Calling All Bloggers! (Especially those who like free books)

Happy Monday everyone! This is a shout-out to any of my blogger friends and followers who would like to help us announce the hardcopy release of the Vintage Jane Austen project…in exchange for lots of free eBooks!

The five-volume series will be released in paperback during the first week of November, and we’re looking for bloggers to help us get the word out! In return, we’re offering free downloads of the entire series in PDF or Kindle formats, as well as two additional free eBooks: Distorted Glass by Sarah Holman, and The Father Christmas Confessionsthe first book in my Father Christmas series. We’re also offering grand prizes to your blog readers, including a $25 Amazon gift card, free eBooks, and Kindle Countdown Deals.

CLICK HERE to sign up and let us know how you would like to be involved. We have several different options!

Free books available below!

The Vintage Jane Austen Series – Now Available!

What if the Elliot Family, of Persuasion, was facing financial ruin because of Black Tuesday?

What if Fanny Price, of Mansfield Park, found herself caught up in the modern values of post-war America?

What if the Dashwood Sisters, of Sense and Sensibility, were struggling to build their new life in Depression Era Ohio?

I’ve always found that a story idea begins with a question. So, when I was approached with the question, “What if Jane Austen was writing in 1930s America?” I couldn’t help but explore the idea. That question alone, however, was not what made me jump at the chance to be part of The Vintage Jane Austen Series. It was the chance for collaboration! Each of the five books in the series is authored by a different Austen fan who put her own spin on this new translation. I just thought it was such a unique idea. It took a lot longer than we originally planned (2 years), but the many live chats, encouraging messages, and creative suggestions we all shared has really made this project worth it. Over the next few weeks I will be having each author on here to talk about her spin on an Austen classic, but first, check out the lineup.


Emmeline (Emma) by Sarah Holman
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…Read More



Suite and Sutability-800x944

Suit and Suitability (Sense and Sensibility) by Kelsey Bryant
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…Read More



Bellevere House (Mansfield Part) by Sarah Scheele
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…Read More




Perception (Persuasion) by Emily Ann Benedict
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…Read More



Presumption and Partiality (Pride and Prejudice) by Rebekah Jones
Coming soon!




Now available in Kindle and coming soon in paperback! Visit The Vintage Jane Austen for more information and check back here weekly to hear from the writers and designers involved.

New Project Announcement…in 1930

If you read this blog from time to time, you might have gotten a fairly good idea of my fondness for Jane Austen. And if you happened to have stopped by back in February you might have seen my post on the Art of Fan Faction, in particular, those who translate Miss Austen’s work.

Well, at last I get to tell you about an all new project I’m working on that involves both.

The Vintage Jane Austen

Several months ago I was contacted by one my favorite writing friends, Sarah Scheele, to ask if I wanted to participate in a group translating Jane Austen’s novel into 1930’s America. Yes, that’s right, the Elliots and the Bennets and even the Knightlys living in America somewhere between the two great wars.

As a lover of both Jane and fan fiction, I jumped at the offer. But those weren’t my only reasons. This was a chance to collaborate on a project with fellow writers as well as work with a structure I haven’t yet experimented with.

So, this is our introductory weekend. I hope to write more about the details of this type of project over the next several months, but to start with, here is a glimpse of where we’re headed.

I’m translating Persuasion, Jane Austen’s final novel to be completed and published posthumously.

If you don’t know the story, here is the original synopsis. Below is little insight into my translation, plus the amazing cover design provided by Hannah Scheele.

Thirteen years ago Abbey Evans was persuaded not follow her heart after a young, Book coverpenniless soldier headed off to the Great War. The daughter of nationally prominent family was expected to do more, but now everything has changed. Black Tuesday left her family’s prominence little more than an illusion and their finances barely sustainable. And if facing the lost her home wasn’t enough, the only man she ever loved has returned more successful than her family could ever dream.

Also, check out the other novels in the series:

Mansfield Park – Sarah Scheele

Emma – Sarah Holman

Pride and Prejudice – Rebekah Jones

Sense and Sensibility – Kelsey Bryant

Northanger Abbey – Laura Engelmann

Want to be part of this project?JA Contest

Indie Author April: Warren Baldwin + Giveaway

Round four of Indie Author April brings Author Warren Baldwin our way. We are taking a turn into the world of non-fiction today with his publishing journey. Devotionals writing is foray I know many authors are considering.
Plus he has added a great bonus to our giveaway!

First tell us a little about your book(s).

Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks and Other Gems from Proverbs is a collection of Warren118 essays based on the book of Proverbs. Most of the essays are based on one verse. I wrote to the book to show that ancient wisdom has modern application. The advice of the Sages in 900 B.C. about money, honesty in relationships, sexual morals, hard work, and control of the tongue is as pertinent today as when it was first written for ancient Israel. I also wanted to give the reader a method for reading and interpreting the individual proverbs.

I wanted the book to appeal to men. There is a picture of a mountain lion on the cover and numerous stories about hunting. I am pleased that both men and women have enjoyed the book. It has been used for Bible classes, small groups, youth group classes and devotionals, sermons starters, Old Testament college classes, and private devotions.

What formats of Indie Publishing have you used? (ex: Self-publishing House, Kindle, Smashwords, Create Space)

I use Create Space. I am very happy with the price of the book and delivery time on orders. They are very easy to work with. I really appreciate that they do not pester you with marketing techniques (gimmicks?) for your book that they want you (the author) to pay for. Another company I worked with continues to push marketing campaigns on me even after I have quit using their services.

Do you have one you prefer above another?

I have only used two companies so far, and without question the one I prefer is Create Space.

Is there a reason you chose the independent route?

I wanted to get a book in print. But, I wanted to make sure it had substance. So, I sent copies to three graduate theology professors and one law professor. All four of them liked the book enough to write a blurb for the cover. I feel that gives the book some validation.

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

I paid the first indie publisher to edit Roaring Lions. I was so unhappy with that service I refused to pay for it. I learned of a local professional editor and hired her to edit the book. The company did the cover design. I paid for some marketing with the first company but got no results. Most of my sales have come through speaking engagements where I am able to make my book available.

Roaring LionWhat did you not expect when you came into the Indie world?

You have to be careful with the marketing campaigns publishers offer you. The company had some expensive services that produced little or no results. This was true for me and other authors who used their marketing services. I complained to a representative of the company and he told me, confidentially, that their marketing program was not good. Authors were better off marketing on their own. Remember, my experience with marketing programs is limited to one publishing company, so I am not speaking for all of them. There may be some good ones. If you want to use a publishing company’s marketing service, I recommend asking a lot of questions about returns and ask for references of other authors who have utilized their services. I will repeat here that Create Space has never pressured me to use a marketing service. I appreciate that.

Are you considering traditional publishing any time in the future?

Yes. My doctoral project, which is in the thesis stage (and being professionally edited now) is on leadership development. I hope to rework it into a publishable document.

I have other projects that I plan to self-publish, including a follow up book on Proverbs. I am editing and reworking it before I send it to a professional editor.

Any last words of advice for fellow Indie Authors?

Spend the money for professional editing. I have read some books by Indie authors that had good content but the errors in grammar, spelling, syntax, etc. detracted from the finished product. That is a shame. A good editor is expensive, but he/she can help us produce a published work the readers can enjoy and we can take pride in.

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

I enjoyed your first book! I’m sure I would enjoy the others, but Only Angels are Bulletproof is the only one of yours I have read so far.

David Irving is one. There are several historical/political writers I follow who write for a very narrow audience, so they publish independently. They aren’t well known outside of their field, but they have sold thousands of books. Their works are well researched, documented, and written.

I follow two very successful, professionally published authors. They write some things so controversial that, even with their success, traditional publishers shy away from some of their work. So, these two guys have made portions of their work available for free on their websites. Nontraditional does not mean inconsequential.


Warren has gracious offered three signed copies of Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks in addition to the $5 Amazon Gift card I am giving away this week. To enter to win, leave a comment with your email address. Additional points for following Warren’s Blog and Twitter. You can learn more about Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks by visiting his website.

Also, Warren hosts a radio devotional on Proverbs. He will gladly send out an audio file on request. Just drop him a line through Facebook!

And thank you Warren for taking the time to share your journey with us!

Two Winners and Next Week’s Author

I hope everyone has had a lovely week. We’ve come to the end of week three of Indie Author April, and with that comes two winners this time thanks to author, Sarah Scheele’s generous offer of 2 copies of her collection, Facets of Fantasy.

Congrats to Tyrean and Kelsey and thank you for stopping by to chat with Sarah.

Next week we switch gear from fiction to non-fiction with Author Warren Baldwin. 

See you then!

The Winner and the Next Round of Indie Author April

Thank you to everyone who has participated in Indie Author April so far. I’ve seen a great response, especially from authors looking into this new world of publishing.

Now for the winner. Congrats to Shannon and thank you for stopping by! You are the winner of this weeks $5 Amazon gift card.

Next week we have one of my favorite fellow writers, Sarah Scheele, all ready to talk about her experience. She is also offering a great bonus to our giveaway!

The Winner and the Next Round of Indie Author April

To start with, let’s go with the winner.
Congrats to Shelley Sly! You are our winner of the first Indie Author April Week Prize – a $5 gift card to Amazon and a download of Tyrean’s Book, An eBook of Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts. Thank you again to Tyrean and everyone who stopped by to chat with us.

Now for next week!
Author Loretta Boyett will be joining us to talk about her book Deadly Betrayal and the process behind publishing it.
There will of course be more giveaways. ;)
See you next week!

But the Writing is So Good! – How we justify Fifty Shades of Grey?

This isn’t going to be a long post. I’m not going to get into an argument about the merits/follies of the outrageously popular novel, Fifty Shades of Grey – Now a major motion picture. I’m just going to ask you to read the following statement.

FSGYep, that’s right. This is what we are telling women today. After decades of demanding respect, this is now what we call liberating.

Please don’t tell me the book is more than just sex and I’m being small minded to focus on that. Tell me what you think of this one line.

The Particulars and Perils of Writing (and Reading) Fan Fiction

Fan fiction: A story written by a fan based upon the work or life of the author they are fanatical about. (Example: Pride and Prejudice retold from Mr. Darcy’s point of view or Pride and Prejudice set in modern day.)

Are you a fan of fan fiction? I have to say, I’ve fallen in love with many books from this sub-genre and dabble here and there in writing it. But after reading a stack of fan fiction books, there are some particular pointers that I have picked up, as both a writer and a reader.

It’s all well and dandy to want to write a book based on your favorite author, but before you start to plot, check on the copyrights. Even some classics are not yet considered public domain. For instance, all but 10 Sherlock Holmes stories are public domain. So make sure you’re not rewriting one of those 10!

This problem occurs in the case of changing the point of view or moving the story to a different era. If you are retelling a story from another character’s POV, don’t just tell the story exactly the same, event by event, with a little change in the emotional response. Give your reader new events, new details and new characters mixed in with the classics. For instances, in Pamela Aidan’s Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Trilogy, we get to know everything Darcy did when he wasn’t showing up next to Elizabeth as well as some additional historical details.
The same applies for changing the setting for a novel. So you’ve moved Cinderella into a dystopia setting. Great. It doesn’t necessarily follow that you should still have a pumpkin turn into a carriage or even a literal glass slipper. In fact, you might want to forget literal all together. Reimagine each event in the story to suit the actual setting.

At the very least, be aware of the other types of fan fiction in your genre on the market. Don’t just automatically ignore the fact that someone might have already come up with your idea. Find a way to make yours different.

A new twist on an old story? Great. The true story behind the story? Love it. Turning a classic novel into an steamy erotic book or a nasty horror show?…You’re kidding me, right?
This is me, as a reader, speaking to both writers and readers new to this scene who might not know how far some people take it. As I lover of Jane Austen, who was obviously a moralist, I don’t want read about the Darcy’s sex lives or contemplate chopping Ms. Lucas’s head off. I also don’t like it when writers take real people who from historical account were good, for instance Jane’s brothers, and turn them into adulterers and murders just to make her life into a cool mystery novel.
In other words, dear readers, always read the reviews.

That’s my take on fan fiction. What’s yours? Any you can recommend to me?

If you want some good stories to start with, definitely try the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Trilogy, Debra White Smith’s Austen Series (modernization), or Anthony Horowitz’s new Sherlock, The House of Silk (it gets a little lost in the middle, but it begins and ends with a true Sherlockian style).