In the Saturday Slush Pile: So You Think You Can Be a Spy

May 31, 2014

In today’s Saturday Slush Pile:

  • So you think you can be a spy? Find out how to have a character named after you in To Save a Viscount.
  • In the News: Amazon decides what books you can and cannot have and why this matters.
  • Blog to Follow: USA Today’s Happy Ever After
  • The Week in Social Media: 5 things you didn’t know about A Countess Most Daring, a new book, and a broken TV

Blog Title Card_edited-1So You Think You Can Be a Spy

Do you have what it takes to banter with Alec?  Match wits with Nora?  Face off with Sarah?  Share a brandy with Jane?  Then let’s see what you’ve got!

Like most writers, I work better under deadline, and as my deadline approaches rather swiftly for To Save a Viscount, I invite you to join me on a writing marathon June 18 through June 22 for your chance to have a character named after you in the last installment of the Spy Series.  Here’s how.

As I madly write the story of Lady Margaret Folton and Commodore John Lynwood, I will periodically update all my social media sites on my word count.  When you see such a post on any of the social media sites, click “like” or “favorite,” and you’ll be entered to have a character named after you.  It’s as simple as that.  Want more chances to win?  Be sure to find my posts everyday throughout the day and click like.  The more times you click it, the more times your name will be entered.  Find all of my social media pages by clicking on the social stickers to the right of this blog post.  And don’t miss a post for your chance to win.

A winner will be chosen at random at the end of the marathon on June 23.  Good luck, young recruits.  Katharine Cavanaugh is counting on you.

In the News: Amazon decides what books you can and cannot have and why that matters

This is a disagreement that has me torn as an indie author, because while I understand that what Amazon is doing is wrong on some levels, I also don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me.  In case you missed it, Amazon is currently fighting with major French publisher, Hatchette, presumably over e-book pricing, but the result of this squabble is that Amazon is raising the prices of Hatchette books to a ridiculous degree, delaying shipping, or just removing the books entirely from sale.  Here are my reactions to this dispute.

1.) I don’t care.  I’m a business person at heart.  Yes, I write stories, and I want as many people as possible to read my stories because that’s why I write them in the first place.  I want to share the joy of a well-told adventure with as many people as possible.  But when it comes to a business decision, I get it.  I don’t have to like it.  But I get it.  I don’t agree with everything Smashwords does, but they are a vehicle for getting my stories to more people.  And the real point here?  You don’t have to do business with Amazon if you don’t want to.  I don’t have to sell my books through Smashwords if I don’t want to.  While Amazon’s tactics may border on bullying, it’s a part of capitalism.  And no one ever said that was perfect.

2.) I care a lot.  This may seem contradictory, but I never said my reactions would not be contradictory.  As a writer, I think Amazon is just being an ass.  Yeah, that’s actually how I feel.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say (from personal experience), no writer is in this business for the money.  Trust us.  Whatever glorious imaginings you have about writers writing the break-out novel and living off of the proceeds for the rest of their lives is completely false.  Writers write because we must.  Everyday I say to myself, why the hell did I have to turn out to be a writer?  I can’t just decide tomorrow that I’m not going to do this any longer.  Do you know what it’s like to be driving to the grocery store and suddenly imagine that you’re on a ship in the Indian Ocean about to be attacked by pirates and wondering what color the heroine’s hair would be?  It’s rather annoying.  So if there was an off switch, I would flick it.  But I can’t.  And any writer I know also can’t.  So Amazon, from all of us writers out here who are just trying to get our stories to the readers who love them, stop being an ass.

3.) I don’t have any thoughts on the matter.  Again, never said I wasn’t going to be contradictory.  I want to bring up a wonderful speech by James Patterson that he recently gave at the Book Expo America.  While I love the speech and I’m glad Mr. Patterson gave it, I have to disagree with him.  As an indie author, Amazon made it possible for me to finally share my books with the world.  The entire world.  Not just in my little hamlet here in New Hampshire but the whole word.  The first time I had a fan write to me from England I almost fell off my chair.  Someone in England is reading my books????  Wow!  And Amazon made this possible.  In his speech, Mr. Patterson argues for saving the independent bookstore, and I really, really, really want to agree with him.  But I have something very terrible to share with you, Mr. Patterson.  I’ve reached out to every independent bookstore in my area asking to do a signing in which I would bring my own books for the store to sell, and you know what they told me?  Sorry, we don’t sell your type of book.  Doesn’t that make the independent bookstore, the accolades of which Mr. Patterson is singing, just as bad as Amazon?  I would argue it does.  So sorry, local, independent bookstore.  Until you sell my “type of book,” I’ll keep my Kindle stocked from Amazon.

Blog to Follow: USA Today’s Happy Ever After

heaIt’s a one-stop shop here at USA Today’s Happy Ever After.  From cover reveals to new releases to emerging trends in romance, you’ll find everything you ever wanted to know about in one place.  So stop by and find your next favorite book.

The Week in Social Media: 5 things you didn’t know about A Countess Most Daring, a new book, and a broken TV

We’re all busy, and we can’t be on every social media site everyday (but you should be June 18-June 22 to be a character in the next Spy Series story!).  So here are some tidbits from the week.  Click the image to follow the link in the post.

5 things you didn’t know about A Countess Most Daring


A new book…the tweet alone is enough to get you to click, right?

twitterAnd of course…


Happy reading!

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