Tag Archives: First-Chapters

Stepping outside my comfort zone #2 with My Gentleman Vampire

canstockphoto8443816In Stepping Outside my Comfort Zone #1, I dipped into First Chapters, and found a sophisticated YA novel. This time round, I overcame my dislike of all things sparkly to read the first chapter of a vampire novel like no other.

Imagine you come home one day and find a gorgeous man in your kitchen. He’s barefoot and wearing a pink apron. And, he’s just done the dishes.

I know if that were me I’d be pinching myself. Unfortunately there’s a catch, in fact a whole series of them. First he’s gay – isn’t it always the way? Second, he thinks your cat, Arabella, is really a human who was bewitched for sleeping with the wrong guy. Third, he thinks he can read your mind. And fourth, well …

“There’s one more, teensy thing I need to tell you. Have some wine.”

I did as I was told, took a big swig of wine, and swallowed hard. His tone suggested this was about to get even weirder.

“There’s just no easy way to say this. I am a vampire.”

gentleman vampire coverI can’t lie. After learning that this gorgeous man is living in the heroine’s basement, the big reveal wasn’t exactly a surprise, but I laughed anyway because it was the perfect ending to a delicious chapter. In fact, I was so taken with that chapter I bought the book.Β  Yes, I bought a vampire book, and I’m urging you to buy it too. πŸ™‚

Which book? My Gentleman Vampire, by Lois Lewandowski. This little gem will set you back all of 99 cents if you have a Kindle.

But the point of this post is not to recommend one specific book. The point is to show what an amazing smorgasbord of writing talent you’ll find in First Chapters, the book of samples. Β And guess what? First Chapters is free for the next two days.

Honestly, what have you got to lose?

Happy reading,


Stepping outside my comfort zone #1

canstockphoto8443816Before I explain that rather cryptic title, I’d like to share the opening paragraph of a novel with you.

“My boots make a sharp tapping sound as I clomp my way home. The loose gravel at the edge of the road jumps away from my anger, skirting ahead of me then tumbling down the steep embankment.”

That is a damned fine bit of writing. It is also a very evocative opening paragraph. Makes you want to know what’s happening, doesn’t it?

Well, that short excerpt was taken from Melissa Pearl’s YA novel ‘Betwixt’. And I would never have read it, never in a million years, if not for the First Chapters sampler.

Why? Because it’s YA and I don’t read YA [well, except for the Hunger Games trilogy but that’s not really YA].

You can see the snobbery right there. In my head, I still think that any novel that’s well written and interesting to an adult can’t possibly be something written for, well, you know… kids. Can it?

The interesting thing is, when I started reading the First Chapters sampler, I didn’t know that the Betwixt excerpt was YA. Yes, the female protagonist was only sixteen, but Shakespeare’s Juliette was only fourteen[?] and Romeo and Juliette could hardly be called YA!

So, I read something out of my normal comfort zone because I did not approach it with my normal preconceived prejudices. And Betwixt was not the only novel that took me by surprise.

In the next three weeks I’ll be posting my thoughts on other surprising finds in the First Chapters sampler. The two things all of them will have in common is that :

a) The excerpts will all be chosen from novels I would not ordinarily read, and

b) They will all come from the First Chapters sampler.

The reason? To convince you, my friends, to download First Chapters when it goes free from September 20 to 21. All the authors represented in First Chapters are Indies, and all struggle with the problem of visibility.

As I have discovered, part of the problem with visibility is that everyone has preconceived prejudices about what kinds of books they like to read. I’m hoping First Chapters will change that. πŸ™‚



Trailer for First Chapters

Sorry, I didn’t realise this was available. What do you think?

First Chapters – Indies Unlimited

In the whirlwind of the last few weeks, I almost missed this innovative book idea by Indies Unlimited.

First Chapters is an anthology of exactly that – the first chapters of a whole heap of books by Indies Unlimited contributors – including yours truly. πŸ˜€

whitman sampler

Pic courtesy Russell Stover

It’s like a sampler box of chocolates – a taste of each flavour so you can decided which ones you like the best.

As Indies Unlimited prides itself on the quality of the writers ‘on staff’, this is a good deal for readers because they can find excellent indie books all in one place. I’ve read quite a few of the books you can sample, and I have enjoyed all of them, so I’m proud to be associated with so many really good Indie writers.

For authors, it’s also a good deal because our work becomes more visible, and visibility is the name of the game in e-publishing.

If you get a chance, please check out First Chapters on Amazon. I know you won’t be disappointed. I do warn you though, you may find yourselves buying a lot of ‘chocolate’. πŸ˜€



p.s. My first day at ‘school’ went really well. I was particularly relieved to find that many of the 16 participants were my age-ish, and everyone was interesting. Now I have to go do my homework. -sigh-

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