Indie Book Haul

Loved this post! I’ve read a couple of those books and couldn’t agree more with the talent of the authors. Thank you for the list, Callum!

Callum McLaughlin

Support Indie Authors Support Indie Authors

I live for the day when indie and traditionally published books sit side by side on bookshelves, with readers choosing stories based purely on their appeal rather than their origins. Until then, it’s no secret that gaining exposure as a self-published author is hard and I, as one myself, am always happy to help support others. In light of this, here is a brief roundup of some of the indie books I have read over the last few months or so as well as links to the author’s blogs or websites where you can find more info and links to buy, etc.

S.R. Carrillo
The Soul – A book about good and evil; angels and demons; light and dark. The writing style is so immersive and the interaction between the lead characters is one of the most interesting dynamics I’ve read in a long time. It’s…

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Need a review?

If you’re an author and are looking for a place to submit your book for an impartial review, check out this site:

Paige is looking for books to review to build up her site. I’m thinking this is a match made in heaven for authors trying to get reviews. This is her review policy page: and she’s actively seeking books to review! 😀

Paige is also on Goodreads if you’re interested in seeing what books she has reviewed, you can find her there or go to her site.

A huge thank you to Paige for letting me share her blog with everyone!


Reviewing fears

I’m not a reviewer. I like to give my two cents about books I read but those are books from stablished authors who probably couldn’t care one iota what I think to begin with and who certainly don’t need my review. I hesitate about giving a friend a public review–I would definitely do it privately.

Why? Well, I’m terrified of messing it up. I’m not a professional reviewer. It takes talent and good writing to write a good review. You can’t just say: good book. Worse, I could misinterpret something or disclose something and wreck the book for someone. Worse still, I could offend the writer and, if they are a friend, that’s just not worth it.

I’m not alone. The Inky Tavern posted this on reviewing for friends. Michelle D. Argyle posted her thoughts here. One more by Damyanti.

I know, I know. I just did a review for Infinitefreetime. The fear of messing that up is still with me.

What do you think? Should reviewing come hand in hand with writing? Is it a conflict of interest?


Writing is the best. I had forgotten.

I’m writing. I should be editing and formatting and promoting my book…but I’m writing the sequel. And it’s amazing. I love writing. Love it. I had forgotten what it’s like to write and get immersed in a story until you see characters in others and you see pieces of scenes around you.

There’s something cathartic about being able to put into words a scene that only appeared in your mind. Capturing a feeling that only existed in my heart is not easy. Sometimes, I fail and the result is simply embarrassing. But, when I succeed, it’s something so beautiful words fail to describe it. I read and re-read my passages, critiquing them and changing words and adding pieces, polishing already until they’re perfect and feel delicious when I read them…and I love it. When it comes together, it feels so good it’s absolutely addictive and I get why some people have to write. Like breathing.

Publishing, formatting, promoting and editing are all parts of the writing process that finally produce a book. I understand it better now because I’ve gone through it. But the joy comes from writing. And it’s a wonderful thing.

A friend of mine asked me once what I liked more, writing or reading and I gave her a dirty look. “Don’t make me choose,” I said. The question itself tears at me. I can’t imagine ever cutting one of those out of my life. But if I had to choose, if I could only do one…

I’d write.



100th Post

Hm…a post about posts. Hee hee.

Well, this is my 100th post and I thought I’d share a few insights about this blog’s stats. For example:

The very top post was For Authors…and for Bloggers. You loved it I think because it had tips that were (hopefully) helpful.

Very close up was Formatting Nightmares. I think you might have liked that one simply because you could relate…or at least, I’d like to think I’m not the only one experiencing problems when formatting.

Molly Greene got the most clicks coming out of this blog…and, in my humble opinion, rightly so.

The USA is the top viewer of my blog, with 676 views, closely followed by Canada with 462.

But what do the numbers, stats and trends mean? It’s an odd experience, having a blog, but one I’d recommend. It keeps me writing and editing, if only on a minute scale. I’ve heard it said that having a blog is an excellent idea for a starting author. I would have to agree. But I would also add that having a blog is an excellent idea period. If I wasn’t trying to be successful at writing, I would so run a blog…maybe on doggies…or on drawing…or on what to not do with chili…or…

For authors…and for bloggers

This is something else I found for authors: It’s four useful blogs to get you started self-publishing. They’re pretty good blogs too. I thought I’d pass it on.

Just click here.

Where did I get the link? I’m no genius. When it comes to the web, I rely on others. I found this link on Molly Greene’s great blog post:

I’d say check it out but this one deserves a spot on that bookmark shelf. Great blog posts are hard to come by…I mean, sheesh, some bloogers just talk about their dogs!


So I’m trying to get Olivia’s Choice (my book) to be free because I love free stuff. But I have a choice to make. Right now, my book is in Amazon for $2.99. It’s the lowest price in KDP and I had to enrol in it to self-publish.

So, I checked with Amazon and they would allow my book to be free (for only 4 days!) but I would have to keep it in KDP for 90 days. That means I can’t publish it anywhere else for free or lower that $2.99 price.

On the other hand, I could publish it on Smashwords, make it free there and ask Amazon to price match. They may or may not do that and they would take months to consider the idea. Meanwhile, it would be free on Smashwords but not on Amazon.

I need input. What do you think is the best idea? Any thoughts?



I need a new book

I’ve been surviving on re-reading the entire Guild series by Nalini Singh but I’ve finished it again. And the weekend is coming…I need a new book. The only problem is I’ve already read my usual automatic-buy authors. I have nothing new left until December…And the weekend is coming…I need a new book.

Hm…any ideas? Any recommendations? I’ll take just about anything at this point…especially if its romance. I love romance. Sigh!




These three are the very, very best. Each a gem, each a queen of romance. They all write contemporary romance and I haven’t talked about them before because they’re so incredible, mentioning them is sort of redundant. But then I thought, I love them so….And there’s really nothing they have written that I couldn’t recommend hands down.

But, you do need to understand. These three are the best of the best. Queens of romance. In a category all of their own.

Drum roll, please.

1. Nora Roberts.

Okay, so she needs no introduction. She’s hands down the Queen of Romance. Probably the most published author in romance. Period. She’s amazing and she’s liked by young and old alike. She’s written a ton of books that you can check out at her very professional site:

One of my favourites of hers are the McGreggor series (of course) but I also have a special place for the Chesapeake Bay series. However, I would strongly recommend anything she writes. Blindly and hands down.

Someone said of her, ‘She’s a publishing phenomenon’ and I think that sums her up. Phenomenon.

2. Linda Howard.

I have a soft spot for Linda Howard because I can’t think of her and not think of some of my all-time favourite books, Death Angel and Cry no more. Oh my goodness, they’re so good. So good. But she’s written others and there’s no denying the woman is sheer genius. She has to be. Using no website or promos of any kind she’s at the top of the romance publishing world. That’s talent.

The woman is one amazing writing talent. I bet she could make the phonebook an interesting read.


3. Susan Elizabeth Philips.

Awesome. She wrote such beauties as Ain’t she sweet? and Dream a little dream. She can do funny and she can grip your heart and not let go. In a few words, she has me. And then it starts to get really good. The true test is the rest of her books. It’s like one brilliant gem after another. Just goes to show you, greatness shines through.

Her website is:



















The best of the best. You can’t go wrong with these. I guarantee it.

For writers

I thought I’d mention a great program for writers: Scrivener.

Nope. They haven’t paid me to do this post. I just use it and it’s really something. I’ll never write with anything else again.

Scrivener is super easy to use. It has a side bar where all your chapters and scenes are located and you can easily move them around. That alone sold me because, the way I write, I need to move scenes back and forth and cutting, pasting, then scrolling is a nightmare. As well, Scrivener makes editing easy because you can mark each scene or chapter with a coloured mark to show where they are in the editing process. You can also go to any of them instantly. No scrolling down.

It has a ton of other features, like word count, character sheets, the cork board, etc. But I didn’t want to make it sound complicated because it’s very user friendly.

But there’s more! Scrivener can compile the finished document into epub, mobi (for amazon) or for print. I can add a table of contents (a real nightmare if you want to format the document by yourself) in one or two clicks. That alone is worth a fortune.

When I first got my edited manuscript, I paid someone to format it for me. They did a terrible job and wouldn’t help me fix their mistakes. With Scrivener, I can do it myself. For free.

Here’s a link to the site:

And here’s a very thorough review by Molly Greene: She also includes pictures of what it looks like.

In my humble opinion. It’s so worthwhile.