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

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.

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

Last Meal? What Takes Forever to Cook

For a bit of fun, another post from the MFRWauthor 52-week challenge.

Saw the topic of last meal and a line from the television series, Air America, just leaped from the pen, “Peking Duck.” Now that might seem to be a strange choice for a meat and potatoes kind of gal, so I’ll give you the background. After being captured by South American revolutionaries, Lorenzo Lamas, aka Rio Garnett, and his co-pilot/friend were offered a last meal before their execution by firing squad. The friend said, “Peking Duck.” After their captors went away, Lamas inquired why. The buddy explained it takes 3 days to make, I was trying to buy time.”

Besides lots of time for a meal to be prepared–and later, and even greater amount to eat it, here’s a few items for a last meal.

First, the appetizers: shrimp cocktail and stuffed mushrooms.

Then there are several entrees. Filet mignon with sweet potato, loaded with cinnamon brown sugar, and freshly churned butter. A heaping side plate of lobster tail with drawn butter, and fried scallops. Hot dinner rolls, fresh out of the oven, with lots of butter to help things go down.

Where’s the vegetables you asked? Not for this gal’s final forging.

The final course took a little more thought. Going with the delay approach, rice pudding. For those with a lactose intolerance, that would guarantee at least 3 hours in the bathroom. On second thought, the captors might think it funny to hold off the toilet run. Note to self, no pudding, no ice cream. Boston cream pie, chocolate eclair, (no make that 2 eclairs, properly chilled) and a slice of death by chocolate cake. Notice the theme? Chocolate – my favorite food group.

I almost forget the drinks, which unlike James Bond’s preference is not a shaken vodka martini or champagne.

Read the rest of the menu at