My Christmas Necklace

Read this wonderfully romantic story, re-blogged from Juliette King’s Vampire Maman-blog.

Vampire Maman

My Christmas Necklace – A VampireRomance

At Christmas time we usually had friends for dinner. Of course that was a few years ago but let’s pretend things are perhaps a little more normal than 2021.

Let me reword that first line. A few years ago we dined with good friends of ours. It was two couples we’re friends with (they’re regular humans who don’t know we’re Vampires). It is a dress up affair. We have cocktails; take in the theater or a concert, then have dinner and more drinks. And my darling husband Teddy and I get a little blood donation and leave our hosts feeling warm and fuzzy and full of holiday cheer.

I wore a black dress with red heels. It was set off with a gold necklace of delicate flowers with red garnets, enameled holly leaves and seed pearls.

One of my friends commented “You wear that…

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A PAY TO PLAY BOOKSTORE SCHEME: THE READING GLASS BOOKS – Written By Victoria Strauss

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®


I’ve recently gotten several reports of phone solicitations from a New Jersey-based bookstore called The Reading Glass Books.


Why would a bookstore be calling authors out of the blue? Well in this case, to sell shelf space: $350 for six months. Authors can direct the store to sell the books at whatever price they like, and will get “100% of the royalties” (which of course makes no sense, since direct sales proceeds are not royalties). And if you’re thinking that the store will order the books…no, no, no, don’t be silly. Authors must provide their own copies.


Paid shelf space for self-published authors isn’t a new idea. Here’s one entrepreneur who set up a bookstore entirely on that model (the store closed in 2019). And a few years ago there was some media coverage of independent bookstores that were renting shelf space to self-pubbed and small press writers–in some cases for a good deal more than $350.


Whatever you may think of paying for shelf space, these were all real brick-and-mortar stores in the business of selling books to the public–not exploitative schemes aimed primarily at extracting money from writers. Based on its solicitation phone calls, sketchy website, and array of other paid services, my guess was that The Reading Glass Books fell into the latter category. I wanted to be sure, though, so I did some research. 


Reading Glass claims a physical address–7 Wrightstown Cookstown Road (aka County Road 616) in Cookstown, New Jersey. To my surprise, there actually is a storefront. It’s located in a small strip mall on a relatively empty stretch of road. Here’s an image,, courtesy of Google (note the prime location, between Air Transport International and Domino’s Pizza): 

CONTINUE READING HERE

How To Build Your Author Platform When You Have No Clue What That Means – Written By Rachel Thompson

on Bad Redhead Media:

When I first started in the publishing industry over ten years and seven books ago, the nebulous concept of an author platform sounded like a vague box of ‘things’ a writer would buy at the Invisible Writer Internet Store.

“Want the deluxe package?” an oily salesman with an extreme side part would ask. “I don’t know,” I would shrug. “How much does it cost?” I’d ask this snake-oil dude. He would smile, wryly, “That depends.”

Sound familiar? Still confusing. I know.

This is how a seasoned writer explained an author platform to me at the time that helped me make sense of it all:

Think of your author platform as a deck. Each tactic is a plank. Without a full deck, your platform isn’t solid. It’s flimsy. Building each plank will give you a solid foundation to work from when selling your book so nothing falls through.

This helped. A lot. And make no mistake: while you may tell yourself you’re allergic to marketing, don’t know what it is, or that it’s all ‘shameless self-promotion’ (it’s not if you’re doing it correctly), you DO want people to read your work, right?

You have a choice here: be the oily salesperson or be strategic about it. Time to stop covering up your eyes and ears and do the work.

Let’s talk about all the planks. Well, at least the most important ones and why they matter, as well as how they impact your platform.

Continue reading HERE

Is That Publisher Email Legitimate? – Written By John Doppler

on Self Publishing Advice:

We’re sensible indie authors, we can often sniff a scam out. But scammers are getting smarter and it’s getting harder to tell a legitimate email from a scam. In today’s Alliance of Independent Authors Watchdog post, John Doppler explains how to tell the legitimate from the scam.

Your book has been on the market for a few months now, and maybe sales are starting to lag. Then one morning, you open your inbox, and a wondrous email springs forth with a fanfare of trumpets:

Greetings!

This is Joseph Monicker from Reputable Press Solutions, a traditional global publisher affiliated with Penguin Random House.

We are very interested in the book that you published and we would like to help you get a contract from one of the biggest traditional publishing companies…

Because you are a wise author, you immediately suspect a scam. But how can you know for sure? Are you passing up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?

Continue reading HERE

How to Effectively Bring Sound into Your Fiction – Written By C.S. Lakin

on Live Write Thrive:

Today’s post is a reprint from some years back, but it’s one that deserves revisiting!

Sound may not be something writers pay much attention to when they work on their novels. Of course, there usually is a significant amount of dialog, and there may occasionally be found a noise shown in the scene, such as a branch cracking underfoot, the whoosh of an arrow zipping by, or the hiss of a snake. But other than the obvious, basic sounds, novelists don’t usually think much about this sensory element.

By looking at some of the ways filmmakers deal with sound, we can see many possibilites of how writers might enrich their books with this often-ignored component.

In the book Cinematic Storytelling by Jennifer Van Sijll, we read this about sound: “Sound effects are as much the purview of the writer as are visual symbols . . . Sound effects can also suggest an extended aural metaphor. They can add layers to a film that are hard to achieve in other ways. Sound effects can be obvious or quite subtle. They can intentionally draw attention to themselves or manipulate with stealth. They can expose, disguise, suggest, establish, or reveal.”

Sound is a terrific tool for a writer’s toolbox, so let’s expore!

Continue reading HERE

It’s Now Available For Pre-order – Written By Jack Eason

As of yesterday East Wind is uploaded and available for pre-ordering from all Amazon sites. As I hoped, here in the UK its priced at £0.99. Officially it will be available to the general public on the 1st of January 2022. That is the date when your pre-ordered copy will appear on your Kindle. I really hope you enjoy reading East Wind and Arvo’s journey together, and the heart warming love story which they both share in when Arvo (Bill) meets not one but two loving souls that he falls in love with. First Lin Mae who gives him a precious daughter – Tilde. Then his true soul mate Katya who he remains with for the rest of his days.

ORIGINAL BLOG POST ON JACK EASON’S BLOG HERE

How To Publish Writing Anonymously To Hide Your Name – Written By Derek Haines

on Just Publishing Advice:

There are many reasons why you might want to publish writing anonymously.

Many famous writers and authors have used pen names or pseudonyms, so it’s nothing new.

However, most writers today publish online, making it more challenging to keep your identity a secret. So how do you publish anonymously?

The internet has made it easy for new writers to find readers. But if you want to publish on the quiet, you need to take care.

Continue reading HERE

61 Writing Contests in December 2021 – No entry fees – Written By Erica Verrillo

on Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity:

This December there are more than five dozen writing contests for short fiction, novels, poetry, CNF, nonfiction, and short plays.

Prizes range from a gold medal to $25,000. None charge entry fees.

Some of these contests have age and geographical restrictions, so read the instructions carefully.

Get Full Details HERE