Tag Archives: Smashwords


Out of the Darkness is a full-length novel consisting of 66,565 words. This Mystery Suspense with Romantic Elements story contains murder scenes some readers may find upsetting. However, it is a story that will keep you on your toes, making you wonder what happens next.

The idea for this tale first entered my head in 1994. Although I had written the initial draft I was not happy with it to submit to a publisher. Over the subsequent years I would revisit the story and make a few changes but never of any magnitude to warrant  confidence that the book was ready.

Of course, being a writer the enthusiasm of creating stories didn’t stop just because the first novel was, in my opinion, not good enough. That same year I began writing my second novel which I assigned to a pen name ‘Louise Roberts’. This too was a full-length novel, but a historical romance entitled “Beneath Southern Stars” [e-published on Smashwords]. A year later I began a non-fiction history book that would take 10 years to complete.

From that time to this, I have written three full-length novels, a non-fiction history book, five historical romance novellas, and several short stories, as well as some poetry. You’ll find most of them on this blog.

Despite writing so many different genres, my first story was never forgotten. When I arrived in Southern France in 2016, the change of pace and locality gave me the courage to tear it apart and start again. I should have done so years ago.

In truth, I expect that since creating my other stories, and having editors advise on how to improve them, my craft of writing has had the opportunity to develop and grow in strength.

It is with pride and great pleasure therefore, that after so many years, Luminosity Publishing LLP has today released Out of the Darkness in digital format. The novel is to be released in a paperback version on May 15, 2018.

The book can be obtained from various sites as well as Amazon:




The Mark Lander Chronicles – Book 1



From the depths of darkness, a cry of distress leads Mark Lander from a world of violence to a place where romance awaits . . .


It’s January 1994 and it is proving to be another hot summer in Sydney Australia. During the early hours, lonely in his thoughts and strolling along the shoreline at Freshwater Beach, Mark Lander, a war correspondent home on leave, is distracted by cries of help from the surf and wades in to rescue a swimmer in distress.

Unbeknown to Mark his courageous action will make him an unsuspecting champion in the defense of the rescuee, Robyn Shelly. Inquisitive by nature, a requirement of his chosen profession, he teams up with his best friend, Detective Sergeant Jim Sanders. Their respective investigations will pull them deeper into a world of violence and mayhem.

Despite his personal emotional anguish, Mark finds himself captivated by Robyn’s beauty and gradually falls in love with her. However, although he gladly accepts the unexpected friendship, will the trials still to come dash any hope of romance and eventual happiness . . .?


RLB – Tomewriter


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Sensual Liaisons: The Sword and the Rose Collection


Cover Design by Dusktildawn Designs and Luminosity Publishing

All original artwork by Dawné Dominique and copyright remains with her.


Sensual Liaisons: The Sword and the Rose Collection by Louise Roberts is a paperback that is to comprise of books 2, 3, and 4 of The Sword and the Rose Series.

So that these three great e-books can be available in print, Luminosity Publishing has incorporated them into a paperback.

The book is due for release on 15th April 2017 and can be purchased through the usual distributor channels such as Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Luminosity Publishing’s own website.

Although there had been plans for three more books in the series it was decided that it was time to end the Spanish 17th century saga after book 4.


Louise Roberts will now concentrate on her “Romance in War” series comprising of different stories set during World War II.

Book 1 – Letter from a Stranger is set in London during the Blitz was published by Luminosity Publishing in June 2015 and is available on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble.

Book 2 – Dragoon Serenade is set in the south of France during the three weeks leading up to the Allied invasion of Operation Dragoon on 15th August 1944. Although this book is completed it is currently awaiting publication.

Book 3 – Balor’s Landing is set on the tiny island of Toraigh [Tory] off the Irish coast of county Donegal starting in September 1944. This book is Louise’s current work in progress, with four more books planned after this one.

In addition Louise is considering starting other adventures with new characters set during the 18th century but at this stage she won’t give anything away as to where and when those characters will emerge.


RLB – Tomewriter

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Spring Holiday – Day Eight… Last of the land mines!!

Well it’s finally here – the last day at Wyoming. Tomorrow morning I shall be setting off home – for the last day of my holiday [I shan’t have time to blog Day Nine and will save it for the weekend, when I hope to add photos to the other blogs of the holiday].

It has been a busy morning cleaning: the deck furniture, the screen door, and the bathroom. I attempted to clean the windows yesterday, but that Coles Window Cleaner [Smart Buy] is a waste of money. Perhaps it was the cloth I was using or maybe because the windows were exceptionally dirty, but they’ve come up a bit smeary – so I’m not too impressed.

I nipped out to the shops [what again… I hear you say] as I had a few little things I had to do for myself, but also to buy a birthday cake and a bottle of sparkling wine as it’s someone’s 30th Birthday tomorrow.

Sandra and I shall be taking him to lunch at the Banjo Paterson Cottage Restaurant in Gladesville. I’ve booked the table for noon. If you live in Sydney [or visiting] and haven’t been there yet, and you would like to dine somewhere very special, then I can certainly recommend this place. I was there last March and the ambiance and views were beautiful and the food – excellent: http://www.banjopaterson.com/

Afterwards we will head back via Berowra so he can pick up his car to drive home. We shall follow on behind so we can share in the cake and wine – and besides we can’t leave Riggs out of all the celebrations!!

Changing the subject and reverting back to today; I tried out the high pressure cleaner properly. Unfortunately it did not remove the mold from the gyprock panels of the house, but I then tried it on the drive way and paths at the front of the house and it worked beautifully. It even managed to shift a huge oil stain from the car port. I may take it home with me to use to clean up the oil stains his car has made of our communal driveway [the neighbours are up in arms – I mean the driveway is breaking up and looks absolutely shabby, yet they’re whinging because of a few oil stains].

For the last time, I cleared the back garden of Riggs’ land mines. Of all the jobs I have done at Brad’s during this past week this was one job I could have done without doing. Unfortunately, it’s not the dog’s fault, and it’s not really fair on him to not clear up the mess.

On a happy note regarding my novella it is: Finito, Fini, Finished… at just over 19,000 words “To Embrace Amidst Orange Blossoms” has been completed. Now the fun starts with fine tuning it…

I hope I will have good news if and when I can get the novella published.

Also, I will try approaching a couple more publishers for my historical saga: “The Sword and the Rose” as it is looking very unlikely that neither Harlequin nor Momentum are interested as I haven’t heard back from either of them yet.

I am determined to have it published one way or another so unless a third-party publisher takes it on before year-end, I will be self-publishing it on Smashwords in time for Christmas.

For now however I shall sign off and would like to thank you all for following.

RLB – Tomewriter

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#RWAus13 Riding the Waves… Day 2

Sunday 18th August

It’s 7am and I’ve been up an hour on Facebook enjoying all the chatter with fellow RWA members who it seems, like myself, thoroughly enjoyed the events of yesterday, including the Awards Night.

Last night’s event was remarkable. The Southern Cross Ballroom was fabulously presented with tables all decked out with Baci Chocolates [the official sponsors of the event], glittering gems, and bottles of champagne and delicious pastries. The tables were all lit by overhead blue lights and the effect was awesome – perfect to set the mood.

Fremantle 029 Fremantle 027

Have to get ready for today’s events so will pick this up later.

It’s now 6pm. The conference is finished, but what an incredible day it was. Starting at 8.30am with the usual introductions and address by the sponsors: Harlequin, the day began with “Survivor: Submission Island”. Writers were invited to submit anonymously the first three pages of a novel whether it was finished or not. The submission was read by an independent reader to a panel who would listen and either ask for the piece to be “Stopped” or request to hear “More”. Several entries were read in the hour allotted to this event; some writers were fortunate, others weren’t; and some like me didn’t get their submission read at all. In a way it was a disappointment as I would have liked to hear the panels’ comments; but also it was a relief, as after attending the various workshops the previous day I felt my work would need drastic revision. The one thing however was that the exercise has inspired me to work at the novella and finish it, rather than hiding behind the excuse that “I’m stuck”. The comments made by the panel were a treasure trove of invaluable tips and expectations.

Two of the workshops I attended were specifically chosen to help me achieve this goal:

  1. Learning about the power in detail and how it can enhance your story. How the use of descriptive language can make your manuscript come alive to the reader, drawing attention to the vividness of written images to allow your creativity to become alive.
  2. Using set multiple targets from start to end to achieve your goal and thus allowing the writer to map out a scene and help in the development of the characters.

As an added bonus the second workshop used visual examples and we were treated to a scene from “Gone with the Wind” – superb!!

The third workshop, which was actually timed in between the above two, was centred on Self-Publishing, and even though I have already done such five times over, I was still keen to find out from the panel of bestselling authors their experiences and views. The general consensus had a positive vibe for Indie publishing, such as through Smashwords and/or Amazon. Overall the opinion was in getting the book ready for publication: ensuring the work is first looked at by a reputable editor and that a well-designed cover is attained for the book. Furthermore, it was strongly advised for the manuscript to be reviewed by a critiquing group so that when presenting to an editor some of the work may have already been done thus reducing the time spent and hence minimising the costs.

In the end it is your work and it should be of a quality and feel-good standard to make you comfortable when unleashing it upon your readers. Your name is on the cover: you have invested hard work, time, energy and love in recounting a tale to be proud of. It is in your interest to spend money in ensuring the writing is up to scratch and that a quality cover makes your creation stand out from all the rest. For me, I am forever grateful to Judy Bullard at Custom EBook Covers http://customebookcovers.com/index.html for the fabulous work she has created for my books.

As the conference wound down we were treated to a pre-view of the 2014 Conference which is to be held at the Novotel Olympic Park, Sydney between the 7th and 10th August. We can’t wait!!

Meanwhile though it was nice to finish off the evening by going out to dinner with five of the new friends I made during this weekend. Then to crown it, as I entered the elevator to go up to my room, I found myself sharing it with Bestselling Author Nina Bruhns who is also Senior Editor for Entangled Publishing. As she was amongst the panel of the self-publishing workshop I took the opportunity of thanking her for the invaluable insights given. In turn she asked what I write and having mentioned my genre is mainly historical romance and historical adventure, she remarked that she would love to read my work and to consider approaching Entangled Publishing. What better incentive can anyone be given to finish one’s book and see where it leads?

Perhaps this time next year I might be honoured by having one of my works accepted by a third-party publishing house and thus fulfilling a personal ambition.

RLB – Tomewriter


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What is a ‘Published Author’?

According to certain factions of the writing community a ‘Published Author’ is one who has signed a contract for any fictional and/or non-fictional narrative work exceeding 40,000 words with a third-party publishing house. Works which are self-published whether in hardback, paperback or online as an e-book, or are published through a “Vanity” or “Subsidised” enterprise are not regarded as “Published”.

Such a statement in today’s electronic age seems to be narrow-minded and archaic. And the only entities who would benefit from holding authors to contracts are the traditional publishing corporations which do so in a bid to not lose market share and maintain their self-preservation.

If authors all began to self-publish in a way of securing a better percentage of royalties and in ensuring their hard labours are published, then those traditional publishing houses would begin to fade away as quickly as the many book outlets which appear to be disappearing so fast from the High Streets.

I can vouch that for the works I have sold as e-books through Smashwords, the royalties received on the sale price averages at 78% per book sold. On reading various reports of the royalty percentages paid by the traditional publishing corporations; these range from 10% – 15%, and up to 25% for e-books published through them. To me this seems totally ridiculous that anyone should wish to earn so little when a greater amount can be earned by self-publishing methods.

Sure it can be argued that the companies who offer such low percentages do so because they provide editing, proof-reading, warehousing and distribution services as part of the contractual agreement with their author. But any author who is worthy of writing a novel and/or a non-fiction book, should have enough experience on how to edit and proof-read their own work. Furthermore, there are numerous independent agencies that can provide a professional assessment of your manuscript for a fee.

I found, that when I began trying to find a publisher some twenty odd years ago to publish my first novel [long before e-books became a reality], many insisted that the manuscript be professionally assessed before it being presented to them for consideration. I expect this is because a publishing house does not want to take a gamble on an unknown author. Although in my case I took their advice and had my work professionally assessed [an exercise which was certainly worth doing] by then I had “lost interest” in going through the whole regime of applying to publishing houses to have my manuscript considered for publication. Instead I moved on to my next projects: a non-fiction history book, and my second fictional novel. The assessment of my first novel did not go ignored. The lessons learnt and advice given, were invaluable in administering them into the new books.

The trend of online shopping has not only taken hold of our society, it has become the norm. Consumers find it so much easier in their busy and ever time-demanding days to shop for everything from personal items to food online. It is also evident that the need of entertainment has also moved from the traditional high street purchases to online methods. As more people purchase music, movies and books from online sites such as Amazon, there is no reason to believe that consumers will not turn to e-book distributors to commence purchasing their favourite e-books online through such distributors as Barnes & Nobel, Apple, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, WH Smith, Baker & Taylor, and Amazon  to name but a few.

Having said all this I will revert to the original question: What is a ‘Published Author’?

Personally I believe any author who has taken the time to research and write a manuscript. Spent endless hours editing and proofreading his/her work; had it professionally assessed. Spent money on ensuring the best possible cover has been designed for it and then self-publishing it should receive the recognition of being a “Published Author”. For anyone to demean that accomplishment by stating that you are not a published author unless you have signed a contract with a third-party publisher, is both insulting and naïve.

RLB – Tomewriter



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Poetic Whispers is Published

Poetic Whispers Final


 Copyright © Viviane Elisabeth Borg & Robert L J Borg 2013

 ISBN: 978-0-9873858-4-0

 Published by Robert L J Borg at Smashwords


To celebrate my mum’s 88th birthday this coming Tuesday, 15th January I have today published an anthology of poems which have been written by the two of us over some forty odd years. Although we both started writing fiction and non-fiction books since the 1990’s, poetry has been with us for most of our lives. In my case I started writing it from the mid 60’s when just a teenager. Mum I believe did so too; unfortunately most of her work was written in french, so only the English poems are included in this anthology.

As always with our books, I asked Judy Bullard of Custom EBook Covers [http://customebookcovers.com/index.html] to create the book cover. The theme I asked her to come up with was the beaches of Australia for me, and the mountains and lavender fields of the Alpes-Maritimes/Provence regions of France where mum lives. The beach photo I supplied. It was taken at Port Macquarie in April 2012 by me when we visited the place to celebrate my wife’s birthday. I am as always so grateful to Judy for the brilliant work she creates. The mountains and lavender fields on the cover are perfect.

I actually wrote a poem a few nights ago to fully describe the cover. It is the last poem in the book, but I will share it with you here and now. I hope you like it?

Poetic Whispers

(January 2013)

 Lavender fields abound, alive with bees,

Gathering nature’s harvest;

Their gentle drone fills the air with knowing comfort,

The balminess of summer afternoons,

Makes you want to weep with joy.

Distant mountains dominate the horizon,

As far as the eye can see;

Their rugged peaks shimmering with snow,

Whiteness so fresh and crisp,

Drawing you to them like a temptress.

Knolls, greenness so unreal,

Lush and sumptuous to the touch;

Where early morning dew keeps them freshly watered,

So as you tread upon its top,

It feels as though you’ll sink.

As you reach the sea below,

The surf calls out your name;

It invites you to kick off shoes, and wade,

Cold at first it warms to a gentle spa,

Relaxing and revitalising, you sigh with pleasure.

Hidden behind low clouds, the sun shines bright,

Its beams, the fingers of God, light the way;

Look in awe at all before you,

Listen to the angels’ poetic whispers,

And say thanks to being alive.

RLB – Tomewriter

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Smithy’s War – To be Reborn

It’s amazing what one finds when rummaging through a wardrobe!

Yesterday afternoon I decided I would do what my wife is always nagging me to do, and that is to tidy the Study located upstairs of our townhouse. However on going through the cupboard where I file most of my writing stuff, some hardly ever worn clothes, laptop, vinyl records, etc, etc…. I stumbled upon an external floppy disk drive my sister, Lesley, gave me when I was in France last September. I then searched for my old floppy disks to see if:

  1. I could open them,
  2. What was on them – even though they were labelled: what was said wasn’t necessarily what was on them, and
  3. If I could save them onto my desk top PC to actually make something of them.

Amongst all the rubbish – stacks of stuff which just wouldn’t open because of wrong formatting or were just saved on old software programs no longer available like Star Office and Corel – I found the final version of Smithy’s War. I was having problems saving it because the computer was telling me that the document was version 2 and that the computer was blocking such documents. Not to be defeated I searched the Help tab and found how to unblock it so I was able to save it on my computer.

I abandoned the “tidying up”, at least for another day and started editing it for e-book publishing. I then started to rummage through boxes of old research material and manuscripts I have stored in the laundry cupboards in the upstairs landing to search for the original photographs and maps that had been inserted in the original hard copy print of the book. My wife, who was downstairs trying to read was getting utterly fed up by the racket I was making, but I persevered until they were all found. I then commenced the task of scanning them in.

I was having so much fun that the afternoon just vanished and before I knew it, it was 6pm and I decided it was time to stop before my name was mud. I first phoned my mum [ we speak every weekend ] and then thought it best to join my wife…….

Although the e-publishing of Smithy’s War was never on the schedule of books to release – only because I desperately want to finish The Sword and the Rose for e-publishing next June, and then make a sincere start on Elena I can’t help being drawn to my history book. It took me over ten years to complete because of other projects and daily life getting in the way, but it was a project which gave me the most pleasure. The research for it had been a mammoth task: reading countless reports and books on the numerous events during World War II; the search for the vessels mentioned in Leslie George Smith’s diary and obtaining photographs. Then drawing, freehand, various maps so that I didn’t infringe on anybody else’s copyrights, etc., etc….

In the end trying to get the book published was a nightmare as no-one was willing to take it on; so I did it on the cheap as there was no way I could afford the spend over $10K to self-publish it properly. I therefore printed up some 30 or so copies which I distributed to various libraries and gave to friends and family. Pity really that it was never published properly as I believe it deserves recognition, especially because Leslie George Smith and all the Merchant Seamen who served [and died] during that terrible conflict deserve all the recognition of their sacrifice.

With that in mind, I will be self-publishing this book – initially as a Smashwords Edition: I only hope their “Meatgrinder” which turns word documents into the various e-book reader formats can accept all the photographs and maps without trouble. Fingers and toes crossed. I expect I shall attempt to publish it perhaps in early 2013 [January maybe] I’ll see how I go for time.

RLB – Tomewriter

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