Travel on WIP Wednesday

We historical writers have history on our side when it comes to putting our heroes and heroines in close proximity for long periods. Our own ease of travel, with cars, trains, buses, and airplanes makes it a feat of the imagination to envision day-long trips to the shops, week long trips to house parties, and trips lasting months to places further afield.

This week, I’m looking for posts about journeys. Mine is from my story for the Bluestocking Belles’ 2017 Christmas box set. I’d love you to post yours in the comments.

Mrs Bletherow was castigating her poor companion again, oblivious to her audience.

Every group was different, and most groups had someone who was troublesome. Tad Berry could cheerfully handle the drunkards, the would-be Casanovas, the know-it-alls. But he hated bullies. His muscles burned with the effort it took to keep from rescuing the Bletherow hag’s drab shadow. Not his place. She was a free adult woman, and if she chose to stay with an employer who treated her so poorly, it was nothing to do with him.

His partner nudged him. “She don’t run out of steam, that one, eh?”

“Miss Thompson should tell her to go soak her head, Atame. Old crow.”

Tad and Atame had met them in Auckland two days ago, eight tourists seeking to view what Rotorua billed as the eighth wonder of the world. Tomorrow, they’d make their way to Te Wairoa, and the day after the locals would convey them to the Pink and White Terraces, dimpled with hot pools and cascading down the shores of a peaceful lake.

All through the boat trip to Tauranga and the coach journey to this Rotorua guest house, Mrs Bletherow had found fault with everything Miss Thompson did or failed to do. She had brought her employer the wrong book, failed to block out the sun, been too slow in the queue for food, put too much milk in Mrs Bletherow’s tea. Tad wouldn’t have blamed Miss Thompson for adding arsenic.

The withered wiry maid was as sour as her mistress, and attracted none of the old harridan’s contempt. She stood now at Mrs Bletherow’s elbow, nodding along with the woman’s complaints. “You knew we would be dining properly this evening. You deliberately packed the green gown in the large trunk. You must go and find it this instant, do you hear me?”

“Yes, Mrs Bletherow,” Miss Thompson said.

“See that you are quick. Parrish shall attend me in my room, and I want my gown by the time I am washed.” Mrs Bletherow sailed up the stairs, Parrish scurrying along in her wake.

Tad unfolded himself from the wall as Miss Thompson approached, her rather fine hazel eyes downcast. She began apologising while she was still several paces away. “I am very sorry for the inconvenience, Mr Berry, but I need to ask you to offload another of Mrs Bletherow’s trunks.”

“Of course, Miss Thompson. If you tell me which one, I shall bring it up to her room.”

She looked up at that, her brows drawing slightly together. “I am not sure, Mr Berry. I know which one it should be in, but Parrish finished the packing. May I come with you?”

He nodded, though the stables were no place for a lady. And Miss Thompson was a lady, and of better birth than Dame Bletherow, unless he missed his guess. Which, come to think of it, might be part of the reason for her illtreatment. Not that a bully needed a reason, beyond opportunity and a suitable victim.

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Release day for The Renegade Wife

Today is release day for the first book in Caroline Warfield’s new series, Children of Empire. I was privileged to be an early reader for The Renegade Wife, and if you don’t already have it, rush out and get it now! Amazon link at the bottom of the page after a word from Caroline, the blurbs, my review and an excerpt.

Caroline, you know I love the book, and now everyone else knows it too, because there’s a quote from me on the front cover. Congratulations, and I wish you every success.

A message from Caroline

Meggy visited the Duchess of Haverford last week on Monday for Tea. Check that post for more insight into this gripping book.

Meggy visited the Duchess of Haverstock last week on Monday for Tea.

Thank you, Jude, for hosting me on my book’s release day. I tend to almost hop up and down with excitement over a new release, and I’m delighted to have the chance to introduce it to your readers. Here are seven things they might like to know about The Renegade Wife.

1. The characters may be familiar. The elders who assemble to brainstorm ways to get Rand and Meggy out of trouble are the heroes of my Dangerous books. Rand himself appears in A Dangerous Nativity as a boy.

2. Meggy, as quickly becomes apparent, is an abused wife. Faced with such abuse, she stands up and takes control. You’ll like her.

3. Rand’s heart isn’t as hard as he likes to pretend.

4. There are children. Somehow my books always have children.

5. It’s the first of a new series, The Children of Empire. This one begins in His Majesty’s colony in Upper Canada. The empire spanned the globe. The next book begins in India.

6. The story is set in 1832, too late to be Georgian and too early to be Victorian. Let’s just call it “historical.”

7. I plan to celebrate the launch with a Facebook party on Sunday, October 16. You’re all welcome to join us. There will be prizes!
https://www.facebook.com/events/552255998312179/
A side note (Because Caroline can never resist a side note):
Why “Upper” Canada, you may ask? When the British took Quebec in 1760 the entire territory was called Canada. The Quebec Act made it French in law, language, and religion. The influx of loyalists in the 1780s prompted a need for a colony with English language and law with some religious tolerance, and so they divided into parts up river (Upper Canada, which we now call Ontario) from the parts down river (Lower Canada, or the current province of Quebec). As to the other provinces and eventual union, that’s probably a story for another novel.

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The Renegade Wife

therenegadewifeBetrayed by his cousin and the woman he loved, Rand Wheatly fled England, his dreams of a loving family shattered. He clings to his solitude in an isolated cabin in Upper Canada. Returning from a business trip to find a widow and two children squatting in his house, he flies into a rage. He wants her gone, but her children are sick and injured, and his heart is not as hard as he likes to pretend.

Meggy Blair harbors a secret, and she’ll do whatever it takes to keep her children safe. She’d hopes to hide with her Ojibwa grandmother, if she can find the woman and her people. She doesn’t expect to find shelter with a quiet, solitary man, a man who lowers his defensive walls enough to let Meggy and her children in.

Their idyllic interlude is shattered when Meggy’s brutal husband appears to claim his children. She isn’t a widow, but a wife, a woman who betrayed the man she was supposed to love, just as Rand’s sweetheart betrayed him. He soon discovers why Meggy is on the run, but time is running out. To save them all, Rand must return and face his demons.

Children of Empire

Raised with all the privilege of the English aristocracy, forged on the edges of the British Empire, men and woman of the early Victorian age seek their own destiny and make their mark on history. The heroes and heroines of Caroline’s Dangerous Series overcame challenges even after their happy ending. Their children seek their own happiness in distant lands in Children of Empire.

Jude Knight on The Renegade Bride

I love Caroline’s writing, and was not at all surprised when her Dangerous Secrets won a RONE in this year’s awards. I’ve read each of the Dangerous books, thrilled with their heroine, and fallen in love with their hero.

This is the best yet. Her writing is superb, and her characters are hugely likable (except for Blair and his offsider, who are not). I particularly enjoyed the double vision effect at the beginning: Rand as cat rescuer and altogether nice fellow vs Rand as scary monster.

No spoilers, but suffice to say that Meggy would do anything to protect her children. And with a husband like Blair, they need protection. And Rand is heart-sore and hiding out in the woods, avoiding all people. But the children and then the woman herself get under his defenses.

Can these two damaged souls heal one another? Not if Blair has anything to do with it.

And then there is Charles. Charles is Rand’s cousin; the one that Rand hates even as he loves him. To save Meggy, Charles and Rand have to work together. Charles is every kind of darling, and deserves the happiest of endings. I can barely wait for his book, which is the third of the new series.

I was privileged to receive a beta copy of this book, and am waiting breathlessly for my purchased copy to download so I can read it again.

An excerpt from the book

“Let go of her, Blair, or I’ll shoot you like the dog you are. God knows you deserve it.” For untold minutes all Rand heard was the wind in the trees, and Lena’s whimper behind Pratt’s back. Even Meggy seemed to hold her breath.
Blair let go of her arm so suddenly she stumbled before running back to her children. “The slut and her children are mine, Wheatly, and that makes you a thief.”

“Get on your horse, Blair, and get out of here before I change my mind and shoot you anyway. You too, Pratt.”

Rand kept his pistol aimed at Blair while the men mounted and turn their horses to the lane. Pratt and Martin galloped up the hill and into the woods, but Blair turned half way up and pointed back at Meggy hugging the children in Rand’s doorway.

“They’re mine, Wheatly. I have a writ. I’ll be back with the magistrate and the deputy to have you jailed for resisting. Won’t your fancy relatives like that?” He turned and galloped off.

Rand eased back the hammer of his pistol, when the men cleared the trees. He slid it into a holster, jumped down, and ran to Meggy and the children, pulling all of them into an embrace. Meggy began to weep almost as soon as his hand came around her back, pulling her close with Lena between them and Drew in the crook of his arm.

“You might have killed him, and then where would we be?” she sobbed.

“You would be safe from him.”

“And you would be in jail or worse.”

He didn’t deny it. He kissed the top of her head and down her cheek.

Links

Buy The Renegade Wife on Amazon.

Meet Caroline
Visit Caroline’s Website and Blog
Meet Caroline on Facebook
Follow Caroline on Twitter @CaroWarfield
Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter

 

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Holly and Hopeful Hearts

Today is the day, people. At last we’re ready to reveal the box set the Belles have been working on for so many months. I give you:

holly-and-hopeful-hearts

When the Duchess of Haverford sends out invitations to a Yuletide house party and a New Year’s Eve ball at her country estate, Hollystone Hall, those who respond know that Her Grace intends to raise money for her favorite cause and promote whatever marriages she can. Eight assorted heroes and heroines set out with their pocketbooks firmly clutched and hearts in protective custody. Or are they?

Read about all eight novellas, and find pre-order links, on the Bluestocking Belles Holly & Hopeful Hearts page.

Today, meet my hero and heroine, James and Sophia.

the-bluestocking-and-the-barbarian-fb

james-bbJames must marry to please his grandfather, the duke, and to win social acceptance for himself and his father’s other foreign-born children. But only Lady Sophia Belvoir makes his heart sing, and to win her he must invite himself to spend Christmas at the home of his father’s greatest enemy.

Sophia keeps secret her tendre for James, Lord Elfingham. After all, the whole of Society knows he is pursuing the younger Belvoir sister, not the older one left on the shelf after two failed betrothals.

An Excerpt from The Bluestocking and the Barbarian

Chapter One

A country road in Oxfordshire
April 1812

curricle-vs-phaeton

They heard the two curricles before they saw them, the galloping hooves, the cacophony of harness and bounding wheels, the drivers shouting encouragement to their teams and insults to one another.

The Earl of Sutton turned his own horse to the shoulder of the road and the rest of the party followed his lead. As first one racing carriage and then the other careened by, James Winderfield murmured soothingly to his horse. “Stand, Seistan. Stand still, my prince.”

Seistan obeyed, only a stamp of the hind foot and muscles so tense he quivered displaying his eagerness to pursue the presumptuous British steeds and feed them his dust.

From their position at the top of what these English laughably called a hill, James could see the long curve of the road switching back at the junction with the road north and descending further until it passed through the village directly below them.

One of the fool drivers was trying to pass, standing at the reins—legs broadly astride. James hoped no hapless farmer tried to exit a gate in their path!

Seistan clearly decided that the idiots were beneath his contempt, for he relaxed as James continued to murmur to him.  “You magnificent fellow. You have left us some foals, have you not, my beauty? You and Xander, there?”

The earl heard his horse’s name and flashed his son a grin. “A good crop of foals, if their handlers are right. And honors evenly divided between Seistan and Xander. Except for the stolen mares.” He laughed, then, and James laughed with him.

Once the herd recovered from the long sea voyage, many of the mares had come into season. Not satisfied with his allotment, Seistan had leapt several of the fences on the land they had rented near Portsmouth, and covered two mares belonging to other gentlemen. And most indignant their owners had been.

“They did not fully understand the honor Seistan had done them, Father,” James said. Which was putting it mildly. When James arrived, they had been demanding that the owner of the boarding stable shoot the stallion for his trespass.

The earl laughed again. “I wish I had been there to hear you explain it, my son.”

ikon-_golden_akhal_teke-stallionA thirty-minute demonstration of Seistan’s skills as a hunter, a racer, and a war horse had been more convincing than any words of James’s, and a reminder of the famous oriental stallions who founded the lines of English thoroughbreds did the rest. In the end, he almost thought they would pay him the stud fee he had offered to magnanimously cut by half.

But he waived any fee at all, and they parted friends. Now two noblemen looked forward to the birth of their half-Turkmen foals, while James had delivered the herd to his father’s property in Oxfordshire and was now riding back to London to be put to stud himself.

“Nothing can be done about his mother, Sutton,” his grandfather, the Duke of Winshire, had grumbled, “but marry him to a girl from a good English family, and people will forget he is part cloth-head.”

The dust had settled. The earl gave the signal to move on, and his mount Xander took the lead back onto the road. James lingered a moment more, brooding on the coming Season, when he would be put through his paces before the maidens of the ton and their guardians. One viscount. Young, healthy, and well-travelled. Rich and titled. Available to any bride prepared to overlook foreign blood for the chance of one day being Duchess of Winshire.

Where was the love the traveling musicians spoke of? At least his cousins had adamantly turned him down. Not that he had anything against the twin daughters of the uncle whose inconvenient death had made his father heir and him next in line. But they did not make his heart sing.

The racing curricles had negotiated the bend without disaster and were now hurtling towards the village. Long habit had James studying the path, looking to make sure the villagers were safely out of the way, and an instant later, he put Seistan at the slope.

It was steep, but nothing to the mountains they had lived in all their lives, he and his horse, and Seistan was as sure-footed as any goat. Straight down by the shortest route they hurtled, for in the path of the thoughtless lackwits and their carriages was a child—a boy, by the trousers—who had just escaped through a gate from the village’s one large house, tripped as he crossed the road, and now lay still.

It would be close. As he cleared one stone fence and then another, he could see the child beginning to sit up, shaking his head. Just winded then, and easier to reach than lying flat, thank all the angels and saints.

Out of sight for a moment as he rounded a cottage, he could hear the carriages drawing closer. Had the child recovered enough to run? No. He was still sitting in the road, mouth open, white-faced, looking as his doom approached. What kind of selfish madmen raced breast to breast, wheel to wheel, into a village?

With hand, body and voice, James set Seistan at the child, and dropped off the saddle, trusting to the horse to sweep past in the right place for James to hoist the child out of harm’s way.

One mighty heave, and they were back in the saddle. James’ shoulders would feel the weight of the boy for days, but Seistan had continued across the road, so close to the racers that James could feel the wind of their passing.

They didn’t stop. Didn’t even slow. In moments, they were gone.

The boy shaking in his arms, James turned Seistan with his knees, and walked the horse back to the gates of the big house. A crowd of women waited for them, but only one came forward as he dismounted.

“How can we ever thank you enough, sir?” She took the child from him, and handed him off to be scolded and hugged and wept over by a bevy of other females.

sophia-rembrandt_peale_-_portrait_of_rosalba_pealeThe woman lingered, and James too. He could hear his father and the others riding towards them, but he couldn’t take his eyes off hers. He was drowning in a pool of blue-gray. Did she feel it too? The Greeks said that true lovers had one soul, split at birth and placed in two bodies. He had thought it a nice conceit, until now.

“James!” His father’s voice broke him out of his trance. “James, your grandfather expects us in London.” The earl lifted his top hat with courtly grace to the woman, and rode on, certain that James would follow. Not the woman; the lady, as her voice and clothes proclaimed, though James had not noticed until now.

A lady, and by the rules of this Society, one to whom he had not been introduced. He took off his telpek, the large shaggy sheepskin hat.

“My lady, I am Elfingham. May I have the honor of knowing whom I have served this day?”

She seemed as dazed as he, which soothed him a little, and she stuttered slightly as she gave him her name. “L-L-Lady Sophia. Belvoir.” Unmarried, he hoped. For most married ladies were known by their husband’s name or title. And a lady. He beamed at her as he remounted. He had a name. He would be able to find her.

“Thank you, sir. Lord Elfingham.”

“My lady,” James told her, “I am yours to command.”

For more of our stories, see our individual blogs:

A Suitable Husband, by Jude Knight (this story links the others and is featured in the Teatime Tattler)

Valuing Vanessa, by Susana Ellis

A Kiss for Charity, by Sherry Ewing

Artemis, by Jessica Cale

The Bluestocking and the Barbarian, by Jude Knight

Christmas Kisses, by Nicole Zoltack

An Open Heart, by Caroline Warfield

Dashing Through the Snow, by Amy Rose Bennett

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Runaway brides hit the runway

As I type this, midnight 31 October was 14 hours ago where I am. And as the globe spins and midnight reaches other places around the world, the Bluestocking Belles first box set, Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem is reaching those who have preordered it. Thirteen hundred are on Kindles, iPads, and other devices as we speak.

To celebrate we are having a launch party from 4 to 9 US EST tomorrow.  Join us to visit with the authors, win prizes and have fun. And as well as the prizes at the launch party, we have more!

Be sure to enter for a chance at the Christmas Party Box. (See Rafflecopter, below. It’s open until later in November, but the prize is amazing, so give yourself enough time to rack up the maximum number of entries!)

The Book

Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem: A Bluestocking Belles Collection

In this collection of novellas, the Bluestocking Belles bring you seven runaway Regency brides resisting and romancing their holiday heroes under the mistletoe. Whether scampering away or dashing toward their destinies, avoiding a rogue or chasing after a scoundrel, these ladies and their gentlemen leave miles of mayhem behind them on the slippery road to a happy-ever-after.

***All proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.***Print

All She Wants for Christmas, by Amy Rose Bennett

A frosty bluestocking and a hot-blooded rake. A stolen kiss and a Yuletide wedding. Sparks fly, but will hearts melt this Christmas?

The Ultimate Escape, by Susana Ellis

Abandoned on his wedding day, Oliver must choose between losing his bride forever or crossing over two hundred years to find her and win her back.

Under the Mistletoe, by Sherry Ewing

Margaret Templeton will settle for Captain Morledge’s hand in marriage, until she sees the man she once loved. Who will win her heart at the Christmas party of her would-be betrothed?

’Tis Her Season, by Mariana Gabrielle

Charlotte Amberly returns a Christmas gift from her intended—the ring—then hares off to London to take husband-hunting into her own hands. Will she let herself be caught?

Gingerbread Bride, by Jude Knight

Traveling with her father’s fleet has not prepared Mary Pritchard for London. When she strikes out on her own, she finds adventure, trouble, and her girlhood hero, riding once more to her rescue.

A Dangerous Nativity, by Caroline Warfield

With Christmas coming, can the Earl of Chadbourn repair his widowed sister’s damaged estate, and far more damaged family? Dare he hope for love in the bargain?

Joy to the World, by Nicole Zoltack

Eliza Berkeley discovers she is marrying the wrong man—on her wedding day. When the real duke turns up instead, will her chance at marital bliss be spoiled?

Here are my hero and heroine, from Gingerbread Bride

5-36 MMM mary meme 5-36 MMM rick meme

Buy links

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/1122610733
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1036941053
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/mistletoe-marriage-and-mayhem-a-bluestocking-belles-collection

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014OI7M54/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B014OI7M54
Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B014OI7M54
Amazon Germany: http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B014OI7M54
Amazon France: http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B014OI7M54
Amazon Japan: http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B014OI7M54
Amazon Spain: http://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B014OI7M54
Amazon Italy: http://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B014OI7M54
Amazon Netherlands: http://www.amazon.nl/gp/product/B014OI7M54
Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B014OI7M54
Amazon Brussels: http://www.amazon.com.br/gp/product/B014OI7M54
Amazon Mexico: http://www.amazon.com.mx/gp/product/B014OI7M54
Amazon India: http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B014OI7M54

AFTER RELEASE
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/573400
CreateSpace (in print): https://www.createspace.com/5711740

And don’t forget the Rafflecopter

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/06ff3b7016/

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All for one and one for all – Tuesday Talk

Mari Christie offers us these thoughts on marketing in the Bazillion Book Marketplace.

collaborationsquidoosmall-300x300As I work through a long list of marketing plan headings for my upcoming book release—Product, Place, Price, Promotion, et al—some things strike me again and again as similar to what I have been recommending to clients for 20 years: press kits, events, giveaways…

That said, in some ways, the direction has turned 180 degrees. For instance, given the pool of new books on Kindle, even separated by genre, for a new, unknown author, the traditional start of any marketing plan, “analyzing the competition” and “creating a competitive advantage,” is ludicrous. (“I’d like to take market share from all 1,678,423 authors ahead of me on the Amazon Rankings…”)

Further, Big Publishing no longer provides significant marketing budgets for new authors, in some cases requiring we pay not only for trips to conferences, books for signings, etc., but also for simple editing and proofreading, because they no longer want to pay salaries for in-house editors. Make no mistake, any part of the process they can force from our pockets, they will—with no compunction.

A quick scan of the television lineup any night of the week should tell us that when this model places us in competition with each other, it makes money for the media conglomerates that run American entertainment, including books. (Like in reality TV, one person will win a quarter-million-dollar prize and everyone else goes home with nothing. Amazon, however, like a television network, brings in money no matter how many books we sell.)

To counteract this corporate manipulation:

Eliminate the idea of competition.

One can differentiate a book to some extent with good cover design, solid proofreading, smart keywords, price promotions, and (if a buyer gets so far as the words) good writing, but your good writing means nothing anymore until it generates 4- and 5-star reviews in the hundreds. Even then, regular sales are a long shot even professionals can’t guarantee for well-known authors, much less an indie writer who has nothing but the fortitude to finish writing a book and the temerity to publish it.

In place of the traditional American sales model, let us all agree now that we aren’t in competition with each other, and we are (almost) all in the same leaky boat. Loyal readers in your genre will read lots of authors’ books in a lifetime. Yours might or might not be one. Don’t begrudge success where any of us find it and support each other’s efforts.

  • Seek out and connect with other authors for critique, sharing of information or research, or just for moral support. Join online and real-time groups, lists, and trade associations created for authors in general, your genre in particular. These groups exist all over the internet and in every city and state (or whatever regional boundaries exist in other parts of the world).
  • In real-life and online trade groups and on indie author promotional sites, contribute, volunteer, and become part of the community. Make friends online and they will be more likely to help you promote yourself. (Social media best practice, by all accounts, and a well-known marketing strategy since the dawn of the capitalist system. Besides, how rude—and ineffective—is it to continually post promos to groups that have no vested interest in you?)
  • Give advice when you can, and don’t be stingy with your “Lessons Learned.” We all started somewhere. (To be clear, only give advice about things for which you are qualified.)
  • Go to other indie authors for services when you can—book publishing and otherwise—and barter if you are so inclined. (Personally, if I could find another experienced professional editor to trade manuscript services, I would be over the moon.)

Collaborate.

Marketing alone is as dangerous as “groupthink,” plus, it is more expensive, more time-consuming, and more depressing when it isn’t going well. Instead of “going it alone,” share marketing concepts and stay engaged with other authors, especially in your genre. Among relatively unknown entities, more new customers will be reached by co-promotion (e.g. multiple authors throwing a communal launch party) and/or cross-promotion (e.g. two authors posting contests on each other’s blogs to win copies of both books).

As matters of regular marketing practice, consider these:

  • Be each other’s first readers and reviewers. Pay it forward by leaving reviews.
  • On social media, Like/Follow/Pin/Comment/Share each other’s work. (I am now in the habit of Liking any author page that comes across my Facebook news feed, about 10 a day, and have created a Pinterest board titled, “Other Authors’ Books.”)
  • Support reviewer blogs and social media, and Like, Comment on, Retweet, and Share reviews, announcements, giveaways, blog posts, etc. (Share this blog post! :-))
  • Support independent indie author promo sites like Microcerpt, KindleMojo, or AuthorShout, as well as the obvious, well-funded players in the market, like Amazon or Goodreads.
  • Coordinate release dates, social media “parties,” even promo sale dates, to maximize potential audience. (November 26, come to a Facebook party for my new release, Royal Regard, and at least two others in the romance genre!)

Some of these practices may seem counter-intuitive, given how steeped most of us are in the idea of zero-sum marketing, but the sales world has changed (don’t I know it!). We can no longer rely on publishers to promote us, and even if we are unprepared for the new marketing process, it is prepared to make money from—and, if we play our cards right, for—us.

Keep your sales in your own pocket. Keep your marketing under your own control. Keep the indie marketplace one that acts as a cohesive whole, rather than allowing the traditional model to pick off one of us after the other until only one person has the quarter-million-dollar prize.

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Bring your characters and enjoy a party

country inn

 

As I said a few posts ago, the Bluestocking Belles are having a multi-venue house warming party next month.

Between now and then, we’re trying something new; a gathering at a nearby inn, hosted by Mariana’s hero and heroine from Royal Regard (the Duke and Duchess of Wellbridge), and attended by characters created by all eight of us, and any characters that our friends and party guests may want to bring along.

Please come and join in the comments. Ask questions. Complain about the goings on or join in. Add one of your own characters to the mix. (The party is taking place in during the Regency in England, but we’re not averse to a bit of time travel if your character needs to cross the years to join us.)

We’re having a great time, and we’d love to see you there.

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Announcing Bluestocking Belles

Bluestocking-Belles-logo-01-300x300My seven author colleagues and I are delighted to unveil the group we’ve been putting together over the last couple of months.

Bluestocking Belles is a group of eight authors who write novels set in or around the Regency period. Come and visit our website. Meet the other authors and their books, and learn about the Malala Fund, the charity we jointly support.

We’ve got lots planned for the future, including a book club, boxed sets of our work (some written specifically for the Belles), interesting newsletters, and fun contests. And we’re kicking it all off with a Housewarming Party in e-space on 14 March (or 15 March if you live on my side of the date line). Please join us in one or all of the three party venues:

We’ve an exciting line up of giveaways, games, and questions, and the eight of us (and some of our characters) will be delighted to mix and mingle with all of you lovely people.

And if you can hardly wait, fill in the time by entering the Rafflecopter we’re running between now and then. Be in with a chance to win an amazing grand giveaway prize of books, swag, and gifts from the Belles.

 

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