Tag Archives: Pirates

You really can’t tell a book by its cover – at least sometimes #TinaDonahueBooks #PiratesPrize #KensingtonBooks

Every time I receive a new cover from my publishers, I hold my breath. I’m praying, hoping, and pleading that the cover reflects the story inside. I’m not looking for a mirror image of the hero and heroine. That’s not possible. However, I do want the cover to be indicative of the mood of the book: dark, playful, fantasy, historical, contemporary – you get my drift.

I’d say 99% of the time, the cover artists have nailed what I’m hoping and looking for. However, that 1% mismatch can be brutal. I’ve had heroes who were 30 years old represented by guys who had to be in their mid 40s, at least. Those models were undeniably hot – at one time. Not now. Best they moved on and let younger guys take the stage. I’ve had curvy heroines represented by model thin women. Their cheekbones were so sharp they could have injured someone.

Luckily, the vast majority of those mishaps were handled professionally and resolved so that readers and fans could tell my books by my covers.

Here’s the cover for my upcoming December release Forbidden DesireBook 3 in my Pirate’s Prize series.

OMG, I want this guy to come to my door. He is sooooooo HOT! This is one of my fave covers of all time.

Available for preorder – Universal Link

Ready to read December 5

Blurb:

In paradise, the only limits to passion lie in your imagination…

After a life filled with hardship, landing on a lush tropical isle is heaven on earth for mariner Heath Garrison. And it comes complete with two angels who bring out the very devil in him. Identical twins Netta and Aimee are guileless and seductive, living and loving without jealousy. Days of longing, nights of carnal bliss make choosing one over the other seem impossible, but hungering for both sisters is taboo.

Aimee and Netta’s devotion to each other helped them survive the vicious pirates who overran their home. Will a virile Englishman come between them now? When their enemies return, determined to vanquish the islanders for good, Heath races to save them along with his countrymen. But survival will bring a choice—between the life Heath has known, and a love that changes all their destinies…

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Can historical accuracy get out of hand in a romance? #TinaDonahueBooks #PiratesPrize

When I decided to try my hand at historical romance, several author friends warned me to reconsider. They said reviewers and fans were purists, wanting everything in an historical romance to be letter perfect…as things actually were way back when. Pity the poor writer who makes a mistake.

Okay, I get it. And I agree to an extent. Historical tales should be grounded in reality. That is, you don’t have someone in the eighteen hundreds using a cell phone. When I was writing Loving Liesbook one in my Dangerous Desires series, I wondered if chocolate was available for the heroine who was a member of the aristocracy. Nope, it wasn’t. In 1488 Spain chocolate was unknown. As I was writing my story, I had to check foods that were available during that time. Clothing too. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of research material on Spanish fashion in 1488. Eventually, I had to check paintings from that period and I even read Don Quixote (though it’s not exactly that time period) to get some idea of what people wore.

So, I am aware of the importance of research. However, I’m not a purist. In my latest historical series Pirate’s Prize, the action takes place in 1717 on a lush, tropical island in the Indian Ocean. Yes, there are bugs and heat and mud and all that stuff, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to wallow in stings, sweating, and inconvenience to tell my tale. Frankly, in those days that was normal. People didn’t consider heat and insects a problem. So why mention them to the point of the tale having an ick factor? Contemporary romances don’t talk about menstruation or bathroom habits – at least none  I’ve read. Why should historical romances be so steeped in reality that it becomes a turn-off?

I haven’t, as yet, received a poor review because of historical accuracy, because I am careful. That said, I like a little magic with my romances. Sure, it’s not real life, but I’m not looking for that. I’m looking to escape.

My latest release Days of Desirebook 2 Pirate’s Prize, is available now.

Universal Buy Link

Blurb:

In a pirate’s lair, nothing is as it seems . . .

Shipwrecked! When Royce Hastings is found washed up on the shore of a verdant tropical island, he tells the natives he is a merchant headed for Mozambique. The truth, however, is far more mercenary. Noble by birth, the once favored Royce has lost his fortune and family; now he is a hired henchman on the trail of an elusive pirate. His “shipwreck” was a fake. He’ll stop at nothing to infiltrate the island and capture his prey. His mother and sisters’ lives depend on it.

The last thing Royce expects is to be captured himself. But the lovely young woman who tends to his wounds in the tropics quickly takes hold of his heart. Simone is the island’s healer, and her skilled ministrations not only awaken his soul but disturb his conscience. His path has been predetermined; his identity must remain concealed at all costs. Yet the passion he feels in Simone’s sultry, loving arms cannot be denied. With his loyalties torn, Royce must make an agonizing, unthinkable choice. . . .

Excerpt:

He squeezed past the door into the shadowed space. Simone’s fragrance surrounded him, the musky undertones muddying his brain.

She sat on the floor in the corner, grains, seeds, and berries to her side, spread out for the pigeons. They poked their heads through the metal slats in their cage and ate like gluttons. Chickens strutted freely, pecking their food.

Simone stood. The hens scattered. “Are you all right?”

Exhausted and aroused. “Fine.”

“You’re bleeding again.”

“Not much. You shouldn’t be doing this.”

Her chin trembled. “What? Speaking to you? Asking questions? You want me to be silent and unseen?”

He longed to be in her arms, comforted and warmed. Anchored to all the good he’d never really known. Her words proved true. This island had wonderful people. The best life had to offer. Nothing he deserved. “You’re a healer, not someone who tends chickens and birds. Peter should be doing this. Is he a lazy boy?”

She lowered her face, hiding her smile. “A surly one. He thinks he knows everything. Too many times, Diana has promised to thrash him.”

“Good for her. A proper man needs manners. Let me help you.” Eager to reach her, he strode recklessly.

A hen flapped its wings, going right and left to escape his crutch, its squawk ear-piercing. The other chickens scattered, many getting in his way. He twisted to keep from falling.

“Take care.” Simone slipped her arm around his waist, her precious breast pressed to his side.

Surrendering to loneliness and enchantment, he leaned in, his face to her hair. The English countryside couldn’t compete with her blessed scent. Nature had met its equal in her. He nuzzled her glossy tresses. No matter how wrong and irrational his desire, for some reason he’d found home at her side.

Pity he’d managed that too late.

He should have moved away but hadn’t the will.

She guided him to a bed nearly as large as the one in his chamber. This lavish room, like his, boasted a marble floor and whitewashed walls. A lovely place for a new life to take its first breath.

She laid his crutch to the side. “Sit before you fall.” Gently, she pushed him on the silk-covered mattress.

He made a show of falling down.

Her laughter pealed through the room.

Royce feigned insult. “Are you making light of me?”

“Oui.”

His laugh produced happy tears. “Have you no pity for a poor cripple?”

“I have never seen a stronger man.” She held her hands behind her, breasts thrust out, and swayed her hips slowly.

Aphrodite in the flesh. “Is that what you think of me?”

“What I know. You survived a storm that nearly tore our isle from the earth and flung it into the sky. You are no mere man. You are close to a god.”

He was a liar when honor demanded he do nothing to ruin anything here. He was a besotted fool when duty required he see to his family. His mother and sisters had no power to liberate themselves. Without his help, Katie, especially, would know nothing except a life spent in hard labor, cowering at harsh words, dreading the next beating or something equally horrible.

Simone cupped his face. “What is it? Is the pain bad again?”

The worse a man could face. Having to choose between angels: the one in here now with him, or those in his family who he’d been trying to save.

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A Raven Rant on Digital Theft @RavenMcAllan

Hi all, and welcome to a Raven rant,

Now let’s face it, this subject will be covered by a lot of people much better qualified to chat about it. And there are a lot of thoughts about it at the moment. (Check out Doris O’Connor on www.naughty-quills.com today and Ravenna Tate on there yesterday)

Why? Well lets be honest it’s a subject very close to the heart of any artist—and I use that word to cover writers and musicians—who has work that can be stolen at the click of a button.

Stole do I hear you ask?

 

Yeah, that’s the work. Stolen by thieves. Pirates. Those who feel they are entitled to something for nothing.

And sadly, often those who would be aghast if you suggested they went into Waterstones and picked up a couple of paperbacks and just walked out with them.

“But that’s stealing…” they would cry. “Like shoplifting in the supermarket.”

So why is stealing an eBook any different? Because you cant hold it in your hands?

Bullshit.

Sorry but it is. Actually, no I’m not sorry. I’ll tell it like it is. And when the pirate-thief pulls the ohh poor me I’ve got no money well sorry sunshine, nor have a lot of people but they don’t resort to stealing.

Think for a moment. This is a very simplistic maths sum. But as a for instance.

Let’s say A N Author has a short novella out. About 20 thousand words.

Now in a perfect world those 20k would take oh say 30 hours to write. (Let’s ignore kids wanting fed, the dog being sick, the cold callers on the phone very half an hour, hubby wanting his dry cleaning picked up, the enormous pile of ironing staring at you, the people who think that if you are in the house, you’re not working, all that stuff).

Let’s concentrate on those 20k.

So once they’re written they need editing by A. N. Then sent to a beta reader. Then edited again. So all that is another oh at a conservative estimate, 60 hours. And don’t forget the synopsis and blurb.

And if it’s accepted there’s edits and revisions and all the bits and bobs that go with that.

So were looking at anything from 120 hours upwards.

That’s well over 3 weeks work at 7-8 hours a day, and believe me not many authors get the chance to do that on a regular basis.

Now lets talk $ and £. (I know you should never discuss money but bear with me)

Ms. Author if she was in a ‘regular’ job, could earn oh I don’t know $10 or £10 an hour maybe. (That’s a nice rounded number for me to work with.)

Her 20k Novella is on Amazon for $1, or £1.00

Now for the sake of argument and to stop everyone’s head spinning, I’ll just use $ and Amazon (other book buying sites do exist…)

On Amazon if a book is under $1.99 they take 70% of each sale.

So our $1 dollar book is work only 30¢. The publisher—I’m talking publishers here—take their cut for all their hard work, covers, editing, formatting, etc., of around 55-60% or in some cases more. I’ll work on a publisher taking 60%.

That leaves A. N. Author with 12¢ for every book sold.

Now if my maths is correct, and don’t shoot me if it isn’t, that means to break even over 3 weeks of non stop working on that book that poor A. N. needs to sell 1,000 books in 3 weeks to make what she/he would have made in a ‘regular’ job. Some do. Lots do not. Nowhere near it.

But hold on…what about everything else? Like something to work on? You have to have a computer of some sorts and the net. Lighting, heating and electricity, which if she were out of the house, wouldn’t be used. The lack of sickness benefits, national insurance, paid holidays?

Yeah you’re on your own as an author.

So maybe now anyone who thinks ohh I’ll just pinch this book, why not, might think twice.

But on reflection, seeing what they write on social media, etcetera, probably not. And you know? They’ll be the first to bitch when the number of eBooks shrinks because A. N. can’t afford to carry on.

Rant over. Have a nice day, and if you can afford to one click legally, thank you.

 

(Raven’s latest book, from her alter ego dark side, Kera Faire, The Dispatcher is now out legally from Evernight publishing, Amazon, Are and Bookstrand.

She is now eating chocolate and drinking coffee, both purchased legally.)