Monday, 2 January 2017

The Great All Romance Ebook Heist


The Hope House stories are currently unavailable to buy in serial form. They were distributed almost exclusively via All Romance Ebooks. As of 31/12/16 the All Romance Ebook store is no more. The site closed. It’s owner, Lori James, has left authors, publishers and customers in the lurch. She is refusing to pay out thousands of dollars in owed commission for the last quarter of 2016. She has also refused to allow authors and publishers to pull their files from the site and did not give customers time to download their purchased ebooks or spend their credits. Who knows what she intends to do with the IP that does not belong to her. She’s a thoroughly dishonest woman. I hope the law brings her to account, but I won’t hold my breath.

I’m sad and disheartened by the loss of yet another outlet for indie authors, and under another ugly cloud of deceit and theft. Lori James isn’t the first to betray the trust placed in her. It makes me wonder about my future as an indie writer. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find places to sell my work. Not everyone likes buying from Smashwords, which leaves Amazon, not my favourite outlet to be honest. Amazon claims to champion indie authors, but in the end I think it will prove to be the enemy of independent authors such as myself. It wants us to virtually give our work away and seems intent on inventing ways to pay less and less commission. I’m a bit tired of being forced to offer my work for a pittance and also tired of the way Amazon allows customers to read and return ebooks for a full refund, thus leaving authors out of pocket.

The indie self-publishing revolution brought enormous diversity to the book market making available an incredible range of genres, including GLBT fiction among others. Where will all the gay lovers, vampires and shape shifters go now? What will happen to romance kinkster fiction? I fear that soon we will be in a situation where once again we can only read what the ‘big publishers’ want us to read, and that’s sad.

People like Lori James seemed to offer indie authors and publishers a wonderful platform to get our work out there and selling. The reality is very different. She, and others before her, simply saw an opportunity to fleece the writers who placed trust in them. At the moment it looks like Smashwords owner, Mark Coker, is the only one still flying a flag of honour for independent writers.

I think 2017 will see many independent writers question whether it is worth carrying on writing. I think a lot will decide to give up.

For those interested in the ARe scandal you can read more here:

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Hope House Chapter List So Far - One to Nine - Plus Excerpt

Are you suffering from tension, stress, indigestion and heartburn? Do you feel on the verge of a panic attack, possibly even a nervous breakdown?  Oh dear, you’ve probably had lunch at Hope House then. Never mind, it will get better. Lie down in a darkened room, take deep breaths and wait for the next chapter in the weekend from hell to unfold.

Hope House - A Serial
Featuring Gordon and Nat from ‘Out of Tune.’

Genre: M/M discipline fiction and general comedy drama.

Gordon Trapp and Nathaniel Andrews, as introduced in prequel ‘Out of Tune’ unconventionally run Hope House.

The years have flowed by since the events of ‘Out of Tune.’ Gordon and Nat have created a family of a kind. Like most families they have their problems.

Please Note:
This is a work of fiction set in a fantasy universe where anything can happen. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is completely intentional, no, really, I mean coincidental. Hope House does not pretend to reflect real life psychiatric practices, opinions or treatments. To reiterate: it is a work of fiction.

Part One
Group Therapy or Communal Madness?
New resident Chris meets his fellow HH housemates for the first time.

This chapter is a free read.


Part Two
A Very Fishy Tale
Nat’s return home isn’t as carefree as he’d like it to be. He finds himself with some explaining to do.


Part Three
The Hills Are Alive
Just another day at Hope House

Gordon’s suspicions are roused when an old tune on the radio seems to spark a downturn in Nat’s mood. Investigation follows. Gordon isn’t too pleased with what he discovers. Angels, musicals and masked figures also feature - it’s just another day at Hope House.


Part Four
Breakfast Blues
It never rains but it pours

Missing raisins, foreign toast, bad Hobbits, terrible weather and a mysterious stranger - and its still only breakfast time. It’s all par for the course at Hope House.


Part Five
The Seer Returns
The day continues with storms of a non-weather variety. New boy Chris holes up in his room again; fearful he has been ‘followed’ to Hope House. Nigel unearths hidden treasure, unwittingly causing trouble for Paul. Both Anna and Nat seem intent on concealment and the mysterious stranger wakes up.


Part Six
Concerning Lonely Goatherds

The weekend shows no sign of getting any better, certainly not for Nat when an ill-advised act of sneaky defiance prompts Gordon to flex his authoritarian muscles.


Part Seven _
One Man’s Trash
Concerning good friends and bad neighbours

Good friends are hard to come by, good neighbours even more so.

Nat’s heart sinks when a phone call solves the mystery of James’s disappearance. Seems like the Devil has gotten hold of his day and is determined to make it hell.


Part Eight -
Pandemonium Palace
Flying Fish and Frayed Tempers

Nigel’s eagerness to show off his pet goldfish to Caleb ends in calamity, and it seems that Nat isn’t the only one withholding information.


Part Nine -
Shadows Rising
Concerning secrets withheld

The story continues.

Caleb reads Nat’s mind and offers advice. Nigel has holed up under the stairs. James has a laundry crisis. Nat climbs a mountain, of sorts. Chris comes out of his room at last only to be told to go back in it.

Find all chapters on sale at All Romance Ebooks.


Excerpt from Part Nine 

Gordon was on the cusp of opening the study door to resume the interrupted session with Mrs Fitzgerald when an image clicked up in his brain. Nat had been wearing different clothes to those he had on earlier, he was sure of it, different shirt and different jeans. Come to think of it, James was also wearing different clothes. He’d started the day in sweats and was now wearing chinos and a jumper. Why on earth had they both changed? Perhaps some kind of kitchen calamity had occurred? He gave a philosophical shrug. It wouldn’t be the first time. The Hope House kitchen had had its share of foodie fracas over the years, some accidental and some pure bad temper. He’d have to ask Nat later. 

Pushing open the study door he gave his patient patient, Mrs F, a winning smile and made to close the door behind him, halting when the phone in the hall rang. No one rushed to answer it. Caleb had never liked telephones, disembodied voices unnerved him, and Nat was still engaged with Nigel. It was up to him. Excusing himself once again he hastened to answer the call. God help the caller if they tried to sell him double glazing or asked who his energy provider was.

A few moments later Gordon put the phone back down. The mystery of Nat and James’s change of attire was solved, thanks to Amy calling to enquire after them both. The knowledge did not soothe Gordon. His curiosity was satisfied, but the rest of him wasn’t. He was most put out. Filing his annoyance under ‘matters to be dealt with later’ he pasted another smile on his face and re-entered the study, reassuring Mrs Fitzgerald that all was well.

Caleb was drying the last of the washed pots when Nat came back into the kitchen, a weary slope to his shoulders. 

“Nigel did not take the news about his pet very well.”

“You heard then. I expect the entire street heard. It’s a wonder we don’t have police cars roaring up to the gates with all the screams and shouts that come out of here. It must sound like folk are being murdered.” Nat flopped down onto a chair.

“He was upset. It’s understandable. He forms strong attachments.”

“He hates me. I am the very embodiment of evil in his eyes. I think it’s safe to say I’m off his Christmas card list this year. There’ll be no glitter encrusted masterpiece with my name on it.”
“Perhaps I can talk to him.”
“Thanks, but I’d leave it for a while, Caleb. Let him get his upset out of his system. He’s sulking in the cupboard under the stairs where he says he’s staying until I reunite him with Martin.”

“You didn’t tell him the fish is dead?”

“No. I couldn’t bear to. What purpose would it serve? He’s upset enough as it is. At least now he has the hope of seeing Martin again.”

“What will you do?”

“Take another trip to the pet shop I suppose, see if they’ve got one with armour plating instead of scales to protect it from Nigel. Supplying it with a taser might help too. He’d think twice about trying to handle it if it injected a few megahertz of electricity into his mitt every time he stuck it in the tank. I’ll try and slip out to the shop later. Maybe I should get him an electric eel instead. It would stand a better chance of survival.” He pushed his hair back from his forehead, glancing around the room. “Where is James by the way?”

“Upstairs. Don’t worry. Gordon instructed him to tidy his room. Would you like a cup of tea, Nat? I’ll make you one.”

“I’d prefer coffee.”

Caleb looked a little uncomfortable. “I think Gordon would prefer you to have tea, for your health.”

Nat’s eyebrows pushed an indignant path up towards his hairline. “Did he say so?”

Caleb hastened to reassure him. “No, no, not at all, of course not. He would never confide such a thing to me. I just feel it in my heart. He’s worrying about you. I can sense it. You have not been quite yourself of late.”

“How do you know the things you know, Caleb?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s the way I’ve always been, even before the tiger possessed me. My parents called it my strangeness. It made them dislike me, from fear I think. My father tried to beat it out of me while my mother tried to pray it away. Neither way worked. I am as I am. It was the first lesson Gordon taught me at the centre in India, and after that he taught me to manage who I am.”

“Come here.”  Nat held out his hands.” Caleb obliged, sitting down opposite Nat, taking hold of the offered hands. “Wonderful is what you are, Caleb, don’t let anyone tell you any different. We love you very much. Now.” He squeezed and let go of Caleb’s hands. “Where’s poor old Martin? Is he still upsetting James’s Ma’s spooky digestive system? I sincerely hope so. It’s no more than the old bat deserves.”

A smile beamed across Caleb’s face. “I love coming home, to this safe madness.” The smile suddenly vanished and a shine of moisture came to his jewel bright eyes.

“Hey, what’s this? Tears? I thought I was the emo around here.”

Caleb managed a smile again. 

“Are you all right, Caleb? I’m not the only one who doesn’t seem quite themselves.”

“Perhaps a little tired. Don’t worry about me, or Martin. I took the liberty of laying him to rest.”


“The storm drain outside. It seemed appropriate to give him a water grave.”

Well it was better than the bottom of a wardrobe, not that Nat said so. “Thank you. Are you sure you’re okay? No secrets at Hope House, Caleb, that’s the rule.”

“I know the rules well, Nat, as do you.”  

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Hope House Part Five - The Seer Returns

Part Five is now available.
The Hope House weekend continues. Who is the stranger? What does Nigel uncover? Who is in trouble and will Chris ever leave his room? 

 Read an excerpt.

Available from All Romance Ebooks

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Hope House Serialised at Rainbow Reads

 Stories from the Hope House universe, serialised and updated 2016.

ONE - Group Therapy or Communal Madness?
A new resident at Hope House meets his housemates for the first time. 

Part One is Free at All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords and at

Parts two, three and four now available at Smashwords and All Romance Ebooks 
Part Two available on Kindle.


To quote the words of a song by the late Kirsty MacColl: “there’s a guy works down the chip shop swears he’s Elvis.’ That being the case, then chances are he’s on day release from Hope House, a last stop refuge for some of the misfits of this world – those who the psychiatric profession have washed their hands of and the rest of the world would rather forget.

Some come and some go, some stay and some don’t know when or if they want to leave Hope House. A refuge can be permanent or temporary, depending on need and who’s to judge what the need should be for each individual?

This is a work of fiction set in a fantasy universe where anything can happen. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is completely intentional, no, really, I mean co-incidental. ;-)

Gordon Trapp and Nathaniel Andrews, as introduced in prequel ‘Out of Tune’ unconventionally run Hope House.

The years have flowed by since the events of ‘Out of Tune.’ Gordon and Nat have created a family of a kind. Like most families they have their problems.

Hope House
One - Group Therapy or Communal Madness?
New resident Chris meets his fellow housemates for the first time

“Come on, Chris, don’t hang back now.” Gordon smiled encouragingly at the dark haired young man, who had finally been persuaded to leave his room for the first time since arriving at Hope House the day before. “Let’s get this over with. You have to meet your housemates sooner or later. You might as well do it while everyone is in one place.”
“Why?” Chris Emett scowled at the door, which had a sign reading ‘meeting in progress’ hanging on it. He thrust his hands deep in the pockets of his shabby jeans. “I’d rather go back to my cell.”
“Room, Chris, not a cell, this isn’t a prison.”
“Can I leave any time I want to, like right now?”
“You know the answer to that question, but I’ll give it again, just so you’re clear. When you’ve proven you’re ready and willing to resume control of your life in a responsible and acceptable way, then you can leave.”
“In other words I’m a prisoner here until YOU say I can leave.” Pulling his hands from his pockets Chris turned away from the door and strode back up the generous hall, aiming for the stairs, only Gordon got there before him, as if practiced in overtaking reluctant house guests.
“Enough. You have to get to know us sometime and this is as good a time as any. We always have an informal meeting at this time of day, so we can talk about anything that might have upset or worried us during the course of the day.”
“I don’t need group therapy.”
“It isn’t group therapy as such. It’s a chance for you to get to know people.”
“I don’t want to get to know people. I hate people.”
“I know this is daunting for you, Christopher, all new experiences are, but the sooner you embrace them the easier they become.”
“I don’t want to embrace anything in this dump.”
“Hope House isn’t a dump.”
“Well it isn’t exactly a luxury hotel.”
“Neither is prison, Chris. You made the choice to come here.”
“I can change my mind.”
“Too late.” Gordon examined the boy, not without sympathy. “The decision was made and you will abide by it. We can help you here, if you let us.”
“Maybe I don’t want help.”
“Tough.” Gordon lost patience. Taking a firm hold of Chris’s arm, and ignoring his protests, he steered the boy back down the hall towards the meeting room. Thrusting the door open he pushed Chris inside and closed the door behind them. “Take a seat. Make yourself at home.”
Chris considered trying to shove the big man aside, but catching a look from his ice blue eyes, decided against it. There was something forbidding about Gordon Trapp. He dropped his gaze and turned away from the door, facing into the room, which was furnished with an eclectic range of chairs. Christ. He flinched, as four pairs of eyes inspected him with interest.



Sunday, 29 November 2015

Christmas Kisses - Out Now


M/M romance fiction with a festive flavour.

Introducing 'The Silver Coffee Lounge & Book Exchange.'

Meet James, Josh and Bea.

Does romance have a cut off point? James, coffee shop owner, reckons so. At forty he considers himself too old for such frivolity. His friend Bea disagrees.

Josh is dating the man of his dreams, but dreams can soon turn into nightmares. Will he wake up before it's too late?

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Kindle EBook Theft!

If asked, most people would agree that it is indeed wrong to steal money from someone. So, that said, when it comes to kindle ebooks, why do so many people think it’s okay to steal? For a long time now indie authors and publishers have been complaining about Amazons’ return policy on ebooks.  It allows kindle owners to buy, download, read and probably copy an ebook and then return it for a refund. Greedy readers abuse this policy time and time again. Effectively, such readers are thieves. Do they imagine that every time they claim a refund for an ebook that the refund comes from the pocket of Jeff Bezos, Amazons’ multi-millionaire owner? It doesn’t. It’s taken directly from non-millionaire authors. Amazon seriously needs to address this problem by at least reducing the time period that an ebook can be returned within. Indie authors and publishers have helped build the success of the KDP platform and we deserve better treatment.

Most book blurbs give a pretty good description of the subject matter of a book and that along with the ability to dip into a book before buying is surely enough information for a reader to decide whether they want to buy? In that regard, returns based on ‘bought by mistake’ are mostly suspect? Very few returns will be down to technical problems so that just leaves readers who want a book, but don’t want to pay for it. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t like it as much as you thought you would. That’s just tough. I buy a ton of paperbacks and some I like more than others and some I never finish, but I have never felt I have the right to claim a refund. I made the decision to buy based on the blurb and from flicking through the pages.

As an author I don’t make a living from my books, not even close to it. The modest money I make helps me pay a few bills and buy a few extras. So, to the person who recently bought, downloaded and then returned six, yes SIX, of my titles, I say this: thank you for making it so much harder for me to make ends meet in the coming months. I hope you sleep well. It’s not as if I ask a huge amount to begin with. Most of my titles cost less than the price of a cup of coffee and a cookie.

Most indie authors have been led to believe that they should give away their work for free or almost free, it’s a lingering aspect of the stigma still attached to self-publishers. It shouldn’t be the case. It has encouraged readers to believe they are entitled to free books. We work damned hard on our stories and books and we deserve some return, rather than our work being returned, so some greedy person can enjoy a free read at our expense. 

Amazon needs to re-think its return and refund policy on kindle ebooks, it owes it to the writers and publishers who have contributed, no matter how modestly, to the KDP empire.