Wednesday, 29 October 2014

To self-publish, or not?

You know those ads for a free editing guide? You click on them and it asks for your info and if you have a manuscript to publish. Well, I clicked and it opened up a Pandora’s Box.

I didn’t realise there were so many companies out there, wanting to help writers self-publish their book. They offer help with: editing, manuscript assessment, cover design, getting an ISBN, putting your book in all the different formats, distribution and marketing, setting up a website *deep breath* and they will send you 100 copies of your finished book. All for a princely sum of money. You retain the copyright and publishing rights to your book, however.

I guess that’s where they differ from the traditional publishing houses. Correct me if I’m wrong.

What I don’t want to do, is end up with 100 copies of my book gathering dust and no-one ever knowing it even exists.

For me, the marketing and distribution seem to be the scariest, most difficult and overwhelming parts. I’m pretty sure I’m going to need an immense amount of help and a big campaign to get my name out there for the first time. What’s the point if this book never finds its audience?

I know I can write a book; doing all the production myself and upload it on several sites for free. It certainly won’t be as polished and I’ll be disappointed with the result.

What to do? What to do?

Has anyone out there had experience with these self-publishing companies?

Cheers


The Flare Up

To self-publish, or not?

You know those ads for a free editing guide? You click on them and it asks for your info and if you have a manuscript to publish. Well, I clicked and it opened up a Pandora’s Box.

I didn’t realise there were so many companies out there, wanting to help writers self-publish their book. They offer help with: editing, manuscript assessment, cover design, getting an ISBN, putting your book in all the different formats, distribution and marketing, setting up a website *deep breath* and they will send you 100 copies of your finished book. All for a princely sum of money. You retain the copyright and publishing rights to your book, however.

I guess that’s where they differ from the traditional publishing houses. Correct me if I’m wrong.

What I don’t want to do, is end up with 100 copies of my book gathering dust and no-one ever knowing it even exists.

For me, the marketing and distribution seem to be the scariest, most difficult and overwhelming parts. I’m pretty sure I’m going to need an immense amount of help and a big campaign to get my name out there for the first time. What’s the point if this book never finds its audience?

I know I can write a book; doing all the production myself and upload it on several sites for free. It certainly won’t be as polished and I’ll be disappointed with the result.

What to do? What to do?

Has anyone out there had experience with these self-publishing companies?

Cheers


The Flare Up

Friday, 24 October 2014

Book Review - Robin York - Deeper (Caroline & West #1)




Publisher: Piatkus. First published by Bantam books. 2014
Genre: New Adult, contemporary romance.
Length: 

This book is the gut wrenching and poignant, New Adult debut for Ruthie Knox – written under the pen-name, Robin York. It is the first of a series that tells the story of Caroline, who is the victim of revenge porn. Her dream of one day becoming a judge and running for office suddenly gets derailed and turned into a twisted pile of scraps.

When all is seemingly lost, she befriends a man she actually met on the first day of college, but has studiously tried to ignore ever since. West will not be ignored, however.

They try to stay just friends, but the chemistry between them is just too hot. West has his own demons to battle before he can truly find happiness. With the help of West and some good friends, Caroline slowly becomes empowered; refusing to play victim to her ex’s online vitriol. The ending leaves you hanging for the second book, ‘Harder’.

This book makes you feel, in spades. I felt like this had happened to me. It’s so relevant to what has, sadly, been happening recently to celebrities and many other women around the globe who have had their accounts hacked.

In the horror that she is living, West is the life raft – albeit a leaky one. Caroline is set to turn around and save him right back.

This book is a must read. The author’s style is seamless and expressive. The characters are quirky, real, damaged and lovable. I can’t wait for more.
5.5 Flares.








Cheers



Book Review - Robin York - Deeper (Caroline & West #1)




Publisher: Piatkus. First published by Bantam books. 2014
Genre: New Adult, contemporary romance.
Length: 

This book is the gut wrenching and poignant, New Adult debut for Ruthie Knox – written under the pen-name, Robin York. It is the first of a series that tells the story of Caroline, who is the victim of revenge porn. Her dream of one day becoming a judge and running for office suddenly gets derailed and turned into a twisted pile of scraps.

When all is seemingly lost, she befriends a man she actually met on the first day of college, but has studiously tried to ignore ever since. West will not be ignored, however.

They try to stay just friends, but the chemistry between them is just too hot. West has his own demons to battle before he can truly find happiness. With the help of West and some good friends, Caroline slowly becomes empowered; refusing to play victim to her ex’s online vitriol. The ending leaves you hanging for the second book, ‘Harder’.

This book makes you feel, in spades. I felt like this had happened to me. It’s so relevant to what has, sadly, been happening recently to celebrities and many other women around the globe who have had their accounts hacked.

In the horror that she is living, West is the life raft – albeit a leaky one. Caroline is set to turn around and save him right back.

This book is a must read. The author’s style is seamless and expressive. The characters are quirky, real, damaged and lovable. I can’t wait for more.
5.5 Flares.








Cheers



Thursday, 23 October 2014

The manuscript diet

I've been planning and writing two books, mostly at night. When baby has a nap, it's Mummy's writing time. I am stealing away every chance I get to write these stories down. I just want to eat, sleep and breathe my writing - such is the fire in my belly. You've got to run with the muse when he appears (yes, my muse is a man - shhhhhh!).

Running with my muse is extremely difficult to do when there are four other people, big and small, requiring my care and attention. I am actually forgetting to eat. Couple this with the fact that my one year old wants to pinch half of whatever is on my plate for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I should be totally set for a bikini for summer!

Erm...There's just the small matter of stretch marks and jiggly bits that no amount of dieting will ever deter.

No need to run screaming, you will NEVER catch me in a bikini. My characters, however... Well, the female ones, they occasionally wear bikinis. No mankinis EVER. I swear. That's just wrong, Borat.

So, there you have it. The manuscript diet. Distraction plus trying to juggle it all. It's workin' for me. I can't recommend it though because the side effects are sleep deprivation.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, right?

Cheers

The Flare Up

The manuscript diet

I've been planning and writing two books, mostly at night. When baby has a nap, it's Mummy's writing time. I am stealing away every chance I get to write these stories down. I just want to eat, sleep and breathe my writing - such is the fire in my belly. You've got to run with the muse when he appears (yes, my muse is a man - shhhhhh!).

Running with my muse is extremely difficult to do when there are four other people, big and small, requiring my care and attention. I am actually forgetting to eat. Couple this with the fact that my one year old wants to pinch half of whatever is on my plate for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I should be totally set for a bikini for summer!

Erm...There's just the small matter of stretch marks and jiggly bits that no amount of dieting will ever deter.

No need to run screaming, you will NEVER catch me in a bikini. My characters, however... Well, the female ones, they occasionally wear bikinis. No mankinis EVER. I swear. That's just wrong, Borat.

So, there you have it. The manuscript diet. Distraction plus trying to juggle it all. It's workin' for me. I can't recommend it though because the side effects are sleep deprivation.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, right?

Cheers

The Flare Up

Monday, 20 October 2014

Book Review - Penelope Ward - Step Brother Dearest


Publisher: Penelope Ward, September 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length:

This book is the first I have read by this author. I enjoyed it so much I bought Gemini straight after and will continue reading the Gemini series; the next book of which is due early 2015.
Stepbrother Dearestintroduces us to Greta, whose mother has remarried and gained a stepson in the process.  Fast-forward a few years and Greta is finally going to meet her stepbrother, Elec, who will be spending the year living with them. Only, when he arrives it’s apparent he doesn’t want to know her, or anyone in the family for that matter. It is immediately obvious that Elec and his father, Randy have a very strained, unhealthy relationship. Greta finds herself questioning the character of her stepfather.

Even though Elec does all he can to push Greta away, she manages to soften him up with homemade ice cream and video games. She is the one girl in the world who is forbidden to him and yet, no-one understands him like she does. He wants her more than anything and she wants him right back. Life has different plans, however and Elec must say goodbye forever.

Seven years later, they are re-united through tragedy, but the forbidden nature of their relationship hasn’t changed. Obstacles must be overcome and some shocking truths are revealed on their journey back to each other.
I love stories where the couple meet and fall in love, but through circumstances out of their control they are ripped apart. There will never be a love like the one they lost and they are always searching for that connection again.

The author does this story so much justice. Elec, the damaged bad boy who is actually a sensitive caring soul, is the perfect type of hero. The sexual tension and the angst and torture of them not being together is palpable. 

It is a definite page turner. Buy it. Buy it NOW!

5 Flares.







Cheers







Amazon AU Link
Amazon U.S. Link
Amazon U.K. Link
B&N Link
Kobo Link
Google Play Books Link
iBooks Link







Book Review - Penelope Ward - Step Brother Dearest


Publisher: Penelope Ward, September 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length:

This book is the first I have read by this author. I enjoyed it so much I bought Gemini straight after and will continue reading the Gemini series; the next book of which is due early 2015.
Stepbrother Dearest introduces us to Greta, whose mother has remarried and gained a stepson in the process.  Fast-forward a few years and Greta is finally going to meet her stepbrother, Elec, who will be spending the year living with them. Only, when he arrives it’s apparent he doesn’t want to know her, or anyone in the family for that matter. It is immediately obvious that Elec and his father, Randy have a very strained, unhealthy relationship. Greta finds herself questioning the character of her stepfather.

Even though Elec does all he can to push Greta away, she manages to soften him up with homemade ice cream and video games. She is the one girl in the world who is forbidden to him and yet, no-one understands him like she does. He wants her more than anything and she wants him right back. Life has different plans, however and Elec must say goodbye forever.

Seven years later, they are re-united through tragedy, but the forbidden nature of their relationship hasn’t changed. Obstacles must be overcome and some shocking truths are revealed on their journey back to each other.
I love stories where the couple meet and fall in love, but through circumstances out of their control they are ripped apart. There will never be a love like the one they lost and they are always searching for that connection again.

The author does this story so much justice. Elec, the damaged bad boy who is actually a sensitive caring soul, is the perfect type of hero. The sexual tension and the angst and torture of them not being together is palpable. 

It is a definite page turner. Buy it. Buy it NOW!

5 Flares.







Cheers







Amazon AU Link
Amazon U.S. Link
Amazon U.K. Link
B&N Link
Kobo Link
Google Play Books Link
iBooks Link







Amateur hour

Hello all,

Yesterday, I woke up with my characters running through my head telling me what's happening next in their lives. So, I had all these ambitions to get this written down STAT!
*Queue the sound effect from game shows when people get the answer wrong.*
It was Sunday, so of course everybody was home. I thought maybe if I retreated to the study I might get left alone. Nooooooo chance.

My eldest decided that he was finally going to finish the board game that we've been making together. He's an artistic soul like me. So I ended up designing game cards that tell the player they have to do the chicken dance and crawl like a crab. It's pretty cool, actually.

Then Husband gets the drill out so he can put up my whiteboard. Anyone who knows me will agree that I'm a little OCD when it comes to organisation. So I can't say I was upset with this interruption. I married a computer guy. He also happens to be pretty handy around the house.

I've been sitting here trying to figure out this social media/ blogging business. You'd laugh your head off if you saw me. It's really kinda pathetic. I hate asking my computer guy to help me. He spends his whole day doing that, so when he gets home... well, he kinda goes all Nick Burns - The Company Computer Guy (aka Jimmy Fallon from SNL). "MOVE."

I gave up trying to work, but the movie my characters are putting on was still running through my head. I wonder if other writers feel guilty about being half in their heads for the great majority of the day?????

Another late night ensued, but I always feel so much better when it's down on paper.

My next review is on Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward. Coming soon.

Cheers

The Flare Up

Amateur hour

Hello all,

Yesterday, I woke up with my characters running through my head telling me what's happening next in their lives. So, I had all these ambitions to get this written down STAT!
*Queue the sound effect from game shows when people get the answer wrong.*
It was Sunday, so of course everybody was home. I thought maybe if I retreated to the study I might get left alone. Nooooooo chance.

My eldest decided that he was finally going to finish the board game that we've been making together. He's an artistic soul like me. So I ended up designing game cards that tell the player they have to do the chicken dance and crawl like a crab. It's pretty cool, actually.

Then Husband gets the drill out so he can put up my whiteboard. Anyone who knows me will agree that I'm a little OCD when it comes to organisation. So I can't say I was upset with this interruption. I married a computer guy. He also happens to be pretty handy around the house.

I've been sitting here trying to figure out this social media/ blogging business. You'd laugh your head off if you saw me. It's really kinda pathetic. I hate asking my computer guy to help me. He spends his whole day doing that, so when he gets home... well, he kinda goes all Nick Burns - The Company Computer Guy (aka Jimmy Fallon from SNL). "MOVE."

I gave up trying to work, but the movie my characters are putting on was still running through my head. I wonder if other writers feel guilty about being half in their heads for the great majority of the day?????

Another late night ensued, but I always feel so much better when it's down on paper.

My next review is on Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward. Coming soon.

Cheers

The Flare Up

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Book Review - M. Leighton, All Things Pretty (Parts 1&2)



Publisher - Self published, 2014.
Genre: Contemporary romance/ Romantic Suspense.
Length: 223 pages (part 1), 118 pages (part 2).

Accomplished author, M. Leighton, continues The Pretty Series with Sig Locke's story; split into two parts.

Sig is the brother of Sloane Locke; the original heroine of the series and Scout and Steven Locke, who are yet to have their stories told.

The Locke men all have blue blood in their veins and share the protective instincts to go with it. Not to mention they are all six foot ridiculous and totally drool worthy.

Sig is the most fun-loving of all the brothers, but he has ambitions. He sees an opportunity to fast-track those ambitions when he stumbles across the damsel in distress, Tommi. She is a bombshell in minuscule shorts, with just the right connections for Sig to get inside the criminal underworld.
Tommi is caring and selfless to a fault. She's putting on a brave face in spite of her dire situation. She needs to learn to share the load and put her trust in someone else and Sig is just the man to teach her.

Little did he know how deep Tommi would draw him into her world and how she would infiltrate his heart. He has to use all his wits to try and free her from a very tangled web. Despite the façade they each put up for the outside world, they see each other for who they truly are and can't fight the inevitable; even knowing it could ruin everything they are working towards.

I thoroughly enjoy this series and was very much looking forward to reading Sig's story. Sig is absolutely adorable and charming. I mentioned the six foot ridiculous thing already, right? What's not to like? He is single minded in his need to get Tommi out of a bad situation.

The author keeps up a good pace with plenty of action. She gives us a great insight into the hearts and minds of the characters and throws in some shocking twists along the way.

Any romance lover is going to love this story. If you love a good twist and a lot of intrigue, you will love this author too.
Well done Ms Leighton.

I give this two-part story 4.5 Flares.








 Cheers



Amazon U.S. Link
Amazon U.K. Link
B&N Link
Kobo Link
Google Play Books Link
iBooks Link






Book Review - M. Leighton, All Things Pretty (Parts 1&2)



Publisher - Self published, 2014.
Genre: Contemporary romance/ Romantic Suspense.
Length: 223 pages (part 1), 118 pages (part 2).

Accomplished author, M. Leighton, continues The Pretty Series with Sig Locke's story; split into two parts.

Sig is the brother of Sloane Locke; the original heroine of the series and Scout and Steven Locke, who are yet to have their stories told.

The Locke men all have blue blood in their veins and share the protective instincts to go with it. Not to mention they are all six foot ridiculous and totally drool worthy.

Sig is the most fun-loving of all the brothers, but he has ambitions. He sees an opportunity to fast-track those ambitions when he stumbles across the damsel in distress, Tommi. She is a bombshell in minuscule shorts, with just the right connections for Sig to get inside the criminal underworld.
Tommi is caring and selfless to a fault. She's putting on a brave face in spite of her dire situation. She needs to learn to share the load and put her trust in someone else and Sig is just the man to teach her.

Little did he know how deep Tommi would draw him into her world and how she would infiltrate his heart. He has to use all his wits to try and free her from a very tangled web. Despite the façade they each put up for the outside world, they see each other for who they truly are and can't fight the inevitable; even knowing it could ruin everything they are working towards.

I thoroughly enjoy this series and was very much looking forward to reading Sig's story. Sig is absolutely adorable and charming. I mentioned the six foot ridiculous thing already, right? What's not to like? He is single minded in his need to get Tommi out of a bad situation.

The author keeps up a good pace with plenty of action. She gives us a great insight into the hearts and minds of the characters and throws in some shocking twists along the way.

Any romance lover is going to love this story. If you love a good twist and a lot of intrigue, you will love this author too.
Well done Ms Leighton.

I give this two-part story 4.5 Flares.








 Cheers



Amazon U.S. Link
Amazon U.K. Link
B&N Link
Kobo Link
Google Play Books Link
iBooks Link






Welcome!

Hi all.

Welcome to my book blog, where I'll be sharing my obsession for stories with a romantic flare. I will also be writing about my personal journey into writing and publishing.

I am a self-confessed book junkie. Amazon loves me, seriously! I probably read a book every one to two days. How do I do this, considering I have three children? My books go with me everywhere (except the bathroom). I'm very good at multitasking.

So, I figured why not share my obsession with you and maybe help some authors out along the way.

I'm also in the process of writing my own stories. I have two on the burner at the moment. The characters  in my books won't leave me alone until they are brought to life on the page.
I hope to have my first one out next year. I'll try my hardest anyway. Wish me luck!

Recently, I've been on a bit of a New Adult bender. My first book review is on the book All Things Pretty (Parts One & Two), by one of my favourite authors, M. Leighton.

I have included a list of some of my favourite authors on the blog, so check out their work too.

For more about me, Have a look at my profile. I'll be getting my website up and running in the near future.

Cheers



The Flare Up

Welcome!

Hi all.

Welcome to my book blog, where I'll be sharing my obsession for stories with a romantic flare. I will also be writing about my personal journey into writing and publishing.

I am a self-confessed book junkie. Amazon loves me, seriously! I probably read a book every one to two days. How do I do this, considering I have three children? My books go with me everywhere (except the bathroom). I'm very good at multitasking.

So, I figured why not share my obsession with you and maybe help some authors out along the way.

I'm also in the process of writing my own stories. I have two on the burner at the moment. The characters  in my books won't leave me alone until they are brought to life on the page.
I hope to have my first one out next year. I'll try my hardest anyway. Wish me luck!

Recently, I've been on a bit of a New Adult bender. My first book review is on the book All Things Pretty (Parts One & Two), by one of my favourite authors, M. Leighton.

I have included a list of some of my favourite authors on the blog, so check out their work too.

For more about me, Have a look at my profile. I'll be getting my website up and running in the near future.

Cheers



The Flare Up
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