Updates!

May 21st, 2017

Writing Updates

I have a a few updates for everyone. First, Surrender to Ruin is back from it’s additional read through. I have a few tweaks to make so things are moving ever closer to done. I’m doing another historical anthology with Grace Burrowes, Miranda Neville, and Shana Galen. I started that story while STR was out being read. I’m considering calling my story “Kissed by a Rake.” Maybe. After that I will work on another My Immortals story and the new project I’m calling “Dark Elves.”

Writing is going slowly at the moment. My duties as a Director for RWA is part of the reason, but that is mostly predictable and manageable.  However, the health of a family member is not, and it should come as no surprise that the burden of that is falling to the women in my immediate family, aka mostly me. I cannot change that. STR is really just about done. But I can’t promise rapid turn arounds these days,

Writing Related Updates

I have a new desk! Here’s some pictures.  It’s made of reclaimed wood by Sons of Salvage here in my town. I highly recommend following that link. I gave them my specific needs and dimensions and they carried it out. In the top picture you can kind of see the 2 drawer pedestal to the right. It’s on wheels so I can move it to the other side if I want. I have a built in keyboard tray. I decided to go with a narrower desk. It’s perfect for me and the space. My next project is to clean out the closet and move the printer there.

Over to the right you’ll see a lamp that looks like it was probably on a train or something. There’s a local artist who makes these super funky lamps out of old items. There’s a picture below with the lamp on so you can see why it’s called “Once in a Blue Moon.” I have it on a timer so it comes on at 9:00 PM to remind me it’s time for bed. Sleep is a precious commodity right now.

Here is a close up of the wood. I love the color and the grain.

Close up of the desk surface. The wood is highly grained and you can see where there were nails and such. All polished and smooth now

Wood!

 

Here’s a picture with the lamp on. The framed print to the right is by Ricky Watts, another local artist. And this is a good shot of my current computer wallpaper. It’s a photo by Anton Jankovoy. I bought two of his pictures. This one is of the Milky Way in Nepal. His photos are amazing.

Beautiful desk made of reclaimed wood, with a funky lamp with blue glass on one side, The lamp is on here and there is a blue glow around it,

The desk. With Blue Moon Lamp

 

I also hooked up my new ergo keyboard. More ergo than the previous one. I’m still getting used to it. My writing space is surrounded by stuff that is meaningful and inspiring to me. It makes a big difference to have these things around me.

And now, back to work.

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Heriot: A Death Tax

April 29th, 2017

So, I was reading this book from 1806 about the duties of a Steward. It’s got loads of interesting information and some examples of the different types of accounting. One of them made me just shake my head.

The ledger example is for recording income received and money spent for tenant and household-related expenses.

This line is what made me pause, the author has it labeled for the year 1800:

Agreed this day with R. S. to accept as a compensation for a heriot due at the death of his father…………… £26 5

I admit I had to look up “heriot”

her·i·ot
noun
British historical
noun: heriot; plural noun: heriots

  1. a tribute paid to a lord out of the belongings of a tenant who died, often consisting of a live animal or, originally, military equipment that he had been lent during his lifetime.

Right. Even if this is only a made up example and not drawn from an actual example, (which I think it is since the author says he got examples from his own work and others), it’s not something I’ve run across in any of my previous research in the Regency.

R.S’s father died, and he has to pay Lord Soandso £26 5. Sigh.

Also interesting is that J.B paid half a year’s rent of £79.5 and D.S paid a full year at £125
J.S. Sadler was paid the full amount of his bill £19.10 as was P.A. Smith in the amount of £21.5
The Groom was paid expenses of £4.3.11

I just paged forward, there are several examples, plainly drawn from documents lent to him, that mention heriots:

Received of (J. D. a composition for three heriots, instead of his three best beasts or goods, due at the death of his father E. D

There are many of them.

Trees were branded, and boy, they were quite profitable.

When an account of the timbers is taken, they may be marked with iron stamps, the rough part of the bark being taken off with the hatchet before the stamp is applied, that the impression may be made fair; and that it may be lasting, the stamp should go no deeper than the bark, but it may be renewed.

Then I came to a long rant about lazy poor people and how taking away the commons and giving them to “ingenious gentlemen” to rent back to the poors who would then be no longer lazy, and, well, I’ve had about enough of that kind of talk lately so I stopped reading.

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Updated Chapter 1 for Surrender to Ruin

April 22nd, 2017

I updated my website with the latest version of Chapter 1 of Surrender to Ruin.

Read the current Chapter 1.

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Progress Report: Surrender to Ruin

April 15th, 2017

As many of you know, I have been working on revisions to Surrender to Ruin. The good news is that I’m finally feeling like the story is where I want it to be. I’m in a paper read through stage with the book. When that’s done, I’ll be sending it back to my editor for another look. The sum up is this: the story is complete and it’s really truly very close to a version I can send to copy-editing. But not yet.

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Join my newsletter, Get a free copy of Scandal

March 19th, 2017

FYI, if you aren’t on my newsletter yet, if you sign up now using this InstaFreebie link you can get a free copy of my historical romance, Scandal.  To clarify: when you go to the provided link, you’ll be asked for your email. Once you provide an email at that site, you’ll be added to my newsletter list.

Cute graphic of a glasses-wearing lady selling newspapers. Pretend that's me.

The Newsletter Lady

I’ll be doing another one for one of my paranormals, but that’s not ready to set up yet.

Newsletter subscribers get all the news first, plus special, exclusive content, expanded excerpts, and access to the members only section of my site. I send a newsletter when I have a release or there’s something super important for readers to know; that is, 1-3 times a year – ish

NOTE: Surrender to Ruin is in the final stages, so if you sign up, expect to get a newsletter about that in the next 1-2 months.

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Progress Report – Surrender to Ruin

March 1st, 2017

I have revised the edited MS and wanted to go back to tidy up a few things. I ended up chopping another couple chapters and redoing the new chapter one, which is finally making me happier. Which is to say, it’s close so close. I’m mostly polishing and tidying at the moment.

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Update: Surrender to Ruin Progress!

February 4th, 2017

Just a quick note to everyone. The MS for Surrender to Ruin is back from my editor. I am making those adjustments and hope to be done in a few days. This is pretty exciting!

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Update! Surrender to Ruin

January 22nd, 2017

I have sent Surrender to Ruin to final round editing.
That’s all I got. This is the part that’s out of my control time-wise, but I expect to have the MS back in 2-3 weeks.

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My Immortal Assassin – More Bad Ass than Ever!

January 7th, 2017

I have obtained a reversion of rights to My Immortal Assassin, Book 3 in the My Immortals Series.

New cover, new backcover copy, UPDATED STORY

More about the book at my website page for the book.

Here’s the new cover.

A shirtless guy looking pretty bad ass against a glowy orange-red background. He's all moody and shit like a demon should be.

New Cover for My Immortal Assassin

And here’s the new backcover copy:

Sometimes revenge and love go hand-in-hand

Grayson “Gray” Spencer’s life as she knew it was over. Years of torture will do that to a person. Just when she’d given up all hope, someone sacrificed himself to save her and transformed Gray from a human into a mage. Determined to master her powers and exact revenge on those who imprisoned her, she must team up with a posh but sexy demon who will teach her everything… as long as she swears fealty to him.

Durian protects humankind from harm at the hands of his fellow demons. The highly trained assassin wants nothing to do with the punkish Gray, but her abilities are exactly what he needs to fulfill his mission.

Soon enough, Durian and Gray are bound together in a secret quest… and a fiery passion that makes the demon question everything he’s ever known. Their feelings threaten not only their hearts, but their entire society. They may survive, but how much will they lose in the process?

Changes? BUT WHY?

I did fairly intensive revisions. Unfortunately, there were errors (copy-editing and proofreading) but I’m pretty sure I got them all, though I surely managed to add some new ones (because that’s how such things work.) I am a firm believer in the Oxford comma, so I addressed that philosophical issue by adding those commas. The story remains essentially the same, but now reflects more of my vision for the series and a different editorial take. So, yes, the story structure is the much same, but I did significant wordsmithing and character-smithing. The changes got to the point that I had to concede to myself it’s a second edition. I have filed for a new copyright for this version.

The process of publishing this book would be a lot faster if the various vendors would allow authors to send them their reversion letters at the time of upload. In this case, Hachette removed their version of the book immediately upon revsersion– meaning in December 2016–which I greatly appreciate.

Irony of ironies, if they hadn’t, I could have done a DMCA take down and had the rights issue cleared before I published my version. This means the appearance of live links for my version will be slower as the vendors grind through their process for checking content. Which I also appreciate!

For the Curious

My Immortal Assassin has been under the income threshold for a reversion for over two years, but I wasn’t able to get Hachette to respond to reversion requests. I was informed by a lawyer I consulted that Hachette has no duty to respond to reversion requests where that request does not meet the terms of the reversion clause. No wonder authors are so frustrated with publishers. How does the author know if they’re being willfully ignored or ignored because the publisher has decided there are no grounds for reversion?

Ultimately (after two years and many many requests for a response) their position was that the book was still “in print” because there were 192 copies in the warehouse. Fair enough. I can do basic math so I knew that if I placed an order at, say, Amazon, I would pay $1500 for 192 books. Hachette can do math, too, so when I offered to buy back stock, they did some hand waving and shed tears over the $2,000 in royalties per year they would forego by reverting, and then offered to let me buy back stock for . . . $1500. I paid Hachette the money because I would get my reversion much faster and would not be at risk of someone deciding to print more copies.

Once Hachette was willing to discuss a buy back, things happened fairly quickly. I had my reversion letter in hand in mid-December. I very pleased Hachette and I were doing the same math. And I am thrilled to have the book back in my hands. None of this would have happened without the patience of my agent, Kristin Nelson.

 

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About All Romance eBooks

December 29th, 2016

As many readers have already heard, All Romance eBooks, a website that has been selling digital Romances direct to consumers since 2006 is shutting down December 31, 2016. I’m quite sure we have not yet heard the full story of this closure.

However, Authors were notified yesterday that they would not be receiving 4th quarter payments — that is, money due to them for sales from October forward and that there would be no payment for any books sold from the 28th through the 31st. Authors were offered 10 cents on the dollar for sales through the 27th, provided they agreed to give up any additional payments due and agreed not to sue for payment or any other damages.

Readers are in a terrible spot. They have almost no time to safely download their past purchases and may not be able to get all of them as many authors began removing their books from sale as soon as they heard they would not be paid.

I have removed my books from sale there. The business is keeping money beyond their contractual share of revenue, and their suggested resolution requires authors give up potentially valuable legal remedies without any disclosure of the actual situation.

If you are a reader who cannot download a past purchase of one of my books, please contact me through my website contact or email me at carolyn AT carolynjewel DOT com. We’ll work something out.

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