Hardcopy Release, Kindle Countdown Deals, and an Amazon Gift Card

I’m a little late writing this, but better late than never right?!

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This is our Vintage Jane Austen blog week. What does that mean? Well, the title of the post kind of says it all, but to clarify:

  1. The Vintage Jane Austen collection is now available in paperback. This is my first print edition in about 10 years, so I’m pretty excited.
  2. The Kindle editions of the Vintage Jane Austen novels are on sale all this week. So, if you are a committed Kindle user, this is your week!
  3. A lot of bloggers out there have joined in with the celebrating and through their sites we will be giving out a $25 Amazon gift card. See below for a list of the bloggers you can visit this week for reviews, interviews, and chances to enter.

November 5
Review of Emmeline – Once Upon the Ordinary
Review of Bellevere House – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Series Spotlight – A Real Writer’s Life
Interview with Kelsey Bryant – Resting Life
Series Spotlight – Kelsey’s Notebook

November 6
Interview with Sarah Holman – J. Grace Pennington
Review of Emmeline – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Mini-Reviews and interview with Sarah Scheele – Deborah O’Carroll
Interview with Rebekah Jones – Livy Lynn Blog
Review Suit and Suitability – Resting Life

November 7
Interview with Kelsey Bryant – J. Grace Pennington
Review of Perception – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Review and Interview of Perception – Purely by Faith Reviews
Review of Second Impressions – The Page Dreamer
Series Spotlight – Finding the True Fairytale

November 8
Interview and Review Suit and Suitability – Once Upon the Ordinary
Review of Suit and Suitability – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Review of Perception – A Brighter Destiny

November 9
Series Spotlight – God’s Peculiar Treasure
Review of Second Impressions and Suit and Suitability – Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Father
Interview with Rebekah Jones – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Series Spotlight – Christian Bookshelf Reviews

November 10
Review of Suit and Suitability – With a Joyful Noise
Series Spotlight – Liv K. Fisher
Review of Second Impressions- Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Review of Perception – She Hearts Fiction
Interview with Sarah Holman – Rebekah Ashleigh

November 11
Series Spotlight – Reveries Reviews
Review of Suit and Suitability – Faith Blum
Interview with Sarah Holman – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Interview with Hannah Scheele – Peculiar on Purpose
Review of Bellevere House – Seasons of Humility

New here and not sure what the Vintage Jane Austen Series is?

What would it be like to see Elizabeth Bennet in 1930’s clothes? What if Emma Woodhouse was the daughter of a car dealership owner? What if Marianne Dashwood was seeking to become a movie star in the golden age of film? The Vintage Jane Austen series explores the world of Jane Austen, set in 1930’s America. Five authors took on Jane Austen’s five most popular novels and retold them set in the depression era, remaining faithful to the original plots. As an extra bonus to the series, there is a collection of short stories that were inspired by Jane Austen. Which of these books do you most want to read?

Emmeline by Sarah Holman (Emma): The talk of stock market crashes and depression isn’t going to keep Emmeline Wellington down. Born to wealth and privilege, Emmeline wants nothing more than to help her new friend, Catarina, find a husband. Emmeline sets her sights on one of the town’s most eligible bachelors, but nothing seems to go right. Even her friend and neighbor Fredrick Knight seems to question her at every turn.

Suit and Suitability by Kelsey Bryant (Sense and Sensibility): Canton, Ohio, 1935. Ellen and Marion Dashiell’s world crumbles when their father is sent to prison. Forced to relocate to a small town, what is left of their family faces a new reality where survival overshadows dreams. Sensible Ellen, struggling to hold the family together, is parted from the man she’s just learning to love, while headstrong Marion fears she will never be the actress she aspires to be. When a dashing hero enters the scene, things only grow more complicated. But could a third man hold the key to the restoration and happiness of the Dashiell family?

Bellevere House by Sarah Scheele (Mansfield Park): It’s March, 1937 and Faye Powell couldn’t be happier. After moving to live with her uncle, a wealthy banker, she’s fallen into the swing of life with his exuberant children–including Ed. The one she’ll never admit she’s in love with. But she hadn’t reckoned on the swanky Carters getting mixed up in that vow. Ed seems to be falling for charming, sweet Helene Carter. And when Faye’s cousin BeBe trusts her with a secret about Horace Carter, Faye is in over her head. Will she betray the confidence BeBe’s given her? Will she lose Ed to Helene? The days at Bellevere House are crowded with surprises and only time will tell how God plans to unravel Faye and Ed’s hearts.

Perception by Emily Benedict (Persuasion): Upstate New York, 1930. Thirteen years ago, Abbey Evans was persuaded to break off her engagement to a penniless soldier headed to the front lines of the Great War. A daughter of one of America’s wealthiest families could never be allowed to marry so far beneath herself. But Black Tuesday changed everything. With her family’s prominence now little more than a facade, Abbey faces the loss of her childhood home. As if that weren’t enough, the only man she ever loved has returned after making his fortune – and he wants nothing to do with the young woman he courted before the war. With the past forever out of reach, the time has come for Abbey decide her own fate, before it is too late…

Presumption and Partiality by Rebekah Jones (Pride and Prejudice): Coming soon…A retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice… set in 1930s Arizona.

Second Impressions: Jane Austen’s stories have inspired writers for generations…in this collection they inspire fiction across the genres! From the English Regency to the American 1950s, in Houston or a space freighter, fairytale land or a retirement center…Austen’s timeless characters come to life again.

Thanks for stopping by!

A Little Help For My Independent Author Friends.

An independent author juggles a lot. We write, edit, design, host websites, blog, do promotions, and generally try to find as many ways as possible to connect with our readers. We are used to this, but often times what we have on our plates is enough to deal with. That is why, when it came to the Vintage Jane Austen Project, we, as group of authors who already handled plenty with the books we have individually on the market, decided to hire someone to help with the design of the project and promotion.

Fortunately…we had Deborah.

The first thing Deborah O’Carroll did for us was design in this amazing website. (screen shot below) Not only is the design beautiful, clean, and very functional, it was so nice not to have to design it ourselves! Deborah also helps us by doing promotional posts and keeps us in contact with our readers by managing the Vintage Jane Austen email. I know a lot of independent authors could use some help, so below is an interview I did with Deborah.

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Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into helping indie authors with their novels.

I’m a writer of fantasy of all kinds, a blogger, punctuation enthusiast, and list addict. I love all things Celtic, Faerie, and Tolkien, and believe that Diana Wynne Jones books are gold. You can usually find me typing away at one of my many novels, endlessly rearranging my bookshelves, or haunting library book-sales. I’m secretly a chocolate-loving otter.

How I got started was almost accidental! One thing led to another and all that… I started out in small ways, doing things I liked for people I knew, and slowly began to realize there are certain things I enjoy doing, have developed a talent for, and can turn into a job to help others.

pagedreamerbuttonnewI started out reviewing a few books by some authors I had met, and I discovered I love reviewing books. I beta-read unpublished books by fellow writer friends, and discovered that I love catching typos and have a knack for editing. (I don’t beta-read much anymore because it’s so time-consuming and I’m not much of a critic, but my love for editing has remained.) I started out blogging because I enjoyed it and wanted to build an online presence as a writer, and eventually started getting asked questions about how to do this or that on WordPress. I helped a few people with that, and designed the Vintage Jane Austen website, which, along with my years of blogging, led to the realization that I love designing blogs and websites.

Mostly, I know a lot of people in the online writing and bookish community, and I just love helping people. I guess that’s the main thing behind all of this. :)

What services do you offer authors in search of some help?

Briefly: I edit books, review books, and dabble in graphic design and web design. To expand on each of those a little:

I review books, honestly but kindly, in exchange for a free copy. (My book blog is here. https://thepagedreamer.wordpress.com/)

I offer a freelance copy-editing service (essentially catching typos and smoothing wording and the like).

I also do web design with WordPress—my main project in that area so far has been the Vintage Jane Austen website. Involved with the web-designing, I do some basic graphic design as well, such as making 3D images of book covers and so on.

What does the process of working with an author look like?

Hmm, tough question. It mostly involves a lot of emailing… There can sometimes be a lot of patience involved as well, on both sides, while things work to fall into place. Reviews are pretty straightforward—talk with the author a couple times, review their book, send them the links. Editing is a little more in-depth, and I’ll usually talk back and forth a few times. With web-design, there’s a lot of discussion and examples, previews, and ideas of theirs and suggestions on my part. On the whole, I’ve had a delightful experience with authors so far, and it’s been fun seeing these projects come to their conclusion. :)

 What is your favorite part of this job? 

I’ve always loved words and am something of a perfectionist, so I’m passionate about blogbuttonroadridding the world of typos and other errors, and love helping to make books the best they can be. I’m also a lifetime reader, so getting to review books is a dream, and I love being able to share with the world about the books I’ve found to love. I enjoy reading and am more of a book-lover than a book-critic, so while I’m honest in my reviews, I often find more to love in a book than to dislike, and I think that’s important—to share the beauty in books, not just the errors or things one doesn’t like. I also love creating, and the feeling of surmounting the obstacles of design, finally ending up with a finished product (like a website) which is clean, beautiful, and complete.

But most of all, across all three of these “jobs,” I love helping other writers bring their dreams to light, and in that way, somehow, making the world that much brighter.

How can an author get in touch with you if she/he would like to talk about your services?

Shoot me an email at deborahocarroll(at)yahoo.com—I don’t bite! :) You can also find me on my blog, The Road of a Writer: deborahocarroll.wordpress.com, and on my review blog, The Page Dreamer: thepagedreamer.wordpress.com, where I (naturally!) review books. ;) I love making friends with fellow writers and readers, so I’d love to hear from y’all!


Author Sarah Scheele – The Vintage Jane Austen Project

If you have read my blog for any length of time, this is not the first time you’ve met sscheele2-216x300author Sarah Scheele. Although we have never met in person, Sarah and I have been long time friends, with a particularly strong writing bond. She is actually the one who invited me to the Vintage Jane Austen project. A Texas native, Sarah has been a writer since childhood and has several books available. Her unique twist on Mansfield Part, now titled Bellevere House, will definitely delight Austen Fans.

How did you get involved in the Vintage Jane Austen Project?

My sister Hannah created the project along with Sarah Holman, who I knew on Facebook. At that time Hannah was massively involved and when Sarah extended an invitation to me, I felt it was right to accept because this project was a big deal in our house. So, a family thing.

How big of a Jane Austen fan are you?

Well, my mother was probably the biggest Janeite on the planet. She didn’t dress up in Regency gowns, but otherwise it was total saturation—movies, characters, everything. I’ve been around it a long time and in a sense I hope that doesn’t show because there’s a freshness that comes with being a spontaneous fan. But in another way it goes pretty deep. When a relative asked what to get me for Christmas in my teens, my mom was quick to jump in and suggest Jane Austen, of course. So I had lots of book copies as well, and I read them—more or less.

Sarah S.Is there a reason you choose Mansfield Park to translate into the 1930s?

Three books were already assigned when I was invited to join. Besides Mansfield Park, the remaining books were Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice. I didn’t feel equal to Persuasion and I’ve never been interested in Pride and Prejudice. So Mansfield Park was the obvious only remaining option and I took it.

How well do you think Mansfield Park translates to the Great Depression?

Remarkably well, actually. Mansfield Park has the most dramatic separation between the haves and have-nots of any Austen novel and the Great Depression made it easy to find parallels. So the money dynamic translated really well and of course the characters are universal.

What kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

At first I had an angle with the developing war in Europe, but after I removed that it was just a matter of double-checking the details: verifying long-distance telephone connections, researching train travel, finding the names of old glassware. I did some googling on the history of New York, which was absolutely fascinating. And I was lucky there is one kind of orange that makes in the summer, because I was able to keep the Florida orange-grove set. I was happy about that because it’s a good set, I feel, and just fun.

Did you stick pretty closely to the source material, or did you find ways to deviate and/or add new scenes?

I did attempt a bit of cosmetic work because it’s a difficult book. Not that I’d say I really improved on a classic. I’m not that inordinate. But given the opportunity, I did change things around here and there. The long childhood areas with Fanny got cut, Mr. Rushworth got a new twist, and I will admit I threw Edmund out the window in favor of something snarkier and more modern. With appalling results, I’m sure.

What did you find most challenging about this project?

Fitting into a concept created by someone else. I’m a fantasy author, so the whole idea was pretty much—I wouldn’t say out of my comfort zone. More out of my dimension altogether. It was a challenge conforming to all the little regulations of the project and getting interested in the 1930s. Communication was irregular over the years, too, and it was hard to give input because, like I said, it wasn’t my concept. But I hoped my familiarity with Jane Austen would balance all of that and I believe it did, in the end.

What other books do you have on the market?

I have a children’s science fiction novel, a historical story set in 1700s Spain, and a number of fantasy stories floating around somewhere on Amazon. They don’t have any connection to this project.

A big thanks to Sarah for joining me today, and for inviting me to this project in the first place. Visit Sarah’s website to read her blog and keep up on her work: sarahscheele.com
And don’t forget to visit VintageJaneAusten.com to learn more about all the books available in this series.


My Indie Story + Giveaway

Bio PicYes, I am ending the month of Indie Author April by actually interviewing myself. Strange, I know. But I’ve been asked before to write about my publishing experience, so I figured this might be a good opportunity to go about it. And, yes, this does end with a chance to win one of my books. :)

First tell us a little about your books.

My first mystery novel, Only Angels Are Bulletproof, was published in 2008. Since then I’ve published two novels in The Father Christmas Series, and have one novella, The Moment Max Forgot Me, available as a free download.

Angles CoverWhat formats of Indie Publishing have you used?

I used a self-publishing house for Only Angels Are Bulletproof. Both Christmas novels were published through Kindle’s ePublishing program. I used Smashwords for The Moment Max Forgot Me. They will host free books.

Do you have one you prefer above another?

While I enjoy the fact that a self-publishing house allowed me to have physical copies of my book, did editing and cover design for me and set up a few interviews, over all I’ve had a much better end result from Kindle’s program. Straight to the point, I lost money on a self-publishing house, but I’ve actually been able to make a little on Kindle. Their system is pretty comprehensive, including providing yearend tax statements.

Is there a reason you chose the independent route?

I think my initial decision to independently publish had a lot to do with both fear and impatience. Just the slightest bit of research on the publishing industry will scare you into certainty that your book will never see the light of an editor’s office. I was in my early twenties at the time, just coming off the recovery of a serious illness and not the least bit ready to face rejection like what I was reading about. I mean, really, are we ever ready?
However, in the end I’m glad I chose this route to start with. It allowed me to build some confidence, know trials and frustrations and failures in its own way, connect with readers and have amazing experiences like book signings and school events. Did I tell you I got fan art? (look here)

Do you do your own editing, cover design, and promoting as well?FCC JPEG 1

Nowadays I do it all. I actually love cover design. I did both Father Christmas Novels and The Moment Max Forgot Me. Photoshop and I have fond feelings for each other. Editing and I are trying to get along. I’m kind of an intense, get it all on the paper at once, writer. So, without the help of some very patient family member-proofreaders, I would be incoherent. I am looking into a professional proofreader, but I’ll just have to see what is in the budget for this year.

Any technical issues?

Kindle does not format itself!!! If you have never published through Kindle I will stress above all else that you have to learn how to format. If you just write a manuscript in MS Word and hit upload you are going to end up with tons of weird gaps and breaks in the middle of your sentences. Do your research on this one. Kindle doesn’t get along with most word-processing programs and its “Preview” feature lies!

What did you not expect when you came into the Indie world?

I didn’t expect to have to become so technical. When I started writing I was typing up simple manuscripts on a shared family computer. These days I work off of dual screens, know how to write some basic code, design and support my own website, Photoshop covers together and feature my work on multiple social media platforms. I’m no IT wiz, but I have to know my way around.

Are you considering traditional publishing any time in the future?

Yes. I would still like to traditionally publish a book and am currently working my way towards that goal. My life never works out the way I think it should and sometimes it just plain works out irrationally, so we’ll just have to see how things go.

FCP JPEG 1Any last words of advice for fellow Indie Authors?

Tons! Pay attention to your proofreading and formatting. A good cover is unfathomably valuable. Always be good to your readers and cordial to your critics. Try not to get bogged down by the people who are still trashing independent publishing like carriage company owners at the advent of the automobile, but also don’t be afraid to take a step into the traditional publishing world. And don’t Indie Publish if you aren’t going to enjoy at least a little bit of the ride. ;)

Finally, since this business is all about word of mouth, do you have any Indie Writers you enjoy?

All of the writers featured here over the last couple of weeks come highly recommended. Please, check each one of them out!
Tyrean Martinson
Loretta Boyett
Sarah Scheele
Warren Baldwin

And now for the giveaway!

Enter to win a $5 Amazon Card + a free copy of any of my books. By leaving a comment. (The Moment Max Forgot Me is always free, so don’t pick that one)Free MFM

And thank you again to all of the authors and readers who have joined me over the last month. I learned something from each author’s experience. Hopefully this month has helped writers considering this route of publishing, or opened someone up to the idea of reading independent authors.

A Paranormal Writer? Me?

I was delighted recently to find myself listed on a book review site’s recommendation list. However, I was startled to find it listed my geParanormalnre as “paranormal.” Paranormal? Me? I don’t know about you, but when I hear the term paranormal in conjunction with writing my mind jumps to Twilight or the Vampire Academy. After all, the vast majority of slots on the paranormal shelf are occupied by vampires, zombies, wizards and super heroes. In that same vein, with all the dark arts cluttering this genre, I really don’t think of paranormal even being a segment of Christian fiction. Sure, there is a guy who is currently writing Christian vampire novels because he feels like the real issues of vampirism are not being dealt with in popular fiction. To which I can only say, Dude, there are no real issues of vampirism because there are no real vampires.

Anyway, I’ve always classified my first novel, Only Angels Are Bulletproof, as a mystery/detective novel and The Father Christmas Series as Romantic Comedy, but then I started to think about it. Well, yes, Only Angels Are Bulletproof is the story of a FBI agent investigating a series of bank robberies…but then there is that whole part about the apparent miracle occurring during one of the robberies. And The Father Christmas Series is simply a new take on the legend of Santa Claus…of course, Santa Claus’ have “gifts” which are outside normal human abilities. The only novel I have that doesn’t include anything a little out of the ordinary is The Moment Max Forgot Me, and I’ve never felt that story has a definable genre (legal-drama-comedy?). So, yeah, I guess in a way paranormal can be used to describe me. And in that case I guess you can say there is place for paranormal in Christian fiction.

….But I’m still a Romantic Comedy-Mystery writer in my head. I think that counts for something. ;)