New Book!! Painting of Sorrow

It’s done. After six years, Painting of Sorrow is available for pre-order on Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords.

An art conservator, hiding in witness protection, battles her larcenous bosses and brutal ex-husband to save a priceless masterpiece.

In this excerpt, Sarah Downing, the conservator, meets with the director of the university art gallery.

Their firm rented studio space from the gallery and the director consulted for them. His office was a short walk away. She hurried along, passing the newest paintings from the University’s collection hung on the walls of the corridor leading to his office.

The door stood open; the director sat at his desk, reading. Sarah knocked on the door casing and stood across the desk from him. He never invited her to sit down but he smiled, his face so thin, his lower jaw seemed to unhinge like a skull’s.

“Yes, Sarah.”

“Gregory, would you review the Caravaggio copy left for conservation?”

“Of course, later this afternoon.”

He glanced down and up at her again. “Something else?”

“I…would like to speak to you afterwards. Would you call me?”

“Yes, yes.”

“Thank you.”

She turned, stumbled into the chair behind her, righted it and herself, and escaped through the door. What was the matter with her? She did have a Ph.D. after all. Talking to the director turned her into what—a scared kid in the principal’s office? And he wasn’t even her boss.

She turned right into the hall leading to the studio and right again into the ladies’ room. She leaned over the sink and took a breath and another. She brushed back her hair. She wasn’t happy with Emil. Those last streaks he’d put into her dark hair had a brassy tone, hard. She’d have to go back. Another Saturday wasted.

She touched up her lipstick and used her finger to wipe off the unsteady rose line her shaking hand had drawn around her mouth. 

Why did he frighten her? Gregory had been nothing but kind to her since she arrived at the restoration firm six months ago. But there was something about him. He resembled Leonardo’s Saint Jerome with his long, gaunt face and tight skin. But she was used to his appearance. It was something else, something underneath when he looked at her. Not lust. That was easy enough to see. Something else.

That something else proves to be dangerous for Sarah and the Caravaggio masterpiece.

Painting of Sorrow is available on pre-order from Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords.

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Updates on Publishing

Another chilly Sunday in the Kawarthas and it’s April. At least the ground here is bare of snow for now.

I’ve been working for the last few weeks on re-editing The Facepainter Murders and I’m happy to say that the new, better version is up on Amazon and Create Space.

I’ve also explored some further advertising opportunities.

Bublish

I’m in the midst of a 2 week free trial with this company, in which a membership costs 99$ US a year. A lot, but that lets me upload all my books and get them before the thousands of people who follow the site. Every weekend, Bublish hosts a twitter campaign that ends with a virtual bookstore on Monday. Whichever bubbles(see below) are new the week before are featured.

The bubble includes an author biography, an extract from one of the books and an insight section. The latter is a short paragraph about what ever the author might think would interest a reader, such as an introduction to why the book was written or how the writer coped with a particular scene. I started with book 1 of my Dangerous Journeys series last week, wrote two bubbles and have had 187 views so far and 2 clicks thru to Amazon. I’ll see how it goes by Thursday.

Amazon Ads.

You know the books that appear below the one you have searched for on Amazon? Those lists result from Amazon Ads that are written by the author or publisher. Amazon runs a bidding programme so that each ad, once clicked upon, costs the author what she bid for placement of that particular ad. It’s not a great system. The results are delayed, sometimes by as much as six weeks and the sales are not in real time. However, the clicks data and the information about sales form Kindle Direct can help determine whether or not an ad is working.

Brian Meeks wrote a book on the subject called Mastering Amazon Ads, which is helpful although a bit confusing for a non-analyst(Brian is one). There is also a oa free course in the subject. You can find it here. I’m in the midst of both the book and the course and setting up ads. I think it’s useful to do all three in conjunction. Brian runs a Facebook group about the ads as well.

 

Launch in 2 days

A Superior Crime and other stories, a collection of five Anne McPhail Dangerous Journeys shorts plus seventeen others, launches on Feb. 13, 2018. This is the sixth publication of my company, From The River Publishing. For new readers, the others are:

Murderous Roots

The Facepainter Murders

No Motive for Murder

The Child on the Terrace

The Jewelled Egg Murders

See all of them at Amazon world-wide.

I’m re-editing all but The Jewelled Egg Murders. Murderous Roots is done, reissued and available on Amazon. It is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited as are all the others except The Jewelled Egg Murders. I’ll enroll it when a NetGalley subscription runs out in March.

In the early summer, From the River Publishing will bring out Painting of Sorrow, the story of a young woman hiding a brutal past who discovers a Caravaggio painting, long thought destroyed in the bombing of World War II Berlin. That discovery resurrects her past and brings both danger and love into her life.

This autumn, if all goes well, Stolen Children, the story of a young woman who exposes a criminal enterprise that kidnaps children and feeds them into the illegal adoption trade.

We’re expecting freezing rain today so indoors it is. That’s about all for a snowy Sunday in the Kawarthas.

Publishing, Cont.

A Superior Crime and other stories is set to go on Feb 13. at Amazon. Karen Phillips(PhillipsCovers) completed the final version for print and I think it’s terrific.

Anthology_5_25x8_final copysmall.jpg

I’m continuing with the re-edit of Murderous Roots and The Facepainter Murders. I completed No Motive for Murder some time ago. Only one to go after that—The Child on the Terrace.

Painting of Sorrow is back from the editors at Books Go Social with a gold mark of excellence. I have only a few corrections to make so perhaps it will be out in May rather than September.

I noticed discussion recently on some of the author sites I follow about writing programmes, editing and publishing.

Over the last year, I developed the following steps:

  1. Write in Scrivener.
  2. Export to Word as a docx file.
  3. Upload to Vellum.
  4. Edit chapter by chapter in Autocrit and Grammarly.
  5. Generate books from Vellum in all the formats available. The print version should be generated separately as it requires a different ISBN. Also, ISBNs for Smashwords differ from those at Kindle. Amazon doesn’t require an ISBN for books published on Kindle.
  6. Publish at Kindle and Create Space.
  7. Market. I use the book promoter service at Books Go Social and tweet with askDavid.

That’s about it for a snowy Sunday in the Kawarthas. We’re supposed to get 10cm more today and there’s about that much on the ground. Winter was hiding after all.

 

Writing projects update

I have four writing projects and one puppy project on the go for January and February. Cully, our new Standard Poodle puppy is banging at the door to get in. Puppy classes began a week ago and we are making some progress in sitting and standing.

Graphic designer Karen Phillips and I are working on the cover for Dangerous Journeys: A Superior Crime and other stories. I’ve finished editing and the launch date will be sometime in February after the manuscript makes it through the process at Create Space and Kindle Direct Publishing. I still have to write the cover copy.

Painting of Sorrow, a stand-alone novel outside of the Dangerous Journeys series, is out for editing. I’ll work on getting it publication-ready through the summer and publish in September or October.

I re-edited Murderous Roots, book 1 in the series and I’m proofreading the hard copy now. I hope to finish that by the end of February.

The Facepainter Murders is at the beginning of the re-edit phase. It should be finished and republished by the end of March.

That’s about it for another Sunday in the Kawarthas. Mild and sunny today. Has winter left or is it hiding, waiting to pounce on us again.

 

Five Writing Plans, 2018

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but I outline my upcoming projects. So far:

    1. Reedit the first 4 in the Dangerous Journeys series. I’ve completed No Motive for Murder and have 5 chapters to go in Murderous Roots. I hope to finish by the end of January and republish February 1.
    2. I’m working on a short-story collection that will be titled Dangerous Journeys: A Superior Crime and other stories. Some of the stories have been published, some not. Five of them are Anne McPhail adventures. I’m editing at the moment and plan to publish in mid-February although I’m behind in ordering a cover.
    3. The next in line is a novel called Painting of Sorrow. It is ready to go, but for the cover. Out March 1, I hope.
    4. I’ve been working off and on for several years on a book called Stolen Children. Major reedits needed on this one, so I doubt it will be ready until June 1.
    5. After that, I have 2 novels in very brief outline and I hope to plan a 6th in the Dangerous Journeys series. Perhaps a trip to France for Anne and Thomas. These three will take me well into 2019 or 2020

 

So that’s it for the next 6 months, If I get to #5 on target, I’ll start work on Finding Caelon (tentative title) a novel about a water war in a drought-ridden rural county.

That’s it for a grey morning in the Kawarthas. -28C with the wind chill.

 

Marketing and other publishing mysteries

The Jewelled Egg Murders, published on December 1. Marketing the fifth book in a series depends, as I see it, in letting readers of the first four books know that it is available. To that end, I bought a package from Books Go Social, enrolled in Book of the Day at BGS, and took an ad in the holiday magazine at that site. I also have a package of twitter opportunities that goes out to about 10 thousand readers.

My dilemma is when to place it on Kindle Select. I hope to publish a volume of short stories, five of which involve the main character from the series. With luck, that will appear in February. Which leaves January as the most logical month to enroll in Kindle Select.

Another issue is spelling and grammar. I tried to write the first 4 books in American English. This was not successful and many Canadian/British spellings crept in, all interpreted as typos and mistakes in grammar. I wrote The Jewelled Egg Murders in Canadian English. The British editor, noticing that I spelled some words in American, thought those were typos. ie I use spelled not spelt(which is a variety of wheat here and in the USA).

No reviews as yet. I get it. It takes time, especially if you want to leave more comment than the stars you gave the book(if any), but even the star count would be encouraging to the authors of the books you read.

On a personal note: Our new puppy, Cully came home a week ago. She is now nine weeks old.IMG_1646

 

 

BREAKING NEWS: THE JEWELLED EGG MURDERS

From the River Publishing announce the arrival, on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes&Nobel and other fine online retailers, of The Jewelled Egg Murders, vol. 5 of Dangerous Journeys.

The Jewelled Egg Murders

A Christmas holiday in Vermont turns deadly for Dr.Anne McPhail whose hopes for a quiet family celebration with Thomas Beauchamp derail when his children reject her, and his mother falls ill.

Anne flees to her friend Catherine’s B&B for comfort and a place to stay, but when she goes for a walk in the snow to the town square, she stumbles across a body in her friend Erin’s antique store. A few hours later, Erin disappears.

Is Erin a suspect or a victim? While Anne joins the search, an old adversary, plotting revenge, arrives from Europe.  Anne stumbles over another body, and then the killer closes in on her. 

See it on Amazon.

To Press(continued)

The proof copy of The Jewelled Egg Murders arrived last week. Proofreading revealed further work needed. That’s now complete and the final editions uploaded to Smashwords(for Kobo, iBooks, Barnes&Nobel, and others, Amazon, and Create Space.

JewelledEggcoverSmall

I’m working on my short story collection and, as well, a re-edit of Vols1,2,4 of Dangerous Journeys. I completed Vol. 3, No Motive for Murder, and published on Amazon and Create Space. Add managing and improving a backlist to the routine chores of a self-published author. And I still need to find time to write!

On a personal note, we met our new puppy on Saturday, a black female Standard Poodle who is very active and friendly.

IMG_0318She will come home the first week in December.

That’s all for a lovely winter’s day in  Kawartha Lakes.

To Press: The Jewelled Egg Murders

Done! The Jewelled Egg Murders, book 5 of Dangerous Journeys available for pre-order on Amazon and many other e-stores through Smashwords. Smashwords is an aggregator that sends the book out to Kobo, iBooks, Barnes &Nobel and many other sellers.

The editing process included an Autocrit Review, a Grammarly review, Word spell check, a Quality Mark review at Books Go Social where The Jewelled Egg Murders achieved a Gold Mark after another Autocrit review and a human perusal of the manuscript.

 

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JewelledEggcoverSmall

On to marketing. Amazon and Smashwords both have a pre-order function, so the book is now online and can be purchased ahead of the release date of December 1.

I’m waiting for the paperback version to arrive from Create Space. The online review copy seems to be fine, but one never knows what errors might have occurred in the printing. Release date also Dec. 1.

I decided against Kindle Select for the launch as some of the marketing I want to do isn’t compatible with Kindle Select rules. I plan to enrol in 2018, likely in January.

What’s next:

I’m working on a collection of the short stories that I have written over the years. Some are published, some not. Several of them are Anne McPhail adventures, including Homicide in Haliburton.

That’s it for an overcast morning in the Kawarthas.