Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Book promotion

This proves that blogs work very well in pushing your books. At the moment I am sitting at number one in the Amazon pre-order western charts. And all this on the power of my successful blog, The Tainted Archive.

Charts here - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/new-releases/books/275065/ref=pd_nr_b_nav

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Promotion – The Condor’s Feather’s USPs

My forthcoming Hale novel, The Condor’s Feather, is due July 2009.
It is an equestrian adventure set in Patagonia in 1885.
This story contains three distinct unique selling points (USPs).
1) Criollo Horses
2) Newfoundland Dogs
3) Location - Patagonia

Having investigated the numerous Equestrian, Dog/Pet and Travel/Trekking magazines which address these areas, I will contact them around the time the book goes to print.

1) Horses/Equestrian/Criollo horses/Equine history
Criollo horses are the wild horses of the pampas.
They are descended from the Spanish war-horses left behind by the Conquistadors in the 1500s. They are not handsome horses but they are extremely hardy and have incredible endurance.
Criollo horses were used for centuries by the gauchos (South American cowboys).

In The Condor’s Feather, my party of Victorian travellers ride Criollo horses.

2) Newfoundland Dogs
The most famous and enduring fictionalized Newfoundland dog is ‘Nana’ the Darling children’s nanny in J.M. Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’.
In The Condor’s Feather, a group of English adventurers are accompanied on their journey across the pampas by a pair or Newfoundland dogs.
The dogs are present throughout the story and, though not taking a major role, they add to the drama and emotional tension on more then one occasion.

3) Location/Patagonia/trekking
South America, particularly Patagonia, is a prime tourist destination these days.
Horse trekking holidays in this region are very popular.

From experience, I believe that editors of speciality magazines are always on the look out for articles of interest.
They may be prepared to publish a feature article submitted by the author or may welcome a copy of the book with a view to writing their own review.

For more information go to: http://www.squidoo.com/thecondorsfeather

Photos: Modern day Argentinian Gaucho (MM)
Ishmael – a Landseer Newfoundland owned by American historical novelist, Karen Mercury http://www.karenmercury.com
Statue of condor - Punta Arenas, Chile (MM)

The Black Thread and USPs


All books have at least one USP (unique selling point).
My recent novel, The Black Thread, (published Jan 2009 in large print), had two:
1) British canals and Barges,
2) The historic mill town of Saltaire.
As a result of targeting these specific points for my publicity and reviews, I was surprised how many canal and waterway magazines were interested in a story set on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
The publicity I received was excellent and the hardback edition sold out soon after publication.
I hope the large print will perform equally as well.
For more information go to http://www.squidoo.com/theblackthread
Margaret Muir

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Book promotion

I just thought I'd make everyone aware of this contest which promotes the works of western author, Chap O'Keefe - http://tainted-archive.blogspot.com/2009/02/western-giveaway-okeefe-dozen.html

Feel free to enter.

Book promotion

I just thought I'd make everyone aware of this contest which promotes the works of western author, Chap O'Keefe - http://tainted-archive.blogspot.com/2009/02/western-giveaway-okeefe-dozen.html

Feel free to enter.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Featured Author Days at the Black Horse Westerns Yahoo! Group

Please join featured Black Horse Western authors on the message board for bios, excerpts, chat and all things Black Horse Western. These are all day events (Saturday) and you’re welcome to stop by at any time during the day to leave messages and questions for the featured author.

14 February - Jack Giles
25 April - Chuck Tyrell
30 May - Terry James
26 June - Jack Martin
More dates coming soon.

Click to goto the blackhorsewesterns Yahoo! group

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sold out!

I ordered one of Lance Howard's books on the Hale website 9 Feb. The book was 'published' on 30 Jan. Some hours later, as predicted by Ray and others, I was notified that the book was sold out. Bad news for me - and the author. Yes, it's good news it was sold out, not so good to hear it won't be reprinted...
Still, that's a marvellous achievement to get your book sold out virtually before it is even published! Well done Howard!
Nik (Ross Morton)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

WILD WEST MONDAY

I would like to make everyone here aware of an initiative a few of us western writers have got going to promote not just our books but the genre at large. It's proving quite successful with already over 1000 emails from people all over the world who are getting involved.

Go here - http://tainted-archive.blogspot.com/2009/02/what-is-wild-west-monday.html

Oh and comments left on the blog post would be most positive.

A Noble Place - Australian historical novel.


Blurb from my Australian historical, A Noble Place.

Australia 1850. Phillippa Noble, strong minded, spirited and adventurous, urges and encourages her parents and her twin to emigrate to the distant land of Australia to begin again. In a new country they can put their tainted past behind them, and Pippa can forget the unrequited love she felt for a distant cousin. Pippa blossoms in the new country and is determined that their horse stud will be the finest in the land. However, circumstances ensure that not all is golden. For every success, she has to bear up under the challenges of bushfire, death, the return of an old love and danger on the goldfields. Her strength is tested as she tries to find the right path to happiness, but it is the near loss of her dearest friend that makes her realise true contentment rests within her grasp and she must not let it go.

Excerpt:
As they cleared the last of the trees at the bottom of the incline, Honey shied at a sudden movement leaping out from behind a tree. Pippa gripped the reins and swirled around, her heart in her throat. Her first thought was Aborigines, but instead Chalker stood there, grinning.
‘Good morning, Miss Noble.’ He tipped his hat ever so slightly, his smile cocksure.
Surprise and anger made her voice sharp. ‘What are you doing here? Why aren’t you at work?’
Chalker folded his arms, his manner relaxed. ‘I am working, collecting firewood.’
Honey side-stepped again before settling. Pippa looked beyond Chalker and saw a small, empty handcart. ‘Then I suggest you get about your chores, and in future do not jump out at a horse and rider. You nearly unseated me.’
‘You are far too good a rider for that, miss.’ His gaze roamed over her. He patted Honey’s flank near Pippa’s skirt, his hand inching towards her leg.
Stiffening in the saddle, Pippa glared at his insolence. ‘You are on your last warning, Chalker. Robson says you tend to shirk your duties and I have noted how many times you’ve caused trouble with the men.’
His grin widened and the tip of his fingers pressed through her skirts to touch her calf. ‘It warms me to know that you watch me.’
Pippa shivered with something close to repulsion, but not quite. She didn’t understand the hold he had over her. ‘Don’t flatter yourself.’ She jerked her leg away. ‘Move back, please.’
Chalker’s eyes narrowed as he looked up at her from under his hat brim. ‘I was thinking you might be lonely out here. It’s perfectly natural for a woman to want a man’s comfort sometimes and, should you have such needs, I’d be more than willing to ease your feminine urges. Of course it would be our secret.’
Speechless, she stared at him, her mouth opening and closing. The audacity of the man’s proposal whirled about in her mind. He’d actually spoken of it, of the silent uncomfortable attraction she would never have put into words. Spluttering and gripping the reins, she whirled Honey about in a tight circle. ‘You impertinent scum! You think I’d want you touching me?’ Relief poured from her. She laughed now, seeing the absurdity of his words. She’d never have let the likes of him come anywhere near her.
He stepped back, his expression one of distaste. ‘Don’t deny you want me. I’ve seen the way you look at me, all hungry and needy.’
Pippa blanched. Had she done that? True, she’d felt her body respond to him, but had she really looked at him with hunger? Humiliation burned her cheeks. Was she repeating her past over again by consorting with the wrong man? First Grant and now Chalker. She quivered in horror. At least Grant was a gentleman, but Chalker was a workman, her labourer. Her breakfast rose to her throat threatening to choke her.
Chalker smirked. ‘Women like you are always up for some bed sport. The fire in you needs to be quenched and I’m willing to do it for you. No one will know, I promise you.’
Outraged, Pippa leaned down from the saddle to sneer in his face. ‘You’ve no idea what women like me need! Now pack you bags and get off my property. Consider yourself fired.’ She jerked Honey into motion and thundered away.
At the stables, Pippa dismounted and, leading Honey by the reins, marched inside to Robson, who stood checking the feed barrels for vermin. In the corner, Colin forked cut grass into a stall. ‘Robson, I’ve just fired Chalker. He’s to leave the property within the hour. Can you see to it?’
‘Absolutely, miss.’ Robson stepped to take hold of Honey’s bridle. ‘It’s not before time too, miss. He’s been trouble from the first day, although he did well to hide it. I’ll personally escort him to the boundary.’
‘Pippa! Come look!’ Davy ran into the stables. ‘There’s a carriage coming with two shiny black horses with white feathers on their heads.’ He grabbed her hand and pulled her outside. ‘A carriage!’
Intrigued, Pippa frowned at Robson as he came to stand at her side. They both stared along the valley track. Indeed a large, shiny black carriage pulled by magnificent horses rumbled beside the creek towards them.
‘Who could it be?’ Pippa glanced at Robson for his input.
‘Nay, miss, I know of no one with such a carriage in this district.’
Davy jumped up and down clapping his hands. ‘It’s a prince!’
Pippa gently pushed him towards the hut. ‘Go and get your mother.’
She and Robson walked away from the service buildings and waited under the big gum tree near the footbridge. On the other side, Davy and Millie watched the carriage approach.
The driver halted the fine pair and drew the carriage to stop. The door was flung open and Gerald popped his head out. ‘Pippa!’
Pippa’s eyes widened in disbelief. ‘Father?’
Gerald exited the carriage and then handed Hilary down, and then the maid, Cissie. ‘We’re here at last!’ He shouted, reaching back into the carriage.
Hilary ran up to Pippa and hugged her. ‘It’s good to see you! Have we surprised you? How are you? Mama fainted! As soon as we started the descent into the valley, she screamed that we would all fall to our deaths and then fainted.’
Blinking rapidly to make sure of her vision, Pippa let Hilary’s words wash over her. Her family was here! She couldn’t believe it. They had sent her no word of their impending arrival. She wasn’t ready. The house wasn’t ready. She glanced at the bulk of luggage roped to the top
of the carriage and cringed at the amount. Where ever would they put it all?
‘Come, come, Esther. Pippa wishes to greet you,’ Gerald cajoled his wife out of the carriage. ‘You’re safe now, so stop your hysterics.’
Pippa stepped forward and kissed her mother’s pale cheek. ‘Welcome, Mother.’
Esther, fanning herself with a white handkerchief, sniffled. ‘What a journey, Phillippa, what a journey.’ Slowly, she raised her head and gazed about. Her eyes widened, her mouth dropped open.
The heavy weight of guilt sunk Pippa’s happiness at her family’s arrival. Her mother’s rigidness confirmed her fears. She hated the valley. ‘Mother—’
‘You . . .’ Esther turned to scan the whole valley and all it contained, her eyes filling with tears. ‘Gerald . . .’ She blinked, her chest heaved as though she struggled to breathe. ‘You brought me here?’
‘Mother—’
‘Esther—’
‘How could you?’ Esther’s voice lowered in anger. ‘I’ll not spend one night in this god-forsaken backwater!’ She spun on her heel, reentered the carriage and slammed the door.


Friday, February 6, 2009

A second book

Had a letter from HALE today with an offer to publish my second western, Arkansas Smith.

Needless to say, the book will be out early 2010

A Newmarket Regency

.
Like many others, I fell in love with Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer at the age of twelve. I love the manners of the Regency era, the clothes, the humour, the heroes.

I'm also fascinated by the little people of history - grooms and actresses and solicitors and the chap that sweeps the road.

And places. I like to know what the houses looked like. I like to stand in a street and mentally wipe out the new houses so I can see in my mind's eye how the road would have looked in 1816.

I set Fair Deception in Newmarket because that's where I live now and many of the historic houses still survive. It was the elite horse-racing course in Regency times, but this book takes place between meetings. It concerns Susanna, an actress who has to escape from London for a while, and Kit, who needs a fiancee for the duration of a visit to his aunt.

So step into the pages and find out about the little people and the real Newmarket of history.
.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hale's Website

There have been a few comments about Hale's website and the dismal picture it presents to the potential customer, and the fact that out of print titles are not there. I checked today after an e-mail from one of Hale's field reps. telling me that my next book, THE THIRD SECRET was not on the website. It wasn't, even though it's in the 2009 catalogue. While there I noticed that THE DEVIL'S TRINITY, which sold out last year was not on the site either. It suggests to me that Hale do not want to encourage potential orders; after all, it's still available (if that's the right word) on other on-line book stores like Amazon. Hopefully someone at Hale will read this blog and give us some answers. I thought publishers wanted to sell books, not hide them!
Mick

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Another small success

I recieved an e-mail from John Hale yesterday with the good news that he had secured an agreement from Linford to publish SHADOW OF THE WOLF in large print. What makes this particularly pleasing is that the book was published in 1984, went into paperback and then disappeared without trace. I asked John in December if he would consider a reprint. He said no, but he would ask the large print publishers, and Bingo! I have an agreement.

Mick

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Breaking the Clouds


When I visited New Zealand I was knocked out by the beauty of the country. The people too were friendly and kind. It was like stepping back in time when politeness and good fellowship were the norm. I knew I had to write about this country and the result was Breaking the Clouds. Recognising it was not strictly a romance I thought I would try and return to Robert Hale. Low and behold they liked the novel. I have much to thank New Zealand for - and Loren Teague too, who encouraged me to start writing again. So THANK YOU!

"The move to New Zealand has suited Bronwen for she has a good job, and a beautiful home. The only downside is her laywer husband, Jack, who is drinking too much and is obviously unhappy with the move.

What Bronwen doesn't need it a visit from her enigmatic cousin Marged, a woman with whom she has little in common. However, it is with Marged's visit that Bronwen's life starts to spin out of control. She learns Jack was fired months ago from his firm, that he has abandoned his apartment in the city, and that most of her money is missing from her bank account.

The only person who might know something is Job Tei but Bronwen is not sure she can trust him..."

Monday, February 2, 2009

Persuading or convincing the publisher?

Thanks for all your comments. John Hale's refusal was tempered a little, I must admit. He said that if about 70 orders came in he might re-consider. I did send him an e-mail about the award and a cc to Helen Ogden. We've just got to keep working on them, haven't we? Nik, thanks for putting the review back on.
Mick

Sunday, February 1, 2009

An Award!

Yesterday I learned that I had won an award for my last novel, THE DEVIL'S TRINITY. It has been chosen as Authors' Choice for January on www.AmazonClicks.com. It certainly brought a smile to my face. Perhaps I should have said it brought a wry smile to my face because this is the book that sold out last year and John Hale has refused to print any more. C'est la vie!

Mick