THE RED FANG Re-Launch Party Coming at Ya August 6th!

A beauty shot of a young blue eyed woman with her red hair looking at the camera.

Author Nicola Chey Matthews is proud to announce the re-launch of her first paranormal fantasy novel, THE RED FANG, the first book in the Before the Sun Rises Series, through Booktrope Editions.

The Facebook relaunch party and cover reveal is being held Thursday, August 6th, from 6pm to 9pm central standard time. There will be games, prizes, author take overs, and so much more. Contests are already going on NOW so be sure to head over and click “join” on the event page. The attendee with the most invites wins a prize.

Click here to join the fun!

The Publishing Bitch-Slap: Porn Novels Have Ruined the Literary Marketplace


Consider this scenario:

5 young men wake up one morning and decide they want to form a band and record a record. They have never played a musical instrument or written any songs before, but since they have listened to music their entire lives they are pretty sure they can learn how to do it all.

They spend 4 weeks learning the basic chords and functions of their instruments and can play those chords well, but they have no idea how to string those chords together into music. They know nothing about harmony or melody, nothing about the recording business, nothing about laying down tracks or how to mix the different instruments into a single track.

Despite this, they buy some recording software and record an album, without the benefit of a professional recording studio or the behind-the-scenes professionals that help create a quality album, opting instead to do everything themselves or hire “friends” who know a little bit about the process. Two months later, the album is complete and they start selling it on every available outlet that will allow them to sell it as an indie title. How do you think the record would sound, as opposed to those albums recorded by musicians who have not only spent years mastering their art, but who had an entire team of professionals who knew how to create, mix, and produce a quality product?

Let’s take this a step further. Imagine now that this band starts sending this record out to every small radio station and blog it can find. Under normal circumstances, it would never get a single spin. It would end up in the trash bin because it did not come close to meeting industry standards.

But now imagine that this record and the band gather a fan base. Small at first, but word of mouth spreads. Soon it’s all anyone is talking about.  It’s all over social media. So many people are tweeting about it that more and more people rush out to buy the album just to see what everyone is talking about. It’s not that it is particularly good, but with so many people talking, the curiosity alone sustains it. Soon the band and their album are being covered by magazines and blogs, it’s went from small town basement radio stations to national radio stations. It’s hitting the charts, outranking bands that have been playing music for years.

THIS is what it feels like to be a veteran author in today’s market. I can think of no other way to describe it, when someone who just woke up one morning and decided they wanted to be a writer and two months later upload a poorly edited, literary train wreck to Amazon and then demand the same respect and success as those artists who have spent YEARS of their lives honing their craft, learning the business, and sitting at the feet of their mentors taking notes. They have allowed their work, a piece of their soul, to be ripped apart because, even though it hurts, they KNOW that only by listening to those with more experience than they, can they truly become a better writer.

After 3 DECADES spent writing, I still do not consider myself to be anywhere near the same league as the greats of my generation (Rice, Crichton, Cook), yet I see authors who have literally pushed our 6 novellas in as many months with questionable writing ability act as if they are some great smut Tolstoy. So when you wonder why authors who have spent years learning how to create solid plot lines and rich, well-rounded characters , those who agonize over each word put to paper, those who edit and rewrite mercilessly, those who painstakingly go over each and every word of the manuscript for plot holes, get all bent out of shape over the likes of FSOG, it is because we feel like we have been virtually bitch-slapped by the entire industry.

It’s like being a doctor, spending all that time in school learning the trade, and suddenly that knowledge no longer applies because anyone who took health class in elementary school can now be a doctor … or a lawyer … or a teacher. You get the idea. Just because the usual gates that normally would keep out those without the technical know-how came crashing down doesn’t mean everyone who had a notion to do something should go out and do it now that they can. Just because you sing in the shower doesn’t mean you should start booking concerts and performing in front of people.

In other words, just because anyone CAN be a writer now, doesn’t mean everyone IS a good writer. It takes lots of practice to get good at anything. So exactly why do people think the very first thing they slapped into a word document is worthy of publication?

Veteran authors’ disdain for FSOG and the inevitable pile of porn it has encouraged has nothing to do with envy of success, but everything to do with the level of professionalism we expect not only from ourselves, but from our fellow writers. We feel since we care so much about our readers and providing a well-written tale, everyone else should as well. So while the likes of FSOG may have been wildly successful, it bears repeating E. L. James’s lack of technical mastery is a fact that should have barred the manuscript from ever reaching an editor’s desk.

Amazon… A virtual marketplace, or Big Brother?

Yes, it is disgusting. By Amazon’s definition, I am best friends with Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Laurel K. Hamilton, and Charlaine Harris. But what do you want to bet that these same rules do not apply to the reviews that are being posted for trade authors? What do you want to bet that this same thought and review process does NOT apply to ANYTHING other than independently published books? I’m not going to bet anything, because I’m pretty sure that even though I follow Anne Rice across all social media outlets and have even had a few discussions with her through said media, I can post reviews of her books until hell freezes over because she is NOT an indie author.

It is times like this that I wish Amazon had never jumped on board the indie train. I made a lot more money and had a lot larger fan base BEFORE they made it so easy for someone to push publish, for fake reviews to be posted by street teams, and for dishonest authors to send their minions to wreck havoc on other authors’ works.

imy santiago

A couple of weeks ago I read the third installment of a series I really loved. I will refrain from sharing the name of the novel and its author.

Like any reader, as soon as I finished reading, I wrote my review. When I tried posting it on Amazon (I did buy the eBook, just like any normal and decent human being would), I received a rather concerning email.

I will not share the screenshot of the email as it does contain the title of the book and name of the author. In its place I have copied the body of the email below.

Dear Amazon Customer,

Thanks for submitting a customer review on Amazon. Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines:

Here I was, thinking I had included an…

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