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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Free promotion - two days only!

I don't often give my books away, but I am having a free promotion of THE ADULTERESS starting on Friday, 2nd January and running for two days only.
It is 1139 and the Empress Maud has landed in England to lay claim to the English throne, currently occupied by her cousin Stephen. David, Lord Ravenscroft is a chief advisor to King Stephen and is away at court, helping to plan a strategy to defeat the Empress. Her armies have been seen close to his own house and soldiers in his own regiment have been sent to search the town and village, including his own house.

That is when his world collapses, as the captain of that regiment returns with the news that a naked man has been found in his wife's bed. Heartbroken, he returns home to confront her, hoping for an explanation, but she admits her guilt. David leaves for London, having appointed guards to be sure she does not leave the grounds, and never expects to return.

Three years later he receives a letter from his wife, Catherine, telling him she is dying and begging him to go to her, as she needs to reveal the truth about the other man and the daughter David always supposed to have been fathered by that man.

Catherine knows he will not refuse her dying wish, but what can the truth be, if not that she had a lover in her bed? The idea of losing her for good tears him apart, despite her betrayal, but he needs to find the courage to see her on her deathbed and learn the truth, for the sake of the woman he still loves.

You can read the first chapter here.

Friday, 19 December 2014

The Tudors tv series

I didn't watch it when it was showing on BBC. I tried, but thought there was altogether too much bare flesh and noisy sex, but I was browsing through the on demand box sets and thought I would give it a go. My main reason was the actor playing Henry VIII - the excruciatingly gorgeous Jonathan Rhys Meyers, whom I had already fallen for as Dracula. I am sure he is a lot sexier than King Henry ever was.
Anyway, wonderful costumes, great acting, but once again they have to mess with history. Henry had two sisters, Mary and Margaret. This programme has Margaret going to Portugal to marry the aging King and later marrying Charles Brandon, when in fact it was Mary. Margaret was sent to Scotland to Marry James IV, and she reputedly loved him dearly. He was killed at the battle of Flodden by her own brother, King Henry VIII. Margaret was the grandmother of Mary Queen of Scots.
I don't know if they didn't check their history properly, which is unforgiveable, or if they thought our tiny brains couldn't cope with two Mary Tudors in one programme, the other being the King's little daughter, Princess Mary, later Mary I and known as Bloody Mary. This is also unforgiveable.
One of the characters, who died of the sweating sickness, had a live in mistress - NOT a common law wife, producers. Please! This is the sixteenth century.
Apart from that, not bad. I can get over the reference to a common law wife, but not sending the wrong Tudor princess to Portugal. Actually, I have looked it up now and it was the King of France she was sent to marry, not Portugal. I can think of a couple of reasons to change it: one, they could hardly insinuate that she murdered a King of France, as he would have been too important to miss. Secondly, she would have spoken fluent French, and the scenes relied on her not understanding a word he said.

Historically, it is very far from the known truth, but I have picked up a hint for anyone trying to explain the facts of life to their daughter, if such a necessity still exists in this day and age.

The Lady is trying to help Anne of Cleves decide whether her marriage has in fact been consummated, as she doesn't seem to know. She explains:
"He has to insert his member into you and stir it".

So there you have it, plain and simple. I am still trying to picture the stirring; reminds me a little of a James Bond cocktail - shaken not stirred!


Thursday, 18 December 2014

Christmas missives

I wonder who it was who started the modern idea of sending out pretentious essays with Christmas cards. You know, the ones which tell in great detail what the sender has been doing all year, where they went on their holidays, what they saw on their holidays, how much money they spent and what they have bought during the year.
These things usually include little titbits about how they are spending their Christmas, how their adult kids are spending their Christmas, and other such enthralling information to waste more paper.
Please tell me, WHO THE HELL CARES?
More to the point, why do the authors of these things imagine anybody cares? How bloody pretentious can you get than to imagine everyone on your Christmas card list wants to know the details of your entire year.
Good grief! I would like to say I know nobody who would do that, but unfortunately that would not be true. I received one this morning, complete with photographs and I have to say, once more - who the hell cares?

And just to add, I also had an email from a cousin in Australia, a cousin I have never actually met, containing the 'Family Christmas Chronicle', so I thought I would just put here what my own Christmas chronicle would be like, assuming I wrote one.

It was in June that I discovered Diva's penchant for rolling in cowshit. We had been in that field many times before, but I suppose with the cows gone and the pats dried up, they were not so appealing. So, I took them both to the field the cows had recently vacated, not realising the danger. She was dripping green, wet, stinking cowshit all over the car on the way home and then to crown it all, I got home to find the hose pipe would not fit on the tap. I had to throw buckets of water over her, whilst trying to prevent her from going inside the house! What a laugh!

So what do you think? Would everyone on my Christmas card/email list be fascinated by my life?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Jealousy knows no boundaries

Never argue with an arsehole - he or she only has one orifice to speak out of!

I hate to harp on about the kdp forum, and there are an awful lot of self important nobodies on there who believe they are the next Shakespeare and anyone who cannot see it must be an idiot. Those are laughable and good for a chuckle or two. There is even one gentleman who seriously believes his books are being stopped by the government, who have hacked into his computer and destroyed his hard drive. Every time a post view is reported, he believes it is the CIA watching him and if he gets the message that there is an error when he tries to post, he once more believes it to be the government in some guise. Everybody gets these messages, usually when there is a word the bots don't like. One of those words, believe it or not, is 'character'. Would you believe a forum for authors does not allow that word? Anyway, it is obvious that this particular gentleman is seriously ill and since he does no harm to anyone, nobody bothers him.
Now we have a serious headcase who calls himself Charlie S. He also has a few other IDs which he thinks are fooling people, and even has conversations with these other personas. One is Jeff Elvero or some such, one is Olney and even one called Bet.
This creature has a business formatting books for kindle, and freaks out every single time anyone says they can do it themselves, very easily, using Word. That was bad enough and laughable, but now he is slandering people, including me, declaring that I am one of the ones getting posts deleted. This is simply not true, as I would rather get in a few arguments, and I think it is probably him who is doing it. Now he has gone to extremes and is not only slandering my name, but telling people to leave reviews on my books. I doubt he means 5 star reviews.
Now this person has written precisely two books, one a biography of C.S. Lewis which has sold so little, the rankings are down in the millions. Rather pathetic when you consider that A.N. Wilson has written a biography of C.S. Lewis and he has the right to call himself a professional biographer. This person's other attempt was a supernatural novelette which sounded quite interesting, except the description would put any reader off. I have  seen more badly written descriptions, but not many. Has he never heard of a full stop, or a comma? It was published in 2011 and is no longer available, I imagine because it didn't produce loads of glowing five star reviews nor make a fortune. It is called The Cistaphasmatis and there is still a review on Goodreads, despite his efforts to erase all trace of it.
This is someone who thinks he knows how to write and criticises everybody else's work, someone who declared that he has better things to do with his time than read. He also declares that he is afraid when he publishes his masterpiece that a literary agent will steal his idea and give it to a famous author. Have you ever heard of such self important arrogance?
So, when you see one star reviews on my books which are obviously from someone who has never read them, you know why. I would put this information on the forum except that my posts are continually deleted by this lunatic, so no point. He cannot delete them from here.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

KDP forum - like nursery school without the supervision.

Ok, I have been having a really good laugh today at the pathetic people on this thread What is so amusing? Well, firstly this idiot Charlie (a right Charlie as well) thinks that I and another poster have been deleting his threads, when in actual fact I have not been on the forum for almost a week and Villa most certainly isn't deleting anything. As she says, she and I disagreed about the wisdom of revealing how to delete posts to everyone. I concede she was right, but my excuse is that I didn't think I was dealing with pre-schoolers.

This Charlie person also apparently thinks we don't all know that he is also this Jeff character who is so pompous he thinks he has the right to delete anything he doesn't like. We all know they are one and the same person; he is the only one who thinks he is fooling anyone. I have been banned twice, for no good reason, Villagoise has been banned for no good reason, but this insufferable idiot can say what he likes and stays put.

The KDP forum used to be almost impenetrable because of all the spam, mostly in Arabic, often useless crap about weight loss, muscle enhancement, penis enlargement, breast enlargement and lots of other rubbish. However, once one got past that, there were a lot of helpful members who were happy to help with sensible questions.
The moderators, such as they are, got fed up with having to read every report and delete these spam messages which members were reporting on an hourly basis, so they gave that power to everyone. All one had to do was click on the report button, little warning triangle with an exclamation mark inside, and the post would disappear. Great, we thought. No more useless spam to wade through.
The downside of course was that any post could be vaporised just like magic, which brought out the arrogant, self important, know-all class who decided to delete any post which disagreed with them.
Most of these come from people who do not know how to use Word to format their kindle ebooks, so declare, often and loudly, that it cannot be done. In fact it is the easiest way to do it. You need no epubs, mobi files, html or anything else to scare the average person into paying someone to do it for them.
All you need is this:
Set your formatting in Word to alignment - justified
Outline level - body text
special - first line 0.5 cm.
Do not use tabs. The paragraphs will indent with each manual return. Do not use page numbers or headers and footers and use page breaks only for the end of the chapter.
Use styles for Chapter headings, depending on which version of Word you are using.
These instructions will work so long as there are no images in your books and it is not too long, more than 2 mb as an example. My Gentle Giant book does have images but uploaded perfectly fine using this method.
Now you will not find these helpful instructions on the kdp forum, because every time they are posted, some arsehole who not only wants to sell his own formatting services, but doesn't know how to use Word will come along and delete it. The kdp moderators might put it back, but it won't be for a long time, when they get round to it. And even then it is likely to disappear again. What sort of forum is that, where certain people are allowed to decide who can and cannot have an opinion?
Not only that, but their personal insults are such as one might expect of a spoilt five year old, stamping his little feet because he cannot get his own way.
The forum now has lost most of its helpful and experienced members, some of whom have been banned for no reason, some who refuse to participate in such childishness. What is left are know-alls who believe their opinion is the only one and a whiney little girl who fills up the boards with poor little me rants about how she is bullied. We have another with the  same name who believes she has the right to come along and tell someone who is being extremely rude to ignore another poster and when called out about that, arsehole crawls round everyone to try and get them on her side. Sound familiar? If you ever had children it certainly should.
So the message for today is this: Do not bother with the kdp forums - go visit your local nursery school instead, you will get more intelligent interaction AND Yes, you can format your ebook using Word. Thanks for reading.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Books now available on other platforms

I am trying out some other outlets for some of my books. So far, my non-fiction book, the Gentle Giant, is available on The Apple Store as well as
Nook Kobo Inktera and Scribbd

Other books available so far are:
The Wronged Wife

Friday, 5 December 2014

Countdown Deal - The Scent of Roses


This is one of my most popular books and will be on a countdown deal for just three days from tomorrow, 6th December at 25% of its normal price.

It is set in 1438 England, amid the black death which devastated half of Europe. Lady Felice Sutton agrees to marry Lord Christopher, despite his reputation for violence and ruthlessness, to save her impoverished father from debt bondage and disgrace. She is grateful and determined to make him a good wife, but she soon learns that his reputation is well earned and that being a good wife to him is far more difficult that she ever imagined. Why does his first wife lie buried in a pauper's grave? Why does he still visit the peasant woman who has his children? This is a tale of one woman's struggle to find goodness in a man who appears to have none to find, whose distrust of women makes a future with him almost impossible to contemplate.
But when he discovers his peasant mistress dead and immediately suspects Felice of poisoning her, she learns just how merciless he can be.

The first chapter can be read here.

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