Tag Archives: free ebook

Nano killed me this year

I have officially given up on Nano for the first time in years. I had a good streak, 4 straight years, but this year it was not working. It was closer to pulling teeth from a live, awake and pissed off bobcat, than writing.

It didn’t help that we had a long, warm Fall which encouraged mold growth up the wazoo. Usually we have had several days of hard freeze by now, which kills off the mold. Mold of pretty much any kind, but especially cellulose mold, gives me migraines. Bold, visual, pounding, nauseating migraines. Guess what the moldy leaves and grass are made of?

Staring at a computer screen trying to force out a set number of words didn’t help either.

Neither did the pressure of a deadline, trying to get 2 books up on every imaginable platform, a sinus infection thing that may be mold related since I’ve had it for a month (same length of time as the migraine, more or less)

Now, I can hear a few fellow migrainers questioning the month long migraine and my still being able to function at all. And in most cases, you would be right. But I’ve been living on antihistamines, migraine meds, tylenol, etc. And I’ve had them for 42 years. (OMG does that make me sound old!) I started them the year before puberty hit. (That’s a bit better)

And since I have always been allergic to mold and cigarette smoke, although undiagnosed until 2003, I am accustomed to being able to function. Not brilliantly, witness my 500 word days on Nano, but enough to eat, dress, wash dishes, go to my Dr for more meds…

I end up with a “migrainey”. Flashy lights, but no real hallucinations, some light sensitivity, but not crippling. (except making coffee before 9am because the sun bounces off our neighbour’s barn’s tin roof right into my kitchen by the… you guessed, coffeepot.)

Other things are difficulty focusing; both eyes and attention, slight nausea so I munch salty things constantly, short temper and other migrainey things, just in smaller amounts.

But don’t worry about A Ring of Earth. I will still write it, just without that kind of pressure. I have someone who wants the complete, perfect manuscript next fall. So… deadline, but reasonable. Hopefully, it will be the first in a series of five books. I’m hoping to pitch it to an agent and/or publisher next year.

To celebrate my freedom to be migrainey, I will be posting a free coupon code in a few days for last year’s Nano winner, Alone in the Night. It’s a gritty, realistic look at teens from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds fighting to survive in the worst neighbourhood in Ottawa. There are elements of sexual/ physical abuse, drugs, homelessness, and street gangs. Recommended for 14+ years

If you have not read the first in the series, A Test of Loyalty, comment and I can send you a coupon for that, too.  My goal is to get 25+ reviews up on Amazon so they’ll put me on the “People who looked at this book, also looked at this one” list.

So, see you in a few days with the codes!

Spring energies and processes for living the dream

Hellooooo, Spring! The snow is disappearing, the temperature’s above freezing, the birds are back, and if we ignore the occasional bit of freezing rain, Spring has arrived.


And with it, my arthritis. But also my need to get up and do things. Like clear out the bin of scarves and mitts by the door. Sort our shoes and dispose of those that have started leaking or falling apart. And prioritize my writing, schedule writing time, precook dinners for near deadlines….

I actually spent a lot of time yesterday while I was away from my computer (that’s why I’m late today) making lists for my books. I now have a list of 30 novels that have been bouncing around in my head. Plus the cookbooks and a couple of novellas related to the novels. I’m hoping that now that I’ve made a list and nailed them down in prioritized order, most of them will shut up and let me finish the first one on the list.

The one with the deadline in less than 6 weeks.


At the same time, I’m fantasizing (almost pornographically) about my garden this summer. What to plant, where to rotate things to, what to experiment with…. Tomatoes, hot peppers, celery?


And clearing out the loft for a friend to move into this April or June. Wow, did a lot of stuff end up piled in there over the years! Now I’m fantasizing about clearing out the whole house. Everything goes!

Ok, not feasible. But let’s sort through the books and only keep the ones I plan to read/ reread. And my clothes, keep only those that fit or are close to fitting. No more size 2 or size 16.

Does Spring make everyone go nuts, or is it just me?



FYI: A Test of Loyalty is now going up free, a little at a time on Wattpad and Chapterbuzz. Go look them up, totally free!

By the time they’ve got the whole book for free, Alone in the Night should be available!

Monday’s a little late this week

We had company this past weekend, and a start to a massive decluttering & throwing away theme for spring. Also a friend had her baby, at almost 42 weeks!  Yikes!

So my nice, tidy, easily followed writing process went right out the window. I’ll probably find it in a snowbank come summer. In the meantime, there is coffee.

Lots and lots of coffee, because we went to Costco and bought 200 pods. (which are recyclable here, with a bit of work)

In the meantime, while waiting for brilliance or organization to strike (I’ll take either) I’m rereading and editing Alone in the Night, book 2 of the Mechanicsville series.

And Book 1: A Test of Loyalty is going up a bit at a time at Chapterbuzz, you can wait and read for free, or buy it on Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.

lauries cover

Book release today!!

I’m a day late, again…( maybe I should just decide on Tuesday and Friday instead of Mon and Thurs?) But this time I have a good excuse, reason… I was online fighting my way through the formatting of my COOKBOOK!

Asian cookbook cover

Fresh and Home-made Asian is the way I cook at home a lot of the time. Real food! Easy recipes that taste like company cooking. Vegetable heavy, nutritious and low bad-stuff! It’s the first in a series of 5 “Fresh and Home-made” cookbooks; Indian, African, Celtic and Large groups are still to be done. Soon those who buy my spices will be able to buy the cookbooks and make the spices themselves.

This cookbook is now available at Amazon.ca  and Amazon.com. It has 5 recipes for my own spice mixes including Sweet Yellow Curry, Red curry paste and Five Spice.  It also has 24 recipes for chicken, duck, beef, soup, noodles, etc.

It has my mom’s favourite restaurant meal: Singapore Noodles!  And my sweeties fave curry: Massaman Beef.  Also Thai coconut chicken soup, Vietnamese Pho and more!

I’m looking for reviewers, so if you’re willing to post a review, I’ll send you a free Word version of the cookbook.  Contact me at laurie@lauriestewart-author.com.

And as a treat for my regular readers, Jamieson Wolf  will be here in the next few weeks as a guest blogger. I always love his poetry, and the story of what inspired it.

Jamieson has guested here several times in the past, and always shares something beautiful. This time it’s for his new poetry collection; Dancing with the Flame. the third book in a series which includes Talking to the Sky and Talking with the Earth.

Book reviews

Or “Things I torture my friends with for 1000, Alex”.
As of Jan 1st, I’m a reviewer for Apt613.com.  It’s an online literary review magazine. I requested local indie authors, and have already received my first book.
Human, by S.M. Carrière. I’m really looking forward to it, I met her at Can-Con last year and she seemed pretty awesome. She did a panel on historical fantasy that I got a lot out of. And she did it all in vampire teeth!
I had started reading an earlier book of hers, now I’m not sure whether I should start the new one or finish the first one. Probably do the review first, I’m only a chapter and a bit in, though I was blown away from the first paragraph.
Soon I hope to receive my second book; a “how-to” for writers on overcoming writer’s block. ( Caroline Frechette) While my problem is usually too many stories, not too few, this would still have helped during my 2 year blank page nightmare.
They both also fill one of my goals for 2016, to read one “how-to” book on writing or self-publishing per month, and to read 24 fiction books this year.
Or is that 2 goals?

I am also still struggling with my epic fantasy; I may have to separate out 2 story lines for separate books. And deal with the big reveal being revealed 3X. Although it would work fabulously in any of those spots. So… push it as late as possible? Try for a reveal of something every plot point?
The secondary characters’ big reveals are also revealed twice each. I guess I love my reveals. And have short term memory problems. Also my memory sucks.
I need to struggle my way through this first read-through, making notes of what’s out of place, what needs fixing, etc. And get it all into same font, same size, same paragraph style… why did it do this?
Then I can make a plan and a process for finishing draft 2… maybe a list… I love my lists. My dear hubby says he married me for my lists….
Where was I?
Oh, yeah. I thought editing was easier….

A different view of used books

Monday I published a link to Kristen Lamb’s blog on why you should buy your books new, mostly that the writer gets paid. Later, there was a huge online debate about her post (not mine, her original post).

“Over the past week the author blogosphere has been taken over with a debate on getting paid. Kristen Lamb sparked the discussion on  Tuesday when she wrote a post arguing that authors who want to make a living should only promote channels that get them paid, and that sparked a long debate on The Passive Voice as well as commentary on Teleread.”

From The Digital Reader.

In this article, they quote Neil Gaiman as saying that the fan is more important than the buyer, or words to that effect.  On further thought, I agree with him.  While Kristen still has the valid point that writers make very little of the cover price, and it’s getting harder to make any real money to live on… Neil is also right. Free books, used books, shared books, libraries… they create new fans, or supply your book to a fan who can’t afford $33.95 right now, but may very well buy the book later.

Or may write you a fan letter that astonishes you. Or lends the book to someone who goes nuts buying your backlist. Or something. So, yeah.

But I still need more reviews, so maybe thank writers for their works you read or free by reviewing them on Amazon?

The reality of publishing.

I’ve been reading an amazing (and depressing) blog on publishing and money.

She goes into the history of publishing, with a good, understandable reference to world economics. Then explains why it’s so hard to make a living now; and why we beg, cry and plead for reviews.

Kristen Lamb’s blog here.

I’m going to finish getting my receipts in order, then go cry about how much bigger my expense sheet is than my income sheet.

Then I’m going to get writing!  Because I am what I am, a writer.


And, if you want to help a writer out, you can buy my book here, or here, or here…. or contact me for a free reader’s copy. But you have to promise to review it!


A Test of Loyalty now available everywhere… ish..

live everywhere

As of Christmas day, my first book is available in ebook format everywhere I could think of. Tag me if I missed your favourite.  The paperback is available at Amazon and… um… I forget?  Obviously from me, though with the old… er, limited edition cover. Yes, that’s it! Limited edition!

Apparently also on Ebay, though the price is better at Amazon. And I’m not sure if I get paid for it.

Smashwords has a bunch of formats to choose from. I get about the same royalty no matter where you buy it, so get your fave app.

And as always, reviews are a writers best friend! So if you are willing to leave me a review, I’ll give you a reader’s copy free in .doc, .docx or .rtf.

My new writing life, take one…

Today I worked on my list of books to write. I scared myself. I have at least notes for 20 fiction and 6 non-fiction.  Some I have completed 1st or 2nd drafts for, most are just outlines and one or two scenes.

Wow. I feel like I should be immortal, I’ve got too much to do in one lifetime. “Sorry, can’t die now, booked.”

I also have gotten the list of “prizes” from nanowrimo, so I’ve spent time looking them over and debating which, if any, I want. Kobo gave me 10 free novels: WANT.  Another place is offering 30% off a $200 a year subscription… um, no.

Then there’s things like Humble Bundle’s 25 books on writing strategies and methods for $25. Hm…  useful, but pricey this close to Yule.

I’ve also spent the day trying to get my book uploaded to more platforms than just Amazon. OMG, you need a doctorate in artificial intelligence to figure out where the upload pages are. Four.. freaking… hours… not one upload. I wanted all of it done for when I get my new book cover. That way it would be simple to finish and publish.

You’d think I’d know better.

I did discover that Smashwords can… can, not will, upload to ibooks and Kobo, plus a few I’ve never heard of. And I want to try Wattpad. Apparently, if you sign up to post your book for free, a chapter at a time, you get free promotion. There’s only a few chapters in the first one. Maybe weekly is too fast?

Maybe I need more coffee?

Tidying up because I’m confusing myself


This is my brain right now.  seriously!  I ended up with three versions of the book, all with different covers, at two different prices.  No idea what was going on.

But I was getting sales… and no, Amazon doesn’t tell me from which version. So I’m really hoping that nobody who bought the old versions loses their copy, but I just unpublished two versions.  And that is totally a word, Amazon says so.

I loved the cover of the first one, a girl all alone on a school bus, it perfectly captured one of my themes.  But I couldn’t copy it to the paperback. And the paperback options were ugly, stupid, or plain.  I chose plain.


I just realized that how to see which version they bought, and Everyone who’d bought one bought an old version, so I reinstated the most likely to have been purchased one, changing the cover to the same as the other one.  I realize that this may add to the confusion, but at least everyone gets the same cover. Right?

And now I just realized that 4 of the 5 purchased were with the cover showing the little girl.  Frak! How do I get that cover onto the paperback?

Ok, once more into the breach, dear friends… and if your paid for copy just disappeared, let me know, I’ll email you one.