Friday, February 14, 2014

Marrying Money is Going Free on Kindle!

MarryingMoneyNew CoverWeb

Yes, it’s true! – My Valentine’s gift to you, my dear Readers: A free download of Marrying Money: Lady Diana’s Story, on Kindle!

Marrying Money is a romantic comedy set in England and Ireland, starring Lady Diana Ashburnham, a down-on-her-heels aristocrat who needs to find a rich husband to save her 500 year old estate from being sold to the highest bidder. And she’s heard that Ireland’s awash in wealthy bachelors who’d love an English title, so…..

Here’s the blurb:

Product Description

Diana, Lady Ashburnham, needs to find a rich husband, and fast.
She's the last of an aristocratic line stretching back 500 years, and she's broke. The family fortunes have been eaten up by the crumbling mansion and impoverished estate. Not wanting to be known as the 'Ashburnham Who Lost The Lot', she refuses to sell off heirloom jewellery or let the estate be auctioned off to a dot.com millionaire or heavy metal rock star.
That's when Diana has her Great Idea – she'll follow a new take on the way her ancestors raised money – by marrying money!
So Diana corals her best friend, commoner Sally Barnes, into joining her on a trip to Ireland to try to net a – preferably titled – millionaire. After all, with the Celtic Tiger economic boom, Ireland is supposed to be awash with wealthy guys. As she tells Sally, Ashburnham ancestors plundered Ireland with Cromwell, so why shouldn’t Diana do a bit of plundering there herself?
Sally, very much a common commoner from a council house, reluctantly agrees to the trip.
They hook up with Diana's very pretentious but untitled cousin, Mairead, who married money herself – a wealthy 'paper products' entrepreneur. His line of work has led to many rude family jokes, but Diana has to admit that Mairead had landed herself in the lap of luxury with her marriage choices.
It looks like Diana isn’t going to be so lucky. Not only do the very valuable Ashburnham Emeralds disappear at the Galway Races, where Sally, not Diana, is chosen the winner of the Ladies' Day Prize, but there seems a huge shortage of titled wealthy young men who would be willing to fork out the millions required to keep Alexandria House, the Ashburnham estate, and Diana all in the style to which they want to become accustomed.......

Check it out  and get your free download from February 14 to February 17 at:

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HNVBLNE 

USA - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HNVBLNE

Germany - https://www.amazon.de/dp/B00HNVBLNE

Australia - https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00HNVBLNE

Canada - https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00HNVBLNE

Or Read the first chapter here!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Introducing My Book Trailer for Resort to Murder

Here’s the blurb:

Falsely disgraced police detective Ellie Fitzpatrick is prepared to face a vicious killer to redeem herself but is she also brave enough to make peace with the man she loves? When her meteoric career crashed and burned after she was accused of accepting bribes from thugs running a protection racket, Ellie is suspended from the job she loves and believes herself abandoned not only by police colleagues but by her lover, Detective Liam O'Reilly. She is called back to work when a biography of a serial killer she arrested suggests the man may be innocent. Reilly vows to protect Ellie from the gang who tried to frame her and the vicious killer who's stalking her. Can she trust him with her life?

Fabulous Trailer by Betty Ann Harris, Resort to Murder is available on Amazon, The Wild Rose Press, and other print & ebook outlets!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Love a bargain? Get 350 Great Romances for Just $1.99 each!

Crimson Romance Sale

Yes, for just $1.99 you can enjoy one or more – lots more – of these great romances from Crimson Romance.  The sale includes my romantic suspense with a touch of paranormal: Saving Maggie, sensuality rating: Sensual. .

Here’s the blurb:

Newspaper reporter Maggie Kendall has a psychic gift - or a curse: The missing violently dead call for her to find them. Her ability incites a serial killer to play games with her, sending her an invitation in a pink envelope every time he kills and daring her to find his victims. But when the killer moves the bodies without leaving a trace, Maggie is denounced as the worse kind of charlatan - a psychic fake who feeds off the pain of other peoples' tragedies. Just the sort of person that Detective Joshua Tyler hates the most. He's been hounded by reporters and fake psychics since his emotionally disturbed wife disappeared two years earlier. He reacts angrily when Maggie offers a message from his wife. But he can't help being attracted to her even as she infuriates him. The killer believes that Maggie is that one special person he's been searching for - someone who can read his mind. Only her death can bind them together forever. Maggie knows he's going to kill her, and she knows why. But how can she make Tyler believe her? She needs him to join her in a race against an experienced and determined killer to save her life . . .

Here’s an excerpt:

. Maggie had lain awake, becoming hyper conscious of her attraction to the detective whose tall frame was pretzeled on her living room sofa. She fantasized about going to him, feathering kisses on his face, brushing that dark hair back off his deep, intelligent forehead…and the lonely ache that welled up in her left her further sleepless.

Dawn came dulled with the promised spring rain, and Maggie heard Tyler up and moving around long before her own normal rising time. A gentle knock at her door made her grab for the sheets to cover herself—she always slept in the nude but there was no need for Tyler to know that.

At her invitation, Tyler came in to the bedroom carrying two mugs of tea. His eyes widened at Maggie’s tousled state, and she knew he had guessed she was naked beneath the sheets.

“I have to leave for an early meeting at the O.P.P. detachment,” he said, his voice unsteady as he tried not to stare at her so openly. Maggie knew she’d turned a delicate color of pink—probably all over—at his glance. “I’ll lock the door when I leave. If anyone comes to the door, check them out through the upstairs window so they can’t see you—don’t answer to anyone you don’t know. And be careful when you leave the house—check that there’s no one hiding in the bushes or in your car…”

“Yes, Mother,” Maggie said, her tone dripping with sarcasm. “Has it occurred to you that I’ve been living with this for years and been able to take care of myself?”

“Has it occurred to you that, if you’re correct and there’s a serial killer murdering people for you, that he may just have got impatient and be ready to kill you, too, now that he’s found you again?”

Maggie drew in a sharp breath. “I’m sorry. I guess I’d begun to feel safe here, and now I know I’m not. I’m going over to the vet’s this morning to see how Killer is, then on to my office. I’ll probably be there all day.”

There’s something for everyone, so don’t delay – get yours while the sale lasts! Click here for the full list.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Add Photos to Your Freelance Articles & Ramp Up Your Acceptance Rates–And Profits

By Glenys O’Connell @GlenysOConnell

 

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Even the greenest freelancer knows that they should follow the publishers' guidelines to stand a chance of having work accepted. So, because many publications state they will use their own photographic contacts to illustrate an article if they decide to purchase, many writers don't send photos with their work.

That's a mistake.

The old adage that 'A picture is worth a thousand words' holds very true in the case of space conscious print media. Photos are important, but must be of the best quality, serve to illustrate a point in the article and attract a reader's attention, and must be used sparingly because they add to production costs and take valuable space. But if you are submitting a text piece that has photo potential, don’t hesitate to send some good shots along with the copy.

There are two reasons for this: 1) your pictures will add an extra dimension to your writing, enabling the editor to visualize your subject more clearly, and 2) The reason magazines and newspapers send out their own photographic staff, or hire professional photographic stringers, is that they need quality, professional pictures. No family snapshot type deals; your editor is looking for clear, well focused, well-thought out scenes that will complement the written article. You have the advantage of knowing your story and subject matter, so if you can provide top-quality photographs to go with your work, why should the editor look elsewhere?

This is a lesson I learned some years ago when I got the go-ahead for an article for Physicians' Management Manuals, a Canadian journal for medical doctors. They said they would send out a photographer to the rural home of my subject, but I sent in a few photographs with the text to illustrate the work he was doing. My pix were intended just to give the editor an idea of the wild, rugged area and the impact of my subject's work, but they were as professional and focussed as I could make them. They used my pictures, saved the cost of sending out another photographer, and I got the photo-credit, the extra bucks, and another assignment. Nice lesson.

Whether the editor decides to buy the article and photographs, or to use their own photographic staff’s work to enhance your article, you are still ahead in sending your own pix because photographs add a whole new dimension to the written article. They say a picture says a thousand words – including pixto illustrate your article, even if they aren’t used in the final publication, could be the make-or-break factor in the decision to purchase your work. After all, this extra dimension is the reason photographs are used in publications, right?

It goes without saying, of course, that you can't just send in snapshots. Photographs must be good, clear, well focused, well-composed and thoughtful. Here are a few 'flexible' rules to getting maximum mileage from your photo submissions:

1) Study your target publication and learn how they use photographs. You'll find that, due to layout considerations – most print publications do their layout on a column basis – that vertical photographs that will go across one or two columns are the most popular.

2) Don't try to cram too much into a single shot. If you're doing a travel piece about a village, for example, home in on a single house or building with special architectural features that illustrates a point in your article.

3) Head and shoulders is generally the norm for a photograph of a person, but if your subject is being featured because of a special skill, try to get a clear shot that illustrates his work. For example, a potter sitting at a potter's wheel, or a sculptor up to her elbows in clay.

4) Take the time to focus and frame your photographs. Use natural framing in your composition – doorways, archways, trees and shrubs, etc., make a natural frame that draws the viewer's eye to your central subject. And watch out for extraneous objects. I once took a photograph of an anti-hunt protest leader, using the setting of a rustic log cabin restaurant. My subject was standing in a casual shot with one elbow resting on the heavy log lintel of a fireplace. It was only later when developing the prints that I noticed that all but two of the shots showed the man with moose antlers sticking out from his head. I'd completely failed to notice the set of antlers from some long-ago hunting trip that decorated the lodge chimney breast!

5) Your photos must be technically good. If you have camera shake, invest in a tripod. And you must have a good-quality camera – sometimes you can get marvellous artistic shots with a cheap camera, but the quality simply isn't there. Remember the quality demands of newspaper or magazine print reproduction. Good equipment is worth the investment – I used a glorious second-hand Pentax for about 20 years and that camera paid for itself many, many times over in published pix and accepted articles. Now I use a Canon digital camera, and love the convenience of the screen which allows for seeing the ‘framing’, lighting, angle, etc. before you take the shot.

6) Even if you’ve always used a film camera and delight in the effects you can get using different settings, etc, it’s still time – or long overdue – for you to go digital! Learn about pixels, etc., and update yourself on the language and settings for digital pix. The age of digital photography is here. Most publications will now accept digital submissions online, so learn to use a digital camera, and I can’t stress enough the need to invest time and money in a good digital camera and a photo program – although I’ve seen really great pix taken with an iPad or iPhone, or good quality phone & table equivalents. Learn how to scan your stock of hard copy photos into your computer, enhance them, and send them over the ether.

7) Don’t forget there are lots of photo competitions. These can be a great way to find a home for that quirky, unusual, or very artistic photo that doesn’t seem to belong in an article but you love, anyway. And you can make a few extra dollars while adding to your list of accomplishments, too.

The last word: make sure you label your prints, whether hardcopy or digital, with your name, article sub line, and short identifying caption. Mark for the attention of the relevant editor, cross your fingers, and send!