They’re at the Library!

Look at what my good friend and fellow author Lee Strauss posted this morning on Facebook: She got my books from the library!!! Isn’t that exciting? Now I’m a real author (because, Library!).

Loralee & books

And here they are in the library’s catalogue. Impressive, eh?

books at library

It quite tickles my fancy to see them catalogued like that, with proper Library of Congress subject headings (Magic — Fiction; Fantasy fiction) and call number (F&SF OFF). See?

books at library 1

Incidentally, it really helps an author out to get their books into libraries. Most libraries have a “Suggestion for Purchase” feature, where you can tell them what books you’d like to see on the shelves (and usually, you’ll be the first one to get a copy to read once it comes in). So if your library hasn’t got the Septimus Books yet – what are you waiting for? Ask for them! ūüôā

Life, the Universe, and the Septimus Books at the Library. Cat would heartily approve.

Check it Out: YOU CAN’T CATCH ME by Lee Strauss

Instalment #3 in our Check It Out!¬†series of book recommendations: Lee Strauss’¬†You Can’t Catch Me, the third part of¬†The Gingerbread Man book, hot off the press today! It wraps up the story of Marlow, Sage and Teagan, but not before throwing yet another interesting twist in your way! If you haven’t read the beginning of the story yet, Part 1 is still free on Amazon and other ebook sites.

The final episode of A Nursery Rhyme Suspense РGingerbread Man,  
is out now! 
only .99

Check It Out: AS FAST AS YOU CAN by Lee Strauss

Instalment #2 in the “Check It Out” postings: As Fast As You Can by Lee Strauss! It came out yesterday; episode #1, Run Run Run, is free.

As Fast as You Can Рepisode #2 of Gingerbread Man in A Nursery Rhyme Suspense is OUT NOW! 



Check It Out: RUN RUN RUN by Lee Strauss

Okay, this is going to be something new. In the self-publishing world, one of the things writers do for each other is to advertise each others’ books, sometimes in things called Book Blitzes or such-like. So far, I’ve not done that for a number of reasons – the biggest one being that I do not want to advertise something I haven’t read, let alone endorse.

However, there are books out there I want to advertise, books written by friends of mine, or just plain good books. New books, at that, but sometimes older ones or even classics. So, because I’m a writer, a book lover, and a librarian for whom recommending books is sort of a knee-jerk reaction, I’m going to start a series of posts where I’ll periodically let you know about stuff that’s out there for purchase that I think is worth your while (in time and/or money) to check out.

And here is the first one of these: RUN RUN RUN by Lee Strauss!

BRAND NEW AND HOT OFF THE PRESS! FREE TODAY! SECOND PART COMING TOMORROW, THIRD PART NEXT WEEK! (There, have I done enough shouting? I’ll stop now, but I mean, really, do check it out!)

(Fancy graphics and fonts and what-not by Lee – I haven’t figured out how to do that myself yet. Another thing on the to-do list.)

RUN RUN RUN is here!

Gingerbread Man ‚Äď Episode 1
A Nursery Rhyme Suspense
By Lee Strauss
Mystery Sci-fi/ Romantic Suspense

FRINGE meets CASTLE in this New Adult Sci-fi Mystery Suspense.
College girl meets boy online.
A killer targets girls like her.
She’s next on the list.
The boy wants to save her.
She thinks it’s him.
It’s worse than they both think.
RUN RUN RUN is the first part of a three part episode РGingerbread Man Рin the romantic suspense series, A Nursery Rhyme Suspense by Amazon best-selling author Lee Strauss. 

Episode release dates:

1) Run Run Run – December 31

2) As Fast As You Can – January 7
3) You Can’t Catch Me – January 14
Gingerbread Man (ep 1-3) complete – January 28

RUN RUN RUN   Amazon

| iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

Playing With Matches

It’s Remembrance Day in just a couple of days, and I’ve written before about how the perspective from the other side of the trenches is, in many ways, not so different from that of “our” side. War kills. War sucks in innocent people and destroys them.

Lee Strauss has a great book on sale this week (links at the bottom of this post) that tells that very story, the tale of World War II from an angle that most English-speaking people rarely hear. Playing With Matches is the story of Emil Radle, a young German boy in the 1930s, and his experience of the war. The book is fiction as far as the actual characters and exact events go, but it could be absolutely true. The boy in the cover picture, on the far right edge, the one with his blond lock of hair falling over his forehead, could be my uncle, the one who was just the age Emil Radle is in the book. Or, for that matter, my favourite high school teacher, who spent hours regaling us with stories of how he was drafted in the last years of the war, at the age of sixteen, to become cannon fodder; and who said the best moment of the whole thing was when he could drop his gun and raise his hands in surrender to the British armed forces.

That’s Emil’s story in Playing With Matches. It’s well worth the read.

Lest We Forget.




Heinz Schultz’s word could send a man to prison.¬†Though only a youth of fifteen, he¬†was¬†strong, tall, and blond. The boys in his¬†Deutsches Jungvolk¬†unit esteemed him and feared him.

And they wanted to be just like him.

Emil Radle wanted to be just like him.

A dedicated member of Hitler Youth, Emil¬†was¬†loyal to the F√ľhrer before family, a champion for the cause and a fan of¬†the¬†famous Luftwaffe Air force.

Emil’s friends Moritz and Johann¬†discover¬†a shortwave radio and everything changes. Now they listen to the forbidden¬†BBC broadcast of news reports that tell both sides. Now they know the truth.The boys, along with Johann’s sister¬†Katharina, band together to write out the reports and covertly distribute¬†flyers through their city. It’s an act of high treason that could have them¬†arrested–or worse.

As the war progresses, so does Emil’s¬†affection¬†for Katharina. He’d do anything to have a normal life and to stay in¬†Passau by her side. But when Germany’s losses become immense, even¬†their¬†greatest¬†resistance can’t prevent the boys from being sent to the Eastern¬†Front.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Humility, Forests and Trees

I pride myself, in certain cases, on my perfectionism. Not always, by any means – there are lots of occasions where I’m not perfectionistic at all. House cleaning, for example. Or yard work. But when it comes to my writing, oh yes, the perfectionist in me is out in full force. As far as content of writing goes, you can’t really make it perfect, you can just make it as good as you can; the rest is a matter of opinion. But form, and formatting – well, there is such a thing as absolutely correct. Spelling, grammar, having everything look right, it matters.

So I released Seventh Son yesterday to great fanfare – drum rolls, fireworks, the lot. There it was, all neat and shiny, on Amazon and Smashwords and CreateSpace. My friends were all patting me on the back, and I felt so proud of myself.¬† And then, in the early afternoon, a friend messaged me on Facebook: “It might just be my ebook reader, but it looks like chapter 3 and 4 are identical.” WHAT?!? I grabbed the hardcopy I had sitting beside me on the kitchen table, flipped to chapter 3, then to chapter 4 – and said some swear words, loudly. Jumped up, clapped my hands to my face, swore again, frantically paced three steps back and forwards again, hyperventilated, clutched at my hair – you get the picture. Full-on panic mode.

I had, right at the base level, dropped out chapter 3, and instead put in a duplicate of chapter 4. Right in the base file, when I exported the text from Scrivener to a Word document – the file that I used to do all my formatting from, for print, Amazon, Smashwords, everything. And I never saw it. I went over those files over and over again. I had even noticed that it said “Chapter 4” twice, so I fixed the first one to say “Chapter 3”. But I never noticed that it was the wrong text in that chapter. I read over that file so many times since I wrote the story, over and over. It was a classic case of not seeing the forest for the trees – so many chapters of text which I was so familiar with and had looked at so many times, I never saw the glaring error. And I blithely uploaded the file to all the ebook vendors, even had a couple of proof copies printed.

So here I put myself out there, telling the world how great I am and what a great thing I accomplished, and it’s got this big fat mistake in it. Talk about a humbling experience. I’m not perfect, not even where it matters, and now the whole world knows it.

My friend Lee Strauss, whose mentorship has been instrumental in getting Seventh Son off the ground, tells me that every self-published writer does something like this at least once. Phew – at least I’m not the only one. I guess you’re not a proper indie writer until you’ve screwed up for the first time; so I’m lucky I did it right on my first release date and got it over with.

And now that you all know I’m not perfect, I have nothing more to lose. I can just carry on being me; write my stories, drivel on in my blog posts, and you won’t expect me to never make mistakes. Which you probably never did anyway – the expectations were all in my own head – but now I know you won’t. And that’s a really freeing thought.

Life, the Universe, and Big Public Bloopers. The freedom of dispensing with illusions.