The Red Coat and The Red Head eBook – Free Today Until Monday!

My newest ebook The Red Coat and The Red Head will be free for five days, starting today! Now is your chance to download a historical adventure short story free of charge.

What is it about? Two young free thinkers who are caught in the middle of a revolution.

The Red Coat and The Red Head is a short story set during the American Revolution. A young British officer, Jon, deserts the army when he cannot cope with his best friend’s death. He runs into a Colonial girl named Jil who is against war, despite her patriot loyalties.

When three British colonels surround Jil’s home, she and Jon ride away. They long to escape from the terrible violence that has soaked the atmosphere in Boston and turn their misfortune into an adventure.

But will the war catch up with them and quench the freedom that they long for?
Please let me know what you think and feel free of course to leave a review on Amazon or Good Reads. :)

I was hoping to make the promotion last longer, but at this point, the longest free promotion you can run on Amazon is 5 days.

I appreciate your support, as always!

The Red Coat and The Red Head Book Cover

After some thought, I thought that it would be better to publish each of my short stories as separate entities. I may do a book of multiple short stories in the future, but my story about two young people trapped in an era of revolution and war will be a stand alone.

Here is the cover for The Red Coat and The Red Head. It was designed by my talented younger sister, Jessica Kjeldsen. You will be seeing more of her in the future.

Redcoatandredhead

I love how she captured the mood of the tale, and the setting mirrors that special place they had away from the violence.

I plan to publish The Red Coat and The Red Head by the end of this week. Best of all, it will be FREE!

Publishing Two Short Stories This Summer

With a few short stories under my belt, I have been giving a great deal of thought to publishing a book that features a collection of short stories. So, I am going to take the plunge and do this! I really want to get two of my most cherished short works out to the world and I am going to sell it for free in the beginning. I am actually really excited for this! I never thought I would be a short story writer, but after dabbling in some flash fiction contests, I realized how much I enjoy the brief but intense style of writing.

I will include more details about the two short stories within the book, the cover, and the launch date.

For now, I have come up with a title!

It is called:

“It Burns Until You Take Flight.”

Both of the stories focus on the concept of freedom –  freedom to be yourself and pursue your dreams despite the obstacles that people put in one`s way. I also like to illustrate in my writing the negative effects that prejudice and suppression does to people. Sometimes, the outcome is very bleak.

I appreciate everyone`s support!

So, what have you all been working on these days? Do tell. :)

Book Launch – Followed

Followed has officially been launched today! You can order a copy of my gothic novella on your Kindle now for only $1.99.

If you want to pick it up for free (And I’ll bet you do!) I am running a free promotion on Amazon starting tomorrow and it ends on Saturday.

Synopsis:

Adeline assumes that her life is on track when she befriends her spirited governess, Julia, followed by her ex-midshipman cousin, Gabriel. But when her great aunt passes away after revealing a terrible secret, she is torn away from Julia by her new guardians.

After their home in Bath is set aflame, Adeline and Gabriel flee to the woods. Separated from Gabriel after being chased down by a strange horseman, Adeline is then approached by a madman and is given an ultimatum to follow him – or to die alone in the forest.

My Novella – Launching Next Week!

Hello, my followers!

Guess what?

After that rather awkward false start last fall, my historical horror (gothic) novella, Followed, will be released early next week. It will be free for the first day and possibly the second day. :)

Special thanks to Frankie Sutton, my amazing and affordable editor and Najla Qamber, my talented and lovely cover illustrator.

Also, a huge thank you to my wonderful fellow author and friend, L.E. Waters. She was my beta reader!

Followed_Cover

Stay tuned!

Here is an excerpt from Chapter Four:

Mr. and Mrs. Mornington’s heated discussion brought Adeline out of the dark musings. She sighed and rested the back of her head against the cushioned seat, pretending to be asleep. Their personalities had come to life since Aunt Victoria’s passing.
“I hope we never go back there,” Gabriel muttered.
“Because of the ghosts?” asked Adeline.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Gabriel. “What I heard in the room was obviously just the wind.”
“You didn’t seem to think so when I saw you in the forest right after you heard them.”
Gabriel leaned close to Adeline.
“Well, they aren’t real,” he said.
“Are you sure about that?”
“Aren’t you a little too old to believe in ghosts?”
“I don’t know what I believe yet, but I do know that my aunt was horribly afraid of someone as she was dying. She was convinced that something was in the room to take her. I saw it in her eyes. She did see something.”
Adeline’s flesh was covered in goose bumps as she quietly related the story to her cousin while Mr. and Mrs. Mornington’s bickering continued.
Gabriel shrugged nonchalantly and he focused his attention back to the landscape outside his window.
“It still doesn’t mean there was something there.”
Adeline blinked back tears.
“Well, you weren’t there. I know what I saw. Besides, after knowing what I know about our great uncle, I don’t think I would ever want to go back there.”
Gabriel’s eyes returned to Adeline.
“How do you know about him?”
“Aunt Victoria told me,” she said, lowering her voice to a whisper. “She killed him after she caught him murdering a man that she knew.”
Gabriel’s brown eyes widened. Now she had his interest.
“I didn’t think she had it in her. Well, she did the right thing. Who knows how many lives she probably saved?”
“That is what I told her, but she felt so guilty. Do your parents know about it?”
“I don’t know. They don’t tell me much of anything. I didn’t tell you this before, but I went back into the room that night. I found some of Uncle Henry’s old journal entries. He was a madman. He recorded all ten of his murders and claimed that he heard voices ordering him to go about doing it.”
Adeline’s mouth dropped open.
“I know what you’re thinking,” Gabriel said. “I’m telling you that there was nothing in that room. I didn’t even hear them the last time I went in there.”
“Whatever you say. Did you read about all of the murders he wrote about?”
Gabriel shook his head.
“Not yet.”
The carriage stopped abruptly. They were already in front of Julia’s house.
Adeline felt her stomach knot.
“Take all the time you need, dear,” said Mrs. Mornington.
As Adeline stepped out of the buggy, a lump formed in her throat, and she tried in vain to swallow it away. She suddenly despised her aunt and uncle for making her leave one of her only friends behind.
Julia, with her unbound hair falling down to her waist in soft curls, stood on her porch smiling.

Not a novelist

I think referring to myself as a “novella-ist” might be a more accurate way to describe myself. With the exception of my first YA novel (By the Sword), my other two books have ended up at novella length, even after much editing and “beefing up” of the plot line. I don’t know what it is, but writing tighter with fewer characters just works better for me.

I do envy the novelists, of course. But I don’t really think that is what I am. Perhaps one day I will write a 500 page novel to call my own, but right now, if my books turn out to be shorter than average, then why be concerned?

My opinion is that a writer has a story to tell. Period. Word count is irrelevant so long as the story and its characters are of excellent quality.

So, are any of you chronic novella writers? Do you know of any publishers that do accept novellas? I am curious.

Second Novel (An Update)

I wanted to publish Followed, my second novel, in the worst way by the end of August. I had the cover designed in February! Then, I realized it was just silly to rush a book launch for a book that just isn’t quite ready.  Slow and steady is the way to go when you are an indie publisher.

I think it is well worth the wait to make sure that a novel has been thoroughly read by 2-3 beta readers before sending it off for that final edit. My peer editor has promised to have Followed read and commented on by the end of August, so I am predicting Followed’s book launch for early October to be on the safe side. :) I am so excited!

In the meantime, I’ve been dabbling in a few of my other writings – my third and fourth novels as well as another short story I’ve started on. It can be hard for me to focus on one project at a time sometimes. It’s fun to go back and forth.

Stay tuned for the cover reveal later this week. :D

On the topic of current projects, where are all of you at right now in your writing endeavors? Do tell, fellow bloggers.

Costs To Self Publish My Second Book

I posted the spendings for my first novel, By the Sword, earlier this year to give you a rough idea of how affordable self publishing can be. I am happy to say that my second book Followed (Set to launch tentatively in September 2012!) cost much less.

Here’s the numbers, because sometimes it’s nice to see an actual breakdown of what it takes to publish your book.

Cover Design (Ebook and Print) by Najla Qambar – $75

Book Mark Designs – Free!

Editor – $100

Second Editor – $100 (Oops!*)

Ebook Formatting – $50

Beta Readers – Free! :) (A must!)

*Note: I had two edits, because I went ahead and got an editor a little too soon. I had two more beta reads after the first edit, which I am so happy I did. Phew! So, now, silly me jumping the gun too early, I need to have an editor go over Followed again. But this time, I know the book will be ready. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you have at least two other people read and critique your book before sending it to an editor.

On the topic of editors: Yes, there are some great ones that do not charge hundreds of dollars!

I am going to do a separate launch for the print book of Followed. For now, I am going to put all my energy into creating an ebook. It costs a little more to make a print book and, from what I have seen so far, ebooks are the money makers.

Oh, by the way, if you haven’t checked out my first novel, By the Sword, it is now only .99 on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/By-the-Sword-ebook/dp/B007ED92SW/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1342574748&sr=8-7&keywords=By+the+Sword

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Novellas

Two years ago, I was horrified when the first draft of my third novel sat at a mere 24,000 words. That was back when my life’s dream was to get an agent. I thought at the time that all the energy I put into a story I really had written from the heart was all for nothing unless I added a whopping 50K or 60K more words. The thing is, the skeleton of the story was good the way it was. Sure, it needed some work. With some editing, I have added more depth to the story but it still only sits at just over the 30K mark.

Some stories are just meant to be novellas. With Amazon and smaller presses, it is far easier to publish a short story. I am comfortable that this third book will never be a full length novel.

Now the question is, how marketable/desirable are novellas these days? I have been thinking about this with every edit.

I came across an article about novellas whole doing a Google search. It’s two years old now, but it is an interesting take on the step child of books. Apparently, they are no longer considered the “ugly duckling of the literary world”. Woot!

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/08/04/the-novella-is-making-a-comeback.html

A lot of people might enjoy a quick yet intense read. Others may feel cheated and wish there was more. Or, maybe some people that wouldn’t normally read might pick up a book if they noticed it wasn’t super thick.

I am curious to hear your opinion about novellas. Would you purchase one? Have you? Do you like reading shorter stories?