Sunday, October 27, 2013

Redistribution Worldwide and The Legacy Series Boxed Set

Most readers are probably not aware, but one of the requirements of putting your books on Amazon KDP program means you must pull all other copies from distribution elsewhere.  The KDP program allows a 90-day period to offer your book free for five days, plus free for prime members during the entire enrollment. For quite some time, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Diesel, Sony, and others have not carried any of the eBook versions of The Legacy Series.

Finally, my commitment to Amazon for exclusivity has come to an end.  Yesterday, I spent the majority of my day reloading my books to my distributor (Smashwords), as well as directly to B&N.  It's been a times-consuming job due to new formatting requirements and larger cover size requirements.  I've yet to upload it to All Romance eBooks.

In addition, I've batched all three books up in one boxed set that sells for $4.99 on Amazon and B&N.  I have to do some reformatting to get it out to the remaining distributors for premium listing.

To date, I've received positive feedback from my readers on The Price of Love.  I'm very thankful for your support of the series.  In addition, it seems that most want book four, The Price of Passion, to see Jolene and Robert married and happy.  No doubt, I'd marry off Philippe, too.  However, it won't happen until next year.  

Also, on a side note, reviews always help on Amazon.  The more reviews, the better chance of being recommended by Kindle to readers.  In addition, I cannot do any heavy advertising until I have at least 10 reviews to qualify for high profile newsletters such BookBub and Kindle Nation, etc., with an average of 4.0.  Anything, even a few lines, always helps and goes a long way for any author in their ability to further promote their work.

In the meantime, I'm spinning off to historical romantic suspense with my new series, "The Manor House Lords."  I've already started the first in the series, Thorncroft Manor.  As time goes on, I'll set up links to my new blog and website for that series.

That's it for now!  It's been a busy weekend.  I could use a drink, but I'll have to find out where Robert Holland stashed the crystal decanter.  


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Why, Oh Why?

Once again, I've given this book to someone to proof for me.  They've kept it nine days and then I get an email they cannot get it back to me in a timely fashion.  Do you wonder why authors sometimes go stark-raving mad over the inability of people to keep commitments which directly affect your plans?  

At this point, I have no idea which direction to turn.  I may release it as is, and then if I can have it further edited in the months ahead do so and push an update. 


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Making Lemonade

Like any other author on the face of the earth, I've had my share of disappointing reviews.  When I first started writing five years ago, I'll be honest--they hurt. Now five years later, I'm thick skinned and realize not everyone is going to like the story or the characters.  I try my best not to focus on those readers who one-star me.  Instead, I focus on the readers who enjoy my work. Nevertheless, when I wrote The Price of Love a wonderful thing happened.  I took the criticism from negative comments from the first two books and used them to craft book three.

The Legacy Series has had its share of complaints.  Here are some of them:
  • Suzette is a weak woman and irritating.
  • Robert Holland was so sweet in book one, but he's a selfish manipulator in book two.
  • How could any woman leave her newborn baby and just run off with another man?
  • Poor kind Philippe sure got the short-end of the stick in book two. 
  • I've never met so many irritating characters.
  • The ending sucked.  This is life and then you die.
  • What a depressing story.
Well, you get the drift.  So what did I do for The Price of Love?  I took all those criticisms and used them to plot book three.  With that in mind, here are some questions you might ask yourself in anticipation of the coming story:
  • Will Suzette mature and be a stronger woman?
  • Will Robert Holland feel any remorse for his past and how he stole another man's wife?
  • Will Suzette carry grief for 18 years over the loss of her baby?
  • Will Philippe ever recover, forgive, and find happiness?
  • Will Vicki develop any more irritating characters?  (Of course, I will!  You know me.)
  • Will this book have a happy ending or should I expect to throw it against the wall after the last page?
  • Will you write book four?  Surely, it can't end here!   
The points above are just a few short examples of the inspiration for The Price of Love.  I took the lemon comments and made lemonade, and frankly it turned out pretty sweet.  Actually, they were all valid points that helped me continue the story to redeem a lot of negative qualities in the characters. 

In closing, I should let you know that I do consider constructive criticism (emphasis on constructive). Though I've never felt the need to rewrite any of the first two books to make a minority happy, I intend to keep them as they are for the majority of readers who enjoy them. If I crafted the book the way each individual reader would like to have seen the story play out, I would have hundreds of versions.

It will be very interesting to read the reactions to the third book in The Legacy Series.  No doubt, you'll think the main character is too strong-willed, irritating, judgmental, and a stuck-up snob.  If you are smart, you'll pick up the innuendos in the story that will lead to number four in the series where she will learn more of life's lessons and pay her own price.  When people tell me that they don't like my characters, I often don't look at it as a failure.  If my characters move you to love or hate them, then in my mind I've done my work and they are alive enough to cause a reaction.

I also realize that some of you may have very high expectations for book three and could be disappointed in the story.  It was a difficult write, and I felt a lot of pressure and expectation penning it.  The end result is what it is, and I understand that it may not be what some people expected but may be likeable by others.  That is the territory that goes with being an author.  

Editing continues.  October 7th approaches.  If the world doesn't end before then, The Price of Love will soon be out.  In the meantime, I'm going to start dabbling in writing number four.

Hang in there,

Friday, September 13, 2013

Updated Version of The Price of Deception

Hopefully, this coming weekend, I will be able to finish upgrading The Price of Deception to take care of some glaring problems that have been reported to me by my readers in the United Kingdom via reviews on Amazon. It will correct the verbal address of duke and duchess to Your Grace and other references as needed. I apologize for those oversights on my part. (Yes, I'm American, but with my extensive English ancestry, I should have known better.) The Price of Love does contain the correct form of address. 

Amazon should automatically push the updated version to everyone's Kindle. I will contact them and make sure that happens. 

Next on my list will be The Price of Innocence. I'll go through the text and make any necessary updates. 

The Price of Love is currently at my editor and with three beta readers. Things are progressing, and I should be able to make the early October release. Thanks for your patience! 

After all is said and done, I probably will continue to Book #4, The Price of Passion. I'll make the final decision after Book #3's release. Frankly, even after 95,000 words continuing the family saga, it still isn't complete. I have too many unresolved love interests.

Have a great weekend dear friends and readers! As always, thank you for your support.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Out to Editor & Beta Readers

I finished my end of the work on Saturday, September 7, and sent the book to my editor extraordinaire and three beta readers.  Four pairs of eyes are now reading it and seeing the things I can no longer pick up after reading it twenty times myself.

After it went out the door, I sighed.  I am exhausted.  The next three weeks it's out of my hands in the hands of others.  When it comes back, I'll do the final editing and hopefully have it up the first week in October for Kindle sale.

It's coming.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Tease Time

I'm in editing hell.  Nevertheless, I can at least take a break and share with you the subheadings to the chapters.  Let your imagination go wild!  

Prologue - Confession is Good for the Soul
Chapter 1    - A Buried Past   
Chapter 2    - No Patience and Deja Vu   
Chapter 3    - Like Father Like Son   
Chapter 4    - A Blessing or Thorn   
Chapter 5    - Right or Left
Chapter 6    - Convergence of Strangers
Chapter 7    - Season of Matchmaking
Chapter 8    - Prudent Caution
Chapter 9    - What is Truth?
Chapter 10  - More Than Tea and Coffee
Chapter 11  - Thwarted Plans
Chapter 12  - The Power of the Tongue
Chapter 13  - Tea for Five
Chapter 14  - Off With Your Head!
Chapter 15  - An Invitation
Chapter 16  - Brandy, Cigars and Secrets
Chapter 17  - Winner Takes All
Chapter 18  - The City of Light and Love
Chapter 19  - Family Heirlooms
Chapter 20  - A Graveyard of Bones
Chapter 21  - A Forgotten Man
Chapter 22  - A Smoke Screen
Chapter 23  - The Pleasures of the Flesh
Chapter 24  - A Sibling Tussle
Chapter 25  - An Emotional Guillotine   
Chapter 26  - No Time to Spare
Chapter 27  - The Day of Reckoning
Chapter 28  - The Aftermath of Truth
Chapter 29  - Intentional Harm
Chapter 30  - A Fork in the Road
Chapter 31  - A Final Pardon
Chapter 32  - Season of Change
Chapter 33  - Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Another Update on The Price of Love

This morning I drove to Office Depot and had the book printed off (340 pages) for a grand total of $26.91.  Geesh!  That was expensive. My Epson printer at home would have gone through two ink cartridges, no doubt, costing me $48.  I guess I saved a few bucks.

To top it off, I had no highlighters around, so I went tromping off to look for one highlighter. How hard could that be since all the school supplies are out?  Purchasing one highlighter is an impossibility at this time of the year. They are bundled up for school in multi-highlighter packages. I ended up with a six-pack for $5.99.  Highway robbery.  Why can't I just buy one for a buck?  Well, I suppose I could look at this way, I have six highlighters I can use on six more books.

Next week, I'll be reading through the text on the printed page. I've stared too long at the book in MS Word format on a computer screen and can no longer see my typos.  There is something about looking at it in print that gives you another view.

Things are progressing, though I have this feeling it's not going fast enough.  October 1st is still my deadline for release of the eBook.  Print will come later, because I need to reformat it entirely and design the interior and back cover.

When I get bored, I keep fooling around with the cover.  Yes, I know I have one already, but I'm a Photoshop junkie of the worse kind.  I downloaded a new font today that's really curly-swirly.  I'm like a kid playing with a new toy.  I've even got stand-by covers that are totally different, too.  

Well, back to work!  I have five more chapters to run through Grammarly, and then I'm reading and holding in my hand six brand new multi-colored highlighters as I read 340 pages.  

Pray for me.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Komtesse Angelique Jolene von Lamberg

As an author, I've been accused of writing characters that irritate people. Reviewers are probably right.  I think it is quite obvious, from those who have read my books, that I do not sugar coat reality or emotions when I create stories.  

My characters are created with both good and bad qualities for a purpose.  It sets the theme of the book, gives them conflict and challenges to face, and ends with resolutions that often border on forgiveness, restoration, or love. I'm not the cookie-cutter romance author.  It's the reason I remain an independent author, so I can step away from the expectations of agents and publishers as to what is acceptable and create something unique.

The Price of Love is no exception.

Let me preface this post by letting my readers know ahead of time that there is no romance in this book.  Zero. Zip. Nada. Nothing. There is one stolen kiss in a scene and that's it.  The temptation to fall in love exists. The book will be categorized as family saga/general fiction.  Is there any love in it?  Yes, but a different kind.  It's the love of family. 

As I read through the text again for the third time, I think readers will find some enduring qualities about Angelique and also some irksome qualities that ruffle feathers.  Listen folks, no one is perfect.  Neither are the people I create.  She is on a journey in this book to discover her heritage.  For the past eighteen years she has been reared by an Austrian count and instilled with morals, rigid views, and responsibility.  She is confident, unyielding, judgmental, and opinionated (almost like her biological father she doesn't know). Angelique (who goes by the name of Jolene throughout the book) does have endearing qualities, too, which may not always be evident until the final chapters of the story.

The Duke, Suzette, and their son Robert will also come back, along with Marguerite (the Duke's sister, her husband and son).  They are really secondary characters in this story, as it heavily relies on Jolene who drives the entire novel to its conclusion.

I have this urge to take off the book's cover Legacy's Conclusion, because the ending is a doorway into another story that could turn into romance for one of three people.  Why do I think this family saga will continue?  Perhaps it's because my imaginary characters are poking at me while I work on book three.  I'm not promising anything, but it's a possibility.

Well, back to editing.  It's coming.  Eventually.

All my best,

Friday, August 23, 2013

Update on The Price of Love

The Price of Love is consuming my life. This is my third round of re-reading the text and making changes. Each day I'm working on it to correct, enhance, and make it a better read. In addition, I've been running it through Grammarly (a nifty online program you should try out). 

Hopefully, by September 9th, I will have it in the hands of my beta readers and real editor extraordinaire. I am aiming at an October 1st release in eBook and October 15th release in print (or no later than 10/30). 

Editing, at this point, really takes patience. In return, I hope you will continue to be patient as I work to deliver to you a good story that will make you shed a tear at the end. I'm hoping this one won't get thrown against the wall. 

All my best, 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Finished Second Draft

I wanted to go to Cannon Beach, Oregon, and walk the shore this weekend.  But, alas, I worked on The Price of Love instead.  Finally, I finished reviewing the first draft.  And again, I came to the end and cried.

After 93,000 plus words, you really get involved in your make-believe characters and their struggles. The ending, of course, is extremely emotional.  The first three quarters of the book is merely a journey--a search for truth and identity, if you will.  The last quarter is revelation. It tells the story of lives coming back together in one colliding reunion.  It's called the climax of the novel, you know.

How do you think everyone will react with the return of Angelique?  Will hatred between the Duke and Philippe still exist? Will Philippe ever be able to forgive Suzette for her adultery?  Will Robert, find Angelique's pardon for shoving over her bassinet?  (Of course, I had to throw some humor in the mix.)

Needless to say, after a long weekend, I am a bit burned out.  Next week, I'll start running the 93,000 words through and make further revisions.  After that, I'll post again and let you know what my next steps will be.  There will probably be a third run-through before I hand it over to beta readers and editing.

Since the story concludes in Paris where it all began, I'll leave you with a quote that I found by accident. It was purely coincidental that I chose a book for Robert to read that contained the words below.

“For love is like a tree; it grows of itself; it sends its roots deep into our being, and often continues to grow green over a heart in ruins." (Victor Hugo - "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"

There are in The Price of Love, many hearts in ruin.  But it's love in the end that grows green and covers the past. 


Friday, August 9, 2013

The Legacy Series - Plans for the Future

I've been thinking quite a bit about The Legacy Series.  In past reviews there have been a few call-outs of errors on my part, all warranted.  

The Price of Deception does contains instances where I use the incorrect verbal address for a Duke (I beg your forgiveness, your Grace.) Those criticisms have come from reviewers in the United Kingdom.  

I will admit that I was somewhat lax in making sure I used the correct form of address for aristocrats when the book was released in October of 2011. (Of course, it was pre-Downton Abbey days, so who knew?) However, I did research many other aspects in the book to make sure it was historically accurate.  The same thing with The Price of Innocence.  A lot of what is in that story is unbelievable to some readers. I make no apologies for the reality of poverty in Paris in 1870 and not romantically sugar-coating the book to make it easier. There is nothing in there that I did not find from hours of research about life of the homeless, being a laundress, or a prostitute.   

As far a The Price of Love goes, all of the formal verbal greetings of aristocracy done by staff, society, close friends, etc., have been researched to death by me and correctly included.  I found many references on line, one being on Wikipedia:  Forms of Address in the United Kingdom.  I even researched Austrian nobility too.

What are my plans for the future?  I will be updating The Price of Deception text after release of The Price of Love to make sure corrections are made.  I will also no longer make it exclusive to Amazon KDP program for the first two books and will begin to resell it worldwide on Sony, iTunes, Kobo, B&N, etc., in eBook format.

The Legacy Series has sparked either love or controversy from readers.  From the first day The Price of Innocence made it to #1 in Historical Romance Free Books in May of 2012 (Amazon US) and stayed there for four days (22,000 plus downloads worldwide) it drew a lot of attention. 

Some of that attention turned out to be critical, but I have my thoughts where that came from but won't go down that road.  Needless to say, as much as it has been criticized, it continues to sell well worldwide every month. (Even though readers have been warned by reviewers to save their money, it appears readers prefer to make their own decisions).  

Regardless, I have a wonderful fan base of people who love the series. As an author, you focus on those who appreciate your work and realize that you cannot please every reader's taste in the entire world. It's an impossibility from the very famous writers who sell millions to the writers who sell a few. It's part of the gig of being an author.  You either handle it professionally or have a meltdown and quit. I prefer the first route.  

As far as The Price of Love, I am now up to Chapter 7 in editing.  This is a very slow process, but I refuse to let this book fly out the door in a hurry.  Once again, be patient, as I bring it to a close (though I know people are going to email for number four.)

Next time I post, I'll write about Angelique.  I'm sure you'd like a little character sketch beforehand.

Thank you,

Monday, August 5, 2013

I'm Editing & Revising - Second Draft & Reading Royal Commissioned Traffic Reports

I promised to keep you in the loop! I'm up to Chapter 6 in my first round of revisions and edits.  Pray for me.

In any event, I had to do a little more research on the side.  Did you know the population in London during 1905 had a staggering total of  five-million plus people?

Sixty-five (65) percent of the streets still had horse-drawn omnibuses and hackney carriages, while motorcars were fighting for room on the road. Of course, the "tube" had already begun its weaving underground London too.

I spent time yesterday picking up a few facts from a copy of a Royal Commissioned study. It's really interesting!  I just wanted you to know that I do research what I write, even though I've been accused otherwise.

The streets of London were as crowded as they are today (frankly I don't see much difference when I visit).  In the report the commission makes all sorts of recommendations for fixing the traffic problems, including making it a law that slower traffic drive close to the curb (or "kerb" as they penned it) and adding more electric tramways above ground.

The information about the demographics of London and those who traveled into the city to work are fascinating as well.

Who knew your author would get excited about a London traffic report from 1905?
Cover of: Report of the Royal commission appointed to inquire into and report upon the means of locomotion and transport in London. by Great Britain. Royal commission on London traffic.

Report of the Royal commission appointed to inquire into and report upon the means of locomotion and transport in London.

Published 1905 by Printed for H.M. Stationery off., by Wyman and sons, limited in London .
Written in English


Angelique will be enjoying a ride in an early Rolls Royce. The Chambers family (you remember, the ones who made their fortune off slave trading and sugar plantations) will own a motorcar.

Yes, The Price of Love is coming along.



If you feel like reading the report, here you go! For a report over a hundred years old, it's pretty comprehensive and very impressive.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

First Draft of The Price of Love is Done!

The first draft of The Price of Love is DONE!!!!  

85,962 words (which will change a bit during revising and editing) consisting of 33 chapters.  


This picture pretty much tells it all . . .

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Just writing, writing, writing. Pounding keys.

I'm developing Angelique (who you'll know as Jolene); deciding if I really want a love interest for her; fleshing out young Robert's character; and many other things in the plot.

The book is heavily focused on her life and those in her inner circle as she searches for her identity in London and Paris. Robert, Suzette, Philippe are more secondary characters, but definitely still very much a part of the discovery as the story progresses. It will be an interesting conclusion!!! Just wait to see how she does it!

The little kidnapped baby has grown into a very bold and opinionated woman, especially about her dysfunctional family...after all, she is a Countess! Questions to think about: 

  • How is her identity revealed to her?
  • Who will find out first who she is?
  • How will she feel about her mother when they first meet? 
  • Will she get along with her half-brother, Robert?
  • Do you think she'll respect His Grace, the Duke, after breaking up her parent's marriage? 
  • Will she be able to find Philippe in Paris? Will he even be alive? 
  • How will she reveal the truth to her family what she knows and they do not?
  • Will she love them or blame them for what happened to her?

You'll just have to wait to find out. Remember, it is The Price of Love.

I should be at 60,000 words by this weekend. My goal for this series has always been about 80,000 per book.

Let me add, that I've been adding quite a bit of the English lifestyle in the Downton Abbey fashion doing research such as the dining experience among the wealthy. One article I found had a wealth of information about the entire dining experience. It's a new era, with new fashions, motorcars, and changing social attitudes. 

Maybe in the days ahead, I'll post a few "draft scenes" to tease you some more.

My best, Vicki

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Update on "The Price of Love" Release

I know it's been a while since I've posted, which really hasn't stopped the questions on Facebook, Blogger, or via email - when will The Price of Love  be released?

Finally, after months and months of struggling with this book, my muse (if there is such a thing) has returned to haunt my mind day and night.  I'm about half way through writing the book.

I didn't want to pursue writing this third book by force, and if you're an author you'll understand why.  When you struggle for inspiration, I don't think the end product is worth publishing. In addition, I know there are very high expectations on how this story turns out!  However, if the tale comes from your heart and you are moved by words and scenes in your mind, then it has a chance of being a decent read.  I owe that to you, my readers, to give you a conclusion that is worth the wait.

I'll keep you updated as things progress.  Should there be no more unforeseen life circumstances to prevent my pace (which have been many in the past year), I should have it out in the next two-three months.

Thank you for your patience and love of the series.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Daunting Research for The Price of Love

The challenges of writing historical fiction and/or romance can be daunting. I admit that I have procrastinated and run into a huge season of writer's block with The Price of Love. At the present time, I am beginning to chip away at the wall that has been between me and the finished book. I am so very sorry to my faithful readers who have been more than patient! Please hang in there with me a little while longer.

As I move through the story, I often become boggled down with questions. I can write one scene and end up doing hours of research on the Internet to make sure I've got my facts straight. I'm faced with a new era, that brings with it new thinking and fashions. In addition, I've placed myself into another geographical location in Austria, where titles and life are somewhere different. Here are a few of the things I've had to research so far, just to give you an idea of the challenges that I face.
  1. I am now writing in the Edwardian era, after becoming well versed in the Victorian. It's new territory. Angelique has just turned eighteen. The time is 1905. My first scene included a trip from her residence to the solicitor's office. An obvious change is that the mode of travel is evolving. Carriages are prevalent, but so are the beginning of "strange motorized brass carriages," which were the first cars. I had to make sure they were in production in 1905 in Austria, and I was able to confirm some very early models were on the streets.
  2. The question arose whether Angelique could obtain the title of Countess as an adopted child. Boy, that took a lot of research. Here is the scoop. If she was adopted into a noble family as a daughter, and her father had no male heirs, special permission from the king (Franz Joseph in this case) could be granted whereby the daughter would be treated as if she were male and could inherit the title and the estates. She could pass the title to her children, even if she did not marry another aristocrat.
  3. Forms for addressing Austrian nobility had to be researched. Even though Angelique inherits the title of Countess, she must use the title of Komtesse (Comtesse Fr. version) until she weds. (It's interesting to note that in 1919 Austria completely abolished nobility and their titles.) Also, how the male population is addressed has changed. In England we have Mister or Sir; in France we have Monsieur; and in Austria we have Herr as the form of male salutation.
  4. When was the height of the London social season? Had to research that one too, since I'm bringing Angelique into the scene with other aristocrats. According to research, the season coincided with the sitting of Parliament and began some time after Christmas and ran until roughly late June.  It was then that the aristocrats, who lived on their vast estates in the country, would travel to London to stay in their residences for the social and political gatherings. Thank goodness, I picked the right timeline for my heroine's quest for identity to begin. 
These are just a small example of why historical fiction/romance takes so long to write. It's true that if you don't get it right, someone will slap your hand. Apparently, an English lady caught my mistakes in The Price of Deception with how the Duke and Duchess were addressed incorrectly by the staff. I should have used "Your Grace," even though the former form of Duke and Duchess was permissible. Since I've been watching Downton Abbey, I think I'm becoming well versed in this area. Here's a great link on forms of address for English Nobility in Wikipedia

I'll keep you updated as I progress. And once again, my SINCERE apologies for the lateness of this book. 

 Fondly, Vicki