Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gift Giving for any Season

You have to admit these are perfect gifts - Books that is - The printed word will never go out of style for any gift giving reason.

Two pertinent lists from Jessica James, author of Shades of Gray, posted on Amazon:

Top Five Reasons Why Guys Should Give Books as Gifts

5: She can't connect with a new sweater like she can with a book.
4: Hey guys, they're easy to wrap!
3: They come in all sizes, shapes and colors--what could be easier?
2: It's cheaper than a romantic getaway but can produce the same result.
1: Books are gifts of love and joy--and can create everlasting memories.

Top Five Reasons Why Girls Should Give Books as Gifts:

5: They're easy to store--on coffeetables, bookshelves, nightstands or countertops.
4: They never go bad no matter how long they're stored--and they can be used quickly or savored over time.
3: Books can teach, educate, entertain--and distract him from football.
2: It's a small investment that can return dividends for life.
1: Books are the perfect gift of enjoyment that don't require him to leave his chair.

[Thanks to Traci A. Lower.]

Friday, November 14, 2008

The eBook Hullabaloo

Why on earth does everyone have to get all twisted up about eBooks or not? This isn't a one or the other thing, it's all about what you like. I am a reader from way back and I love to lie in bed with my paperback resting on my chest as I doze off. I love being able to lie in the tub and read without fear of ruining a $300 electronic gadget.

What do I hate? I hate having to pack multiple books in my briefcase or luggage so I can read on a long trip. It makes them heavy and that is very hard on my back, neck, and shoulders. I hate leaving a book I am in the middle of reading sitting on a table somewhere and forgetting it.

Now, I tell you this because there is a solution. Behold, there is a choice! I can have my cake and eat it too. Yes, sir. I speak the truth.

I can have my beloved paperbacks and lighter packing with my eBook reader. Woohoo!

Now, I hear those readers, who are not authors, complain that they cannot tolerate the idea of eBooks. How can they give them away to their friends when they are finished? How can they sell them to used bookstores? How can they get them signed? Okay, I can't address that one. It is a fact.

Now, as for the validity of eBook: if it's good enough for Ellen Degeneres, whose book is in eBook form, as are the books of Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki, Barbara Walters, and even Nora Robert and John Patterson, who actually gave away an electronic reader for Mother's Day. Yes, that's right!

Let's look at this from another aspect.

I ask you good readers to consider the plight of the author. For every book you give away to your friends after you have finished reading it, you are taking away a small portion of the living that author is trying to earn. For every book you sell to a used bookstore you are taking a part of that author's income. I'm not saying I have never done either of these things. In fact, I used to own a new/used bookstore and I have loaned books to my friends in the past. What I am saying is that they have needs just like you.

What I would like to ask is that you not only consider your own hard-earned dollars, but consider those of the authors who you are holding back when you ignore their needs so blatantly. If you don't want to buy eBooks, then fine. Don't! We are not asking you to choose one or the other. But don’t use money as a weapon to talk down about something that has the potential to make a HUGE difference in how an author can possibly earn a living when some readers continually ignore just how much time and effort go into each every word that forms the very books they give away without that author earning their hard-earned royalties.

Authors write books for readers because we love it--yes, I am an author as well--I beseech you, give the authors what they deserve. If not their full royalties for every book sold, at least your respect. For without them, you will be forced to read shampoo bottles.

About the Author:
Karen L. Syed is the president and CEO of Echelon Press, LLC. Every day is a new success story for her as she continues to grow herself and her business. She has seen eight of her own novels published (writing as Alexis Hart), along with numerous articles and short stories. As a former bookstore owner, she garnered a nomination from Publishers Weekly for their Bookseller of the Year award. She is a member of EPIC (Electronically Published Internet Connection). She is committed to helping and encouraging everyone she comes in contact with to seek a healthier and more positive quality of life by reaching for their dreams. You can learn more about Karen Syed at

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Guest post Romance Author Shiela Stewart

Author: Shiela Stewart

Bio: Raised on a rural farm in Saskatchewan, Shiela Stewart relied on her vivid imagination to fill her days. Never did she realize that her need to tell a story would someday lead to becoming a published romance author. In the fall of two thousand and six, Shiela published her very first book and hasn't stopped since.

When not writing, Shiela spends time with the love of her life, William and their three children. She has a strong affection for animals which is evident in the five cats, one dog, three turtles and ten fish she owns. Some of her passions aside from writing are drawing and painting and proudly displays her artwork in murals in her home.
Her favorite time of day is sunset and loves to stargaze.


Once upon a time Jonah Moore had it all. Then his wife and unborn child were taken from him, leaving his life darker than when Chaos and his evil vamps stole the sun. Now, Jonahs lost the will to face another day, which could be a problem, considering he's just been turned into a vampire and is now destined to live for eternity.

As a nurse, Raven Moony was used to tending to the needs of others. Until an accident changes everything… When she is abducted and forced to tend to Chaos' needs, she is more than ready to give in and willingly accepts her role as his slave.

Then Jonah enters the picture and she finds herself fighting for his safety and freedom as well as her own. Can she convince Jonah he should go on despite her own doubts? Can they open their hearts to love and learn that there is indeed life after death?

Shiela Stewart's third novel in The Darkness series continues the heart stopping, action packed battle of light against dark. Enter a world where light shines from within and love always triumphs…even in the face of pure evil.

Link to excerpt:

Be sure to check out Book 1, Seducing the Darkness and book 2, Desiring the Darkness availbale now in both ebook and print.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Guest post Elaine Lowe

Author: Elaine Lowe:,

Book: Reveal the Heart, coming out November 12th with Ellora's Cave. A spicy WWII book just in time for Veteran's Day.

Bio: Elaine Lowe is a work-at-home mom in Silicon Valley California. Of her many part-time jobs, her favorite one by far is writing. She has a background in biotech, but she has branched out into the demanding world of home management, toddler entertainment, transcription, envelope stuffing, and of course, writing romantic and erotic fiction.

A love of history, magic and romance combines to inspire a lot of her writing. That and her wonderful husband, who is a fantastic sounding board, support system, and research consultant. He really enjoys research. And so does she.
History with a touch of magic is a favorite genre, as well as science fiction and its infinite possibilities!


Reveal the Heart: Part of the Passion Magic world, including Enchant the Dawn
Washington D.C. in 1942 is the hot center of the war effort. Hester Lowbridge left her home and family to become a codebreaker for the military, using her miraculous talent for languages to do her part. She also has a Christmas pageant to manage and an irritating ex-boyfriend for a boss. When she agrees to do a favor for a friend on top of her already packed schedule, she doesn't expect to meet the love of her life.
In a military hospital lies a mysterious man who can't speak a word of English, or any other known language. A nurse asks her roommate Hester to talk to the fella. The first word Jack Powell says to Hester?
Jack is a Magi, injured in North Africa and desperate to find a way to communicate. How can he convince the angel who saved his life in the desert how much they need each other when he can't speak? Why seduce her of course!

Link to excerpt:
Link to jpg graphic of book cover:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Don't Wait For Your Ship to Come in Swim out to it!

In my morning reading today I came across this quote by Jonathan Winters: "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it."
There was another a day or too earlier that said something, "Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." Abraham Lincoln.

In other words, the only thing that will create success, or create that book you've been waiting to write, or create some other printed words you dream to have written, is ACTION. There is no way around it if you don't put your butt in a chair and write - you will never publish a word. You need to banish all fear of failing, of making a mistake -- mistakes are the lessons of life.

This Frank and Ernest cartoon strip says it all. Frank is at the counter at an employment office he has a long long sheet of paper he is apparently reading from to the guy who is taking his application. The caption says--"I don't have any formal education so I brought you a list of the mistakes I've learned from."

Feel the fear and do it anyway is almost a buzz word nowadays, but it's absolute truth. Do not be afraid of mistakes, no one is perfect. Perfectionism will stall you in your tracks. Not that you should adopt a careless, reckless, not-give-a-darn attitude. You should do the best that you can do with what you have at this very moment and let the rest happen.

"You can never learn less; you can only learn more. The reason I know so much is because I have made so many mistakes," says Buckminster Fuller (a mathematician and philosopher who never graduated from college but received 46 honorary doctorates.

Write Like The Wind
Ancient Secrets contest
Win a handcrafted necklace
from the Andes Mountains named
for the book Ancient Secrets
check out my website

Sunday, October 12, 2008

EPICon Seeking Workshop Presenters

EPICon is now accepting proposal submissions for consideration for the 2009 conference to be held in Las Vegas City, NV March 5-8, 2009.

All workshops/panels must be geared toward the creation, production, and sale of eBooks. Workshops presented last year should not be submitted. We are looking for original presentations.

We are looking for specific topics which include, but are not limited to:

**Educational: (should include handouts - hard copy and electronic)
Craft of Writing
Editorial Process
Genre Writing
Effective Researching
Professional Etiquette for eBook Authors

Writing Effective Copy for Promotion
Marketing/Promoting eBooks
Developing Effective Marketing Strategies
Successful Events for eBooks
Niche Marketing/ Targeting Readers

Knowing your eBook Formats and Devices
Creating Unique Promotional Materials
Finding eBook Enthusiasts
Converting eBook Interest into Sales
Overcoming Creative Insecurity
Managing Life as an eBook Author

**Young Readers: (this is for the Saturday Young Author Track)
Writing eBooks for Young Readers
Developing Creativity
Finding Your Voice as a New Writer
What to Expect as a Writer

Please be creative in your topic submissions, but stay on course with what the EPICon attendees will find value in. If you have an idea for a workshop that you don't think fits into any of these categories or you are not sure, please send them anyway with a comment to that affect.

Your workshop proposal should include:

Legal Name:
E-Mail Address:
Web Site Address:
Workshop Title:
Workshop Synopsis: 150 word max
3-Bullet point list of benefits to attendees:
1-3 relevant credentials for presenting
Author Bio: 150 word max
Author Head Shot (jpg file 72 dpi) Optional, but preferred.

If your information is incomplete, your submission will be deleted without consideration.

Publishers interested in participating in panels should send:

Company Name:
Web Address:
Participating Editor/publisher Name:
Genres Published:
Company Bio: 150 word max
Do you wish to conduct editor/author interviews? ___Yes ___No

Please note: All workshops will be chosen according to the highest quality of value to the attendees. Not all submissions will be accepted. All proposals submitted will be considered equally, but the decision of the Board of Directors and the program coordinator will be final, without question.

Proposal submissions should be sent to Karen Syed at no later than November 1, 2008 to be considered.

Visit EPIC at

Thursday, October 9, 2008

JoAnn Smith Ainsworth

Epic eRevolution Welcomes Author JoAnn Smith Ainsworth:

When JoAnn carried wood as a pre-teen so her Great Aunt Martha could stoke up the iron stove to prepare dinner, she wasn't thinking, "I could use this in a novel someday." Yet, the skills she learned from her horse-and-buggy ancestors translate into backdrops for her historical romance and paranormal suspense novels.
Believing it's never too late to create your dream, she resurrected a life-long desire to write as she started retirement. She made her first sale to Samhain, published and is now proud to call herself a Samhain author.
When she's not writing, JoAnn is a volunteer for various community nonprofits—maintaining websites, writing press releases, and holding volunteer offices.

At the time, pretending marriage to her middle-aged widower cousin seemed like the best way to escape a politically motivated betrothal to a brutal knight. Now, her journey toward a new life has landed her in hot water—she's been waylaid by a local Norman baron who's mistaken her for a real bride. And he demands First Night rights.

Hot water turns to steam in a scalding night of passion…passion she has never known. And now must live without.

Lord Geoffrey is entranced at first sight of the Anglo-Saxon beauty and finds that one night in her arms is not nearly enough. But all he can offer the low-born Matilda is a life in the shadows—as his mistress.

Her head warring with her heart, Matilda resigns herself to her duty in a masquerade of a marriage. It's a choice that could cost her life.

For the knight who first sought her hand is back with murder on his mind. Now it's Geoff who's faced with the ultimate choice: which is more precious…his estates or the love of the one woman who can heal his soul?
Link to excerpt:


This book follows MATILDA'S SONG in story timeline, although it sold first:

As a blind woman seen as a flawed commodity, Lady Lynett is used to the idea that she's unlovable. But her parents' plan to force her into a loveless marriage is too much. Wandering, upset and lost in the cellars of the King's castle, the darkness doesn't frighten her, but the murder plot she overhears chills her to the bone. Worse, no one believes her, and the only one she can turn to is a Norman sheriff whose voice sounds disturbingly like one of the conspirators.

Basil, Sheriff of Ipswitch, is battle-hardened, fiercely loyal—and torn apart. He's falling in love with the Saxon beauty, and he longs to show her she is worthy of love despite her physical limitation.

But the very corruption she is helping him root out may implicate his own half brother. How can he turn his back on family—for an Anglo-Saxon woman?

Link to excerpt:


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

EPIC Spotlights Author J.K. Coi

eRevolution Welcomes Romance Author, J.K. Coi:

J.K. Coi lives in Ontario with her amazingly supportive husband and son. She graduated university with a degree in history and in law, and has worked for many years in the legal field, with a current focus in intellectual property law. Writing has always been an important part of her life, and when she leaves the office, she leaves it all behind to immerse herself in a world of fantasy—of demons and magic, fascinating warriors and the women strong enough to love them. When not writing, you can usually find her in the garage working her magic with stained glass, out by the soccer field watching her son play, or in the stands at the hockey arena, watching her husband play.

The Trouble With Destiny

Mild-mannered Sarah McInnes just wants to be left alone. She's looking forward to finishing graduate school and then working a nice, normal nine-to-five job as an accountant. But when fate interferes with her carefully laid plans in the form of the mysterious and sexy Dorian, her life takes an unexpected detour.

Dorian is a take-no-prisoners kind of guy. For him, duty comes first. So when he intervenes one night to save Sarah from the murderous hands of a daemon and discovers she has the innate ability to fight them, he of course steps in and offers to train her.

Daemons notwithstanding, the job would be much easier and their relationship less complicated if Dorian didn't also happen to be the hottest thing this side of hell. Now instead of spending her nights in the library Sarah spends them with Dorian, keeping the city safe from monsters and sending them back where they belong. Whether she wants to or not, Sarah has to face the facts: daemons exist, she possesses the power to kill them, and she may never make it to Calculus on time again.

That's the Trouble with Destiny...

Link to excerpt:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

FREE eBooks from All Romance eBooks

It's our birthday and we're celebrating by giving you a present!

All Romance eBooks will be celebrating our second birthday on November 1, 2008 and we couldn't think of a better way to mark the occasion than by passing on the gift of an eBook to as many readers, publishers, and authors as possible.

On November 1st all registered customers will receive a code good for one* free download! The customer picks the book, we purchase it, and authors and publishers earn their royalties. It's as simple as that.

And, not only is it simple now, it's simple every day to shop at All Romance eBooks. Simple category searches, simple checkout process, and a simple buy-ten-get-one-free reward program.

Help us spread the word to those that read eBooks and to anyone you think might like to try one. We have All the romance you need from all the publishers you love—and now we're giving it away!

Lori James and Barbara Perfetti
All Romance eBooks

*one click buys and bundles excluded


Monday, September 22, 2008

Join the eRevolution

I'd like to welcome you to EPIC's eRevolution. For those of you who don't know what an eRevolution is, here's a short and sweet explanation: We live in a wonderful electronic age where virtuosity in the virtual world is the hot ticket. There are websites, online bookstores, and MySpace, Blogger, Twitter, iPhones, iTunes, iPods, Kindle, Live Journal, Facebook and some thing called Zwinky for you to join. As we tend to be visual creatures this is a plethora of information for our visual senses. If it isn't already online, it probably will be in the near future. Our children know more about this than the average adult.

But for writers there is an organization called EPIC that caters to the e-published world. We are an industry organization of e-authors, e-publishers, and e-editors who exchange information and ideas on a daily basis. We have a yearly contest for the best in e-books called the EPPIEs as well as the yearly EPICon. This organization offers the e-published author information of how to promote their career, how their contract really works, and help on issues in the virtual world. While publishing is publishing and books are books, e-books and e-publishing do have some differences from what most people are used to when getting or writing books. First and foremost being, the books are produced on the computer and are exclusively read through some sort of e-books reader or on one's computer.

This is the place for you to learn the nuances of the e-publishing world in hopes of bringing you to our side of the fence. We have a lot to sit back and buckle in...and again, welcome to the eRevolution!

Carol MacLeod
EPIC President

EPIC Author Spotlight: Shiela Stewart

Raised on a rural farm in Saskatchewan, Shiela Stewart relied on her vivid imagination to fill her days. Never did she realize that her need to tell a story would someday lead to becoming a published romance author. In the fall of 2006, Shiela’s first book was published and she hasn’t stopped since, letting her imagination run free, pouring her heart out in words, living a fantasy through the characters she creates.

When not writing, Shiela spends time with the love of her life, William, and their three children. She has a strong affection for animals, which is evident in the five cats, one dog, three turtles and ten fish she owns. Aside from writing, some of her passions include drawing and painting, and she proudly displays her artwork in murals in her home.

Her favorite time of day is sunset and she loves to stargaze.

You can visit Shiela's web site at
* * *

With the cloak of darkness surrounding Jacob’s Cove, Dante Vega must work to protect the humans from the blood-thirsty vampires trying to take over the human race. When a half-naked young woman races into his arms begging him to protect her, he is compelled to help despite the fact that she is a vampire.

Before all hell broke loose, Gypsy Dawn was an average woman carrying on with her ordinary life…until she’s turned into a vampire. With no family and nowhere to go, she clings to Dante. Aside from his dark, mysterious, good looks, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him. And when his life is threatened she discovers just how protective she has become.

Trying to bring back the sun is not easy, especially when the creature responsible, has gone into hiding. With Dante’s long lost brother working with the enemy, one friend is killed and another is taken hostage. Will Dante be able to save him before it’s too late?

* * *
To purchase books by Shiela Stewart please visit
* * *

Join the eRevolution! EPIC
Electronically Published Internet Connection

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Announcing...A Contest

EPIC, the Electronically Published Internet Connection, proudly announces the annual EPPIE contest. This is the premier contest in the book industry that celebrates the outstanding achievements of electronic books by authors and publishers. The EPPIE Awards have been given annually since the first EPIC conference to recognize outstanding achievement in ePublishing. The contest deadline for entries is October 4, 2008 at Midnight CST.

Categories are judged by volunteers, the largest percentage of which are members of EPIC, an organization consisting of electronically published authors and industry professionals. Guest judges, all of whom are either published authors or publishing professionals, are used only as deemed necessary by the EPPIE Chair/Committee.

The First Round Judging delivers our EPPIE Finalists, whose works are forwarded to a second panel of judges before the winners of our thirty categories are selected. Winners from each judged category are announced at the EPIC conference's gala award ceremony, taking place at the annual EPICon Convention, taking place March 5-8, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

EPIC is also the proud sponsor of the QUASAR/ARIANA Awards for excellence in graphic cover art for eBooks.

For contest guidelines, please

Click Here

To view previous winners in the EPPIES and Quasar Award
Click Here