Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Love, Lies & Murder, Chapters 1-3

NEW RELEASE: Love, Lies and Murder by Catherine Winchester
Ooh, sounds scary! (If you scare easy, that is). But if you like a little bit of mystery and intrigue with your romance, this is definitely the book for you.

The Blurb: An unusual proposal and an intriguing whodunit set in the sumptuous Regency period, with a passionate love story at its centre.
Under the terms of his father’s Will, widower Alexander Cavendish must remarry before he turns 30, but the suspicions which surround his first wife’s death mean that his choices are limited. On impulse, he picks a stranger, offering her security and protection in return for marriage.

Helen Norton has few options in life and accepts the proposal, but she quickly comes to realise that everything in Alex’s home is not as it seems. When attempts are made on her life, Helen realises that if she is to stand a chance of surviving, she must solve the riddle of his first wife’s murder.

Is Alex a killer, or is he Helen’s devoted husband? Was his first wife an adulteress or simply a loving mother? And if not Alex, then who among this family of aristocrats had the motive to kill?

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Literary Snobs

Today, a Mr Michael Deacon (no, I hadn't heard of him before either) pens a heartfelt satire of Dan Brown's work, pointing out all the flaws in his writing.

I can't help wondering how much of his life Mr Deacon wasted penning that useless, uninformative, unimaginative bit of tripe. The whole thing smacks of jealousy.
"How dare Dan Brown, a multi-million selling author, not live up to my expectations of literary brilliance, while I, who does live up to my own exacting literary standards, am still struggling to break through! It isn't fair, goddammit!"
He'd have been better to spend those few hours trying to come up with an engaging plot and interesting characters for his own novel, rather than tearing down someone who has succeeded, in an attempt to make himself fell better about his own lack of success.

What Michael Deacon doesn't seem to realise, is that most readers simply want an enjoyable story, not a literary tome that is so brilliant, that one has to keep a dictionary handy and then decipher the hidden meaning behind each scene.

I suspect what Mr Deacon forgot is that his "article" (and  use speech marks for article, as it doesn't live up to any definition of journalism that I know of) isn't just insulting Dan Brown, but is also maligning every single person who has read and enjoyed one of his book. 80 million people read the Da Vinci Code; what astonishing arrogance it takes, to believe that you know better than 80,000,000 other people.

Someone needs to tell these literary aficionados that rather than coming across as a wise, educated and intelligent people, they sound more like elitist twits, who are completely out of touch with the majority of readers out there.

Dan Brown tells a good story. Michael Deacon does not.

P.S. If you have time, pop over to the Wall Street Journal, and read how one literary snob rediscvered his love of all fiction, and realised how much he'd been missing out on.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Has the world gone mad?

I tried to sign up for Barns and Noble today and had a rather confusing experience.

This is what their terms and conditions say: 
"If you wish to wish to publish and distribute your eBooks through NOOK Press, you must sign up for a Vendor Account, which will require you to provide us the following information: (i) for tax reporting purposes, your home address and, if you are located in the United States your federal tax identification number (or social security number if you are an individual), or if you are located outside of the United States, similar identifying information issued by the applicable governmental authority; and (ii) for the purpose of transmitting payments to you, your bank account number and routing information if you are located in the United States, or your SWIFT or International Bank Account Number (IBAN) if you are located outside the United States."
Sounds like they accept international authors, no? Except that once I had completed my account information, I got an email asking me to call them and verify the account. I called and was told that they cannot accept authors who are not US residents. 

I checked the terms and conditions again and called back, only to be told to instant message business services. I did, only to be told the same thing. Then I received an email to confirm that they cannot accept international authors.

"On Thursday, the company reported a stunning 26 percent drop in Nook sales during the last quarter of 2012. The Nook, said CEO William Lynch, was no longer able to compete with full-featured tablets like the iPad." Source
I know self publishing authors from all around the globe who are doing very well with Amazon kindle, and I alone have had 3 best sellers on Amazon. If you want to be some special snowflake of a company, who just can't accept international clients, then no wonder you are failing. You deserve to fail, and Amazon (despite my many problems with them of late) deserve to beat you.

My dealings with amazon go from bad to worse.

So near to paying some of my debts off,
yet still so very far.
After the whole cyberstalking incident, comes them withholding 11,000 dollars of my money. This is the email I have sent to Amazon's CEO, as their KDP customer services department don't even seem to be able to use common sense.

The images in this post weren't sent with the email below, although I was tempted.

Dear Mr Bezos,

I apologise for contacting you in this way but I hope that you can help me, as KDP customer services seem incapable of applying logic to my situation.

At the end of March I changed my payment details for royalties from EFT into a US account, to EFT into a UK account. 

When payments for April started going into my old account, I contacted Amazon to ask why, and was informed that the old method of payment would continue to be used for another 60 days. That was no problem, I just hadn't realised it took 60 days for changed to take effect.

In total, Amazon made 5 payments into my old bank account but notably, the payment for royalties accrued in the USA was missing. On the 1st of May I emailed customer services to ask where they payment was, as it hadn't gone into my account, nor had a received a remittance email for my USA royalties. The payment should have been for over $11,000 dollars, so I hope that you can understand my worry when this payment didn't come.