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#FrankieWIP NaNoWriMo Ends and Hardback Malevolence!

Frankie Av

Finished NaNoWriMo on just over 85 thousand words! I also ordered a hard-backed copy of Malevolence and it is so COOL!

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE


Our books are HALF OFF right now!


Sam says:

OK, normally I’m not one for shameless plugs. I mean, I know I’m supposed to try to market my book, but I’ve been pretty lazy about it. I figure it will be easier to market if I have more variety to offer.

Disclaimer aside…can we talk about this AMAZING OFFER?!?

Our print publisher, Blurb, is offering 50% off its books. Yes, the ad says “photo books,” but I’ve found that any time they run an ad, it applies to my book at checkout as well. So if you go to purchase either (or BOTH?!) of our books, MALEVOLENCE by F.R. Donaldson or THE BLOOD OF NERYS by S.K. Balk, you can get it for 50% off between now and November 29…INCLUDING SHIPPING!!! 

I know there are over a hundred of you followers out there. Maybe you’re following because you find us entertaining (love you!), or maybe you’re waiting for the right book.

But…HALF OFF?! And that INCLUDES SHIPPING. Seriously!

Like, this would be a fantastic time for me to stock up on hardcopies (because I also get half off, and the more I buy, the cheaper it gets as it is). But, let’s be real…in two days, it’s going to be Black Friday. And this is one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year.

If you’ve got a friend who loves to read and might be interested in the stories we’ve written, there hasn’t been a better time to give it a whirl.

Blurb runs these discounts quite often, I find, but 50% off is about as deep a discount as I’ve seen. I’m excited to tell you about this. I hope you’re excited to hear it!

And if our stories aren’t your thing, no hard feelings. Writers tend to be pretty noncompetitive. Readers are as special and unique as writers are. Finding an author you enjoy is like finding a secret best friend, and finding readers that like you is like finding out you have a secret admirer. It’s a pretty awesome, special relationship. So if our books aren’t to your liking, but you do follow and enjoy this blog, we’d really appreciate if you’d just share this offer with your friends. If someone is out there that might enjoy our stories, we want them to be able to take advantage of this amazing deal, too.

Thanks guys! We love you so very much!

Happy holidays to you and your families, whichever holiday(s) you celebrate! Love and joy and peace and all those warm fuzzy things!

–Sam and Frankie (penned by Sam)


#FrankieWIP Writing, writing, WRITING!

So, I was enjoying writing so much yesterday that I forgot to vlog! A little update on the writing of Emergence!
Also, grab your copy of Malevolence-the first book the series-in ebook format at the following online shops, and here at Blurb in print!

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

#WriteTip Screaming Frustration and Frankie Dragon Meltdown

Frankie Av

Apologies again for my lack of timely updates this week. The heating system renewal saga continues and finding a quiet few minutes to write is damn near impossible. Anyway, while the workmen carry on working installing our new boiler and replacing all the pipes, I decided to work on the Malevolence PDF for print edition. Sounds simple enough, fix the pdf and upload it to Blurb and that’s it! Yet, this simple decision has led to a Frankie Dragon meltdown of epic proportions which continues to plague me as I have yet to successfully upload any file to Blurb.

I spent an hour attempting to fix the file yesterday morning, tweaked the format, and fixed the errors created a few months ago with a “search and replace” malfunction. Once I had this lovely new file I started uploading to Blurb. The first attempt failed, giving no indication as to why it failed. It said there was an error, but could give me no more details. While grinding my teeth in frustration, I tried over and over again–with no success. After the tenth attempt, I began to lose it. How hard can it be to upload a simple PDF file?

Back in May, I encountered the exact same problem and ended up allowing Sam one-time access to my account in order to upload the file. She managed to upload the same file I had problems with–within a few minutes!

After the tenth attempt yesterday, I tried a different browser. Three in fact. I turned off firewalls, ad-blockers; every browser add-on I could find was switched off. I dug out my other laptop which runs on Lubuntu, uploaded the file from there. I even tried uploading onto both the dot-com and dot-co-dot-uk Blurb addresses. Nada, error and failure. By this time my teeth were being ground down to pegs, my hair was fraying with all the tugging and my throat was in tatters with all the curse-filled ranting.

I then tested the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat and found there was an irreparable problem with the PDF file itself. I fixed the issue and made a brand new, lovely file and thought this would fix the problem. I eagerly uploaded the file with the expectation of the issue being fixed, only to find that the file failed again. As I stared at the screen I could almost feel the blood vessels in my brain pulsing on the verge of bursting…

In the end–after several hours of trying–I contacted Blurb customer support. I received a timely response from Jessica requesting more information as well as providing a few suggestions of things to try. Unfortunately, these were solutions I had already exhausted. After a few emails, Jessica spoke to her tech team about the issue. Their response was this was a highly unusual issue, and that perhaps it was a connection problem at my end. This would explain why I can’t upload the exact same file that Sam can upload. So I turned off my wi-fi and connected my laptop to my mobile phone internet. Different connection should work, right?

The file upload failed again. My laptop nearly went careening through the window at this point, thrown across the room in disgust. My husband was wary, afraid to make another suggestion while the dog kept her distance. I must have been exuding a dark cloud of ominous fury which they both obviously sensed. Perhaps the sulfurous smell was not coming from the construction bricks the workmen were drilling, but from my frustrated hellish anger!

Later, I went to bed in an absolute howler of a mood with the hopes of getting up today and have it all miraculously fixed, perhaps even a message from Jessica with a reason and solution to my ongoing problem. So far I have received no more replies from customer support, but I expected this given that it is the weekend. Also, customer support is in America so works on a different time-zone from me.

First thing I tried was a test upload which failed. One single upload failure came back with an internal error flag. This might mean it has nothing to do with me at all, that the issue in fact lies with the Blurb servers. I also decided to look into PDF file formats and such, wondering if there was a problem there. I discovered that Blurb uses PDF-X3 files. As I was unsure whether my file was of this type, I researched how to create such a file and made yet another shiny, new, larger and more perfect file. I was sure I had it right this time. This had to be the reason for the file failing. I smiled as I set the file to upload. Watched the progress bar with anticipation and hope. Nearly screamed when the processing bar froze and upload failed yet again. In sheer frustration and with the bloody-minded determination of a fool, I tried over and over, sure that one file would slip through and somehow dance around the Blurb servers with glee.

The last file failed about fifteen minutes ago and I am now at the end of my tether. My nerves are frayed, my temper short. My teeth are sore, my head is aching, my family present me with wary grimaces when I look at them. The workmen have gone quiet as they install the new copper pipes below the house. And I sit here, fuming and defeated at last as I shake with cold and wish there was some bloody heat in this house.

This should not be so difficult! There should be an explanation for the failures, but none are given so I am at a loss as to why I can not upload!

I am currently waiting on Sam coming online, to ask her to try uploading my file like she did before. I am 100% sure she will get it uploaded within minutes again, while I have spent over a day trying to do the same thing. I should not have to wait on my friend in America coming online just so I can upload a PDF file.

If you take into consideration all the times I have tried to do this, it equates to four months of fruitless attempts. I know it will likely end up being something very simple to fix, a stupid mistake somewhere which is preventing me from uploading. But, at this moment in time, this does not help me and I sit here ranting as my temper breaks again for the fifth time today alone.

Perhaps Malevolence is destined to remain in ebook format only…I will let you know…

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

#FrankieWIP Pronoun Pay Day! Malevolence Errors and Laptop Woes!

After a week plagued with problems, there was a pleasant surprise in my emails this morning 😀 With some little outtakes XD

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE


#FrankieWIP New Content and Blurb update!

An update from Frankie about what’s been happening with her in the past week! Between creating new art, credits and content for the blog, as well as uploading the Malevolence manuscript to Blurb for printing, it has been a very busy week!

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE


So I got my copy in the mail today! It’s AWESOME!!! Check out the video to see how nicely it turned out. 🙂

Buy THE BLOOD OF NERYS in print!!!

6x9 cover