The Worst Gift – Piracy

Often on social media sites you will see a post or a tweet from an author offering a free copy of their book in exchange for a review. Or you may see a graphic of a box decorated with a bow and the caption, “The greatest gift a reader can give — a review.” Or  the variant, “Support A Local Author – Leave a Review.”

review a book 2160539_1920

Pixabay Image, used under Creative Commons License

What you don’t hear about as often is the worst gift you can give an author, “Piracy.” Print books are being offered on pirate torrent sites in multiple digital formats. Sometimes without the author even selling a single copy.

Imagine your anger/resentment/despair when you’ve found out that for every book you sell, 10,000 are downloaded for free — stolen from you. Adding insult to injury is when someone asks you for a copy of book 2,3 or 4 in a series. “I enjoyed book 1 so much but don’t want to pay for the rest. Won’t you send them to me for free? Not to review, just to read and then pass on. I have a site I upload books to.”

A digital ebook is NOT for passing on like a hard copies. It needs to be treated like software and like that other digital product is subject to copyright protection and infringement enforcement.

Now nothing is going to stop the pirates when they play the shell game with their names. Those who can make a difference are those who repeatedly upload a copy  of a book as soon as a copyright violation request takes one down. People who download a book for free from known, or obvious pirate sites, aren’t stealing from big corporations who can afford it. Then could literally be taking away the food an author needs to live on.

As to what started this rant, an article by a reviewer about reviewers selling advanced reader copies. I hope you’ll read, Reviewers selling ARC’s.

The next time rather than downloading a “free ebook pdf,” I hope you’ll consider borrowing the paperback from the library,  or for digital versions, get it from Overdrive via your local library or one of the legitimate lending libraries.

An even better option would be to consider buying the book. An author will thank you.

~till next time, Helen


You’re Invited – Romance Readers Valentine Tea

In the mid-South? Love romance? You’re invited to tea and treats at a Romance Reader’s Valentine’s Tea as talented authors discuss their books and genre. There’s still a few seats left. Call 662-342-0102 to reserve your place. Free admission and there will be door prizes/

Saturday, Feb. 10th  1-4 PM
M. R. Davis Library, Southaven MS 
(an easy drive from Memphis TN)
Angela Kay Austin                         Linda Rettstatt
Suzanne Rossi
                                 Patricia Potter

Kim Smith                Jodi Vaughn
Debra Parmley                            Jessica Patch


Besides the above authors, I’ll also be there talking about fantasy. I still have to flip a coin to determine whether I’ll read an excerpt from the Dragshi Chronicles or the Windmaster Novels. I hope you’ll come to find out.

For more on my books, click on the covers in the banner for excerpts, a free read of the first chapter, and buy links.

~till next time. Helen

I can’t write anymore

It’s Friday. Time for the next post in the challenge. Many of the prompts in the 52 posts in 52 weeks challenge dare the participating authors to reveal something personal about themselves. This week I am supposed to reveal what I would do if I couldn’t be a writer. That topic has been on my mind a lot recently. Several authors I know quite writing last year or at the start of this one. Among the reasons they give are the ways sales sites discriminate, the gaming of their systems, constant algorithm changes that reduce your opportunities, and the top two reasons given are the small return on ebooks and pirates stealing more than we make.

So what would be the follow-on career of choice. At first I pulled out a couple of old dreams — starship officer, interstellar explorer, or time traveler. Even with today’s technology, none of those are feasible. So I’ll go in another direction.
Read the rest of the post here. Thanks for stopping by. ~till next time Helen

Tuesday Title, Rescuing Prince Charming

Rescuing HoorneartShe’s no heroine. He’s no Prince Charming

Title:  Rescuing Prince Charming

Author:  Edward Hoornaert

Date of Release:  December 4, 2017
Genre:  Science Fiction Romance

Buy Links:  Amazon    Apple iTunes


Dusty Johnson, a self-styled ordinary, everyday woman, responds with extraordinary heroism when saboteurs try to bomb the prototype of Earth’s first starship. She wants to return to anonymity, but that burst of courage propels her ever deeper into dangers that tear the scabs off her dark past — and thrust her into the arms of the unattainable man of her dreams.

Reese Eaglesbrood, an alien prince, yearns to restore his tattered reputation by guiding the starship project to completion, but his fascination with the unassuming heroine threatens to undermine his fragile authority. Shunning Dusty is necessary, yet unthinkable — and when the saboteurs strike again, she may be his only ally against Earth’s most elusive enemies. 

Author Bio:

What kind of guy writes romance? A guy who married his high school sweetheart a week after graduation and still lives the HEA decades later. A guy who’s a certifiable Harlequin hero—he inspired Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Rita Award finalist Mr. Valentine, which is dedicated to him.

Ed started out writing contemporary romances for Silhouette Books, but these days he concentrates on science fiction romance. He’s been a teacher, principal, technical writer, salesman, janitor, and symphonic oboist. He and wife Judi live in Tucson , Arizona . They have three sons, a daughter, a mutt, and the galaxy’s most adorable grandsons.

Visit him at

Goodbye to 2017


Welcome to the final week of the 2017 challenge. And it has been a challenge. We’ve revealed something about ourselves, both personal and professional. Some posts were easy (and had a number of us thinking on the same lines) others… let’s just say they required quite a bit of introspection before putting fingers to keyboard.

Recently I saw award-winning Jacqueline Seewald’s blog post on New Year’s Resolution. The title was perfect, “Let’s Start the New Year Right.”

But how to do that?

Read the rest of the post at Goodbye to 2017

~till next time, Happy New Year. In the upcoming days,

May your troubles be less,
And your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness come through your door.





Advice to a New Author

It’s week 51. Only one more week to go in this year’s challenge. Thanks for hanging in there with us. This week’s topic is “What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?”

First off, while I practice “pass it along” and try to help the next generation of writers as I was helped, I don’t like to give “advice” as such. Writing is just too individual an activity and our readers are just as varied.

There are books filled with advice of how to write the best seller. Sometimes the information is valuable, other times its just common sense. It could make you rich or fill the coffers of the one who wrote the book. However, after filtering through all the advice I’ve given, or received, over the years, I’ll just give one.

Read the rest of the post at Then be sure to visit the advice given by the other authors.

XPost – Uh…yes, it WAS her problem #mfrwbookhooks

Since I didn’t post in this weeks Book Hooks, I thought I’d highlight the snippit from the new release, Rescuing Prince Charming by
Ed Hoornaert.

To set the stage, Dusty Johnson and an unknown guard have found a time bomb hidden in the guts of a prototype starship. A narrow tunnel is the only access to the room where the guard holds the bomb. Not trusting each other, they trade insults, sounding each other out.

Intrigued? Then read the snippit.
Uh…yes, it WAS her problem #mfrwbookhooks