Billionaires for sale?

Billionaire Investor Book Cover Billionaire Investor
Small Town Billionaire Romance #1-5
Alexa Davis
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
Kindle

Justin is a self-made man, with millions to his name. But he also has a needy brother tagging along, spending his money almost as fast as he can make it, without any desire to pull his own weight. This leaves Justin with two choices: cut his brother loose or find a new investment.

In truth, he knows the right choice is to make his brother stand on his own, but the guilt is too much. So he starts seeking out new investments, which leads him to Annie and her combination café and bookstore.

Unfortunately, her store isn’t the right investment for him, but Annie herself is irresistible. And her daughter is just too lovely, making him start to see a new future for himself. But between his business and his brother, can he really find room in his life for Annie and her daughter?

A series of 5 books of which I only read the first as too bored to read further.

I kept saying ‘you can’t franchise the idea of a bookshop that sells coffee and cakes, and behaves as a community centre’ – and finally the heroine agreed. I really can’t even consider why anyone, even the author thought this was a good idea for an investor – so as the characters are clearly very far from business minded I decided, as they say on the Apprentice ‘You’re fired’ to the books.

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Why tea?

Author: Caroline James talking about her new book, Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me

Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me is a story about a friendship between two women. Jo and Hattie are like chalk and cheese but have been great friends for many years and finding themselves alone, without partners in mid-life, they embark on a holiday which changes their lives. I chose this subject because one in three people in the UK over the age of fifty live on their own, either through divorce, death or choice and I wanted to show that it is possible to have a second bite at the apple and begin life again no matter what your circumstances; age should not be a deterrent. My approach is to embrace these years, run down the road to happiness whatever it throws at you along the way. It is never too late to have fun and begin again. It is set in the Caribbean on the island of Barbados because I know the island well and think it the perfect setting for a novel.

How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I know what I am going to write about, there isn’t a bucket list of topics, it is very specific. I’ve probably thought about the subject matter for some time or it is bubbling away as I come to the end of writing a novel. I have a big note book per novel that I section and gradually fill with notes, images and anything relevant and this becomes my bible as I write the book.

How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

The research is a work in progress, as the book develops the research is done. I never know quite which route the characters will take and they often steer off the beaten track till I reign them back in so I’ll research as they take this course. I love research and can often go off-piste; far removed from the topic and then have to force myself to get back to the job in hand.

What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

I visit the place when the main scenes are set. I have to be able to walk around the area and really get a feel for the place. I talk to people and try to imagine the scene I am creating through the eyes of the locals. The internet is invaluable and so easy to gain information but I read too – any book I can get my hands on that has useful information.

How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

I don’t write crime so have never had to approach the police but my books usually have a festival or main event somewhere in the story and I contact organisers and people in authority who run these to ensure that I am accurate when describing what happens. For example, Coffee Tea The Gypsy & Me is set around an annual gypsy horse fair in Cumbria, England, and is the largest of its kind in the world. It was set up by a Charter under the reign of James II in 1685 and lasts for a week. The events there are centuries old traditions and have to be accurately described. Organisers are generally delighted to help as they know my books will give positive publicity.

Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?

Yes – I had a zillion rejections with my debut novel before I took control and self-published. The book shot to #3 in Women’s Fiction on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in The Sun Newspaper. The press came out in force and the book was a big success. Suddenly publishers were interested.

Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

Yes, I absolutely would. I would advise that the self-publisher is as professional as possible and does everything in their power to ensure a superb book. From cover design to proof-reading and editing, get professional help and make it the best you can. Providing you have written something that has a saleable market, remember that marketing is critical and if you don’t know how to do this pay someone who does – it will make or break your book. I have turned publishers down because I thought they weren’t a good fit or something didn’t quite resonate, self-publishing is very powerful now and cream rises to the top! You will get noticed if you write well and work hard.

Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

Does anyone really tell you what they earn from writing? In the UK the top 10% of professional authors make £60k plus per annum with the top 5% over £100k. Lower earning writers (possibly the majority) average around £11k. Writing is the icing on the cake for me not just from novels but articles, short stories and features and I know that you are only as good as your last book and have to keep on writing.

What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?

I was due to make a speech to a large audience and having been told by the host that she’d announce a ‘comfort break,’ then I was on stage. I was halfway to the ladies room when I heard over the mic, “I’d like you all to welcome Caroline James…” Flustered, I had to hurl myself back on stage and cross my legs for the next forty minutes…

 

 

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When is a Killer a Killer?

This is an FBI Criminal Behavioural Analysis story with a (feisty) female investigator. She has a colleague who is crooked and lazy and basically misogynistic and woman hating.
In this story we hear about a prostitute who has a clever idea – she films her clients and stores the videos on the Dark Internet, thus making them extremely difficult to find by anyone other than herself, but useful material against the time she might need them for blackmail or additional income...
I wrote and explored the Dark Internet in a previous post – about Tuesday Falling - but just a quick recap here: the Dark Web is a series of web sites that are publically visibly but that hide the IP addresses of the servers behind them. They are thus effectively anonymous and difficult to police.
The Dark Web can be useful for legitimate uses such as when you live in a country that has banned external contact, you can do this through the Dark Web, but mainly it is used for illegal activities.
There is also the Deep Web: this includes the Dark Web but also all user databases, webmail pages, registration required web forums, and the pages behind paywalls. This means that every page visible on the internet has maybe millions of Deep Web pages behind it which can be accessed.
The Dark Internet is further networks, databases or websites that cannot be reached over the (normal and visible) internet and are proprietary, niche, or very private.
So, for the computer (very literate) there are many places where you can hide the items you don’t want anyone else to know about...
The agent - uses a Keurig coffee machine. Now this is a make I was not familiar with, and being a coffee fanatic, and as it was rated highly in this book, I thought I should find out more about this. It seems that it is just another form of Nespresso – a pod machine. I use a Nespresso at home and can recommend it for those not up to the ‘real’ machine which my husband uses. He tamps and presses and..produces coffee with the best crema ever.
 Note to all users of coffee machines. Use Volvic water. I know I sound like I am an advert here, but the more neutral your water is, the better coffee you will get. It really does make a difference to the taste whichever machine you use. The perfect cup of coffee should be made with water high in magnesium and low in bicarbonate and low in sodium. It’s all in the chemistry.. and you can read pages and pages about the chemical compositions that make the difference to get the most precise ‘best’ taste. However, I confess, what I like in coffee taste, may not be what you like. After all, people still drink Starbuck’s standard coffee!
 Of course in this novel the characters also mention that they don’t like the homogeneity of big chains, and are part of the movement  ‘Coffee shops against Starbucks’ [insert photo of eclectic] and look forward to coffee shops with  built in shelves where books are ‘set wild’ and there is an eclectic layout and furnishings. And I am with them on this and thus have collected a few photos of my favourite coffee shops to demonstrate, but will only show a very few of these here.20151129_141557 20151129_141605 20150604_13074220151007_164239 20151007_164630
I also was very interested in that the story considers, in an oblique, way, the issues after rape – especially that of child abuse rape. Here we see that the characters change – their emotions are affected, their behaviour becomes different, some turn violent and act out their rage, others remain child-like in their behavior and yet others decide to exploit others sometimes through prostitution. Watching the TV programme ‘Ray Donovan’ you see all this in the characters of the 3 brothers – two of whom were raped by a priest and one managed to get away.
 The final item that I would like to explore from the novel is about knowledge management. Now, I would land on this wouldn’t I? As this was my career for many years in academia – lecturing on this very topic. But it also links into psychology and brain activity.
In the book it says that a fact without context is just a data point, with context it takes on a different meaning – everyone walks through the world influenced by confirmation bias. 

Now this is true but the reason behind needs some explanation. The confirmation bias is a result of that person’s life history. It includes their physical and psychological make-up, their upbringing, their education, their experiences. 

In fact everything that has up to that point in time, made that person the person they are, with the understanding of the world that they have. In the end that which turns them into a person who believes in the glass half-full or half-empty. Or somewhere in between – everything they see and do is confirmed and explained by what they have seen and done before including the people they have met and the conversations they have had, or not had.
That is not to say that you cannot change. With help you can change your view from half-empty to half-full, but it is difficult. As any psychologist!
Added to which there is the witness syndrome. People in high stress situations tend to blend what they feared might happen/could happen with what actually saw. And they would pass a polygraph as they truly believed what they saw. So in any road accident, ask people what colour and size was the car, and they will tell you different things – and truly believe what they say.
Do take a look at the Huffington Post, if you don’t believe me. Search for eyewitness errors and you will see many. Never ever convict someone on a witness’s testimony. They may truly believe what they say, but it may not be true at all. 

See the TV programme ‘The Making of a Murderer’ about Steven Avery in Manitowoc County, USA. Made over 10 years, this is a real-life story of someone who was originally convicted on a witness line-up which was later proved to false – it had been manipulated by the law enforcement officers. 

The later murder I am not going to comment on as there is still a great deal of press coverage about what was left out or left in the TV series and the evidence that was or was not presented by the film-makers.
So, did I like the book? Well yes, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing at any length about any of the content.
Was it well written? Yes.
wellwrittenPAGETURNERMURDERMYSTERY

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Obsession and Minimums

Punch 1902 vol 123

Look here, Steward, if this is coffee, I want tea; but if this is tea, then I wish for coffee.

Anon

I’m not obsessed, I’m just highly preoccupied

George Muncaster

if the minimum wasn’t acceptable it wouldn’t be called the minimum

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