Hey gang – we are headed into day three of the LEAP YEAR 2016 RAFFLECOPTER‬ ‪AUTHOR‬ GIVEAWAY‬ with a guest post from Author G. R. Stone.

Before we get to it, I want to take a moment to remind you to check out our original blog post regarding the contest and encourage you to enter for one of 19 great prizes!

And now without further ado – Author G. R. Stone!

I am so excited to be introducing my new novella – Marie’s Diary – The Introduction.


The adult romance trilogy follows the story of Marie Boxford, a forty-six-year-old, senior pharmaceutical representative, with her oldest in his final year of college and her youngest entering in the fall.

The story begins with her facing the reality of her fading marriage and how she begins to come to terms with it over the sunset of that chapter in her life.

While she has a close group of friends to confide in, she is reluctant to divulge everything to any one of them, so she takes to putting down her thoughts in an online diary.

She works through her feelings at her half of the failure in her marriage, all the while coming more and more out her shell. She acknowledges her lack of emotional and physical response to sex, in her marriage and with her husband. She realizes, as her husband did, that what she wants and desires will likely need to come from someone else.

The supporting character of the story is Ben Livingston – a single, white collar, professional who is just beginning a new relationship with a woman he works with, after exiting a recent, tumultuous, relationship. While navigating the Internet, he stumbles across the file share where Marie is storing her diary online.

As Marie begins the new chapters of her life, she is unaware that Ben has taken on the role of voyeur, taking vicarious pleasure by reading her entries.

This series is intended for mature audiences eighteen years and older.

I am also excited to announce that on Wednesday February 17, Blogger/Reviewer Catherine Bibby of Rochelle’s Reviews is going to be hosting a teaser excerpt of Marie’s Diary – The Introduction on her site; I am so excited for the opportunity and cannot thank her enough.


I also want to thank (via shout out) a number of heavy re-tweeters for me these past couple of days – I really do appreciate the support.


Thank you, each of you, and anyone I may have forgotten – because of each of you this is a great launch.

On March 31, 2016 Marie’s Diary – The Separation will release and Marie’s story continues as she begins her formal separation from her husband, Brian.

The Separation

Thanks everyone for stopping by today!

G. R. Stone


Hey gang – we are headed into day two of the LEAP YEAR 2016 RAFFLECOPTER‬ ‪AUTHOR‬ GIVEAWAY‬ with a guest post from Author Traci Sanders.

Before we get to it, I want to take a moment to remind you to check out our original blog post regarding the contest and encourage you to enter for one of 19 great prizes!

And now without further ado – Author Traci Sanders!


First off, I’d like to thank Jason Zandri for organizing this incredible event and for allowing me to be part of it!

My latest release “Unsevered” is a light paranormal romance (think the movie GHOST) about a woman named Jewel whose husband (Harley) is called to active duty just days after the couple returns from their honeymoon. Harley is killed in combat, and Jewel is left to pick up the pieces of her life.

It’s a realistic, compelling story about love found, lost, and rediscovered in a magical way.

Here is one of my favorite excerpts, as it paints a vivid picture of Jewel and Harley’s relationship and what they meant to one another, while giving a glimpse inside Jewel’s broken heart as she deals with the loss of her soul mate.

As well, it touches on the gripping sense of loneliness and loss that every military spouse endures on a regular basis. In fact, the dedication in the front of the book reads:
Dedicated to all military spouses … especially those

whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice.


It’s amazing how much one can miss taking care of another person. There’s no extra laundry to be done, no dirty dishes to wash.

His clothes hang in perfect rows in the closet, his toothbrush sits dry and unpasted in its holder. I asked him three times if he’d packed it. Not that he needs it now.

Cruel reminders are everywhere that he’s never coming back for these things, that he’s never going to need them again. The joy and laughter that once filled our room mocks me now. What’s there to look forward to anymore?

I curl up in a ball under the covers and breathe in what little of him remains on his pillow. Behind my tear-soaked eyes lurks a memory of our last day together when he was alive. It had started out as the perfect day.


* * *       * * *     * * *

Harley slept in as I tiptoed downstairs to make breakfast. In moments, the house was infused with the scent of bacon, eggs, French toast, and coffee. I enjoyed my food out on the back porch watching the waves caress the shore. I finished my meal, placed some fresh fruit in a bowl on the side, and carried the tray upstairs. He blinked his sleepy eyes when he saw me. His smile was intoxicating.

“Mmm, looks delicious.” He sat up in bed with arms folded behind his head.

“Well, after last night, I figured you could use a little refueling.” I offered him a dirty smile.

“The food looks good too.” He returned my gesture, took the tray from my hands and sat it on the dresser. Then he grabbed me by the waist, and threw me onto the bed.

I squealed and squirmed around in hopes of escaping his strong fingers that were torturing my ribs. “No, stop! I hate to be tickled!”

“Ooohhh, let’s find out if I can make you pee your pants,” he teased, and continued to find other reactive areas.

Finally, I made my counterattack and managed to grab the bulging stones between his legs. I squeezed until the power in his fingers diminished and he surrendered.

“Ha, looks like I’m not the only ticklish one.” I threw him a victorious smile, released his genitals, and fell onto my back.

He gently rolled on top of me and stared into my blue eyes. His soft fingers brushed through strands of my hair. “I love you, Jewel. I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to get to wake up to you every day for the rest of my life. Thank you for marrying me and making me the happiest man alive.”

“I love you too, Harley. You are the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I’m proud to be your wife.”

We locked lips, barely allowing a breath to escape. His hands began to wander and just as they reached my belly button, the phone rang.

Our passionate moment was replaced by silence as he answered it.

“This is Harley.” He shooed me away from him and whispered “go away” with a smile. Then, “No, Sir. Not you, Sir.”

My husband’s eyes adopted a gloomy appearance and he turned away to finish the conversation. I heard the words, “Yes sir, I will be there.” And then a click.

Knots formed in my stomach and my breakfast threatened to reappear. I closed my eyes hard and the only sound I heard was the echo of my pounding pulse. I knew this time would come eventually, but didn’t expect it to happen so soon. No, no, no. It wasn’t fair. We’d just returned from our honeymoon, hadn’t even had our first fight as a married couple.

He’d hung up the phone, almost in slow motion and sat on the bed without a word; his head hung low, his breath heavy. He turned to face me and took both of my shaking hands in his.

“That was my commander. He said we pull out at 0600.”

Tears pooled in his eyes. I’d never actually seen him cry and I wasn’t sure how I would react if I did. I was sure I wouldn’t be able to contain my own emotions, so I forced myself to play my part the same way I did when my parents told me they were divorcing. I shut down. My arms pulled away from his and I began to pack his things as I rambled.

“So what all do you need to take? Will it be hot there?”

I grabbed a few t-shirts and pairs of boxers. “How many pairs of socks do you think you’ll need?”

I wanted to die inside with each piece I placed inside his duffle bag. My stride was broken for a moment as I paused to inhale the scent of one of his t-shirts. My body shuddered and tears streamed down my face. I wasn’t able to fake it as well with him.

Harley wrapped both of his arms around my waist and placed soft kisses on the back of my neck.

“Jewel, honey. Look at me.”

I restored my brave face and turned around with my eyes trained on his—determined not to let him see my tears. His muscles bulged against my skin with tension and he embraced me as if he never wanted to let go.

“It’s going to be okay. We can get through this.”

“I know. I’ll be fine,” I said, lying so easily.

Knowing that it might be quite some time before we would have the chance again, we finally rediscovered the mood and made love one last time. It was soft and sweet, the perfect way to say goodbye. Our bodies stayed pressed tight together for the rest of the night. I finally found rest, listening to the beat of his broken heart, because mine was playing the same tune.

The break of dawn illuminated the path as I drove Harley to the base. His head leaned against the passenger window, his eyes fixed on nothing particular as signs and trees whizzed by. I could tell he was torn between staying with me and doing the right thing, even though there was no choice to be made.

Almost in slow motion, we unloaded his things from the car and embraced, surrounded by the other military men and women who bid their own farewells to their loved ones.

The pain in my chest was unbearable. I tried to swallow the lump that had formed at the back of my throat as the last few servicemen had boarded.

Harley brushed a half-bent finger along my cheek. “Remember the sign, sweetheart. I’ll always be with you.”

His voice was soft and empathetic, as he placed tiny kisses upon my hand. The plane engine roared a signal that takeoff was imminent. He pulled me to him and covered my mouth with his, and time stood still. Our tongues entwined as our wet lips slid across one another at a fierce, desperate pace. I’m not sure if either of us even breathed for the duration of that kiss. We shared a long, final embrace and then he joined his comrades.

I waited until the plane was but a dot in the sky to release my pain. Hot, stinging tears drenched my cheeks and became waterfalls within seconds. The other military spouses around me inquired if I needed anything. When I declined, they offered a supportive hand on my shoulder and gathered their children to head back home to continue living life the only way they knew how. Alone.


You can view the trailer for “Unsevered” here:

Thanks so much for having me today and for letting me share a little bit about my new book. Please subscribe to my blog at where you will find samples of my poems and stories, excerpts from my books, and daily tips on all aspects of the writing industry (publishing, marketing, writing, etc.) in my new segment for 2016 called “365 Days to Write Right.”

Buy links for “Unsevered”
Barnes and Noble:


unsvd teaser

Buy links for “When Darkness Breaks”
Barnes and Noble:

When Darkness Breaks

Connect with me:


Kindle Unlimited KENP per Page Rate DROP January, 2016

Another month, another drop in the payout.


The KENP pages read rate has reached a record low, paying $0.00411 per page in the United States

Thanks Chris McMullen for putting this together each month!

Source: Kindle Unlimited KENP per Page Rate DROP January, 2016

The Old Woman I Will Be

I hate the terms “growing old gracefully” or “getting older”… I am not 65 nor a woman but I am “getting older” and feel some of this sentiment.

Hmmm… like I said, I hate those terms… perhaps I’ll come up with a better phrase.

In the meantime – this is a #MustRead (whether you are a boy or a girl) 😉


Another birthday.

A big one. 65.

Over the last few weeks, I have been preoccupied with the significance of 65.

Two thirds of my life is behind me. Maybe more. Do I have 30 years left? What if it is only 10?

I’ve wasted a lot of time in 65 years.  John Lennon said, “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” But have I enjoyed it? It’s gone now… all those hours waiting for boys to call or vegging in front of TV or playing online games or shopping for shit that I hardly ever wear. I can’t get those hours back.

But I want to make the most of whatever time I have left – and to enjoy that time. Maybe that still means television and shopping. But maybe not.

I will soon (not quite yet) be an old woman.

I’ve been asking myself:

What kind of old…

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LEAP YEAR 2016 – RAFFLECOPTER AUTHOR GIVEAWAY – 19 Prizes from 9 authors.

I’ve really gotten into a promotion and contest groove with the Rafflecopter Giveaways this year, having done two already, but I’ve decided I need to get into a writing groove and step away from some of my promoting.

So, I’ve decided to do one more “for now” and then buckle down.

I figure I may come back for another one perhaps to kick off the summer or perhaps the 4th of July holidays… in the meantime, I give you (along with a little help from some of my author friends) the LEAP YEAR 2016 – RAFFLECOPTER AUTHOR GIVEAWAY

This give away starts on February 15th and end on leap day of leap year 2016. Each day here on the blog we’ll be outlining the prizes and sending the reminder to readers and page fans to enter.

We have 19 awesome prizes for you (laid out below). You can gain additional entries for doing more than one of the options, and the Tweeting the Message option CAN be done daily for two entries into the contest.

So without further ado – here are the prizes, links to a little additional information from the authors offering the prizes, and at the end another link to gain entries:

1)  GRAND PRIZE – 7 Night Stay Star Island Kissimmee, Florida
Seven Night Stay

  • GRAND PRIZE – SEVEN NIGHT STAY – Star Island Resort
    • 2 Bedroom Lock-off
    • 1,500 square feet of space (combined units)
    • Sleeps 8 in total; 6 privately
    • King, 2 double beds, Queen Sleeper sofa
    • A side has a partial kitchen
    • B side has full kitchen / Jetted Tub / Balcony / Deck

CHECK IN  SATURDAY APRIL 9,  2016 after   4PM
2)  Life Poetry by C. M. Krishack (e-book)
Life Poetry

3)  Unhinged Fences by Susan Bird (e-book)
Unhinged Fences

4)  Splinters by Susan Bird (e-book)

5)  Marie’s Diary – The Introduction by G. R. Stone (e-book)

6)  Unsevered by Traci Sanders (e-book)

7)  Tracking A Shadow: A Jarvis Mann Detective Novel by R Weir (e-book)

8)  Twice as Fatal: A Jarvis Mann Detective Novel by R Weir (e-book)

9) Blood Brothers: A Jarvis Mann Detective Novel by R Weir (e-book)

10) Infinity (Xandrian Circle Book 1) by Allaina Daniels (e-book)

11) The Outlaw River Wilde: Sometimes a Man Needs to Journal (The Outlaw River Wilde Series Book 1) by Mike Walters (e-book)

12) The Best Girls Series – five books in total – by Tamie Dearen (e-books)

13) Before Another Sunset – Second Edition by Jason Zandri (e-book)

14) Another Sunset by Jason Zandri (e-book)

15) I Hero: The Beginning by Jason Zandri (e-book)

16) I Hero: Nathan Returns by Jason Zandri (e-book)

17) As Life Goes: Elementary by Jason Zandri (e-book)

18) As Life Goes: The End of the Innocence by Jason Zandri (e-book)

19) All six e-books from Jason Zandri
All covers new second edition no Phases smaller


The KDP Delivery Fee for Large Books: Is it really worth trying to reduce the file size?

More great KDP reference information from Chris McMullen #MustRead


Delivery Fees


If you price your Kindle e-book between $2.99 and $9.99, you’re eligible for the 70% royalty option.

However, Amazon charges a delivery fee of 15 cents per megabyte (Mb) for US sales. (It’s £0.10 per Mb for UK sales. I will focus on US sales in this article.)

The delivery fee is subtracted from the list price before multiplying by 70%.

Example: List price = $2.99, file size = 6 Mb

Delivery fee = $0.15 × 6 = $0.90

Royalty = ($2.99 – $0.90) × 0.70 = $2.09 × 0.70 = $1.46

The only file size that matters is the converted .mobi file size that you see on page 2 of the publishing process at Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). The size of the file that you upload isn’t the number to go by.

The delivery fee is most significant for books that include many pictures.


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Self-Publishing – Your Fellow Authors are not Your Enemies – Let’s Help Each Other

Sound advice – pressing the message forward…

Author Don Massenzio

If you are like me, you are aware of the thousands of other authors that are in the self-publishing universe on social media platforms. We all belong to groups on Facebook and we promote our books, blogs, giveaways, and events. We start to see the same names over and over relentlessly touting our work.

As I first entered the self-publishing world, I viewed all of these authors as people that were competing for my readers. I wanted to out-promote and out-sell all of them. Over the past year or so, however, my view has changed. Instead of viewing my fellow authors as competitors, I have come to think of them as fellow pioneers. I selected the word pioneer purposely. Early American pioneers didn’t compete against each other. The amount of land and natural resources available were abundant. Pioneers worked together to build houses and cultivate crops so that they could…

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Only 40 Self-Published Authors are a Success, says Amazon


“40 self-published authors “make money”, all the others, and they number in the hundreds of thousands, don’t.”

““Making money” here means selling more than one million e-book copies in the last five years. Yes, 40 authors have managed that…”

Not that I would sneeze at “selling more than one million e-book copies” over five years but for me, selling 100,000 over the same period would be “a success” to me.

Could I “retire” and write professionally? No, not at that level, but it beats where I am today (at 1,000 copies sold in 2015).

Claude Forthomme's Blog about Social Issues and Books

The cat is out of the bag, finally we know exactly how many self-published authors make it big: 40.

Yes, that’s not a typo.

40 self-published authors “make money”, all the others, and they number in the hundreds of thousands, don’t. This interesting statistic, recently revealed in a New York Times article, applies to the Kindle Store, but since Amazon is in fact the largest digital publishing platform in the world, it is a safe bet that self-published authors are not doing any better elsewhere.

“Making money” here means selling more than one million e-book copies in the last five years. Yes, 40 authors have managed that, and have even gone on to establishing their own publishing house, like Meredith Wild. Her story is fully reported in the New York Times, here, and well worth pondering over.

That story reveals some further nuggets about the current…

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THE BLOG TOUR – starring “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Jan Hawke #RRBC #RaveReviewsBookClub

Tall ships and stars…

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

Sea-fever by John Masefield


There’s a lot to be said for being self-sufficient, especially if you’re a solitary ‘seafaring’ author. 2015 was a terrific year for me in all its meanings, including the negative. For the first time in my life, and after 39 years of relatively calm marital waters, I found myself living on my own after my husband, Pete, did not survive major cardiac surgery.

We only had about 10 days to come to terms with the gravity of his condition, but, as he’d come through several other serious medical procedures in the past 5 years with flying colours, were fairly hopeful. Our luck ran out basically. The day Pete was in surgery, I was driving home from another hospital appointment, when I heard on the radio that my great literary hero, Terry Pratchett, had also died peacefully at home that morning, after a very public struggle with early onset posterior cortical atrophy dementia.

I lost both my heroes within 24 hours. I like to think that the day after, Pete and Terry met up on the newcomers’ orientation tour of the ‘better place’ I know they both went to, and had a little chinwag at the bar. They both loved a pint of ale and a good brandy. This whimsy, thankfully, set me off on a more positive terrific track, after I emerged from the usual state of numb shock that comes when the hub of your world is taken away. My family and friends were wonderful in helping me cope with the ‘arrangements’ – I know that Pete would have loved his funeral, and his final resting place, out in the garden beside the pipe fountain that he never quite found the time to move from the garage, where it had been gathering cobwebs since we bought it over 10 years ago.

That was us really – mañana; pole, pole (slowly, slowly); smell the roses… So, facing life without Pete has been a terrific challenge. For the most part I’ve come through pretty well, but of course I’ve had to make some changes. Most have been towards getting practical matters in order so I don’t have to worry about them, which includes some major changes to the house. That hopefully will be finished this summer with the installation of a new extension that will incorporate my ‘dream’ study and library.

Which is why I’m facing 2016 with lots of positive terrific feelings, because I’m so proud and confident of doing more than just surviving the last 11 months. My health isn’t great, but I’m gradually making improvements, and some of the building work will help towards that as well. I’ve kept my mind busy too – RRBC was been at the forefront in that respect, with all the different new activities that have been introduced this year, not to mention my joining the governing board, having a MoW and a BoM slot and getting my act together on my blog ( and on the social networks. As an author, I’ve grown my platform, my audience and been getting great reviews; have a solo anthology-memoir to be published in the Spring, and generally ‘got myself out there’. The one thing I haven’t done is much original writing (the anthology’s a collation of previous work) – but this is about to change! Having been beavering away at all these facets of my life, I’ve finally got to the place where I can draw a deep breath, having cleared all the decks, and walk onto my terrific new vessel to set out on an awfully big adventure. The work in progress beckons mightily, and I couldn’t be happier as I slip my moorings and set out to sea, following a star of my own making!

You’ll find out more about that later in the week!



Author Bio: I live near Launceston in Cornwall, UK with Toby and Benji the Springer Spaniels – it’s a tie between us all as to who’s maddest, but as I outrank them in being weird anyway it’s not open to debate really. I’m physically lazy with things that don’t hold much interest for me (so that’s mostly housework and, increasingly, cooking…), but I love where we live, mainly because I chose it for being so quiet and off the beaten track, very close to the moors and quite near to the sea. I also love books, both to write and to read, the latter of which can be very eclectic (I enjoy Julian Barnes, Kate Atkinson, Jeanette Winterson and will happily admit to Jilly Cooper too) but in the main I’m heavily into SF&F, particularly Tolkien, Terry Pratchett and Julian May, although I can pass on Zombie Apocalypses fairly easily… …how I’ve chosen to write about Africa for my first novel may be something of a surprise to my friends, but if you read it you may find that all of the above information manifests in there somehow!



Book Blurb: Milele Safari back blurb – Milele Safari – An Eternal Journey …twines around a single day, in an unremarkable border village that snuffs out the lives of four people and shatters many others, only to draw the survivors back to a different time and, perhaps, a hope of atonement and peace. Step out on the journey and discover an Africa that could have been, is and might one day come to be.

Book linksAmazon (print & eBook) –

Barnes & Noble (print only) –

Milele Safari blog

Social Media links

Twitter – @JanHawke

Facebook Author page –

LinkedIn –

Author blog – Jan Hawke INKorporated