Tuesday, 24 March 2020
These are strange times, and I'm having to adapt to living in isolation in the same way as everyone else. But at least I have my imaginary friends to keep me company. They talk to me and live in my imagination, and then I write them down and share them with you. Sometimes I think my characters are more real to me than other people, although they don't always do what I want them to. And they astonish me by what they say.
So, for the past year, I've been living with my suffragette characters and, with a great deal of trepidation, I've launched them out into the wide world. I wonder how they'll fare there? Will my readers like them as much as I do? Or will they wave them away with a disparaging gesture? Time will tell.
No doubt you've guessed by now that my new historical murder-mystery 'Dangerous Destiny: A Suffragette Mystery' is now available to buy. It's out in paperback and Kindle, and in view of the strange times we live in, I've done something I've never done before. I've made the Kindle version available for Kindle Unlimited, which means that if you subscribe, you can read it for free. Otherwise, it's the same price as the others £3.99 in the UK and whatever that converts to in the US.
Here is a view of the cover, designed by Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics. She does a great job.
The story is a combination of coming of age with a murder-mystery at its heart. It's a story about three suffragettes who come together to try to solve the mystery of who is killing suffragettes in Dundee, Scotland. They are frustrated because the police are doing nothing to investigate the murders, taking the view that suffragettes are a nuisance and society would be better without them.
First we have Kirsty, a naïve young girl with a secret in her past, who is trying to break free from her controlling family. Then we have Ethel, trying to escape her vicious and abusive father. Martha, a seasoned suffragette, takes them under her wing and introduces them to women's suffrage.
Of course, they run into danger before everything is solved. And in the process, we find out whether Kirsty and Ethel will break their family bonds and forge a new destiny for themselves.
You can find the Kindle version by clicking HERE.
And the paperback version by clicking HERE.
If you are in the US, just change the .co.uk part of the link to .com
There will be no physical launch for this book at Waterstones, and I'll miss meeting all my lovely readers and supporters. So, now I need to get back to my lonely isolation but, hopefully, there will be some imaginary friends waiting for me. I do hope you have some imaginary friends as well and if you don't, I'd be delighted to share mine with you.
Amazon Author page
Thursday, 13 February 2020
The wait is almost over. Dangerous Destiny is with my editor and I'm hoping to get it published before too many moons have passed.
This book is part of a new suffragette mystery series and I've set it in Dundee, Scotland, in 1908. The story involves three women, a seasoned suffragette, a working-class girl escaping her abusive father, and a young girl breaking free from her controlling family. They join forces to find a killer who is targeting suffragettes. So, the book is a mix of murder mystery and rites of passage as the two younger girls choose a different destiny for themselves.
Well, what do you think? Do you like it? I'm quite chuffed with it. I think my cover creator has done a good job and now all I need is for my editor to complete her work and get the manuscript back to me. Then it will be all systems go.
Watch this space!
Amazon Author Page
Wednesday, 1 January 2020
Wednesday, 25 December 2019
A merry Christmas to all my friends, readers, and followers. I hope you have a joyous time and that you don't overeat the turkey,
I hope Santa has left all of your favourite things, in my case it's always books, although I am partial to a bit of the smelly stuff
Now, it's back to the toil for me there are loads of revisions to
Happy Christmas everyone.
Amazon Author Page
Saturday, 2 November 2019
|Princesses of Pandemonium|
Wendy, Melanie and Chris
Once upon a time, there were three princesses of pandemonium. There was Princess Chris who lives on the dark side, Princess Wendy who packs a gun, and Princess Melanie, the sweet one, with the magic pen which delights in writing romantic suspense.
Today is Princess Melanie’s day. Drumroll please for her new novel, ‘It Happened in Gastown’. I can’t wait to find out what happened there.
Before I let you read an excerpt from ‘It Happened in Gastown’ I will introduce you to Princess Melanie.
Everything you wanted to know about Melanie but
A native of eastern Ontario, during her pre-school years, Melanie Robertson-King lived in a winterized cottage on the shore of the St Lawrence River. Before starting school, her family moved to Brockville, where she received her education, including a post-secondary degree in Computer Programming.
Growing up as an only child, Melanie was an avid reader and remains so to this day. She knew then one day she would be a writer. When she wasn’t talking about her dream of becoming an author, she wrote stories and began honing her skills at an early age.
Melanie’s father was a Scottish national. He came to Canada as a ‘Home Child’ through the auspices of The Orphan Homes of Scotland. She promised herself that one day, her feet would touch the soil in her father’s homeland. That first trip was in 1993, and she’s not looked back since, having returned to the auld country many more times and is looking forward to her next trip, possibly as soon as 2020. On one of her many trips to Scotland, Melanie had the honour of meeting Princess Anne (The Princess Royal) at the orphanage where her father
Encouraged to study Highland Dancing, she competed locally. Her final competition took place during the summer of 1969, a few short months after her father’s death, at the 1000 Islands Highland Games. In that last event, she won the Silver Medal in the Sword Dance.
Melanie began her professional writing career in non-fiction. One of her articles graced the cover of an international publication.
It Happened in Gastown is Melanie’s ninth book, and the second in the “It Happened” series of sweet romances set in picturesque locations across Canada.
When not sequestered in her cave writing, plotting or editing, you’ll find her out and about. Favourite haunts (pardon the pun) are cemeteries (the older, the better) since they have more character, and perhaps a few more characters. She also loves travel and photography.
Melanie and fellow authors, Wendy H. Jones and Chris Longmuir, make up the infamous trio
Website | Celtic Connexions Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Pinterest
Now that you’ve met Melanie it’s time to put you out of your misery and let you read the excerpt.
Are you sitting comfortably? We will begin.
Out on routine patrol, Constables Hilary Dunbar and her partner Lukas Stephanopoulos drove north on Cambie Street towards the Gastown Steam Clock. As they passed the end of Blood Alley, she shouted, “Back up. Something’s down there.”
“Your imagination getting the better of you again?” He teased, but pulled over to the curb and slowly reversed until they blocked the mouth of the narrow passage.
Originally they called the lane Trounce Alley. Some maps still referred to the laneway as that. Others labelled the back street Blood Alley. Given the appearance, Hilary thought the latter more appropriate.
Window down, she trained the beam from the powerful spotlight mounted on the cruiser’s mirror into the alleyway. “See, beyond those dumpsters.”
“Likely just garbage.”
“Wait here; I
Before exiting the car, she plucked a pair of nitrile gloves and the naloxone kit from the glove compartment. Once out, she shoved them in the pockets of her trousers. With the fingertips of her right hand brushing her gun holster and gripping the barrel of the torch in her left, she sidled towards the object.
Graffiti tags covered the walls of the buildings
Past the second dumpster, the body of a young man leaned against the wall. Dishevelled and filthy, his body odour was strong enough to make the foulest of skunk spray seem mild. At first glance, he appeared dead. His skin had a bluish
A blood-filled syringe protruded from his left arm. Flashlight held under her chin; she donned the synthetic rubber gloves she brought with her and felt his neck for a pulse. The rhythmic throbbing beneath her fingertips, barely discernible.
She keyed the mic on her handset and started to speak. “Constable Dunbar.” As though on cue, the nearby Steam Clock began whistling — no sense in trying to outperform the contraption. Wait for the completion of its proclamation of the top of the hour — Westminster chimes followed by singular whistle blasts counting out the time. Soon relative quiet returned and Hilary tried again. “Constable Dunbar. Badge 8652. I need an ambulance at Blood Alley and Cambie Street. Suspected drug overdose. Have administered four milligrams of Narcan nasal spray. No response
By now, Luke had the cruiser’s roof lights on. Blue, red and white alternating then running from the driver’s side to the passenger’s side of the vehicle.
The wail of the siren grew louder. In minutes, paramedics jumped out and trundled a stretcher and medical equipment to the stricken person.
Hilary stood back, letting them do their jobs. “I gave him Narcan,” she said, handing the spent plastic bottle to one of them.
“He’s alive ... just. You found him in time. We’ve bagged the needle so they can run tests on the contents at the hospital. Figure out what he shot into his veins.”
* * *
Did you enjoy that? Do you want to read more? Well, here is the blurb and buying links. I’ve already ordered my copy.
Trainspotting meets Hot Pursuit...
Hilary Dunbar is a uniformed constable with the Vancouver Police with an agenda to rid the streets of drugs, especially the bad ones the notorious dealer,
Heroin addict, Erik Layne, has lived on the streets of Gastown for as long as he can remember, having left home and Toronto as a rebellious teenage addict. His and Hilary’s paths cross when she finds him unconscious in an alley after injecting a batch of the contaminated drug. He must fight for his life to keep from dying, not only from the tainted smack but also from the man who provided it.
A domestic disturbance call goes wrong, and Hilary suffers life-changing injuries
But will Hilary’s obsession with bringing down Navarra and others like him destroy their relationship and
It Happened in Gastown releases on December 1st, but you can pre-order your copy now for the low price of $2.99/£2.99.
Book 1 in the series - It Happened on Dufferin Terrace is on sale for $0.99/£0.99 or you can enter my giveaway to win a kindle or kobo copy.
To enter, leave me a comment.
Tuesday, 3 September 2019
I have been publishing novels to Kindle for seven years and formatting has always been a major concern because if you get it wrong it can completely spoil your book.
When I first started to publish to KDP, it took me on a massive learning curve. But I think I can safely say that, over time, I became a formatting whiz from whom other authors constantly asked advice. That resulted in me publishing my hard-earned knowledge in my self-help book Nuts & Bolts of Self-Publishing.
More recently I have
After I downloaded the software from KDP, I imported one of my crime novels into Kindle Create. It was relatively easy and immediately the file loaded it generated a table of contents as the
However, if you want a list of chapters at the beginning of your book, which is something I loathe and who wants to read a list of Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, and so on ad infinitum, then you will still need to include it in your Word file before import. The
The layout of the software comprises a ‘Contents’ pane down the left-hand side. This shows you how your book
The text in the imported file
Kindle Create has four theme templates to choose from. Whichever theme you choose will automatically add it to the entire book. However, apart from the default theme ‘Modern’ I did not
Coming back to my imported file I didn’t really need to do much polishing to the book apart from checking that my ‘Other Books’ page
If your book has images,
I understand it is also possible to format print books with Kindle Create but this is at an early beta stage. I did not try out this aspect of the software.
One thing to
There are some negatives about Kindle Create. The main one is that it only produces files for Kindle. It does not produce
The main advantage of Kindle Create is that it is free software and does a good job of formatting for Kindle. If you
So, what did I think? Well, by the time I had finished testing Kindle Create I was so impressed by the ease of use and the output I formatted all of my Kindle books using the software. It’s well worth trying out, and it’s free. What more could you want?
Amazon Author page
Monday, 19 August 2019
I’m a Leo with a birthday in August and as Leo’s are renowned for being generous, I’m doing something I’ve never done before.
What am I doing?
Well, it’s simple really. I’m reducing the prices of my Dundee Crime Series and my Kirsty Campbell Mysteries to £1.99 for the duration of this month. They usually sell for £3.99 so that’s a saving of £2.00 on each book. However, a word of warning, at the end of August, the books will all return to their normal price.
Alternatively, you can save £3.00 on the box set containing all 3 ebooks for £4.99. The box set usually sells for £7.99, so that’s quite a saving.
As I previously said, I haven’t been in the habit of doing this so, I’m sure, that if you look outside tonight, you’ll see a blue moon in the sky!
Happy reading folks. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to eat some birthday cake.
Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2KHtFMT