Monday, 30 December 2013

Free - a High price.

Free - is a High price to pay.

Recently I have had posted to me a number of free book give-aways. I can't get my head around the logic of these give-aways.

If you go into Waterstones, would they take a book off the shelf and give it to you for free?

The answer is – no.

Why? Simply because it does not make economic sense to do so.

Just because as the author you sell your book on line in an e-book format, giving it away free, won't I believe, make it any more popular when the price is subsequently re-attached to it. Quite the opposite.

Authors and Editors alike, know how long and hard the road is from conception of an original idea, to the final publication of a book.

For those of you reading this blog, who do not know of that journey, I'll give you a brief run-down.

An author forms the idea for a plot and then spends, hours, days, weeks, months and even years putting that idea into the basic format of their book.

Then comes re-writes, and plot re-works, all of which are agonized over by the author until, finally, there is a manuscript ready to send to a publisher.

Then the lengthy and often exhausting hunt for a publisher begins. After let downs, re-works to accommodate the rejecting editor's criticisms and further send outs, you either get a contract or you say 'forget it' and go 'indie' and publish the book yourself.

Either way you are only half-way to a release date for your book.

Between then and the book going on sale, there is the editing stage which will most likely include any re-working your editor deems necessary. Even when the edits are complete. There is still one more stage of the process to be completed - the proof reading. Only then is your book almost ready for sale. I say almost, because apart from cover art-work, there is formatting and obtaining an ISBN.

With the long awaited release date fixed, then comes the rounds of pre-promoting your book's release date.

You tweet. You Facebook. You blog. Give interviews. Send out Press Releases.

Ad Nauseam.

So your book sales need to be greater – but is the answer to give the book away for free?

The answer has to be – a resounding – NO.

An author’s intellectual product should never be given away as a promotional tool.

If your book has been pirated, then the natural reaction is one of outrage at the royalties stolen from you, and quite rightly so.

All the hard work you have given to your book, the long hours, the tedious trek from publisher to publisher. The continuous struggle to get recognition as an author out to the reading public. All that is stolen from you. And whoever gets and reads the pirated copy is getting it for – free.

I am not likening giving away a book to pirating – far from it.

You are giving your book away by choice, it is not being stolen from you, however, the result is the same. The reader, reading the novel has not paid to the author any royalties for the privilege.

As a promotion tool, it is my opinion, that a give-away is a poor one.
I believe it sends the wrong message to any potential new readers about the author and their writing.

The message is that the book is inferior to the ones being sold for money. Otherwise, why isn't it still on sale for actual cash.

If it ain't worth money.
It ain't worth reading – principle – and that opinion is not likely to change once it is back on sale with a price tag attached.

Add to this equation, that any other works by the same author can, if the reader waits long enough, will be available for free.

Added to this, any other novels by the same author can attract the preconception that the subsequent books are equally valueless.

Discounting a book's sale price is a different matter.

'Sale' items are common practice on all types and levels of merchandise.
Buy one get one free, offers, are not truly giving the second item away. The two items, have simply been cleverly discounted by 50%. Helping the retailer to achieve a greater stock turnover than would otherwise have been the case. In turn creating more buying power with their wholesalers. And at 50% discount the retailer is still making – profit.

My point is – the second item has not in reality been given away free.

So, why should something that has been so hard fought for – the publication of an authors work be denigrated to the value of = Zero.

In among all of the above is the waiting.

Waiting to hear if your manuscript is going to be given a contract.

Waiting to see the editor's re-works.

Waiting for a release date.

And the wait to become a recognized name within the book world.

Is all of that really worth – nothing?

In this author's opinion - I don't think so.

Of course you may not share my opinion.

Please share this if you do agree that books should not be given away for nothing.

Thanks for reading this post.

Josephine Sanchez-Vanner

A Thrilling Announcement

Well I wasn't expecting it – but my novel Half Blood has won Turning the Pages, Book of the Year 2013 Award in two categories.

Adventure Book of the Year


Paranormal Book of the Year

A - huge, vast, gigantic, big – THANK YOU – to all those who voted for me.

I shall now get very busy on the sequel to Half Blood and the 2nd book in the Five Tribes of Ar'ranma Series.

An incredibly Happy New Year to all my blog readers.

Thanks for reading this post.

Josephine Sanchez-Vanner

Friday, 27 December 2013

Dear Author

Reading between the lines.

A light-hearted look at what an editor could really be thinking when they send out a 'no thank you' letter?

Dear Author

Thank you for sending your novel, Seductress Succubus, to Small Press Publications.

Thank you, I don't think. What a load of old crap.

Unfortunately at this time, your novel does not fit with our current market strategy.

Nor is it ever likely too.

I do appreciate the amount of hard work you have put into, Seductress Succubus and I am sure with a less simplistic plot, and years of trying, you will find, a sucker, a publisher that might be prepared to publish your novel.

As it is our policy at Small Press Publications to help all aspiring authors, I have listed a few pointers that may help you improve your manuscript. Probably a complete waste of my time but I have to stick to company policy, no matter how ludicrous.

Whilst the story-line has merit, in there somewhere, buggered if I can find it though, your lack of description does not help in gripping the readers attention. I was so bored stiff I thought I was developing rigor mortis.

Punctuation, helps the reader determine the construct of your prose, so perhaps you should consider using it more frequently. Instead, of rambling on with sentences that are longer than most paragraphs. At least an occasional comma for god's sake.

Joining a critic group can be a great help to the up-and-coming new writer. I'm sick of bleating emails from authors, much better someone else tells you, you have no talent and probably never will.

And finally, perhaps you would find a creative writing course helpful, because trust me you need all the help you can get. For a start, learning to read and write properly might help.

Good luck, boy are you going to need it.

Sincerely – yeah right.

Ms. Belinda. Itch. Editor's Assistant to

B.A.Stard, Editor in chief Small Press Publications.

The above is purely from my warped imagination and in no way reflects any of the wonderful editors I have come into contact with, in the past, now or in the future.

Thanks for reading this post.

Josephine Sanchez-Vanner

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Merry Christmas Bloggers.......

To my Girlfriends and my 

 Gay Friends.......

To my Man-friends.........I don't have boyfriends........I'm married.

And to all my friends in writer world......

May all your dreams come true in the new year and you get that best seller.

A very happy Christmas to you the Riotous Writer.

I'll be back with some really cool blog stuff just after Christmas. 

Happy hols everyone - everywhere. 

Josephine Sanchez-Vanner

Monday, 9 December 2013

Half Blood - Book of the Year 2013 - closing date for voting 27th December..last day to vote.......if you love books and writers..please use your vote.

Turning The Pages Book of the Year 2013 

I am thrilled that my book – Half Blood- has been nominated for Turning The Pages Book of the Year 2013 – in the following categories

     &  Book of the Year - Star

                   N Paranormal

                        Y Romance

                Q Adventure

If you have read and enjoyed Half Blood – please vote for my book.

If you haven't read Half Blood – please take the time to read the first chapter on this blog and if you like it – please also vote for my book.

To all you wonderful folk out there in blogger land and tweet world, should you feel like voting for Half Blood – and I hope you do.

A big Thank You if you have already voted for Half Blood.

If you haven't voted for Half Blood yet.....please do.....Your vote counts! J

Please follow this link

Brought up in foster care, Harmony Jones didn't know she was the first, and only half human, half vampire, until Zander Washington moved into the apartment across the hall. A full blood vampire he's been sent to kill her by the vampire council instead he's fallen in love with her. Now they're out to get him too.
Hidden deep under the Himalayan Mountains, Ar'ranma, the vampire city is where they must go to plead for Harmony's life.
Hunting them, the beautiful but vicious full blood vampire hunter, Celina. She wants her old lover Zander, back and and she wants Harmony dead, and she'll do anything to make it happen.
As love triumphs and the old ways change, the vampire nation is sent into turmoil.

 Chapter One

The first thing Harmony Jones remembered when she woke up was - she’d tasted human blood.

She’d felt its warmth cascade over her lips. Felt the sweet nectar of the life it carried coursing down her throat.

What half of her craved, and then answered the call of the blood lust? Certainly not the human half, but her mother had wanted her father’s love, a vampire’s love, hadn't she? Only the vampire part of her could feel that good as she sank her newly grown fangs into the pale soft flesh of the woman’s neck.

Harmony rolled her slim naked body over between the fresh clean sheets of her bed savoring the memory and found Zander’s body lying next to her. Like her, he was naked, and like her he’d drank blood the night before, only for him it wasn't his first time.

Zander Washington. Whispering his name softly, she watched the rhythmic rise and fall of his taut muscular chest, his breathing deep with sleep. Rolling back onto her pillow she listened through the half open bedroom window to New York ending another day and beginning another night. The cool spring night air drifted in, carrying with it the sounds and smells of the vibrant city.

Harmony had never known her mother. She´d been brought up in foster care. She’d been told her father died before she was born, and that her mother couldn't cope with her.

Her father wasn't dead. He was a vampire. Was her mother with him? Everything she believed in had been turned upside down by the vamp lying next to her.

Turning her head she watched as Zander began to snore softly. Harmony wanted to lose herself in their lovemaking all over again. She ran her hand lightly over his stomach slowly edging down towards his, for the moment, limp, manhood. Expertly manipulating his softness between her finger and thumb Harmony massaged
him, getting excited by his small flaccidness in her hand growing larger and harder from her efforts. Zander’s snore changed from a light nasal grunt to an audible groan as he trembled in her hand.

He opened his eyes and looked up into her sloping dark midnight eyes, set in a pale amber face, with gracefully high cheek bones. She saw by the way he looked at her, and touched her head, he loved the lie of her mop of thick, short cut, raven black hair, and he wanted to feel her full almost pouting lips, on his now thick erection. Harmony sensed that her lips, the color of fresh blood, gave him an uncontrollable rush of exhilaration as he placed his hands on her head and pulled her down to him. She caught the edge of his expectation as he waited for the exquisite sensation of her open willing mouth.

Making love with Zander, Harmony decided, was like nothing she’d ever experienced before. His arousal of her body was sensational. His touch sensitive and understanding. He knew instinctively a woman’s hidden desires, expertly finding her erogenous zones.

It wasn't meant to be this way. Harmony had never wanted to fall in love with him. She couldn't help herself. From the first moment Zander exploded into her life when he moved into the apartment next door, Harmony had felt the supernatural link between them.

She’d observed him coming and going, taking his things into his new apartment. In the days just after he’d moved in, when they passed in the corridor, he’d ignored her. At least his body did. His eyes said something different. His eyes studied her very carefully. She was sure she saw the corners of his nose twitch, as if he were tasting her aroma.

Harmony loved the night, she always had. As a child she would sneak out onto her bedroom window ledge and sit for hours just absorbing the feeling of its mystery. She’d always wanted to be a part of it - somehow she knew she belonged to it. Now she was the night. Finally she belonged to it, and she belonged to Zander, and he to her.

Zander’s body heaved on the crescendo of the orgasm she was giving him - then he was still.

Your turn.” he breathed huskily to her stomach. Moving down her body, he opened her legs: using his tongue expertly bringing her to a climax.

Would they drink blood tonight?

Or would they eat human food?

Everything she’d ever read about vampires had been turned upside-down. Vampires don’t have children with humans. Vampires can only drink blood. Vampires can’t go out in the sunlight. A vampire could turn a human into a vampire by biting them. It was all wrong. Zander had lifted the lies.

Zander got up from the bed stretching his taut sinewy body to his full height of just over six feet. Raising his arms high above his head, he gave a yawn of perfect satisfaction. The sight of his naked body thrilled Harmony’s senses. Her eyes traced the cobra tattoo that wound around his torso from his waist over his chest, across his back, the snake’s head finally resting on his right shoulder.
As he strode off to take a shower, she lay back on the bed remembering their first conversation.

Bernie’s Diner on the corner of 53rd and main was where they’d met, or rather where Zander had followed her to. Harmony went there every evening for breakfast before starting work on the night shift as a hematologist at the Mount Sinai hospital. She ordered what she always ordered; a steak, ultra rare, a side order of fries and a tomato juice.

She didn’t go to work that night, nor any other night, and she never went back to the hospital.

Zander filled her nights and days. He completed her.

Until she met Zander there’d always been a piece missing to her. Her psyche hungered for liberation; a longing that needed to be set free from so many unseen constraints. She was floundering around in a dark pool of unfulfilled emptiness. And then, there was Zander. All her longings and wishfulness evaporated in the essence of his magnetic presence.

She´d eaten her steak, aware of Zander’s dark eyes watching her every move. A tingle of anticipation coursed through her body, as she felt his intense scrutiny, penetrating her outer layers, into the depths of her soul.

Casually nonchalant, he approached her. Flopping down onto the seat opposite, throwing his legs up on the booth bench coolly crossing them at his ankles. He ordered a black coffee.

Harmony waited expectantly for the waitress to say something, like, “Get your hulking legs off the furniture, you jerk. Don’t you know it’s clean - ain't you got no respect?”

Mari had a wide reputation for poor customer service. It was also well known she was giving Bernie, something his wife found disgusting - one helluva great blow job.

Curiously, Mari said nothing: she just smiled at Zander, as she filled up his cup with the sweet smelling black liquid.

Winking a girl-to-girl wink at Harmony, she left them in peace and went back to insulting the other customers. Her employment was safe, even if Bernie’s marriage wasn’t.

Zander took a long swig of the hot rich coffee, his dark perceptive eyes never leaving her face. Finally putting the cup back down on the table, he´d said “Tell me, did your pop die before you were born?”

What sort of question is that? Harmony asked herself.

That’s an original line. No guy’s come up with that one before. Usually it’s, you've got the greatest something or other. Asking about my old man...that’s new.”

Let me guess. He died before you could remember him, and he died a hero...right?”

Why are you so interested in my father?” she retorted, annoyed.
Zander lifted a quizzical eyebrow in her direction waiting for her answer.

Look, so what if my dad was a cop. And that he died just before I was born. He was killed in the line of duty, okay? Are you smelling me?

Not on the outside…on the inside. You have no idea who you are, do you?” He leaned across the table and ran his index finger along the bridge of her nose, stopping briefly at the tip.

I know exactly who I am.”

No…you don’t. You know who you think you are, but that’s very different to what, and who, you actually are.”

And you know who I am better than I know myself?”

Yes. Yes, I do.”

Okay, smartarse, who am I?”

The main point is…it’s not really who you are, but what you are.”

She decided the conversation was becoming surreal and looked for a way out. How she could have imagined he was interesting in the first place, she could only guess at.

If you don’t mind, I’ll just eat and then go to work.” Harmony concentrated on her now cold steak with the distinct feeling that the good-looking guy who’d just moved in next door was a total nut job.

Come on...don’t pretend you don’t want to know. Has no part of you ever felt out of sync with the rest of humanity?”

Harmony curtailed a desire to scream. She’d always felt out of sync with the rest of the world, but being told your inner most worries by a complete stranger troubled her logic to the bursting point. How could he possibly know anything about her, especially what went on in the unhappy recesses of her unfulfilled mind?

Okay, again smartarse...what am I?” Do you really know who I am, because I sure wish I did?

You’re a half blood. Not a perfect being, but almost.”

Now you rude bastard, you just listen to me.” Harmony began.

He smiled a deep knowing smile that bordered on patronizing, but not quite.

You’re stating the obvious, one of my ancestors was black, and I’m proud of it. Now why don’t you go away, and leave me alone.” She went back to her cold bloody meal.

Thanks a lot asshole. The one thing I’m sure about of my parents, and you have to degrade it.

Zander swung his long graceful legs down onto the floor and got up from his bench, sliding himself next to her he said, “I wasn't referring to your human parentage, which means very little to me. I was alluding to your father’s blood…the vampire half of you.”

Harmony’s fork froze in mid-air. It was definite: the good-looking guy who’d moved in next door to her was a lunatic. Humor him, go to work, and ignore him.

I’m not a lunatic.”

Can he read my thoughts?

Of course I can read your thoughts. You see, I’m a vampire too. Only I’m a bit more perfect. I’m a full blood.”

Prove it.” Harmony said, turning to look him in the eye, but he'd gone. She hadn't felt him go. She hadn't heard him go. He was simply gone, vanished. She called over to Mari, “Did you see the guy sitting with me leave?”

Who gives a damn?” Mari answered in her usual polite way.

Harmony turned back. Zander was again sitting grinning at her in the seat opposite.

How in god’s name?” she managed to utter.

This is not the place. Let’s go for a walk in the park.”

He´d left enough dollar bills on the table to cover the food and led her out of the diner; into her new life.

That had been two months before.

Zander called to her from the shower.

Come and join me. I've still got an enormous erection.”

Vampires were not like human men; they were never satisfied. And, they gave complete satisfaction every time, all the time.

Harmony threw the covers back and headed for the shower, her nipples hard with expectation.

Thanks for reading this post.

Josephine Sanchez-Vanner

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Tomb of the Unknown Author

Tomb of the Unknown Author


Here lies
Hope – Dreams - Expectations

Buried beneath the black soil of toil lies the remains of a heroic writer.

He filled his days with dreams of success as he worked away in his mundane job. His nights he gave over to a world of fantasy and dreams.

The fantasy of writing an overnight best seller. Of the number one slot on Amazon.

As his ratings fell lower and lower so did this hero's expectations until all but hope was crushed beneath the mountain of other authors dreams.

Say a prayer upon this grave - for you say it for all of us, who dream these dreams.


picture by

Thanks for reading this post.

Josephine Sanchez-Vanner

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Hanging Ghost

The Hanging Ghost.

My first psychic experience.

I have absolutely had it with so called intelligent people who have the most incredibly closed minds. What annoys me most, is the 'look' - the one that says, I don't believe in that nonsense or are you sure you weren't just imagining it and of course the extremely irritating and downright insulting – I don't believe you, I think you are lying.

So I am going to put my personal record straight and tell you, my wonderfully open minded blog readers, about my first paranormal experience as a child.

I think after 50 plus years of seeing and experiencing paranormal phenomena, I qualify for non-delusional status. As a formally trained Spiritualist medium, I don't tell lies, I don't embellish, and I always consider each encounter with the world of spirit in an open-minded but rational manner and I don't believe everything that happens to me is from the supernatural. In other words, I'm not a nutter lying my head off to get some attention. I'm a sane, rational individual who just happens to have extra sensory perception.

The above, it is the reason I am going to relate my first experience of seeing a ghost.

People who are not able to accept the possibility of anything beyond our mundane day to day lives are I believe in the category of someone who -
A, Doesn't have an answer to paranormal occurrences and therefore poo poos everything connected with it or B, Simply can't bear the thought they don't know everything.

Hallucination Argument.

This is one of my most un-favorite closed mind arguments against psychic phenomena, the ill thought out comment of, “It was an hallucination.”

I will concede that not all psychic experiences are actual paranormal events but to blithely dismiss the paranormal as a mere hallucination, with the glib comment of, “You must have been seeing things.” is quite frankly, ignorant and insulting.

The hallucination theory breaks down when the person who says they have seen a ghost is not an adult seeking attention, as in the case of adult false testimony - but a child who has genuinely had a paranormal encounter.

You are lying.

There are a lot of 'fake' psychics who cause a great deal of damage to the credibility of genuine mediums, and to the Spiritualist movement by casting doubt on the validity of bona fide paranormal activity.
And I also accept that some witnesses, embellish the truth of what they saw to the point of lying.

However, young children and especially very young children do not have the sophistication to create elaborate lies. They tell it as they see it without preconceived ideas getting in the way.

I am not saying young children cannot lie – they can. What I am saying is, a lie that is overly intricate in nature, is simply not in their construct.

Children can be led in a complex lie by an adult but they rarely weave deceitful webs that involve a story of more than one dimension.

False Memory Syndrome.

Do children have False Memory Syndrome, I am sure they do. It is entirely possible for any of us to remember things differently from the way the events actually happened.

My memory of the day I saw the hanging ghost is clear and factual.

The idea that I only 'think' I saw this ghost can easily be dispelled, not only by the many paranormal experiences I have had over the years since that first contact with spirit but by the memories of the other witnesses who were there and saw my reaction to the actual sighting.

The Hanging Ghost

After the second world war, German bombing raids had flattened a great deal of London and at that time there was a shortage of housing.

Dad had not long left the army and my mother had a young child (my sister) to take care of, so money was short. Every apartment they looked at was either too expensive or too dilapidated to consider bringing a child into. My parents did what a lot of young married couples did, they moved in with my father's parents.

The house wasn't anything special. A typical London suburban double fronted, 4 bed-roomed terraced property. My grandparents had the bottom half of the house and my mother, father and older sister the top half, this is where I was born six years after the end of WW11.

If I noticed any paranormal activity before my first experience, I can't remember. The hanging ghost is the earliest memory I have of an actual sighting.

I was around 5 years old, my parents and grandparents were downstairs with other members of my family, I went upstairs to fetch a book I wanted to show to them. I was about half-way up the stairs when a bright white figure, dressed in an old fashioned nightgown, hanging off the ground, suddenly appeared on the landing in-front of me.

His nightgown came to just above his ankles, giving me a perfect view of his long naked straight toes. The hand of his right arm was also clearly visible. The fingers resembled his toes, long and quite thin. I couldn't see the left hand properly. His head, I couldn't see at all, it was simply a amorphous white light.

I stood for several moments, halfway up the stairs, looking at the ghost until it dawned on me I should be scared. Why I wasn't scared right away, is I believe, because the ghost meant me no harm. If it did, then I am sure it would have shown me it's head. What I have since learnt of how a face looks like after hanging, the sight would have terrified me. The ghost obviously had no wish to frighten me. As a trained medium, I now realize the spirit of the dead man was looking for help to cross over into the ether – but of course, at the time the incident happened, I was far too young to understand that.

I remember as soon as I did show the spirit I was frightened, by a sharp in-take of breath, he vanished. I then ran back down the stairs as fast as I could.

I've just seen Jesus.” I said to my family from underneath a chair. At such a young age and not knowing what a ghost was, I had no idea of what I had just seen and took from my limited understanding the one thing I thought it could be.

As I have said, children that young are not sophisticated enough to lie. My parents explanation of, it was a trick of the light, nothing more, I knew not to be the truth. I was however, smart enough to say nothing more to them about it, as they clearly did not want to discuss with me what I had just seen.

Many years later my mother told me a man who had once lived in the house had committed suicide by hanging himself on the upstairs hall landing. At the time of my seeing the ghost, there was no way I could have known of this man, as my parents never talked about it. So bang goes the notion, as it has been said to me that I was – hallucinating something I had previously overheard.

I was five years old, I did not hallucinate or lie. And I remember the incident exactly as it happened.

Okay, it's not a long story – but the actual incident didn't take long to happen. That's not the point of relating the story though.

The point is – someone so young, who had such an extraordinary experience had no reason to make up what they had witnessed.

Children have no preconceived ideas when it comes to the extraordinary. Many of the things they see and hear are new to them, so they have no reason to think such things don't happen as a norm.

If you are a believer in the paranormal, hopefully the next time you meet someone who refuses to accept the possibility that there might be things we cannot explain, an tell them about my experience as a child, and it will at least, open a crack in their closed minds.

My parents when they were young.......

Thanks for reading this post.

Josephine Sanchez-Vanner