First Off:  a new cover for A Game of Spies,

the second book in the Hearts in Hazard series

by M.A. Lee. 

Originally published in November 2015, the cover needed updating after M.A. Lee’s HnH books 4, 5, and 6 came out in Spring 2017.  Here’s a first look at the new cover.

Giles Hargreaves is hunting a French spy who somehow manages to steal government documents.  Josette amuses herself playing whist at salons hosted by her sister-in-law.  When Giles and Josette met, they are attracted immediately. 

But he believes she is connected to the French spy.

And she thinks he will break her heart.

Giles and Josette have their first serious conversation on a settee under a stairway in the Sourantine house.  The cover models perfectly capture that scene from the book.

The cover designer at Deranged Doctor Design combined the old cover with the new in a clever way.  The playing cards and the sealed letters from the old cover along with the dominant color image transfer from the old to the new while the focus is on the couple.

Here’s the former cover image.  I still love it, but I love the new one more.

A Game of Spies by M. A. Lee
After Publishing, What’s Next?

For a writer, it’s freaky hard to go to a site that has THE BOOK for sale, type in the name of the author, and nothing comes up for three or four pages.

A writer with part of my name shows up first in the Amazon Kindle store.  And then, oh the ignominy, the other writer with exactly my name shows up before my books do . . . and this after I did research before my first published book to ensure that no other Amazon writer was using my name.

Oh well.

Okay, all is not lost.  We can do a search for the title.

Digging into Death . . . Bam!  Got it in one.

A Game of Secrets . . . not on the first three pages.

A Game of Spies . . . 2nd page!  Yippee!

A Game of Hearts . . . Wow! 1st page.

The Danger of Secrets . . . 1st page.  Yippee!  Yippee!

The Danger for Spies . . . Success!  1st page, second one listed.  Wait, the first book doesn’t even have The Danger for Spies as a title.  🙁

The Danger to Hearts . . . 1st page, first one listed.  2nd Coming of Happiness!  Bliss Again!

But my author page doesn’t come up quickly unless you find one of my books and then click on my name.

And you can find the Hearts in Hazard series just by typing “Hearts in Hazard”.

Indie Challenges

Indie Writers face many challenges long after they have a story they believe is ready for print.

We want to present the best manuscript, one that is polished and as error free as possible.  100% perfection is not possible . . . so we strive for the highest level that is.

Then we can make a cover for ourselves or find someone who can do it at a cost we can afford.

I knew I couldn’t make a good cover.  I am artistically creative as well as verbally so, but a professional designer knows to look for things and add things in and use balance and proportion in ways that I never thought.

Plus, a professional designer knows the photoshop program they are using.  I would have a huge learning curve.  Shouldn’t I spend my time writing?

It took me 18 months to find a cover designer that fit my aesthetic.  I found Deranged Doctor Design by sheer luck . . . for a “God wink”.  They are life savers, believe me.  During my 18-month search, I worked on other books, which enabled me to put out three books back to back, October and November and December in 2015: my first three books, the first three in the Hearts in Hazard trilogy, a one-two-three punch.

DDD is the BEST!  I love working with them.  Their covers are lovely, no matter in which genre they are working.  They provide options and previews, and they are willing to switch things around.  They are clear in what they can and cannot do.  DDD works within a time frame that I understand.  They have a great template that pulls from the author the information they need to work with.  DDD is brave for working with Indie Writers.

Discoverability

After the writing and the editing and the cover designer, the job of an Indie Writer is not over.  Marketing comes next.  I am still working on this one.

Discoverability is now on my ToBeRead list.  By Kristine Kathryn Rusch, it discusses what a writer needs to know about getting their works to the audience in the current state of the reading marketplace.

Getting the book out there, getting the name out there, attracting attention with the right cover and the right blurb and the right audience, these are the five essentials for all Indie Writers.

But I’ll keep writing, and hopefully the “God wink” will happen soon. 😉

I did drink the water in Greenville, MS!

~ M.A. Lee

 

Celebrate! The Holiday Season Is Upon Us!

We’re past Halloween.

image in public domain

Thanksgiving!

Christmas!

New Year’s!

All Important Times for Family & Friends.

Here at Writers Ink Books we will Celebrate Five Anniversaries … and Two New Releases still to Come.

Five to Celebrate in November ~

published in 2016
cover design by Deranged Doctor Design

Autumn Spells

The corrupt dame Neehla wants the swordsman Hethan to bring a Green mage to Senric Keep.  There she will reincarnate herself in Saisha’s younger body.  She bespells Hethan to rip away Saisha’s power.

Hethan and Saisha first met in Baien Castletown. Although they were attracted, her magic prevented him from pursuing any connection.

Now the dame’s dark spells brings them together.

Can Saisha disentangle Hethan from the sorcery?  Or will she be trapped and turned into a wraith while the dark dame inhabits her body?

Back in 2016, Edie Roones published her second book (which is actually the first book she wrote — and rewrote — and reworked — and revised — then totally gutted and wrote again — then revised one more time during 2016 to publish it ~ on the 5th! And we celebrate it now!

Discover more at this site: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MFHDUOZ

Discover more on Edie Roones’ page: Edie Roones | Writers’ Ink Books (writersinkbooks.com)

Edie’s currently working on the final book in the Seasons in Sansward quaternary. A corrupt invading army. Gitane Witches working dark spells. Scattered mages and swordsmen determined to fight evil.

Book 1: Summer Sieges https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014OMJBFY

Bk 2: Autumn Spells https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MFHDUOZ

& Bk 3: Winter Sorcery https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BK88CDV

with Bk 4: Spring Magicks — coming soon

Dream a Deadly Dream

published in 2017
cover design by Deranged Doctor Design

The exiled wizard Alstera wandered into Vaermonde, seeking an opportunity to rid herself of the Fae marks that shackle her power. The nightmares of the fugitive comtesse Cherai offer the chance to serve one of her penances and free one element of her power.

Can Alstera stop the poisoned nightmares before they kill Cherai? Or will she fall into the tainted blood magic before she frees Cherai from those sorcerous deadly dreams?

Published in 2017, the dark epic fantasy Dream a Deadly Dream is the second book in the grim Fae Mark’d Wizard series.

Bk 1: Weave a Wizardry Web  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074HJG1P7

Bk 2: Dream a Deadly Dream  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077CTRD9V

And Bk 3: Sing a Graveyard Song  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BK9DYDK

The opening trilogy is a best-bargain bundle of this epic fantasy, released this summer as Tangled Spells. Available as an ebook or a massive paperback here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0973LXLC2

View the trailer at this link: https://youtu.be/zwWFb11GP1g

“The Lion’s Den”

J. Heyendecker
cover design based on a public domain image

This novella, intended to be a short story, brings to the forefront two secondary characters from Christmas with Death. (See below. It’s also a 2017 November publication to celebrate.)

Jack Portman had never forgotten Filly Malvaise.

Then she walked into his local pub and into the clutches of a loan shark.

Can he rescue her before she falls victim to evil?

Published in 2020, “The Lion’s Den” is set in the London of the early 1920s with the Bright Young Things. The returned soldiers of the Great War — like Jack Portman — have settled uncomfortably into their lives.

You can join M.A. Lee’s newsletter to receive a free copy of this novella. Then you can celebrate a bargain! Email us at winkbooks@aol.com.

Christmas with Death

published in 2017
cover design by Deranged Doctor Design

A November 2017 publication for the Christmas market, Christmas with Death was never on the plan until M.A. Lee’s sister wanted to see the next book with Isabella Newcombe and Madoc Tarrant.

Christmas is for miracles, merriment, and murder.

An English country Christmas in 1919 should be a joyful celebration.  Isabella Newcombe, however, discovers only petty sniping and bitterness when she and her friends are invited to Emberley.

Rumors of affaires and drug addiction as well as accusations of blackmail sour the holiday atmosphere.  Then the four friends discover the body of a fellow visitor, shot dead and left lying in an ice-skimmed pond.

With multiple motives and suspects, will Scotland Yard solve the crime before Isabella is the murderer’s next target?  Will an imperfect murder be impossible to solve?

Christmas with Death is the second novel in the Into Death series. Each novel of the Into Death series is complete and not a cliff-hanger.  Enjoy a richer experience by reading all three books in the Into Death series. All three books are available in paperback and ebook.

Bk 1: Digging into Death 

celebrate for it is publishing soon
cover designs by Deranged Doctor Design

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXPRKHM

Trailer   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zX1BPx6VUnU

Bk 2: Christmas with Death

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077SBB4DN

trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cgr99ForHpA

& Bk 3: Portrait with Death, published this past summer.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0973GVKSQ

https://books2read.com/u/b6vrjZ

Trailer available July 1, 2021 https://youtu.be/6cfEOGy-fXQ

Celebrate with a best-bargain bundle of all three books, which should come out on December 1st. No links yet. Ebook only.

Into Death

This collection contains the first three novels with artist Isabella Newcombe Tarrant, solving murders as she paints away.

It’s a Best-Bargain Bundle to Celebrate!

Digging into Death

trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zX1BPx6VUnU 

Christmas with Death

trailer https://youtu.be/Cgr99ForHpA

Portrait with Death

trailer https://youtu.be/6cfEOGy-fXQ

Get the bundle at these links:

Find it everywhere.

Find it at the Zon.

celebrate for it is publishing soon
cover images by DDD

Only One Publication for December ~ So Far.

Plans for More Books!

We would not be Writers Ink Books if we didn’t also celebrate a nonfiction publication.

Discovering Your Plot

On the 29th of December, barely making 2019, DiscPlot released.

published in 2019
cover by DDD — who else?

What do writers want from plot?

What do writers need from plot?

Are those questions the same? Not really.

As wordsmiths, we writers know that want and need are two different words.

  • The want is a circumstance that we writers can control. We want plot specifics to help us craft story and exceed reader expectations.
  • The need is a circumstance of obligations from reader expectations of story. While readers may want the comfort of the genre elements (the tropes), they also wish to have their interest and curiosity piqued.

Can we writers deliver on the expectations and the surprises in order to please our readers?

That’s the involved question that Discovering Your Plot hopes to answer.

This guidebook covers plot structure and the necessities of genre expectations so we writers can anticipate what readers want.

  • It is NOT a list of tropes by genre or even a list of tropes that every novel should have.

DiscPlot explores the six most common plot structures.

  • It is NOT a list of characters for plot or story. It is not a list of the “17 characters your novel needs” or the “characters used by famous authors”, as listed on social media sites.

It’s a detailed examination of the major sections of a novel.

  • It’s NOT a word-based or page-based formula of a novel’s structure.

    celebrate this published in April 2020
    cover designed by — guess who?
By the end of Discovering Your Plot¸ writers will have the tools to construct a story as well as diagnose problems with pacing, tension and suspense, and sequencing events.

Discovering Your Plot is Book 6 in the Think like a Pro Writer series and the second of the Discovering set of how-to guidebooks for writers at all skill levels. While the approach is for newbies, every writer can benefit from this fresh look at any novel’s framework.

The Discovering set covers Characters, Plot, Author Branding, and Sentence Craft as well as completing a Novel—from the seeds of idea to publishing the manuscript.

Find DiscPlot at this link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0838PTN49/

DiscPlot is part of the Discovering Your Writing four-book best-bargain bundle, available in ebook and paperback. As of this writing, the paperback cover has not arrived … although it is close. I will add a link when the ppb releases … and then I’ll celebrate another Best-Bargain Bundle!

Here’s a link for DiscWriting:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08691892S

View the Trailer: https://youtu.be/hTVQn92kNBk

TTFN! Celebrate your holidays!

 

 

Scary October needs a scary witch, and the fantasy Autumn Spells by Edie Roones offers us Neehla.

Eager to re-embody herself in a younger woman, Neehla builds her sorcerous spell.

Prologue

In this life her name was Neehla.  Over many lives, she had lost some things, gained others.  Through them all, her sorcery remained tangible evil, woven from the elemental air and the incense of her spells.

Her fingers flew across the loom, weaving a snare for the unwary.  She snatched a spiral of smoke from the air and twisted it deftly before joining the sorcered strand to the thread on the shuttle.  As it shot across the warp threads on the loom, the gray smoke deepened, becoming as darkly hued as the power that shaped it.

Continue reading “Scary October & Scary Witch: the fantasy Autumn Spells”