Ghost Hunting

We’re thrilled to welcome L K Jay back to Ravens Retreat. Well, we say welcome back, we never actually let her out the last time 😀 But this time, she’s bearing gifts! Her sequel to The brilliant Ghost Hunters Club, The Ghost Hunters Return is FREE on Amazon this weekend. So if you’ve ever wanted to spend the weekend ghost hunting with three fun, feisty ladies, this is the book for you. And it’s FREE! We’ve had the privilege of visiting a couple of places that are featured in the book, with L K, so now you get to enjoy them too. Here’s L K to tell you more about it.

L K JayThe Ghost Hunters Return

Have you seen the new Star Trek film?  How about Iron Man 3?  What have they got in common with my novel The Ghost Hunters Return?  They’re all sequels only mine’s better.  Ok, so my Ghost Hunters Club stories don’t have Benedict Cumberbatch in them, or Robert Downy Jr but for this weekend, it is free.  And it’ll last longer than even The Hobbit, and that’s saying something.

Anyway, after the first novel in the sequence, The Ghost Hunters’ Club, I left my heroines all with something they needed but not necessarily wanted.  A new job, a new man and lots of money, each had something but it had a twist.  This time, in The Ghost Hunters Return, two months have passed and they are planning on going ghost hunting again.  Only this time, instead of the elusive spook, there are too many!

I had real fun writing this novel.  It was my first sequel and as soon as I started, it was like meeting old friends again.  I found having conversations with them in my head much more natural, I knew how they’d react and what they wanted and I knew where they were going.  The comedy, and the drama, came much more naturally, and so did the villains.  I had real fun with those!

Then there was the ghost hunting and I couldn’t have done that without my ghost hunting heroes, C L Raven.  We visited Nottingham and Peterborough, and I’ve been to all of the venues mentioned in the novel, including Paris.  Peterborough, possibly one of the most exciting cities in the UK, alongside Milton Keynes and Grantham (I am being ironic, for those reading this who are not from the UK) has a surprising amount of ghosts.  The museum is riddled with them, it’s been on Most Haunted, so it must be true!  The cathedral is stunning, and we have some EMF activity there – the closest we’ve been so far to ectoplasm.

The thing is, can I write another Ghost Hunters and make it a trilogy.  I don’t know, when you read it you’ll see why but I can’t help but think that we haven’t seen the last of the ladies.  I planned The Ghost Hunters Return while in a dull meeting, who knows where the ideas will flood next!  Perhaps a particularly boring bus journey, or stuck in traffic, those ladies will come back – I just hope I have a pad and paper (and I’m not driving on a motorway!) when they do.

So, for this weekend, you can download The Ghost Hunters Return for free.  I hope you’ve downloaded Soul Asylum as well – it’s a cracking read and scary to boot.  And then you can read mine and lighten the mood with a golly good giggle!

GHR

click on the picture to download your free copy

World Goth Day

Soul Asylum C L RavenIn case you don’t know, today is World Goth Day! */* and time to appreciate all things dark and Gothic. What could be more Gothic than a haunted asylum? Soul Asylum has plenty of the Gothic elements – a spooky location, madness, ghosts, despair, etc, so to celebrate, Soul Asylum is FREE on Amazon until Friday. But in order to make it free on Amazon, we had to pull it off the other retailers. We weren’t happy about this, as it means people who don’t have Kindles would miss out. So we’ve decided that to keep things fair, anyone who doesn’t have a Kindle, let us know and we’ll email Soul Asylum to you in a different format.

BLURB –

The blood wanted to prick a conscience that couldn’t bleed.

Poe could keep his telltale heart.

I couldn’t hear it beating.

Ravens Retreat harbours a sinister secret. Inside its blackened heart lurk the ghosts of patients and staff who died when the asylum was burned down in 1904. Over a hundred years later, the West wing survives and now the patients want revenge.

Their eternal repose is disturbed by a malevolent poltergeist and the ghost tours led by the asylum’s resident, Phineas Soul, which attract the attention of journalist Mason Strider. His attempts to expose Phineas as a fraud have catastrophic consequences when it is Ravens Retreat’s dark heart that’s exposed as it awakens to claim the lives of those who dare to enter its brutal past.

Some things should never be disturbed.

If that hasn’t convinced you to download it, why not watch the trailer  Fireclaw Films made for us?

We have also created a newsletter where you’ll be the first to know of new releases and we’ll have some exclusive content in there. If you’d like sign up, click here. We promise we won’t spam you, or share your email with anyone else 🙂

If that’s not enough ghosts for you, L K Jay‘s fabulous novel, The Ghost Hunters Club will be free on Friday. We’d love to go ghost hunting with Anna, Karen and Linda, so download the book to find out why.

Little Nani

We’re thrilled to welcome Cinta Garcia de la Rosa to Ravens Retreat. *dusts off chairs and fetches lactose free treats* The Funny Adventures of Little Nani have been given a facelift and Little Nani is ready to meet some people, so come and say hello. There’s giveaway at the end and in keeping with Little Nani’s ostrich friends, Cinta tells us about the time she encountered some ostriches.

BLOG TOUR – LITTLE NANI REVISITED

The Funny Adventures of Little Nani

Thank you for visiting this wonderful blog today so you can know a bit more about Little Nani, her stories, her world, and her author. OK, her author is not as interesting as Little Nani, but what can we do? They go hand in hand, so please bear with her.

Why are we here today? Because Little Nani is suffering a series of changes. “The Funny Adventures of Little Nani” was published for the first time last September 2012, both in print and in ebook form, on Amazon and Createspace. However, along the months, I started feeling less enthusiastic about my book, thinking that the cover was dull and boring, and also thinking that the stories could be improved, maybe going through some extra editing and proofing. So that’s what I did, and now I am much happier about the result and I trust that I will start getting many more sales. Why? Because I will make the books available not only on Amazon and Createspace, but also on Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Feed-A-Read.

There will be also many different options to buy the books. Do you want to buy the whole set of stories? You can do it. Do you want to buy just some stories, the ones you think you would like? You can do it too, since I will publish the stories individually on Smashwords. So you see, different options to match different customers, different readers.

Once all this is settled and the books are republished on all those retailers, I will start to do the same process with the second book in the Little Nani series, which will be available next Fall.

Follow the whole blog tour since I will be announcing all the news in the different blogs!

 

NewCoverAmazon

 

BLURB

Little Nani is a little girl who likes helping people. However, when she helps people the results can be a bit unexpected. Why is that? Little Nani is a witch! Or at least she wants to be a witch. With her magic wand, she will try to cast different spells to help her friends, but she won’t be successful all the time.

Follow Little Nani in her funny adventures and meet her extraordinary friends. Funny ostriches, horses that love reading, super-fast turtles, grumpy zombies… Little Nani has lots of friends! You can also draw your own characters!

Little Nani is willing to become a good witch. Will she manage to do it? Who knows? Read the stories and discover what happens next!

 

AUTHOR BIO.

 

Cinta Garcia de la Rosa

 

Cinta Garcia de la Rosa is a Spanish writer who has loved the written word since he discovered she was able to read books at age 5. Since then, she has become a bookworm and reads around 100 books every year. She also writes, every day, compulsively, even in the middle of the night. You cannot control when inspiration hits you, can you? She writes in English because she is convinced that in a previous life she was British, so writing in English feels more natural to her than writing in her native language. Yes, she is crazy like that. Cinta Garcia is the author of “The Funny Adventures of Little Nani”, a collection of short stories for children, and “A Foreigner in London”, a short story published on Smashwords. She is a member of Independent Authors International (iAi).

 

 

 

 

Ostriches? Ostriches!

 

I want to share with you a funny story that involves ostriches. And no, it’s not a story made up with me. This is a true story, one that happened to me many years ago.

When I was 15 I loved going for long walks in the country with my best friend, Mari, who was 20 at that time. We also met every weekend to go to a local pub and have fun, drinking soft drinks and playing board games. The owner of the pub asked us one day if we wanted to buy an ostrich egg. Since he was always joking, we thought it was one more of his jokes. He said, “Oh, you don’t believe me? Wait and see!” Then he disappeared behind the bar and, when he came back, he was holding a massive egg in his hands. We were very surprised, but we still thought that it was a fake egg.

By that time, everybody in the pub was around us, looking intrigued at the egg. Since lots of people were skeptic about the authenticity of the egg, he took a bucket and broke the egg. It was a real ostrich egg! So people started being more interested in those ostrich eggs and asked him where he got them. He said he had an ostriches’ farm, but nobody believed him. We laughed a lot about that and then we left  the pub and went back home.

Some days later, Mari and I decided to go for a long walk in the country. We started walking and after 30 minutes we reached an area where some people have kind of farms: they have pigs, goats, sheep, cows, chickens,… We were walking and hearing all kind of animal sounds, until we heard something that we didn’t recognise. The sound was coming from a kind of garage behind a fence. We got curious and got closer to the fence, but we couldn’t see anything. While we were absent-mindedly trying to see what was inside the garage, we heard that same noise right next to us and we jumped of surprise!

Then we saw what had scared us… It was an ostrich! And because of the noise, the rest of them came out of the garage. It was true! The owner of the pub had an ostriches’ farm! We laughed a lot and we never, ever, doubted any single thing that the owner of that pub may tell us, no matter how strange it would sound.

Thanks, Cat and Lynx, for hosting me today!

 

GIVEAWAY!

Don’t forget to leave a comment, so you can enter the giveaway for the opportunity to win a signed copy of “The Funny Adventures of Little Nani”. If you leave comments in several blogs during the tour, you will get an entry for each comment. So don’t hesitate to comment!

 

LINKS TO THE BOOKS.

Createspace 

Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)

Smashwords

 

MEDIA LINKS:

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon Author

Smashwords Author

Website: http://www.cintagarciadelarosa.com/

Blogs: http://cintascorner.wordpress.com/ // http://icantstopreadingblog.com/ //

http://authorsyouwanttoread.wordpress.com/

Pinterest

Tumblr

About.me: http://about.me/cintagarcia

Authorsdb

Askdavid.com

 

The Evening News

This is basically a news report and we feel each announcement should come with gong, but we don’t have one, so we’ll have to write it in. It might lessen the impact, but it’s the best we’ve got.

GONG! We are now on Authorgraph! Thanks to the fabulous author Margaret James, we signed our books up, so if you have a ebook version of our books, you can now request an autograph here. We’ll handwrite them using a graphics tablet so they’ll look like the ones in our printed books. Well, not quite the same. The last time we used the tablet it looked like we’d handed the pen to one of our cats. But we’ll practise until it looks like our handwriting and we’ll personalise each one, just like we do with the printed books.

GONG! In other news, we’ve made a start on a new collection of short stories based on nursery rhymes. The stories behind nursery rhymes are sometimes pretty creepy, but we won’t be using their stories, we’ll be inventing our own. We’ve already written the Mary, Mary story (untitled at the moment) and we’ve drafted Lizzie Rose to do the cover for us, as it’s in the same vein as Disenchanted. Check out her work here. We were inspired when Matty Baker from the fantastic band She Loves Seven sent us a link to horror figurines based on fairytales and nursery rhymes, so thanks Matty! We owe you.

GONG! Our final story of the night is to remind you that our debut novel Soul Asylum will be FREE one week from today. Yes, from May 20th – 24th, it will be free on Amazon to celebrate World Goth Day, which is on May 22nd. We’d like to say we’ve got a whole load of fun events and promos planned, but that would be a lie. We’re writing a Trauma Llama post for Anya Breton, but that’s about it.

Back to you in the studio 😉

No Surrender

Last Sunday, after an amazing week in Edinburgh, we crashed. We don’t mean a car crash but a crash that will be recognised by everyone who’s ever suffered from a mental illness. One moment you’re euphoric, happier than you’ve ever been, the next you’re locking yourself away, ranting, screaming and sobbing until your eyes swell up and you resemble a hideous creature only found in the depths of Lovecraft’s imagination.

The day before leaving for Edinburgh we’d received 2 rejections. One was for a ghost story set in an asylum and one was our take on The Slender Man. The Slender Man one hurt more because the editor had emailed us asking if we’d be interested in writing a story for the anthology, so for it to then be rejected…it wasn’t just a kick in the teeth, it was being strapped to a rack and having each nerve shredded with a cheese grater. But then we went to Edinburgh and forgot about it. Until we came home and checked sales figures. 1 book in 4 days. And that’s good for us. Amazon don’t like you disclosing sales figures but the likelihood of them reading this blog post are slim, so screw it. They didn’t read the one where we likened them to a protection racket, so we think we’re safe. We sold 5 books in March. April wasn’t much better. We made £160 in our first year of Indie writing and that gets split between us. We probably spend more than that on Red Bull alone. Everything we submit gets rejected. We can go for weeks without selling a single book and we have 4 out there. We’re failing. And we don’t like failing. Especially when we’re failing at the only thing we’ve ever truly loved, the only thing we’ve ever wanted to do. The only thing that dragged us through the dark times and gave us a reason for living when we couldn’t face it any more.

These crashes we call The Darkshines. They’re pretty normal for us and 99% of the time we hide them. No one but us knows when they’ve pounced. After a while you get good at putting on a mask. On Sunday we got sick of fighting them and unleashed that ugliness that dwells inside us. *Note to selves – NEVER let anyone see that inner ugliness. Just because you have to live with it, doesn’t mean others should.* Basically, we spent all of Sunday in tears and seriously considered the possibility of quitting. We know what some people are thinking ‘why don’t you then?’ At least 90% of writing is rejection. Most of time we can deal with it. We shrug, remove the smiley face from the short story list and look for somewhere else to submit. But quitting writing would be like quitting breathing.

So a couple of days later, after the demons were captured and shackled back in the dungeons of our minds, we got productive. Last time this happened, we signed up for library readings. (Considering only friends and family came to the Cathays one, that was a failure. We’ll probably cancel the Roath one.) We set up a website for formatting ebook and print books – Pink Cow Formatting. We can’t make money from writing but we might from formatting; we enlisted our books on Indie Book Bargains and we enrolled Soul Asylum into KDP Select.

We’ve never enrolled our books into KDP Select – Gunning Down Romance and Bad Romance were too cheap. People aren’t going to borrow books that only cost 77p. Mind you, they don’t buy them either. Plus we don’t like the way Amazon forces you to be exclusive to them for three months. So even thinking about it felt like we were selling our souls. But the main incentive was being able to make it free on Amazon. When we’ve done free promos before, Smashwords let us make it free but Amazon won’t. People tell tales of having thousands of downloads when their book was free, propelling them up the Amazon rankings to the coveted #1 slot, regardless of how good their book is. The point is, when it’s up there, people see it. Our books are currently languishing so far down they’re on the Pity Graph. But Amazon wouldn’t play ball with our promo. GDR had 25 downloads in a week of being on Smashwords. That’s terrible. Soul Asylum had 14 on the one day it was free. That’s a little better.

May 22nd is World Goth Day and we thought we could make Soul Asylum free to celebrate. What could be better than spending World Goth Day with a gothic novel in a haunted asylum? But for this to truly work, it had to be free on Amazon. And there’s only one way that will happen.

KDP Select.

So from May 20th-24th, Soul Asylum will be FREE. Hell, we can’t sell it, we might as well give it away. Though people don’t usually want our free books either…If you want signed print copies, we still have loads left. Yes we ship worldwide. They make great door stops, coasters, draught excluders and can also be used to brain burglars. Failing that, they’ll keep your fire going in winter.

So come May 20th, we’ll be opening the doors to Ravens Retreat and releasing the ghosts of the patients and staff still trapped inside. If you listen carefully, you might just hear them scream…