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Saturday, 17 December 2011

Five of the best things I discovered on the internet in 2011

Five of the best things I discovered on the internet in 2011 in no particular order:

  1. Kanye West -  My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Yeah, not the kind of music my demographic are supposed to like but I saw it trending on Twitter so checked it out on YouTube. Wow. A delightful combination of samples from all kinds of classic music including King Crimson from the 70s. But these simply expertly background the comment, rhythm and virtuosity of KW. I can easily compare this music to the virtuosity of Stairway to Heaven


and Bohemian Rhapsody.

What do you think?
 Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield gave it five out of five stars, citing it as West's best album and "his most maniacally inspired music yet, coasting on heroic levels of dementia, pimping on top of Mount Olympus [...] Nobody else is making music this daring and weird".[127]  source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Beautiful_Dark_Twisted_Fantasy
Well not this daring and weird since King Crimson huh? Wow from the calm in the centre of the storm 1969.

2.  https://twitter.com/ I joined twitter - not really expecting anything. Found that I can talk to people around the world freely, find them, find people with my interests. Find anything at all I could possibly think to look for, ask about, and find more than I could ever imagine cause the people on twitter are into anything imaginable. And most are friendly, and talk about themselves and their interests and if they are lonely, or happy, they give good advice, quote from their own thoughts and those of famous others, share recipes and knitting patterns, hates and loves, create trends based around hash tags and titles, soccer players, rugby games and movies or television programs. Discuss live internationally and online if x should have been red-carded or not, if the Kardashians have their support or have set some kind of example.... the opportunities to get involved in the veins of the world are there - only on Twitter.

3. http://www.goodreads.com/   This is a superb site for anyone who reads or writes. Which maybe half the population of the developed world. 
Of course there are lots of people who can read and write but never actually do those skills - with the exception of texting, perhaps which I do count as writing and reading. LOL
So hey - Check out this amazing and illuminating website - which I have tested to the max by adding all kinds of literature to my profile and - yep - they had a link somewhere to the book. 
A BIG improvement on my childhood in Southland NZ where if I wanted a book of a classical work I had to ask and then the librarian would find a fusty volume in the basement! Now of course libraries simply turf out books when the withdrawals become below a certain point and kids who want to read Plato or Suetonius or Vergil - as I did, can download it free from my next fave website and Awesome Project:-


4.  The Gutenberg Project.http://www.gutenberg.org/
Firstly, let's celebrate the inventor of the ebook 
Michael S. Hart (1947-2011)
Project Gutenberg's founder, Michael Hart, passed away September 6. 
Here is a Brief Obituary 
Wow, how many authors like myself are benefiting by this young man's vision back in 1971? 
I like this man, he and GBS are like me, we want the world on our own terms:
'A lifetime intellectual, Hart was inspired by his parents, both professors at the University of Illinois, to seek truth and to question authority. One of his favorite recent quotes, credited to George Bernard Shaw, is characteristic of his approach to life:
 "Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.  Unreasonable
 people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.  All progress,
 therefore, depends on unreasonable people."
Michael prided himself on being unreasonable, and only in the later years of life did he mellow sufficiently to occasionally refrain from debate. Yet, his passion for life, and all the things in it, never abated.'
All authors and readers light a candle for this talented man and support the project as thousands of classic books are being made into ebooks and not for profit, like Google Books scanning project no doubt is for.

5. http://jakonrath.blogspot.com   Joe Konrath is a kick-ass author, gun promoter and very successful writer from every angle you observe him.
I had the longest belly laughing session ever at Joe and DWS 'fisking' a memo from Hatchette publishing co. This would only be hilarious to ppl like myself who have been published by big trade publishers and have watched the employees - paid handsomly from OUR book sales - trying to prove why their jobs are necessary to anyone.
Anyone considering a career in writing or publishing would be wise to read his entire blog.
Any author trade published would be advised to read his blog as well as that of http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?page_id=860 and buying this book http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/

I launched my small publishing company Quintessence Publications and published eight books since March 2011. 
I will get more books published in 2012 but these fine people and many others who are available in links from their blogs are enormously helpful to me and hundreds of other authors, wanna-be authors and people who simply want to express themselves.
Thanks Joe K, David G, Dean Smith and his wife Kris.
Awesome people - setting an example of helpfulness and caring - spreading the love of writing and helping others throughout the world. 

Enjoy this list and watch this space for more marvelous authentic voices from New Zealand and the rest of the world whom I will be publishing in 2012.
Happy New Year
Christine Leov Lealand







Saturday, 12 November 2011

Finding great books to read - when there's all that 'dreck'

Attention Readers! Authors want to thrill YOU!


There are frequent comments on the net, in news media and on Kindle boards about the ebook 'dreck' available for purchase and how to avoid it as a reader and find the 'good stuff'.
Let's return to the pre-ebook days of around 3 years ago. I can remember back then, can you?
Book Selection - how I did it.
When I went into a library or a bookstore what did I do to select a book to read and buy? I would look at titles and covers, I would find one that interested me and pull it out and skim thru the pages, if I liked the writing I would buy or borrow the book. If I didn't like the skimmed content I put it back and persisted in looking till I did find something I wanted to read. 
Even then the process wasn't perfect - there were books I took home I found I didn't like - and books I loved; and I'm sure I left some on the shelf I would have enjoyed.
Amazon and other etailers allow sampling of books which fulfill these traditional requirements - skim reading a sample of the book is available... all is as it was for book selection - 
Three years later....
Suddenly with the popular adoption of e-readers and ebooks we have readers requesting that all ebooks be sorted into equivalent bowls of electronic porridge! 
When in a bookshop or library they were alphabetical or sorted by category or genera or small and large print.
The only way you can read a book similar to one you just read is to read more by that author! 


Authors like me don't like to repeat ourselves. Any of our books may well be unique - trying to find a collection of equivalent well written books similar to each other is impossible, no matter what illusions of similarity the sorting bots on Amazon.com or Goodreads.com may lead you to believe otherwise. 
Even when browsing books in a closely related genera - you will find them of huge variety and skill - trade published or indie published.


Readers - please understand this:- Authors are writing what they want to write - because now they can and earn more than double the money they could have traditional publishing


Self publishing is the only financially viable, business-like way to publish. 
Authors like myself and thousands of others are empowered to write whatever we want, however we want. 


Authors want to thrill you


Authors now have the opportunity to thrill a new generation of readers who always wanted to read a book like ours but could never find even one because the 'gatekeepers' would never consider publishing a book like that! 
The whole field of 'generas' is opening up in a thrilling and exciting way - beyond what anyone could have dreamed of even three years ago. 
I can't imagine any author bothering to write to a tight genera or sub-genera prescription now, unless that is what they really want to do.
We are free to write wonderful books that we love, books that thrill us, books of a dozen different generas; and put them up for sale for readers to find.


Books are as easy to select as they ever were - easier. 
Lazy readers who can't be bothered to sample books before they buy will get the 'dreck' they deserve. 


The reader is now the gatekeeper - 

readers have always had to choose. 


There will be no elegant bowls of sweet pre-sorted tight categories for lazy people to slurp onto their ebook readers and take home knowing that they will have a load of comforting podge to read themselves to sleep with.
I have met people like that - they read so they can read themselves to sleep.
I don't write for them! 


Readers have to take responsibility to load their Kobos Nooks, Kindles, Ipads and tablets with books they have actually selected by the same process we have always had to use. 
An internet etailer site is much faster to browse than a bookstore at the mall or a library!
Choosing what you want to read is your strength - use it well, Readers
Have fun with your choices and tell the author and publisher what you liked and did not like about their book.


Reading and writing are now a conversation - the first time we have had the chance to converse in the entire history of publishing. 

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Dungeonmaster to Novelist

I was once a creative Dungeon Master who developed my own milieus in that old tabletop roleplaying game which was popular back in the 80s - Dungeons and Dragons. I realise now that the skills involved in being a Dungeon master ruling over players, creatures and milieu alike was perfect training to be a novelist. Maybe a successful novelist.
Today gamers don't have the interaction they once had. Most games seem to be restricted to a few favourite milieus which the Dungeon Master no longer personally creates for the players. How many DMs actually modify their milieu to tease and torment their players? How many create their own maps, traps and creatures from scratch? My guess is that few now do.
If you long to create your own millieu and adventure within it with your friends - there is still no replacement for D&D. A set of dice, some graph pages, a map, a pencil and imagination and maybe a few other people is all you need to create something entirely new, progressive from moment to moment and interactive to a degree which computer generated games and internet generated games can merely hint at.
Writing a novel has the same level of excitement and creativity - a seriously good thing.
It was and is kind of sad that more milieus have not been utilised by D&D gamers - there's plenty of scope for Christian milieus - with the Soldiers of God hunting down and destroying the angels of darkness, Hospital adventures, Local neighbourhood adventures, Sci Fi adventures, hunting animals and humans through Africa or Asia, or in NYC; instead of a perpetual presentation of opponents from the monster manuals - undead and orcs - who do not interact and are simply disposed of as rapidly as possible in a maze or invented planet or continent - often imitated from some other person's creative vision.
While many pleasant hours may be had online adventuring - the player is trapped within the parameters of the set milieu offered by the game. There is no scope to go beyond into pure creative action and reaction.
If you as a player want to attempt something oddball like paragliding in a medieval war setting - well you just can't do it in an electronic setting - it has no flexibility or creativity. Whereas if you were in MY game and you as a player wanted to paraglide, hell, I wasn't going to stop you. But you would have to develop your glider, build it, fight off the wolves and natives and convince your group that it was a good thing. And then fly it. No problem. I LIKED my players to come up with new ideas. You wanna go to sleep in that room? Sure - you are going off on your own down that corridor cause no one else wants to go there? Excellent!
It is true young gamers do not necessarily have the breadth of vision, patience and creativity that a novelist develops - but a background of gaming and the creativity that pure old fashioned D&D offers will stand a novelist in good stead.
I've discovered that much.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Amazon $2 surcharge for The Rest of the World - Solution!


A suggestion for indie authors and readers who find Amazon charging that extra $2 surcharge for foreign readers is hurting you or your readers.

Check out other sales venues which do not charge Amazon's mysterious mean surcharge. Smashwords.com, or www.xinxii.com as examples. If your fave author has no books for sale there, directly ASK the author to consider listing their book there as well as on Amazon.
These sites are good for adding to your sales - indie authors, and pay better royalties than Amazon too.
Don't take my word for it, check them out.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Training an Editor.

Over the weekend I have been studying the nature of editing. My co-writer and I need a capable editor, a person who is both an ordinary reader and sensitive to the requirements of a novel. Someone who is keen to read our final draft and yet courageous enough to be open to finding faults in it. In addition this person needs to live not too far away so we can get together and talk about the book. Find out what he or she likes and does not like, what worked and what did not work for them in the book.
I was reminded of an address at the Edinburgh Festival around 1980 by Scott Berg about his biography of perhaps one of the greatest US editors, Maxwell Perkins. I had an audio file of this address which inspired me to also write biographies, but also informed me about the role of an editor.
Perkins did not hesitate to tell Scott Fitzgerald that his book The Romantic Egoist needed a new title. I doubt a book with that title would have sold as many copies as The Great Gatsby.
Max did not hesitate to tell Thomas Wolfe to take 90,000 words OUT of his first novel. Even though the 6'6" giant fought to keep every word he saw fit to write IN his book "Look Homeward Angel"
Editors have to be brave people, rather often.
Books are author's Word Children - at times it takes as long to give birth to a book as it does to grow a child to adulthood.
To take a book and help the author craft it into a better book, not only without grammatical and spelling errors, but with stronger plot, more interesting characters, and no continuity issues takes strength of character, attention to detail, a grasp of plotting and a willingness to take on what seems to be the intention of the author and craft the writing into something which achieves that intention.
I hope I have found this magical person in a friend who is a journalist and keen reader.
When our adventure romance novel Atlantia Soulmates is completed to the best of our ability - she will be given the opportunity to edit the book. 

Sunday, 25 September 2011

I am a publisher it is now OFFICIAL

Today I had great pleasure in publishing A J Burton's excellent much edited murder mystery novel Demon's Coven. I first read this book when he gave it to me in July.
I'm not really a murder mystery/thriller reader, but I thought hell - I'll give it a try and the mix of humour, tenderness, strange perversions, twisted killers and a superb climax to the novel sold it to me even in the very rough form in which it arrived on my desktop.
One chapter had my heart beating with anxiety for the characters, then laughing out loud helplessly as A J led me into a delightful subterfuge of his own.
For me a book is a winner if it has me laughing out loud.
Since then we have worked like galley slaves to perfect the language, eliminate tautologies and split infinitives, make sure all the punctuation was correct and translate everything into American! Now it is done.
Available on Smashwords.com http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/91555
and it will be available on Amazon when they get around to passing it through their listing process.
Here is the blurb

Demon’s Coven by A J Burton
This thriller-mystery filled with unexpected comedy follows two broken-ass detectives. Bull is bent on avenging his lost love, Tommy is fighting his hatred of human beings. They join forces in NYC to track down a vicious killer who seems to possesses super-human abilities. Add a circle of BDSM Dominatrix and their slaves who are being infiltrated for a deadly purpose to the mix of mystery, intrigue, humour and murder - an exciting read with some laugh-out-loud moments.

Friday, 23 September 2011

An Author's Life.

Bob Meyer just posted this excellent blog regarding what it takes to become a successful writer.
http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/the-common-traits-of-the-successful-writer-part-ii/
So I have responded with this very brief description of how much work I have put in over the years so that now I am fully empowered and enabled to write books which I know are quality books.


Writing is a journey of lots of writing. My writing now is a result of starting out at age 5 knowing I was a writer. I hand-wrote and bound my own books at age 8. Then hitting various walls like my first novel attempt at 16 and the lonely path of discovering various plot truths and unworkable facts which drove me nuts. I still write a journal which dates from when I was 14years old. Then study knocked the writing out of me. Then kids, then I took time (and left two partners who were not supportive) to think and try out words again. Met other writers, wrote heaps of poetry, wrote a published biography, had other historical work rejected by every publisher in my country. Wrote stories, wrote a novel. had one published, was asked to write a novel by a publisher. Wrote three novels which were published. Then had the rest of my work rejected. Got large file of rejections from all over the world.
Bestselling author unable to sell the books she wants to write. Yep – just because you are a published author does NOT automatically mean any publisher will beat a path to your door for your next work!
NOW – I can sell my own books, written how I want to write them and I now have this lifelong apprenticeship behind me. All my partially written books (Approximately 10 of them) can find a place in digital publishing and readers who will love them.
Fortunately for me I got my digital rights back before the trade publisher thought they had any value. Big grin. I set up my own publishing house just like Bob has.
It is great to have my power back in my hands and to be able to empower other authors to do the same thing.

Yesterday I helped two authors who have written their own first work to feel empowered to take the next steps.  It's a good feeling.
Keep writing.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Have you met these people? A comedy short by A J Burton.


Have you met these people? A short comedy
by A J Burton

Copyright A J Burton and Quintessence Publications Ltd 2011
All rights reserved.
ISBN 978-0-9876591-0-1


I am not one of those women who goes for a man purely on looks. Women like that are shallow and usually boring. For a man to be attractive to me, he must be a snazzy dresser as well. Intelligence is desirable, even attainable by some men, but hardly a necessity for a good relationship. Fabien was late which is somewhat of a turnoff. I just hoped he would be a suitable dinner guest. He looked great wearing a polo sweater, tan slacks and suede hush puppies in the pic he emailed me. But photos can be massaged or photo-shopped so easily these days. So I wait with a rather lacklustre white wine in my hand for him to make an appearance.
***
Dammit I was late! I hate that. I am never late but tonight I was. I had decided to add a few highlights to my hair before my date with Diana. The dye went so wrong that I was forced to run a quick sachet of Grecian Gold through my hair to salvage what I could. Thank goodness I have a face which can pull off such a cock-up.
I got to the restaurant seven minutes late and then had to wait another two until the maĆ®tre de noticed me and opened the door. Sophie's is only a four star restaurant, one can’t expect everything from them. I didn't pick the restaurant, Diana did. Surely a fashion consultant would have better taste, was my thought regarding her choice. But I didn't want to upset her by disagreeing when she suggested Sophie’s for our rendezvous. I hate picky people.
***
I recognised him as soon as he walked in. He wasn’t exactly like I remembered from his photo. The one he posted on the dating website. However he was presentable in a bland grey suit which was two years out of style. I thought it a little strange for a man who was a male model to be wearing such an old suit. I waved and he smiled. He looked surprised - as if he wasn't quite expecting someone so glamorous, but I often have that effect on people.
***
I saw an overdressed heavily made up woman wave delicately at me. Is that Diana? I wondered. Her photograph on the dating website must be rather old. But guess what? it was Diana. I began to understand why she had picked Sophie's. I walked over to her table slowly so she could get a good look at me. I didn't swagger like you do on the catwalk, no need. Just my natural walk had her staring like a deer in the headlights.
"Diana?" I asked
"Yes of course. Nice to meet you." she smiled prettily and offered her hand to me. I shook it, smiling to myself wondering about the thrill from my touch she was receiving.
"Charmed to meet you. I am so sorry I’m late, my hair.” I had to pat it a little. “Hair is such an important thing, don’t you think?” she put her hand to her hair delicately and smiled knowingly.
 “Well I needn't go there, bore you with the details. Advantage of being a male model I suppose. I think I managed to rescue the situation." I said modestly, smiling at her. "Is that dress new?"
"Why yes it is.” She was quite pretty when she smiled. “From Style Eighty Seven, their latest from the spring collection. Very exclusive, but I felt like spoiling myself for tonight."
"Was it on sale?" I asked casually as I sat down and waved at the waiter.
"No, why did you say that?" she looked shocked.
" No particular reason, at this time of the year most of the clothing shops are flogging off what hasn't moved during the winter. Would you like a drink?" I asked.
"Yes I would rather, this white is rather too dry for me. I can't think why I ordered it." She said, pushing the glass away from her as if it were disgusting.
"Well selecting the correct wine is something you need to practise.” I said gently. I do know a lot about good wines. “Do you eat here often?" I asked.
"Well yes, I mean no, just occasionally." she said.
"How about I order something? Waiter! Ah he's seen me." I noticed the waiter making a beeline for my table. " What is your best white?" I asked him.
"I recommend the Marlborough Stonefield, a really exquisite wine." He said subserviently.
"Very well, two glasses please." I could see Diana was impressed, she was trying to speak raising her hand while I was talking.
"Um Fabien...I" she interjected.
"Just a minute Diana, I’ll deal with the waiter first if you don't mind. Bring the wine in tall long stemmed glasses, lightly frosted if it's not too much trouble?"
"Yes sir." he said before scurrying off like waiters do when they think they will get a big tip.
"Now Diana why don't you tell me something about yourself and I will tell you something about me. Ladies first don't you think? After all, you already know I am a male model."
"Yes, but - I just wanted to say something about the wine you ordered."
"I am sure the wine will be fine. I have an eye for good wine and for beautiful women." I smiled at her.
"Why thank you, Fabien, I am flattered but there's no need to -"
"Oh Diana you cracked a joke. I like a good sense of humour. Comes in handy in the modelling business being able to laugh at other people."
"Did I? Crack a joke I mean?" she looked confused.
"And witty with it I see. Look the wine's here. An improvement, don't you think? Thank you waiter." I said as he filled our glasses.
"Fabien - about the wine." Goodness how she did go on about the wine!
"Mine's good it has sort of an earthy taste about it, rich, but not too sweet." I said as I tasted it.
"It's the same wine I ordered Fabien." She said complainingly.
"Is it? are you sure?" I was surprised. She said her wine was ghastly stuff!
"Yes I ordered the Marlborough Stonefield as well."
"Oh, you must have had a bad bottle. It happens sometimes."
"But it's a house wine it should be all the same." She was still complaining, obviously a picky drinker.
"Let's not go there shall we Diana? It's not altogether your fault. Now what made you seek someone on a dating site?" I thought I should distract her from this wine issue.
"Just for laughs, really. It's not like I need to go on dating sites to get a date. It's the sign of the times you know. Busy, busy, busy no time. I work long hours. That kind of thing." She simpered at me.
"Yes I see. Me too, actually. Modelling keeps me so busy. Online dating is sort of like slumming really - yourself excluded of course." I had to pat my hair again.
"Thank you." We smiled at each other. It had been two years since we first began chatting online. I wanted to make the best of our first meeting. I could see I was a hit with her. Being good looking is not all it’s cracked up to be.
"Well that takes care of the small talk. Shall we eat?" I asked. I could see the poor girl was out of her league. Time to change tack, a nice meal will settle her nerves, I told myself.
"Fine, shall we get the waiter again?" she asked.
"Yes of course, Waiter? excuse me waiter? - I don't think he heard me Diana." The fellow was on the far side of the room.
"Maybe he is ignoring you because you never tipped him?" she asked pointedly. My how she notices little things!
"Maybe he is just hard of hearing – ahem! waiter!" I waved in his direction.

***
Finally the waiter came over to our table. Fabien insisted on ordering for me. I tried to tell him I don't like seafood because of allergy problems but he did insist. We did the usual small talk. I like friendly chit-chat, he kept mentioning he was a male model as we talked and ate. I could tell he was totally into me, his eyes undressed me whenever he thought I wasn't looking. I was practically driving him insane with passion. No doubt it was my fabulous low cut dress, my hair, my exquisite eyes, my body sculpted by my personal trainer. I knew he wanted me. I had been there so many times before but - I can’t keep breaking hearts forever. Perhaps Fabien is the one to settle down with?
***
It was inevitable that she would suggest we sleep together. Diana wasn't very subtle the way she licked her lips after every mouthful of food. She swallowed sexily after she chewed. I pretended not to notice the way she fluttered her eyelashes but I wasn't deceived by her muted conversation and constant reminders about the bloody awful house wine.
This was all to mask her insatiable desire to have me. The seduction of course was a fait accompli but I went along, played the game.
We went to her place for coffee and a digestive biscuit. She took off her high heeled boots, said her feet were killing her. I just smiled, I suppose I was going to be a trophy screw. Something to tell the girls about over coffee or at the salon. Try to make all her friends jealous. You know, telling them all what a fantastic lover I was. She knew I was a male model, wouldn't let me forget it. I could see she wanted me so badly that all I had to do was crook my finger and she was mine.
***
I let him kiss me as we sat together on the sofa. Fabien didn't even finish his coffee before he was all over me. It felt like he had four pairs of hands. I helped him off with his jacket. He seemed nervous for some reason and wouldn't take off his shirt. I suggested we go to the bedroom, my two-seater wasn't made for the kind of passion we intended to have. I know we have been chatting online for some time - but he must have been without sex for months, or even years. I had to calm him down, the poor man was almost frantic with desire for me. Fabien followed me into the bedroom like an eager puppy. He was practically pole vaulting down the hallway behind me. I lay on the bed and delicately struck a sexy pose. He whimpered with desire, I could see I needn't have bothered with the pose. Fabien was so eager - his cock, what there was of it, left me in no doubt what he wanted. He wanted me, I felt so gorgeous, a femme fatale.
***
She gave me the c'mon look from the moment she sat down beside me with her coffee and digestive biscuit. Diana attempted to act like a delicate virgin, but really I could see she was the type that needed a bit of rough sex. I suppose, like most women, she thought all male models are sex mad stallions. She was only half right. Diana ran down the hallway like an Olympic sprinter to her bedroom. She collapsed onto the bed with her legs wide apart. I was shocked, she had bigger legs than I’d thought. I needed to take my shirt off but there was a problem. Sometimes even male models have secrets they don't much like sharing.
"Fabien, take your shirt off!” she demanded “I am not going to make love with you in your shirt and socks. I have standards." she said her words stinging like a whip across my back.
"I need a hand with something." I remained dignified, hiding my pain.
"What with? your cock looks hard enough." her words stung me like a slap on the face.
"This." I opened my shirt, bared my soul to her.
"You wear a corset?" she may as well have plunged a dagger into my heart.
"I am not the only model who wears one, you know. I have a metabolism problem. I need you to undo the back." I said, turning around as she got off the bed.
"Well it's no big deal you know, I've taken mine off." she said, rubbing salt into my wound. "I haven't seen one like this for years. How did you get it on in the first place?"
"My mother does it up." I remained stoic.
"There that's got it. Oh! you have quite a tummy Fabien.” She exclaimed. “I had a gastric band fitted last year, it did wonders for me." For the first time I noticed how big she really was. Had she bewitched me at the restaurant? Again Diana lay on the bed and opened her legs. Her thighs quivered like jelly. Several jellies. I lay on top of her and kissed her long and hard. She reached up - I tried to warn her but she was too quick for me as her long fingers massaged my neck.
"Oooh! Fabien your hair fell off." She exclaimed, panting. Did her malice know, no bounds?
"Careful! it's my only one." I remained calm, thankful that my stomach hid my partial hernia. My doctor assured me sex was still an option if I was careful what position I took.
"It's alright, bald men are quite sexy anyway." she said wheezing like a bloated retriever. She threw the toupee on top of her dressing table like it was some sort of dishrag. "Any more surprises?" she asked.
Thank God I had used the dental adhesive on my dentures! I noticed she had removed her top set and placed them beside the bed. Had she no dignity? What kind of fashion buyer was she? I asked myself.
"Fabien." she pleaded "I want you to take me standing up like James Caan did to his girlfriend in ‘The Godfather’."
I realised then I had been seduced by an expert. How else could she tell I was no ordinary lover? Taking my Viagra pill while she hunted for her door key in her handbag earlier had been a master stroke. I now hoped I would not end up having a turn as the drug coursed through my veins. My heart pounded but I was determined. I would pick her up with her thighs around me and pound her powerfully into the wall. The wall looked strong. I hoped it was!
She stood in front of the window, placed her hands behind her on the window sill and wrapped her legs around my waist. I felt I was being seduced by a gigantic Polish milkmaid. Her legs crushed me. I thrust into her like the rampant stallion she wanted me to be. We slowly slid down the wall as my legs buckled under the terrible weight.
"Ooooooph." she groaned in the throes of ecstasy. I showed her no mercy, thrusting powerfully. However I was careful not to exert myself too much as I felt my hernia give a twinge. I felt something soft and furry against me. Something wasn't right. I looked at her askance.
"You're not in Fabien. It's our bellies! You're simply not long enough!" her words were stones thrown at my soul.
Damn her but she was right! I had been pounding her enormous belly button, compressing the lint inside it. She must have enough to knit a sock in there, I thought. I was ready to give up, take my pride, my corset, my toupee and retreat with what dignity I could muster.
"Fabien stop!” Diana demanded. “I will open the window, then I can sit on the sill, that way you don't need to support me. You can still do me standing up. Look!" She lifted the wooden window upwards. There was a groaning sound as the window complained, peeling paint off as she pushed it upwards. I looked up. It reminded me of a guillotine.
She sat down on the window sill, her legs spread wide apart. A cool breeze whipped the lacy curtains around her hair. I decided if she wanted to be screwed by a rampant stallion I would give her her wish. I charged between her legs and our bodies slapped together. She wrapped her legs around my back and, clasping her fingers behind the back of my head she pulled me into her. Diana cried out in what I mistook for orgasmic delight. In fact her big bottom had slipped outside the widow sill and she began to fall backwards. At that moment the old window chose to release. It came sliding down, striking me a stunning blow on the back of the neck. The force was so great I fell forward and lost my grip on Diana. She fell screaming into an open dumpster on the road below. The window shut fast over my hips and I lay trapped. My partial hernia decided to become rather less partial and I was left screaming for help, unable to get the hell out of there. I cursed James Caan and all the cast of The Godfather for getting me into this mess. What will mother say?
Things would have been ok if the dumpster had been full of soft rubbish bags but it was full of old bricks from the building site opposite.
The local newspapers were most uncomplimentary. ' Obese lovers fall from window.' said one. 'Window unable to hold rampant fatties.' said another. Turned out Diana was a total fraud. She was a former Wallmart checkout operator on a disability pension.
The loss to me was immense. I lost my one and only contract modelling supersize incontinence nappies. The life of a male model is not all it's cracked up to be.
I did learn one thing; because of my unrealised athletic ability I am now applying for jobs as a stunt man and body double. Perhaps Hollywood will recognise my amazing skills?

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Author promotion by Scott Nicholson.

Scott Nicholson http://hauntedcomputer.blogspot.com/ has a new way of promoting his books. Check it out and see what you think. I thought it was a great concept - and could bring him new readers - because spreading awareness of your work widely is really the only way to glean new readers. Cause not everyone wants to read what we see fit to write. Here is my response to Scott on David Gaughran's blog. http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/crowdsourcing-book-promotion-scott-nicholsons-social-experiment-with/#more-1211


'I’d love to read your books, Scott. I’d like to read Joe Konrath’s books too. But they are a genera which doesn’t entertain me. Lots of readers are reading suspense and thrillers and gory accounts of ghastly paranormal things but this kind of book simply scares me. Being afraid doesn’t entertain me. Whereas it is plain that some people enjoy those feelings. So while your marketing concept is an excellent one it omits this particular fact – that not everyone can handle reading the kind of books you write.
As a reader, I have to seek out the kinds of topics that do entertain me, the writers who intrigue my mind, who make me think and don’t scare me. It is a part of the challenge of both being a writer and and a reader – to connect the two and realise that we can only sell to a part of the market. To the readers who like to read our work and enjoy it. This isn’t everyone.
Trade publishers would always reject books which did not have a wide enough appeal. Now as authors we can find readers for generas which did not exist previously. Yet the numbers of people which are in those reader groups are limited. This is why such books would be rejected – not enough readers.
Now with Amazon and Smashwords we have a much larger readership potential – and it is world-wide, not simply in our own country. So the chances are we can sell more books – yet those books will sell only to people who want to read that kind of book.
I don’t think there is any kind of book which I can say has universal appeal. Afterall there are still lots of people around who simply do not read. My family is full of non-readers.
I’ll be interested to hear how your promotion goes for you.'

Monday, 5 September 2011

Demon's Coven, a Bull Protettore Murder Mystery - Sample Sunday Chapter One


The Demon’s Coven
A Bull Protettore Murder Mystery
By A J Burton

To be published in September 2011 by Quintessence Publications. Watch for it on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com

Prologue
The long, stone paved room was lit by soft overhead lighting. Twelve people dressed in sinister black hooded robes sat silent around a huge black timbered table. Their hands were crossed in front of them hidden in the confines of their voluminous sleeves. At one end of the table a gigantic man, naked above the waist, stood behind a young woman. He was holding her, his huge hands completely encircled her upper arms. She was sobbing quietly, her head bowed. Her naked body shook. But for the strength of the giant behind her she would have fallen. No one paid her any attention; instead they looked towards the other end of the table.
There a figure in a blood red cassock sat impassive. He uncrossed his arms. A pale hand, fingers tipped with sharpened red painted nails appeared as he reached for an old seventies style phone on the table before him. The dial tone of the old phone bounced from the speaker and off the stone walls, a connection was made. Another number was dialled; a remote dialler at the other end then duplicated the dialled number. Now the call was untraceable.
“Greetings, Grand Master.”
“The waiting is over. Release him.”
“He will be hungry for blood - it has been well over a year, almost two.”
“In death we guide the souls we take.” His voice was soft but as he spoke all the other sect members chanted together “Our sacrifice your thirst will slake.” was their devout response.
The man put down the phone. Getting to his feet he threw back his hood. With his other hand he produced a long serrated knife from inside one of his sleeves. All of the others around the table did the same.
Thrown onto her back on the great table the young girl finally screamed.
Today was the start of the bloodletting.

***
Chapter One
On his back on a low black leather bench in the atrium he stared longingly up through the skylight while fingers of moonlight bathed him in a cold brittle light. His soft black leather body suit clung to him like a second skin. He had always loved the way it showed off the contours of his muscular frame.
Ready!
Like some macabre gymnast he stood in one effortless movement. As a great cat stalking through dense jungle he glided down the hallway to the heavy wooden door at one side of the hallway. Dropping to one knee his left eye pressed to the brass keyhole. A dim red bulb cast eerie shadows over the room inside. Mistress stood with her back to him. Her slave was hanging from hooks in the ceiling which were attached by chains to leather cuffs around her wrists. Slap! Slap! The sound of leather on bare flesh was a part of his world. Taking pain so that others could take pleasure had been part of his training.
But he was more than just some pain slut. Much more!
He watched as the female slave known as Angel was unbuckled from her restraints, Mistress helped her to lie on her back on the bed. Her whispers were too quiet for him to hear but he knew the drill. First given pain, Angel would take a little more each day, then afterwards a gentle let down. Tonight it seemed she would be given the honour of some affection as Mistress lowered herself down onto her slave and they embraced. Soon they were fast asleep in each other’s arms. Sometimes it would be wild unrestrained sex he observed through the keyhole. But Mistress was never predictable; she knew instinctively what was right at any moment for any person.
When he whispered it was with a hiss like a poisonous reptile.
“Sleep, sleep little one sleep deep.
For into your bedroom one night I will creep.
When my teeth your neck I do bite.
You shall feel my hideous spite.”
Ahh… poetry it’s not just for the soft and fawning. I could write such meaningful poetry, he thought.
Tonight was special. He had endured an enforced break, restrained only by loyalty and iron discipline. Now he would once again become an instrument of death, a taker of souls. This was his destiny.
Flirting with danger never worried him. He enjoyed it, relishing the chance to pit his body against the odds. Death for him was something he wanted, even sought, but he was not prepared to embrace that dark shroud meekly. His wish was to die in a maelstrom of violence and blood, all of his own creation.
The coldness of the metal against his face stirred something within him. His eyelids closed and he focused inwards. This was his way of working himself into a higher state of being. Then, like a python, he slithered back into the shaft of moonlight.
A stainless steel and glass syringe already filled with a light blue liquid along with a thin rubber strap were withdrawn from a leather pouch that hung from a cord around his neck. He unzipped his leather sleeve from the wrist up and wrapped the strap tightly around his upper arm. Holding the syringe in one hand he pierced the skin of his forearm, sliding the steel shaft inside a bulging vein. Slowly he depressed the plunger. The liquid began to enter his blood stream. Aaah...It felt so good! How I have longed for this! He thought.
The drug required enormous strength of will to resist using it purely for pleasure. Years of training had always saved him from the insidious charms of the chemical.
Replacing the empty syringe and the strap in the pouch he lay down. His strong hands opened and closed repeatedly, caressing thighs and genitals as he worked himself into a vile perverted state. A warm glow swept through his body as the liquid worked. The sensation caused him to arch his back as the transformation from slave to unfeeling beast took place. Opening and closing his mouth, he grimaced, working his jaw like a boxer before a fight. Fingers brushed lightly across his lips. If only they were fangs!
At last his body relaxed. For a few seconds he lay completely still. Now he was ready with the latest dose of NAPE5 in his veins, an innocuous title for a potent dangerous substance. Non Addictive Performance Enhancer variant number five, only a scientist could give this wonderful substance such a sterile title. He knew the chemist only too well - truly she was the embodiment of evil.
The drug flooded through his veins, a warm glow masking the true purpose. When he next used his body in a violent and explosive way, the drug would stimulate his adrenal gland producing abnormal amounts of adrenalin. Muscle nerves would then begin to fire at an increased rate. For a few minutes he would be capable of almost super human feats.
Now he must stay in control and resist the temptation to rush into action until the time was right. Effortlessly he stood up, making no sound on the hardwood floor. Moving quietly he walked to the end of the hallway then descended a stairway into the garage. A highly polished, late model, black GM Van was parked on one side. A black tracksuit and hooded top were folded on the seat inside the cab. He dressed quickly slipping off his skin tight leather mask placing it on the seat beside him. Once he found his prey it would take him seconds to take off the tracksuit and replace the mask.
He used a remote control to open the large panelled garage door that gave access to the courtyard behind the apartment building. It opened silently on heavily greased bearings.
The van, lights off, quietly moved out of the courtyard into the alleyway as the garage door closed behind him. He waited until he had driven for a hundred yards on the deserted street before switching on the headlights. Now he was in his element and felt the heightening of his senses. The tension was electric!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Don't worship the gate-keepers - they are idols with feet of clay.

Reposted from my comments at Mark Williams international
As a successful erotica author I have watched my publisher pay me peanuts while reaping 100 or 200 times the income from my work over the past 11 years. I also strongly suspect that tens of thousands of my books have been sold secretly at wholesale price without my knowledge, but I have absolutely no way of proving it. They make endless careless mistakes with their accounting for my sales and royalties. They cannot account for my entire earnings and sales with them because they regularly change their accounting system and I have no rights in my contracts to request an independent audit of their records.
This subterfuge and unfairness broke my will to write. What is the point of being a writer whose books people love to read and I don't get paid for that good work? What is the remedy if the gatekeepers not only pay you hardly anything but they steal and lie as well? The average author is too poor to sue one of the big six.

Not only that, but despite having had three books published in three years, after that they didn't want any more of my books. They are a comfortably earning backlist for them. Why make any more effort to use me or my work? Or to find out if my genera work or biographical works are equally popular, as one might imagine they could be. No.

I bless the fact that I got my digital rights back from them 6 years ago before they thought they needed them. When they requested the rights back, as belatedly, they were publishing 100 NZ authors in ebook format early this year. I asked my editor for information on their marketing plan, and how much of their profit was I to receive?
There was no marketing plan, and I was to get 10-25%.

Having heard the news about ebooks I found smashwords and others online. I said thanks but no thanks to my publishers, as I think anyone would have.

I have now set up my own publishing company. My old books are being re-edited and going on-stream online steadily with many etailers, not just Amazon. Additionally I have found a very talented author, A J Burton, a retired policeman who writes gripping, realistic, very funny detective mystery fiction.
My choosing to publish him, recognising his talent and acknowledging his ability as a writer has transformed him into a real person, not a loser, as he had been, when trying to sell his book to agents and editors around the world. From being depressed and almost giving up, he is in heaven now, busily producing the sequel to Demon's Coven, and learning about how to edit his work.

The ebook revolution, fuelled by the manufacturers of ebook readers and app writers, etailers, Amazon.com and many authors has set millions of people free - we are merely two of them!

For all of us as human beings, the ebook revolution is simply the beginning of true freedom to write what we wish, publish for the enjoyment and enlightenment of others and to read what we wish. Gutenberg, Caxton and all those who wished humans to have access to the written word will be applauding from their graves.