J.P. McLean – an update on her series

Thanks for this opportunity to update your readers, Susan. The last time I visited Reading Recommendations was in July of 2015. I had just released The Gift: Penance, the fourth book in the Gift Legacy series. It was the first book I published with WindStorm Press, and since then, I’ve re-released the first three books. The last one came out a few days ago, and now all four books are published under the WindStorm umbrella.

Changing publishers gave me the opportunity to do an editorial review of the books, spruce up their covers and lower their prices. Of course, the Canadian dollar has since tanked, so the price of the paperback is creeping up, but the price of the eBooks is unaffected (whew!)

Here’s a look at the new covers, re-designed by the original artist, Viona Halim.

Legacy Collage for SToy

I also wanted to report an update to one of the marketing tips I’d mentioned in the July post. Back then, you had to select Expanded Distribution if you wanted CreateSpace to distribute to Canada’s Amazon site. In October of 2015, that changed, and CreateSpace folded Amazon.ca into their Amazon family. This is a quote from their notice:
“Starting October 8, we began making CreateSpace titles enrolled in the Amazon.com sales channel available directly to readers in Canada on Amazon.ca. Your title may already be offered on Amazon.ca through Expanded Distribution or other channels, but now you can earn the same royalty on Amazon.ca that you would earn for a sale on Amazon.com.”

This is good news if you’re using another company to do your expanded distribution.

Thanks again, Susan, for this opportunity, and for your tremendous support of indie authors!

On Feb. 4, 2016, J.P. posted to her blog about another area of promotion for her books she’s begun exploring. In Does This Recording Make My Voice Look Fat? she tells of her foray into audio recording! Here’s a link to an excerpt:

Links to connect with JP McLean:

Purchase copies of JP McLean’s books:

J.P. McLean Recommends Elinor Florence

Bird's Eye View COVER IMAGEBird’s Eye View
by Elinor Florence

Genre: Historical Fiction

Bird’s Eye View is fact-based fiction about a young woman from Saskatchewan who joins the Royal Canadian Air Force and becomes an interpreter of aerial photographs. Stationed with hundreds of other intelligence officers at a converted mansion in England called RAF Medmenham, Rose Jolliffe spies on the enemy from the sky, watching the war unfold through her sterescope. Lonely and homesick, she keeps in touch with the home front through letters from her family and friends back home.

Elinor Florence with glassesWhy I recommend this book:
What I enjoy most about reading historical fiction is the glimpse into a by-gone era. It’s the small things that hold my attention — the slap of liver to a plate, the scratch of woolens, the damp of grey slush — and Bird’s Eye View offers many such insights. That Elinor Florence tells the story through a Canadian lens adds an interesting layer, as does her young protagonist, Rose Joliff, a farmer’s daughter who learns some painful personal and professional lessons during the war. The writing is superb, the setting and characterization are fascinating and the story will squeeze your heart.

Links for people to buy it:
Dundurn Press

JPMcLean Author Photo #2 for SToyGuest reviewer’s latest title or project:
Penance, Book IV of The Gift Legacy

J.P. McLean has previously been featured twice on Reading Recommendations, first in January, 2014, and recently in Reading Recommendations Revisited.

J.P. McLean – Reading Recommendation Revisited

J.P. McLean was first featured on Reading Recommendations in January, 2014 after she had published the third book in The Gift Legacy trilogy. Since she has now just published the fourth book, making this a full-blown series, I decided it was time to invite J.P. back to update us on what she’s been doing in the past year-and-a-half. Besides, this is a woman who writes in a space with a view that rivals my own on Bequia! She must be an inspired writer!

JPMcLean Author Photo #2 for SToy

I’ve been hunched over a quill in a dusty corner of my hovel, scratching away for untold hours in the dark, deprived of all sustenance, devoid of human touch …

Ah! Just kidding – I LOVE this writing gig and I’m happy to report that The Gift Legacy is growing. Penance, the fourth book in the series is now out, and I’m grateful, Susan, for this opportunity to shout it to the heavens, or through Reading Recommendations, which is kind of the same thing.

Penance eBook Cover 2500x1563 Though the writing will always be my favourite part of this process, the research for these books is never dull. Research for Penance included a visit to Vancouver General Hospital to investigate the morgue; a private tour of UBC’s Cecil Green Park House, which was built in 1912; a lesson at Cliffhanger’s Indoor Climbing facility; and learning more than I cared to know about dangerous drugs like MDMA. To top it off, I was invited on an exhilarating sailing trip around False Creek and English Bay. In fact, Penance’s cover shot is from a photo I took that day as we sailed under the Granville Street Bridge. Viona Halim is the talented graphic designer who produced all the covers in the series.

Outside of writing and research, I’ve taken on the chairperson role for our local writers’ group. We’re quite fortunate that our small island is home to The Denman Island Readers and Writers Festival. Each year, the festival provides an opportunity for local writers to share their work in front of an appreciative audience. If you’ve ever performed in public, you’ll know how panic-inducing that experience can be. This writers group was originally formed to provide an opportunity for writers to practice reading their work but it’s grown beyond those roots and is now both a safe place for writers to perform, and also to get feedback on the work they share. Being a part of that growth has been rewarding. (Fred Stenson is one of the guest authors at this year’s Festival! Fred was previously featured on Reading Recommendations.)

RRR: Is there one marketing tip or trick you discovered while promoting your own books that worked particularly well and that you’d like to share with other authors?

J.P.: I have two. The first falls into the “do as I say, not as I do” category. If a fellow author is kind enough to post a review of your book, and you use that review in your promo material, don’t forget to reference their book. Not only does it add some weight to the review, but it gives them a shout-out and an opportunity for some cross promotion. I fell asleep at the wheel recently and overlooked this easy marketing tip, but I plan to rectify it at the next opportunity.

The second is just a small tip, but if you’re using Create Space to publish a print copy of your book on Amazon, you have to select Expanded Distribution to get your books on Canada’s Amazon site, Amazon.ca.

RRR: Please recommend three other authors whose work you have “discovered” or rediscovered this past year.

J.P.: I’ve come across some fabulous writers since my last posting here on Reading Recommendations—some of them I discovered through this very blog.

Seumas Gallagher, for example, first caught my attention right here! So when a friend recommended him, I knew I had to buy his book. I was impressed enough to write a review. If you like fast-paced thrillers with an international flare, you’ll enjoy Seumas Gallagher’s Jack Calder series (The Violin Man’s Legacy, Vengeance Wears Black, and Savage Payback)

If Canadiana is more your thing, check out Elinor Florence’s A Bird’s Eye View. Her depiction of a Prairie girl being pulled into WWII is as fascinating as it is heart-wrenching.

And if you like a little comedy with your thriller, you’ll get a kick out of Tim Baker‘s Living the Dream. You’ll be amazed at how wonderfully uncomplicated your own life will seem in comparison to Kurt, the novel’s protagonist. Tim Baker is another author I first learned about through Reading Recommendations. I haven’t read his more recent work, but it’s on my Kindle!

I could go on and on. Your own book (Susan M. Toy), for example, Island in the Clouds, Diana Stevan’s A Cry From the Deep, Therin Knite’s Echoes (on Reading Recommendations), Bill Engleson’s Like a Child To Home (on Reading Recommendations). The list is huge, and growing, thanks to you!

Legacy collage for S.Toy

And thanks once again, Susan, for having me on your blog, and for all you do for indie authors. Cheers!

Thanks, yourself, J.P. for being such a congenial guest on Reading Recommendations and for supporting the site and your fellow authors – not to mention my own writing! – loyally since we first “met” online. Just look at all those other RR authors you’re reading and recommending! I thank you on their behalf!

I recently received all of J.P.’s books, signed by the author, and began reading at the beginning, of course. Wow! is all I can say at this time! Great writing, compelling story and characters, and I can see this will be one terrific series! Thank you so much for writing, J.P.. This view of yours is definitely working well in inspiring you! smt


I now present … The Reading Recommendations All-Star Authors!!

When Authors sign on with me to promote themselves and their work on my blog, they agree to this sentence in my description of the site:

In exchange for this free listing, I request all authors reciprocate by promoting Reading Recommendations, their fellow authors listed on the site, and me and my work, as much as possible.

Ten out of the 168 Authors I’ve promoted here on Reading Recommendations have more than lived up to this agreement by not only sharing and retweeting their own promotions, but by sending me new authors to promote, liking, reblogging, sharing and retweeting other Authors’ posts and promotions, commenting on my blogs, engaging with me and other RR Authors on Facebook, Twitter, etc., reading and reviewing my books, promoting and interviewing me on their blogs, reading and recommending books written by their fellow RR Authors, and just being generally all-round congenial people who understand the value of this writing community I’ve created and how important it is to support one another.

So I’d like to take the opportunity now to give these Reading Recommendations All-Stars an extra shout-out, to let my blog readers know just how valuable these Authors have become to me and to their colleagues, and to show them how much I have appreciated their support over this past year. Please check out their links, buy and read their books, and give them a bit of reciprocal promotion – They deserve it!!

(Alphabetical list and all links lead you to their Reading Recommendations promotions.)

Tim Baker
Tricia Drammeh
Michael Fay
Seumas Gallacher
Rebecca Heishman
Allan Hudson
J.P. McLean
S.K. Nicholls
David Prosser
Lockie Young

Thanks to my All-Stars! After all, I get by With a Little Help From My Friends

J.P. McLean

Author Photo for Friesen 2x3 J.P. (Jo-Anne) McLean

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Gift: Redemption is a thriller with a twist of fantasy

Quick description: An unbidden gift; a faceless terrorist; a family connection she never imagined. In this stunning conclusion of The Gift Trilogy, Emelynn Taylor must face her worst fears knowing it will either define her … or kill her.

Redemption Front Cover from Friesen 2x3

Brief biography:
J.P. (Jo-Anne) McLean has been neglecting the vacuum, the dog leash and the kitchen sink since she began telling lies and making stuff up. She calls it writing fiction and indulges in it most days from her home in the Gulf islands on the coast of British Columbia.

Links to buy Jo-Anne’s book:
Amazon Worldwide – eBook and print

Jo-Anne’s promo links:

What are you working on now?
Two different projects are vying for computer time right now. One is a brand new contemporary thriller with a protagonist who has an unfortunate birthmark and a proclivity for accidents and the other is a spinoff from The Gift Trilogy whose characters have set the stage for a series.

Jo-Anne’s reading recommendation:
A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness