Tag Archives: Yvonne-Hertzberger

Smashwords Book Sale – 3 for 1 Bargain

Smashwords Book Sale

For the remainder of July Smashwords has a promo on. This puts Back From Chaos as free, Through Kestrel’s Eyes at $1.00, and The Dreamt Child at $1.25. Look for the promo coupon when you click on the book page. https://www.smashwords.com/books/search

That means all three for only $2.25. Smashwords can be loaded down in many formats for various e-readers, i-pads and i-phones. Enjoy this while it lasts.


I’ve been meaning to round out the set and this was the perfect opportunity! Happy bargain hunting. 🙂



Lady in the Lazaretto and that tagline

Life has been so hectic lately that I have a to-do-list stretching for miles. Unfortunately, that to-do-list is only in my head, which means I forget things, a lot of things. As a result, my posts have been rather erratic, and based on whatever catches my attention at that moment. 😦

Yesterday, I began making amends. Today I want to talk about something close to my heart – a great science fiction novel.  Before I begin, however, I have to disclose that Jason Phillip Reeser, the author of ‘Lady in the Lazaretto’, is a friend of mine. I first met Jason on Goodreads, via an R4R [Read 4 Review]. The book in question was The Lazaretto, and you can read my original review here. In my not so humble opinion, Jason is one of the best science fiction writers around.

lady of lazaretto coverRight, so when Jason asked me to read the second book in the series I jumped at the chance.

Lady in the Lazaretto is set in the same, grim quarantine world as The Lazaretto, and includes some of the original characters, but the story is completely different, and can be read as a stand-alone novel.  That said, I’d strongly recommend reading the Lazaretto first because a) it’s a great story in its own right, and b) it will make reading the Lady a richer experience.

Like book 1, the plot of the Lady is a murder mystery, but the core question you will ask yourself is – ‘who is the Lady?’

Is it Della, the nurse whose memories begin the story?

Or is it the daughter of Kjarsta Zoltis?

Or is it perhaps Lilly, the woman Gregor Lepov loves but cannot commit to?

Or is it the woman referred to only as The Liar?

Or could it be Major Sun Uijong, the woman sent to make reparations to the survivors of the Lost Platoon who were marooned on the Lazaretto, and all but forgotten by their not so grateful government?

In unravelling the identity of the Lady, the author takes us on a thrilling but complex journey that weaves the past into the present.

In some ways, I enjoyed the Lady even more than the first book in the series because it delves deeper into the character of Gregor Lepov, and I love knowing what makes interesting characters ‘tick’. But, of course, Lepov is only one of the characters you will get to know and love. Lieutenant Ed MacNally is another, as is Della, a childless woman who grows to love her young charge with as much fierce protectiveness as any biological mother.

The Lady ticked all the right boxes for me, and I really do recommend it very highly.  This is science fiction at its best, and I was honoured to write the tagline for it. Of course I had no idea I was writing a ‘tagline’ until I came across this post on Yvonne Hertzberger’s blog this morning:


The post explains the difference between loglines [book blurbs to us plebs], and taglines. If you look at the cover of the Lady below, you will what I mean.


lazaretto 2 tagline

I can’t tell you how proud I am to be associated with the Lady.



John Scalzi sounds the alarm about Alibi

John Scalzi is a popular and successful author. He also happens to be the President of SFWA [Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America]. In the post below he slams the contract offered by Alibi, [a Random House imprint] to desperate authors.

The post is too in-depth to paraphrase so I’ll just quote this from John Scalzi :


After reading the whole article I can say the Alibi contract gives authors just one thing – the ego-stroking of being able to say they were published by a Big 5 traditional publisher. Even that is not quite the truth as these imprints are basically just for e-books. Anyone who signs such a contract is signing their life and future away with very little in return.

I believe this contract, and others like it [e.g. Random House Hydra imprint] are aimed at Indie authors desperate for validation. If you are an indie author, or know someone who is, please follow the link below and check out the article for yourself. And then warn every Indie you know!


Thank you to Yvonne Hertzberger for posting about the John Scalzi article. Indies helping Indies is the only safety net any of us have.



Bublish.com – and no, that was not a typo!

I really love Indies Unlimited! The team at IU are always coming up with new information or new angles to make a writer’s life easier and better. Today’s tutorial, by Yvonne Hertzberger, on how to use Bublish, is a great example of how the IU staff help all writers market their books, no matter how they are published.

The concept behind ‘Bublish‘ is simple : instead of spamming the same, tired ‘My book is awesome so buy it’ type nonsense, give readers a short excerpt and an insight into that excerpt.  These titbits of interesting information are called ‘bubbles’ and bubbles are then tweeted by the Bublish team [I think I have that right?]. Bubbles also contain links to where you can buy the book.

As a reader, I prefer to make up my own mind whether a book is  ‘awesome’ or not, so the spam not only misses its mark, it tends to annoy the hell out of me. And when I’m annoyed with an author I don’t feel like giving them any of my cash. I suspect I’m not alone in this. Nonetheless, I can understand that authors have to market their books. The question is how do they let me know their book exists without ticking me off in the process?

Bublish may have solved this problem, for both authors and readers, by helping authors give potential readers a  ‘sample’ that has value.

In the real world, free samples tend to ‘stick’ in a way that straight advertising does not. I have received samples of tea from Twinings, samples of porridge from Be Natural, fridge magnets and even free movie passes [from a plumber of all things]. I can’t pretend that I’ve gone out and bought all the products I’ve sampled, but I’ve had that plumber out to my house twice now so he has recouped the cost of his ‘sample’ many times over.

In a sense, interviews and reviews serve the same function as samples for authors. Both allow authors to talk about themselves, their books and the processes they go through to create those books. They advertise in the old fashioned meaning of the word, but they do so by giving something away for free, something real, if intangible. Now we can add a third option to these ‘freebies’ – Bublish ‘bubbles’.

Only time will tell whether the concept of  bubbles takes off, but I hope it does because I’m always on the prowl for new, interesting, well-written books to read, but I hate spam. Coincidentally, if the concept does take off, then perhaps Twitter will become a bit less boring than it is now.



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