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


Leaves are changing, a new season is here. Cool days and cooler nights. Time to cuddle up on the porch swing with a good book. How about the book reviewers said will keep you up all night turning the pages – Windmaster.

Not decided?  Click here for an excerpt.

Buy Links:  30% off at Smashwords.

Ebook and paperback Available At: Amazon / Amazon UK /
List of Ebook selllers

I’m off to rock and read. 



Cover Reveal – First Change: Legends From the Eyrie

Designing a cover. Do you want a tantalizing scene of the fantasy word? Your name is larger print that the title? Or a half-naked hunk?

These are a few thoughts that went into the design of the cover for First Change: Legends From The Eyrie. 

What made things more challenging was that this was the fifth volume set in the world of the dragshi. For those who haven’t followed them, the dragshi are more than just a man or woman, but two beings—one human, the other a  dragon. The pair share one body in space and time and are able to change forms with the other at will. But be warned, a dragon form comes with more than just the freedom of the sky.

Unlike the four full-length novels which recounted the tales of the trader girl Anastasia and the Dragshi Lord Branin Llewlyn, First Change is a collection of several novellas and short stories. None of the tales are related other than they all take place in the world of the dragon shifters. The events take place in a different era, with different characters. 

A cover design could use elements from all the stories or from just one. In the end, Fire and Ice was used as the basis for the cover design. The setting of the Nerelan equivalent of the Far East, a beautiful empress, and the green token that determined her fate were the elements selected. And so without more ado, here is the cover for First Change: Legends From the Eyrie. And thanks to Fantasia Frog Designs for creating it.

For more information on the legends of the dragshi told within First Change, click on the cover.  

And here’s a list of sites where First Change is available for pre-order.

~till next time, Helen

Out and About – At the Museum

Sometimes we authors escape from behind our desks.  I escaped to the Tipton County Museum.  And while there had a rare  photograph taken. (I’m the one on the right.) Stop by to see it.
I’ll be back on September 22 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for the Gift Shop Gala at the Tipton County Museum. Wishing the other authors who’ll be there lots of sales and happy readers.

~till next time, Helen

Join me on the couch

I had an interesting session on the couch. Stop by and see what secrets were revealed and a snippit from the upcoming release, First Change.

The interview is at:

Hope you’ll stop by. Leave a comment and be entered into giveaway of Windmaster Legacy.

~till next time, Helen