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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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Who Gets to Talk

December 11th, 2016

So, the other day, Richard Spencer, whose goal is to one day have a Whites only State, had his Twitter account reinstated and verified by Twitter. Let’s be blunt, since I get to talk here in this space; Spencer is a White Supremacist. His views are hateful and vile. In the US, with certain narrow exceptions, the government cannot interfere with his right to say vile things.

Twitter has always said they value free speech. Even speech that others don’t like. Twitter is not the government, however. It’s their platform, and they get to set the rules of engagement. Twitter recently shut down ISIS related accounts. I’ve not heard they’ve been reinstated and verified.

What Twitter has done is say that this white male voice counts more than all the voices that have been and will be silenced or driven off the platform. They’d rather let this man speak than all the others Spencer and people like him target.

This isn’t an isolated experience.

Woman after woman after woman after woman, especially women of color, have been and are currently silenced because Twitter allows accounts that spew hatred to continue spewing hatred. They do this without giving the targets of that hated any tool to stay safe on Twitter or in their real lives.

Right now, there are a bunch of righteous white men at Twitter going, yeah, he’s vile, but he gets to speak! Free speech!

They say that because they’re part of the problem. They can’t hear women and people of color. They never have. They don’t hire these voices (because MERITOCRACY!!). And if somehow they do, they don’t listen to them.

Twitter gave Spencer back his voice back because the white men of Twitter, quite literally, cannot hear all the voices their policies and inaction have silenced. They think they’ve make a difficult decision to allow a man to voice his hatred. At twitter, one white man still counts more than a person of color or a woman.

If that weren’t true, there’d be effective tools for the targets of hate speech to keep their voices and their safety.

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Your Opinion Needed!

November 25th, 2016

I’m pulling together the new cover for My Immortal Assassin. Here are 4 possibilities. Which do you like? There’s a poll at the bottom of this post, but feel free to add other feedback in the comments. Models + backgrounds are not fixed, meaning, any of them could have a blue or orange background. So. What do YOU think?

Version 004

Blue glowy background, youngerish model with some tats, model is slightly to the right of the image.

blue glowy background, shirtless model with some tats

004

Version 005

Orange glowy background, youngerish model, tats, slightly more intense look. Center of image.

glowy orange background, no tat shirtless model

005

Version 006

Orange glowy background, olderish model no tats, hands behind head.

glowy orange background, no tat shirtless model hands behind head

006

Version 007

Orange glowy background, no tats, olderosh model, arms at sides.

glowy orange background, no tat shirtless model

007

Which version do you like best?

View Results

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Here’s Why

November 24th, 2016

Fahrenheit Press (if you love mystery and crime, this is a great press) just tweeted a link to this post about submissions in which they muse on why 90% of their submissions are from men. The post includes this:

a) men put themselves forward to speak more
b) men say yes more when asked to speak
c) women are more likely to refuse to speak when asked

I can tell you why A-C are true in addition to the fact that women tend to believe they need to be better even when they already are. Way better. (Because, as we so often see, we HAVE to be better. We don’t often have the luxury of being mediocre.)

a. Because women pay a high price when they put themselves forward. Men do not pay that price. Women have long, hard experience with seeing men chosen over them even when we’re more competent and knowledgeable. That high price includes being called a bitch, everyone saying we talk too much, silent demerits from management and colleagues (she’s not a team player, she complains too much…) and dismissal of our words– often those words and ideas are repeated by men to great accolades. The fate of Kathy Sierra and Anita Sarkesian are two obvious examples. There are millions more. It’s also wrapped up in b.

b. Women don’t say yes as often because of a. The abuse can be horrific. For God’s sake, not even Clay Shirkey understands this. Instead, he criticizes his women grad students for not putting themselves in line for being dismissed, called names, and generally devalued from the start. The playing field is not level, and women are not judged by the same standard as men. Heaven help you if you’re a woman of color. (Names reveal this. Google reveals this.) Until men like Shirkey understand this, we HAVE to consider silence as a survival tactic.

c. Because we know what happens when we speak out. Why risk it? Frankly, when it’s a guy saying he wants to hear more from women, we’re so cynical from years of A and B that we don’t believe in what may actually be a good faith offer.

If you’re not getting submissions from women, it’s because you have to say more than “we want to hear from women.” You have to prove you mean it and that you’re doing your best to recognize that everything about publishing privileges the male.

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Writing News

November 19th, 2016

Surrender to Ruin

I have sent Surrender to Ruin off to the first round of editing. I expect to have that back in 2-3 weeks. I hope, but cannot guarantee, that I can turn that around pretty quickly. Then it’s off to a second round of editing.

The story is done and I love it so so much! Honest to goodness, this book is in the final stages.

The current, unedited, chapter 1 (updated version already posted! Mostly, it was tidying up work).  At some point, I’ll post additional chapters, probably 5 or 6, to the Members Only section of my website. This area is for people who subscribe to my newsletter.

My Immortal Assassin

I’ve bought back the remaining print stock for My Immortal Assassin, book 3 in my My Immortals series, so this book is reverting to me. The only changes will be a new cover (in progress), new back cover copy (also in progress) and formatting — the files are ready to go. Expect to see my version released before the end of the year.

I will be writing “prequels” to this book that will provide a new and exciting lead-in to the series, by the way, since I do not expect to get reversions for the first two books any time soon. This will allow me to set up a free or heavily discounted entry to the series. It’s been tough to get new readers for the series with Books 1 and 2 completely cut off from the rest of the books.

Historical Anthology

I’m doing another anthology with Grace Burrows, Shana Galen, and Miranda Neville. The title is How to Find a Duke in 10 Days. It’s a fun premise that I’m looking forward to writing! Look for that in September 2017.

New Series

I hope to be starting a new series in the next few weeks. Dark Elves. It’s been percolating in my writer brain for some time.

Other Projects

Additional projects on the schedule include a historical novella, Miss Fiona Harper’s Night of Passion.

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