Guest Post: A New Way To Read by Sheila Sellinger

There’s a new and unique way for you to read eBooks.

It’s called Kindle Vella.

And it’s vastly different from the common methods you’re likely familiar with – standard eBooks and physical books – because of how it allows you to read books one chapter/episode at a time simply by searching on Amazon in Kindle Vella, then clicking on the story that interests you. Best part of all, it doesn’t require you to buy the book all at once or pay for a book that you may not like after the first chapter/episode or two, and you can read the first three chapters/episodes for free regardless of whether you continue reading the story or not. If you choose to continue the story on chapter/episode 4, Amazon will instruct you to purchase tokens in order to unlock that chapter/episode. The tokens are available in several price packets for you to choose from and are stored on Amazon for you to use so you don’t have to keep track of them yourself. It’s that easy!

So, if you like what I’ve shared so far and would like to start reading your first Kindle Vella, then you’ll want to pay close attention to what I’m about to share with you.

Hi, my name is Sheila Sellinger, and I am the author of 4 different Kindle Vella stories, though there will be more in the future. Let me introduce you to them and the inspiration behind each one.

The first one that I published is a military fiction titled Letters In The Wind. It’s the make-believe journal that belongs to a fictional American soldier stationed in Iraq during the conflict in 2003. In it, he writes about his experiences and the special op mission that he was given which means that he will be considered MIA by the military and all communications are cut off – all except for a laptop that gives him his instructions. You also get to read his inner thoughts and how he feels about this new path in his life, and how it effects his relationship with God.

Letters In The Wind started out as a dream in which I lived the first few chapters as the main character. When I woke up, I knew for a fact that I needed to write it. So, I began and soon realized that I knew virtually nothing about being a soldier. It was time to solicit help from professionals. I knew some ex-military personnel and asked for interviews as well as edits of the story to make sure the details were correct. That proved to be immensely helpful, but I still needed to do my research on Iraq – topography, culture, landscape, etc. I even got advice from several online veterans who helped me with some details that had been missed. After all of that, it was completed a couple of months ago with 42 chapters.

Then came Desperate Passions, my western adventure/romance. It has four main characters who start out with their separate lives but slowly merge together as the story progresses. In the beginning, the town sheriff, James Riley is romantically pursuing the local schoolteacher, Sarah Hanson, but with no luck, when she is kidnapped by a drifter named Dillan Davis who is accompanied by his younger sister Jenny. The chase is on as James hunts them down to rescue Sarah but finds that she may not need rescuing after all. There is also a lunatic mountain man and a band of Indians mixed in to make things more interesting.

Many of the traits that I used for James were borrowed from an old boss of mine back in 2007 when the manuscript was originally written. The other characters are figments of my imagination, and I did extensive research on the era, various locations mentioned in the story, and the Sioux Indian nation’s history during the time and how they lived. It has sat on the shelf until now when I decided it was time to share it with the world.

After Desperate Passions came The Mystic Lady which is a pirate adventure/romance starring the mysterious Captain DeLaroache – a pirate renowned for being harsh and brutal but has an unknown soft spot. The only ones who truly know the captain are the loyal pirate crew and they guard the captain’s secrets carefully. But all will be unraveled when The Mystic Lady takes possession of a storm wrecked smuggling ship and its small crew of proud Scotsmen. Ian McKenna is the captain of the captured vessel and proves to be much more than Captain DeLaroache bargained for, but not all is lost for, even though the two captains clash, they soon form a bond that will last a lifetime.

The Mystic Lady is the story that holds a special place in my heart because it was conceived in the minds of two 14-year-old girls one day while eating lunch at school. One of those girls was me, and I will never forget that conversation. We were imagining what it would be like to be pirates and how we would manage our ships. It was a wonderful discussion, but I will say no more since I don’t want to give anything else away.

My most recent addition to my Kindle Vella lineup is The Crimson Cross. This story begins with Amanda Cain fleeing an untenable situation, heading for London to start a new life. After gaining passage on a ship to England, she meets the aristocratic Lord Halsey (Adam Weston) when he boards said ship. They are on their way to England when pirates attack the ship and Adam saves the day. Years later, Amanda meets Adam again after she’s been fired from her job, and he offers her employment. However, Adam hasn’t been feeling well and his doctor tells him to take some time in the country to recover, but he soon discovers that someone is out to kill him. Events quickly unfold that make it imperative that Adam and Amanda must take to the seas once more, only for Amanda to find out through Adam’s first mate that the captain (Adam) has a dangerous secret.

I wrote The Crimson Cross back in 2008 and had a silent co-author at the time who contributed half of the dialogue and a fair amount of research on the time period, weaponry, and the historical figures mentioned of which I double checked myself before including in the manuscript. None of his contributed material was used raw but was restructured to match my voice and the story as a whole.

I hope you will give Kindle Vella a look in general and, specifically, my stories. And remember to hit the thumb at the bottom of each chapter/episode and follow each story that speaks to you because the authors get paid for everything you do on their story(ies); each chapter read, each time you unlock a chapter, every thumb that is clicked, and every follower. It matters and makes a difference. With that said – Happy reading!

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