Welcome to my Blog

Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek at what's on offer. I really hope you enjoy all the authors and novels I feature, plus the blog tours, cover reveals, give-aways and book blitz's etc. I like to keep things fresh and fun, so you, my fabulous readers, enjoy your visits.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Weekly Cuteness - Meet Snowie


I thought as Basil and Amber have been introduced, it was time Snowie had a post of her own. 

So here she is, Her Royal Whiteness ~ Miss Snowpie






She is precisely 12 years, 1 month and 6 days old today
Snowie is another rescue cat, like Amber and Basil
She likes chicken treats and lots of catnip
She is also excellent at vanishing into thin air, one second she will be right next to you, blink and she's gone, blink again and she's a 100 metres away in plain sight.  Personally I think she has discovered the secret of Trans-dimensional doorways, but that's a topic for another day, unless you would like to discuss it more here :)

So please enjoy the Weekly Cuteness that is Snowie




Monday, 29 August 2011

What's new on the reading list?

Last week I went a bit mad on the book front.  I ordered:


The Demon Trappers: Forbidden by Jana Oliver



I've read the first in the series - Forsaken and really enjoyed it, and rate it 4.5 out of 5.  So this one is high priority to find out what happens next.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

This author is new to me, I read a couple of great reviews on the BookChowDown Blog and I thought I'd give it a whirl, so I'll let you know my verdict as soon as its been read.
 
Stealing Phoenix by Joss Stirling



This is also the 2nd installment in the series by Joss Stirling. The first book - Finding Sky - was enjoyable, sometimes slightly irritating but overall I'd give it 3.5 out of 5 

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And then I downloaded three audio books from - Audible: (Sometimes it's just nice just to listen...) The three authors below I have never read or listened to anything by them before, so I'll let you know what I think in due course.

 
Die for Me by Amy Plum



 

Supernaturally by Kiersten White





Vampire Academy Book 1 by Richelle Mead





Happy reading or listening to you all and if anyone has read any of these books and wants to leave a comment ~ feel free to do so






Thursday, 25 August 2011

Should all books be FREE? Copyright Infringement Issue...


How do you feel about copyright infringement?  Well here's the thing, should all books  be free?  

Today I was made aware of something very interesting, one of my books has been listed on a website as a pirate download.  How did this make me feel... I was really annoyed because.:-  this means that someone has actually had to scan the entire book and upload it as there were no digital copies anywhere available on the internet, so it's blatant theft.  At no time has anyone tried to contact me and ask my permission to use my book in any way, shape or form. And who on earth would want to steal and upload one of my books anyway? It's not as if I am even well known, so God only knows.

But still, I am vexed about it (and before you ask, no I'm not being precious and having a bitch fit) so I have contacted the website in question and informed them of this copyright violation, I haven't heard anything back as of yet, but I can only imagine what they are going to tell me… I'll keep you informed.

But the really sad thing is, that I also saw on the website several very popular YA authors, their work is there too, pages and pages of files just waiting to be downloaded for nothing, their books are being  'virtually stolen'   I wonder how they would feel, seeing entire series of their novels available in that manner? Pretty hacked off to say the least. 

As most authors know, actually trying to make a good living from selling books is almost impossible in todays market.  Firstly just trying to find an agent is very very very hard, getting a publisher is harder still.  Then you have the extra task of trying to market your books (as marketing budgets are being cut to the bone) and find your audience, which is even harder as the volume of books released via a wide cross section of mediums increases exponentially year in year out, and then after all your hard work, you find that someone has uploaded your book for the entire world to download for free. 

This is how I see this scenario:  A person walks into a book store and steals a book, but it's not just one person, it's every person that downloads a pirate copy - mass theft.

So what incentive does that give an author to produce new work, to have slaved blood, sweat and tears for months and months or perhaps even years in some cases on a new novel,  edit it until their eyes have nearly shrivelled up and fallen out and then wait for about a year or two (depending on the publishers time table) for it to be finally published, and then it gets hijacked in cyberspace and stolen?  

Ok so the author has received an advance, (if they are a new author it will only be a small amount and even well established authors are seeing their advances being slashed as the publishing arena changes) and they will get royalties if the book sells well, but then then what about all the lost revenue because of copyright theft? 

So back to the question - should all books be free?   Should authors just give their work away?  Should they work for free?  (well if they want to, that's fine, but everyone needs to eat)

That would be the same as someone who works, for instance in a coffee shop and does it for free forever.  Or the nursery school teacher who does an ten hour day but never gets paid or the free doctor,  perhaps a receptionist does a 50 hour week for free,  etc...  Because if one vocation works for free,  then shouldn't everyone?   (and I'm not taking about volunteer work here - that's a topic all on its own)

Ah, I hear you say, but those other professions you've mentioned don't produce written word for public consumption that can be hijacked. 

So therein the fault lies with the author, but without the author there would be no books and without books what a dull world it would be, and besides, shouldn't the author be entitled to a little remuneration where it's due?

I know there's no such thing as a free lunch, do the people who pirate books?  You may or may not agree with me, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however I wouldn't take a sandwich off the plate without asking first and I certainly wouldn't walk off with it without paying.



UPDATE Friday 26-08-11:

I got an email reply from the website in question and their answer was basically:- It's not our problem as we don't actually host the files, so there is nothing we can do for you.


There have been nearly 1000 downloads now, almost 700 since yesterday when I first discovered it.  So I am being virtually mugged at a rate of 29.166 (reoccurring) times per hour for the last 24 hours and that’s if no-one else downloads it.


So what is a girl to do now?

Answers on a postcard to.... just kidding!!!!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

What I'm reading this week.... 'Awakened' by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Apart from writing novels, I love to read them as well. Being a complete book'a'holic and probably needing to find a support group ASAP (if anyone can recommend anything let me know.) My house is filled with them, and even my shed is being used as the overflow storage facility (O.S.F) as there is no more shelf space left in the house.


So, back to books.  At the moment I've just started reading:- Awakened by P.C. And Kristin Cast. The eighth book in the House of Night series, which I am enjoying and hope to finish in the next few days.



I have really liked reading the HoN series so far, nice fast paced stories with plenty of twists and turns and not forgetting - BITE!  So I'm eager to see how this one ends and whether or not it will fulfil my expectations. (I'll let you know) 

Can Zoey survive the evil Neferet?

If you've read it and want to leave a comment, please be my guest...   I'd love to know what your thoughts are on this book and/or the HoN series.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Basil the Bionic Cat at MySpace

Just to let you know that you can join Basil at MySpace if you have an account and just so you know you're in the right place here's his mugshot:



Did I forget to mention that Basil is real? I think I did, so anyway FYI Basil is a real cat and the original book was inspired by his antics.  He's had his own website since 2002 - click here: Basil the Bionic Cat where there are photo galleries of him and Posie, plus a host of other things, such as an Online Spy Academy amongst other stuff, check it out if you want.


Basil the Bionic Cat is now available as a Kindle E-Book at Amazon.




If you want to know anything about the real Basil or Basil the Bionic Cat, ask away.  For instance:

How did Basil become the worlds only Organic-Bionic Cat?
Who is Posie and why is she so darned cute?
Are there any more animals in the book?
What about the bad guys, are they really that bad?
What is a V.F.T. and are they totally psychotic?
Who is Norice Dooley and how did he become part Cyborg?

or slightly less exciting questions

How many pages in the book?
What's the total word count?
How long did it take to write?
How many edits were there?
How long did it take to find a publisher?


There are so many questions to ask, and I have all the answers if you would like to know, so leave me a comment and I'll get right back to you.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Profile Photo..

Just a quick note to explain my recent photo change - I had a complaint that my picture was too dark and that you couldn't really see me, (just the effect I was after) so until I find a suitable replacement picture, you'll have to look at one of my cats, Amber, who is modelling a very cute pink pom pom hat which was handmade in Peru.  

As you can see she is an excellent model and in the timed tradition of all Supurr Models, she had a complete hissy fit right after the photo was taken and promptly stormed off leaving the designer apparel on the floor in complete disgust for someone else to pick up!

She also 'plays' one of the characters in the novel 'Clawless' - see earlier post.

Just as an afterthought, you can get a dose of daily cuteness, courtesy of Ambers black and white folio below.








The last photo won a competition a few years ago, this is her 'Mega Uber Cuteness Chocolate Box Cover Shot!'  (Not that it was on an actual chocolate box, but it would have been very cool if it had)

Amber is a rescue cat, she is nine years old in October, if you would like to know more about her, please ask.


Monday, 15 August 2011

The Cross of Ramplet - The Mystery of Throckmorton Manor

I co-authored this particular novel with my good friend Tim Thompson a few years ago, and it was recently added to the Amazon Kindle Library, Smashwords and the Sony e-reader, so it's available for instant download if you like historical adventures.

Here are the front and back covers




YouTube Video







Product Description

Throckmorton Manor – Built on the bones of dead men, shrouded in mystery with secrets to reveal, adventure to unfold, suspense to break and treasure to be discovered…

The Throckmorton Family – Deviously deceptive and greedy historical characters who use powers of romance and guile on a treasure hunt while hiding behind the thin veil of Regency England high society to disguise their quest…

The Village Constable – A secret Knights Templar Sergen ordained centuries after the historical order was disbanded, blinded to his duty by his romance with the insane daughter of the Squire…

The Village Doctor - A lecher and mystery object spelunker with greedy secret motives, his medical practice in suspense as he digs his way in the quest for the famed religious icon, the Cross of Ramplet, the great treasure of the Knights Templar…

The Anglican Priest – Caught up in his own unhinged view of faith and the loss of his most treasured religious icon, but is it a facsimile or the genuine article…

The French Spy – Using false love and romance to meet his secret mission objective…

The Pirates - Resolute in their brutal quest to bring the Cross of Ramplet to their Middle Eastern master…

The Grand Prize - The Cross of Ramplet, the fabulous ancient Knights Templar religious icon, believed to hold a great secret and presumed lost forever while being hidden in plain sight…

The Cross of Ramplet – The Mystery of Throckmorton Manor is a mystery adventure novel set within the parameters of a treasure hunt filled with suspense and set around the infamous Throckmorton family against the romantic backdrop of Regency England. The novel features a truly diverse and intriguing cast of characters who are prepared to do anything in their quest to possess the Knights Templar fabled religious icon treasure – the Cross of Ramplet.

An historical novel set in Regency England around the sleepy village of Portsur, this page turning parody mystery adventure book hurtles along like a runaway freight train. It combines the elegance of a Regency England Jane Austin romance with the cunning treasure hunt mystery style of Agatha Christie and the broad comedic style of Mel Brooks - equating to a serious parody of the more traditional mystery adventure novel. The mood swings from hysterically ridiculous, to soft romantic overtures, often becoming deadly serious while maintaining the suspense of a ‘who done it’ treasure hunt that keeps the reader guessing right until the final four chapter climax filled with glorious fun.

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ClydeSight Productions are producers of original DSPP subliminal software, music, e-books, and more including vintage tape recorder information and free MP3 music

You can visit Tim's website - Click here: Clydesight where he sells his other novels and Digital Subliminal Perception Programs (DSPP), he composes music which is also available to buy plus a host of other FREE things to see and do. 

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We have also co-authored another book, Cooking up Customers, but I'll post about that another day... 


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Clawless - The Ultimate Feline Soap Opurra - If you LOVE cats, you'll LOVE this!



Visit here:

Clawless - The Official Website

 

Cat Humour to have you in stitches

Synopsis:

The story begins on a dark and stormy night as the Last Will and Testament of Wee Jock MacTartan is read aloud to his grieving family.  His two sons, Clawde and Arfur and their respective wives, the feisty and slightly over acting, Clawdette and the tiny, kitten-less Furnella. Clawde and Clawdette have one daughter, called Purrdita. 

Their main rival is Solitaire the wicked stepmother who married Wee Jock just days before his final demise to ‘Rainbow Bridge’ and she has plans to take as much as she can and leave the House of Le Claw destitute.  Her attempts are aided and at times, hilariously hampered by a lawyer with a serious catnip habit, Furry Faceon who has embezzled a large amount of the Le Claw cash and is keen to hide the fact from all of them.

Also, if they haven’t got enough to worry about, up pops the evil and sinister Monsieur Le Fluffy. His dastardly intentions are to strike the company while it is vulnerable, with the sole purpose of taking it over completely leaving the Le Claws out in the cold.

Clawdette visits Solitaire to confront her about her evil conniving ways but instead steals the designs which Monsieur Le Fluffy has sent to Solitaire in advance of the next seasons fashion shows, but is this a double bluff or indeed a triple bluff and will Clawdette be able to remember who knows what by the end of it all?

Furnella hides a ‘dark secret’ which she has managed to keep well hidden until a tiny little ginger kitten appears at the front door - seemingly abandoned - and she nearly reveals what it is that troubles her so deeply. Clawdette calls in the pest control but they take her to the pound instead of the kitten and she gets into some very bad company before finally being rescued.

Then, much to Clawdettes despair, she manages to get catnapped and is embarrassed to find that she was held in just another part of the mansion … something the police don’t seem very sympathetic about.

Meanwhile, Clawde and Arfur discover they have a secret brother who is in fact a ‘catpire’ who lives in a castle in Catsylvania.  The entire family suddenly decamp ‘over hill and dale, across ocean and stream, river and rill, and deep into Catsylvania, over the forest, over the torch lit village, above the howling of the wolves and the neighing of the horses’ where the story takes on a slightly surreal quality as the Le Claws battle to stay ahead of the game… and just why do the villagers always carry torches and garlic when they come near the castle? Also what happens when Clawdette takes Clyde to Transylvania’s IKEA and why do they the end up being featured on Furry Springer as ‘I accidentally married my own brother?’


So many questions, with so many answers… you’ll be clawing your way to find out the truth.  The most imaginative soap opurra since Dynasty met Dallas, never has there been so much back stabbing, scheming and double dealing, don’t get caught in the fallout, get caught up in the most juicy story of 2011 ~ Clawless the Soap to end all other Soaps.

From one of the Authors - Christine Wilson

9 writers began this book as a bit of fun, starting on UnitedCats.com - where it started as a series of posts in the models club. I (Christine Wilson) co-edited it together with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (who also has co-authored many books with bestselling author Anne MacCaffrey) and here it is for you to judge if it was worth it or not. We think it is very funny. All the royalties go to two charities, Bath Cats and Dogs Home and Jefferson Humane Society in Washington State. None of us have met as we all come from all over the world - the USA, Australia, Canada and S. Africa as well as the UK.

 

From the Back Cover

Clawless stars
Kimmy*Pancho*Cisco*The Late Great Treat*Kittibits*
*Boots*Luna*Queenie*Akasha*Lou*Mr*Squishy*
*Rain*Betsey*Mugger*Lilly*Geo*Humphrey*Basil*
 
 
Meet the Le Claw litter - the Late Jock MacTartan and his two sons, Clawde and Arfur and their mates, the feisty (and slightly over acting), Clawdette and the tiny, kitten-less Furnella. What is the dark secret that she is hiding?
Their main rival is Solitaire the wicked stepmother who married Wee Jock just days before his final demise to `Rainbow Bridge' and who has plans to take as much as she can and leave the fashion House of Le Claw destitute.

And, if they haven't got enough to worry about, up pops the evil and sinister Monsieur Le Fluffy. His dastardly intentions are to strike the company while it is at its weakest, with the sole purpose of taking it over completely leaving the Le Claws - clawless!
 
And who is the mysterious Clyde from Castle Clydeula and why does he only come out only after nightfall?
 
The claws are out for the McTartan family!
 

"If your cat made a soap it would be just like this!" Mews of the World
"We'll sue!" Purrsache
"Darlings, this is a must for any season' Mogue.

 

About the Authors


We all have different backgrounds but Christine Wilson started her career in journalism and progressed or digressed into television. I left 5 years ago to pursue a career in writing (my lifetime ambition). I have written The Kimmy Diaries and Kimmy's Irish Diaries plus a few other books under a pen name. Writing about my cat seems to be my greatest success.

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There are more details about all the authors at the Clawless website.

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If you would like to know anything about this book, the charities it supports or have any questions whatsoever, ask away :)


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You can purchase the book from any of the following:




Monday, 8 August 2011

Finally.... back to the sequel - Basil the Bionic Cat - Part Deux

Seven years after my kids book for 9-12 year olds - Basil the Bionic Cat - was first published I have now begun to work through the sequel, Basil's Barmy Escapade, talk about procrastination, but seriously, I have been writing other stuff in the meantime, honestly.  But I am determined to finish it sometime this year, all things going to plan.

Here's the cover of the first book, which I think is really cool.



I even managed to put 'Basil - Book One' on Amazon as a Kindle download last week, so I was pretty pleased with my effort, especially since reading all the formatting stuff was really giving me a headache, big time, I read the bare bones and hoped, well actually prayed to anyone listening that it was ok when I uploaded it.... no complaints yet and I hope it stays that way. Fingers crossed!

Here's a few more pictures of some of the characters 

Meet Posie, Basil's furriend

This is Norice Dooley, Secret Service Agent - who's part cyborg

And finally, this is a V.F.T. the most dangerous plant in the known cosmos.

If you'd like to know more about Basil, you can visit him at www.bionicbasil.com

Saturday, 6 August 2011

My First Blog EVER!

Well, I must admit that I have avoided the myriad of social media for as long as they have to been available to use, but now I think it's time I jump on board and get stuck in, so to speak....

I will be posting mainly about books, the ones I've read, I'm reading and the ones I'm currently writing and the finished novels that are available via a cross section of digital media.  Plus the occasional post about publishing too and for a bit of added cuteness you may find a few pictures of my cats, some of whom, feature every now and then in my writing.

I hope you enjoy my subsequent posts and feel free to comment at your leisure, ask questions which I will endeavor to answer, and come back frequently to check out what's been happening.

Thanks for visiting and for your time, I know it's precious  

Cathrine Garnell


  Life is a journey of constant metamorphosis



Photo taken in my garden 2010
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