Tag Archives: ebook

‘Innerscape, Episode 5 is live’ rhymes, badly :/

Now everyone knows why I don’t do poetry. But my prose ain’t that bad, and it so happens that the very last episode of Innerscape is now available for free download from Amazon. This is where you can get it:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAINA5W/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1481705627&sr=8-6&keywords=kindle+Innerscape

And in the spirit of giving…or is it bribery?…the very last competition is now also up and running. As always, at the end of the competition, all the correct entries will have a chance to win a $20 gift voucher from Amazon.

Entering the competition is dead easy. Start by reading the ‘Look Inside’ below [just the first few pages]. There you will find the answer to the multiple choice question for this episode:

Drum roll…and the multiple choice question is:

Where is David and Jane’s wedding to take place?

  1. Innerscape?
  2. New York?
  3. Sydney?

Once you know the answer, write it [or just the number of the correct answer] in comments and that’s it. Just one entry per person though. 🙂

The free download and the competition will both end on December 18, 2016. After that, the price for Episode 5 reverts to 0.99 cents till the end of the week. And after that, every episode, except for no. 1, will rise to $1.99. Episode 1 will stay at 0.99 forever, or until I can make it permafree.

So please, take advantage of the free dowload and the competition while you can.

cheers

Meeks

 

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Allelujah! Innerscape, Episode 4 is finally free…

I’d better make this quick. Episode 4 is now available for free download from December 6, 2016 to December 10, 2016. To get your free copy, please follow the link to Amazon below:

https://www.amazon.com/Innerscape-Episode-4-C-Flory-ebook/dp/B01N0MZ35R/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1481019068&sr=1-4&keywords=kindle+innerscape

The Innerscape competition is ready to go as well. Simply read the ‘Look Inside’ below [use your browser’s back button to return to this post] and answer a simple, multiple choice question in comments, and hey presto, you’ll be in with a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift voucher. 🙂

The question for Episode 4 is – what did Alex Tang die of?

  1. pneumonia?
  2. a heart attack?
  3. the common cold?

If you know the answer, please write it in comments [only one per person please] at the end of this post. When the competition finishes, I’ll write each correct entry onto a piece of paper which will then be folded and placed into a vessel of some kind, maybe a hat. Finally, the Offspring will come along to select the winning entry. Easy.

The winner of the competition will be announced on this blog, plus I’ll email or contact the winner directly. Then it’s just a case of deciding what to treat yourself to…erm, with.

If you haven’t entered the competition yet, please do because I get as much fun out of it as the winner does. 🙂

And now for a music track that I didn’t listen to while writing Innerscape. It’s a cinematic from Advent Children, an animation by Square Enix. This scene depicts the final fight between Cloud and Sephiroth, iconic characters from Final Fantasy 7. Even if you don’t like fighting, please watch the incredible cinematography and animation. 🙂

cheers

Meeks


Innerscape – Music competition for Episode 1 begins!

reworked-cover-final-1Good evening, good afternoon and good morning. 🙂

Innerscape Episode 1 is live on Amazon, and from November 14, 2016 to November 18, 2016, you will be able to download Episode 1 for free, and enter the Music Competition to win free music.

The Music Competition, which runs in lockstep with the free downloads, will give two lucky winners one of the following digital albums:

  • Elysium, by Jo Blankenburg, and
  • Vendetta, also by Jo Blankenburg.

This is a video clip of one of my favourite tracks from Elysium.

And this one is a making-of type video clip that features snippets from Vendetta.

If you don’t like these albums, or miss out for some reason, don’t worry – there will be two new albums up for grabs with Episode 2.

To enter the Music Competition, all you have to do is answer a simple question based on the excerpt from Innerscape, found in the Amazon ‘Look Inside’ for Episode 1.

You can find the excerpt here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3ZBKAK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1478992768&sr=8-2&keywords=kindle+Innerscape

Hint: if you read as far as the chapter entitled ‘Takh Ahn’, you’ve gone too far. But don’t let me stop you from reading further. 😉

And now for the all-important, multiple choice question:

Who is the Head of Patient Care at Innerscape?

  1. Kenneth Wu?
  2. Charles McGragh?
  3. Emily Watson?

Once you know the answer, type the correct name, or simply 1, 2 or 3, in the comments section at the end of this post, and that’s it.

[Sorry, only 1 entry per person]

Both the Music Competition and the free download days for Episode 1 will end on November 18, 2016. Yes, I know I’ve said that before but I don’t want anyone to get the dates wrong and end up disappointed.

On November 19, 2016, I will pick two correct answers, at random, from a big mixing bowl, and the names of the winners will be announced in a post on this blog. The winners will also be announced via Twitter so please check back to see if you’ve won.

To find out how you can claim your free digital music album, please read the Innerscape FAQ here:

http://wp.me/p25AFu-2sA

Thank you for joining me today, and may the Party begin!
cheers
Meeks


Death of Choice – Ilil Arbel

Well over a year ago, my friend Ilil Arbel brought out a delightful detective story set in the flapper era. That story was called Madame Koska and the Imperial Brooch, and you can read my 5 star review here.

I wish I could tell you that Ilil has brought out a second volume in the adventures of Madame Koska, but I can’t. However I can tell you that she has contributed a story to the anthology called ‘Death of Choice’.

Ilil Arbel anthology

If you click on the picture it should take you to the Amazon page where you can do the ‘look inside’ thing.:) To be honest, I didn’t look inside because I know how good Ilil’s writing is, but don’t take my word for it. Look inside and enjoy!

cheers

Meeks


How to fix missing ebooks on your Kindle Fire 6

Last night I went to bed, got cosy, opened my Kindle Fire 6 and discovered that the ebook I’d been reading the night before was nowhere to be found. What the…?

This morning I discovered that missing ebooks are a known problem with a couple of solutions/workarounds. I could:

  1. De-register and re-register my Kindle, or
  2. Reset my Kindle to factory defaults

Not having a Wi-Fi modem* and remembering how hard it had been to register my Kindle Fire when I bought it [I had to go into work and ask to use their Wi-Fi connection], I quickly decided that the first option was not for me. Instead, I chose option 2 – resetting the Kindle to the factory defaults.

<<cue ominous music>>

This is where my geek friends roll around in fits of laughter, and my reputation as a baby geek takes a nose-dive. Let’s just say I should have known better. In my own defence, I have to say I did know that resetting the Kindle would mean losing all the ebooks I’d downloaded from Amazon, but in my wisdom I thought it would not matter because :

a) I’d already read those books anyway, and

b) I could always download them again from my Amazon account if I wanted to re-read them.

It did not even occur to me that there might be an option ‘c’ to consider. 😦

So…I did the deed. I’m not providing pictures because I don’t want to make this too easy in case someone does it by mistake, or in a drunken fit. Anyway, the steps are detailed below:

With the Kindle Fire 6 turned on, swipe to unlock, tap Apps, tap Settings, tap Device Options, and finally, if you’re brave [or foolhardy] tap Reset to Factory Defaults. You’ll be given one chance to change your mind, but once you tap OK you won’t be able to stop the process; everything currently on your Kindle Fire will be erased.

Sadly, it was only when the screen prompted me to register my newly empty Kindle that I realised I’d done the very thing I had not wanted to do – i.e. I’d erased the registration data along with everything else. Ut oh….

I won’t detail the choice words that flew around my office at that point. Suffice to say I was not happy. I did consider asking my neighbour if I could use her Wi-Fi connection to re-register my Kindle Fire, but embarrassment stopped me before I could dial her number. I hate having to explain that I’m not really a complete luddite, just a scrooge. [I built my house with Cat 5 cabling in the walls so my network is hardwired. I don’t need Wi-Fi…except at times like these.]

Anyway, that was when desperation made me remember something I’d read about using a mobile phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Could I do it?

Much research later, I finally found a video clip that detailed how to turn a Samsung Galaxy S2, Android version Jellybean [exactly what I now have] into a mobile hotspot. And this is it:

It’s a great video, but it does go very quickly so I’ve provided a sort of step-by-step transcript below:

  1. Make sure your S2 is fully charged
  2. Turn it on and swipe to unlock
  3. On the home screen tap Apps
  4. Then tap Settings
  5. Then tap …More settings
  6. Then tap Tethering and portable hotspot

The next bit involves a slight change of technique.

When you see an option called Portable Wi-Fi hotspot, don’t tap it. Instead, tap-hold-slide the slider bar from ‘O‘ across to ‘I‘ as shown below:

Wifi hotspot 1

Now tap Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot. You will get a warning message that says turning the portable Wi-Fi hotspot on will turn the phone’s Wi-Fi off. Tap OK.

Next you will get a message saying ‘enabling Wi-Fi Hotspot’. When it’s finished doing what it needs to do, the display changes to show the ‘I’ lit up in green:

Wifi hotspot 2

Tap the Portable Wi-Fi hotspot option to display the configuration options as shown below:

Wifi hotspot 3Your phone will have a default name and password. At this point you have two options, you can either change the default name and password on your phone, or you can leave it as is and simply connect your Kindle to the phone’s default hotspot settings. Either way, your Samsung Galaxy S2, Android version Jellybean is now an active mobile hotspot.

Now to connect your Kindle Fire to the Wi-Fi.

Keep your phone set to portable Wi-Fi hotspot.

Turn the Kindle Fire on.

Swipe to unlock.

At the top of the screen, tap Apps.

Tap the Settings option.

Tap Wireless and VPN.

Tap Wi-Fi.

The next Wi-Fi option is set to ‘Off’. Tap it once to change ‘Off’ to ‘On’.

You should now see the name of your mobile phone in the list of available hotspots. If it’s not there, tap ‘join another network’ to make your Kindle sense the mobile phone’s presence.

Once you see the name of your mobile phone on the list, tap it to select it.

You may now be asked for the phone’s password. This will be the password shown on the configuration screen of your mobile phone!

Tap in the password and the Kindle should show a connection to your mobile hotspot. Yay!

Now, follow the Kindle Fire onscreen prompts to complete the registration of your device.

Note: The email address required to register your Kindle will be the email address you use to login to Amazon. Similarly, the password will be the normal password you use to log in to Amazon.

Once you’re done, your Kindle Fire should sync with your Amazon account and display your most recent purchases. I downloaded my two missing ebooks via the mobile hotspot but doing so does chew up quite a bit of the data allocation – i.e. it’s expensive so be warned.

Finally, when everything is ticketty boo again, close Wi-Fi on your Kindle Fire.

Now to fix up your phone.

If the screen has gone black, just tap the ‘On’ button at the side of the phone to wake it up. It should still be showing the configuration screen for the portable Wi-Fi hotspot.

Turn the portable Wi-Fi hotspot off by moving the slider bar from ‘I’ back to ‘O’.

Your mobile hotspot is now off but you are not finished yet. Go back to Settings/Wireless and networks and turn the [ordinary] Wi-Fi option back to ‘I‘.

[Do not get confused, this is the setting your phone uses. It is not the portable hotspot setting].

And that is that. A lot of work to fix a silly error. The only good thing to come out of this is that I’ve got my new ebooks back and I’ll have something to read tonight. Oh and I’ve learned some new stuff about my phone. 🙂

cheers

Meeks

*Normally when I buy ebooks from Amazon, I download them to my pc and then sideload them onto my Kindle device[s].

 


Tic [toc] – A clickable Table of Contents!

It’s almost midnight but I finally did it! Vokhtah now has a proper Table of Contents right at the front – and you don’t have to use the awkward Kindle Go-to function to see it or use it. 😀

To explain why this is making me so happy I have to backtrack a little to a comment Metan made last week about moving the Vokhtan dictionary to the front so people could see it.

Given the extreme ‘otherness’ issues of Vokhtah, and the fact that so much is explained in the dictionary, I finally pulled my finger out and re-arranged the layout to have the dictionary right at the front.

Unfortunately, when I transferred the new file to my Kindle so I could check it out, I discovered to my horror that the dictionary went on for pages and pages – literally about 20 odd. Sci-fi or not, I couldn’t see people patiently paging through so much just to get to the start of the actual story. 😦

That was when I realised the problem was not so much that the dictionary was at the back, but that no one knew it was there.

My next experiment was to type up a manual Table of Contents showing the dictionary, and insert it into the book. I put the new page at the front, where it would be nice and visible. It looked good, but was like a politician’s promise – not worth the pixels it was written in because it had no functionality. To look something up in the dictionary you still had to get to the end of the book, or fiddle with the Kindle Go-to function.

By this point I was literally pulling chunks of hair out. In desperation I emailed the wonderful Mark Fassett [the developer of StoryBox, the writing software I use].

Was there someway of setting up a clickable Table of Contents in the actual ebook, I asked.

[toc] Mark replied. He actually said a few more things as well, but the nub of it was that lovely little command.

Of course my implementation managed to screw things up the first time around, but now I know how to do it – and it works like an absolute dream! Ta dah!

table of contents 015

What you see in that pic is an actual page of the book. It’s not the Go-to function. Each chapter heading is a link that will take you straight to the relevant chapter. I wish I’d known how to do this back when I first published Vokhtah. Oh well…

And now, in case there are other StoryBox users out there wanting to do the same thing, this is what I did :

Step 1 Add a new document [not chapter or scene] to your story.

Step 2 Move that document to the exact position where you want the Table of Contents to appear.

Step 3 Type [toc] in the new document.

Step 4 In the Properties pane, be sure to tick the boxes for ‘Include in Manuscript’ and ‘Page Break before’.

storybox properties

Step 5 Select Export, make sure the output format is set to mobi, and be sure to untick the box that says ‘Start at first text’.

storybox open to first text

And that’s it, except for one more little thing. If, like me, you use Calibre to convert your mobi file to Kindle format, do NOT mess with any of the Calibre settings for Table of Contents. That was my big mistake. I messed. None of those settings are needed because that lovely, wonderful [toc] command has already done all the work.

StoryBox truly is an amazing writing tool. I’ve loved it all along, but today I’m just in awe of how powerful it is. If you write, and you’re an indie, then you need StoryBox. I’m serious.

Good night all!

Meeks


Sliding Past Vertical – new release by Laurie Boris

Sliding Past Vertical is the fourth novel released by my favourite indie author, Laurie Boris, and I can hardly wait to get stuck into it.

Just to jog your memories, Laurie is the author of :

The Joke’s on Me

Drawing Breath

Don’t Tell Anyone

If you’ve read my reviews of her earlier novels you will know this lady is brilliant. That is why I’m so excited at getting my hands on Sliding Past Vertical. There will be a review forthcoming – of course there will – but I think we all know it’s going to be a good one, so make some space on your TBR lists and let’s send Sliding Past Vertical onto Amazon’s bestseller lists.

http://www.amazon.com/Sliding-Past-Vertical-ebook/dp/B00FD64RL4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379986151&sr=8-1&keywords=Sliding+past+vertical

Okay, that’s it. I’m off to start reading.

cheers

Meeks


The Vintage Egg is AWOL

I had hoped to be crowing about my newly published book today, but the beast has disappeared off the face of Amazon. As in… I can’t find it anywhere. 😦

When I log into my KDP page, this is what I see :

Image

The Egg is definitely showing as live. It even has an ASIN. Unfortunately that page is the only place on Amazon where the Egg appears. That means it has been AWOL since about 11pm last night [aussie time], ten and a half hours. Where has my baby gone?

I contacted Amazon support by email last night, and there was a reply from support waiting for me this morning. Sadly the nice support person was just asking for more info. With the relevant, and not so relevant screen shots duly sent off, there’s nothing I can do now but wait. I hate waiting, especially as I had this nice campaign all mapped out. 😦

Has this ever happened to any of you? More importantly, will I get my book back eventually?

-sigh-

Meeks

 


The Baby Boomer Generation Gap

“(Special Note: The Joke’s on Me, ebook edition, will be on sale for $3 off its regular price from Friday, June 28 through Saturday, June 29)

The burgeoning genre of Baby Boomer Lit fascinates me. I love the stories authors are telling about the challenges confronting this generation as we face our mortality but still want to squeeze more out of life.

Often forgotten, however, is that technically, baby boomers represent (mostly Americans) born between 1946 and 1964. That’s a span of eighteen years, for those of you good with math or who happen to have a calculator handy. So theoretically, two generations could be contained within this one moniker: two generations with very different goals and ideals….”

I’m a Boomer too, and can identify with the expectations of both sub-generations. We expected to make the world a better place, but we also expected to have fun doing it. And despite growing up, and growing old[er], we still expect the same things.

To read the rest of Laurie Boris’ intriguing post please click the following link :

The Baby Boomer Generation Gap.


Only the Innocent by Rachel Abbott

The blurb that accompanied ‘Only the Innocent’ raised questions about women who commit apparently perfect, cold-blooded murder so I was primed for a story about a psychopath. The fact that this psychopath was going to be a woman merely added a touch of spice to my expectations. While the book did not disappoint me in the slightest, it did not turn out to be anything like what I was expecting.

The last thing I want to do is to spoil this story for anyone so all I will say is that ‘a woman’ did plan and commit an almost perfect murder but she was as far from being a psychopath as it is possible to get.  Psychopaths kill for a number of reasons but a lack of empathy is usually high on the list. The murderer in ‘Only the Innocent’ killed because she cared. And because every other option was closed to her.

As a writer I am capable of imagining some pretty horrific and gruesome ways of killing my characters but as a woman I have often wondered if I would be capable of killing someone in the real world, even to save my own life.  After reading ‘Only the Innocent’ I know that there is at least one situation in which I would kill. Whether I could do so with as much finesse as the murderer in ‘Only the Innocent’ I truly do not know. To be honest I really hope I am never put in a position where I am forced to find out.

Getting back to the book, the author, Rachel Abbotts, reveals the truth behind the public facade of the victim one crumb at a time and I found myself following her trail of breadcrumbs like a starving sparrow in winter, yet every new insight seemed to obscure the identity of the murderer even more. Only at the very end does she reveal not only ‘who done it’ but also how. Trust me, it’s worth the wait, however I strongly advise readers to take the time to think about the deeper issues informing the story as well. The involuntary prostitution of illegal immigrants is real and flourishing in an age when we all tend to think that slavery is a thing of the past. It exists now and will continue to exist while unscrupulous people can make a profit from the disparity between rich countries and poor.

‘Only the Innocent’ has many layers and they are all woven together with a master’s touch. The pace is always just right, the descriptions are always pertinent and necessary and the prose is clean. In short it is a very well-written, well edited, well thought out novel that really should have been snapped up by one of the traditional publishers. Perhaps they were scared off by some of the ‘adult themes’ raised by the book. If so then their loss is our gain as we can read an excellent novel at an ebook price.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. My favourite thriller/suspense/psychological novel of all time is The Blindman of Seville by Robert Wilson. I would give that book a 5/5. ‘Only the Innocent’ is not quite up to that very high standard but at 4/5 it comes damn close. I expect Rachel Abbott to be on our bestseller lists in the very near future.


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