Indie-Pendence Day All Around! Free Ebooks Now

 

Calling all readers! If you love free books, then you will not want to miss out on the Indie-Pendence Day Free Ebook Spectacular! All books, all lengths, all genres – and they are all FREE for the taking! Check out all these great books by some truly awesome indie authors. Go ahead, get your read on!

 

Psstt! Wondering what fun goodies you’ll find? You can grab The Dark Flame, a Fallen From Grace Prequel right now!

Unpopular Opinion: Yes, Authors are Just as Entitled to Their Opinions as Everyone Else

Okay guys, I’m about to play devil’s advocate here. Why? Because when I see everyone jumping on the bandwagon to completely trash someone’s career, be they author or blogger, I’m not going to sit back and watch the shit hit the fan. After thirty plus years in this biz, I fucking know how hard it is to be an author, how much money it takes to properly launch a book, and how much money and time and energy it takes to try to keep that book in front of someone, anyone, who is willing to pay for it. I also know that you can literally do everything possible, literally move the earth, and it still not be enough to get your book noticed.

So I’m going to try to lay this out as clearly as possible and show the problems I have with how all this went down. First, the jest of it. To put it all into a nutshell (which, honestly, you can’t really do that and get the full story, but we can at least try to recap) a blogger wrote a review on a ARC copy they had received. Blogger did not like said book and gave reasons. Author got butthurt over a bad review and proceeded to post on her blog about her getting butthurt over the bad review. Blogger finds the post on the author’s blog and gets butthurt over the butthurt.

Pretty simple.

Not.

First, I’m going to say that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, in their own damn space. And I do mean everyone is entitled to their opinions. Personally, I think this whole “authors aren’t entitled to get hurt over a bad review and should grow a thicker skin” is a bunch of BS. If bloggers and readers are entitled to express their opinion publicly over how bad a book was to them, then by all the gods authors have the same damn right to express how much it pisses them off, or how much it hurts, to know that someone hates something that took them months, even years to write. Sure, we need to go about it with poise and grace and not go all crazy hunting down bloggers or readers who leave us bad reviews. We have to draw the line somewhere.

But in our own space, among our own fans and tribe, then yeah – we have every right to voice our butthurt.

 

 

Now granted, there are limitations to those rights. I said everyone has a right to express their own opinions in their own space. That means if you come onto MY blog post on MY website or onto MY social media thread and make a comment on MY threads, then you bet your sweet ass I’m going to defend myself. It’s my space, it’s my fans, and it’s my tribe that I’m moaning to. It’s my right to be bitchy in my own space. They get me. They understand.

It’s one thing to go into MY space and moan about my butthurt. I find nothing wrong with that. It’s when authors or bloggers go outside their own space and invade someone else’s to moan about the butthurt that I find unprofessional. And this is why I find this whole situation to be suspect.

The blogger in question admits her fellow blogger confronted the author after she came across the author’s butthurt post. And then she confronted the author herself. Let’s make this clear. The author posted a blog post on HER OWN WEBSITE. She was in HER private space, on HER website, expressing HER feelings about a review. The blogger admits to this openly, and has said this on at least one thread about all this.

Everyone on social media is calling out this author for acting unprofessional, yet the only unprofessional behavior I’m seeing here is a blogger who confronted an author after said author expressed how much a bad review hurt. In her own space. On her own social media accounts. The fact of the matter is, what started this whole thing was the author posted on her own personal blog about how much it hurt to get a bad review. And this is what happened, according to the blogger:

 

 

 

Okay, let’s make sure we have this straight. The blogger posted her review up on GR’s the same exact day the author posts her butthurt post on her website about seeing a bad review. Now, here is where I’m having more problems about all this. The author states the review she was referring to in her blog post was one she had seen on Booksprout, a website specializing in ARC reviews. Below is the author telling one of the bloggers this:

 

 

For those who do not know, when an author offers ARC copies of a book through Booksprout, we have access to see those reviews DAYS before they actually hit the platform they are being posted for. In the case of Amazon and GoodReads, I’ve seen a lag time of as much as four days from the time the review showed up on my Booksprout dashboard til the day it actually showed up on the platform it was posted to. So yeah, I absolutely believe the author when they said they were talking about a review they saw through Booksprout. The blogger assumes the author is speaking about her review because it was the first one posted on Goodreads. However, it is very possible the author was looking at her Booksprout dashboard and seeing a review on THERE that hadn’t actually posted to Goodreads yet. I know the blogger has said she knows it was her review the author was talking about because hers posted to GR first. But, as I said, when you do your ARCs through BookSprout and the reviews post through there, they show up on the author’s dashboard as much as 4 DAYS before the review actually posts on some of these platforms. So, yes, it absolutely is entirely possible the author really was talking about a completely different review that only she could see on GR at the time.

These “assumptions” being made are the very reason why no one should ever confront anyone about a bad review. It wasn’t okay for the blogger to confront the author over her posting in her own space about the review, any more than it’s okay for an author to confront a reviewer or a blogger or a reader about a bad review. Sure, bemoan about it on your own website, page, social media, private groups, etc. but do NOT call out or confront whoever left you the review. By the blogger’s own admission, that is not what happened here. The blogger actually hunted down the author and confronted the author on the author’s own social media pages and platforms. Despite the author apologizing and trying to tell the blogger she was misunderstanding which review she was speaking of, the blogger just wouldn’t let it go.

This is not okay. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why people think it was okay for the reviewer to do this.

And honestly, judging by what was posted on the blogger’s website about all this, if the screenshots taken are as bad as things got with the author, then quite frankly I honestly do not see what the problem is. The author was in her own space. The blogger invaded that personal space to call her out.

If this is not what happened then someone please fill me in. Cause I’ve been all over the blogger’s website and from what I’m reading, this is what happened.

Now – the fall out. The author was dropped by her publisher. Great. The author has been forced to completely erase her social media accounts and start all over again – from scratch. I find it ironic that the blogger specific states on a blog post over all this “I’ve seriously considered giving up everything I’ve spent years working my ass of [sic] for with our blog.” And yet this is EXACTLY what the author in question was forced to do – all because she defended her right on her own blog to post what she wanted to on her own blog.

Hell, maybe the author went totally ape shit and said some really shitty things. I don’t know. Since all her social media is gone now, I have no way of looking into this any further. All I have to go off of is what the blogger herself posted and the screenshots she took. And as I said, from where I’m sitting, I only see one person who was behaving unprofessionally – and it wasn’t the author.

The reviewer struck first, and if someone comes after you in your own space, then I say all fucking bets are off. You would get upset if someone came into your house and started badmouthing your family, right? Same damn principle. From what I’m seeing, the author was merely defending herself.

But as I said, maybe I’m missing something, or a lot of somethings.

But I will say this.

The blogger keeps saying we need a change in the book world.

We absolutely do.

We need for everyone to stop thinking they are the only ones that matter. If authors aren’t willing to write, then bloggers won’t have their review blogs. If authors aren’t willing to give away ARCs, then a lot of reviewers won’t have their blogs or be able to read books for free. And if bloggers and reviewers aren’t willing to review then authors won’t have nearly as many reviews on their books.

Let’s face it – we need each other.

But we also need to respect each other’s right to voice our opinions.

Stop confronting each other. Reviewers, write your reviews and be done with it.

Authors, don’t read the damn reviews and if you stumble across one, take the butthurt with a grain of salt.

Yes, it fucking hurts. Bloggers, do you hear what I’m saying? You know how much it hurts when authors get pissy about your bad review? Yeah, we’re hurting just that damn much because we opened ourselves up to ridicule when we opted to publish – kinda like you did when you decided to post your review. It fucking hurts when someone pisses all over your hard work, regardless of whether that hard work is in the form of a book or a book review.

It.

Fucking.

Hurts.

So everyone, please, can we just pull our heads out of collective asses and get back to what matters – writing?

Torture Me – a Fallen From Grace Short

 

Torture Me

a Fallen From Grace Short

by Nicola C. Matthews

 

**A word from the author:

This is a short based in the Before the Sun Rises universe. It is a rough, unedited draft. It is a spoof, a parody, and meant to be fun. It pays homage to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and one of my fave bands, Davey Suicide. The characters and events in this short are completely fictitious. While some similarities to real persons, places, and things may be intentional, the story is not to be taken as fact. Any similarities between real persons, places, or events which may have been intentional was done so to pay homage only. This story contains violence, adult themes, situations, and language and is intended for mature audiences only. Reader discretion is advised.

 

Copyright 2019 Nicola C. Matthews

All rights reserved.  Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious.  Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, or to any other written publication is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Cover art and interior graphics by

Bloody Feather Graphix Team

 

He blinked in the dim light, his eyes quickly adjusting as he stared at the woman who was standing in front of him, still holding the hood which had previously been covering his head. He tried to speak, but his words were muffled, incomprehensible from around the gag stuck between his teeth.

She smiled, a mere stretching of the muscles, but it didn’t quite reach her blue eyes.

“Nice to see you’ve decided to join me, Suicide,” she said, her voice quiet and relatively unremarkable.

He frowned, his head pounding, a relatively new sensation for him. Or at least one he had not felt in well over three decades. He couldn’t say he really missed it, the throbbing pain in his temples which usually followed a night spent binge-drinking and partying.

He tried to speak again, mumbling.

“Sorry,” she said as she reached out, her hand pausing in midair. She tilted her head, regarding him as she spoke. “Now don’t do anything stupid, hear me? You do and I’ll put this right back in place,” she said as she popped the ball gag out of his mouth.

He licked his full lips, brown eyes staring at her. She seemed oddly familiar, but then again, he had seen and met so many women over the past few decades of his undead life. It was hard to be sure. His nights were nothing but a sea of roaring fans, days shut up either sleeping or creating the next album.

“Who the hell are you?” he asked. His words were still slightly slurred, his brain fuzzy and sluggish, another feeling he did not miss since becoming immortal.

“Oh, where are my manners. I’m Phoenix,” she said as she tossed the gag to the floor. “Better now?”

He nodded, his dyed locks dancing in the air. He decided not to say anything for the time being as he studied her. He needed time for his senses to return to normal. Right now everything seemed impaired, even his sense of smell.

He followed her with his eyes as she paced slowly back and forth in front of him. He was sure he had seen her somewhere before, and not just at a concert. Her eyes were the type of bright blue one didn’t forget easily. The rest of her, however, was another matter.

Her hair was the same shade of auburn and fire-engine red he’d seen on literally thousands of other women both young and old. She was short, at least compared to his six-foot-four-inch frame. Neither pretty nor plain, but she wore far too much makeup and was dressed in the most hideous leather-and-latex ensemble he had ever set eyes upon. Her cheeks were round, her hips even rounder, and she tended to favor her right leg when she walked.

“What the hell did you dose me with?”

“Blood Burner. It was either that or Ultra-V.”

That explained it. That shit would knock any self-respecting vampire on his ass, the mixture of hardcore tranquilizers, hallucinogens, and downers making for one head-pounding cocktail.

“You know Ultra-V can put a vampire into a death-coma for months, right?”

“Yeah, which is why I decided to go with the Blood Burner. I need you alert and coherent.”

She stopped in front of him, quiet and still, watching him. She crossed her arms beneath her chest, her tacky outfit squeaking slightly as the synthetic fabric rubbed together. As the seconds turned into a minute, and then two, she began impatiently tapping the toe of her knee-length high-heeled boot. She looked like a Halloween reject who was pissed because she couldn’t go trick-or-treating.

“Well?” she finally asked.

“I’m sorry, did you want something?”

Her mouth popped open.

“Did I?” she stopped, shaking her head as she sighed. “Yes, I do actually,” she said as she leaned down to place her hands on the armrests of the chair he was occupying. She moved closer to him, just staring into his eyes.

He took a deep breath, an unconscious habit he had obtained over the years, breathing in her scent, trying to figure out what she was. His nose must have still been on vacation. All he could smell was the latex of her outfit, the coconut scent of her shampoo, and the various scents of grease, oil, and gasoline still lingering on the concrete floor. Her skin, however, still remained a mystery.

“And what, pray tell, is that?” he asked as he turned to look off to the side. “Did I fail to sign enough autographs for you? Did your shirt fade? Did my manager promise you some one-on-one time? Because I don’t do that shit, at least not any more. I’m sorry if he suckered you into sucking his dick or something-”

The sound of flesh hitting marble echoed through the dim room. He hardly felt it.

“Dammit!” she squealed as she jumped back and cradled her hand, dancing around as if her feet were on fire.

A slow grin spread across his face.

“Human, huh?”

“No,” she hissed as she shook her hand, the pain quickly subsiding. She turned to stare at him, her blue eyes glowing in her face, elongating slightly before going back to their human shape and color. “Not exactly.”

Shifter? Metahuman? Something new?

He sighed. This was getting out of control. He had no idea what was going on, but the uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach was quickly telling him he needed to get out of this situation, and fast.

“Lady, it’s getting late. Just tell me why I’m shackled to this chair and I’ll see what I can do. No, I’m not going to turn you, probably couldn’t even if I tried, seeing as you’re not even human. At least not fully. No, you can’t have my blood. And contrary to whatever stories my shitty manager may have told you, I don’t go around sleeping with random humans, metahumans, werewolves, or whatever you are. I don’t feed from fans, or ask them to be my companion for the duration of the tour. I’m sorry if you did any type of favors for him, but you still have to buy a meet-and-greet pass just like you do with a human band.”

“What?” She shook her head, laughing a bit. “Favors? Dude, this isn’t the eighties. I’m not a groupie, a fang-whore, or a vamp tramp. I don’t want you to turn me, I don’t want to be your companion, and as far as your manager goes, just – eww.”

“Then why am I here?”

“Your debt,” she stated flatly.

“My what?”

She grunted. “Has listening to all that metal fried your brain? Did you forget about little Buffy’s birthday party?”

“Buffy?” he asked, his angular face completely devoid of any emotion or recognition.

“Buffy Corleone.”

He still stared at her blankly.

“I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“For the love of my soul,” she muttered as she walked out of his line of sight.

He could hear her moving around behind him, the sound of something scraping across the floor, metal against concrete. He winced, the sound like nails on a chalk board.

She returned a few seconds later, pulling a large table with her. It was littered with various instruments – gags, restraints, forceps, a drill, hammer, some type of medical retractor, and a various assortment of floggers and whips. She positioned the table to the side, her hands skimming over the variety of tools and toys.

“Look, lady, I don’t know what your kink is, but I’m really not into all that. No judgement or anything. I mean, your kink is your own, but I’d really like to leave now.”

He watched her closely, the nervous fluttering of his stomach growing in intensity.

“Don’t be absurd. That’s not what this is about.”

“Then why are you dressed like a BDSM mistress from hell?”

She looked down at her outfit before giving him a go-to-hell look.

“You know, I’m really going to enjoy this,” she said quietly as she reached down to pick up one of the floggers.

She walked around to the back of his chair, the sound of metal gears and cranks filling his ears. The chair he was in moved, transforming, breaking apart as he was slowly put into a standing position, his arms stretched out to his sides. The rusty mechanism groaned in protest as it was locked into place.

“Now, where was I?” she asked, not expecting an answer as she walked back in front of him, flogger in hand.

“I don’t know what you’ve been reading on the Reddit forums, but I’m seriously not into this scene okay? I know all the fans keep saying I’m a sub or a bottom or whatever after that Torture Me video came out, but I swear none of it is true. It’s just a music video. Whatever this Buffy chick told you is probably a lie. Sorry if I hurt her feelings.”

“Again, not what this is about,” she said as she turned back to the table, examining the equipment.

“Butter beans!” he suddenly yelled.

She glanced up at him.

“Tacos? Basketball! It’s basketball isn’t it?”

“What the hell are you talking about, man?”

“Derek put you up to this, right?” He laughed. “Leave it to Derek to come up with the best practical jokes. But there’s always a safe word. If I guess it then I get to go. That’s how this works.”

“Wow, you are something else,” she said. “You really don’t remember promising the head of the Corleone coven that you would play at his childer’s birthday party?”

“So … not a practical joke then? Dammit,” he muttered as he sighed. “Look, I’m not in charge of tour dates, I just go where my manager tells me. I’m sure it’s just a mix-up.”

Her arm whipped out, faster than a normal human, her fist landing squarely on his jar. His head barely moved, the resounding crack of flesh hitting marble filling the room, but it was still a solid blow.

“Dammit, that hurt,” he said through clenched teeth.

He opened his mouth, working his jar to the left and then the right. She sure packed one hell of a punch to be so damn small.

“It’s not supposed to feel good,” she replied. “Now, do you or do you not remember promising the head of the vampire mafia that you would make a special appearance for his childer’s birthday party? You owed him some money, couldn’t pay because of the whole legal thing with your last label, so you agreed to a tradeoff – you and the rest of your band show up as the special guests for his childer’s birthday party, play a two-hour long set, and your debt is forgiven. This ringing any bells?”

He was silent for a long moment, making her wonder if he was just going to shut down on her completely. Finally he nodded, a slow movement of the head.

“Yeah, I remember,” he said, feeling his undead heart sink to his feet. This shit was not going to end well. “I gave him Bud’s name and number, told him to call with the date and time. Told Bud to make sure he cleared our schedule for whatever date Spike gave him. That was the last I’d heard of it. We don’t have a break in our tour for another three months. I assumed we would be playing that party during our time off.”

“Well, Suicide, that would put you about four months too late.”

“Wait. What do you mean, four months late? When the hell is her party?”

“It was last month, on the thirteenth to be exact.”

Fuck.”

”Well, you are most certainly fucked, that’s for sure.”

“I’m going to kill my fucking manager. I should have known better than to leave something like that up to him. I can’t believe he would do something like this, though. It has to be a scheduling mix-up or a conflict – something. He wouldn’t just ignore Spike’s calls.”

“You trusted a guy named Bud, so what did you expect?”

“You’re not funny.”

“Good, ‘cause I wasn’t trying to be.”

“Look, if you’ll just let me call Bud, or Spike for that matter, and I’ll get this whole thing straightened out. We can reschedule, maybe bring in some more bands this time. I’m good to my word. I owe Spike, and I’m willing to make this right.”

“Too little too late I’m afraid,” she said as she tossed the flogger to the side and picked up the drill. “A vampire’s childer only celebrates her one-hundredth birthday as a member of the undead once, you know. Since you failed to hold up your end of the deal, the time has come for you to pay.”

“I can get the money I owe him. Tonight. Just let me make a quick call and I can have all of it delivered before the sun comes up.”

“Again, it’s too little too late. Spike isn’t interested in your money. Now he’s after your blood.”

She flicked the switch on the drill, pulsing it a few times, the high-pitched whine filling the room.

“You can’t kill me. There are too many people who know I’m indebted to the Corleone family. Too many vampires know of my connection with him. I don’t show up for my set tomorrow night and everyone is going to know who axed me. The last thing Spike wants to do is draw more attention to his coven. The Council would have his head.”

“I have no intentions of killing you, Suicide. Lucky for you, Buffy is such a huge fan of Suicide Nation she managed to talk her sire out of dusting your ass. That’s not to say what I’m about to do won’t be incredibly unpleasant, but hopefully it will be a nice reminder of what happens when your debts go unpaid. Something to think about the next time you get cocky at the tables.”

Phoenix turned on the drill, pushing it quickly into his leg, the tungsten drill bit easily ripping through his marble-like flesh. The engine let out a piercing shriek as it hit bone, the stench of burning vampire flesh filling the air as blood poured down his leg in tiny rivulets. She pulled it out and immediate plunged it back into his leg a few inches over, driving it down until the metal bit was buried as far as it would go. She pulled it out and repeated the same process again, and again, and again.

He winced at first, teeth clenched, but as she continued to force the metal bit into his bones over and over, his uncomfortable grunts soon turned into howls of agony. He grew lightheaded as the blood seeped out of the holes, his body rushing to heal itself before he lost too much of the precious elixir.

“There, that’s eight so far,” she said as she pulled the drill out again. “You keep screaming like that I’m going to have to gag you again. Sensitive ears and all,” she said as she took a step back, looking up at him with a large, happy grin on her face.

“What the hell are you doing? I told you I could get Spike his money. Why are you doing this?”

She ignored his questions, her only response to plummet the drill back into his leg two more times.

“There, now. Ten more on the other leg, and then we’ll move on. My orders were very clear. You missed Buffy’s one-hundredth birthday party, so you get one-hundred of whatever punishment I deem fit. Dealers choice,” she added with a laugh.

He screamed as she repeated the process on his left leg, the pain so great his body was shaking. He could feel the cracks snaking up his bones from the wounds, the rock-hard frame cracking beneath the abuse even as his body healed itself.

“You know,” she said as she took a step back to admire her handy work, “I’ve always wondered if you separated a vampire’s leg bones if you could make them taller. Let’s put that theory to the test, shall we? How about another two inches to your height, make it an even six-and-half feet?”

She grinned at him before turning sharply on her heel, tossing the drill onto the table. She picked up the hammer, a chisel, and the odd-looking metal retractor before moving back to him. She bent down to look at his wounds, reaching out to rip the denim from his legs, exposing the injuries.

“Hmm, you don’t seem to be healing up as quickly now,” she said as she moved closer.

She straightened up, inching closer to him as she stood on her tip-toes, her eyes searching his face.

“Maybe you just need some refreshment,” she said quietly, her lips a few centimeters from his. “I don’t know if you particular like harpy blood, but I’m not opposed to giving you a little taste to make you feel better. Can’t have you passing out on me, you know. Where would the fun be in that?”

She inched closer, tilting her head to the side, exposing the length of her neck.

The rhythm of her heart came to his ears, quick and steady, like the humming of a bird’s wings. He could hear the rush of her blood through her veins, feel the heat of her flesh. The scent of her skin came to him finally, spicy and sweet, unlike anything he had ever come across in all his years as a member of the undead. He felt the desire stir, the thirst for blood and the hunger for sex, all intermingling together as it always did, feeding on each other, until he could no longer distinguish his lust for blood from his lust for the sins of the flesh.

“What’s to stop me from ripping your throat out?” he asked, his voice low and husky as he regarded her through half-closed lids.

“I’m tougher than I look,” she replied, looking up at him through her black, mascara-coated lashes.

He felt the cold, sharp tip of the chisel against his temple, pushing just hard enough to slice through his skin. He hissed, but didn’t try to resist.

“This won’t kill you, but it’ll take your brain long enough to knit itself back together that you won’t be able to walk by yourself for a few months. I’m sure that’ll put quite the damper on the rest of your tour.”

“You know I won’t be happy with just your blood,” he said hoarsely, feeling his fangs already growing longer as the scent of her flesh and blood called to him. He wanted to feel her blood on his tongue, taste her on his lips, feel himself buried inside of her.

She smiled as she looked at him, her lips brushing across his as she pressed herself closer to him. She slid her hand down his chest, the tips of her fingers digging into the waistband of his jeans. She could feel his muscles contract beneath her touch. He looked so delicious strapped to the rack, helpless, completely at her mercy, just the way she liked her men.

His lips captured hers, brutal and demanding. She moaned, pressing herself closer to him, one leg wrapping around his waist as the chisel fell from her hand, clattering to the floor, forgotten as the desire rushed up to claim her. She wrapped her arms around his neck, one hand gripping the hair at the back of his neck, pulling him closer as their tongues danced together, teasing, tasting.

“Cut!” a deep voice yelled somewhere behind her.

She grunted, breaking their kiss as she place one hand on her hip, turning around sharply.

“Ugh, now what the hell is wrong?”

“Tone it down, Nikki. We’re shooting a horror flick here, not a porno.”

 

End

 

For info on the Before the Sun Rises Series, its characters, slang terms, and behind-the-scenes information, check out the Before the Sun Rises Companion Piece on Wattpad. Ready to start the adventure? Grab The Red Fang, book 1 in the Before the Sun Rises Series for just $0.99.

 

Marvel’s End Game & Cosplay Fun

I’ve been so busy I completely forgot to upload some of the really awesome photos from Marvel’s End Game viewing party with the Southern Geeks group! We had an awesome time last month with just a few of the over 5K members of the SGG. Everyone was out in cosplay (except for me – I didn’t have time to really get a good cosplay together) and had so much fun posing with some of our local southern family. The movie was seriously AWESOME and I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen it yet to GO GO GO!!

We had all planned a road trip back on May 4th for the annual Free Comic Book Day but unfortunately, life got in the way for most of us, including myself. My good friend Deby and were all packed and ready to ride but we had some bad thunderstorms and tornadoes coming through the area so we decided not to go. This was to be my first road trip with the Southern Geeks but it looks like I’ll have to wait until later in the year when I hope to help them out at some of the local comicons coming up. Until next time, here are a few of the pics I snapped before the viewing party.

 

 

For even more fun photos and ramblings, be sure to follow me on social media!

Nora Roberts Sues #CopyPasteCris, But She Can’t Go After Amazon

In early March I wrote three blog articles, I Write My Own Damn Books Can We Just Get Real for a Moment, and An Open Letter to Nora Roberts, after it was discovered the self-proclaimed USA TODAY bestselling author Cristiane Serruya had plagiarized dozens of authors and books, including Nora Roberts, Courtney Milan, and EL James, just to name a few. For the record, according to the archive on USA TODAY‘s website, Cristiane Serruya has never once hit the list. And now that she has been called out on her plagiarism, she’s admitted that she hasn’t even written one single book, instead farming it out to ghostwriters she hired on the notoriously unscrupulous site Fiverr.

Now Nora Roberts is going after blood as she has sued Brazilian author Cristiane Serruya for her blatant theft of approximate ten of her books. Needless to say, authors both big and small are urging her on, happy someone is finally standing up to the cesspool of low quality books and scammers that have been running rampant on Amazon for nearly a decade now, the steady flow of Frankensteined books and half-assed rough drafts forcing many authors to quit publishing altogether while simultaneously banishing the professionally produced books to the proverbial Amazon dungeons.

Authors are sick of being forced to compete with the immoral writers who have no qualms about using every unethical and black-hat tactic they can think of to squeeze as much money out of the Amazon publishing system as possible. By them doing so, it has forced a lot of authors to stop writing and publishing as they simply cannot compete with those scammers who are able to spend $100K or more on AMS ads and other forms of advertisement each year. Those of us who have been limping along hoping the system would eventually right itself have been left with our books banished to the proverbial dungeons of Amazon, no longer able to make sales or have any visibility on our books at all.

Needless to say, now that someone like Nora Roberts has learned the disgusting ways of the publishing world the hard way, and has thus been caught up in it, we are all very excited to know she is not taking this shit lying down. Everyone is behind her, authors and readers alike, and we are all cheering her on. Many authors are holding out hope that Nora’s voice in regards to how bad Amazon has let things get will be the first step in righting a system that was built on dishonesty and greed. Many are voicing their hope that Nora will actually take on Amazon itself.

Unfortunately, I’m not as hopeful as the rest in regards to her taking on  Amazon. Honestly, she doesn’t have enough money to do it. And if you want to get down to the nut-cutting, not even JK Rowling has enough money to take on Amazon.

Before everyone gets bent out of shape, I think we all need to take a real, hard look at Amazon’s revenue and why they are able to get away with all the shit they do, why they do not bother to police their own store, or even enforce their own rules and TOS other than when it suits them. Once you look at the basic economics of Amazon, you’ll understand why it would literally take all of the Big 5 publishers and all of their top 5% earning authors making a class-action lawsuit against the Zon, followed by pretty much every single author and business that has ever been a part of their store, to truly do any type of damage to them.

According to CNBC, Amazon reported earnings of $10.1 BILLION in 2018 alone. Gross profits for the year were over $141 BILLION. In 2017, their net profits were just over $3 BILLION, with a gross profit of over $118 BILLION. Of that, it is estimated that approximately 30% of that income came from book sales, which would be approximately $3 BILLION in net profits for 2018.

With numbers like this, it is no wonder everyone is fighting so hard to be seen on Amazon. Unfortunately, with revenue streams in the tens of billions, it is also no wonder Amazon has been completely unfazed by the multitude of authors who have been steadily calling them out for their bad practices. So while Nora may reportedly be worth $370 million and JK Rowling $1 billion, Amazon has enough revenue coming in to keep any type of lawsuit buried in the court system for decades.

While all of us would certainly LOVE to see Amazon come tumbling off its pedestal for once, it’s going to take more than just Nora Roberts to do it. It’s going to take more than just the Big 5 publishers to do it. It’s going to take more than just JK Rowling to do it. In fact, about the only way to get a retail giant like Amazon to take a step back and actually put the fear of bankruptcy into them would be if the top 20 richest authors in the world got together, along with the Big 5 publishers, and every other author who has ever done business with them, all fighting together to put the proverbial nuts in a vice.

I, for one, would happily jump on board that express train. Hell, I’d happily tap dance on the ashes that was once the Zon-Almighty.

But for now, I’m another author who is standing behind Nora Roberts hoping she is able to draw blood. It may be a small victory in the grand scheme of things, but if enough people begin beating down the gates of Amazon, then maybe, just maybe, we can take back our sagging careers and turn this once noble profession back into the proud industry it used to be.

And – you go, Nora!

Fantasy $0.99 Book Sale!

 

Love fantasy? Love a great book sale? What could be better than 24 awesome fantasy books across multiple genres, each for only $0.99 or less? Well, if you love a good fantasy book, I can’t think of anything better. But don’t wait! These books are only available at this deep discounted price for a very short time. CLICK HERE to browse and make your selection(s). As always, if you love the book, please leave a review. Or pie.

#FantasyFalls #FantasyBooks #vampires #werewolves #shifters #highfantasy #ghosts #goblins #paranormalfantasy #urbanfantasy #Gothic #gothicromance #zombies #cyberpunk #steampunk #postapocalpytic #fairies #witches #warlocks #demons #magick #mythology #psychic #magicalrealism #timetravel #sciencefiction #sciencefantasy #dragons #dungeonsanddragons

Blood Spell Pre-Order is LIVE

The 5th book in the Before the Sun Rises Series, the highly anticipated Blood Spell, is now on pre-order through Amazon! Don’t miss your chance to grab your copy for the pre-order sale price of only $2.99.

New from the underground lair of the Paranormal Princess comes a timeless tale of forbidden love … Two destinies entwined but at what cost to the world?

Thorn has been searching her whole life for The Book of Blood Magic. Now she has found it, and she is thrust into a primeval struggle where the laws of good and evil no longer apply.

Once she speaks the ancient deity’s name, she is bound to him forever. No matter how far she runs, no matter what she does, she will never be able to escape him.

His disciples want him free from his eternal exile to reclaim his throne and bring the earth back into the shadows of the magic realm. There is no way to undo her blood spell, but she is determined to keep their prophecy from becoming a reality.

Can she live with herself if she draws him into her world, a world he has sworn revenge upon at any cost? Will he be content to merely live, or will his desire for blood and war cause him to once again enslave humanity? What will her world become if he is allowed to reign over them? If he cannot control his desire for chaos, will she be able to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Time is running out, and she has a decision to make. No matter her choice, one thing is clear -someone’s world is going to end.

Pre-Order Now

On Set of #Splat – a #Splatterverse Film

Yesterday I had the privilege of working on set of the upcoming zombie horror movie #Splat, the first film in the Splatterverse. The owner/founder of Splatterverse, Blair Kelly, not only wrote the script but also is starring in and directing as well. Blair was a fellow NEJ student and long time resident of my home town. It was great meeting some old friends and new faces while filming. Mississippi truly has some wonderful talent and is full of warm, fun-loving folks who are eager to help out a fellow artist and have a whole lot of fun doing it. Thanks again to everyone set, our director, fellow actors, makeup artists, and the crew behind the scenes making everything run as smooth as possible. I had a great time and I can’t wait for our next film day!

**Photo credit to those who took these. Some of these are copyrighted by me, some were taken on set by other cast members.

 

Copyright Nicola C Matthews 2019

Copyright Nicola C Matthews 2019

Copyright Nicola C Matthews 2019

Copyright Nicola C Matthews 2019

Copyright Nicola C Matthews 2019

Copyright Nicola C Matthews 2019

 

Waiting on that Series to Complete? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Wait

 

I’m going to shoot straight from the hip on this. One of my pet peeves to hear from readers is the dreaded “I’m going to wait until the series is completed before I buy any of the books.” It’s like nails on a chalkboard to me. Dagger: meet heart.

Before I get into the (really good) reasons why you shouldn’t wait for a series to complete before diving right in, I’m going to ask as few questions.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, did you wait until the series ended to start buying the books? Did you wait until all the movies came out before you went to watch them?

If you are a Twilight fan, did you wait until the series ended to start buying the books? Did you wait until all the movies came out before you went to watch them?

If you are Game of Thrones fan, have you not watched a single episode, waiting instead until all the seasons are complete before watching them? How about The Walking Dead?

And if you are a Laurell K. Hamilton fan, have you not read a single one of the Anita Blake series, instead opting until the series is finally complete before you start on it? (Here’s a hint, that’s her cash cow and she has no intentions of ending that series so long as it’s selling)

Anyway, you get the idea. Chances are, if you got hooked into any of these fandoms, or the thousands of others out there on both the book, comic book, graphic novels, and TV series front, you aren’t waiting – you are counting down the days until the next book/comic/episode/movie drops. It’s why I, and so many other authors, hate to hear a reader say they are “waiting” for a series to complete before they decide to buy.

If you are one of them, here are some pretty compelling reasons *not* to wait.

1.       Interest and sales versus a lack thereof: as I mentioned above, if you are into the Anita Blake series, you probably already know that series is still going strong. The reason why is because there is still a lot of interest in the books, characters, and story lines. To put it simply, it’s still making money. So long as a series is making money, or readers still show interest, then an author will continue to write more and more books in the series. And for those series like Anita Blake and The Vampire Chronicles, this means the author has no intentions of ending the series, which translates into readers seriously missing out if they opt to “wait it out” to see what is going to happen with a series.

2.       On the flip side of this is the “lack of interest.” There are only so many books an author can push out a year, and that number drastically decreases for those like me who are juggling a regular full-time Evil Day Job along with writing. For this reason, we have to be especially particular about what we spend that limited amount of time on. If readers take the “wait to see” attitude on our series, we view as that as a lack of interest. Lack of interest = lack of sales = we won’t continue to spend our time writing in a series that isn’t producing any royalties. This means we may completely scrap a series and not write another book in that world, opting instead of spend our time writing on a series or stand alone novels that may interest our readers more.

The best way to encourage an author is to buy their books, series complete or not. Taking a “wait to see what happens” with any series could very well spell death to that series. How many really awesome TV series have been cancelled because the ratings weren’t good enough for the studio to warrant investing the time and money it takes to film more episodes? It’s the same principle with authors, especially us indie authors. If you “wait to buy” until we finally finish writing all the books in a series, you may discover a series that gets scrapped because there wasn’t enough interest in it.

And for those wondering, please don’t “wait until the series ends” when it comes to the Before the Sun Rises books. I have no intentions of ending that series unless it stops selling. I could literally write another twenty books just with the characters and story lines I already have notes for. Who knows what I may come up with between now and Book #20!

Blood Spell: a Fallen From Grace novel Cover Reveal

 

 

Are you ready for the next installment? Be on the lookout for Blood Spell: a Fallen From Grace novel – Before the Sun Rises Book 5 coming 4/22/19 with the highly anticipated follow-up novel releasing close to Halloween of 2019.

Thorn has been searching her whole life for The Book of Blood Magic. Now she has found it, and she is thrust into a primeval struggle where the laws of good and evil no longer apply.Once she speaks the ancient deity’s name, she is bound to him forever. No matter how far she runs, no matter what she does, she will never be able to escape him.His disciples want him free from his eternal exile to reclaim his throne and bring the earth back into the shadows of the magic realm. There is no way to undo her blood spell, but she is determined to keep their prophecy from becoming a reality.Can she live with herself if she draws him into her world, a world he has sworn revenge upon at any cost?Will he be content to merely live, or will his desire for blood and war cause him to once again enslave humanity? What will her world become if he is allowed to reign over them? If he cannot control his desire for chaos, will she be able to make the ultimate sacrifice?Time is running out, and she has a decision to make. No matter her choice, one thing is clear -someone’s world is going to end.