Perfect Partners Inc

Some Of My Books Are Leaving Kindle Unlimited…

After trying (and largely failing) to gain a foothold on venues other than Amazon (VOTA), I went back into KDP Select a few months ago. Immediately, my book income almost doubled and my ranks improved, (which leads to more visibility and borrows/sales). It was a relief, but also sort of disappointing. Why? Because it simply confirmed that going all-in with Amazon was my own viable option and that meant I was going to have to toe their line and put all my eggs in their basket. The upside to that is that people could borrow my books in Kindle Unlimited.

Unfortunately, Amazon has been having some problems lately and there are casualties.

One of those casualties is related to the “exclusivity” clause. Basically, anything that is available in any other book or publication is not exclusive and therefore, cannot be in KU (meaning KDP Select). In my case, that means anything I’ve had published in The Future Chronicles series of anthologies would not be exclusive.

While Robot Evolution has only one story from the Chronicles, it has that one story. None of the other PePr novellas are outside my control, but one is enough. So, Robot Evolution and  possibly Hope/Less will have to come out of Select. This is bad because I get far more “reads” in KU than actual sales. It blows actually.

The other casualties are The Ways We End and And Then Begin Again. While each volume has half new material, the other half started as tales in the Chronicles and Beyond The Stars series. I’ve rewritten them (because hey, no word count limits!), but it’s still no-banana.

If you’re a Kindle Unlimited member and you’ve had those on your list, get them soon. Once their time for this Select period is up, they’ll be available for purchase only. On the upside, they will also be available on all other retailers too!

 

NOTE: Due to some other strangeness going on at Amazon (it’s complicated), I may wind up taking all of my books out of Select and going wide with them again. Yes, this will crash my income and visibility, but the stuff going on right now is super scary and it might be my only alternative if I want to feel safe.

Little J is shocked! Shocked, I tell ya!

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I love it when I can get Little J to ham it up. And she loves it when I let her play with my books. It’s a perfect storm. She loves the covers, while I just thinks she’s adorbs.

And don’t worry, I didn’t let her read any murder-y bits.

Robot Evolution is Live! (And it’s $1.99 for a couple of days)

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Robot Evolution is live on Amazon!

For those who have read the Perfect Partners, Incorporated series already, this is the first compilation of those novellas into a single book. Robot contains volumes 1-5, including Corrections, Imperfect, The Dogcatcher, PePr, Inc., and Posthumous.

All in all, there are 376 pages of sentient robot fun, gasps, and tears for your reading pleasure.

As always, I’ve got it on New Release pricing for a few days, so it’s $1.99 at the moment. It will go up to regular price shortly (by Saturday morning), so don’t miss out. And I don’t have this volume in Kindle Unlimited (though I’m leaving the individual stories in KU if you’re a KU user).

So far, the reviews are excellent, which is a ginormous relief, but I could always use MORE reviews. If you’re feeling like it, please do leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon (or even on Barnes and Noble, since they are selling the paperback version there).

As a side note: If you’re feeling super generous, leaving a review on individual stories as well as the collection would be hugely appreciated. Reviews are getting SUPER hard to come by in recent months.

Here are the blurbs for each novella inside:

  • – Corrections: Deirdre is a SUPer, a government owned robot in the time before Perfect Partners were released. Originally designed to be a battlefield intelligence unit, politics demanded her unit be scrapped or sent to work in a less controversial profession.  Now, she’s a parole agent for recently released criminals in need of supervision…nicknamed Anklets by their criminal charges. And this time she’s got herself a doozy for a client. Greg, a petty thief and con artist with a rap sheet extending back more than 40 years, is almost more than she can handle. Between arthritis and illegal card games, Deirdre and Greg forge a new relationship even as the world around them shifts and alters in startling ways.
  • – Imperfect: Sandra was built with everything; a perfect body, perfect face, and every upgrade that can be bought. Yet somehow she finds herself on the reject table next to a half-disassembled robot with an erratic personality. And now, on top of everything else, she’s just experienced her first emotion. Too bad for her it turned out to be fear.

    But all is not as it seems inside the cold Perfect Partners facility. Behind the cool concrete and stainless steel there is more to find than just freshly minted PePrs with empty eyes, or unwanted returns awaiting recycling. As Sandra gets swept up in the plots and plans inside the PePr facility, she must maintain her placid facade or wind up on the chopping block along with her new friend. In the end, it all boils down to one question: How much is Sandra willing to give up to provide a better future for her kind?

  • – The Dogcatcher: As a civil service PePr, Ace has a job that keeps him in the public eye and under constant scrutiny. Designed and built to relate well with animals, he’s the perfect Animal Control worker. He’s also got a secret and it’s not just that he has emotions. Deep within the abandoned relics of humanity’s industrial past, he has a secret home for himself and all the unadoptable dogs that he rescues.

    When Ace does something that will demand his termination, his only wish is that his dogs will not suffer for his actions. It’s only when all hope is lost that he discovers he has more friends than he imagined in the most surprising places. Will he survive? Will the dogs he shelters find the places they can call home? By discovering the true meaning of friendship…and even love…combined with a lot of luck, Ace just might just win the day.

  • – PePr, Inc.: Hazel has a busy life with a great career and friends she loves. She also has Henry, and that’s not working out quite like she expected.

    Perfect Partners, Incorporated – PePr, Inc. – promised her a match with perfect compatibility. A PePr is meant to complement their human, filling in all the gaps to create the ideal couple. They are meant to be something no human could ever hope to find in another human. It’s just not turning out that way for Hazel. When Henry finally goes too far, Hazel finds that getting free of him might not be as easy as going back to PePr to void the contract.

  • – Posthumous: Love is eternal in a silicon heart.  Edna writes, but isn’t allowed to publish. She lives on her own, but can’t legally own her home. She has a beagle she loves, but is considered property herself. Life can be complicated for a PePr – a Perfect Partner, designed to be exactly what an individual human needs in their life. That’s especially true when that PePr falls in love.

    Of all the things that Edna has, only her love belongs entirely to her. And when one can never forget, love becomes endless. Eternal love can sometimes be more painful than never loving at all.

*****

I got a good question from a reader on Facebook about the new releases in the PePr, Inc. universe. I figure if one person asked, then probably more people wondered but didn’t ask.

Questions: Will I be releasing the new novellas in the series individually or only in the collections now? And do readers need to buy them twice or is the content the same as the novellas?

Answer: I’ll be releasing them individually and only collecting them once I’ve got another five out. Because it could very well be many…many…months before I get another five out, I’ll release them individually as they get ready. That way people don’t have to wait.

And yes, I’ll leave the novellas at $0.99 until the new collection comes out and then raise the price. That way, no one is out very much. And yes, I absolutely will give you a review copy of the collection if you’ve reviewed the individual novellas. The cover art is awesome and I don’t want people to have to buy it twice. 🙂 I’ve always been cool like that and I don’t intend to change. I’m too stubborn for that sort of personality shifting.

As for upcoming novellas, I like to keep my options open but I have several on the docket that seriously interest me. I don’t write them until I have a clear head and the story is fully formed in my head, which often takes me by surprise at inconvenient times. It works though, because the novellas have not disappointed me at all. I’m going to keep on doing them in that fashion for the foreseeable future.

  • – Mercy – A battlefield medical robot and a soldier trapped by the enemy engage in a battle of wills, with life and death as the stakes. This one goes back to SUPer time again and will revisit Greg, a favorite character from Corrections.
  • – Protector – When humans figure out the best way to protect our vanishing endangered species is to use untiring PePrs with special skills, then the directive to protect can wind up being implemented in shocking ways.
  • – Rebellion – In the end, sentient beings will always seek freedom, but freedom usually comes at a dear price. Sometimes that price can be too high.
  • – Tester (tentative title) – Adopting a child is a privilege and the children available for adoption a very limited resource in our future. Only the best potential parents qualify, and who better to decide than a PePr who looks like a child but has the mind of a social worker.
  • – Justice – Humans often secretly root for the brave one who exacts immediate justice against those who would do harm. When a tinkerer and a discarded PePr join forces, justice can take on a whole new meaning.

Amazon Giveaway for Posthumous – Try Your Luck!

Posthumous400x638I’m testing out this new ebook giveaway thingie that Amazon has going and it’s just as cool as it seems!

The only hitch is that it’s not nearly as easy to spread the word about them as you might think. So, there are a big old load of copies left on this giveaway.

Try your luck if you like and if you’re feeling like it, share away via whatever social media venue you’d like to. That would be cool.

Hey, it’s a free book! What’s not to like?

Here’s the linkie:  https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e370cd35476eeebc

Email: Corrections Card Question Answered!

CorrectionsI got a cool email question about the card game at the end of Corrections and I thought I would take a second to answer it here too.

Question: What hand was Deirdre holding at the end?

Answer: Well, if you know my writing, then part of that answer will seem obvious once you hear it. She was one card away from a Royal Flush, but could have put down two or three cards to get a more likely or safer hand of two pair or three of a kind.

Her hand was an Ace, King, Jack, and ten of Hearts with a King of Clubs tossed in.

All she was missing was the Queen of Hearts.

See? That missing card…obvious!

***

Oh..and check my author facebook page because I just put up a sneak peek of Hope/Less, the next PePr book! Plus the cover it up there.

I’m opening up the ARC list for that one too, so if you want in on that, let me know.

Corrections – The Next Perfect Partners Novella – ARC Time!

CorrectionsThat’s right! The next Perfect Partners entry is already almost ARC ready. I won’t be publishing it until the 22nd of January, so there will be two weeks for those who receive Advanced Review Copies to read and get ready to review it. Corrections is a bit of a ride, with some characters I really enjoyed getting to know and a look at our human world of crime from the view of a SUPer (the robots that came before PePrs).

For those who regularly get ARCs, I’ll be tagging you on Facebook, so no worries there. That said, I’m opening the list up to more people who want to join. All you have to do is review the work on Amazon on the day of publication…that’s it. Goodreads reviews are a nice thing, but in no way required to receive an ARC.

It’s about the same length as The Dogcatcher, so it’s a good chunk of novella and a nice read, but not one of my big old books like The Book of Sam or Strikers.

So..what’s this one about? Here’s the blurb:

Deirdre is a SUPer, a government owned robot in the time before Perfect Partners were released for personal use. Originally meant as a battlefield intelligence unit, politics demanded her unit be scrapped or sent to work in a less controversial profession.

Now, she’s a parole agent for recently released criminals in need of supervision…called Anklets by their criminal charges. And this time she’s got herself a doozy for a client. Greg, a petty thief and con artist with a rap sheet extending back more than 40 years, is almost more than she can handle. Between arthritis and illegal card games, Deirdre and Greg forge a new relationship even as the world around them shifts and alters in startling ways.

Perfect Partners, Incorporated – Not what it sounds like.

Welcome to PePr, Inc.

 

You might not have heard a whole lot about this series from me yet. Why? I think I was waiting to be sure the inspiration that drove me to write Posthumous was going to keep on ticking along. It did, so…yay! I’m super excited about The Dogcatcher, which is the next in the series. I really like this character and more importantly, I feel for him.

Incidentally, I’m opening ARCs for The Dogcatcher right now. Release is 28 December so that would be the date that a review needed to be posted on Amazon and/or Goodreads. It’s about the same length as Posthumous, so about 95 pages long if it were in a printed book and about 65 Amazon “estimated” pages. Let me know if you want one.

In case you don’t know….

PePr, Inc. was first published as a short story in The Robot Chronicles, the first of the now world-wide best-selling Chronicles series. I never intended PePr to be anything more than that…a stand alone short story. But then I started noticing stuff…like news articles on the unexpected reactions to the newest robotic advances, interesting conversations between artificial beings and humans, even some great music that incorporates some of the extremely odd conversation of a web-based “A.I.” that made me mourn for humanity.

I considered all the jobs they might be able to do and what humans would do to keep busy when that happened. Well, they could just sit around in their pajamas and take their robot’s paycheck (that’s SO gonna happen). Robots can do anything if they get mobility and socialization solved. So let’s draw this forward in time…let’s make them indistinguishable from human…what are they then?

And then, suddenly, I was just sitting around like humans do and I had a thought. I’ve been thinking how all these changes would be for us, how it might change us in negative as well as positive ways, and all the things that could (and therefore would) go wrong. What about them? What would all this be like for the robots? Humans have had incredibly negative impacts on more species than I can count (extinction being the most obvious, but continued suffering is right up there). There’s no reason to think we’ll change simply because the “species” we create is artificial and expensive.

The Perfect Partners, Incorporated series explores all of this. The good, the bad, the very bad. The crazy, the heart-wrenching, the unexpected. So far, I’ve written stories that explore robot “evolution” into feeling beings at various points in time after their commercial release.

PePr, Inc. is FREE on Amazon (and B&N, iTunes, Google Play, etc) and it remains a short story. I could have turned it into a novella, but I rather like the snappy tone of the short story format and I’ve left it there. All the rest of the books are novella length, with the shortest being about 50 pages and the longest about 99 pages. Still a big chunk of reading for just $0.99 each for sure.

This is on purpose. I don’t want to create a big novel where their individual contributions are diluted by being joined with others. The impact is far more acute, the involvement of the reader intensified, the experience more potent when done this way. My favorite reader response was an email about Posthumous that read: On a crying scale from 1 to 5, this is a nineteen.

Aside from all being set in the PePr universe, none of the stories is connected. Each novella is entirely complete on it’s own. A full tale told in the right number of words for it.

PePr, Inc. – Hazel has a great job that she’s really good at, wonderful friends who always support her, and a life that moves along smoothly. She also has Henry and that’s not working out so well. When Henry’s attention takes a disturbing turn, going to PePr, Inc. to void the contract might not be the easy solution Hazel imagined it would be. Is Henry a perfect Match or a perfect nightmare?

Posthumous – Love is eternal in a silicon heart. Edna writes, but isn’t allowed to publish. She lives in a beautiful home that she isn’t allowed to own. She has a dog, yet she is property herself. The only thing that truly belongs to her is her love…and now that is lost to her as well. When a robot, an ancient beagle, a long-dead human, and a fictional character meet in space and time, the logic of bits and bytes are no match for the mysterious workings of the “human” heart. CAUTION: Not for lunch time reading. Tissues needed.

Imperfect – Sandra was built with everything; a perfect body, perfect face, and every upgrade that can be bought. Yet somehow she finds herself on the reject table next to a half-dissembled robot with an erratic personality. And now, on top of everything else, she’s just experienced her first emotion. Too bad for her it turned out to be fear. Will she be able to navigate the impersonal world of PePr, Inc. and save herself…and maybe all her kind in the process.

The Dogcatcher – Ace is a civil service PePr for Animal Control. Designed to be even more adept than humans at dealing with frightened, hurt, or abandoned animals, they may have built him more than originally intended. It’s not hard to see the human system is stacked against non-humans when you’re designed to understand their most beloved – and most often abused – companions. When Ace commits an act that will demand his termination, he finds that he has friends in the strangest places and discovers the humanity inside humans.

What’s next? I’m torn. Right now I’m working on Strikers: Eastlands, but these novellas are a welcome and useful break when I’m struggling with plotting a long and complicated book. My ideas for future volumes include the titles, War, Mercy, Eternal, Trial, Homeless, Underground, and Caretaker. I’ll leave you to ponder what those might be about (but I’m very literal in that regard). If you have one that you’d like to see done first, don’t hesitate to let me know. Do you want crazy, tearjerker, action-packed, or thoughtful?

 

Work In Progress

Savannah Slays (working title)

5000/ 100000 words. 5% done!

Portals - Portal Invasion #1

78000/ 78000 words. First Draft Done!

Mercy - PePr Inc novella

3000/ 20000 words. 15% done!

The Ways We End

66000/ 66000 words. 100% Done! Publishing Dec 8th! (Dark Collections 2, "And Then Begin Again" goes live on the Dec 8th too!

Strikers: Outlands

40000/ 10000 words. 40% Done!

Good News Gone Bad #1
Series of Shorts

4000 / 20000 words. Back Burner for now.

Lulu 394

60020 / 80000 words. 75% done! Back Burner for now!

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Books by Ann Christy