Another 4 Star Review ****

I was so excited to see another four star review for The Cross Of Santiago!  It is extra special because the reviewer is a member of the Online Book Club, a great online resource for readers who love to talk about books and recommend their favourites.  I cannot stress enough how gratifying it feels to have your book read and reviewed.  In fact, it reminds me of one of my favourite quotes by the writer John Cheever.   ‘I can’t write without a reader. It’s precisely like a kiss—you can’t do it alone.’  So thank you to all the readers and reviewers – the best kissers out there!  It is you who helps to get our books noticed and we appreciate it 🙂


Official Review: The Cross Of Santiago by Evie Gaughan


“The Cross of Santiago” is an intelligent and well written historical romance book. I love historical fiction with a bit of romantic storyline thrown in and this book sure fits the bill.The beginning looked promising and what followed didn’t disappoint.  
Read more here

The Story Behind The Story

It’s always so interesting to learn about where authors get their inspiration from and for me, it came from a couple of different places.  First of all, I have a bit of an obsession (as many Irish women do!) with Grainuaile, a sea-faring matriarch who ruled the West Coast of Ireland.  Apparently, she had a meeting with Queen Elizabeth and they got on quite well by all accounts.  Two fiery red-heads, powerful and strong.  Anyway, she was the seed for my story, but as it began to germinate, I realised that telling her story through the lens of historical fiction could be a bit limiting.  I’ve often heard it said in the creative realm that you should never go with your first idea and that you should search deeper for a story.  

This turned out to be sound advice, because as I was researching the 1500’s, I discovered that something much bigger happened along the West Coast of Ireland in 1588 that would affect all of Europe.  The Spanish Armada, on their journey home from an indecisive battle with England, met a most ferocious storm and wrecked upon the rocky shores of Ireland.  Their fate?  Attempt to escape by any means possible, or be slaughtered by a merciless occupying force on the Queen’s orders.  

So that was where the idea really began.  As for the time-slip element, well that all happened one afternoon as I was watching Oprah – yes Oprah!  She had a guest on by the name of Brian Weiss MD. promoting his book – Many Lives, Many Masters.  He told an incredible story of a girl who came to him with anxiety issues, for which he prescribed hypnotherapy sessions.  However, during these sessions, the girl started to drift back, or regress, into past lives where she had suffered some kind of trauma.  Long story short, ‘revisiting’ these past experiences helped her to overcome her anxieties in the present.  Ding-Ding!  I hear a plot device 🙂  

Armed with both of these story ideas, I began to create the world of The Cross Of Santiago, with my main character Amanda taking on some of the traits of Grainuaile, giving a nod to my O’Malley roots (a story is for another day!).  And that, my friends, is the ‘behind the scenes’ look at my new novel.  So if you fancy a bit of ‘Pirates of the Carribean‘ meets ‘Somewhere in Time‘, then download a sample on Amazon or Smashwords.

Also, the lovely people at Indie Author Land (Great books, no middleman) have posted an interview with yours truly, in which we discuss the background story to The Cross Of Santiago and a little bit about me.  You can read it here.

The Morning After The Night Before

I just want to say a huge thank to everyone who helped to make my launch day such a success!  Thank you to everyone who paid me the biggest compliment by paying over their hard-earned cash to buy a copy of The Cross Of Santiago – I truly hope you enjoy the adventure!  Also to anyone who helped to spread the word, gave me a ‘like’ or participated in the Enchanted Book Tours give-away.  You all helped to make it such a special day and I really appreciate that.  

Keep an eye out for upcoming press releases, features and my next blog tour starting on October 1st.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear your feedback, so if you want to wax lyrical about your thoughts on The Cross Of Santiago, you can write a review on Amazon or Goodreads.  Speaking of which, I got a lovely review from Mira at the Forever Book Lover blog, which you can read here.

Thanks again to everyone for your support and helping to make The Cross Of Santiago the next big thing in fiction… FACT!

Buy My Book on Amazon and Smashwords

Smashwords Pre-Order

Fancy pre-ordering my exciting début novel?  Well now you can!  If you’re not tying yourself into the whole Kindle Select Program, you can go ahead and upload your book to Smashwords, weeks before your launch and make it available to pre-order.  I think this is a fantastic idea, because in the lead up to the launch of The Cross Of Santiago, people keep asking me where they can get my book, but I don’t have any link to give them.  This makes me look silly.

Me:  Hey, I’ve got a new book coming out.

Random Acquaintance:  Good for you Evie, where can I get a copy?

Me:  Well, it’s an e-book, so you can download it off Amazon.

RA:  Great, I’ll do it right now.

Me:  Um, well no, you see it hasn’t launched yet, so if you log on to Amazon, it eh… well it won’t be there yet.

RA:  Right, right.

Me:  But it will be in two weeks, I mean you could just keep checking my blog until then and I’ll give you the links??

RA:  Oh, here’s my bus, gotta go, I’ll call you though…

Gone.  You won’t get that opportunity back.  And you sound like you’re launching your novel in a makey-uppy land… far, far away.  But with Smashwords, you can upload everything weeks ahead of your actual launch, so people not only have a link to view your novel (with a cheeky sample to boot), but they can also pre-order it.  This could mean a head-start when it comes to your sales rankings and all that algorithm jazz, so for me it’s a no-brainer.  So publish pre-order books to Apple, Barnes & Noble and Kobo, and according to Smashwords ” Accumulated sales during the pre-order period can cause your book to rise in the best-seller lists”.  Let me know your views.

To pre-order your copy of The Cross Of Santiago with Smashwords, click here.

For Free Or Not For Free…

We’ve all seen them, perhaps even downloaded a few, but do we ever read them?  Free ebooks, whether they are part of the Kindle Select program or a promotional drive, are a controversial aspect of self-publishing.

As a new author, it’s a difficult decision to make.  Do I list my book with Kindle Select and give it away for free for a couple of days, thereby boosting my title in the sales ranks and hopefully increasing my profile?  It’s a tantalising carrot to dangle in front of a newbie, but the real figures would suggest that these kind of promotions do not have a lasting impact.  Many authors report a drop in rankings as soon as the promotion ends, meaning that they’ve just given away hundreds or thousands of free copies to eBook hoarders, who may not even read their book, never mind leave a review.  Of course there are the success stories out there, authors who blind you with algorithms and whatnots, swearing by the success they’ve enjoyed after having given their book away for free.  There is evidence that free days can work for books that are part of a series, but who’s got time to write a series, eh?!

I believe there is a much greater argument here, that of value.  If every new author feels pressured to give their book away for free, readers will start to expect free books.  Eventually, this could mean a world where readers are unwilling to pay for books, which would be very bad news for anyone trying to make a living out of writing.  Too much free content threatens to devalue the whole business of writing.  If a reader sees a book priced at 99 cents or less, they will automatically assume that the book isn’t’ worth much.  However, if a book is priced from 2.99 to 4.99 (the alleged ‘sweet spot’ for eBooks), there is a belief that this book is ‘worth’ something, that the author believes in this work and has priced it accordingly.

Still, the bottom line is sales and let’s face it, after spending X amount of months or years writing a novel, you want people to read it.  Which means sales.  And if the world and its dog are telling you that the only way to increase your sales is to give your book away for free at the start, you’re bound to be tempted.  Still, I have decided that this is not the route for me.  Of course I’ll be giving away some free copies as part of my book launch and tour, I’m not Scrooge after all!  But listing my book on Amazon for free?  That would be inconceivable.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this… have you tried the freebie route and has it worked for you?