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text 2017-07-20 07:56
East Van Saturday Night - submissions, round two

 

East Van Saturday - four short stories and a novella, has just been sent out to three more Canadian publishers.

 

The process began in November of last year when I decided that self-publishing another work (currently I've self-published eight novels and two plays) wasn't going to achieve what I wanted.

 

What do I want?

Critical, serious consideration for my writing and you're not likely going to receive that as an self-published author.

 

Why? Because it's now dead easy to self-publish and guess what, everybody's doing it. In 2015 alone, 625,327 ISBN numbers were issued for individual indie books.

 

In the past six months I've submitted to five publishers. If you think sending out submissions is easy, well, I guess it depends on what you're comparing it to.

 

Consider:

- publishers are obsessively specific about how your manuscript should be presented: what font style, what type size, margin widths, headers, etc.

- part of the submission package is to explain why you think your work is a good fit for them,

- you must provide details on how you're prepared to market your book,

- in most cases they will not accept simultaneous or multiple submissions,

- they won't let you know they received your submission,

- you are under no circumstances allowed to contact them in any way,

- they won't let you know if they reject your work, they'll just shred it, using "a secure process".

 

Okay, so it's not that difficult, it's just extremely annoying to have to deal with their arrogance - and that's without ever having the opportunity to speak with any of them.

 

To make it even more galling, in 2014-15 these guys (and gals) received $30 million dollars in Canadian government subsidies - that's my tax money.

 

And what exactly do they do for this money now that all the services: editing, cover design, production, marketing and distribution can be done by the author or purchased from experts relatively inexpensively?

 

One thing.

 

They're the gatekeepers to literary acceptance. If you're an indie author you're a joke, if your traditionally published you're accepted by the literati.

 

Not that I'll make any more money. Emerging authors are lucky to receive a fifteen percent royalty on traditionally published books.

So here we go again.

 

East Van Saturday Night - four short stories and a novella, are to some degree autobiographical and impart to the reader why you can take the boy out of East Van, but you'll never take East Van out of the boy.


Though the stories are all set in East Vancouver (with the exception of Hitchhike, which is a cross Canada misadventure during the "summer of love"), the themes have universal appeal and the music, the fashions and the culture are distinctly familiar to "boomers".

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

Amazon Author Page   https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

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text 2017-05-26 03:06
Reading progress update: I've read 4 out of 459 pages.
Nocturnal Animals: Previously published as Tony and Susan - Austin Wright

I'm going to meet a new Spider-Man first(!), and then this. I knew this book had undergone a title change when it got turned into a movie, but I did not know the book was quite as old as it is. been around a while.

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review 2017-05-09 14:57
Nine-Tenths of the Law by L.A. Witt

L.A. Witt - Nine-Tenths of the Law CoverTitle: Nine-Tenths of the Law

Author: L.A. Witt

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (250pgs)

ISBN: B06XNTJZ28

Publisher: L.A. Witt (15th March 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: “I believe you have something of mine, Zach.” The stranger’s accusation throws Zach Owens for a loop. He’s never seen this man in his life, and he’s not prepared when he finds out what they have in common—their boyfriend, Jake.  Make that ex-boyfriend. With the jerk out of the picture, Zach hurries after the stranger to apologize… which quickly leads to some sizzling hot revenge sex. Despite starting on the wrong foot, Nathan Forrester can’t get enough of the sexy movie theater owner. Still, he’s jaded and distrustful—especially when Jake keeps materializing in Zach’s presence despite Zach insisting that relationship is over. With a devious ex-boyfriend trying to sabotage their fledgling relationship, Zach and Nathan need to learn to trust each other, or they’ll both wind up with nothing. This 61,000 word novel was previously published, and has been revised to include an extended ending.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nine-tenths-Law-L-Witt-ebook/dp/B06XNTJZ28

Review: Zach’s night looks to be a disaster when he is confronted by his boyfriends other boyfriend, leaving his now ex-boyfriend behind he hurries after the stranger and Zach’s night suddenly looks up with a hot bout of revenge sex. Nathan is bitter about his ex’s betrayal but he can’t get Zach out of his mind, and they embark on a rebound fling… but it soon gets more serious between them.

This is a great story of finding love in an emotional turbulent time, where love is developing but lack of trust is rearing its ugly head.

Nathan and Zach in a fleeting moment are rivals, they both are seeing the same man, Jake, Nathan for four years and Zach for six months before they both discover the truth and they both walk away from the man who betrayed them. Nathan has a hard time letting go of the broken trust and as he begins a relationship with Zach he finds it difficult to believe Zach when he says he’s working late… especially when Jake is feeding his fears.

I liked this story and enjoyed watching as Nathan and Jake both embarked on a relationship together, they were a hot couple and meshed well together when they are together. When they are apart though Nathan’s fears of betrayal claw at him and it leads him to some stupid arguments with Zach. Zach is pretty easy going for the most part, he’s bounced back from Jake’s betrayal and now just wishes the pain in the arse would stop bothering him and that Nathan would trust him 100%.

Whilst I enjoyed the story I do think Zach could be a little bit more understanding of Nathan’s feelings, it’s really not easy to trust when it’s been shattered and unfortunately it usually does carry over into the next relationship, especially when your ex is feeding that paranoia. I also got a little annoyed at Zach for continuing to play to Jake’s tune by answering the man’s phone calls and agreeing to see him… he should have just cut off all contact.

So there’s a relationship developing, some angst and drama, and lots and lots of hot sex, the storyline is good and the characters are great, so really what more could you ask for?

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review 2017-04-23 15:50
Finished my reread of Queen of Roses
Queen of Roses - Elizabeth McCoy

I just spent four months rereading this, mostly while in line at the grocery store and such. My review from back when I first read it in 2014 still stands. The main things I'd add are that the fluffy "dealing with passengers" stuff in the beginning of the book still meshed a bit oddly with the later more action-y stuff. Also, while

the things Loren did still bugged me

(spoiler show)

, I couldn't help it, I still loved that character. I had also forgotten how much I liked R.J. And I still want to read some kind of spin-off or sequel with Loren and Roger. A combination sci-fi and cozy mystery starring those two would be so good.

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review 2017-04-18 22:11
Magnolia Secrets - Beth Hale

Walker and Lainey share one explosive night together and he awakens to find her gone. Shrugging it off as just a glorious one-night stand, he accepts a new job in a small town: New Hope, Mississippi. That's where he finds Lainey again. She just happens to be married to the Chief of Police-and Walker's new boss.

And so begins a tale of melodrama in the quaint and unassuming town with the ironic name. Upon reading the first encounter between Hale’s Walker Bell and Lainey Holley, I could not help but cringe at the overwrought description of sexual tension. I wanted so badly to believe that there was natural chemistry between the two characters, but every time he called her kitten, I was dragged further away from the moment and closer to closing the book for good.

Two intertwined plots compose this story. The first involves the volatile relationship between the brutish Evan Holley and his wife, whose one night stand in the midst of an escape from her husband comes back to haunt her. The second plot consists of a drug deal gone badly and a scattering of dead bodies. While the first storyline was well constructed, in fact a wrenching portrayal of an abusive marriage, the second storyline strayed. It came together in the end as a Law in Order-esque show down that had me questioning whether I was still reading the same book. As a reader, I felt as if I knew very little about the victims involved, and therefore I struggled to empathize, detached from those Hale presumably meant for readers to feel a connection to; namely Jimmy and Johnny—the ill-fated brothers—who were you guys really? I barely knew you.

Criticism aside, Hale did a spectacular job at illustrating the importance of helping those who are victims of abuse. Lainey is surrounded by supportive figures who each do his and her best to keep her out of harm’s way. Despite being given a brief glimpse into Lainey’s past--how young she married and her experience in foster care--she was the one character that I wanted to be truly happy by the book’s conclusion. In my mind, her happiness should not only derive from the gallant police officer with whom she slept with that one time, but rather her experiences volunteering with children at the local school. Hale did a wonderful job at this too; she reiterated the importance of a woman’s independence and the blessing of having one’s own life to live.

The relationship between the two protagonists is thinly developed, hanging by a thread of flirty one-liners and pet names. Walker started out as that guy who will just not leave you alone at the bar, but he developed into someone who may actually come to value a woman (but still insists on using the demeaning nickname, kitten). However, there is promise between the two protagonists, the ending of the book a clear harbinger of a budding substantial romance.
 

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