Monday, 16 May 2016

The Duke's Alliance – A Dangerous Husband – the second book in the six books series.

The first book in The Duke's Alliance series – A Suitable Bride – did amazingly well and I want to thank all of you who downloaded it. For those who haven't, it's a stand-alone story about Lord Sheldon, the Duke of Silchester's brother, and his whirlwind romance with Grace.
The second book is now available on pre-order and will be released on 26th May. A Dangerous Husband is action packed and charts the romance between Lady Madeline, the duke's oldest sister, and Lord Carshalton. This too is a stand-alone story and the charismatic duke, Beau, also features in this book.
The third book, which I shall write in the autumn to be released in January 2 017, will be about Peregrine, the eldest twin. This will be entitled A Widowed Bride.

Here is the blurb:

Lady Madeline Sheldon has no intention of making a precipitous marriage like her older brother Bennett. However, she has no objection visiting Lord Carshalton and his grandmother when the opportunity arises. His lordship is only recently returned from the Peninsular where he was serving as an intelligence officer for Wellesley.
Grey isn't looking to set up his nursery – he is more concerned with re-establishing a connection with his estranged relatives whose existence he did not know about until he inherited the title. Lady Carshalton is staying with him in order to get to know her grandson – the only child of the son from whom she had been estranged for thirty years.
Someone is trying to kill Grey and he believes it to be associated with his time in the military. The first attempt was made whilst he was still serving and the danger appears to have followed him to Hertfordshire. Madeline is dragged into his treacherous world by events beyond her control and she is almost relieved when her brother, The Duke of Silchester, tells her it's too dangerous to be involved with Lord Carshalton. She is finding him rather too attractive for comfort.

She and Grey are obliged to enter into a temporary engagement and this puts Madeline in the line of fire. After another attempt on his life Grey is forced to leave the area and she has to go with him. They are to stay at Blakely Hall, his ancestral home, until the danger has passed.
Somehow danger follows them. Beau, the duke, discovers how the culprit is and sets out in a desperate race to save both his sister and Lord Carshalton.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

Amazon scammers – can they be stopped?

I was shocked to read that Amazon scammers have come up with an ingenious way to steal money from the authors in the KOL programme.
I'm sure that most of you already know about this but I will attempt to give you a brief explanation of what they've been doing.
The success of this scam rests on the fact that Amazon don't actually know how many pages a reader reads in order to pay per page – all they know is where the reader stopped and they pay the author for those pages.
The scammers have been producing books with three thousand pages and only the first fifty or so are actually part of a book, the rest is gobbledygook. They then invite the reader to click to the back of the book in order to be in with a chance to win something fabulous. This then shows in the Amazon algorithm as the reader having read all three thousand pages. The only cost to the scammer will be for the covers and the payments to the people who do the clicking. They also have to set up a couple of Amazon accounts. They put up twenty-five different versions of the same bogus book – they make them free as soon as they are loaded which means they don't get the same scrutiny of a paid book.
The scammers pay people in less regulated countries to borrow twenty-five books a day and click  to the end of each. They keep these scam books live for four days and then remove them before the complaints reach Amazon, and then sit back and wait for the money to roll in.
According to reports they can make $60000 a month doing this . Although complaints have been made to Amazon they have been ignored until this began to impinge on the royalties of some big-names.
Someone suggested a relatively simple solution. This being that Amazon should limit each subscriber to the KOL system to 14 books a week, thus instantly removing  the scammers.
I hope that they set this in motion immediately. The fact that the money lost was money that should have gone to authors and not Amazon  is probably why they haven't bothered to step in up to this point. It would appear that some of the scammers have actually been earning author bonus payments – that is truly disgusting.
The previous system of paying a set amount for each borrow after 10% of the book had been read was changed because of a different scam, as well as the fact that authors complained it discriminated against those that wrote longer books. These scammers – probably the same ones who are doing the current one – published books only a dozen pages long and the front matter was more than 10% of the contents so they always got their payment.
I expect that when this new scam is stopped something else will replace it, but I can't believe it will be as costly to the authors of this particular one is.
I'm hoping that now big-name authors have become involved Amazon will move fast to close the loophole.
 Fenella J Miller