Saturday, 4 June 2016

Terry Tyler: Self publishing: a creative choice, not a last res...

Terry Tyler: Self publishing: a creative choice, not a last res...: .... for reminding me of something I've been thinking about lately... For anyone who is not famil iar with the name ,  Anton Newcombe ...

Thursday, 2 June 2016

The Battle Of The Blogs!

If you remember, I have been doing an experiment to see which blog I prefer, and which blog enabled you to interact with me easier. Was it Blogger or Wordpress?

The winner is Wordpress!!

From this point on all my blog posts will be at

Come on over and join me!!

You can subscribe to my newsletter to get advance news and money off coupons at

See you there! <3

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Work In Progress!

VF01Today I wanted to share with you the wonderful brotherly love and banter that
continues between Edward and Richard Emberton in book 2.
The editing and re-writes have begun and the countdown to book 2’s release has begun! YES!😀

Edward turned around and embraced his brother Richard. “Thank you. Sincerely, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I knew I could count on your support and I am so deeply glad to have it.”
“You shall always have it.” Richard grinned at him and lowered his voice, “now, there are a couple of other matters you need to attend to, you realise, Edward.” Gently he led Edward through the crowd to the side of the room where they could speak freely.
“What you mean?” Edward asked.
“You need to take a house for yourself. You cannot live here at home with Mummy if you going to be a Member of Parliament in Westminster.” Richard grinned cheekily.
Edward laughed, “yes, that’s true. That would most certainly invite ridicule.”
“Indeed, it would. I would recommend taking a house somewhere equally positioned between here and London. Therefore, you can be here or in London at a moment’s notice.”
“Good idea. I will begin looking first thing tomorrow morning.” Edward nodded seriously.
“And then, comes the unenviable task of finding yourself a wife.” Richard stared at him with amusement in his eyes.
“A suitable wife.”
“Yes, a suitable wife.”
“One that will help elevate me in political circles.” Edward’s blue eyes shone as he turned back and faced the throng as though amongst them he would see this suitable wife he looked for.
“Whoever you choose, she will indeed have to be suitable. A poor choice now could spell disaster for you in the future.” Richard clapped him on the shoulder again. “Enjoy your evening, brother,” he chuckled and disappeared back into the crowd.
(c) 2016 Karen Aminadra, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Review: The Uncovering by Jes Young

I read this book under its old title of Tab Bennett and the Inbetween. It now has a new
cover and a brand-new title - The Uncovering.
From the blurb - At the start of this fantastical romance, Tabitha Bennett is a young woman who has her life all figured out; she’s got a steady job at the local bank, a darkly handsome fiancé she’s known since childhood, and her own cottage on the edge of the family estate. Then she starts to have chillingly graphic visions of her sisters’ deaths. 

Someone is picking off members of the Bennett household one by one, and Tab is next. In order to survive, she must come to terms with her true heritage. Tab is actually an Elvish princess, heir to the throne of the Inbetween, the realm of the Light Elves, and the product of the Dark King’s rape of the Queen of the Light. These sordid origins do nothing to convince the Elven Court that she’s the woman for the job, and they have everything to do with the plot to kill her. 

Her fiancé Robbin is soon usurped by a gorgeous stranger named Alexander, to whom
 she’s been betrothed since her birth. The magic that binds them is strong and sensual. He guides her in her journey of self-discovery, helping to awaken the Elven gifts that ultimately keep her alive in the final battle with the agents of the Dark. She is betrayed by both her close childhood friend and by the Elven warrior who captains the Light army, but she survives by virtue of her fiery tenacity. 

The Uncovering, first in a trilogy, is a fast-paced adventure, TheUncoveringfull of sensuality, suspense and surprise.

The book starts off with Tab seeing someone dying in her dream. In fact, it was her sister or the woman she thought was her sister.
Needless to say, things go to pieces for poor Tab. What she discovers is that nothing she ever believed is true. The story is really engaging but the thing that tripped me over was all of a sudden, Tab, upon meeting a perfect stranger, flings herself at him and just about does the horizontal shuffle in front of a room filled with people! That to me was odd. I actually loved the story and I really look forward to reading the rest of the series, too. It's just Tab and Alex were ... woah!
Tab's life turns out to be an entire lie. Despite the fact that she knew nothing and never suspected anything, this really is a good story because Jes Young takes you on Tab's journey with her. You discover why all the lies and subterfuge, who everyone really is around her, and, ultimately, who Tab really is.
All-in-all a very entertaining and gripping read; I wanted to read it and didn't want to put it down!
I also believe this would be great in the YA category too!
Happy reading! 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Wednesday Work In Progress!

The snippet I would like to share with you today is from Book 2 of The Emberton Brothers Series.

This is, of course, an unedited snippet from the 1st draft of the book and, therefore, it may contain a few errors.

Unfortunately, news of the engagement got out before Edward had a chance to tell his family!! 

With all the travelling back and forth into London, dealing with constituency business, reporting back to Lord Davenport and spending time visiting with Frances, Edward had little opportunity to be with his family.
It was precisely a fortnight after he and Frances were betrothed that he was at liberty to visit Emberton Hall. However, when he arrived he seemed the family would be taking tea in the Orangery, but he was wrong. He looked about in the gardens to see them in such a sweltering day, but they were not there either.
A delicate cough from behind him making spin round in surprise. “Begging your pardon, sir, the family await you in the drawing room.”
Edward looked at Henry, the Emberton’s Butler, in bafflement. “What on earth are they doing indoors on such a glorious day as this?”
“I cannot say Sir, but if you would like to follow me…” Henry turned fluidly and marched back towards the house.
Edward had no recourse but to follow him. He wondered why they were all inside. It made no sense to him. He grew concerned and increased his pace; he sped past the Butler and into the house, breaking into a run. When he reached the drawing-room, he burst in on the whole family sitting peacefully and calmly as though awaiting his arrival.
“Is everything well? Is everyone well?” Edward asked breathlessly fearing that one of his family was sick. He looked around the room and saw the window sashes were thrown wide open and beautiful breeze flowed through the open door behind him.
“Sit down Edward,” Richard commanded.
He did his he was told sitting in his usual chair to the left of the fireplace which now stood cold in the heat of summer. “What is it?” Edward observed that his mother twisted her handkerchief tightly in her hands, and action she only performed when she was anxious.
Richard looking at his brother with evident anger in his eyes tossed the newspaper onto the coffee table between them all.
Edward was at a loss to explain what was happening. He reached out and picked up the newspaper. “Has someone of our acquaintance died?” He asked as he scanned the page before him for the obituaries.
No one said a word; they merely waited for Edward to continue casting an eye over the page before him. He was horrified to see his name printed there, announcing his engagement to Frances.
“Oh,” with one syllable Edward announced to the room at large that he realised what was happening.
“Oh?” Richard folded his arms across his chest, “is that all you have to say?”
“I did not expect…” He looked up into the face of his brother and seeing no kindness there, he turned to his mother, his hands splayed and waving the paper in his right. “Mama, I…”
With that one single word from his mother Edward felt as though she had struck him. “I know, I…” He had no words. He had no explanation.
She rounded on him. “You promised Edward. You promised me that should you take a liking to a young lady, that you would come to me to enquire about her reputation in society before, Edward, if all you petitioned for her hand in marriage.” She was so angry with him, she waved her fists as she spoke.
“Yes, I did promise,” he whispered. He was so ashamed of himself. He was so caught up in his infatuation for Frances Davenport that he had not spared one single thought for his mother all the promise he made her. He would not blame her at all if she berated him; he had broken a promise; he was in the wrong.

© 2016 Karen Aminadra

Monday, 16 May 2016

St. Ninian's Chapel, Isle of Whithorn, Scotland

As you may or may not know, Hubby and I have just returned from a fabulous holiday in south-west Scotland.

Today I want to share with you about a lovely place we visited - St. Ninian's Chapel on the seaward side of the Isle of Whithorn.

It is claimed that the chapel was built around 1300 AD and that it actually replaced an earlier building on the same site. This one is larger apparently; the former one they say was narrower and dates to around 1100 AD.

It has a lovely little perimeter wall, only part of which is still standing.  There most likely was a house for the priest as well as a burial ground too!
The chapel was for the community at the Port of Whithorn, and  the first port of call for pilgrims who travelled there from the neighbouring bay and from further afield who then went on to the Shrine of
St. Ninian.
The pilgrims landed in the safe harbour below and likely walked the three and a half miles into Whithorn after giving thanks for their safe arrival and sea crossing.

The views from the chapel window are stunning and it is easy to imagine what a haven the early Christian Pilgrims would have thought the place when they finally arrived there!

The wind whips around that little bay and yet, when you stand in the middle of the chapel, you can feel such serenity that you could even imagine a connection with those Christian brothers and sisters from so long ago.

It is not only breathtakingly beautiful but very touching too.

You approach the chapel from the carpark at the far end of the harbour and continue on foot.
Before you reach the chapel, you pass the remains of the old lifeboat house.
Within its walls is what is known as 'witness cairn', which since the 11th May 1997 has commemorated the arrival of St. Ninian in Scotland.
Visitors are encouraged to place a stone on top of the cairn. Many people have painted their names on them. It's quite a sight to see!

Just outside the stone wall surrounding the cairn and chapel is a granite stone seat. This seat was placed there in memory of the local men who died in the sinking of the fishing vessel Solway Harvester just off the south-east coast of the Isle-o-man on 11th January 2000.

It really is a lovely place and well worth visiting!

Just next to the car park but well before you reach the cairn or chapel, is a children's park. I've never seen such a happily situated park in my whole life!  Of course, I could not resist playing on the swings! ;-)

Just look at that view!  Yes, those are my feet as I was swinging when hubby took the photos!
If I lived in a place that had a park that was so stunning, I'd be there come rain or shine, every day, playing on the swings to my heart's content! :-D

I hope you enjoyed reading about one of the places I visited on my fabulous holiday in Scotland! I have a few more places I'd like to share with you all over the coming weeks.
But until then... Happy Reading!  xxx

Monday, 9 May 2016

What Am I Reading?

What am I reading?

I just got back from the bestest most relaxingest holiday EVER in Scotland!

While I was there I read three books.... oh, yes! The best holidays are when you get to read *sigh*

What did I read?

Reaper's Deliverance by Miranda Stork

When Ryder dies in a horrific motorbike accident, he’s left facing a choice. Go onto his next life, more terrible than his last, or become…a Reaper.

Ryder’s life has little meaning to him. A violent hedonist who left his broken childhood behind, he would rather spend his time chasing women and smashing up bars than consider his future. But when it all comes to an abrupt end, he’s forced to make a decision that changes everything.

Elizabeth is a single mother, and the light of her life, her son Thomas, is terminally ill. With no time for a job, a normal social life, and definitely not a relationship, her world is turned upside-down when Ryder strides in with his biker boots. She’s always known there was something more to the universe than what she can see. But when she learns the real reason for him being in their lives, she has to do something she hasn’t done for a long time. Trust someone.

When little Thomas is threatened by an evil that would misuse his special gift, they must work together, along with a troubled but caring group of reapers. Time is running out to get him back, and Helheim beckons with its black jaws. All of them must fight, and be prepared for the centuries-waiting battle they will kick off.

And will Ryder finally gain his redemption?

*This is a paranormal book - If you don't like that sort of thing, please don't pick it up! 
** This book also contains universalism and paganism - if you don't like that either, please don't pick it up!

Did I like it?  YES! 
It's edgy and fast-paced and full of danger.  It has a love story which makes you ask, all the way through, is that even possible? can they make it?

There is a lot to pick up from this book. The main thing, which I think is HUGE, is the underlying theme that you can always turn your life around! 
Ryder, the main character, is a loser - let's be honest. He gets himself killed and is then given a choice... I won't spoil it by telling you what his choices were, but he chooses the better one... which leads him to a whole new 'after life' ;-)  A quest, a rescue, a lot of beating things up and shooting at nasties too! Who couldn't like that? ;-) And.... good versus evil, a happy ending with a hook, and a promise for more!

I thoroughly enjoyed this and would certainly read the next in the series. Didn't I mention it was a series? 
Oh, yes, it is! Hurrah!!  Gotta love a series, right?

The best bit about this book for you, is that you can read it for FREE! Yes, zero pounds or dollars! :-)

Monday, 2 May 2016

Expanding Jane Austen's World - better late than never! ;-)

Look what I found!
I just found this on my computer!
I completely forgot that I wrote this for another blog and I meant to post it on here too.  I sincerely apologise that it skipped my mind.

Better late than never, eh? 

So here it is... 

Expanding Jane Austen’s world.

Jane Austen has given us 200 years of wonderful bliss from within the pages of her novels.  However, it seems that all those years have done nothing to dampen our desire for her work – in fact; I would say our love of her world has increased.
There are so many continuations, variations, ‘what if’ novels, and re-imaginings of the world she so carefully penned, that it would take an entire lifetime to read them all, I am certain.  Some of them have a modern twist, where carefully woven ‘modern sensibilities’ are intermingled with the social norms of Jane’s day, some time-travel between our world and Jane’s, and some even take on a supernatural twist.  No matter what your preference is, there is a novel out there for you which continues Jane’s world.
Expanding Jane Austen’s world is not an easy task.  None of us truly know what life was like in Regency England.  However, we can draw upon her wonderful books and the history of the time for inspiration.  One thing is certain, all Janeites love to immerse themselves in the world of our beloved Miss Austen, regardless of the twist the modern author has placed upon the tale.
We novelists also love to hear what our readers want us to write about.  There is nothing better than receiving an email saying how much the reader enjoyed the book and asking what will happen to xxx?  Or please write xxx's story!  I know I am not alone in appreciating that.
With my own Pride & Prejudice Continues series, I decided to expand Jane’s most famous novel by wondering what happened next to her characters.  However, my own curiosity lies with what happened to the secondary characters.  My thoughts always did turn to Charlotte Lucas.  She claimed she was not romantic and chose to marry Mr Collins for security, so that she would no longer be a spinster and, therefore, a burden to her family.  But, I always wondered what married life really was like with Mr Collins.  So many readers dislike him intensely.  I cannot blame them – he is a bit of a buffoon.  However, what was his story?  Why was he like that?  And, perhaps most important of all, how did Charlotte cope with such a married life? 
My second novel in the series takes us to Rosings and Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her daughter Anne.  Within those pages I allowed my imagination to stretch to another interest of mine – the Regency period itself – the Napoleonic wars, The Prince Regent, great poverty among the majority of the nation while the Darcy’s lived it up together with a mere 1% of the country who were also rich.  There were other topics which we tend to think of as modern, men gaining access to women’s rooms, homosexuality – which was punishable by death, but within the upper-classes, it was mostly ignored, especially as many past-kings were thought to have been homosexual.  Jane touched on fornication and illegitimacy in her work, but also, adultery and mistreatment of other human beings were rife in the period.  I like the idea of weaving these elements into my novels.  Lady Catherine is a powerful woman who really has her world shaken in book two and I am told it made her more ‘human’.  Anne, as we can imagine, has lived for so long under her mother’s shadow that we wonder if she has a will of her own at all!
So, now I am writing book number 3 in the series, and I take so much delight in writing about the time of the Napoleonic wars.  In Pride & Prejudice itself, Jane mentioned the militia, soldiers and she even had colonels in her works, however, she did not tell us much about what they did.  Book 3 will centre around Lydia and George Wickham.  They’re such fun characters to write about.  Lydia is selfish and rather childish, and Wickham, well, he’s one of Jane’s most loveable and infamous bad-guys!  It would be impossible for a soldier or an officer such as Wickham to avoid conflict and going to war – so off to the continent he will go in my Pride & Prejudice Continues book 3.
The novel is progressing well and I hope to have it winging its way onto your shelf or Kindle very soon!

I am certain there will be books based on Jane Austen’s for decades, if not centuries to come.  In our fast-paced, high-tech world, there is nothing so wonderful than for a book to whisk us away from it all.  There is nothing better than switching off all our gadgets and being transported, via the pages of a good book, to Merryton and to our beloved Bennet family, is there?  Why do I and other writers today continue the wonderful works of Jane Austen?  It is simply because, we, like you, can’t get enough of her world either.

Monday, 25 April 2016

What do you write? How do you begin?

There are always two burning questions for new writers; what do you write? And how do you begin?

The answer to these questions might sound a little trite, but it is true and quite simple.

Write about whatever is in your head to write.

Now I know you want to reach through the computer screen and strangle me now, but before you do that, let me explain…
Only you know the story you want to tell. If you gave the same story synopsis to 3 different authors, you would get three different stories.
No one writes in the same way that you do. No one will ever write in the same way as you.

Therefore, I cannot tell you what, specifically, to write, but I can help start you off.

I know, you have this fantastic idea in your head for a novel, or you wouldn't be here reading this blog post. So let's go into your mind and think about that fantastic novel…
What is your absolute favourite part of the story?
Is it a bit of action?
Is it violence?
Is it a love scene?
Is it a huge argument?
Is it a car crash?
Whatever your favourite part of the story is, think about that… Go on, think about it. Immerse yourself in it completely. Imagine yourself there with all the characters, in the middle of the action, or as one of the characters.

Now, think about how you would describe that. What triggered off the violence? Did one of the characters lie to another? Was that the trigger?
Describe something like a bead of sweat running from your characters forehead down his temple and the side of his face into his beard, perhaps. What about the light in the room? Are they even in a room? What can you smell?

Jim watched Andy's eyes flick back and forth staring at the ground as he fought to find a lie in his head that would excuse him for what he did… Something like that, perhaps?

The key is to start with one sentence. It doesn't matter where, precisely in your story, you begin, you can sort all of that out later. But it is important that you start something.
I just gave you an example sentence there. It's not perfect, but it's a start.

Then what happens? What's the next bit? Does Andy speak? Does Andy's behaviour trigger Jim to react in a particular way? The point of view in that sentence was Jim's, so how does he feel? Is his blood beginning to boil? Does he clench his jaw? Does his hand tighten around the lead piping he is holding?
These are all questions you can answer with the next sentences that you write.
Why is Jim angry at Andy? Why does Jim even have lead piping in his hand? Why would Andy want to lie?

The only person who can answer these questions is you. You are the only person that knows the entire story.
The reader wants to know what you know; you have to put it down on paper.

Begin with one sentence. Begin with your favourite scene. Then, like a spider's web, watch it grow from there…

Let me know what your beginning sentences and scenes are. I'd really like to hear from you.
Most of all, I'd like to hear about what you're writing and I wish you all the best!

Happy writing!
Karen x

Monday, 18 April 2016

Useful tips for aspiring authors!

Over the past couple of years, it has been my pleasure to help other authors with a few hints and tips that would have made my life so much easier, had I known them in the beginning.

I decided, instead of just giving a couple of people these tips that I would write them down here in the blog.

This is not a definitive list of hints and tips, but it's a pretty good place to start!

So, you have this burning desire in your heart to be a published author.
You've had an idea for a novel going around your mind for years.
Where do you begin?

Whether you decide to self-publish through KDP select, Smashwords, or Draft2Digital, or if you decide to try your hand at submitting to a publisher, it is good to get yourself organised.

Every writer will tell you that one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is procrastination. Hence the fact for tip number one. I always say get a diary — a big one.

  1. Get yourself a big diary. Get one of those large ones it has an entire day per page. That way, you will be able to plan your week and pencil in things to do in the future. Don't worry, this isn't as scary as it sounds.
  2. Get a blog. Choose either WordPress or blogger, unless you know some other ones, set it up, make it beautiful, but don't worry that it has no content yet! (Notice I said YET!)
  3. Start an author page on Facebook. Facebook is a great place to actually talk to people. I know, I know it's only typing, you're not face-to-face, but this is very interactive and readers really appreciate that.
  4. Start an author Twitter account. Love it or hate it, Twitter is a useful tool. Other authors love it and we would be foolish to ignore it.
  5. Go back to Facebook and link your Facebook author page to Twitter, so that every time you post on Facebook, it automatically tweets for you. Now, this is a little complicated, but there are some excellent tutorials on the Internet to help you do that.
  6. Write. In fact, the best thing to do is to put that in your diary. Put it in your diary ever really single day. What do you write? My next blog post will be about that! ;-)
  7. Go back to your diary put in 'write something' on every page; Monday to Friday, if those are the days you wish to work. (You can choose any days of the week to work, that is entirely your choice!)
  8. Write a blog post once a week, at least. In the beginning, you can chart your journey as a writer. Write down how difficult it is to begin. Tell people what it feels like to have writers' block. The most important thing is that at least once a week, you write something. One great tip for this is that while you were reading other people's books, especially in the genre that you plan to write in, you put a review on your blog. (don't forget to also put the review on Amazon or whichever site/place you bought the book from.) I will also write a blog post about that, too ;-)
  9. Set up your blog so that it will post to Twitter, Google plus, Facebook etc. etc. Then, when you have made your post, you can share it with the social media world. 
  10. Post updates on Facebook and tweet them. There are some fantastic little blog widgets out there that will help you to keep track of your word count. These are great for visitors, as they show how much you've written and are a) Encouraging for you and b) help to show those who are interested in reading your work that you are still writing.
Wash, rinse, and repeat! 

Eventually, what you will be doing is filling your diary with little things. You only need to be adding one or two things in your diary every day. For example, post a review, tweet your word count for the day. But what this does,this not only helps you to get yourself organised and beat that evil procrastination that lurks around every corner but also begins to build up interest in what you were doing. At the end of the day, that is your objective; to build up interest in your work, so that when you are ready to put it up for pre-order, people actually want to buy it. They will have been on this journey with you and they want to see the end result.

As I said before, this is not a definitive list. This is merely a list of 10 hints and tips that will help to get you organised and get you thinking in a productive way.

The key here is; LITTLE AND OFTEN!!

Rome wasn't built in the day so don't expect your novel to be written in a day, or you're following to be huge in a day.

It will happen. Keep writing. Let people know you're writing. 

I wish you all the best!

Let me know you are writing, too! I want to know if this list has helped you! I would also like to know if you would add anything to this list. Anything can be improved if we all get together and help each other!

Happy writing  — Karen x

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Preorder links for The Spice Bride!

As promised here are the preorder links I have for The Spice Bride!

It's so exciting to have a new book coming out after so long, let alone it being the first of a trilogy!

I will add more links to this list as and when they become available.

(These links are 'intelligent links' which take you immediately to the online store in your country rather than you having to trawl through lists of links to find the one you want! :-) Simply click on the icon below of your preferred store!)

PS - The Spice Bride will also be available in paperback! I will post links for that as soon as it becomes available too!  xxx

Please go ahead and share this post everywhere! Google+ it, tweet it, facebook it... however you want to share, please do!

Together we can get the word out about The Spice Bride!!

Happy Reading! 

Monday, 11 April 2016

Hear me read!

Hear me read a snippet from The Spice Bride and introduce you to The Emberton Brothers Series

I really hope you enjoy this!  If you do, please let me know and I will record more! :-)

(It's not perfect, so please bear with me.)

Grace remembering the plantation in India....

© 2016 Karen Aminadra

Click on these links below to preorder!

Amazon - 
Barnes & Noble

Friday, 8 April 2016

Cover reveal for The Spice Bride!

I could cry!  I seriously could actually cry!

I couldn't be happier with the result. It. Is. Stunning!

When I received the invoice from the cover artist, Miranda Stork, she even added a note, "I love this cover!"

I wholeheartedly agree with her!  I LOVE THIS COVER!

So, without further ado... I present to you the cover for The Spice Bride book 1 in The Emberton Brothers series!!!

With three ships sunk in one year by Napoléon’s navy, Richard Emberton is desperate to save his spice importation business.
While collecting his daughter from boarding school in England, George Hayward is on the lookout for a new exporter for his spice plantation in India.
With benefits to be reaped by both sides, Richard agrees to marry the plantation owner’s daughter.
Certain that her chance at love is being sold to the highest bidder, Grace Hayward feels little more than a slave and is determined she will never be happy again.
With such an inglorious beginning, can love flourish?

Pre-order details will be coming as soon as I can get it all organised!  How exciting is this?!!
Keep your eyes on this blog or on facebook for more information!

Thank you for taking this journey with me!

Karen xxx

Monday, 4 April 2016

Characters have a mind of their own!

One of the greatest things about being an author is having the freedom to create any character you want to.

If I wanted to, I could combine a Dr Frankenstein character, a Jane Eyre character, with a Doctor Who character to create some crazy kind of fun in a book! The freedom is mine to choose.

However, the ability to tell my characters what to do is not mine. It never has been and it never will be; if my characters have anything to do with it!  And they have, I can assure you!

Each one of them has their own personality. Those personalities drive what the characters will and will not do, what they may or may not say, and most importantly where their story takes them.
Yes, I know I'm the author and I can jolly well write what I want to, but you tell them that!!
They won't listen to anybody!

Most of them are stubborn. They get that from me. I'm their mummy after all! 
Some of them are funny - note I did not say all of them. Some of them like to think they are funny, but they are not. At all. Ever.
And they can be foolish. Quite often, actually. 
Most often they get mad at me for making them do what they don't want to do, so they rebel against me and get themselves into all sorts of trouble. I mean, just look at Wickham and Lydia! All I asked them to do was get their acts together, get on well, and be nice to people. Could they? Could they 'eck!

So, what can I do about it?  Absolutely nothing! Nada! Zip! Niente!
If my characters want to behave foolishly, wantonly, and downright murderously, then that is up to them. Who am I to stand in their way if they wish to murder their way through the entire novel?

Thankfully, not all my characters are murderers or philanderers. To be honest, most of them quite likely would enjoy that. But, I have to put my foot down with a firm hand and say no! Enough is enough!
From now on I am the boss... yeah, right!

Seriously, though, as an author, I create characters and, like real people, they have their own set of dreams and desires, likes and dislikes. There are only so many places you can go with them. The mild-mannered sweet heroine of a book cannot, ever, be turned into a murderess - unless, of course, you had already decided on making her a mild-mannered gentlewoman by day and a rakishly wanton highwaywoman by night... that's an interesting thought! ;-)

One of my favourite reviews states that I make the characters leap off the page. I like that. I want, more than anything, for my characters to be real and relatable. After all, if you can't relate to a character in and book, you won't care what happens to them for good or for ill, will you? Heck, I won't even care what happens to them, either, I suspect!

Here is a snippet from chapter 26 of Wickham to illustrate my point.... I cannot, ever, and will not ever, change Mr Darcy's character. He is, and always will be, a perfectly kind gentleman.

Mr Darcy took pains to speak with Lydia that evening, much to her agitation. “Mrs Wickham, please forgive my impertinence, but seeing as we are brother and sister, I wondered if I might enquire as to whether all is well with you. You seem out of sorts.”
If any person other than Mr Darcy asked her such a question, she would not have minded in the least. As it was, she found Mr Darcy highly ill-mannered in his assertion of her being out of sorts. “I beg your pardon, Mr Darcy?” she said testily, arching her eyebrows.
Mr Darcy seemed nonplussed. “I asked if you were well, Mrs Wickham.”
His affability disturbed her. She wanted to hate him as much as Wickham seemed to, but on each occasion they met, he was gentlemanly and kind to her. According to her husband, the man standing before her with a look of pure concern on his face was the means of ruining his future. “I am very well, Mr Darcy. I thank you.”
“And are you quite recovered from the grippe?” His eyes searched her face for she knew not what.
“Quite,” she replied curtly.
“I am heartily glad to hear it.” He smiled and Lydia warned herself not to fall for his kindness, as the rest of her family seemed to have done. “My dear Elizabeth tells me that you would like to visit with us at Pemberley…whilst your husband is away at war.”
She cleared her throat, remembered her manners, and smiled at him. “Yes, if that is amenable to you.”
“Of course it is.” His smile widened and she could see how easily it was to trust this detestable man before her. “We would be delighted to have you and your son to stay with us a while. I believe my sister, Georgiana, whom you know lives with us, too, will enjoy playing with him, I am sure.”
Why is he being so nice to me when he dislikes my husband so? “I am sure that he also will enjoy all the attention.”
Mr Darcy laughed. It was a laugh that melted the hatred she felt for him a little more than she was comfortable with. She rebuked herself inwardly for such foolishness. Do you not realise he is drawing you in? He is trying to make you like him, and then he and all those who believe his lies about Wickham will work to convince you to think as ill of him as they do! Her thoughts brought a lump to her throat.
“Truly, are you well?” he asked.
Embarrassed that he saw her inner struggle, she shrugged it off. “Yes, quite well.” She decided to press him. “It is merely the thought of enjoying ourselves while dear Wickham is in some foreign land fighting…” The tears fell down her cheeks, and she was pleased to see that her ability for producing crocodile tears was still as strong as ever.
“Calm yourself.” She thought he, at least, had the good grace to frown and look discomfited. “It will do you more harm than you can imagine to fret about such things.” Mr Darcy did something then that truly eroded her hatred for him further. He reached into his pocket, withdrew his handkerchief, and offered it to her. “Here, take this and dry your eyes, sister. War cannot be avoided, and we know the tyrant must be stopped. However, you may take comfort in the fact that your husband is doing the country a great service. I believe all men who fight for freedom are heroes, are they not?”
There, he had accomplished his aim, she felt. Lydia looked up at him through her tear-soaked lashes and saw him differently. He was encouraging her to see Wickham as a hero, when he was the one person she never ever thought would say anything positive in connection to her husband. “Yes, I suppose you are right, Mr Darcy. I did not think of that before.” She smiled despite of herself. “Indeed, my Wickham is a hero.”
Mr Darcy bowed slightly. “Then we will see you happy at Pemberley, I am certain.”
Lydia watched as he turned away back to his wife, who also smiled at Lydia. Is it kindness, or do they pity me? She could not fathom why they would be kind after the majority of her own family had disparaged her husband so cruelly in her hearing. Yet, the evidence before her very eyes was of a kindness she never thought to see.     © 2014 Karen Aminadra

Mr Darcy is always politeness personified. Mr Wickham is always a rake. Lydia is always flighty. No matter what I cannot change them, neither would I want to. However, as we read in the passage above, Mr Darcy's personality has an effect on Lydia's. This is always fun to see play out in a novel!

One of the great things I can do as an author is to create new characters. I have thoroughly enjoyed doing that while writing The Emberton Brothers series and really hope to bring you news of book 1 The Spice Bride soon!

I have so many stories within me to tell. I can't wait to see where my characters take us! 

Join me on:

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Questions and Answers...

This morning I had a fantastic discussion with a few author friends regarding audiobooks and whether they are worth all the hassle and cost.

While we were talking I remembered that I had recorded a few bits and pieces from a couple of my novels. I will share those over the next few weeks if you like!  Please comment below and let me know if you would like audiobooks too!

Today, though, I would like to post this recorded Q&A session from the release day for Rosings.

Readers asked me questions and I answered them!  It was a pleasure to listen to this again!

I hope you enjoy it too! xxx

Monday, 28 March 2016

What to do when your book isn't selling...

All writers have experienced it, and those who haven't are either telling huge porky-pies or are amongst the 1% who actually make it as 'best-sellers'!

What am I talking about?

Having that one book out there, published, and not selling!

Anyone who has written a book knows what it feels like to pour a piece of your soul onto the pages, pay quite a lot of your, hard-earned cash, for someone to edit it, then pay someone else to wrap it in a gorgeous cover before you click the button and publish it.
Now, that sentence doesn't hold the weight it needs to. You bleed your soul into a book. Your life. Your experiences. Every book, film, and TV show you've ever watched gets mashed into little useful snippets you can add to YOUR book.  
By YOUR I mean, YOUR.  No one else could ever, ever have written that book!  If you gave a synopsis to two writers you would end up with two entirely different books. Why? Because you are unique!
So, we've established how hard it is to write a book and also what you put into it.  
Then, you're paying out hundreds of pounds. Yes, hundreds of pounds in editing, covers, marketing, etc and that's BEFORE you publish!
So, you publish, praying to make your money back, at least!
And.....the books sits there. Doing nothing. Earning nothing. 
You're out of pocket.

What do you do?

Well, go ahead. Have a hissy-fit. Moan about it to your spouse.Cry!  Go on, sob! Deeply!
It sucks!  Get those emotions out - IN PRIVATE!

Then, pull up your socks and think about what you can do.

You could go the complicated Smashwords route and make it perma-free. By going permanently-free, your book would then be what is known as a 'loss leader'. Hopefully, drawing readers by its constant 'freebie' status to, again, hopefully, buy your other books. It's a risk....but your choice.

Or, you could go the Amazon  only, KDP Select route. Since the majority of your sales will be through Amazon (that seems universal for all authors), then this might be the option for you. You sign up for KDP Select and then every 90 days go free for 5 days, then do a price countdown, where the price is reduced significantly - wash, dry, and repeat. This can go on endlessly every 90 days.

Lastly, take the book down. Unpublish it. It's not selling anyway, right?

I personally would not go with the last one. Why? Read the beginning again. Look what you've put into it!

Maybe it needs re-editing. Maybe it needs rethinking and anew sub-plot added. Maybe there's nothing wrong with it at all. It's a cracking good read that no one has picked up yet!

TIP: If it's part of a series, edit the cover and the inside (You can do that at any time through KDP) and abandon the series idea; erase all traces that this ever would have been a series!  That is, unless, you have the whole series burning in your head and heart. My advice then, would be, write it and make the first non-selling book a 'loss leader' through Smashwords.
If the book/series needs to be written, i.e. you would die if it isn't, then do it!

You are under no obligation to anyone to write the whole series if book one isn't selling. Often that will kill your passion for the series anyway. Scrap it and start another book you really want to write. 

Hopefully, these ideas will get your book selling. Even if it's only in dribs-and-drabs. That's better than not selling at all, eh?

In the end of the day, remember one this, "This above all: to thine own self be true..." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

Write to please YOURSELF!  Do not write what you think people want to read; if you do, your heart and soul won't be in it!
When you write what is in your soul to write, people will read that, and love it. Kick start the sales with some of the ideas above, and, most importantly,  Don't give up!

And finally, it has been said that the best trick for selling books is to write more books!  Keep going!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

A clipper ship, a bride, and a cover artist...

This week has been tremendous so far!
Yes, I am aware that it is still only Wednesday, but I have had the most amazing and successful two weeks!

Firstly, I have been writing. You know this, of course, because you read my last post.
Secondly, that writing has been prolific. That's the only word for it. PROLIFIC. Yes, the capitals were necessary!
I am excited to say that I have reached the 90% mark in the first draft of The Spice Bride, the first book in my planned Emberton Brothers series.
Phew! Let me take that in.... it's nearly finished!! Woohoo!! How exciting is that?
I am so amazed and blessed! Yay!!

So, this week has been filled with, not only more writing, but with images of clipper ships, beautifully adorned Regency ladies, and with discussion with the fantabulous Miranda Stork from Moon Rose Covers. (You know who I mean -- the lady who did Rosings and The Uncanny Life of Polly!)

We are drawing closer and closer to a decision on the cover art. I am in a whirlwind of excitement! I really am! I will do a cover reveal, when it's all done and ready.  I cannot show you and mock-ups because, as you may or may not know, they remain the property of the cover artist until the final one is finished. :-D

Do check out Miranda's great art HERE and I will keep you updated as to my continued progress!
Oh..... you can also keep an eye on that via the widget-thingy on the right of the page or by going to the Coming soon page!

Have a great week!  I know I will!

Hugs K xxx

Thursday, 10 March 2016

The air is filled with spices......

Where have I been?
I cannot say, because I do not know.
I lost my muse. I admit. I simply did not know what to write and had no motivation to write for a whole year!
Gosh, that seems ever-such a long time!
Now...I am back!
I am motivated, and I am writing, and loving every minute of it, too!

I really want to share with you a little of what I am doing. I know you can look on the 'coming soon' page or on the sidebar to keep an eye on any progress I make (if any!!). Yet, there's nothing quite like me actually posting a wee snippet of what's going on, is there?

Here we go.......

The setting..... India and the air is filled with spices.....

(Taken from The Spice Bride by Karen Aminadra ©2016) *(UNEDITED)

Grace stretched lazily in the hammock hung between two columns on the veranda of the plantation, and yawned. The sun was high in the sky and beat down mercilessly upon them all. It was too hot for her to walk about amongst the slaves that day. However, she had at least made the effort. She donned her bonnet after breakfast and headed out to the cottages with the intent of being as much use as she could to the elderly slaves her father allowed remain on the plantation after their useful working life was done. He said it was his Christian duty to do all he could for the poor souls. Grace felt the same, although not in the same way as her father. Slavery did not sit well with her. Whenever she looked into the faces or the dark brown eyes of the Indians it was as though she could hear the Reverend Clarke’s voice echoing inside her mind, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Neither bond nor free. She sighed and breathed deeply in the spice-scented air. There were times when she was ashamed of herself and now was one of those times. With a burst of energy, she sat upright and climbed out of the hammock. “What on earth has come over me? It’s too hot to help today!” She threw her hands up in the air in desperation and marched off towards her room. “What is my discomfort compared to that of those who are in slavery here on our plantation?” she mumbled as she walked. “All this,” she waved her arm around her as she continued to her room. “All this is because of them.” She entered her room and quietly shut the door behind her. Hurrying over to her bed, Grace knelt down and prayed. “Dear Father God, none of this is of my doing, but I know that if I can do anything at all to lighten my fellow creature’s burdens then I must. Please give me the fortitude I lack for the task. Amen.” She rose, went to her bowl and pitcher and washed the dust and perspiration from her face, neck and hands.
Once again, Grace picked up her straw bonnet, placed it on her head, tied the dusky pink ribbon under her chin, and set out for the cottages. As was her practice she passed through the kitchens and collected her basket, which remained where she left it that morning after deciding the day was too hot to venture outside the house. Without a backward glance, she marched off determinedly to visit one elderly man in particular – Dipali. He was so old and unable to move that he was incapable of feeding himself during the day while his family worked. “I will take on that task.” She cried out.
Grace ignored the cook as she called after her, “Miss Grace, where do you think you are going in this heat? The master will be in a temper if he knows you went out in such weather!”
Grace cared not. Her vigour was renewed and her shame at being so weak that morning urged her onward. The cottages always made her feel uncomfortable. They were roughly made out of wood and most of them were nothing more than one room for a family. The inhabitants, who were too sick or with child and not in the cinnamon forests, stared at her as she approached. She felt uncomfortable. She knew she had no right to be there, but pushed on regardless. As she neared Dipali’s cottage she saw that it too was in need of repair. I must speak to father about these conditions. This, at least, he ought to attend. She knocked on the roughly hewn door but no answer came from within. She knocked again and called out. “Dipali! It is I, Grace. Grace Hayward. Are you there?” She paused and strained her ears for any sound from Dipali. “May I come in?” 

Grace pushed open the door and stepped inside. Despite there being only two rooms and no floor at all, the cottage was remarkably clean and tidy. There was an area along one wall where cooking utensils were stacked, and against the back wall, there were grass mats and blankets in need of darning. A sound to her left made her jump. She turned and saw in the tiny side room Dipali lay on his mat with his hand raised in greeting. Grace gave him her warmest smile. “Dipali, how are you today?” In one motion, she entered the room and knelt beside him, caring not that her muslin dress was pressed against the soil. He placed his palms together as in prayer and bowed his head to her. She had long since discovered that this was some sort of greeting amongst the natives and repeated the gesture back to him.