Posted in The Writer's Life

Google CheckOut vs. PayPal

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While the whole PayPal Debacle rages on and people back-peddle and try to make excuses I think I may come out on top on this one. (Yeah, ‘on top’ is always a good place to be! LOL)

I figure, in the end, it will turn out to be a good thing if, for no other reason, than getting me to switch to Google CheckOut which is sooooo much easier than PayPal! I’m not kidding. I’ve struggled with PayPal for years because it’s the ‘most favored way to pay online’ so I was stuck with it. It SUCKS. If you don’t have a Merchant Account with them and/or if you don’t know a whole bunch of the ‘back doors’ and HTML tricks you’re nearly f’d when it comes to selling digital products with PayPal. The ONLY way I found to it do so that it works with ALL browsers was to send people to a page where my books/pictures could be downloaded after purchase. (That was after asking PayPal why the darn thing didn’t always go straight to the file like I told it to.) Authors have been begging PayPal to fix this problem there are all kinds of posts on the boards over there from authors wondering why their code doesn’t work and why their books don’t download the way they should. PayPal’s best suggestion of opening a page to send customers to for download was their best fix unless you happened to be some internet guru who could sift through all the CRAP to get the code working properly.

The problem with sending people to a page after purchase is that not everyone is honest….those of who sell through Kindle and see the ‘return rate’ know that I mean. People will bookmark the link and send it out to their friends so they can download free.

Add to that the fact that half the time the downloads didn’t work and I ended up getting an email from an upset customer and having to send them whatever they purchased. It really just wasn’t very good but it’s what I had to work with…until they blew up and had a hissy fit.

Not with Google CheckOut!

Google CheckOut is actually DESIGNED to handle ‘digital goods’. What a concept, huh??? I was shocked when I first signed up and started inputting information for the buy codes there is actually a box you can check for ‘digital good’ instead of something you have to ship. I filled out the information for each buy link sending the customer to the FILE and not a PAGE at completion of the transaction. It even allowed me to add a security key….you know, a passcode…the people have to add in to finish the transaction. AND GCO doesn’t keep a freakin’ laundry list of every buy link you’ve ever made so you DO NOT have to sit there sifting through X amount of old links to find the one you want to edit. PP doesn’t even allow for bulk deletion of old buy codes you have to do them one at a time and it was a royal pain in the ass. I hated updating my buy links with PayPal. It was such a chore and if I had to do a lot of updating it took hours. Now I just make new code! There’s nothing to sift through. Nothing to edit. Nothing to delete.

Honestly, if you were thinking about leaving PayPal…or if you were thinking of selling through them…don’t. Google CheckOut is the way better system for merchants. Yes, it’s a little less convenient for the customer who probably has a PayPal account and not a Google CheckOut account but it’s free just like PayPal and if they really want to buy your book/picture/whatever they’ll sign up with it. The more people like me who sign up with and use Google CheckOut (or similar) then the more buyers will open accounts with those financial middlemen.

For those who don’t want to sign up with Google CheckOut, I still take PayPal by request and I provided them with links to my books on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords so they can buy from those retailers if it suits them. Of course they pay $1.00 more to go through one of those sites…well, they pay up to $3.00 more if they buy through Smashwords just because Smashwords only pays out quarterly instead of every month like Kindle and Nook. I don’t know about you but I really hate waiting to get my money no matter how little it is! LOL That’s part of the reason I dropped All Romance E-Books, they pay quarterly too. It’s too long of a wait between meager paychecks. I mean, ya know, I didn’t buy stock or something so why shouldn’t I get paid monthly? Just a suggestion for those two sites not that either of them care.πŸ™‚

Posted in Life

Release Day

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We made it!


Here’s the ‘last minute’ blurb, cuz, ya know, I totally forgot it!πŸ™‚

In a Small Town Secrets Are Kept and Then They Kill.

After the death of her husband, Helen Makris never expected to fall in love again until she met retired Colonel Kevin Smith. Both widowed for years the two unexpectedly meet in Helen’s new home, the quaint New England Village, Tarrytown, Maine. All would be well if it weren’t for the watchful eye of the Shaw Street Strangler who has his sights set on Helen.

In a grand homage to The Master, Stephen King, Lisa Beth Darling and Moon Mistress Publishing proudly invited you to take a rocketing no-holds-barred journey into the diseased mind of a madman with this ADULT Chiller/Thriller Horror Story with heavy Romantic Tendencies.

Yes, I kept to my word. The Dedication reads:

This story is dedicated, unequivocally and unabashedly, to The Master, Stephen Edwin King who’s given me some of the best hours of my life. I’m so glad you made it to this party, dude.

“OBSESSION” is now available on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords and my site. Best deal is on my site where it’s $2.99. You can also read a new excerpt and the sexcerpt has been added. If you buy elsewhere; Kindle and Nook=$3.99 and Smashwords $4.99.

Got an email this morning and it looks as though PayPal is going to loosen their restrictions on ‘banned material’ so I also republished my other books over there. HOWEVER, I have not returned PayPal to the site. Sticking with Google CheckOut. If you don’t have a Google CheckOut account but you do have PayPal and you want an ebook copy of “OBSESSION” drop me an email, please let me know what format you would like; Nook, iBooks, Sony, Palm, Kindle,Kobo, or Adobe. I’ll give you my PayPal address, you pay for the book through them and I’ll send you the file ASAP.

It may, or may not, come to print in the next 3 weeks but I’m really not sure about that. The main reason I would do it is simply because I would like to have a hard copy of it.I still don’t own a hard copy of “Child of War-A God is Born”. How sucky is that? I sent away ALL my copies….including one that had my copyright certificate in it!Can you say; idiot? I knew you could! LOL

Now the ONLY reason I was able to pull this off on time is my husband is a freakin’ genius! He was able to SAVE ALL of my files, pics,graphics, music…everything. Phew. Still had to wipe the hard drive but he saved it and put on ye olde laptop so I could keep plodding along. Thanks honey! Yes, I gave him a right proper THANK YOU last night!πŸ˜‰ My life is on this damn thing, man, I’d go nuts if I lost ALL of it.

BUT we did make it to the Finish Line, now it’s off and on it’s own. Almost time to get back to “Rising Son”.

Oh yeah, guess what? After I made my last post yesterday…….poof..disappeared. hahahahaha SBC came back this morning, they’re hitting from Waterford which is how I know it’s a ‘local’. Wonder what NLC thought of my post. They didn’t email me over it, darn. I really don’t care who comes in and reads what here but I thought that was a little excessive. And, ya know, if anyone out there is actually LOOKING for something here, you could always EMAIL ME and ASK. Geez.πŸ˜‰

In any event; Good luck to Helen and Kevin! Let’s hope the general public roots for them and doesn’t hate Eddie enough to totally pan the book. He’s a bad bad man, yes he is. Now he’s gone for a while. Olympus and my reward for going through this ickyness is just around the corner.

Posted in Child of War, The Writer's Life


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Well it started out as bloody-awful weekend…and I do mean bloody. Oooo it was nasty. That person over on GoodReads sure knew how to whip people up into a frenzy. That’s over now. I blocked her from my GR page and my FaceBook page. All of the posts in that thread are gone and the only thing left is her nasty initial remark. As it sits among the growing new TOTALLY AWESOME REVIEWS….well…..guess who’s getting the last laugh on this one?

Yeah, me.πŸ™‚

So first up…..Check Out this freakin’ fantastic review! Really, seriously, you have to go over and read this one! It’s the best so far, the reviewer really ‘got’ the book and everything that was going on so GO NOW. Rage, Sex, & Teddy Bears I think this is one of the best reviews I’ve ever received. I’m really proud of it! We earned it. Especially after yesterday.

Fine…here’s a nice quote for those of you who won’t click the link.

“I was completely immersed in their lives due to the expert storytelling of Ms. Darling. If ever there was a series of books destined for the “big screen” this would be it. I can promise you there is nothing out there in any form that remotely resembles this. It is an unforgettable and not entirely comfortable experience that I intend to repeat as often as one of Lisa’s books are published. This is the purest from of literary crack, I couldn’t put it down to save my life. Phenomenal.”

I told you it was an AWESOME review and there’s even MORE!

Now to other news…..Child of War-A God is Born has just been made available in PAPERBACK exclusively through it will come to Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million by early November. E-books are still slated for release on November 25, 2011.

Looks like it’s going to turn out to be a good weekend!

Posted in Child of War

The Arrival-Child of War-A God is Born

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It’s HERE!

(As always, click the pics to make them bigger)

I was starting to think the shipment was never going to arrive! But it did and it looks FREAKIN’ AWESOME! You should see it! I’m thrilled with the way this came out and on the first go-round too! Woot! Cover-to-cover it’s as perfect as it can get from the graphics to format to the dedications. It’s just…well…personally I think you might actually buy this if you saw it sitting in your “local” bookstore. (Does anyone still have a “local” bookstore?)

“Ghost Whisperer” fan? Check out the back cover and answer the Immortal Question: “Can You See Me?”

Here’s the whole little pack you get when you Order a Signed Hard Cover of Child of War-A God is Born

Not too shabby for $25.95 plus S&H

Come on! Buy a book! Make an Old Lady happy and help ensure my family and I don’t starve to death during the coming winter months!πŸ™‚

Posted in The Writer's Life

It’s the Writer’s LIFE-dumbass

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Ok I’m here to bitch for a few minutes. I’m always amazed at how people find this blog, where they come from, and most of all, who they are. The stat program connected to this blog (yeah, no not the one through WordPress which totally sucks ass) tells me most of those things AND it lets me see when someone on wordpress comes in from their ‘dashboard’. That means I can see them clearly and hit their blogs to find out more about them. Not too surprisingly most of them are writers of one kind or another.

One thing that never fails to amaze me is how ‘easy’ all of these ‘writers’ seem to think writing is or should be. How they honestly believe that if they toss out 35,000 words of utter crap the world will not only beat a path to their door but will richly reward them in less time than it takes to make a two-minute egg.

It’s the Writer’s LIFE you dumbasses…not the Writer’s 15 Minutes!

They whine about their lack of sales; why isn’t my book going anywhere? It was picked up by a publisher.
They throw out golden oldies like; sex sells! Why isn’t MY book selling???
They cry about; no one even knows I’m out here and my publisher isn’t helping!

I think one day I should break my own Golden Rule and actually sit down and write a self-published book on How to Happily Be Self-Published or Being Your Own Best Advocate.

Back to the three most often heard statements above.

1-Who’s your publisher? I see it’s not, oh, I dunno, Random House or Putnam so…. Did you investigate them thoroughly before signing a contract with them? Or were you just so bowled over that someone…ANYONE…wanted to publish YOUR book that you didn’t even bother? Did they ask YOU what YOU can do for THEM? If so, the one thing you should have instantly heard in your head was; Danger Will Robinson, Danger, Danger!

If you did not heed that warning, quite honestly, it’s your own damn fault. There is a multitude of “publishers” out there just waiting to shank you, I mean that. They are lurking out there preying off the ignorance of wanna-be writers just like people who used to sell Aluminium Siding back in the 70s. They will take your money with the promises of big payoffs and then leave you in the dust telling you it’s not their fault your book isn’t selling. The truth is there’s a mass of “publishers” out there looking to get rich quick, just like the writers in question, they know little about publishing and marketing and don’t care to. They are under the same impressions as the author; write a book, get rich in 15 minutes.

Kicker there is, it really isn’t their fault your book isn’t selling. It’s your fault. You wrote a shitty book and you went with a crappy publisher, probably just so you could say you’re a “published author” and are now, somehow, more “legitimate” today than you were yesterday–but that ain’t true. Take the lesson learned and try not to repeat it with your next masterpiece.

You could also try educating yourself and getting savvy. That’s always a great thing to do. The less ignorant you are about the publishing world and the do’s and don’ts thereof, the better off you will be. That’s not limited to How to Write a Great Query Letter…puh-lease. In today’s world the smart, educated, savvy author can do everything for him/herself that a crappy small time publisher can do–and then some! But if you don’t know what you can do for yourself and how to do it, then be prepared to be ripped off in one fashion or another.

It’s your choice.

Oh yeah, and chances are novels should never be written in the first person. BORING and TEDIOUS for the reader all of those “I’s” I did this, I did that, every sentence is chock full of “I”. Unless you’re doing an auto-biography or some other, preferably shorter, non-fiction piece, it’s probably best to leave the first person perspective at the door and try getting really creative by creating a solid character.

2-Not all sex sells. GOOD SEX SELLS…CRAPPY SEX BORES THE HELL OUT OF PEOPLE. Just because there’s 8 people struggling to get off in a big sweaty convoluted heap doesn’t mean it’s anything less than absolute shit. If that’s what you got, Men’s Magazines are the place for you; Oui, Hustler, Penthouse they love that shit. Especially if it’s SHORT so keep it short, shuck it to them, make money. Don’t make an entire book out of it. The “romance/erotica” market is made up of….oh let’s be adventurous here and say….80% women. They don’t wanna read about some dumb schlub’s harem…especially one that, in the real world, the guy would NEVER have…ever… cuz there’s nothing that great and fantastic about him. (They don’t mind reading about Ares’ harem cuz he’s a man’s-man AND he finds his heart pretty early on in the story.) Women do NOT think “Sister Wives” are sexy…no we don’t. Only those stuck in that backwards world (or a man) think they’re ‘hot’ in any fashion.

The same is true in reverse; we don’t think some chick with 8 or 9 guys is necessarily ‘hot’ either…in fact the first term that comes to mind is probably “whore”. BUT if you can turn her into someone like ‘Lady Heather’ then, baby, you’ve got gold.

Don’t get me wrong, it is very possible to write a GREAT book with GREAT sex within the confines of a menage or even a balanced foursome. It’s possible to make something like that completely believable and even fill it with honest emotion and make it compelling. It can be done and it can sell…very well. But you have to take your time, think it out, and do it right.

Of course all of that translates into; hone your talent. Work on it. This is your CAREER choice after all. Treat it like one. If you’d rather be a dabbler and a hobbyist that’s fine too, write your stories, post ’em on your site, pass ’em around to your friends and be happy. Who knows, maybe one day, some big wig will pop into your site, think you’re absolutely fantastic and offer you an honest contract.

It could happen. It ain’t real likely but it could happen.

3-No one knows you’re out there? Well, it’s a HUGE…I mean BIG MASSIVE COLOSSAL market. What have you done to get yourself out there? What have you done to market yourself?

Oh, I see…you opened a blog, a Twitter, and a Facebook account–all in one day?? And the world was supposed to come flooding in on you on opening day demanding a copy of your book at $3.99 each?

And they DIDN’T?

Those bastards!


Jerk. Idiot. Moron. At least put in some REAL effort before you start bitching that no one knows your name. No, that doesn’t mean spamming your friends and contacts on a consistent basis begging THEM to buy your book. It means getting up off your lazy ass, doing research, making hundreds of contacts with small and big places, getting reviews, getting the guest spots on VISIBLE blogs and generally working your ass off. Quite a bit more involved than merely tweeting your way around the Internet.

Oh wait, I see, I see, I get it…your “publisher” was supposed to do that for you? Kindly see #1 above at this point and read the fine print in your “contract” you signed with Acme Press.

Like I said; it’s The Writer’s LIFE and it’s a LIFELONG process. If you’re not willing to put in the time, the effort, the energy, the tears, the frustration, then….you’re in the wrong business. I don’t care how much “talent” you think you have…this business is NOT for you. And it IS a business, you need to treat it like one. After the creative process is over, the book is written, and it’s gone to print that’s when the fun stops and the real work starts.

Mostly I’m just sick and tired of people thinking that ANYONE can write and sell a book…anyone. That this is tit work, it’s easy, there’s nothing to it. AND, above and beyond all others I’m tired of people thinking and expressing that; Writers are lazy, they don’t want to work so they write instead and think they’re doing something.

Nothing could be further from the truth. This is WORK and it’s HARD WORK and you have to stay AT IT day in and day out. Maybe, just maybe, if you do it right, if you’re a good little writer, if the Stars Align and the Gods Smile you’ll sell a few copies and people will love you for it. Maybe.

Posted in fort trumbull, Life, Uncategorized

Always Busy

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I know I haven’t been in here in quite a while and I’ve been meaning to but Life keeps me hopping!

Among the plethora of interviews/guest blogs and such that I’ve completed and submitted I was able to get Ebony up and running a wee bit more. With Summer starting to Sizzle and all, I thought it was time to finish off The Doc Series. So here’s what we got:

Nice covers, huh? I’m really partial to that last one. All of the books are up and running on the site, Nook, Kindle and Smashwords. They’re selling already. “Regret Me Not” best of the lot. Of course.πŸ˜‰

Also got this project off the ground:

That little beauty is now available on the site and is coming soon to Nook & Nook Color (most highly recommended!) and to in Coffee Table Book format in a week or two.

Now that most of my little projects are taken care of…I’m hoping to get back to writing. I see people coming in and getting frustrated. Believe me no one felt their frustration more than I did. The Big Guy and I damn near called it quits–for reals. I was ready to just throw up my hands and say: “fuck it all! I don’t give a damn anymore!”

It took quite a long time but we’ve come to a truce of sorts; as always I try not to make too many demands that I know I shouldn’t and in return he promises to behave himself a bit more in the future or at least keep his little dalliances far away from my earshot or line of sight. We did manage a few pages today, nothing special, just a start that’s all.

Posted in Life

Still Getting Older

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I guess that’s a good thing though I’m not entirely sure!

My back is feeling better today, not great but better. I can see I’m going to be one of those people with back problems as I continue through my advancing years. Yesterday it took me hours to stand up straight. I sat here with the heating pad most of the day as I wrote (still not completely happy with that chapter but I’ll work on it) and did some mild stretching. I didn’t lay down until after my bath. Ahhhh…..bath. So nice. I loaded it up with lavender epsom salts and made it as hot as I could stand it, by the time I got out I was feeling much better. Watch several episodes on DVD–yep, I pigged out last night! LOL

It was a terrible feeling as I gave the pot a last good yank to get it in place yesterday and I felt my back pull and thought; Oh that’s not normal. It felt as though I’d pulled a length of yarn tight between my fingers and watched it stretch to its limit. Getting up the four steps from the yard to the deck was not fun at all as I stood there, hunched over like a ? and wondering how I was going to lift my right leg that small distance four times.

I stumbled inside, flopped on the couch, felt more pain, laid there to catch my breath and then forced myself to sit up. Nikki took good care of me before she left for work. She gave me some of her codeine…yes, it’s actually codeine it’s in this little foil strip packet looks like Shoe Button Candy (or birth control pills!)…15 mgs each. I took 4 and felt nearly no effect. Who prescribes 15 mg of codeine? What kind of non-pain does someone have which requires this low dose? The last time I took codeine–years ago–it was a ‘horse pill’ that I had to choke down and it made me loopy for a little while. Always the best part!

I managed to roast a turkey in spite of my back troubles. I got it at Stop & Shop earlier in the week. I love the Manager’s Special…14lb turkey @ $7.00 vs. 6lbs chicken @ $8.00….hummmmm….lemme think. Turkey it is! Unfortunately I didn’t get cranberry sauce, total bummer. Getting the bird in and out of the oven was a challenge but I did it. It came out well, even managed baked potatoes and gravy.

I’m getting older but still chugging along.

The Explorer decided to act up on Friday, which didn’t make hubby happy in the slightest. It was making an awful racket but running fine–sort of like me! We took it down to the garage and left it there, we ended up walking back home from Jay St. Hubby picked on me endlessly about my casual stride and telling me to hurry up, move along. But if I hurried up I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the newly blooming flowers and the changes to the neighborhoods? I’m usually driving through them so I don’t notice very much about the surroundings unless it’s something major. I like a long leisurely stroll, sort of a long leisurely…well, ya know.

There wasn’t any of that last night, that’s for sure. My back was not up for anything like that.

We got the Explorer back yesterday something about a belt and a harmonic balancer and that’ll be $150.00, please. But it runs fine now, no noise, so…good deal, I suppose.

The sun is shining today and those baby plants are just begging me to pot them up but I don’t know if stooping over for any length of time is wise today. I might try planting the cucumbers and strawberries in pots because I put them on the table and do it. The tomatoes may have to wait another day or two.

Since it is the End of the Month it was time to do a tally on my sales, I just missed my One Book A Day Goal…darn. Here’s the breakdown:
Heart of War=9 (hehehe)
On a Hot Summer Night = 4
Thy Brother’s Wife=1
Dark Illusions=1

Kindle UK:
Dream Weaver=1

Heart of War=4
On a Hot Summer Night=2
Thy Brother’s Wife=1
Dark Illusions=1

Sales Through the Site:
Heart of War= 3
On a Hot Summer Night=1
Kanan’s Revenge=1 (that person got the last copy, that series has been cut down to the first 2 novels)

Total Books Sold in April: 28–missed it by two! Darn!

Oh wait…what’s this?

I actually sold two paperbacks through this month too! LOL! All together I’ve sold three. Isn’t that funny? There are massive drawbacks to paperbacks these days, I know that, I didn’t really expect anyone to buy them but they did. That’s kinda cool. I lowered the price for the summer it’s down 12+change, hoping to sell a few more. The shipping kills people, I know it does. It’s 5.00 for ‘regular’ shipping so the paperback ended up costing those nice folks nearly 20.00….pricey.

So I made my monthly goal after allπŸ™‚

Yeah, I’m not rich yet, nowhere near it, but that’s ok. The reviews are outstanding and the vast majority of people are really enjoying the story. What more could I ask for?

Oh yeah, my back to stop doing this! LOL