Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday Book Spotlight - Hurri Cosmo`s The Astral Mage &Free eBook Giveaway!

Please welcome the delightful Hurri Cosmo back to our little corner of the interweb! She`s here to share some info about her book, The Astral Mage. Hurri is giving away one free copy of The Astral Mage to one random commentor, so make sure to say "Hi Hurri!" and leave your contact information in the comment section below.


Kyrus is a wanted man. He's an Astral Mage, better known as a "Soul Giver", a race of people who can reattach life force energy back to its source. In other words, he brings the dead back to life. For years the Confederated Authority, the governing body for planets, has been methodically hunting them down and Kyrus is as pure as they've seen. So it becomes a huge risk when Tilbarr, the captain of the Wolf, brings Kyrus on board his ship.  Not that Tilbarr is afraid of the ConFed. Far from it. But the threat to Kyrus doesn’t come from outside the Wolf and it isn’t long before Tilbarr realizes he just may have to give up everything in order to save Kyrus, his ship, his crew and even his life. All in all, not a bad trade off.

Excerpt one:

They weren’t moving any longer. Even though Kyrus was in the bowels of the space freighter, he could definitely tell they had come to a stop. It probably wasn’t a good thing. He had felt a shudder under his feet a little while ago, like something had possibly hit the hull. 
Kyrus tried again to look out the tiny laser-barred opening in the high-density aquacite door to his cell but just like the hundreds of times before, he could see little of the hallway, much less anything else. All he could hear was the constant groan of the engines. This close to them, he could feel their vibration too. The pulsation made him feel off balance and just a little nauseous.
 He flopped back down onto the small cot provided him. It was little comfort, but why make merchandise comfortable? A commodity was all he was— an item of value, at least to some, to sell. But, he had to admit, this cramped, stagnant cube was better than the dark, musty, wet cell he had come from. He surely would have caught some incurable disease had he been made to stay there much longer. Luckily, unlike the Fera Nobi slaves he had been housed with, who basically went on the block for auction the second they came to port, the transaction that sold him to the captain of this freighter, called Araeli, was done in private. Kyrus had been cuffed, visor-blinded, gagged, then dragged up and out to the cold space docks and then down to the bowels of this ship. There he was unceremoniously dumped into this cell.
They had uncuffed him so Captain Falland himself could “inspect” him—that having been extremely uncomfortable. He had been stripped to his boxers and made to stand spread-eagle while the captain walked slowly around him, touching and caressing him in ways Kyrus didn’t think appropriate for anything, much less live cargo—and certainly not something you did in front of crew members. But, according to Falland, he was searching for concealed weapons. Kyrus paled, remembering the painful squeeze to his buttocks, both cheeks—then the finger that dropped into the back of his boxers and slid along his crack, finding and going dry into his opening, pushing hard. He didn’t think it had anything to do with “finding a weapon”. But he had been in no position to argue. He had simply screwed his eyes shut, concentrated hard on showing absolutely no fear, and failed miserably.
Thankfully, since then, the captain had made no visits to his cell. But Kyrus had no idea how long this trip was going to be. It was something none of his captors evidently thought he needed to know.
Still, no matter where they were headed, four days out from the Great Simbos spaceport on New Titania did not get you to the next spaceport. Not even close. In fact, it only put you into deeper space, far away from any civilization. The only reason a ship stopped mid-space like this was engine trouble, and Kyrus was pretty sure he would have been able to hear it if something had gone wrong with the engines, so that wasn’t the case. Or they were waiting for someone, which could be a possibility since he had no idea who Falland was selling him to. If it had been the Confederated Authority, or the ConFed as they were so lovingly referred to, they would be docking at an official CFA Space Dock, of which there were plenty, but not out here in the middle of nowhere. So that left only a small number of “others” who could possibly have an interest.
The only problem was in order for a transfer to happen out here the buyer’s ship needed to be fairly large because it would have to have its own docking capabilities—or, at the very least, house a runner in order to take in an escape pod. He had no idea how big the Araeli was, most likely a common enough freighter, so escape pods would be the only other way off the ship. However, jetting even one of them off a common freighter when there was no emergency did bad things to the stabilizers. Even he knew that. Escape pods were only used as a last resort.
Not to mention selling an Astral Mage, or a “Soul Giver,” to anyone other than the ConFed was considered illegal, so having that kind a transfer take place out in the vast wide open would not be a good plan. Even out in deep space the ConFed still had eyes and ears. So he doubted that was what was happening either.
The only other possibility was a bad one—a really bad one.
Suddenly a door opened. Kyrus bolted back up and to the door of his cell right as the captain came into view. And he was in a hurry.
“Get back away from the door,” the captain yelled.
“Why? What’s going on?” Kyrus peered out the tiny opening.
“I’m not kidding, Kyrus. Get back. I have a wing taser and I’ll shoot you if I have to. Now get back.”
Fuck. A wing taser? It was because of a wing taser that he had been captured this last time. The damn thing did something to the nerves in his body, shutting them down or numbing them somehow. All he knew was there was enough pain to make him pass out and independent movement was impossible for at least a couple of days. He stepped quickly away from the door as he heard the beeps and hum of the locking mechanism shutting down. When the door opened, Falland ran in, grabbed Kyrus by the shoulders, spun him around, and slammed him into the hard wall. The force was enough to take his breath away for a second, long enough for Falland to pin his arms back and bind them in laser cuffs. He spun him again and jammed a visor over his eyes, clicking it on, effectively blinding him.

Excerpt two: (mature language)

Tilbarr walked over to his couch and looked at it for a moment. Residue from Kyrus’s and his activity was not as evident as he had thought it would be. Still needs cleaning though, he thought. He chuckled. He felt absolutely wonderful and his heart fluttered when he thought of the young man. Tilbarr typically wasted no time in going after something he wanted, but it was usually some contraband or even some other entity the ConFed secretly hired them to run down. He had rarely included a lover in the mix. Maybe it was age trying to catch up to him but he truly had never felt like this before and he intended to explore it to its fullest.
Kyrus was too skinny, but being on the run did that to a man. Tilbarr would need to fatten him up, treat him to good things to eat. He probably didn’t have much on a regular basis. It was going to be a lot of fun finding out what he liked best in food and drink. He already knew what he liked best for recreation. Mmmmm. His skin had been so soft, tasted so good. Next time, he was going to make Kyrus come in his mouth. He had only had a teasing sample of that salty muskiness and he wanted more. Tilbarr would employ his best techniques and he would see how long Kyrus would hold out when he…
“Tilbarr! Where the fuck are you?” Slydane had come up behind him.
He hadn’t even heard him. He shook his head slowly. “Sorry, Sly, just…thinking.” He smiled. “Yeah, right. Just thinking, my ass.”
“No, not thinking about your ass…”
“Damn it, Til.” Slydane turned and walked back to his chair. He flopped down, running his hand over his short hair on the top of his head. He looked back over to Tilbarr, who decided to sit on the couch, his arms spread out across the back. “Since you brought it up, mind telling me why                          you took a prisoner off the Araeli? And just what did you do to their stabilizer? I heard the damage was permanent, but that the thing was running by time we all got off the damn ship. The rumor with our own people was that the kid, the prisoner, did something to it. Put his hands on it and healed it like some ancient preacher or something.”

Tilbarr knew the question had to come. If he hadn’t become all wrapped up with the young man, he would have had this meeting with his second in command already. He took a deep breath. He would only tell him the truth. He had to be able to trust him, even though the truth was going to be something Slydane was not going to want to hear.
“First, his name is Kyrus. He…was a prisoner because…” He looked right at Slydane, deep into his eyes. Slydane needed to know how serious he was with needing complete secrecy. “Look, Sly, I planned on telling you, I just haven’t had time. But this also needs to stay between you and me, understand?”
“Til, you’re scaring me. What have you brought on this ship other than a deadly cargo of chemicals?”
“An Astral Mage.”
Slydane’s eyes widened for a second then he looked away. He leaned back in his chair and whistled. “Shit, Til! Really?” He glanced at Tilbarr then rose from his chair to pace the short distance from the chair to the door and back to the chair again. “An Astral Mage? Fuck, Til, I thought they were all but extinct, all rounded up by the ConFed. Wow. So…they can…do that…that Mage stuff with equipment? I didn’t think they could.”
Tilbarr shrugged. “I didn’t either, but evidently they can. He did say something about ‘energy is energy.’ Not exactly sure what that meant. But the reason I took him is Falland had him lined up to sell to some cutthroat for a hell of a lot of sheplas, which he obviously needed. That ship of his was running off the energy of that one remaining stabilizer. It’s why it needed to be fixed. As much as I wouldn’t have cared if that asshole died in the process, I couldn’t let his entire crew die with him. It makes me think the turborus was not really headed for Yaach or the Pordain sector either. He probably was selling that off world as well. He’s a horned fish bug. Unworthy of a ship and crew.”
“I won’t argue the point, although you are insulting horned fish bugs.”  
“Yeah?” He chuckled. “I’ll apologize the next time I see one.”
“Soooo, Til…tell me about what was going on in here…a while ago.”
Tilbarr laughed. “I don’t fuck and tell.”
“Actually… you do. In fact, you took great pride in making sure that first time between us was all but on ship’s comp. Talk about horned fish bugs.”
Tilbarr laughed again. “Yeah, well, we were both pretty drunk, not sure if it was much of a secret, anyway.” He sobered. “You had come off of a nasty breakup too, if I remember correctly.”
Slydane sighed. “Til…I…”
“You know I was serious with you. You weren’t just a…you know.”
Tilbarr rose up from the couch and came over to the chair Slydane sat in. He crouched down in front of him, taking his friend’s face in his hands. “I know that—but rebounds never last. We both know we needed that time together, but that’s all it was too—a time—a few wonderful weeks together.” He pulled Slydane down and kissed his forehead then released him and straightened up. “We didn’t need to muck it up with emotion and shit so…”
“So you outed me to the entire crew.”
“Outed you? What the hell are you talking about? You honestly think the crew cares who you fuck? Do you care who they fuck?”
“No, you moron. I mean, letting them know I fucked you.”
“Oh! Well, yeah. Maybe that wasn’t necessary but you didn’t fuck me, pal, just to get the record straight.”

Book Video Link

Author Bio:

I live in Minnesota where I am holding tight to the idea that here, where it's cold a good part of the year, I won't age as fast. Yep, I avoid the truth as much as I avoid mirrors. But one of the reasons I love writing is reality doesn't always offer up a 'happily ever after' and being able to take control of that is a powerful lure. Being a happy ending junkie, writing just makes them easier to find. Oh, I don't mind 'real life' and I do try to at least keep it in mind when I write my stories but I truly love creating a wonderful couple, knowing they are going to fall in love and have their HEA. Every time. And, of course, that is exactly the reason I love reading this genre too. Give me a glass of red wine, some dark chocolate, and my computer, whether I am reading or writing, and I can entertain myself for hours. The fact I actually get paid to do it is Snickers bars on the frosting on the cake.

Buy Links:

Secret Cravings Publishing -
Barnes and Noble:
All Romance:

Social Media Links:


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday Ramblings - The Secret Is Out . . .

I knew it would happen eventually. As much as I may rail against it, the similarities were just too big to ignore. Some clever person finally put two and two together.

If only I could sparkle when I step out into the sun instead of squinting and sweating . . .

Friday, May 1, 2015

May Is Mythology Month!

And I for one could not be happier. For those of you who have followed this blog, and my writing, for some time you know my love for Greek gods & goddesses.

Greek mythology has always been a deep love of mine. When other kids were falling asleep during our lectures on the Greek pantheon, I was the lone student enraptured with tales of Zeus, Hades, Hera, and all the other wonderful gods upon Olympus.

I am thrilled to release two brand new Greek flavored works this month!

Today Of Titans & Tractors releases! Finally, the last book in my Gods & Goats trilogy is available for purchase only at Smashwords:

Back Cover Blurb:

Just in case anyone is wondering, there are no major bus routes in ancient Greece.

What you will find are denizens of the underworld running amok. And of course you`ll find me, Libby Simons, with my faithful companion, George the Minotaur. What are we doing in ancient Greece instead of on my little slice of rural bliss in the mountains of Pennsylvania?

Well, it all started with Ares, the god of my dreams, falling from Olympus with Hades` Helm of Darkness. One thing led to another, Ares and I fell in love, Hades overthrew the Greek pantheon after reassembling Kronos` Epoch Armor, and I ended up stuck back in the old days when the height of fashion was a new chiton and some snappy leather sandals.

Now that Hades has taken over, the world is slipping into a dark place. It`s up to a certain ginger goatherder (that would be me), her right-hand bull, George, a flight-challenged owl named Einstein, and the goddess of the harvest to gather up an army to free the Greek gods from the bowels of Tartarus. It`ll take the combined forces of gods, demigods, heroes, Titans, and a spunky soap-making woman to save the world.


And for more Greek goodness, you can find my new short story, Back to the Garden, in the Mythologically Torqued anthology from Torquere Press. Release day is 5/13/15 but you can preorder your copy of this huge collection of mythological tales now:

Back to the Garden Blurb- It`s true: Pan, the Greek god of shepherds and mountain wilds, has a reputation. But even a well-known, randy goat-of-a-guy begins to pine for something more over time. So Pan travels to earth for the first time in centuries with Apollo to partake in the Woodstock Music Festival.

Amid hippies, food shortages, psychedelic experiences and mud, the god of nature seeks a human to love. Can Pan find that one, special someone among the thousands that are celebrating on Max Yasgur`s farm, or will he return to Olympus with naught but his pipes and muddy hooves?

Anthology Blurb- Torquere's largest anthology to date features a total of 15 authors please to bring you 15 unique tales from when gods and goddesses ruled the world. This collection features both m/m and f/f content for your reading pleasure. Dare you enter this realm of Mythologically Torqued fantasy? Be on the lookout for Volume 2 summer 2015. 

Mythology, whether classic or modern, has always taken readers on a magical ride. Mythologically Torqued, volume I, takes those tales from days of old, or more recent history, and places a unique spin on the beloved lore. 

The gods of Olympus make appearances, as do deities from Japanese, Norse, and other belief systems. With rampant sexual desires, these gods manage to slake their thirst for passions of the flesh in a rather untraditional manner…if the oral traditions passed down from generation-to-generation were at all accurate. 

These fifteen short stories are penned by both seasoned scribes and new authors; the anthology provides readers with the perfect opportunity to explore offerings from their favorite storytellers as well as find a new favorite or two. And, a unique perspective on the stories we enjoyed—or were forced down our throats at the hands of a sadistic English teacher or two—in our youth. 
Containing both M/M and F/F stories from authors Alisha Monroe, Alyx Shaw, Angelique Voisen, Carol Tierney, Delilah Storm, Eva Lefoy, Jacey Mills, L.J. Hamlin, Leah Ellwood, Logan Zachary, Max Wilde, Salome Wilde, Shiloh Saddler, T. Strange, and V.L. Locey, Mythologically Torqued volume I is sure to have something for every penchant. 

Look for Mythologically Torqued volume II coming August 2015. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday Tune

I used to love the jelly beans out of this song. Talk about bouncy!  Who else remembers The Midnight Special shows??

Monday, April 27, 2015

Tuesday Tales - Key

Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales.

 Today we have the next chapter for Wind in White Birch and our word prompt is "Key". Last week Dana and Jonah`s night on the town had just began. 

Don`t forget to visit the other talented Tuesday Tales authors. Thanks for stopping by!

Wind in White Birch

I did just as he said. I looked at him then gathered my napkin from my lap and laid it on the table. He smiled. My breasts tightened. Jonah led me to a small area beside the bar, the only place wide enough for two people to hold each other in the entire eatery. He stepped close, took my left hand in his right, slid his left hand around my waist to my back, and looked at the violinist. The older man gave us a knowing smile then launched into the singularly most beautiful song on a violin I had ever heard. Or perhaps it was the man holding me just a bit too close as he led me in tight circles that made the song so much lovelier?

            “You`re very light on your feet,” I whispered, not wishing the patrons at the surrounding tables and bar to overhear our conversation.

            “And you`re very light on my feet as well,” he teased as I stumbled over the tip of his shoe.

            “I`m sorry, I`m so clumsy and self-conscious,” I muttered, looking down at our feet. Jonah put pressure on my back until I was flush to his chest. I had nowhere else to look but at him.

            “Are you self-conscious about being the most beautiful woman in this city?” he asked, his breath spiced with oregano and basil just as mine was. I snorted then kissed him before I said something stupid.

            We danced. The patrons clapped. Jonah paid the bill and swept me into my coat and out the door. He had me locked against him, his mouth roaming over mine, before we could exit the eatery properly. His kisses were mind-altering. He teased and tempted, ravaged and stroked, demanded and acquiesced. I couldn`t think straight or breath normally. My fingers were wound tightly in his hair as cold city wind blew up under my dress. That was probably the saving grace. I needed an icy Pittsburgh wind blowing on my overheated thighs. The feel of Jonah`s erection grinding against my abdomen while his teeth nibbled on my jugular had me deliberating how best to get busy on a sidewalk while avoiding police problems.

            It was Jonah who finally drew back. His eyes were smoldering onyx coals, his breaths rapid and heated as they blew gently over my face. I went to tiptoe to plaster my lips over his once more. His hands slid from my back to my ass. A car pulled up. The valet parking attendant exited Jonah`s truck, coughed discreetly into his gloved hand and waited while we tried to look like we hadn`t been ready to do it on the doorstep. Jonah tipped him handsomely then lifted me up into his beast of a truck. I wiggled my fingers at the valet then buried my face into my palms.

            “Dana?” I heard my date ask. I peeked through my splayed fingers. The man was smiling like a cat in a canary ranch as he turned the key in the ignition. “You`re a terrible influence on me.”

            My hands fell to my lap. “I`m a terrible influence on you? “ I squeaked. He nodded, winked, and then pulled out of the parking lot, taking the first exit to head to Clairton.

            “You older women are nothing but hands,” he said, flipping on his turn signal.

            “You`re lucky we had to pick up Rhett, or I would have thrown you down on the sidewalk and shown you just what a cougar is really capable of.”

            The look the man gave me was absolutely priceless. “Damn, Dana, someday that tongue of yours is going to get you into serious trouble.”

            Aha, so the game was on, was it? Wonderful! I was feeling all sorts of revved up and randy so why not? “Oh? And just what kind of trouble do you think my tongue can lead me into?”

            The light we had been sitting at changed to green but the truck didn`t move. I stopped smiling at my reflection in my window and peeked over at Jonah. He was eying me like a lion eyes a gazelle. I had to wriggle around again.

            “You really want to know what I think that tongue of yours could do to be in trouble?” he asked, his voice low and gruff with need.

            I shook my head.  I didn`t need to hear him talk dirty to me. My brain was already swimming in a lake of pure estrogen. The car behind us grew impatient. I jumped when the horn blasted. Jonah slowly pulled his eyes from my crossed legs and we started moving again.

            Several moments passed. I wet my lips. I watched Clairton coming into view. The trucks radio was low and the heater high. “Are you mad?” I asked while I fidgeted with the hem of my dress.

            “Mad? No, why would I be mad?” Jonah asked, pulling off where I pointed on State Street. “I just needed a few minutes to clear the image of you lying under me, sweaty and nude, from my mind.”

            Oh. My. Goodness. I flung the door open to allow the lovely smelling cold wind of Clairton to blow up under my skirt yet again. If I kept this up, I would have frostbitten girly parts.


            Rhett, the wheedle king, managed to get three stories from me before his eyelids were ready to close. He had been all over Jonah from the moment he had seen the man in Clairton. My grandmother had been cool when we gathered up my son. Jonah had smiled and complimented her extensive collection of Precious Memories figurines. The man certainly knew how to soften a woman`s heart.

            I moved from Rhett`s room down the hall to the linen closet. I tugged out several blankets, a pillow and one of my better pillowcases. Sniffing the fresh linens as I pattered back to the living room I was in no way prepared for what I saw when I stepped from the hallway. The only thing Jonah Big Deer had on was that necklace made out of cougar claws and his trousers.

            Where was an arctic blast when you needed one?

Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey


Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the talented authors of Tuesday Tales.

See you next week!

Monday Author/Book Spotlight: Susanne Matthews

Please welcome the lovely and talented Susanne Matthews to our little corner of the interweb. She`s visiting today to tell us about her book, The White Carnation. 

The last person disgraced reporter Faye Lewis wants back in her life is Detective Rob Halliday, the man she blames for ruining her career and breaking her heart. But when she finds an old friend murdered, he’s the one she calls.

 For the past year, Rob and his team have been hunting the Harvester, a serial killer who ritualistically murders new mothers and vanishes with their infants. What Rob doesn’t need is another case, especially one involving his ex-fiancĂ©e.

 Then Faye is assaulted, and Rob realizes the cases are connected. She may hold the answers he needs to find the elusive killer. But the more they investigate, the more complex the situation becomes. Can they set the past aside and work together, or will the Harvester and his followers reap another prize?
The White Carnation is available for purchase from several retailers. Find links at 

Excerpt from  The White Carnation

“Am I okay?” she shouted. “You can stand there and ask me that with my friend’s mother dead in the other room?” She punctuated her words with a shove. “No, I am not okay. I am most definitely not okay.” Fresh tears ran down her cheeks, and Rob instinctively reached for her to offer what comfort he could. She held herself stiffly for a few seconds before relaxing into his shoulder.
“I didn’t mean it that way,” he said, feeling like a fool. Holding her like this felt awkward and yet familiar. “I’m sorry for your loss.” His hand rubbed small circles on her back as he’d done many times before. “Home invasions don’t always make sense. There’s no sign of forced entry, so she must have let him in.”
Faye pushed away, her anger palpable.
“Seriously? Home invasion, my ass. Look around, Sherlock. Home invasions usually involve some kind of theft. Do you see anything worth stealing? The television is twenty years old, and it’s still here. The silverware is scattered all over, and she’s still wearing her rings. There’s money on the table. She had nothing worth taking. Nothing they wanted. Nothing worth dying for.”
Faye’s crying increased, fueled by her frustrated rage, making it almost impossible for him to understand her words. He tried to pull her back into his arms, but she refused to let him hold her. Admitting defeat, he put his arm across her shoulders and led her out of the room.
“Come on. Let’s get you out of here. There’s nothing more you can do. Amos and Logan need to get the body ready for transfer, and the lab guys are on their way up.”
He hurried her out of the apartment and down the stairs, remembering her phobia of that particular elevator. They walked out to the street where the crowds were beginning to form. It was early evening in Beacon Hill on a Friday night. Many of her residents wouldn’t make it home for hours yet.
“Tom, get a ride back with the black and white,” he yelled at his partner, who was questioning the concierge. That guy would probably be looking for a new job come Monday. The rest of the condo owners wouldn’t be impressed with a home invasion and a death on his watch. Rob opened the sedan’s passenger door and helped her in. Faye automatically buckled her seat belt, as the tears spilled down her cheeks.
Rob walked around the vehicle and got in behind the wheel.
“Where are you taking me?” From her tone, he could tell she didn’t really care. She knew he’d have questions, and she was probably grateful he’d chosen to ask them elsewhere. But she’d never admit it. Her color wasn’t good, and she shivered. He turned on the heater even though the temperature outside was in the mid-sixties. Despite what the officer on the door had said, for a crime reporter, she’d never had much of a stomach, and seeing Lucy that way would have been a shock.
“Home. I should probably take you to the ER, but knowing how much you hate hospitals, there isn’t any point in making things worse for you. You can answer my questions in the comfort of your own living room, sitting on that god-awful buttercream leather sofa you love so much. By the way, you haven’t moved, have you?”
He recognized bitterness in her chuckle.
“No, my career may be in flames, my finances worse, but my real estate is sound. The couch is gone.”
He cocked an eyebrow at her words but didn’t comment. Things must be bad if she’d parted with that damn custom-made couch. “Where’d you park the Camaro?”
“It’s gone, too. My Ford’s a half block down.”
“I won’t miss the couch, but that Camaro was your baby. Why get rid of it?”
“It didn’t match my shoes,” she spat out bitterly.
“Don’t chew my head off. You called me, remember?”
Faye nodded, gave him the license plate number, and he radioed it in, making arrangements to have her vehicle towed to the police station for collection tomorrow.

About the author:

Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Follow Susanne on her:  Website    Blog    Facebook page    Twitter @jandsmatt

Amazon author page    and    Goodreads author page 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Ramblings -The Value Of Writers & Words

Forgive me for starting this post this way because I know I sound like an old woman speaking to her grandchildren, but . . .

Back when I was a child, getting a book as a gift was a treasure! If it was hard-covered, then it was even more wondrous for it meant you were growing up. Books used to have great value. They took me to places I could never go in real life. As a child my books took me around the world. I visited the Alps, the African jungles, the Great Pyramids, and journeyed to the bottom of the sea.

I remember having a book-stand in my room as a young girl. It made me proud to see my book collection grow over time. I was taught to respect a book, treat it well, never break the spine, and never ever bend over a page to mark your place. Always use a bookmark and never write on the pages. My elders passed on how important each book was, how hard someone had to work to write it, and how important each word was on each page.

What happened? When did the work of an author come to be a piddling thing, like an old gum wrapper one finds in their pocket? Over the past few years I have seen the public become less and less respectful of a novel and the hard work that goes into it. What really drove the point home for me was a comment by a reader in a Facebook group last week. This reader was lamenting the fact that she had to pay almost five dollars for a book.

"I just love books but I don`t get why all authors just can`t make their books free!"

Yes, why don`t all us authors just do that? Who needs to eat, pay bills or tuition, or clothe their children? While we're at it, let`s ask artists to stop charging for oil paintings. And musicians, they should stop being paid as well for their songs because writing a song is even less difficult than writing a hundred thousand word novel, correct? Maybe we can all just stop paying everyone for his or her hard work. Plumbers, contractors, doctors, dentists, and auto mechanics don`t need wages, right? You, the reader of this post, don`t need to be paid either. Just work for months on end but don`t collect any wages because what you do is that devalued.

Pardon me for sounding bitter, but it hurts more than I can say to have people - readers who claim to love books - saying such things. When did this reader stop valuing that which she says she adores? I have a few notions, and I suspect we authors may be part of the problem. It was we, the writers, who stopped asking a fair price for our work. We authors started handing out books for .99 or free, and now, several years later, we are seeing more and more readers refusing to pay over a dollar for a book despite word count. Did we cheapen our craft and ourselves by giving away something of great value for nothing? Each author must answer that question for themselves.

Let`s get back to the reader who was upset about paying for a book for I have a few things to say in regard to her comment. You have my apologies that we authors have to make a living but this old workhorse refuses to labor for nothing. I do not expect others to work free, so they should not expect it of me. Doing so shows a lack of respect and it shows that you consider the person less than deserving of a fair wage. I deserve a paycheck. I work hard to create my books and I know my work is good.

I know it has value. I know how many hours I spend at my laptop. I know how many hours of editing, revisions, and proof-readings that I do on top of my hours writing. I know how much time I spend on marketing, promotion, and attending events online and in-person. My time is valuable and my books have worth. I have worth and no one is going to tell me or make me feel otherwise. I am not going to allow my books to become gum wrappers. 

All I ask is that those jaded readers do the same. Show respect to authors and their creations and they will repay you with tales of wonder, romance, action, and adventure for years to come. Not a bad trade at all I should think.