Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Republishing - Part III

In addition to republishing my own book, Ghost Writer, and Bob Schwenck’s book, Digging Deep, I took on an even larger task. Okay, I volunteered for this one.

My dear friend, favorite author, and one of my favorite people, Marilyn Meredith, had several books with the same publisher who first published Ghost Writer. Since she depends on her royalties for income, the lack of payments for nearly two years affected her much more than it did me.

After I republished Ghost Writer, she decided to take back the rights to all of her books, too. A mutual friend said he’d republish her Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series (written as F. M. Meredith). He owns his own publishing company, so he could take on the twelve books in the series. He published her most recent one, so it made sense to have all of them all with the same publisher.

However, she had several others, so Larry and I said we’d republish those and help her to self-publish them. This way, she will always have complete control over them.

We started with the first mystery she wrote, The Astral Gift.

She had the rights to the cover art because the original publisher, who created this image specifically for this book, died. All Marilyn had for this one was a text file (like on Notepad). All the words were there, but they were a mess. In addition, she wrote the original in 1998. Many of the references just didn’t work for a contemporary book. We decided to identify the time frame as earlier, and the book worked again.

We liked the result so well, we took on another special book.

Lingering Spirit won the 2012 EPIC eBook Award.

This book is also special to Marilyn because it is based on a family event—the loss of her son-in-law. (This one makes me cry. I adore it!)

Unfortunately, we couldn’t use the original cover art. So, I hunted for an image to invoke the same emotions as the original. Fortunately, this one was perfect—and the price was reasonable. (Some images can cost hundreds of dollars.) Marilyn liked it, too, so she bought it.

Larry took it to a whole other level. (He’s getting to be a terrific cover designer!)

Marilyn only had rough Word document for this one. (The other choice was a PDF of the galley, and it seemed harder to work with.)

Each of these books required a re-edit as well as formatting, but we’re very proud of the final results.

Marilyn Meredith’s published book count is nearing forty. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for ten years. She served as an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences.
Blog: http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/ and you can follow her on Facebook.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Meet Pauline Baird Jones

Let me introduce my friend and fellow author Pauline Baird Jones. She is one of Larry's favorites. (He especially enjoys her steampunk and sci-fi books.)

When my son was receiving chemotherapy for Hodgkin Lymphoma, our cat, Felix, became very protective of him—and was very comforting to my son as he dealt with all the side effects. Felix would curl up next to him, sometimes on his chest, and purr and just be there. He also licked away my tears.

Pets provide unconditional, uncomplicated love and comfort in ways hard to define with words. They need us, but I think we need them more. So, when Veronica and I conceived the idea of Pets in Space, we agreed that we wanted it to feature:
1.       Pets who are an important part of the story
2.       Stories about heroes and heroines in space
3.       Most of all, we wanted to donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity that served both veterans AND pets in some way.

When Google delivered Hero Dogs, we were beyond thrilled. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

They work to help real life heroes recover from the wounds of war.

The next question was: would Hero Dogs be willing to work with an anthology called Pets in Space, one written by science fiction romance authors? To our delight and gratitude, they were enthusiastic about working with us, not once, but twice.

So once again, Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 is working to raise money for Hero Dogs. All authors involved are donating 10% of all preorders and the first month’s sales (to Nov. 11, 2017) before expenses to Hero Dogs.

As Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 gets ready to release twelve stories with new pets, new adventures, and new romances—ALL of them happening in outer space or on alien planets—we are also grateful to everyone for helping us to spread the word about our awesome charity. And of course, we applaud our readers who are supporting Hero Dogs and the anthology at its full price of $3.99.

If you love pets and love our veterans, but you’ve never tried science fiction romance stories, here is your chance to take a fictional journey to some strange new worlds with characters who love pets, too, AND help a hero struggling to come all the way home.

Embrace the Romance:  Pets in Space 2 Anthology
Release Date: October 10, 2017
The pets are back! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, features twelve of today’s leading science fiction romance authors. They bring you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr to journeying back to Luda where Grim is King. These stories will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help www.Hero-Dogs.org, a charity that supports our veterans!

10% of all preorders and the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

Time Trap
A Novella in the Project Enterprise Series
By Pauline Baird Jones

Hiding in time is not as easy as you’d think…

Madison lives by the rules of a time travel rebel–never tell anyone your real name, not if you want to remain alive. On the track of a traitor, Madison and her parrot partner, Sir Rupert, time travel into a trap. Their only way out sends them back in time and into the arms of a man who ignites a fire inside her.

USAF Master Sergeant Briggs is in trouble–not the kind he’d like, but still in trouble. He is bored out of his mind. Ordered to recuperate on a quiet bay away from the Garradian outpost, he’s ready to mutiny and go back to his beloved engines. When his friends send him a gift from Area 51, he figures it will relieve his boredom for an hour or so–until he turns it on and he gets his second present of the day.

Madison would love to get to know Briggs better, but it is just too dangerous. Unfortunately, she might not have much choice. With a Time Service Interdiction Force on their heels, can the three craft a plan that will save a base full of geniuses and technology and discover a happy-ever-after forged through time?

About Pauline
Pauline never liked reality, so she writes books. She likes to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla, because she does love peril mixed in her romance. You can find out more about her books here:
Website:                              http://paulinebjones.com
Facebook:                          https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPaulineBairdJones/
FB Handle:                         @AuthorPaulineBairdJones
Twitter:                                https://twitter.com/PaulineBJones
Twitter Handle:                  @PaulineBJones
Instagram:                          @paulinebjones

Where to buy Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2

Buy Links: (available for preorder in digital and print)
Universal Link for All Stores: books2read.com/u/3L9aYM
Pet Illustrations: Nyssa Juneau

Embrace the Romance Coloring Book: Pets in Space 2 Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Embrace-Romance-Coloring-Book-Space/dp/1548854247/
Embrace the Romance Coloring Book: Pets in Space 2 PDF: (FREE) http://bit.ly/EmbraceTheRomanceColoringBook

Website Anthology Page:  http://bit.ly/PetsInSpace2
Pets in Space Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PetsInSpace/

Sunday, October 1, 2017


Today my dear friend and one of my favorite authors, Marilyn Meredith is my guest. If you ever wanted to write a book, she offers some great advice. Lorna

Some things people have said to me over the years:

“When I get time, I’m going to write a book.”

“I’ve started a book but can’t seem to finish it.”

And there’s the person who attempts to tell me the whole plot of a book he or she plans to write one day.

Number one, if you really want to write a book you’ll make time and write it. Maybe you’ll have to get up a couple of hours earlier or stay up later. Perhaps you’ll have to give up some TV time, or whatever it is you do that’s really a waste of time. Do whatever it takes.

Number two, when writing a book write the whole thing first, then rewrite it. The first book you write probably won’t be all that good anyway. I wrote several that were never published.

Never tell the whole plot of a story you plan to write to anyone—sit down and write it. It doesn’t matter how, just do it.

And my biggest piece of advice, don’t let anything discourage you. You probably will get rejected—so what, do some more editing if necessary, and send it out again. If you’re going to self-publish, if you want sales, get a professional to edit it for you.

If you’ve read any of my other posts, I’ve had all sorts of discouraging things happen to me besides plenty of rejections, but I never let anything stop me.

If you are a writer, you will write.

Marilyn Meredith

A Cold Death:

Deputy Tempe Crabtree and her husband answer the call for help with unruly guests visiting a closed summer camp during a huge snow storm and are trapped there along with the others. One is a murderer—and a ghost.

Anyone who orders any of my books from the publisher’s website: http://mundania.com
can get 10% off by entering MP20 coupon code in the shopping cart. This is good all the time for all my books, ebooks and print books.

You can also find it on Amazon.

Marilyn Meredith’s published book count is nearing 40. She is one of the founding members of the San Joaquin chapter of Sister in Crime. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra, a place with many similarities to Tempe Crabtree’s patrol area.

Webpage: http://fictionforyou.com Blog: http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/ and you can follow her on Facebook.

Contest: Once again I’m going to use the name of the person who comments on the most blogs on my tour for the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery—which may be the last in the series.

Tomorrow I’ll be answering Jackie’s Questions here:

Monday, September 25, 2017

Republishing - Part II

In addition to republishing my own book, Ghost Writer, I am also helping friends republish their books. The first one I did was our friend, Bob (Robert L.) Schwenck’s, Digging Deep. This book originally came out in 1979, and it has been out-of-print since the mid-eighties.

I always liked the book about dream and biblical symbols. However, the original read much like a textbook. I wanted the new edition to be more reader-friendly without watering down the original information.

Unfortunately, the book was so old no digital copy exists. Fortunately, we had an old paperback copy of the original. So, I started re-typing the book from the beginning. After I had done a few chapters, Larry started at the back and re-typed a chapter at a time, working forward. When we were about two-thirds of the way done, I realized I had an OCR (Optical Character Reader) and could scan the pages. After using the OCR, I copied the characters into a new Word document. Unfortunately, the OCR doesn’t read all characters correctly, and it loses nearly all the formatting. So, the first task was to restore the original text.

The book included number of pen-and-ink drawings. Larry scanned those, and we added them back into the manuscript before publishing.

Bob had recently done a color painting based on one of these drawings. Larry used this painting as the cover image.

I think it is a great improvement over the original, which none of us really liked. What do you think?

Once we had all the chapters in digital form, I did a complete edit in order to remove the repetition and make it more reader-friendly.

Bob reviewed everything and made changes, corrections, additions. He also added a prologue and an additional chapter.

Finally, we sent the completed manuscript to some beta readers. They returned comments, which we included in the front matter.

Once published, the book now exists in ebook and paperback form, and readers can now enjoy it again.

Monday, September 18, 2017


We were blessed to be published by two small independent publishers. The owners of both became dear friends as well as our publishers.

The first company was sold when the owner could no longer run the business due to Parkinson’s disease. This situation was sad and distressing since we cared about the people involved.

We stayed with the new publisher since they had seven of our titles. So far, they seem okay, if indifferent, but we haven’t seen any royalties for months. However, getting our rights back would cost us more than we could make in several years. So, the books will stay where they are—for now.

The second publisher had a stroke about two years ago. Again, we felt terrible because she is a dear friend. In addition, she created a new imprint for my book. Besides being published by her imprint, I did a great deal of editing for her.

We have prayed for her recovery and continue to hope she will be able to resume her work, but after nearly two years without royalties, I felt I had no choice but to take back my book.

I contacted the cover artist to find out who owned the cover art. Some artists license their covers to the publishers and retain their ownership. Others create the books for the publisher. The publisher pays for the cover and has ownership. This was the case with my cover. Thank goodness because it is my favorite cover.

The first sample I received in no way reflected the story. It featured two half-naked people against an orange sunset. I loathe the color orange, and the cover looked like it should have been for erotica. Not at all like my book.

Larry mocked up an idea, and the cover artist took it to a whole new level. It completely reflects the story.

I contacted the publisher and requested my rights back. In addition, I asked for the cover rights in exchange for any money I am owed. Bless her. She gave me full rights in writing as well as the cover art and the PDF of the book as submitted for publication.

Then came the hard work. Fortunately, I have a program with an OCR (Optical character Reader). I was able to convert the PDF to a text file, so I could create a new Word file. The downside is in the conversion, all the formatting is lost. Occasionally, words are lost or wrong. Therefore, a complete edit is necessary, along with new formatting. But at least I had about 95% of the text intact.

I contacted the cover artist again. I offered her a small amount to remove the publisher’s information, and she agreed to do it as well as size the cover for the new book.

I tried to format the book to closely resemble the original so the transition would appear nearly seamless. This took lots of time and effort, but the result was worth it.

Once I had the complete manuscript and cover, I was able to self-publish it as a second edition. For this one, I added a new section in the back: Book Club Questions.

The book is now available again on Amazon as a second edition, and I am happy to have complete ownership of it. From here on, I will have complete control of the book without depending on anyone else.

Since I did this one, I have also converted two books for a friend. They had been published by the same publisher.

I anticipate we may have to do the same for the other seven books. Someday, we will probably have all of our books self-published.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Indian Attack

In recent years, we have written about the Indians here in California. After telling their story, I have become aware of the hubris of Europeans who arrived here in America, usurped their lands, and destroyed their way of life. Recently, I have been transcribing accounts of my own ancestors, and I have become painfully aware of their part in doing the same. In this account, my great-grandfather recounts his encounter with the Indians in Utah. I present it as a historical account only. In no way, do I condone the actions of those who arrived and showed no respect for those already living on the land.

Indian Attack
An account given by Marinus Lund
of Spring City, Utah.

Edited by Lorna Lund Collins

During the month of April, a company of "Minute Men" was organized at Spring City, Sanpete County, Utah, for guarding, scouting, and general service in protecting the settlers from the Indians. The company was composed of ten picked men, who were on duty all the time during the spring and summer of 1867.

Everybody moved along quietly until the morning of August 13, 1867, when about twenty men with teams left Spring City for the hayfield, which was about six miles southwest of the town. Contrary to the usual custom, the scouting ahead of the cowherd was not done that morning.

A company of Indians, who evidently had spent the previous night in the stone-quarry hills, about a half-mile south of the hay road, saw the cow herd coming over the hills north of the road. In their effort to reach the cowherd, the Indians encountered the hay teams. The Minute Men were guarding the herd and were attracted by the reports of the guns fired by the Indians in their attack on the hay teams.

William Scott, Sanford Allred, and myself [sic] rode to the place where the firing was heard. On our way, we saw Andrew Johnson, a driver of one of the hay teams, going north with an arrow in his back. He had been shot by an Indian while on his wagon.

Sanford Allred, who was armed with a cap and ball pistol, went to Spring City to report. William Scott left me and rode down west. I yelled and asked him to wait for me.

I had nearly reached him when Mr. Scott said, "Look behind you.”

I then discovered that several Indians were riding close behind me. I turned in my saddle and fired at them. They rode away.

When I reached Scott, I asked him where he was going? [sic] He said that he was afraid his father-in-law, James Meeks, had been killed.

I then left Scott and rode north to the cowherd. On the way, I met William Blain, who had been shot through the ear by the Indians. Mr. Blain told me not to get scared. I showed him the nearest way to town, and told him to go there as fast as he could. The Indians were then all south of us.

I then met Jack Allred and asked him where he was going. He said that he was going down to get his horse out of the band, which the Indians had stolen. As he was crippled, I told him that I would go with him and help him catch his horse. I suggested that the Indians might kill him; to which he replied that he did not care.

We went east to a place where other Minute Men were stationed on top of a hill. At the foot of this hill, two Indians rode by without seeing us. Neither did we see them until they had passed.

When we arrived at the top of the hill, I dismounted and tied my horse to a cedar tree. As I dismounted, three Indians rode by. I shot at them three times.

Captain John Hitchcock asked me if I was shot.

I told him, "No."

He then said that my horse was shot, if I wasn't, but my horse was not hurt.

Jack Allred said “You hit an Indian.”

“I am not certain whether I did or not," was my reply.

Later, we caught a mule, which one of the Indians that I shot at had been riding. This mule had been stolen from Peter Oldroyd at Glenwood at the fight in March, 1867.

I then rode towards Spring town and met members of the militia, who were coming to the rescue of the herd and hay teams.

The Indians had stolen twenty-eight head of horses and started to the mountains with them. We followed the Indians up the trail south of Bill Allred's canyon, and the militia had a small engagement with them on the mountainside.

The Indians were followed to the top of Horseshoe Mountain, and on the way up my horse gave out.

Thomas Coates, a tame Indian from Moroni, and I followed to the top of the Horseshoe.

When we arrived there, we discovered that all the militiamen had returned to Springtown, and we did not see any Indians there.

Then we returned to Springtown, where we arrived about nine o'clock at night.

Here we learned that William Scott's father-in-law, James Meeks had been killed, and Andrew Johansen, who had been wounded, died that night.