Thursday, 18 December 2014

Celdom Drives a Pick-up

I was faced with an interesting dilemma the past few days, and it has to do with the upcoming holiday season.

For the second year in a row, I was declined an offer to visit family out-of-town for Christmas. I found it disheartening because this might possibly be the last time I will be spending the holiday season in Canada for a while. (Those of you who know me personally, know the reasoning behind that.) So, I was asking myself, what am I going to do for Christmas and New Year's. There are no plans for my special visitor from last New Year's and I to meet up this year (But, that will be made up for in bounds in 2015.), and save for a Christmas dinner my work will be having for some of it's employees on the night of the 25th, I have a span where I will only be called into the office for 2 out of 9 days. That calls into question: what am I going to do with myself? Well, as someone who is an independent author in his spare time, he turns to his craft.

However, there was only one slight problem with this: which of my three personas should I concentrate on? At first, I wanted to write a holiday-themed story based on the characters in my Fiery Freedom series, but certain people aren't too keen on a return of Steven, Freedom, and Angela to the masses. (I suppose they have their reasons, but I don't need to explore that at this juncture.) I also have a half-finished first draft of the second book in Prairie Fire Trilogy, that I haven't really touched since May. I'd like to continue the story of when Ashley meets Chuck, but with it gathering electrical dust on my Flash drive, I might need time to re-read what I have written, so I know where to go from there.

That leaves the original cast of characters that brought me into the world of independent authors, my Gary Celdom Case Journals series. Some people were thinking I could write a holiday-themed story involving Gary, Jessica, Karen, and Phil. I was a little hesitant at going this route since my latest attempt to write a novel based on the back story of when Gary first met Phil flopped again (an occasion where the third time was not a charm). But, these people were still insistent I give the holiday-themed Celdom book a shot. The only problem was, what should this holiday Celdom book be about?

After some surveying on social media (and some wonderful brainstorming with the special lady in my life, as well as, a second supporter), the seed was planted for what I'm hoping will become the fourth Gary Celdom book. The premise, our motley crew head to Gary's cottage in the Kawarthas for Christmas. While there, in the nearby community of Bailieboro, a crime (I haven't determined what yet) has been committed. It's up to the vacationing Gary, Jessica, Karen, and Phil to help solve the case. I'm hoping to start writing this during my time off, with the intent of releasing it during the holiday season of 2015.

With that being said, from myself, C. D., and Crimson, we would like to wish all of our followers a very Happy Holidays, and a Happy and safe New Year.

--

P.S. Before I forget, starting midnight EST on Boxing Day (December 26th) until 8 am EST on December 29th, I'm holding a special Boxing Day Weekend sale on the Amazon.com Kindle store. (I'm not sure if this will translate to Amazon.ca, or other Amazon Kindle sites worldwide, but we'll soon see.) For those 80 hours, Kindle copies of my Gary Celdom Case Journals: Volume One, and Crimson's Fiery Freedom: The Complete Saga will be on sale for US$0.99 (reg. US$2.99).

With GCCJ:V1, you'll be getting the first two books in the Celdom series: Scarlet Siege, and Barbadian Backlash in one download. As for FF:TCS, it's the meshing of all three Freedom shorts: Desire in the Desert, Branded Canuck, and Bound by Commitment into a handy all-in-one.

So, if you prefer detective series, or steamy romances... or, both... make sure you take advantage of this special promotion while you can.

Ho Ho Ho from "Santa Dief".

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Here's something new, I'm now a Marty Tsu.

There are many ways for an author to connect with their fans on social media. Most platforms are the traditional outlets: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Others go for blogs, like WordPress, or the one you're reading right now. However, there has been a bit of an outcry from writers who reach out via social media, and there is a movement to change that.

Allow me to try to explain this to the best of my understanding. Most of the outcry has centered around Facebook and it's apparent knack for limiting the audience of posts by independent authors. The posts are meant to advertise and promote the author's work. Unfortunately, Facebook has decided to pray to the typical American God of "The Almighty Dollar", and is suggesting these independent authors, who are "strug-a-ling" to find and keep a fan base, pony up so their posts are seen by a wider audience. As someone who is is in this same position as most indie authors, I find it to be an unscrupulous tactic on Facebook's part to suck people out of their profits. So, what's there to do for the indie author? They go to another platform.

Fortunately, such a platform exists and is growing by leaps and bounds in the past few weeks, and that platform is known as "Tsu" (pronounced "Sue"). Tsu is like Facebook and Twitter, but it allows posters to own their own content (with certain posting limitations, of course), and keep their financial interests within themselves. Also, and this part I'm still trying to figure out, if there is advertising revenue to be had from the posts, then it is "profit shared" between Tsu, the original poster, and anyone else who shares the post. So, there is a little extra income stream to be had from the service.

So, after seeing a few indie authors signing on, I decided to wade into the fray myself. However, I wasn't ready to set up 3 separate accounts for all three of my writing personas. Therefore, I decided to create an account that encompasses all three personas under one umbrella: a makeshift publishing company of my own creation -- Toronto Nanook Publishing. My Twitter handle now reflects the new direction, and any posts from my "3 Faces of Dief" authors will originate from my new Tsu account with it being filtered towards Facebook and Twitter (although, it'll be tough to pare down the Twitter posts to 140 characters or less).

Currently, Tsu is invite only for starters; however, if you're interested in seeing what's coming up (including my first ever online Boxing Day Weekend sale for a Kindle version of a book or two), feel free to check it out, and sign-up. Just tell them https://www.tsu.co/TONanookPublishing sent you.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Best for Business?

For as long as I've been selling electronic versions of my books, I've tried to diversify them, so they may be available on multiple platforms. Not only could you find them for Kindle readers and apps, but ones for Kobo eReaders/apps, Apple iBooks, Sony, and Nook eReaders/apps. However, as much as I've done my best to make them available for everyone, only one have I actually received positive returns on: Kindle.

Now, I understand different services have different thresholds before you get paid. For example, Kobo requests you earn $100 in royalties before they cut you a cheque. The only problem is, in the 3 years I've been self-publishing, I've only made $18.34 from my Kobo sales; the bulk of that were purchases I made myself since I own a Kobo eReader. To say that it's not disappointing (if not pathetic that I have to buy my own books to see a return), is an understatement. But, until I make that c-note mark, I won't see a red cent of it.

On the flip side, Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service is kind enough to pay royalties in a more timely manner, regardless of threshold. Sure, I still get dinged 30% withholding tax for Canada and U.S. sales because I'm a non-U.S. resident (why that applies to Canadian sales is a confusing and convoluted matter), but at least I still receive a direct deposit two months after the registered sales month ends.

Therefore, in order to be more financially feasible, it is with a heavy heart that I've decided to remove my ebooks from all services, save from Amazon's Kindle Store. It might be better in the long run as most of the fans I've polled use Kindle eReaders/apps to begin with.

I know this will cheese off a few who are still loyal to their Kobos and Nooks; however, if you have a computer, you can download a free Kindle app and read my books that way. Soon, my books will be enrolled in KDP Select, so if you're part of Kindle Unlimited, you'll be able to download my books under all three of my personas for free with your monthly subscription..

Fear not, the paperback versions of my books will still be available on Barnes & Noble, and other sites, but the ebook versions will be Amazon exclusive until further notice. It's more of a bid to streamline things in the future as some of you know, 2015 will be filled with a lot of life changes for me.

I just want to make things easier ahead of time.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Prepping to Start the Journey Again

To say I've had a busy year writing and editing would be an understatement. Yet, I plan to add more to my annals in a couple of weeks.

One would think after releasing six books in 2014 (two under my C. D. Melley banner, the erotic romance series as Crimson Nuage, and the upcoming Rouge Numbered Week under my real name), I would want to take time to catch my breath. However, my annual tradition is about to commence within a fortnight. November is around the corner, which means one thing: it's time to start thinking about NaNoWriMo.

For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. Every year, over 300,000 budding writers from around the globe set out on a trek of creativity. Their mission, should they choose to accept it, is to write a 50,000-word novel within the 30 days of November. Last year was the first year since I started participating in the writing challenge in 2009 where I did NOT finish, so needless to say, I need to get back on the wagon.

Now, I realize it's going to be difficult again this year due to my real life commitments. It was the same thing that made me give up last year. However, that being said, I'm going to put a more valiant effort into it, instead of writing 1,000 words, and saying "I can't go on." The thing is, if you want to be a successful writer, you NEED to write. It's the only way you can truly hone your craft. Yes, life can, and will, get in the way, but you have to put in the effort. 

So, set out a schedule, plan your day accordingly, and when the time comes to write, shut out all of the distractions, and focus on scribbling, or typing the words out onto the page. Your muse will thank you for it.

As for my attempt this year, I plan on returning to a project I've tried to write twice before -- one of which was my attempt last November: a murder mystery involving some people from my local NaNo Chapter. I'm hoping to parlay it into Celdom IV, but first things first. The first draft has to be written and completed. November is nigh, and my laptop is ready, so in the words of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, "Just bring it!"

Sunday, 21 September 2014

A Funny Thing Happened While Setting Up...

You know, sometimes when you're a writer, there are some unexpected things that pop up: some good, some bad, and in some instances, a bad thing that could be turned into a good one.

Case in point, recently I've been invited to take part in an author takeover event for a friend on Facebook, Sonya Ray. Now, for those wondering "What the heck is an author takeover?", I basically take over a Facebook page for a period of time, and I attempt to sell myself as an author -- talking about my books and my writing process. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, there is one thing about me that loyal readers/followers know... actually, three things -- my three writing personas: Douglas J. McLeod, C. D. Melley, and Crimson Nuage. So, in my one hour block, I have to try to advertise all three of these personas to visitors of the event site. (By the way, those interested in stopping by can do so by going to the Let's Talk Books Facebook event page.) The scheduling for me is perfect because my slot is slated for noon Toronto time on the Canadian Thanksgiving (or, Columbus Day for those in the U.S.).

Anyway, I wanted to do something special for the event, and it got me to thinking, "Dief (my online nickname), you've been sitting on Celdom III for two years now. Why don't you polish that off and release it this year. You did  say you planned on releasing it sometime in 2014." So, with the help of my fiancée/proofreader, I did what I could with my 2012 NaNoWriMo project, and I'm pleased to announce that the third book in the "Gary Celdom Case Journals" series, entitled Rouge Numbered Week, will be released on Tuesday, November 25, 2014.

This latest adventure has Detectives Gary Celdom, and his partner/girlfriend, Detective Jessica Amerson, attempting to stop a string of murders occuring during the celebrations for the 100th Canadian professional football championship being held in Toronto. There's just one slight dilemma for Gary: his best friend, Phil Bennett is being fingered as a suspect. So, not only does Gary have to solve the case, but he has to try and clear his best friend's name. Naturally, the ghost of Gary's former fiancée, Karen Prairie, shows up to interject her opinions on the matter.

So, getting back to my bad thing turning into a good thing. I wanted to have the eBook version ready on various sites for pre-order during my takeover event, so I uploaded the details to Kobo, and to Amazon for the Kindle release. Personally, I thought it would take some time to have the listings up on their sites. However, much to my surprise, they were quicker than I expected. While, I'm happy the books are available for pre-order, the caveat is they've also released the book cover, as well... three weeks before my intended reveal at my takeover event. In short, the bad thing is, the cover was leaked early (my bad), but the good thing is, there's an additional three weeks where interested parties can pre-order RNW.

So, if you happen across Kobobooks.com, or the Amazon Kindle Store in the next little while, and are interested in picking up a copy of Celdom III, here's the cover you should be looking for...



Living proof that a bad thing can turn into a good thing.


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A Return to My Creative Roots

One of the things I love to do is travel. However, due to various constraints (whether it be scheduling or financial), I don't get the luxury to do it much nowadays. So, after hearing a friend talk about doing a day trip down to Detroit to take in a baseball game, my travel bug started to nip at me. I thought it would be a good idea to look into. After looking at the Tigers' schedule, I decided on a Sunday game in early September to attend. I ordered my game ticket, and booked my round-trip train ticket to Windsor, with the intent to cross the border and enjoy in "America's Pastime".

Unfortunately, my plans fell apart a few weeks before my trip. Since the Tigers' are in the midst of a pennant race (that's a run to the baseball playoffs, for the uneducated), a major American network decided to pick-up the game for national broadcast. In the process, the game that was originally scheduled to start at 1 p.m. was pushed back seven hours; starting now at 8 p.m.

There were problems with this time change. The first was the fact I was scheduled to be into work at 8 a.m. Monday, and second, my train back to Toronto was slated to leave Windsor at 5:45 p.m., a good 2-1/4 hours before the game was now scheduled to start. So, what does a dejected sports fan do? Well, if said fan happens to be a writer, he brings his laptop with him onto the train, and waits to see what his muse comes up with.

A couple of days before my trip, my muse came up with an idea. Twenty years ago, I dabbled in the realm of poetry. It was something I did for a laugh, and was doing it to impress the girl I was dating at the time. Fast forward to today, and I'm with a wonderful woman who I plan on marrying next year. While my writing alone seems to impress her, I decided to see what I could come up during my trip.

What resulted was a burst of creativity (which was surprising, since I was functioning on very little sleep) that emerged into 16 short, reflective poems about my day away, which I have released under my C. D. Melley banner, entitled Slammin' on the Rails.




The collection is available on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, Apple, and Barnes & Noble for your various e-Readers. But, if you prefer an actual hard copy, the paperback version is now available on Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Now, I've got a confession...

As most people who visit this blog know by now, I am an independent author. I'm not with any publishing house, so I self-publish my works. If you're a regular reader, you know that I've written detective/police procedural books under my real name. You also know that earlier this year, I published my first romance novel under a pen name. However, recently if you've visited here, I've alluded to a series of novelettes/short stories that I have written; one's more on the saucy side of the spectrum. I'd like to talk about those today.

Now, what I have to say about them will not be favourable for most parties. They will shock most of my friends and families - both current and future (by that, I mean my future in-laws, as I plan on "walking that aisle" next year.) - and I've been warned that any public discussions about this series will not be shared by them on social media. I understand their reluctance, whether it be for religious or political beliefs. Heck, I'm surprised I went through with writing them in the first place. What I'm about to say is taking a big risk. I'm hoping for added book sales, but at the same time, I risk tarnishing whatever "author cred" I've had. So, like a bucket of ice water being dumped on my head for charity, here it goes... 

My second pen name is Crimson Nuage, and I'm the author of the "Fiery Freedom" series of erotic romance stories.

The series details the twisted romance between an author, Steven Roberts, and his #1 fan, Freedom Topaz. The first book in the series, Desire in the Desert, showcases how the couple first met while Steven goes to what he believes is an author's conference in Phoenix. Book #2, Branded Canuck, sees Freedom travelling to Steven's home in Vancouver to continue their romance, and she leaves him a special gift. The finale, Bound by Commitment, has Steven on the trail of Freedom, but he ends up earning the attention of a hospitality student who is more persistent than Freedom is. Steven needs to shake her off and find Freedom before it's too late.

All three books are available on Amazon, Kobo, and various Smashwords services (i.e. Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, etc.), and if you're an eReader, I've even made Desire in the Desert free to start you off. So far, over 1,000 copies of Desire have been downloaded among various platforms, but if you like the series, don't hesitate to continue on with Branded Canuck, and Bound by Commitment.

That's all I wanted to say/plug, and thank you.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Coming Out From the Clouds

It's funny how life works sometimes. You find yourself in a set routine, then something comes along, and throws your world upside down. That's been happening a lot to me the past few months.

First, I want to apologize for my lengthy absence from this blog. Alas, real life decided to come into play, but in a good way this time. From the second week of June until the second week of July, I was working for a community housing organization. It was the same company I had done a placement with back in February. Anyway, their normal receptionist was going away on holidays for three weeks, and they asked if I could fill in during the mornings for 12 out of a possible 15 days. I was paid handsomely for my work, so much so, I'm typing this blog entry on my new laptop that I purchased with my wages.

But, as the contract ended, the same organization asked if I wanted to so some administrative work for a week and a half more. I seized the opportunity, and will be seeing the profits of my time there later this week. At the same time, I've been doing my usual shifts at my normal place of work, so I've been earning two pay cheques for a month and a half. This money will help in providing my spending money for the upcoming RCW 139 fan convention I will be attending in mid-August.

However, I know what you all are wondering: What's going on with my writing. Well, a funny thing about that. Remember that 'secret genre' I was writing in earlier this year? Well, long story short, I'm in the midst of releasing the third and final book of the trilogy. No, it's not my Prairie Fire Trilogy, but one that's a lot more steamy, and in a genre you don't want to be caught reading at work.

So, where am I going from here? While the thought of spinning the NSFW genre series off into a fourth book, I have two other projects on the backburner. The Prairie Fire Rekindled is halfway written, and for those wondering if Gary will ever make a return, I'm considering finally getting around to editing Rouge Numbered Week after a nearly two-year hiatus.

I may have been drifting amongst the clouds over the past few months, but the core series that made me who I am as a writer are about to rise from the dead like a phoenix from the ashes... or me after I walk out from writing all through the night.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Late to the Process Party

A few weeks ago, I was asked to participate in a 'blog hop' to discuss the writing process by Jennifer Ammoscato (http://jenniferammoscato.com/). While I think talking about the process is a great way to interact with your fellow writers, the way the 'blog hop' was worded set me off. To me, it sounded like a blogging version of a chain letter. Some may argue this post is me doing an about face about this thought, and to be honest, after reading a fellow participant's submission, I am.

I'll admit, I'm a seasonal writer. All of the books I have written under both my "Douglas J. McLeod" and "C. D. Melley" banners have been penned during the month-long write-a-thons known as NaNoWriMo and its' summer sister, Camp NaNoWriMo. (For those wondering, it's short for National Novel Writing Month.) At the time, I could only produce these books if I had a set deadline: 50,000 words in 30 days (or, 31 when I wrote The Prairie Fire Within.) It established a goal for me, and I was able to achieve that. However, there have been numerous times when I've fallen short of such an ambitious goal. Most of the time, it's due to real life rearing it's ugly head.

This is a problem that has happened to me quite a bit recently. I am currently in the midst of writing the first draft to my second Melley novel, The Prairie Fire Rekindled, and my schedule is putting a serious crimp into my writing time. This past September, I was able to obtain my first paying job in eight years. In the months since, I have taken on added responsibilities where some days I could be wearing three hats over the course of 12 hours. Throw in the fact I volunteer one day a week, have responsibilities with a 12-step fellowship, and (sorry, honey, I'm going to let the cat out of the bag here) I'm engaged to a wonderful woman who I talk to daily because she lives over 1,000 miles away, the window where I can write is minuscule.

However, I do try to find time to write. The trick is not only setting aside the time, but being committed to doing so. Some of my fellow local NaNoWriMo brethren congregate at a Starbucks on Friday nights, and once in a while, I do join them. The only problem is, trying to write a romance novel with a bunch of friends who like to socialize while they write. Yes, it's a little counter-productive, but sometimes a writer needs that camaraderie to help make it through the process. Life can be crazy, and since some argue writers are a crazy lot to begin with, trying to find a harmonious balance can be a challenge.

Speaking about writers who dabble in romance, and might be a little off their nut (They have to be if they're friends with me. LOL), here's a few others you can check out...

LINDA BLOODWORTH
Linda starbucks
Linda Bloodworth loves chips, like really, ketchup to be exact. Ketchup chips are only found in Canada. Lucky for Linda she lives in Toronto with her husband and three fur babies. In between writing, debating for hours about the Oxford comma and the misunderstood semi colon, Linda enjoys camping and getting away from the city on day trips.
You can find Linda at:

CHRISTA SIMPSON

christa3
Christa Simpson is a Romance Author who enjoys entertaining her readers with sexy alpha males and sassy heroines.  She writes new adult and steamy romances loaded with passion, suspense and sarcasm.  In her “free time”, she loves reading, writing, music, movies and dancing.  She likes her men muscled, her music loud and her kids happy. She’s a small town girl, living in Southwestern Ontario with her husband and two beautiful daughters.  She’s a legal assistant be day, wielding a sexy imagination by night.  She’s a dreamer and has always believed that you can do anything you set your mind to.

She is the author of
THE TWISTED TRILOGY
Book 1: Twisted
Book 2: Twist & Turn
Book 3: A Twist of Fate
Book 4: Just Right (COMING SOON!!)

You can find her at: http://christasimpson.com/

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Getting Back to Principles

I write this blog post to notify you, the reader, of a slight change in philosophy.

As some of you already know, I write under my real name for the mystery genre and a pen name for the romance genre. The pen name was done to honour my late great aunt. This was created when I wrote The Prairie Fire Within. My intention was to write contemporary romance novels for the reading public.

Recently, as some may recall, I veered away from that mission, and wrote an erotic romance, entitled Kidnapped for Pleasure. While the foray was with all good intent, I came to realize that writing such a book would tarnish the name and legacy of my family. Therefore, I have decided to pull Kidnapped for Pleasure from Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Does this mean that I'm giving up entirely on the erotic romance segment? Not entirely, I've decided to retool the books and release it under not only a new title, but under a new author name; one separate from the "CeldoMelley" banner. If you've entered the Rafflecopter for C. S. Janey's  "Sugar Baby Lies" launch, fear not. You will receive a copy of the updated version. That's right, the winner of the original Kidnapped for Pleasure eBook will be one of the first people to own a copy of the new version under the new author name. As for what it is, I'm not at liberty to divulge that.

All I will say is, this writer's head is in the clouds.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Paperback Alert: Dragon Twins

Loyal readers of this blog will remember me plugging my good friend, Allison Cosgrove's debut novel, Sacrifice of Innocence, a police procedural about Detective Stan Brookshire taking on a mysterious cult. Well, Detective Brookshire is back with a new case on his desk in Dragon Twins. Tell us all about it, Allison.



"Separated at birth...reunited by murder.

"Behind the gates of an exclusive Lake City neighborhood, prominent businessman Don Chu’s housekeeper has been brutally murdered and his teenage daughter taken. The high-profile case has the Mayor himself sending the case across Detective Stan Brookshire’s desk. He barely has time to digest the details of the two sinister crimes before he’s called to yet another disturbing scene.

"This time, at the other end of the city, another murder and attempted kidnapping ring out with a similarity too convenient for coincidence. As the clues fall into place and the evidence mounts, Stan starts to see a pattern emerge. A DNA match, and the two cases now become one. With the help of an unexpected young ally, Stan begins his search for a victim that may still be alive. It’s a race against the clock and across the globe that will test his skills to the absolute limit. Two murders. Two kidnappings. Twice the danger."

Sounds intriguing. Do you have an excerpt to share with us?

A loud noise startled Jade from her slight doze. As she straightened up in her chair, she glanced at the clock on her bedside table across the room that held her textbooks. Eleven thirty-five.

Leaning back at her desk, she reached over and felt the bowl of soup Wei-Lee, the family housekeeper, had brought. It had been piping hot but now it was tepid. She estimated she was out less than half an hour. 

Another crash came from the direction of the kitchen. What on earth was Wei-Lee doing at this time of night to make that much noise?

Jade started to get up when the door to her room flew open and two almost identical Asian men burst into her room. Grabbing her before she could make a sound, her feet lashed out and knocked the books to the floor as they dragged her toward the door.

"You're coming with us," one of the men said in a thick, Chinese accent. "You can either come quietly or we'll drag you out."

“There’s no way I'm letting you take me anywhere!” she yelled, struggling against them. Their grip loosened and this time she racked her nails across one man’s cheek. Crying out in pain, he released her arm to protect his face.

She ran out of the bedroom and down the stairs hoping to find Wei-Lee or something to defend herself. Jade heard them running after her. Chancing a glance over her shoulder, she saw they were right behind her as she raced through the house trying to get to the kitchen.

She was almost there when a man stepped out of the doorway, into her path. He was Asian but what caught her attention was the knife in his hand. Red liquid dripped from it onto the tile floor. She managed to duck around him and into the kitchen where she was halted at the sight of Wei-Lee. She lay dead in a slowly spreading pool of blood.

A hand grabbed her shoulder and tried to spin her around. Her reflexes drove her forward, jumping over the housekeeper’s body she dove for the cordless phone to dial 911. She managed to dial two digits before the phone was knocked out of her hand and it went flying across the floor.

Rough hands grabbed her and tore her clothing as she tried to get away. It was useless. They were too strong. It was too much for her. The sight of the dead housekeeper, the men in her house...the blood. There was so much blood.

A hand reached up and put a cloth over her mouth, she fought against it but it was no use. She had no strength left. As her world faded to darkness the last thing she heard was, "Do not hurt her. Ling will not be happy if she is harmed."

Wow! Sounds like Detective Brookshire has his work cut out for him this time. Where can we pick up a copy of Dragon Twins?

It's available through Amazon for your Kindle at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DPEWFO2/

And now, it's available in paperback, also on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1453652361/

Thank you for sharing, Allison. Personally, I've read Sacrifice of Innocence, and I absolutely loved it. I currently have Dragon Twins on the Kindle app on my smartphone, and what I've read of it so far is just as compelling. So, if you like a good mystery, pick up your copy of Dragon Twins today.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Words Against Cancer Auction is OPEN

Just a quick post to announce that the inaugural Words Against Cancer Auction to support the Canadian Cancer Society is now open, and will be until this coming Sunday night, April 13th.

As previously stated, I will be doing my best to update the leading bid on a daily basis. However, I should clarify that the aforementioned leading bid will be listed in Canadian funds. Should you state you'd like to bid in a foreign currency, it will be converted into Canadian funds at a comparable exchange rate and checked against the current leading figure to see if it will be overtaken. (However, it'd be easier to submit your bid as if you were bidding in Canadian funds.)

Just a reminder, if you'd like to place a bid on the auction item: a personally autographed, paperback copy of "The Prairie Fire Within", shipped to you, just write an email to wordsagainstcancer@gmail.com stating your bid, and write the Auction ID: A001 in the Subject line.

Best of luck in the auction, everyone.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

In Loving Memory...

Greetings, readers. I write this entry today because I have an important, and personal announcement to make.

When I created my romance persona, C. D. Melley, I did it in honour of this woman...


This is a photo of my late Great Aunt Pat, who succumbed to Stage-IV lung cancer on June 8, 2013. At the time of her passing, I was in the process of planning my first romance novel; which eventually became The Prairie Fire Within. I had previously written the first two books in the Gary Celdom detective series under my real name; however, I wanted to use a pen name for my romance genre books. And as I was sitting by her bedside, wiping away my tears, and knowing her time on Earth was almost done, the name came to me: "C. D.", for a seldom used middle name of mine, Charles, and my actual first name, Douglas, and "Melley" as my Great Aunt Pat's maiden name.

Which brings me to my announcement...

This Monday would've been my Great Aunt Pat's 84th birthday, and I wanted to do something charitable to help honour her memory. So, I'm setting up a (very) small charity auction, I'm calling Words Against Cancer, to help raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. How small? Well, let's just say, there's only one item for it, but I'm hoping to expand it in the future to include more items by talented independent authors. So, without further adieu, here is the one item that I will be auctioning off for the inaugural WAC auction...



That's right, I'm auctioning off a copy of my debut romance novel, The Prairie Fire Within. But, not only that, I will personally autograph the book, and ship it to you. Since I'm donating this personalized, autographed copy, I can guarantee that 100% of the winning bid will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. 

So, you're wondering, "C.D. (or Douglas.. I can go by either), how can I bid on this?" That's a good question, and deserves a good answer. So, here's how we're going to do it: we're going to do a "blind bid" auction. If you're interested in placing a bid, just e-mail your bid to: wordsagainstcancer@gmail.com with the auction item code: A001 in the Subject line. I will do my best to update the leading bid on a daily basis on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCDMelley, my Twitter account: @CDMelley, and right here at CeldoMelley.com.  The auction will start at 12:01 am, Canadian Eastern Time, this Monday, April 7, 2014 and will run until 11:59 pm, Canadian Eastern Time, Sunday, April 13, 2014.

On behalf of myself, and my Great Aunt Pat, I want to say thank you for your support, and good luck in the auction. 

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Free Promo This Weekend

Greetings, readers. I'm still on pins and needles until Tuesday when they announce the entrants who have advanced to the Second Round in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. However, I wanted to do something special for my followers.

As you know, this Monday is St. Patrick's Day, and I wanted to do a promotional tie-in with my recently self-published (authored under my pen's name) romance novel. Since both St. Patrick's Day and the location of The Prairie Fire Within, Saskatchewan, are both synonymous with the colour green, I've decided for this weekend only (Saturday, March 15 to Monday, March 17, 2014), I'll be offering the first book in "The Prairie Fire Trilogy" for the low price of FREE for your Kindle device and/or app. That's zilch, zip, nada, don't pay a dime.

But, this is a limited time offer. On Tuesday, the Kindle version will be going up to it's new price of $2.99 US. So, if you want to learn of the budding romance of Amanda Bellamy and Hank Acker, don't miss your opportunity to pick up The Prairie Fire Within for free this weekend.

To pick-up your copy, head on over to: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IGGNT30

Sunday, 9 March 2014

After further review...

Greetings, readers. I hope everyone has adjusted to the clocks springing forward. (At least, the ones who live in a place that observes Daylight Saving Time.)

As the time I write this post, it is just over a week until they announce the Lucky 2,000 who have advanced to the Second Round for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. My submission in this year's contest, The Prairie Fire Within, is vying for one of 400 places in the Romance category. This round is being judged solely on everyone's pitch, and for those who remember, the pitch was the one thing that worried me when I entered my submission. However, I am thankful the organizers allowed entrants to edit and fine-tune their entries until the submission period closed; which happened 6-1/2 hours before the window would have closed if they didn't receive 10,000 entries. (Entrant #10,000 came in around 5:20 pm US Eastern Time. The maximum deadline was 11:59 pm.)

The reason why I'm thankful is I noticed there were a few timeline inaccuracies in my manuscript. This proved to be an issue when I decided to expand the time Amanda originally spent on the farm from one week to two weeks. Fortunately, I caught these in time, and was able to resubmit the revised version before the submission window closed.

However, this posed a bit of a personally ethical problem: I had released the original entry version of The Prairie Fire Within in paperback and Kindle e-book versions for sale on Amazon as the contest opened. While my final submission reflected the changes, and I revised the Kindle e-book version when I could, the original paperback did not showcase the revisions. So, in order to make things right, I pulled down the original paperback, resubmitted my interior files, and tweaked the cover slightly. As of right now, the second edition (the one that is my final entry for the ABNA) of The Prairie Fire Within is available for sale on Amazon.com (and the UK, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy Amazon sites) in paperback, and the Kindle e-book version is available through Amazon's Kindle store worldwide. While I can't personally sell copies of my book on my website, I can provide links to Amazon where you can buy the copies.

The paperback version can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0991713788/ and the Kindle e-book version can be purchased at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IGGNT30

In the meantime, I'm fighting to organize my schedule so I can commence writing the second book in "The Prairie Fire Trilogy". I should try to start work on that this week. The next 9 days is going to be nerve-wracking for me.

Monday, 17 February 2014

A Change in Direction

Greetings, loyal blog followers. I hope those who have been experiencing the polar vortex in recent weeks have hit a relative warm spell. Unfortunately, that's not happening here in Toronto, as the forecasted temperature for the today is supposed to be -17 Celsius. (That's roughly +1 Fahrenheit.)

I'm writing this entry to announce some changes on this blog. The first ones you will notice is the change of the URL and blog name has changed. For the past couple of years, I've been trying (and failing) to maintain this little cubbyhole known as Gary Celdom.com. However, as some of my loyal followers have noticed, I have branched out from the mystery/thriller/detective genre, and dipped my toe into the realm of romance novels. I wanted to differentiate between the two genres, so I adopted a pen name for the latter. After much consideration, I decided upon my pen name, C.D. Melley.  The name is meant as a way to honour the memory of my late Great Aunt, Patricia Maxine Lorraine Melley-Coolahan. (The C.D. comes from one of my middle names -- I have three -- and my first name's initials.)

Over the past eight months, I have been working on the first book under the C.D. Melley banner, The Prairie Fire Within. At the time of this posting, I am proud to announce that this book has been released for Kindle devices and applications, and I'm currently in the process of having it released on paperback. I would post the links to where you could buy it on the right side; however, I am forbidden to do so. There is a reason for that: I have entered C.D. Melley's debut creation into the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.

The annual contest only allows 10,000 entries across five different categories: Romance (the category I'm entered in), Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction, Young Adult, and General Fiction. With the submissions, participants are not only judged on their entire manuscript, but an excerpt from the beginning of their novel, and their pitch. This proved to be a challenge for me since while I may be an independent author, I'm not the best when it comes to advertising. The lackluster sales for the re-released Scarlet Siege and Barbadian Backlash e-books, and the harmonized paperback, Gary Celdom Case Journals: Volume One are a testament to that. So, attempting to sell a 58,000-word novel on a summary of 300 words or less was a challenge. Nevertheless, after a few revisions, I was able to create a reasonable 213-word pitch to include with my entry. Now, it's all in the hands of the judges.

The first round of judging is based on the aforementioned pitch. The judges will then cull the initial field of 10,000 down to 2,000 entries (400 in each category). Subsequent rounds will be based on the survivors' excerpts and manuscripts, with a sprinkling of reviews thrown in. Eventually, the field will be whittled down to one winner in each of the five categories/genres. Each of those five will receive a publishing contract from Amazon, and a $15,000 US advance. However, of those five, one will be declared the overall winner, and have their advance bumped up to $50,000 US. Needless to say, there are some big stakes involved. Unfortunately, they won't announce those "Final Five" until July. Until then, I'll be on pins and needless until March 18th when they will announce who have made it to the Second Round.

Regardless of what happens, in the upcoming weeks, I'm already plotting the second book in "The Prairie Fire Trilogy", and I've been getting a couple ideas for how to conclude the series. Gary Celdom may be put on the back burner for now, but C. D. Melley has some big plans ahead.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

And now, an important message...

I've decided to take time out from my busy schedule of work and other commitments (re-editing/re-writing The Prairie Fire Within is among them) to talk about something personal.

It has been said by those close to me (and they know who they are) that I'm not just someone who survives, but thrives. They say this because I have endured a lot through my life, but have rolled with the punches, and made the best of my situation to the best of my ability. However, there is a battle I have suffered for years, and I still fight over every single day. That battle is the one with mental illness.

I have run the gambit in the mental health field during my over four decades of existence: anxiety issues, depression, psychosis. My mind has experienced everything from the dizzying highs to the depths of despairs and everything in between. Heck, there have even been moments in my past where... well, let's just say had I carried through with my thoughts, I wouldn't be writing this post.

The fact of the matter is, mental illness is something many people endure. According to the Canadian Institute of Health Research, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their life. While some people will argue this borders on an epidemic, and perhaps it is; however, there is help out there. I have been fortunate enough to receive psychiatric counselling over the years, and my illness is controlled with the assistance of medication, but there are others who haven't been able to reach out and receive the health they require.

Today -- Tuesday, January 28th -- is Bell Let's Talk Day in Canada. It is a fundraising and awareness initiative to shed light on those who continue to battle with mental illness, myself being one of them. You can participate by tweeting with the hashtag: #BellLetsTalk or sharing the following Bell Let's Talk image on Facebook.

I am proud to say that I am a mental health survivor. Let's help others become survivors, too.