.

So, if you’re stuck, don’t give up. Try something new. There are many appro…

A look into my next book

Happy September, everyone. This week’s post is a preview to my upcoming short romance, It Happened on a Lie. Here’s the blurb: Zoe Lawrence believes that the end justifies the means when it comes to preserving historically valuable buildings, especially such a rare shipyard as Wakefield was. So a little trespassing doesn’t much weigh on her, until she gets caught by the owner. Who happens to be an extremely attractive man, who absolutely refuses to listen to her.
The lifelong dream of Aiden Rowe has been to build a luxury estate on a prime location. Now that he has found what he wants, he isn’t about to change his plans just because the historical preservations society says so. Not even if their representative happens to be a beautiful woman who captures his interest from the start.
But Aiden isn’t above asking Zoe for a favour: if she pretends to be his girlfriend for just one night, he will give her a fair chance to convince him to preserve the shipyard. One lie leads to another, and t…