Friday, 22 September 2017

The Story So Far...

Don't all good stories start this way. Lol. When I first got offered a contract with a small press, I felt like it was a fairy tale dream come true. Soul Market (the first book in the Cassandra Farbanks Series) was my baby and it was finally going to go out there into the world. And once it did I kept on writing, trusting my publisher to do their job and I could focus on getting the people inside my head out onto the paper for the readers.

However things changed as inevitably they do. The first owner, a woman who is still one of my dearest and best friends had to, through no fault of her own, sell the business in order for new owners to take it further. She was giving all the authors with them at that time what she thought would be their best chance. For many years, things were good, great even, I wrote book after book and they agreed to publish them. I like to think I gained a steady if small following.

It took me a while, but I started to notice that there were a lot of other authors who seemed to be growing in unhappiness with the way things were being run. I'm a naturally patient person, so when even I started to notice that things were just not getting done, the problem was too far gone. Lots of other authors were ranting in our yahoo group, threatening lawyers and then out of the blue, there was a notice that the company had been sold to yet another person. There was outrage. Several authors bailed immediately but the new company made promises, things that sounded like if we just hung in there with them, things would be better than they had ever been.

This was not the case. In fact things got worse. It seemed to me a classic case of taking on more than could be handled. New books were not being published often and then not at all for months. There was continual disquiet in the group over the state of unfulfilled contracts, waiting times, progress updates, constant hiring and firings, missed royalty payments and general lack of information. I began to become confused, upset and hurt that a place that had once felt like a family, felt like a home, now felt like a place I was trapped in. I didn't know what to do. I started self publishing, not able to trust that giving them another book under another contract would be in my best interests but it wasn't enough. In the end, I felt like I had to get out. With the help of a friend, I reviewed my contracts and taking a deep breath, asked for my rights back. Then I waited.

These rights were granted back to me on Wednesday night. I felt as if a great weight had suddenly been lifted from my shoulders. I was free. I bare the company no ill will. It just wasn't right for me anymore. So what does this mean? It means that over the next six months a great deal of my titles will start disappearing from online stores, though second hand copies of all of them will probably still be available and you can contact me directly as I have stock of several of the paperbacks.

What comes next? I don't know yet. I'm being encouraged to try to get an agent again and I might explore that while I put aside the capital to recover all my books encase I decide to self publish them instead. It also means that I will be taking a writing hiatus, until I can sort out what to do with my back catalogue. I hope that readers will stick with me and support me as they have done in the past. However what ever I do now, at least I am in control of my fate.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Dusty Pages Review: Driving Mr. Dead

Miranda Puckett has failed at every job she’s ever had. Her mother just wants her to come home, join the family law firm, and settle down with Jason, the perfect lawyer boyfriend. But when Jason turns out to be a lying cheater, Miranda seizes on a job that gets her out of town: long-distance vampire transportation. Her first assignment is to drive vampire Collin Sutherland from Washington to sleepy Half Moon Hollow without incident—no small feat for a woman whom trouble seems to follow like a faithful hound dog! And she has to do it without letting her passenger—the most persnickety, stuffy, devastatingly handsome vamp she’s ever met—drive her crazy. As she and Collin find disaster on the roads, they also find an undeniable spark between them. Could Miranda have found the perfect job and the perfect guy for her?

The next installment int he Half Moon Hollow Series, Miranda has a tendency towards bad luck and is desperate to make her new job, as a transporter for Beeline work. Collin, her vampire passenger, is a reclusive snob with a 15 page list of requirements for his transportation that makes her head spin. But together these two are darn right hilarious. I was grinning like a mad fool the entire time I was reading and freaking out family members by suddenly bursting into manic laughter.

Their adventures trying to get from point A to point B are so comic and tragic they could almost happen in real life. Add to that the growing attraction they have to each other and Miranda's uncanny ability to knock Collin's "gift" for a loop, its a fun, fast paced story that will leave you wanting more. I especially love when you finally get to see the prize piece he is personally couriering to Ophelia Lambert (Head of the Half Moon Hollow Council for the Equal Treatment of the Undead) and the way Miranda finally decides to deal with her Ex-Fiance and his "platonic" friendship with the girl next door.

I give it

Friday, 15 September 2017

TBR Update

As summer is over I thought it about time that I updated everyone of my To Be Read (TBR) list. Several read (those with a strike through), but even more added 😅

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
Red Riding Hood – Blakely-Cartwright & Johnson
Black Heart Blue – Louisa Reed
The Scorch Trials
The Death Cure
The Kill Order – James Dashner
Dead Ringer – Mary Burton
Dark Angel – Eden Maguire
The Bitch Goddess Notebook – Martha O’Connor
Bite Me – Christopher Moore
Switched – Amanda Hocking
The Red Pyramid
The Throne of Fire
The Serpents Shadow
The Lost Hero
The Son of Neptune
The Mark of Athena
The House of Hades
The Blood of Olympus
The Sword of Summer – Rick Riordan
Once Upon a Dream
Tale as Old as Time – Liz Braswell
Hit List
Kiss the Dead
Dead Ice
Crimson Death – Laurell K Hamilton
The Other Daughter – Lisa Gardner
Shattered – Teri Terry
Death of a Cosy Writer
Death of a Lit Chick
Death at the Alma Mater – C. M. Malliet
Half Blood – Jennifer L Armentrout
The Sin Eaters Daughter – Melinda Salisbury
Night Shift
Day Shift
All the Little Liars
Grave Sight
Grave Surprise
An Ice Cold Grave
Grave Secret – Charlaine Harris
The Host
The Chemist – Stephanie Meyer
The Moon in the Cloud
Shadow on the Sun
The Bright and Morning Star – Rosemary Harris
Eeeny Meeny
Pop goes the Weasel
The Doll’s House
Liar Liar
Little Boy Blue
Hide & Seek – M J Arlidge
The Cinderella Murder
The Sleeping Beauty Killer – Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke
On the Street Where you Live
Moonlight Becomes you – Mary Higgins Clark
Son of a Witch
After Alice – Gregory Maguire
Two Evils
Cold Kill – P J Tracy
Horns – Joe Hill
Moon Shine
Night Life – Rob Thurman
The Wolf Princess – Cathryn Constable
Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire
Fragile Things – Neil Gaiman
The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins
Inkdeath – Cornelia Funke
The Witch House – Cecilia Rees
Until I Die
Die for Me – Amy Plum
Allegiant – Veronica Roth
Abandon – Meg Cabot
The Immortal Rules – Julie Kagawa
Everneath – Brodi Ashton
The Hobbit – J RR Tolkien
Greywalker – Kat Richardson
The Other Alice – Michelle Harrison
Wolf Hollow – Lauren Wolk
Whisper my name – Jane England
The Vampire of Highgate – Asa Bailey
Heart of the Dragon
Jewel of Atlantis
The Nymph King
The Vampires Bride – Gena Showalter
Little Beach Street Bakery – Jenny Colgan
Shadow – Robin McKinley
Paper Towns
Finding Alaska – John Green
The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires
Driving Mr. Dead
Undead Sublet
The Witches Handbook of Kisses & Curses
I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas
The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire
The Single Undead Moms Club
Fangs for the Memories
Where the Wild Things Bites
Big Vamp on Campus
Accidental Sire – Molly Harper
The Whispering Skull
The Hollow Boy
The Creeping Shadow – Jonathan Stroud
The Witch Thief – Lori Devoti
The Cowboy who caught her eye – Lauri Robinson
To Sin with a Viking – Michelle Willingham
Bought for Revenge – Sarah Mallory
The Black Sheep Returns – Elizabeth Beacon
Smoke River Bride – Lynna Banning
Cinderella Housekeeper – Fiona Harper
The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey
The Dark is Rising Sequence – Susan Cooper
The House of Many Ways – Diana Wynne Jones
The Battle for Gullywith – Susan Hill
The Ruby in the Smoke (re-read)
The Shadow in the North
The Tiger in the Well
The Tin Princess – Philip Pullman
Sabriel – Garth Nix
Hush, Hush – Becca Fitzpatrick
Shades of Grey
First Among Sequels
One of our Thursdays is Missing
The Woman who Died A Lot – Jasper Fforde
The Shipping News – E. Annie Proux
Cadfael Series (23 books in all) – Ellis Peters
The Woman in Black
Printer’s Devil Court
The Mist in the Mirror – Susan Hill
The Sleeping Doll
The Skin Collector – Jeffrey Deaver
Empress Orchid – Anchee Min
Art in the Blood – Bonnie McBird
The Innocent – Posie Grame Evans
The Time Travellers Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Brother Grimm – Craig Russell
Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice
Blood Price
Blood Debt
Blood Pact
Blood Lines
Blood Trail – Tanya Huff
Last Tango in Aberystwyth
The Unbelievable Lightness of being in Aberystwyth
Don’t Cry for me Aberystwyth – Malcolm Price
The Mystery of the Painted Dragon – Katherine Woodfine
Lady Midnight
Tales from the Shadow Hunter Academy – Cassandra Clare
The Killing of Polly Carter – Robert Thorogood
I am Number Four
The Power of Six
The Rise of Nine – Pitacus Lore
Don’t Tempt Me – Sylvia Day
The Lie Tree – Francis Harding
The Restaurant of Love Regained – Ito Ogawa
Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty Eight Nights – Salman Rushdie
Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children
Hollow City
The Library of Lost Souls – Ransom Riggs
Jill – Rose Montague
Dark Horse
The Alibi Man – Tami Hoag
The Third Victim – Lisa Gardner
Vampire Academy
Shadow Kiss
Blood Promise
Spirit Bound
Last Sacrifice – Richelle Mead
The Tales of Beadle the Bard
Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
Harry Potter & the Cursed Child – J K Rowling
The Island at the End of Everything – Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Fade to Black
Malevolent Dead
Blood Moon – Heather Kuehl                 
The One – John Marrs
Obsession – Amanda Robson
He said/She said – Erin Kelly
Sleepers Castle – Barbara Erskine
The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena
One of Us is Lying – Karen M McManus
One Little Mistake – Emma Curtis
The Keeper – Alastair Gunn
Lost Boy – Christina Henry

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Dusty Pages Review: His Angel

Angelina 'Angie' Beckett has been waiting a long time for Mister Right. Unfortunately, all her boyfriends have turned out to be Mr. Wrong. None of them have been able to hold her interest for long and give her what she craves in a relationship. That is, until she meets her new neighbor's boss.

Ian Sawyer stopped believing in 'soul-mates' after his fiancee walked out the door ten years ago without a backwards glance. Now, he needs for a woman to spell out exactly what she wants from him. When he starts to fall for the woman he's protecting, he can't help but wonder when she'll realize that love is not enough for a lifetime of happiness.

When trouble knocks on Angie's front door, she puts her life in Ian's hands. His security team is determined to keep her alive at all costs, but will someone die in her place? And when the smoke clears, will Angie walk out of Ian's life forever?

After reading a spin off novella, I decided to return to the parent series with the second book, His Angel. However, although I enjoyed the book, I did not find it as hot as the first one. It seemed sort of odd to me to put the elder brothers story second and I didn't find him as engaging as Devon from Leather and Lace.

That said there was a good plot to the book so it wasn't just about the sex and you got to know some of the other characters a bit more. Devon & Kristen were still in the background of this story and I enjoyed their interaction more than I did that of the main characters this book was supposed to focus on. I'm also not entirely sure that I liked the ending or the best friend/surrogate brother character.

I give it

Monday, 11 September 2017

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

...Franki Dolley

1. Tell me about your book, Summer Has Come, and where you got your inspiration for it?

Fayth Blackwell, P.I.: Summer Has Come is a novella that starts off a series that center around the world of the fae. It is a mix of magic and mystery. Fayth Blackwell is a private investigator in Chicago who takes up a client and is introduced to a world hidden within our own.

My inspiration came from a college English class. We had to write a short story of our own choosing. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of fae, and wondered how they would interact with humans in an urban setting.

2. Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so what was it?

Yes. Considering this was supposed to be a short story and ended up being over 18,000 words, I’ve learned that I’m much better at writing novels and novellas than short stories.

3. If your book was made into a film, who would you like to see play the lead?

Probably Zoe Saldana. I think she commands attention whenever she steps onto a scene, and her kind of sarcasm would fit Fayth’s personality perfectly.

4. You’ve just been kidnapped and the people from the last TV Show/Movie you watched have to save you. Who is it?

I actually just watched Justice League Dark (I know, I’m late to the game), so I think I’d be ok. Haha

5. In what ways do you hold yourself back?

I get caught up in the editing process. I have a fear that if my work is not perfect, no one will want to read it. That’s something that I’m slowly learning to let go. As Janelle Monae said during an awards show that I’ve forgotten, “Perfection is often the enemy of greatness.”

6. Would you rather explore a new planet, or the deepest parts of the ocean? Why?

Definitely the deepest parts of the ocean. As fascinating as space exploration is (total Trekkie here), I think that Earth holds its own mysteries and secrets. I’d rather know more about the planet I’m living on than planets light years away.

7. What genre do you write in and what draws you into this genre?

The genre I write in is mostly urban fantasy. The idea that there is magic and mystery in the modern world we live in and all we really have to do is look for it is intoxicating for me.

8. Do you let a book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

I do. I think that the best way for me to edit something I’ve written is to leave it alone for a little while. That way, I can come back to it with fresh eyes and catch things that I may not have gotten before.

9. Do you think the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Absolutely. Covers are the first step in getting people to notice the book. Humans are very visual. If they don’t like what they see, they are not tempted to pick up the book and read the inside flap or back cover.

10. Have you written any other books that are not published? Do you intend to publish them?

I have two novels that are not published, as well as the second novella to Fayth Blackwell, P.I. I hope to get all three out within the next couple of years.

11. What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

I once had an editorial review done of my first full length novel, and the editor said that I was descriptive to my own detriment. He wrote that if I cut the book in half, I would actually have a good novel. Considering it was 500 pages and I know that many of those were solely dedicated to detailing settings, I’m inclined to agree.


Private Investigator Fayth Blackwell takes on a new client and agrees to escort her to a ball. After protecting her client’s life, she is thrust into a world she never knew existed to stop two powerful entities from going to war.

About Franki

Franki T. Dolley is a recent college graduate. She graduated with a major in English and a minor in Classical Studies. She currently works as a barista at a local bakery bringing joy to people in the forms of coffee, pastries, and smiles, and resides with her roommate and her majestic cat, Shade.