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Grey Daze: A Lance Underphal Mystery
by Michael Allan Scott

Kindle Edition published 2015-03-29
Bestseller ranking: 167157

Product Description
An IAN Book of the Year Finalist and featured on NBC's Daytime Show, the third book in the Lance Underphal Mystery series is part of a new breed of supernatural thrillers which can be read and enjoyed in any order. Based on real events, this is one of those dark, disturbing novels that keeps you turning pages.
Download the sample or use the "Look inside" feature for a FREE E-book offer.
It's a mystery- Something is wrong. As Lance Underphal pads softly across the cold flagstone, he hears her weeping. She is on her knees, hunched over in the middle of the room, her back to him, facing the dark fireplace. Something is very wrong. Lance wants to rush to her, but can't. In a hoarse whisper, he says, "Callie?" She lets out a mournful wail from deep within as she turns, their infant son in her arms, blue and still. He reels from the blow. How can this be? They don't have a son.

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Messages - Evelyn Alexie

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I think we can all agree on this.   :)

Something everyone on Kboards agrees on? Can it be? :o

You see, we have six, ah... we have six, you see...

This thread is becoming almost a drinking game. (Someone says "This issue is about using a pen name!" Everyone else, "Drink!")

You could argue that writing a work of fiction is lying. But the thing is, if you're clear that it's a work of fiction, everyone knows you're not claiming it to be the truth.

I said that I wrote under female pennames to meet the societal expectations of romance readers for the sake of profit.

I believe that publishing romance under a male penname, in general, earns less money. It might be possible to earn equivalent income as a man writing under a mans name if you were building a long lasting name with a significant social media presence (becoming the bad boy of bad boy romance), but that doesnt really work when youre publishing at a high rate of speed in multiple genres and under dozens of pennames.

In that instance, its more profitable to write as a woman. Its more profitable to represent yourself as a woman. You can argue that if you will, but my actual experiments in this vein were absolutely conclusive.

When someone asked if my readers would be upset if they found out the person behind that pen was a man, I felt the answer to that was self evident. If a male penname in romance generally earns massively less than a female pen (in my experience), being outed as a man would obviously be damaging. It would kill a penname.

This thread further demonstrates that it goes beyond readers. There are authors who would attack you (and encourage their readers to attack you) if this came out.

What I find interesting is that there have been comment after comment saying it's perfectly all right to be a man using a feminine pen name. I haven't read anyone attacking that usage. But you seem to be conflating using a pen name and adopting a persona, i.e., acting out as you would expect a woman to act. That is where the majority of people seem to start using words like "skeevy."

I'm asking this question in all seriousness. I don't mean to sound as if I'm attacking you; I'm trying to understand your point of view. Do you think that using a pen name and going out on social media while acting like a woman are the same thing? I mean, you don't think you could just use the pen name, write the books, post ads or whatnot, without interacting with fans as a woman? People have made references to some course where everyone is being taught to do that sort of thing. (Yet another trend I've missed hearing about until now.)

There was a study published in the Atlantic that people who are more trusting are smarter and in general happier.

Which is not to say that they can't get hurt more than the cynical ones. But it looks as if they enjoy the part of life where they're not being let down more than the people who are always waiting for the next betrayal.

If it's a question of the mechanics of sex, there's a well-kept secret: the internet is full of porn.

Or don't get caught  ;D

I'm always a little puzzled when people do get found out in situations like this.. is it really so difficult to keep up a pseudonym?

In the blogger's case, a post that she wrote on her blog ended up with her getting sued. In the course of Discovery, the pen name came out.

These days, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that something you do or say or write might end up with your being sued. Don't do or say or write something under a pseudonym that you wouldn't do/say/write under your legal name.

This issue is broader than men-pretending-to-be-women. Was anyone but Robert Silverberg upset that James Tiptree, jr., turned out to be a woman?

There was a well-known* blogger who spent years writing online reviews about romance novels. Some of the reviews were not especially kind, though I believe the reviewer was trying to be honest and fair.

Then the blogger adopted a pen name, started writing romance novels herself, and joined several writing groups to talk about romance novels under that pen name. Sometimes (I'm going on hearsay here, didn't read the emails) she solicited other writers' opinions about the blogger. Sometimes, the writers who talked to her about the blogger were ones who had been on the receiving end of some of her more... er... honest reviews.

Then her pen name was revealed as a pseudonym of the blogger, and there was Much Unhappiness. Writers felt that she had misused their trust, that she had inveigled them into revealing things they would not have said to the blogger herself. It all ended badly.

tl;dr -- If you want to write under a pseudonym (male, female, could-be-either) that's fine. But don't invent a persona to go along with it.

 *Well, in the Romance community

Writers' Cafe / Re: Question about a concern about a review.
« on: January 07, 2018, 09:59:04 AM »
Were I you* I would try to rope that reviewer in as a beta reader. Someone who takes that much time and care to cite the passages they have a problem with is pretty much guaranteed to go over your manuscript meticulously.

*Note use of subjunctive mood to indicate that of course I ain't you, and you have to find your own way to handle this.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« on: January 05, 2018, 09:28:01 AM »
This is true. The point of a GR giveaway is (or was, I should say) to gain visibility. Getting a review was a nice side effect, though.

I'm still a complete newb at this Published Author stuff, so it really helps me to know what to expect. When I started out, I alternated between thinking no one would read the dratted book ("I'm hopeless! It's the Worst Book Ever") and fantasizing that everyone would rush out and buy a copy. ("Why thank you, Mr. Gaiman, what a lovely review!") So it helped me to know not to expect a heap of reviews.

And yes, I think most authors have given up on GR giveaways, based on their new pricing model. It seems odd, given that GR is owned by Amazon and yet I can host an Amazon giveaway without paying them.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Who writes more than one book or story at a time?
« on: January 05, 2018, 08:04:34 AM »
I am most productive (and have the most fun) when writing a trilogy, all three books at the same time. It's wonderful. When one character's story slows down, I can hop over to his friend's story. I'm still in the world, just from a different perspective.

My understanding is that Amazon only cares if you sell your ebooks elsewhere, and you can do what you want with paperbacks.
My first book is being released traditionally, and I've noticed that people are buying the paperback version.

So I was thinking for my next book I might keep the ebook in KU for a few months and put up paperbacks only at other sites. Has anyone tried this? If so, would you recommend it?

Writers' Cafe / Update-- 1 in 5 Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« on: December 29, 2017, 07:43:01 PM »
Just following up. Out of the 5 books that I gave away 6 weeks ago, I just got 1 review.
After the comments from KBoarders, I hadn't expected any, so this is a plus.
Bonus, it's a nice review, so I'm pleased.

I understand that offering advice is a natural and (usually) generous reaction....But let's keep in mind that Ron hasn't specifically asked for advice and, therefore, keep our suggestions constructive and reasonably limited. Thanks. :)

Can I take you with me that next time I go to a big family dinner?
("Oh, so you're writing books now? Well, here's what I think you should do...")

On the plus side, I learned a new word today. Now I've got to find a way to work 'motza' into conversation.

I appreciate hearing people's successes and unsuccesses. And I wouldn't consider any lack of success to be a failure so long as you analyze what didn't work and why and then try something else instead.

Writers' Cafe / Re: movies about writers (writers as protags)
« on: December 26, 2017, 06:23:40 PM »
Just finished To Walk Invisible, a mini-series about the Bronte sisters. I thought I was a fairly extreme introvert, until I saw Emily Bronte.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Does this blurb work? (Historical Romance)
« on: December 26, 2017, 02:36:12 PM »
Thank you, Pamela!

Looks like there's a good story here, but yes, there are things that would trip a reader up.

I think Dennis summed up everything I noticed. Except one more point: when you say he has to "retrieve" the McGuffin, I think the reader will assume it's in the wrong hands already. You don't need to spell that out.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Does this blurb work? (Historical Romance)
« on: December 26, 2017, 11:28:17 AM »
I tried taking the feedback and weaving it into the updated version. Is this better? Worse? Meh?  :'(


"I am not your enemy." He held her gaze, willing her to believe that lie.

It's 1845. Britain and America both claim the Oregon Territory, and neither is willing to back down. As both sides prepare for war, the British government sends Lieutenant Geoffrey Montgomery to Oregon City on a confidential mission. Doing his duty means lying to everyone he meets--including a woman who catches his attention the moment they meet.

Lia Griggs needs to find a home for herself and her nephew. She has the chance to carve a niche for herself in Oregon City--so long as she is prepared to hide her past from everyone, even the Englishman who quickly becomes her friend and ally.

To survive, both need to pretend to be someone they're not. The last thing either of them wants is to fall in love with the one person they can never have.

As the threat of war grows stronger, choosing to stay together could cost them everything they have.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Question/advice regarding pen names
« on: December 20, 2017, 08:05:36 AM »
I know when Julie Lessman published a novel that was warmer than her previous Christian fiction, she got a lot of one-star reviews, with readers saying they felt "betrayed" and now they couldn't pick up one of her books without checking to make sure it wasn't "secular."
Not sure if that works the same for fiction/non-fiction.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Does this blurb work? (Historical Romance)
« on: December 19, 2017, 02:52:01 PM »
These are both great -- thank you!

The story is based on the confidential mission of two British Army lieutenants, Vavasour and Warre, who were sent by the British government into the Oregon Territory to evaluate the area for its defensive possibilities. Britain and America were both doing a lot of saber rattling and making aggressive speeches about how Oregon was clearly theirs by right. (No one consulted the natives on the matter.) Both sides were very tense and no one was sure whether things would lead to war or not.
The two lieutenants posed as tourists and prepared a report showing how Britain could control the territory by building forts in strategic areas on the Columbia and Willamette rivers. But by the time they made it back to Montreal, the British government had decided it was too much trouble to hold a war over a territory that they were only interested in for the fur trade.
There is no mention of either of the two men falling in love during the course of their mission.
But there's no evidence they didn't either ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Back cover Blurb - Feedback Please?
« on: December 19, 2017, 01:05:17 PM »
I like that revision even better!

Writers' Cafe / Does this blurb work? (Historical Romance)
« on: December 19, 2017, 12:59:28 PM »
I'm not happy with the ending, but I've been looking at this for so long that I can't tell whether any of it works or not. Any suggestions?


Im not your enemy. He held her gaze, willing her to believe that lie. The greatest one of all.

Its 1845, and the Oregon Territory is preparing for war. The British government sends Lieutenant Geoffrey Montgomery on a confidential mission to Oregon City. To do his duty, he must lie to everyone he meetsincluding the woman he is falling in love with.
Lia Griggs needs to find a home for herself and her nephew. She has the chance to carve a niche for herself in Oregon Cityso long as she is prepared to hide her past.
The last thing either of them wants is to fall in love with the one person they can never have. As the threat of war grows stronger, choosing to stay together could cost them everything they have.

Listening to my inner critic when it confirmed my 1st WIP was 'beyond hope'.

40+ books later and it still tries the same thing every single time. Now I get worried when it's late showing up  :D.

Lesson learnt, is to plow on with and beyond that first draft, regardless.

This. Every single book that I've written, I get to a point where I am convinced that it is the Worst Book Ever Written.

I would never have finished  my first book if I hadn't sent the partial in to a contest and an editor said she wanted to see the whole thing. I would never have published it if she hadn't said she wanted to buy it.

It's easier to tell the inner voice to shut up when you're going the traditional publishing route. Now that I'm self-publishing my second book, the inner voice is louder than ever. After writing a few more books, I've gotten used to it as part of the process. But my computer is littered with half-finished manuscripts that could have been good books.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Time To Wait For a Rejection?
« on: December 18, 2017, 12:25:20 PM »
Rejections arrive almost immediately or after a couple of months, but mostly you never hear from them again.

Even if they have requested the manuscript??? :o

All comments below are my opinion. Take what works for you, and leave the rest.

Definitely lose the first sentence. I don't think it works when an author describes her book as "fun" or "uplifting" or what have you. I loved the way you /showed/ the book being fun by describing the woman's boyfriend as "lentil obsessed."

Also, I'd lose the exclamation point. Being accused of murder is exciting enough.

Please don't tell me their journey is "fun" and "enlightening" -- tell me where they go or what they do. Likewise, don't tell me it's the "perfect pick me up." SHOW me. I need more specifics.

I think this would work better if I knew what they were up against. Who are the bullies and villains? (The boyfriends?) What do they want? Most of all, I need to know what happens if the bullies win. What is at stake for these heroines?

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