Reviews needed

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Perhaps you didn’t know that I now have six books out.

I do, it’s true.

(Also two more on the way, but that’s beside the point;o)

You have probably read a few of them, if not most of them, and for that I am very very grateful.

But perhaps you forgot to leave a review? I know you liked it, but maybe now you could tell the world. For me? Pretty please?

My reviews are great, but there aren’t many, and the lack thereof is hindering my ability to sell, market, and seek accolades.

So, if you’ve read any of the above books, and liked them. Please follow the links below and leave a simple review.



This story knocked my socks off, literally and figuratively, but I wear flipflops now, so it’s all good. Bravo!

See how easy that was?

Here are the links:

Bright (Book One of The Estelle Series)

Beyond (Book Two of The Estelle Series)

Belief (Book Three of The Estelle Series)

Fly: The Light Princess Retold

Violet’s Mountain

Leveling (a novella)

1000 e-books released to the wilds!

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Here’s the truth about self-publishing. It is a difficult, perplexing, self-flagellating experience. You might write beautiful prose, publish exquisitely designed books, and spend a little of most days marketing in some manner and still…

I’ve been told that I must take the long-view. To not worry about sales today, but build a bookshelf of great books and someday…soon…hopefully…they will come.

My shelf has grown to six books.

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A trilogy is now complete. A romance. A fairy tale. A romantic novella.

The reviews are rolling in:

Bright- “I greatly enjoyed this book. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I read it a second time soon after reading it the first – mostly because the first time, I was so enthralled, I read it very quickly and the second time, I savored it instead.” -K. De Haan

Beyond- “I’ve loved Estelle since first meeting her in Bright and I never expected her journey to come so far. Now I can’t wait to see what she and her friends and family do next. She makes me want to save the world and remember to always star gaze.” A. Goins

Fly- “This is a great book for young readers and teens, even a good read out loud book to share with littler ones. Amelia and Hank are inspiring and fun heros.” Jillydag

Violet’s Mountain- ” I found this book to be a passionate love story with all the twists and turns of a tragic romance, but with a happy ending.” Janzen.

But the sales, not so much.

So yesterday I did the equivalent of kicking the jukebox, or shaking the gold pan, or shuffling the deck—I put three books for free and in one day gave away 1035 books. That’s a big number up from zero. The long view is in play.

If you downloaded one of my books yesterday, thank you and welcome. I think you’ll like them. And I’d love to hear from you if you do.

I write about environmental disasters disorders from a hopeful point of view, because no matter what is happening in the world, people will still live, still create, still love. People, still. It’s a long positive view, one that I’m getting used to taking.

KindleScout and Beyond

My book, Beyond, could use your nomination: Beyond (Book Two of The Estelle Series) on KindleScout and if you already have, thank you, heaps.


My journey through the world of self publishing has been full of lessons, many difficult lessons. I promise to spend some time writing about what I’ve learned in the near future.

But in the near present, I’ve learned that every time I write a book, (that’s about every 6 months), I’ll need to spend a couple of weeks or more re-learning how to publish and market that book. Things are changing lightning fast. And what worked in February of this year is something totally different in August. It makes things, um, exciting.

In the Spring I came across Kindle Scout, did my research, and passed. I was, on the one hand, happily self-publishing and, on the other, mailing agent queries. I didn’t want or need to enter a popularity contest for a publishing contract. I was above that kind of thing, and uninterested in a third way.

Which is odd for me because ‘third ways’ are kind of my thing.

After the agent queries didn’t work out (I sent an excerpt of Violet’s Mountain, which is AWESOME, yet didn’t even get one response out of twelve. And I’m not talking about positive response, I’m talking about any response at all.) Perhaps it’s my gender? But then again, like a good girl, I’ve hidden my gender behind the initials in my name, right? But not even one response? Not one?

The truth is there are too many books being queried and not enough people to read them all. I get it. The gatekeepers are swamped. They built the gate and it’s too small, so there is a literal chaotic press of people trying to get through. It’s ugly. And so, to deal, agents and publishers create instant biases:

  • “Not interested in more books by women.”
  • “Vampires are so three years ago.”
  • “If the query doesn’t grab me in the first three words, I pass.”
  • “If I read another story about quirky cancer kids I’ll scream.”
  • and lastly, “If the author self-published before, then, of course, pass.”

I revisited Kindle Scout when I finished my sequel to Bright . I was doing my ‘What’s Changed?’ research and this time thought, This is an interesting way to get to the front of the line at that gate.

These are the basics:

Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.

There are some great articles about Kindle Scout. My favorite is, Kindle Scout, the pros and cons of Amazon’s new crowd-sourced publishing program I decided I was okay with the cons. And because it’s all one big experiment, why not?

I very much liked this take on Kindle Scout:

We need Kindle Scout to succeed.

If novels presented on the Kindle Scout platform are solely selected as a popularity contest, we all lose. Authors, readers, even Amazon. What we need are active readers selecting those works that are truly deserving of a publishing contract, helping to sift through some of the slush and promote great work and up-and-coming novelists.

I agree—this might be a great way to turn off those gatekeeper biases and help more writing, from more voices, through the gate—by readers vouching for the books they’d like to read.

So if you haven’t yet, please go over to Kindle Scout and nominate my book, Beyond. And while you’re at it nominate a couple of others. It’s fun! And if you nominate a book that becomes published, it will appear (like a miracle) inside of your kindle-reader-thingy. My book *I hope I hope I hope* in your kindle, because it’s published by Kindle Press, and it would all be thanks to you!
Thanks dear friend for reading all the way to the low down bottom of the page,

Violet’s Mountain and Bleak, or Dark or What is it called?

I’ve got a final read through happening of Violet’s Mountain, but then it’s ready. I’ve decided to pre-order it for release on November 22. If you’re looking forward to seeing it hit the best seller list then hold on. It’s going to be hot. Seriously.

The sequel to Bright is being beta-read by my daughter and a few others. If you are interested in beta-reading (read the book and tell me what you think) contact me and I’ll send you a copy. I’ll thank you in the acknowledgments ;o)

Now, to work on the title…the working title is Bleak, but it’s just not a good word, right?

I want The Cost of a Thing it’s from Henry David Thoreau and yes, in book two Estelle learns that her farm has come at a cost.

Kids want Dark. They think that one word is the way to go. But what about The Dark Edges?

Any thoughts? I’m all ears and beginning work on the cover.

Bright just recieved another review, thank you R.Singer :

Thought-provoking, poignant, and inspiring. A powerful metaphor for our present and future.

And so did Fly, thank you T. Williamson:

My girls and I love this book. It’s a cleverly written magical fairytale. May girls are 11 & 15 years old and way past the Disney princess phase. This book is intelegently written and right up their alley Can’t wait to read Knightlys other books.

If you haven’t written a review yet, and enjoyed the books, could you please head over to Amazon and do do do? Thank you!

H.D. Knightley

Thoreau quotes, title ideas…

I’m looking for a title for the sequel to Bright. The working title has been Bleak, but it’s not quite right. Maybe.

Because it bothers me I resorted to using Bright 2. Take that, book.

We’ve been looking at one words:


And then I came across a Thoreau quote, the inspiration of my publisher’s name:

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

And then I found:

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

So I decided that The Cost of a Thing was the title. But daughter disagrees.

Now I also need a series Title.

Estelle starts a farm?
Zombies attack in the Final Book?
Bright the Series?


The Last Word

I may have told you that I wrote another book in November. While my Kickstarter campaign was running and my editor was editing and I was mama-ing with nothing much else to do, I signed up for NaNoWriMo and wrote 35,000 words. Not quite making the deadline or the goal.

January I added to it here and there until I had written a pretty passable 50,000 words by the middle of the month. I really like it. I began a first pass. Revising and editing and made my way through bit by bit. Changed the main characters name, now she’s Amelia. The main guy is now Hank-formerly Henry.

In this rewrite/revise as I neared the end I knew it would need to be heavily altered. The book is a retelling of a fairy tale after all, but I didn’t want the ending to simper. It should be happy like most of the best of the fairy tale persuasion (I mean modern versions of course) but not sappily. I feared that my ending was so sweet it would require a spoon full of salt to help it go down and as I neared it I knew it was true. Then it came to me. Amelia is no shrinking flower awaiting her rescue, she’s a pissed off bad ass and she reacts accordingly.

For about three days she was literally hanging off of a very tall something. I had written a ‘cliff-hanger’ and then couldn’t figure out how to climb her back off. This was a very weird experience. In the past, if I read a cliff-hanger I knew that the rescue was within the next few pages, already written, on its way. This maiden had no rescue and so she just dangled there in the back of my mind. I would mention it to the kids occasionally, “So, Amelia is still on the cliff,” and we would laugh.

Amelia’s not there anymore. The rewrite and revision is done. I’m ready to pass the story to a couple of beta readers. Yay!

I’ve written the ending of the story, Fly,  and the last word is: waves.