Christmas in July!

MaryJoPutney_TheBestHusbandMoneyCanBuy_eCover4 (1)The Best Husband Money Can Buy

By Mary Jo

Here in the US, a heat dome is producing some very hot weather.  Since it isn't possible to teleport Down Under for cool winter weather, Christmas in July sounds pretty good!

I've never turned down the chance to write a Christmas story, so I've written quite a few holiday tales.  Since I've regained the rights to some of the earlier ones, I've released a pair of holiday story collections, Christmas Candles and SunshineForChristmasChristmas Revels. In recent years I've start to publish individual stories in standalone e-versions and at the same time producing audiobook versions because a lot of people really enjoy audios: The Christmas Cuckoo, The Black Beast of Belleterre, Sunshine for Christmas.

This year I chose "The Best Husband Money Can Buy" for the standalone e-book and audio treatment, and tomorrow (July 14th) the e-book version will be released.  The audio version should go live on October 13th in the run up to Christmas.  Once again the wonderful Siobhan Waring is doing the narration and I'm looking forward to hearing her purring the story into my ears. <G> The story:

Emma Stone was raised as part of a large, loving aristocratic family, but after she was orphaned and left penniless, she became a tired, lonely governess. Then through an act of kindness, she inherits an unexpected fortune and realizes that she can now have the husband and family she craves.

 Anthony Vaughn, the dashing distant cousin she'd admired as a child now needs a fortune to pay his father's debts and preserve his family estate. Together they strike a bargain—even though Emma knows she risks not only her fortune but her heart…

 "Best Husband" was published in Christmas Candles along with "Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know," the one Western story I've ever written, which turned out to a good partner because both stories involve Christmas candles lighting up windows to beckon weary travelers to the warmth and welcome of home.

Finding good images for covers is always a challenge, but I really like how this cover turned out.  That good looking, laughing young man fits my image of Anthony, MaryJoPutney_ChristmasCandles--1who was a very charming fellow. He brightens Emma, and she steadies him and give him purpose. In other words, it's a happy ending!

ChristmasRevelsChristmas Candles and my other holiday collection, Christmas Revels were originally published several years ago, and at the time, I also had print on demand editions released. 

However, more recently the specifications for POD were changed and my print editions of these two collections disappeared. I didn't notice until I started work on the Best Husband release and found that print editions weren't available. Ooops!  But that's being worked on now and some time in the next few weeks, print will be available for those who prefer it. Lots and lots of Christmas,  <G>

If you're looking for some virtual snow, here's the buy link for The Best Husband Money Can Buy . There are even snow angels in the story!

Mary Jo





How Do Authors Get Paid?

Typewriter-2095754_640Janice Jacobson asks: “In this new world of mixed publishing – print or ebook or whatever combination thereof – how do authors get paid?  Do they get paid more promptly?  Are they getting as much as they might have received in the print-only days?  How do they track all this stuff?  Is it enough to make a living?”

Given that this is tax season and writing income is on all wenchly minds, this was a timely question, Janice, thank you! For the historical perspective of publishing and how writers got paid, I cannot do better than this in-depth article on Victorian publishing.  Or Anne Gracie’s lovely article on Victorian publishing in the digital age.

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Behind the E-Pubbing Curtain

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Old Books Revisited

KeatsNicola here. Today I’m celebrating the “birthday” of one of my older traditional Regencies, Miss Verey’s Proposal. Today, 20th January, is the Eve of Saint Agnes and it was the legend of St Agnes that inspired the book.

I first came across the tradition of St Agnes Eve when I was in my teens and studying Keats’ poetry:

“St Agnes Eve, ah bitter chill it was! The owl, for all his feathers was a-cold; the hare limped trembling through the frozen grass, and silent was the flock in woolly fold…”

I should say at this point that I absolutely love Keats’ writing for the way he creates such beautiful images with such elegant language. I always feel cold when I read those lines! The poem goes on to tell of an ancient tradition that a girl would dream of her future husband if she went to bed without any supper and did not look behind her. In the poem the lover who appears in Madeline’s bedchamber that night is certainly more than a dream. Apparently Keats had to tone down the poem for his publishers because they felt that the first version was too erotic! Madeline and her lover, who is the sworn enemy of her family, run away together. It’s a classic historical romance.

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5 Things I’ve Learned from E-publishing

NotoriousAtherton200x300Pat here, riffing on what I've learned from e-publishing:

1)    Readers want books that publishers have ignored for years.
2)    I can make more money on e-pubbing my backlist than I made when I first sold the books.
3)    If publishers don’t intend to keep a book in the store or sell it on-line, then they should automatically revert those rights to the authors so the authors can put the books out there for readers to find. To do otherwise is just plain rude.
4)    Social media is a time suck and I’m bad at it, but readers are beautiful and respond when I stutter abominably.
5)    All those geeks who declared that information just wants to be free are now driving Lamborghinis and wearing Rolexes by selling advertising.

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