Ruby Barnes's Blog

March 22, 2014

Do you have a romance story crying out for recognition? Does it have a twist of suspense, mystery or crime? Following on from the great success of the 2013 Knife Edge crime anthology, Marble City Publishing is planning a 2014 romance anthology under the title Edge of Passion. Inclusion in the anthology is one of the prizes in an international competition being run by Multi-story. Full entry details here including great cash prizes, copies of the anthology and, of course, publication.



Marble City embraces the 21st century book industry and connects readers around the globe with carefully crafted crime fiction, thrillers, mystery/suspense and true crime, in all formats, at affordable prices.


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Published on March 22, 2014 06:24 • 4 views

February 1, 2014

Tarquin Murphy's diary #AllUsers is free this weekend 1-2 February on Amazon. Go grab it for some light-hearted entertainment. Here's what the reviewers say:

"Are you able to laugh at the human condition? Then jump in - you are qualified to read #Allusers ."

"There has been much debate about the orientation of the toilet rolls in the asylum. Myself, I identified with the cutlery thief. Rebellion has many faces. Recommended ."

"There's something strangely fascinating about the man and his quirks and foibles. This is a laugh aloud story so be careful where you read it, preferably in private, maybe on the loo. Wherever you choose, it's fun and you'll enjoy."

"An existential problem ."

"... this book , inadvertently, does the world a service."

"...give #AllUsers a read. Even if you're pushed for time, it's short enough that you can read it in a night or two, and it will have you giggling through work weeks to come."

 
#AllUsers is an under-the-counter production from Marble City Publishing, who are running a free draw for a Kindle Fire HD Tablet. Enter here!
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Published on February 01, 2014 02:26 • 11 views

January 26, 2014

A couple of weeks ago I had the great fortune to be pointed in the direction of a free online Introduction to Forensics course at Strathclyde University (many thanks to Chris Longmuir). Without hesitation I enrolled and proceeded to develop a thin veneer of forensics knowledge, having noticed my deficit when recently starting to write a murder mystery.
If someone in your street today tried to commit the perfect murder they would surely fail. In the old days only Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Columbo and Miss Marple had the honed detective intellect to deduce motive, method, perpetrator, weapon and time of event from the few scant clues. Nowadays, thanks to the proliferation of modern entertainment media, we are all experts. True crime documentaries, CSI, Criminal Minds, Dexter, Sherlock and other TV programmes contribute to the societal knowledge of methods of murder, criminal profiling and forensics.
We congratulate ourselves on having already identified the killer before the on-screen characters manage to do so. A dodgy-looking individual lurks in their van near the schoolyard, looking at the kids. Kidnapper. A man smoothes his greasy hair, smiling as he ascends the stairs from the cellar, boning knife in hand. Serial killer. A woman smiles encouragement at her distraught injured child but drops the expression when she looks at the camera. Psychopath. The question for the consumer of these delights is often not who did what, where and when and how, but rather the why. We know who did it because we’ve been presented with enough evidence to convict an elephant. What we want to know is why they did what they did. Read more on Authors Electric ...
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Published on January 26, 2014 02:38 • 10 views

December 26, 2013

It's done and dusted. Presents opened and oohed and ahhed at. Dinner and leftovers consumed. The odd medicinal beverage imbibed. Time to reflect. Did Santa deliver for you?

Did you get a nice new e-reader with a beautiful protective cover? If not, if you or yours are left wanting, or even if you're greedy and want another e-reader, then go now to Marble City Publishing and enter their draw for a free Kindle Paperwhite plus leather cover. Closing date for this international competition is 6th January 2014 (extended from 31st December). Good luck and a happy New Year!


Free draw for a Kindle Paperwhite plus leather cover (in shade of winner's choice)
Marble City embraces the 21st century book industry and connects readers around the globe with carefully crafted crime fiction, thrillers, mystery/ romantic suspense and true crime, in all formats, at affordable prices. Opening to submissions in 2014.



Many thanks and good luck!
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Published on December 26, 2013 16:00 • 5 views
It's done and dusted. Presents opened and oohed and ahhed at. Dinner and leftovers consumed. The odd medicinal beverage imbibed. Time to reflect. Did Santa deliver for you?

Did you get a nice new e-reader with a beautiful protective cover? If not, if you or yours are left wanting, or even if you're greedy and want another e-reader, then go now to Marble City Publishing and enter their draw for a free Kindle Paperwhite plus leather cover. Closing date for this international competition is 6th January 2014 (extended from 31st December). Good luck and a happy New Year!


Free draw for a Kindle Paperwhite plus leather cover (in shade of winner's choice)
Marble City embraces the 21st century book industry and connects readers around the globe with carefully crafted crime fiction, thrillers, mystery/ romantic suspense and true crime, in all formats, at affordable prices. Opening to submissions in 2014.



Many thanks and good luck!
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Published on December 26, 2013 16:00 • 12 views
It's done and dusted. Presents opened and oohed and ahhed at. Dinner and leftovers consumed. The odd medicinal beverage imbibed. Time to reflect. Did Santa deliver for you?

Did you get a nice new e-reader with a beautiful protective cover? If not, if you or yours are left wanting, or even if you're greedy and want another e-reader, then go now to Marble City Publishing and enter their draw for a free Kindle Paperwhite plus leather cover. Closing date for this international competition is 31st December. Good luck and a happy New Year!


Free draw for a Kindle Paperwhite plus leather cover (in shade of winner's choice)
Marble City embraces the 21st century book industry and connects readers around the globe with carefully crafted crime fiction, thrillers, mystery/ romantic suspense and true crime, in all formats, at affordable prices. Opening to submissions in 2014.



Many thanks and good luck!
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Published on December 26, 2013 16:00 • 7 views

December 24, 2013

My second Ger Mayes crime novel, Getting Out of Dodge, is featuring over at the Authors Electric Christmas Sale from 25 - 28 December. Hop on over and grab some truly great books for 99c / 99p. They also have a review site.

Here's the first chapter of Getting Out of Dodge to whet your appetite:




The sky is heavy. Dark purple clouds reflect on the lake’s rippling surface. Here and there an aquamarine gap opens in the sky – maybe a portal to the troposphere? I could do with someone beaming me up there, right now.‘Look, Ma, look!’ A small boy at the far edge of the water points at a drake terrorising all the other ducks, wings beating as it chases.The mother pulls her son back by the hand, trying to keep him away from the edge as he hurls chunks of bread at the uninterested, overfed recipients. Two swans glide through the ducks and seagulls swoop in for the spoils.Plastic wheels on tarmac and a rush of air. A youth on rollerblades flies past the bench where I’m sitting. He moves like a speed-skater but looks like a thief, woolly hat down tight under a hoodie. ‘Fecker!’ shouts another mother as the youth swerves deftly around her pushchair.Ah, the serene beauty of suburban Dublin.‘You okay, mister?’ she asks.I look up. She can’t be long out of school. She’s talking to me but I have no words to share.‘Jesus! What’s happened to yer face?’My hand goes to my cheek. My face, my whole body, is sore to the touch. I must look a sight, it was quite a beating.She shakes her head and walks on.‘Feckers, the lot of them. Feckers,’ she mutters to the world.Sean Walsh Parkcontains everything I hate about this country. I should have left two weeks ago, with the first taste of freedom. Now look.Across the lake a youngish man in a tracksuit walks cockily, phone to his ear and a beer bottle in one hand. He downs the last of the beer and hurls the bottle into the bushes. Then he switches off the phone and slips it into his jacket pocket.The little boy feeding the birds turns and runs into the man’s arms. I’m too far away to hear what the mother says but, from the body language, it’s where have you been or who were you talking to. The man ignores her and runs to the water’s edge with the boy. They look across the lake and see me watching, so I turn my head.I don’t know how I got here, but here I am. It has something to do with this thingbetween my legs. Everything to do with it.A breeze picks up and rustles the plastic bag at my feet. I look into the wind and see lads loitering at the far entrance to the park. Even at this distance they look foreign. Something about their trousers. They’re the Romanians. Friends or enemies, I’m not sure. Is this their doing? It could be, doesn’t matter now.The bag rustles again. I have no idea how I came to be here, can’t remember. I don’t deserve it. This time I tried to do the right thing. My intentions were good.A shout makes it upwind from the mother with the pushchair. Two uniformed guards struggle past her at the other entrance. A man in a dark jacket follows and then the wiry, brown-suited figure of Detective Inspector Andy McAuliffe. I can smell his cigarettes in my memory.Andy, I should have taken your advice and got the hell out of Dodge.Before they reach me I have to know what’s between my legs. But I think I already know and so does Andy, somehow.The bag is oozing something onto the tarmac. Clear fluid with traces of pink. I open the top of the bag with both hands and my favourite fragrance wafts out. When a woman wears that, it means she’s mine. The scorching sun, sea and sand of the Mediterranean, as the ad says, with a hint of butcher’s shop.I put my hand inside and let my fingertips touch, then stroke. Her hair is soft and fair. I always loved her hair.

Getting Out of Dodge available on Amazon


Want to win a new Kindle? Marble City Publishing is giving away a Kindle Paperwhite plus leather cover in a free draw, visit their site to enter:http://www.marblecitypublishing.com
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Published on December 24, 2013 16:00 • 10 views

December 22, 2013

http://viewbook.at/peril
My first crime fiction novel, Peril , is on 99c / 77p sale today and featured at Kindle Books and Tips.

39 reviews on Amazon.com, here are a few samples of what readers say:

"My goodness, I enjoyed this. It had it all, drama, mystery, love gone bad."

"Love the twists and turns"

"A darned good read."

"Serious crime thriller yes, but only on one level; Peril by Ruby Barnes is so much more."

"It kept me turning the pages right up to the satisfying and appropriate conclusion."

"A train wreck you can't help watching through the cracks in your fingers."

"Shifty and shady ... one thing leads to another until it comes tumbling down around him."

"A walking invitation to vice and good-natured corruption."

"Tense, suspenseful read - the fast-paced story of a philandering jerk."

"The importance of being honest."

"It's a story of a drunk, nothing more. There are better stories about drunks." (well, not everybody likes everything!)

Peril by R.A. Barnes



Want to win a new Kindle? Marble City Publishing is giving away a Kindle Paperwhite plus leather cover in a free draw, visit their site to enter:http://www.marblecitypublishing.com
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Published on December 22, 2013 08:53 • 11 views

December 21, 2013

My stablemate Jim Williams has a very eloquent turn of phrase that earned him a Booker Prize nomination for his historical novel Scherzo a few seasons back. Scherzo is a great book but I think my favourite of Jim's is The Argentinian Virgin. Marble City Publishing is running a pre-Christmas sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for The Argentinian Virgin and I've re-posted my review of the book here in case it catches your interest. At 99c / 77p it's a snip!

 
Ruby reviews The Argentinian Virgin
Judging a Book by its Cover
I was captivated by the beautiful woman on the cover of this book the moment I saw her. It’s happened to me before and I dare say it’s happened to you. We assign attributes of character without any basis in fact, but because of the way an individual appears. Through a happy accident of birth, the lucky mix of genes, what the red Hot Chili Peppers call “a perfect piece of DNA”, an individual is blessed with beauty. Facial symmetry, poise, a breadth of shoulders, slimness of waist, coupled with graceful strength or endearing fragility.

Nature’s deception, I call it. The effect may be momentary; if they open their mouth and sound like their antithesis then the bubble is burst; if their charm works when statuesque but fails in movement then they ought best to stand still. Without any contrary evidence, such beauty can be an enduring lure. I’ve been caught out more than once by appearances, giving trust and even affection to the owner, only to find that it was an accident of nature and under the alluring surface they’re just as ordinary as you or I. But sometimes, occasionally, the character matches the appearance and something wonderful is ignited for anyone who comes within range. Such a person is Tom Rensselaer in The Argentinian Virgin by Jim Williams.

Lucky Tom Rensselaer warms the sight and hearts of all who have the good fortune to meet him. He’s a product of good breeding, old money (although now lost) and perfect nature. Strong in principle, generous and loving, he cannot fail in life. But what happens when Adonis meets Aphrodite? Katerina Malipiero captivates Tom from their first encounter. She’s without guile, innocence personified, and all the more irresistible for that. The air crackles with charge whenever they are in each other’s company. He can’t withstand her attraction, any more than the powers at war can halt their own inevitable march towards doom.

Set on the French Riviera early in the Second World War, monumental events occur around the cast of Tom and the other Americans, the Malipieros and the Irish narrator, Pat. A chance encounter, infatuation, love and lust lead Tom and his Argentinian Virgin through the backwoods of occupied France, leading to a tragedy that no one can avoid.

Passionate, evocative, enthralling and emotive, The Argentinian Virgin is a warning to watch out for the skin deep.

Marble City Publishing is running a pre-Christmas sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for The Argentinian Virgin.



Want to win a new Kindle? Marble City Publishing is giving away a Kindle Paperwhite plus leather cover in a free draw, visit their site to enter:http://www.marblecitypublishing.com 
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Published on December 21, 2013 02:27 • 14 views

December 19, 2013

A few weeks ago I was giving a two hour talk in a local library on the wonders of e-publishing.

'So, there's no quality control?' one of the still-conscious attendees asked.

'That's right. Some restrictions on cover and content, but even those might not prevent initial publishing,' I said.

Another person woke, caught the thread of conversation and asked, 'How about title and author name? Any copyright or that sort of thing?'

'No. You can't copyright a title and you can call yourself whatever you want, within reason. If you use J.K. Rowling you might get into trouble. Let's take a look.'

I opened the Kindle Direct Publishing web page and proceeded to create a new kindle book with the title Nonsense Novel. Then I entered an author name - Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel. (For those whose TV memories are more recent or less obscure than mine, Tarquin was a character in a brief Monty Python sketch, lampooning the Monster Raving Loony Party.) Then I uploaded a Word document containing last year's letter to Santa. To complete the ensemble I browsed for a picture of me half-naked with a Hitler moustache and saved it as the e-book cover.

'If I press Publish, this e-book will be live on Amazon within forty-eight hours.'

The insomniac attendee gasped and the others snored more loudly. But the experience gave me an idea.

A couple of days later, in a facebook group, someone (who shall remain unnamed unless it's that Tim Stevens who hangs the toilet roll incorrectly) mentioned that independent author icon J.A. Konrath had said anyone could write an e-book in an hour. The nameless Tim (he won't mind me keeping him nameless) said he had written and published something - a skit on how to market an e-book. It was tongue in cheek but one or two people had taken it seriously and written a dodgy review. The whole thing sounded like a really bad idea. So I decided to do it. Surely I could afford an hour of my life to come up with a rant and immortalise it for Kindle?

So I spent about a week thinking it over. I decided to follow a methodical structure for the few pages (which turned into a structure for each chapter), to break a few literary rules e.g. use a dream sequence (which became a dream sequence at the start of each chapter) and to use real life events for inspiration.

The setting - a Victorian asylum.

The narrator - a health service employee with two jobs, one as solemniser of marriages and the other as dispenser of healthcare aids and appliances.

The humour - a variety of tasteless healthcare appliance puns and mispronunciation of Solemniser.

The odd bits - compulsive behavioural habits, dreams of death and destruction and strange tastes in out-of-date food. And re-use of some very strange emails that are circulated from the former lunatic asylum on the campus where I spend my daylight hours.

The plot - large scale fraud. I would write it in diary form with dialogue where helpful.

Six weeks later, 23,000 words, 88 pages of beta-read, line-edited nonsense. But Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel didn't sound Irish enough for the author of this tome. So I added Murphy to the end. The book title came from the prefix of those #AllUsers emails. Uploaded to Kindle Direct Publishing, cover created with an image I purchased a couple of years ago. I clicked the Publish button and finally exorcised the demon.

The moral of the story? If your personality is in any way compulsive then be careful about rising to a challenge. It can take over your life.

The result? I'll let you be the judge of #AllUsers , but here's the opinion of someone who knows:

"#AllUsers is a satirical novella of earth-shattering literary inconsequence." Mrs Murphy

Cover of #AllUsers by Tarquin Murphy
#AllUsers is now available on Amazon
Want to win a new Kindle? Marble City Publishing is giving away a Kindle Paperwhite plus leather cover in a free draw, visit their site to enter: http://www.marblecitypublishing.com
This post originally guested on http://authorselectric.blogspot.ie/Authors Electric

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Published on December 19, 2013 14:03 • 19 views