Cover Reveal – Assassin’s Blood – new short

Assassin's Blood by Natasha Duncan-Drake
So this is the cover for Assassin’s Blood a new short story by Natasha Duncan-Drake. It’s an exciting romp full of action and paranormal intrigue with a breath of romance to spice things up.

Meet Kira Roltof, a vampire/werewolf hybrid and assassin with a rather twisted sense of humour. In this story she’s after a Mafia big shot, but runs into a snag of the vampire persuasion.

The book itself will be available in the very near future. When it is released it is going to be a freebie for all current and future subscribers to our Wittegen Press Newsletter.

Figure reference for cover from senshistock.deviantart.com
Blood splatter brush from dead_brushes/brusheezy.com

Natasha Duncan-Drake
Natasha Duncan-Drake

From the Author of Assassin’s Blood:

I’ve grown rather fond of Kira as I have written her. When the subscriber’s poll chose Paranormal as one of the two genres for the short stories I knew I definitely wanted vampires in there, but then I decided I wanted werewolves as well, just to complicate matters.

The whole idea grew from the first line that just popped into my head: ‘My name is Kira Roltof and I do not exist.

Ginger Nuts of Horror – The Film that Made Me Guest Post

Today Nataha Duncan-Drake has a guest post over at a wonderful blog called Ginger Nuts of Horror. How could anyone not love a site called that?

This site is all about the horror genre and has some wonderful sections:

  • Horror Interviews
  • Horror News
  • The Book That Made Me (articles by horror authors and fans about the books that made them fans of the genre)
  • The Film That Made Me (as above, but horror films)
  • Horror Reviews
  • and more
The Film That Made Me - The Lost Boys - Ginger Nuts of Horror
The Lost Boys
I have a post in The Film That Made Me section and I chose “The Lost Boys”. If you would like to see why, head over to Ginger Nuts of Horror and check out my post:

If you enjoy horror you should definitely check out Ginger Nuts of Horror. The blog also takes guest posts, does interviews and does reviews (although that will take more time and cannot be guaranteed) so if you are a horror author/film maker, check out the site.

P.S. For those who do not know what Ginger Nuts are they’re ginger biscuits/cookies, hence the site’s logo (which is awesome).

Ginger Nuts of Horror
Ginger Nuts of Horror – click on over to see it full size in all its glory

 

Gun Encyclopedia – Useful site for Authors

Author’s Note: This is a repost from my personal blog, but I thought a gun encyclopedia would be useful so I’ve posted it here as well.

So I’m currently writing a short story with a character who is an assassin and I wanted her to use handguns. Since I know nothing about handguns at all I turned to Google and this really useful site popped up. It has everything you could possibly need to know about guns and ammo. of the 20th Century.

World Guns - An Encyclopedia of Weapons of the 20th Century

I thought I’d pass it on because these are the kind of resources I know we writers are always after. I suspect many of you have found it already, but I hadn’t so for those that also haven’t here is the link.

I had no idea there were so many different types of gun out there; it’s all a little scary really.  The site gives run downs on what a type of gun is as well, so if you want to know the difference between a submachine gun and a machine gun, this is the site for you.

The site is in English and Russian.

This is a list of the categories the site has:

  • Handguns
  • Submachine guns
  • Military Rifles
  • Assault Rifles
  • Sniper Rifles
  • Civilian Rifles
  • Shotguns
  • Machine guns
  • Anti-tank rifles
  • Grenade launchers
  • Ammunition
  • Traumatic Weapons

IWACA Autumn Issue – Author Spotlights and Free Fiction

We are very pleased to say that Sophie Duncan and Natasha Duncan-Drake are both in the IWACA (Indie Writers and Creative Artists) Magazine, Autumn Issue. IWACA is put together by the fantastic SD Neeve, a very talented lady and author.

This is a free online magazine containing fiction, author spotlights, articles and more. Click the link below to go to the magazine.

IWACA Autumn Issue

Both Sophie and Natasha have author spotlights and short stories in this issue and there is lots of other wonderful content as well. Since it is the Autumn issue Halloween came to mind and both stories are of the horror genre, suitable for most except the very young.

one more piece by Sophie Duncan for IWACAOne More Piece by Sophie Duncan

A young woman is a puzzle enthusiast and collects old wooden jigsaw puzzles. However, with her latest acquisition she just doesn’t seem to be able to stop fitting just one more piece.

Rest In Peace by Natasha Duncan-Drake for IWACA

Rest In Peace by Natasha Duncan-Drake

What is Special Order Seventeen and what does it have to do with zombies? Find out in this humorous short story.

Thank you to SD Neeve for putting together the magazine and inviting our authors to take part.

The Burning Web (Ghost Story) by Sophie Duncan Available NOW for Pre-order

Wittegen Press Are Happy to Announce Available NOW For Pre-Order

The Burning Web by Sophie Duncan

The Burning Web

Sophie Duncan

Is it symptoms left from his brain haemorrhage, or a guilty conscience that is making Tristan McCall see things no-one else can?

Forced out of the police by scandal and illness, Tris is trying to rebuild his life through the renovation of the home he hopes to share with Xander, his husband. A sprawling Gothic pile, Berwick House is in need of attention, but Tris soon realises the attention is not all one way. Faced with a presence in the house only he can sense, Tris must decide if his damaged brain is playing tricks on him, or if Berwick House really holds a dark and dangerous message from beyond the grave.

The Burning Web is an exciting novel length ghost story to send shivers down your spine.

~

Excerpt

Payment Due
Tris blinked into the bright afternoon light and shielded his eyes with one hand as the natural shine was joined by dozens of flash bulbs. He’d tried to prepare himself for the glare he knew would be outside, but his head was thumping, had been since he’d been called back into the courtroom to hear the verdict. He was so tired he just wanted to get home and collapse next to Xander on the sofa. Yet, from the way Xander was gripping his hand and pulling him towards the top of the court building steps, Tris knew it wasn’t to be. He meekly followed his husband in front of the melee of reporters.

Each burst of camera light was like pins poking into his retinas, so Tris watched the back of Xander’s left ear. All he could really see was a dark patch of hair and his husband’s chocolate skin rather than any detail, since his eyesight was shifting in and out of focus. He had no more words, no comments for the horde that had been dogging him since this whole crappy business had begun, so he let Xander speak for him.

People were yelling questions from all directions and calling for them to turn this way and that, but Xander held up one hand in what to most would have looked like a very confident gesture for silence. Since the other one was clasped around Tris’ hand like a vice, Tris knew better. It worked though, and the crowd rumbled into mostly silence.

“Tristan and I,” Xander began, since it had been a long time since anyone reporting on the case had called him DC McCall, “would firstly like to thank everyone who has stood by us through the last eighteen months. It has been a difficult time, when Tris has been tried both by the media and by the law, and finally, justice has been done: as has always been maintained by Tris and I, he is innocent of any crime.”

“He still shot an innocent boy!” someone yelled from the back of the crowd and more flashes went off.

Tris kept his attention on Xander, forcing his face to stay straight, despite the knot of sickness that knowledge kept in the bottom of his stomach. Xander had to have felt him tremble though, because he squeezed his fingers reassuringly.

“As Tris has stated on many occasions, he wholeheartedly regrets the awful sequence of events that led to this terrible incident, but Abdi San ran at him holding a gun during a night of terrible violence on the New Cross estate,” Xander added, tone firm, authoritative. “A jury has now agreed with us that under those conditions, Tris had no chance of telling that gun was a replica and he reacted lawfully while defending his own life, those of his fellow officers and members of the public.”

A whole wave of more yelled questions started at that and Tris cringed. He rubbed his face, eyes half closed and chill sweat running down his back under the smart suit that was becoming unbearably tight at the collar. He didn’t want to think about this now, not any more. What had happened had been dissected every which way by two enquiries and, finally, thanks to public pressure, his trial for manslaughter.

Yet, then one question cut over all the others, a shrill, young voice demanding, “McCall, would you still have shot Abdi San if he’d been white?”

Tris couldn’t help it then, he reacted to the shock of that accusation and glanced around, wide-eyed, for its source.

“One thing my husband is not is racist!” Xander barked back defensively, sounding a lot less in control this time.

People were yelling at him again, but Tris needed to find that one accuser, to meet his eye and tell him exactly where he could shove his stereotypes. He winced at the daggers of light exploding in his face as he scanned the crowd, but most of the pain was inside and it had to come out. Everything was pretty much a blur, a mess of pinks and greys and brilliant white, but, suddenly, Tris’ world clarified on a face that still haunted his dreams.

Tris froze as, between the ranks of the unknown reporters, his gaze fell upon a frozen, cold stare. Abdi San, paler than that fateful evening when the Asian teenager had surprised him, no scream on those thin lips now, but the boy needed no voice to challenge Tris right then. Conscience did a much better job than any reporter and all his grief and fear hit Tris at once. Heart hammering, body shaking, the rest of Tris’ world exploded in brilliance a hundred times worse than any flashbulb and he was left with that flat, lifeless, denunciatory scrutiny boring into his soul. Nothing could take away the pain then, sharp and clear as it was, and the worst part of it was Tris knew he deserved it. He had taken a life, a young life that stood before him, phantom accuser, and there was only one price. Tris surrendered to the agony and everything went black.

Kobo UK – All Our Books Are Back at Last

Kobo Logo
Good news for all Kobo readers. After months of wrangling all our books are finally available on Kobo UK once again as well as Kobo US.

For those who don’t know, last year Kobo UK removed most of the independently published books from their UK site because of problems with a few that were not labelled with adult sexual content.  This was all put in motion by a major UK newspaper going after a major book retailer for books with what they considered offensive adult content coming back in searches next to children’s books. I won’t go into which newspaper or which retailer, but, let’s just say they panicked and ultimately caused this issue.

Kobo UK assured all  independent authors they would reassess all the books and then re-list all those which did not break their terms of service.

All our books go through Smashwords and their rigorous checks, so we know they do not break the terms of service. However, after waiting for months, most of our books (including some YA titles which have not even a whiff of adult content) never came back. Yet, all new titles we published, including those with adult content, did show up, making us believe our books not being shown was an oversight. With Smashwords help, this issue is now resolved and all our books are now, once again, listed on Kobo UK as well as on their US site.

This is of great relief to us, especially since Kobo now supply books for Sony eReaders so two of our customer bases were affected. Many thanks to our readers for having patience with this issue.

Our thanks go to Smashwords and Kobo for their assistance in putting this to rights. It has taken some time, but we are grateful for everything they have done to sort out this issue and return our books to Kobo’s UK listings.

The Wonders of WordPress that I Never Realised

For a very long time I thought WordPress was just a blogging platform because we used it once on a site we had running and that was all it was at the time. However, when Soph and I rebuilt our website (WittegenPress.com) we found out just how wrong we were.

WordPress is not simply a blogging platform, it’s a whole content management system with wonderful plugins and everything you could possibly need to build a site quickly, easily and in just the way you want. We were using Joomla before and compared to that WordPress is a dream.

If you would like to know the details of how we rebuilt WittegenPress.com then we created a post on that site about exactly how we did it: How We Built This Site With WordPress.

However, I’d like to talk about some of the advantages I’ve found with at least one of the plugins, other than the obvious that they let us do what we wanted to do.

We used iThemes Security, which is a plugin which greatly enhances the security of your site. I would recommend it to everyone using WordPress. However, one of the features I had no idea it had when I first installed it, that I have found very useful is the 404 lockout option, and not just because it prevents people from randomly trying to find ways into our site.

What the 404 option does is lock out users who bring up too many 404 errors too quickly in succession, which might be an indication of them trying to find a security weakness to your site. It has many customisation options so you can make sure it doesn’t happen when it shouldn’t, for example you can make certain files like images, ignored by this functionality. However, what it also does is log all those 404s. This is incredibly useful because we migrated our site from one platform to another and have used .htaccess to reroute requests for pages that no longer exist.

I thought I had been very thorough in making sure I had all the redirects we needed, but the 404 log showed me just how wrong I was. There were whole sections I simply hadn’t though about because they weren’t URLs I ever used. Over the last few days I have been watching the 404 logs and then adding required URLs to the .htaccess file so that all URLs which are still current go to the right places.

It also showed me that part of the SEO plugin we were using wasn’t working and allowed me to fix it.

Welcome to the Wittegen Press Blog

Hello and welcome to our blog. We hope you are enjoying our new look website and have taken advantage of the 48hr Discount Blitz running over the 5th and 6th August 2014.  All our books are 99c or less for these two days. Just look for this button in an individual book listing:

Wittegen Press 48hr Discount Blitz (5th/6th August 2014)

and next to it you will find the discount code for that book.

This blog is where we will post news about our site and books as well as ‘how to’s, reviews, host guest blogs, invite conversation from our visitors and lots of other exciting things. If you would like to be updated when we post new content, please put your email in the subscribe box in the margin to your left and click submit. We promise we won’t use your email address for anything except blog updates.

Thank you very much for visiting. We hope you are enjoying looking around and will come back and see us again from time to time.

A UK Independent Publisher of eBooks

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