Thursday, August 28, 2014

Please welcome my friend, futuristic Sci-Fi author, Colin Setterfield!


Colin Setterfield was born and educated in South Africa. He worked as a Work Study Officer for a large Appliance Exporting company before being promoted to Industrial Projects Engineer for the company’s Natal mid-land works at Newcastle, RSA. In 1982 he left Industry to follow a full-time calling as an ordained church minister and served in several churches until 1994. In October of that year he immigrated with his family to Canada and started a church in Nanaimo, BC. In 2007 Colin retired from church ministry to take up a position as Warranty Manager for an RV Sales group and after two years he resigned and spent the next four years in Alberta, doing construction work for Horton CB&I. Now, fully retired, he has recently written and self-published a book called The Helium-3 Conspiracy, which can be found on The book will also shortly be released on the site. A second book, called “Subduction Zone”, will also be available soon.


A short word from the author:


Many times I am asked, “Why did you write this sort-of-a-book?” The answer is usually shot straight from the hip—“I love writing and I love science!” Writing, for me, is one of the greatest forms of expression.  Anyone who has even a slight creative streak, will seek to express that creativity in some form of art—writing novels is my chosen form of art. In the early days of my working career as an Industrial Engineer, I sought to channel my creative streak into improving the production and economics of companies. Later on I took up a calling as an ordained minister and that same creative streak was channeled into preaching sermons and teaching the “truths” of scripture.

After twenty years of ministry I rediscovered my passion for the sciences and began combining that passion with my faith—this changed my outlook on Life forever! I was set free from fundamentalist ideals and was delivered into a much greater understanding of my faith, the Cosmos and its evolutionary principles. At times this will appear in my writings, but generally not.  I can only hope, that with time, I will be able to emulate the successes achieved by the many great writers who have published their manuscripts with same hopes I presently entertain. The whole process of writing professionally and self-publishing is an enormous learning curve; not for the faint-hearted! But don’t give up when literary adversity comes—keep that streak operating in your life and never allow discouragement to take over because your passion will win out in the end.

Description: The Helium-3 Conspiracy

The Year is 2026 and FBI Special Agent Jeremy Gibson finds himself in a difficult situation. He has covertly been searching the residence of a powerful and well-connected Senator, looking for clues that would point to the murder of Jeremy’s superior, Tony Underwood.

Vital evidence in the form of Underwood’s badge, kept in a drawer in the Senator’s home office, is discovered but unfortunately Jeremy is caught red-handed and pursued by two men who appear to be CIA agents.  There is only one person whom he can trust to take over the investigation if he is caught – Jake Dobrowski. Jeremy breaks into Jake’s office and leaves the badge, with a note, urging Jake to continue the investigation of the Senator if anything should befall him. The following morning Jeremy Gibson is found dead.

The Earth has recently undergone some drastic climatic changes and the G8 countries have pooled their resources to introduce a new, clean energy source from fusion reaction, fueled by Helium-3, an isotope of lighter than air gas. The new Global Energy Participation Agreement is an accord to move away from fossil fuels and, within ten years, be completely reliant on the new energy source. The signing of the agreement was not popular with the World Oil Industry and the Oil Liberation Front, a powerful lobbying group, contrives a plan to gain control of the process in favor of their own agenda.

The Moon’s regolith, the only real source of the new energy, is being mined by an international group of twelve astronaut miners, hoping to store up enough Helium-3 to start the transition from fossil fuels. The OLF intend to disrupt it. Jake Dobrowski, a struggling private investigator since his fall from grace as an internationally known journalist, has an opportunity to set the record straight if he can reel in Agent Gibson’s infamous senator. This very same senator had been the cause of Jake’s initial downfall, loss of career and failing marriage. Armed only with Underwood’s badge Jake sets things in motion and soon discovers that Underwood’s death is only the tip of the iceberg.

 Richard Baker, the 46th president of the United States, has his hands full with the hijacking of a lethal nuclear weapon and the knowledge of a possible conspiracy within his own ranks. The outcome might be too ghastly to contemplate but a twist in the final chapters will reveal all.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Please welcome my friend and new author - Jaquie Biggar - #Indieauthor @JacqBiggar

I'm so pleased to be able to introduce, Jacquie Biggar, who is a member of my RWA Chapter - VIC-RWA. She's worked very hard to start her career with her new book called Tidal Falls which is the first book in the Wounded Hearts Series. Let's show her some Indie love.....


What do you think is the best way to publish these days? 
I think you have to do what’s best for you. Research, talk to others in the field, make an informed decision

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?
Romance: humor, suspense, paranormal. I love any book that can engross me. Make me laugh, make me cry, make me feel

Do your characters talk to you? 
At first they didn’t. I had to get to know them for a while. Now they don’t shut up, lol

How do you approach starting a new book?
I usually know where I want the book to end (besides the HEA obviously J) after that I start with one character and the rest falls into place.

What is your writing process? 
I try to write for a few hours in the morning and then I tackle the e-mails and social media.

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read? 
For books, I’d have to say Writing the bestseller Romantic and Commercial Fiction by Jane Porter & Rebecca Lyles, The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker (about survival skills), The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, and blogs: Writers Helping Writers, Fiction University, The Book Designer

What was your best date ever? 
On the spur of the moment DH said lets go. He drove us through A & W (J) and then we went to the beach and enjoyed the sunset. Perfect

Navy SEAL or cowboy? Navy SEAL

Chocolate or chips? Chips all the way

Fancy restaurant or picnic? Picnic

Beer or wine? Beer

Favorite authors? Iris Johansen, Suzanne Brockmann, Jennifer Crusie, Anne Stuart, J.R. Ward

Smooth or hairy? How hairy?  

Below is a short excerpt from her story:


Tom Sheridan rubbed his aching temple, lifted the cup to his lips and grimaced at the disgusting taste of cold coffee. He glanced at the Cartier on his wrist and frowned. Eleven. He’d been working his way through the backlog of cases on his desk for hours. A sharp rap on the door had him sighing before barking an order to enter. Sam Willets, his head of security, stepped into the room. “Well, do you have some news?”

“No, sir. We almost had ‘em in Chicago, but they slipped away. Since then she’s gotten smarter, must be using cash. No worries though, she’ll turn up.”

“Close the fucking door.” Tom surged to his feet, his heavy chair toppling backward with a crash in the quiet room. “That bitch is going to cost me everything.”

Sam’s green eyes flickered. He shifted back a step. “We'll get her. It’s only been a couple of months, Boss. How do you want it handled when we do?”

He knew he might have to get rid of them, Tom had ordered it before. “You just worry about finding them. I'll handle them myself.” Stalking past the idiot, Tom moved to his liquor cabinet and poured a healthy glass of Glenlivet scotch. It slid down the back of his throat in a single hot shot. He hissed in a searing breath before pouring himself another. “Go now, and make sure you keep me updated. Take a couple more men with you, the more eyes looking the better.”

Nodding, Sam left the room while Tom cradled his drink and brooded over the large painting filling the wall behind his desk. His wife's work, it depicted an old grey rustic cabin set against a backdrop of Glacier Mountains. A brook flowed through waving green grass. The colors were so vibrant he felt as if he were looking through a window at the water bubbling past. Could almost smell the wildflowers climbing the cabin walls.

How dare she think she could walk away from him?

Nobody walked away from him. Ever.

Jacquie's Bio:

From the time I was twelve years old, I knew I wanted one day to be a writer. That year I wrote a short story called Count Daffodil after spending countless hours searching for ideas for my English Assignment. That story garnered me an A++ and was read aloud through the school's loudspeaker system. Needless to say, after that I was hooked.
I grew up, got married, raised a family and left my writing urges to simmer in the background unattended. 
I owned and operated a successful diner in my hometown for a number of wonderful years. And now I'm ready to take up the writing reins and see how far I can travel.

I expect it to be an exciting, new journey and would be honored to have your company along the way.

And so it starts....




Twitter: @JacqBiggar





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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Should promotions cost more than the book is earning? #Amazon #Kindle

Here are Special Agent Francesca’s results for June and July!!

I have been consistently promoting my first book of the Undercover FBI series, which is a Romantic Suspense called Special Agent Francesca. I wanted to see whether continuous marketing would keep the book active and what the cost/profit ratio would be.

Obviously, if it costs more to advertise a book than what the book is earning back, a person has to look at the pluses from another angle:

- Will those readers buy my other books?

- Will the expected reviews be favorable and eventually cause more sales?

- Can you justify the expense by considering it as a promotion for the coming books of the series?

Listed below are the expenses and income for the months of June & July. Check out the dates for when the Ranking was the highest and then see the promotion I used during that time. I was going to add in the month of Aug to date but I didn't have the earnings. Just so you know, I continued with 9 promotions to date and at this time, the book is ranking on Amazon at #1,699. It peaked at #275 on Aug 19th during a Book Bub promotion.

These are the June and July promotions:
June 5th - Bassett Books - $21.99
June 14th - eReader News – 25% of sales = $22.18
June 21st - E-Book Habit - $19
June 28th - Digital Book Today - $30
June 29th - Bargain Booksey - $50
 July 4th - eBook Booster - $25
July 5th - Read Cheaply – free
July 12th - Facebook  Boost - $15
Total Cost - $183.17

The highest rank I achieved in June was: June 15th - #175
And in July it was: July 6th - #4,838

During this period I sold:
June for 35% - 1,104 books = earnings - $342.05
June for 70% - 315 books = earnings - $131.25
July for 35% - 130 books = earnings - $424.10
July for 70% - 178 books = earnings - $475.72
Total Earnings - $1373.1

By these results, it’s more than obvious that my advertising expenses were covered. In fact, the total expenses of the book (editing, cover, paperback and formatting) had been dealt with in the first few months after the book was released in April. June was my first month of profit.

I’m sorry not to be able to compile the same information from the other venues this book is now available on but they wouldn't compare to Amazon anyway. Many of the promoter's sign-up forms are just now making the adverts available for other markets like B&N, Apple and Kobo, etc. Soon, they all will and so we’ll see an increase in sales there also. Since this book has only been made available on those sites recently, I don’t expect huge profits – YET!!

The one breakdown I wouldn't want to make just yet is the author's wages. LOLOLOL...sniff!!!

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Merry-Go-Round By Donna Fasano #Amazon #B&N #Kobo #iTunes @DonnaFaz

The Merry-Go-Round
by Donna Fasano
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 2, 2009

When Lauren divorces her husband, she has one thought on her mind...stepping off the merry-go-round. However, her life quickly turns into a three-ring circus: her hypochondriac father moves in, her ex is using her shower when she’s not home, and her perky assistant is pushing her out into the fearsome dating world. She also has to decide if the dilapidated barn and vintage merry-go-round she was awarded in the divorce settlement is a blessing or a bane. As if Lauren’s personal life isn't chaotic enough, this slightly jaded attorney is overrun with a cast of quirky characters who can’t stay on the right side of the law. What’s a woman to do? She can allow life to spin her in circles forever. Or she can reach out and grab the brass ring.

What are you working on now? 
I’m currently writing two projects at once. I've never done this before, and I can’t decide if I love it or hate it. I’m writing a Christmas Novella entitled Almost Perfect Christmas, the story of man who enlists the help of a woman in giving his daughter a perfect Christmas. Unbeknownst to him, his little girl has every intention of playing an angelic matchmaker. The other project is the first book of a 3-book series called Following His Heart, the story of a man who is eerily drawn to a woman, and after they fall in love, they discover what brought them together, and it just might tear them apart. Yes, the description is vague, but that’s just the way it has to be for now. I’m chuckling as I type this. Both books are contemporary romance novels and are due out this fall.

What are you reading now or what do you have in your TBR pile? 
I just finished Learning to Swim by Sara Henry. I’m currently reading Love Me Tender by Mimi Barbour. On my TBR pile you’ll find A Reluctant Hero by Jackie Weger, Creatus by Carmen DeSousa, The Neighbor by Dean Koontz, Three Junes by Julia Glass, One Way or Another by Elaine Raco Chase…should I go on?

What flavor is your writing style?
I always tell people I write cotton candy for the mind. Think back to when you were a kid and you took a bite of that delectable confection. What did you do? You smiled. That’s what I’m going for in my romance novels.

Was writing always the first thing you wanted to do in life?
No, I wanted to be a teacher, but then I met and fell in love with my husband. We married and began raising a family. It wasn't until my children started school that I started writing.

While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters? 
I believe there’s a lot of me in my protagonists. I write about women who are strong, yet vulnerable. My main characters and my secondary characters have flaws and make mistakes (don’t we all?), but then most of them do all they can to learn, grow and become better people.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
One piece of advice I often give to writers is to READ. Don’t just read in the genre in which you write. Read everything. And then figure out what you liked and what you didn't…and then think about why. Reading and analyzing the writing of talented people can help you perfect your own skills.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 
I bow down to readers! I am so appreciative that they spend their hard-earned money on my books and then take the time to read my stories. I am so blessed to have a job I love, and I wouldn't have this job if there weren't readers who love romance novels.

What inspired you to write your first book? 
I came to writing through my love of reading. I spent many a Saturday as a kid in the local library. I loved books, but I never imagined I would ever write one. My husband gets the credit for my becoming a writer. When my children started school and I decided to find a part-time job, he looked around at the piles of romance novels in our home and said, “You've read a lot of those. Why don’t you try writing one?” So, you see. It’s all his fault.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 
Not my latest book, but one of my titles—Where’s Stanley?—features an ending that I didn't come up with. I handed in the completed manuscript, and my editor suggested a different ending. I wasn't happy, but I did as she asked. Personally, I think the book suffered for it, but readers seem to enjoy it.

What books have most influenced your life most? 
Old Yeller, Sounder, The Bell Jar, To Kill a Mockingbird…how can people read these books and not be influenced? There are so many titles that inspired me and moved me, molded and shaped me, there isn't time to name them all. The characters in these wonderful books help young readers to decide what kind of individual they want to be.

Do you ever experience writer's block? 
There was a time when I’d have said no. I have a plant-your-butt-in-the-chair-and-the-words-will-come attitude. But I did suffer writer’s block while my dad was battling cancer. It’s difficult to write feel-good happily-ever-after when your beloved father is dying.

Do you write an outline before every book you write?
I do, yes. I equate an outline with a road made; how do you know where you’re going if you don’t have a map? I might write the first chapter or two on the fly, but I always take the time to plan out where I want the story to go. Now that’s not to say that the characters are going to stay on the straight and narrow. They decide to veer off the highway every now and then, and that’s when I have to do a quick reroute.

Have you ever disliked something you wrote? 
I've never published anything that I disliked. I have started projects that haven’t seen the light of day, either because I couldn't figure out where to take the story, or I couldn't make the protagonist sympathetic or likable. It’s a rare occurrence, and when it happens, I just set the story aside and hope I can someday come up with a solution.

USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano has written over 30 romance and women's fiction books that have sold 4 million copies worldwide. Look for Ehefrau auf Zeit (German Edition) due out September 16th, published by Amazon Crossing, and the first novel of the brand new 3-book Ocean City Boardwalk Series called Following His Heart, due to be released at the end of October.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

One last push to take the book all the way!! #tenbrides #win $25 Amazon GC

As you know, I have been involved with nine other writers in the box collection called Ten Brides for Ten Heroes. The other authors have been a joy to work with and I’ll tell you why. Many of them are New York Times, USA Today and Amazon best-sellers. Now if you add together all the years we have worked, building our careers, in both Indie publishing and being in the traditional marketplace, that's a lot of information gathered, stored and now freely shared.

I guess we were extremely lucky because we worked well together and there weren’t any major hang-ups or bad feelings at any time that I was aware of. When we disagreed, it was done with the attitude that everyone had as much right to their opinion as the next person. Surprisingly, those times were few and far between and somehow, whatever the difficulties, they’d be dealt with to everyone’s satisfaction and we’d move on.

I understand from some of the industry gossip that this is not always the case. Other collaborations haven’t been as lucky. For us, we all chose to take on certain responsibilities and whatever we put up our hand for, it was done. Sharing the work is a huge benefit because then everyone feels invested in the project. As the time drew nearer for the release day, we were all anxious and hopeful.

After all, our books were wonderful and all full-length stories. Brides always have a certain attraction for the romance reader and June was the perfect month. Better yet, we published a free cookbook from the Brides as an added incentive for readers to enjoy. We’d also signed up for the best promotions available and had even arranged a Facebook event for a whole week. Two book tours were lined up and we were all ready to tweet, blog and facebook this baby as much as possible.

Once released, it came out of the pre-order and ranked quite well on Amazon. At one point, we were under #100 and stayed there for some time. Why then did we not hit any of the lists?

Turns out, to be able to get on those desired lists, a book must also have good numbers on the other venues like Barnes & Nobles, Kobo and iTunes. In fact, another box collection had made the USA Today list and never enjoyed the good ranking on Amazon as we did. Ahhh…. but… they had much better sales on Barnes & Noble.

So, realizing this, we‘ve made a concerted effort to give our collection one last push. This coming weekend, Aug 15th & 16th, we’ve organised promotions with Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo. We’ve also signed up a few other advertisers to sponsor us. It’s the “make it or break it” period and we’re all pretty enthusiastic.

And if we don’t make the desired lists, we can always agree that we’ve learned so much from each other, reached a lot of new readers and made a few bucks in the process!!
Would I do it again? Hell yes!!!!


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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Awesome Romance Novels: Love Me Tender by @MimiBarbour #AmReading

Awesome Romance Novels: Love Me Tender by @MimiBarbour #AmReading:

Anne has a son with no father and no prospects to end her loneliness.

Clint is a bitter, cranky, unhappy man whose only sense of fulfillment comes from working his ranch.

Max is a little boy who needs a united family.

Debbie is a little girl desperate for a mom.

Get ready for a wedding to remember...

This story has it all! Family troubles, secret children, a dysfunctional marriage and a long separation. When Anne and Clint meet again after eight years, they both discover that the one night they spent together--a night neither has been able to forget--set the bar so high that no one else has been able to satisfy either of them. Neither has found happiness... But that's about to change.

What readers are saying:

A fantastic read!! This was a great story about love, secrets, and happiness. I was hooked from the beginning and couldn't put it down. ~Kellierm 77, an Amazon Reviewer

This is a wonderful sweet story of love. There is sadness too but love over rides all.  ~Shirleen Miller, an Amazon Reviewer

This book had it all! Love, betrayal, and a sense of loss. Clint and Rose find each other only to lose each after a night together. When someone keeps a child from their father you know that storyline is always going to be interesting! Great Read! ~Shauna, an Amazon Reviewer

Find this book:

US Kindle        UK Kindle        CA Kindle

US Kobo        UK Kobo

US iBook     UK iBook     CA iBook     AU iBook

Bringing you the best romance books available!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Kobo’s help results with a huge hike in sales!! #1 in 3 categories!!!

Today’s results for: Ten Brides For Ten Heroes

This is what I saw today before performing like Kermit (froggy) and almost falling out of my office chair.

I know I told you in my last blog that the folks at Kobo were approachable and helpful to those with products they felt their readers would appreciate. And I am so happy to be able to prove that I was right. They did help our box collection and the results are indisputable.



It's no surprise to me that Romance is the genre that sells best on Kobo. I think we all agree that it's the biggest market out there today. I love the way they've titled the Erotica line as "More Active". That it’s second surprises me. I had thought Romantic Suspense held that place.

Mark Lefebvre mentioned about the first book in a series being a great promotional tool. As you know, they have no problem letting us publish a free book.

In case you can’t read the small titles under the boxes, on the first line it says: free downloads, readers opened and readers completed. This refers to standalone books. Under the next graph which refers to a series it says - readers: completed, purchased w/read, purchased w/o read and total series units sold. This is their way of showing that free books aren't the selling tool they once were - but if the book is the first in a series, the readers take it more seriously and will follow through.

Must apply soon as this promotion ends on Aug 15th.

If you've plans to have your books translated into different languages or if you already have them ready to publish, Kobo will accept them in French, German and Italian. From what I gathered at the National Conference, foreign markets will be the next big thing - that and audio books.
Sheesh - there's always something new to deal with and learn. Don't-cha just love this business!!

Kobo - E-mail address and Fan page on Facebook



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kobo - the relatively new kid in town - is in the competition! @kobo


 - On July 17, 2012, Kobo launched a self-publishing platform called Kobo Writing Life. Key features of Kobo Writing Life include "deep analytics", allowing authors to track sales in real time; a "learning center" to guide newcomers in digital publishing; and allowing an author to sell books globally. By July 2014, 250,000 books written by 30,000 authors have been published through this program; these authors originate from 157 countries and have books published in 69 languages.

Kobo Writing Life – the publishing part of Kobo is a Canadian company, out of Toronto, and I must say as a Canuck, I had a proud reaction when I heard the statistics and how far they’ve come in just two short years.

As you know, my last three blogs were focussed on Barnes & Noble and how I came to better understand their policies.

Well, I want you to know that during the time I spent at the Romance Writers of America’s National Convention in San Antonio, my policy was for equal opportunity time sharing. Which means - I also took in the presentation given by Mark Lefebvre to introduce Kobo and their services.  
After he spoke, I went up and introduced myself to Mark and explained about our box collection – Ten Brides for Ten heroes – and he gave me his card and suggested I write to him and the staff who are dedicated to helping authors become successful on Kobo.

Of course I did. And – he answered my e-mail and was very helpful with information and I believe we now have our book scheduled for a daily deal.


To find out more about this service, check this website or E-mail the gang at  (Hours: M-F 9am-12am ET)

*** More about Kobo in my next blog...

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Friday, August 1, 2014

I love Nook Press and Barnes & Noble - See why! #NookBN

So you’re probably wondering whatever happened to my e-mail that I sent to Barnes and Noble requesting assistance for marketing on our collection Ten Brides for Ten Heroes.

Well, I wrote and asked if they could give us a bit of help because we felt we had a good product that just needed a boost so our sales would reflect the same success that we’d enjoyed on Amazon.

And I’m ecstatic to be able to inform you that within twenty-four hours, I received this letter:

We’ve alerted our merchandising team about the boxed set, which sounds wonderful, and it will be included in a promotion in August. We will feature it in a collection that is promoted via email to our NOOK customers.

I can’t tell you how happy I was. They also read my blog post and wanted me to share this with you.

We review the requests carefully and make recommendations to merchandising, but our booksellers determine which titles receive placement. You have a great boxed set that we are happy to give a push.

Which means - if you feel you have a good product as well make sure and let them know about your book. Tell them a bit more about it than just the title. It helps of you provide all the information such as the link to the page on B&N, and other information such as if it’s a new release. And if not, the number of reviews. Even the sales ranking on some of the other venues so they can see if it’s popular elsewhere and therefore has potential to sell better on B&N with a bit of help.

And do take a minute to like their Facebook page and leave a comment to say hello. This was what they wrote to me which made me realise that they did read the page.

Thanks also for the nice comment on Facebook. It’s always great to hear from our publishing partners!

Now I'm off to write a post for their blog and see if I can attract their attention. I think it would be a hoot to be a guest with them. Remember it was a part of their presentation: Guest posts – pitches welcome.
Wish me luck!!!

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