Thursday 21 August 2014

Latest Regency - Lord Orpington's Wager

Available on Amazon £0.77
I am delighted to tell you that my last short novella - previously published by D C Thomson and Linford Romance as 'The Reluctant Bride' is now available under the new name of 'Lord Orpington's Wager.'
You might well notice that it has the same couple on the cover as a recent release - can't remember the title -but it is a Jane Austen variation. Both covers are good -but mine is, of course the best. :)
Here is a sample to wet your appetite.

Chapter One
Suffolk, 1812.

‘Mama, please don’t worry about me. I am perfectly happy living here with you. When dear Jack died at Talevera three years ago he left me with a comfortable income, and a determination never to marry again.’
Lady Bryson shook her head, unconvinced by her daughter’s protestations. ‘My dear girl, you were married out of the cradle, the major snatched you away from me before you had even a season. Good heavens, Patience, you are hardly in your dotage, you are only three and twenty and a beautiful young lady. It is high time you went back into society and found yourself another husband.’
Patience had heard quite enough of this nonsense recently. She pinned on a smile and pushed back a stray curl from her forehead.
‘Mama, I have told you repeatedly that with Jack I had a perfect marriage.’ She paused, her smile becoming sad. ‘Of course, we were not blessed with children, but apart from that there is not a man on this Earth who could match him. I shall not settle for second best.’
She watched her mother draw breath knowing she was about to embark on yet another reason why being a contented widow was not enough. ‘Very well. As you are so insistent that I am mouldering away in this village I shall accept my godmother’s invitation and stay for the season at their London house.’
‘My dear, I am so pleased you have changed your mind. Lady Orpington is not well and as her daughter Rosamond is to make her come out, she is in need of a companion for her.’ For a small, plump lady Mama jumped with surprising agility to her feet. ‘I shall go at once and write a letter to dear Eleanor and tell her that you are coming immediately.’
Patience laughed. ‘I hope by your use of the word immediately you’re referring to the writing of the letter and not my imminent departure to London?’
‘You do not intend to go for the festive season? It is so quiet here; you would be much better enjoying yourself with people of your own age. You have been out of black for more than two years; it is high time you rejoined society.’
Patience was adamant. ‘No, Mama, I shall stay here for Christmas and travel in the New Year. The season does not really start until March which should give me ample time to replenish my wardrobe and get to know Lady Rosamond.’
Her parent accepted defeat. ‘Well, my dear, I must own that I shall enjoy your company. I am sure that Eleanor will send her carriage for you so you may rest assured, your journey will be comfortable.’
‘There is no need for that, Mama. I shall take the mail coach. As I shall be travelling with Mary and Sam Perkins I shall come to no harm.’
‘I can see that you have made up your mind. Therefore I will l say no more about it. If you are travelling with a maid and a manservant you should be safe enough. I shall have the missive ready in thirty minutes. If you delay your ride until it is finished you could take it down to The Red Lion for me.’
Patience agreed to wait until the letter was done. She had been about to take her huge, black gelding for a gallop through the woods whilst the weather was clement and was already dressed in a handsome, green riding habit that exactly matched the colour of her eyes. She tapped her booted foot on the carpet feeling decidedly put out.
When she had returned to live with her mother in the comfortable Dower House, she had thought she would never recover from the loss of her dear friend and husband. She had spent four years following the drum and had loved every moment of it. She had nursed wounded officers and even delivered a baby. Her life had been full of excitement and wherever the regiment had gone, she had been there.
The widow of a common soldier was often remarried before her husband was cold in his grave for she would have been unable to stay in camp on her own. The wife of the commanding officer, as her husband had been by then, did not have such an option. She was obliged to make her way home with Mary and Sam to recover slowly in the peace of the Suffolk countryside.
Now she was obliged to spend several months in London escorting a young debutante of seventeen years to various routs, soirees and balls. She frowned, shuddering at the thought of being constrained to make polite small talk to other matrons and companions. She thanked God that as a widow she would not be required to join in with the jollity and dancing.
She spun and paced the room, ending in front of the gilt mantel glass. At least she could put on her hat whilst she waited. She stared at her reflection in the mirror her head to one side. Her mother was right, she seemed to have grown into her looks since she had returned to England. She had lost the roundness of youth and her eyes appeared to dominate the oval of her face.
This would not do. The last thing she required was to be admired by members of the ton. She was not wealthy, not by her godmother’s standards, but she was comfortable and owned a neat estate in Norfolk which brought her in more than enough for her modest monthly needs. She had not touched the money Jack had left her; indeed she had no idea how matters stood in that department. Her lips curved slightly. At least her visit to Town would enable her to see her lawyers.

She heard hurrying footsteps approaching the room. Good – her mother was returning with the letter. She pushed the final glass topped pin into her hat, collected her gloves and riding whip and went to meet her.

Best wishes
Fenella J Miller

Monday 4 August 2014

What do you think of the new Kindle K OL?

There has been a lot of talk on various blogs and writers' forums about the new Kindle KOL system that was introduced ten days ago. I have all my books in Kindle Select and was given the option to remove them before this was introduced but decided, as much for inertia as anything else, to leave things as they were and see how it developed..
Although I don't get massive loans under the old method, they do bring me in around £100 a month which is well worth having. Remuneration for the loans is excellent, more than $2 a borrow, but nobody seems to know how much we will get with this new system.
I'm not exactly sure how it works – would be interested to know if anyone out there has found out yet. I do know that American users get the first month free which might account for the thirty or so downloads a day that I'm getting at the moment. On reading the various information pages put up by Amazon I recently discovered members of this "club" can borrow as many books as they like and keep them indefinitely.
I don't see how this is going to work – surely if they can have as many books as they want, and don't have them taken from their device the end of each month (which is what I thought happened ) then why should they bother to buy books in future? So far I've not noticed any deterioration in my sales, but it's early days yet.
A member of this club pays $9.99 a month – if they read more than half a dozen books then obviously this is a good thing for them. I presume that the five big traditional publishers don't have any books in this system, so if you want to download a well-known title you will still have to buy. Amazon said 600,000 books were in the library – I think there are well over 3 million books on Amazon – so this must be the amount of writers who have their books in Kindle Select.
I can't see that Amazon can continue to pay writers over two dollars per loan, and as the ordinary loan system is now lumped in with this other one, no doubt this will mean getting less for these loans, which will impact upon my income. The fact that the pound is so strong against the dollar has reduced my American royalties by a third – I really don't want to lose any more.
I would  like to know what borrowers and writers think about this? Is it a good thing for writers – or the end of the world as we know it?
Fenella J Miller