Author Archives: zeecelugo

About zeecelugo

Indie author living in the mountains in Puerto Rico. Zeecé grew up in Brooklyn. She lived in many places and finally settled in Miami, Florida, where she taught for many years. She is now retired and doing what she always wanted to do. She writes.

Get Your OverDrive!

I buy a lot of books. Some of the books I buy are by traditionally published authors whose books sell up to three and four times what I get for one of mine.

I often resort to borrowing books from the library, especially if it’s a popular series and each book is more than $10. If I like the book, then I feel confident about buying the rest of the series.

I use a sweet little app called OverDrive to borrow library books. You can download the app from the Google Play Store, your Apple store, your Kindle App store, etc. 


To use OverDrive, you must have a library card from a public library: any public library in the USA that is listed in the OverDrive directory. I believe that just about every public library is listed.

You add your library to the Overdrive App, log in, and search for the author you want or the book you want. Some books may be signed out, but you can put a hold on the ones you want, and as soon as a book is available, the library notifies you by email.

There are audio books also available. When you borrow the book, you can choose Epub or Kindle. If you use Kindle or Kindle App, you can download the book easily by choosing Kindle.

The book appears normally in your Kindle Library. When the borrow expires, Kindle returns it automatically. The books are checked out to you for 21 days, and you can check out multiple titles at the same time. There is no charge.


There are bestsellers and novels by popular authors available. You are limited only by what the library has. If the book you want is not on the list, you can use OverDrive to recommend to the library that it acquires the title.


Are there negatives? The only one I see is that the latest releases are grabbed quickly, and you usually must wait a few weeks to get them. If you are willing to wait, you can read them for FREE! Really for FREE with no strings attached.


Also, you need to have a library card. Library cards are specific to individual libraries. Libraries only issue free cards to their area residents. You borrow from the one library which issued your card. Your catalog of books available depends on what your library has.

I don’t live in the USA mainland. I live in a USA territory whose libraries are limited to the school system. I am lucky my adult children live in Florida, and I spend months there every year. My daughter-in-law was able to procure a free library card for me. I treasure my card.  

You can, if you are willing to pay, get a library card from a library outside your area of residence. However, these cards can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 a year, and the libraries which have such programs are few.

Click on the link below to visit the OverDrive site. OverDrive also offers Libby as a reading alternative. Both do the same thing, but Libby has a different look.

Link to OverDrive

DRM IN BOOKS

Many of us love to read on e-book readers or on our telephones and tablets. I love taking my entire thousand-book library with me inside my purse when I travel. My one small Kindle can hold thousands of books and weighs only a few ounces.

You can get books in Mobi, Epub, PDF, etc. from many online sources and install the appropriate book file on your device. This is called “sideloading.” You can sideload freebies from dozens of internet sites.

If the book file is in the right format for the device, you can sideload it. For example, you can send a Mobi or PDF file to a Kindle Fire, and it will open and be readable. However, if the book is DRM protected, the device will not open it, regardless of file format.

A DRM-protected book may not be shared, re-sold, or sometimes even used by more than one device. You cannot copy it or print it. You may not convert it to another format. The book is not really yours. You have permission to read it, but only in the approved device, for as long as the device can open it.

I read on several online posts that all Amazon books are DRM protected. That statement is not correct. When I upload my manuscript to Amazon, Amazon gives me a choice as to DRM. I never DRM my books, and they sell on Amazon. Amazon sells millions of books without DRM, most by self-published authors.

That’s right. Many books sold by Amazon do not have DRM. It’s up to the author or the author’s publisher. Books you buy from traditional authors and publishers are always DRM protected.

Can you remove DRM protection? Is it legal to do so? Is it easy to do so? Once DRM is removed, what can you do with the book?

With the right App, DRM is easily removed from a book. It is illegal to remove DRM in the USA. DRM is placed on books to protect them from piracy and safeguard the author’s work. The problem is that to do so, it must be done at the cost of your rights of ownership.

If you remove the DRM, you can convert the book’s format, copy it, save it to a private directory, and open it with a third-party device. If you remove the DRM and start selling files as if the rights to the book belonged to you, some angry publishers with an army of lawyers will surely come after you.

Do I remove DRM from books I buy?  As soon as I buy a book, I download it into my Kindle App on my PC. I open my Calibre App and import the book from my Kindle directory.

My Calibre App has a plugin installed which removes the DRM protection upon first opening the book. Calibre does not come with the plugin. You must download it from its creator’s website and add it to Calibre.

I now convert the book into several formats: Epub, PDF, and Mobi. I save a copy to a thumb drive and one to my external hard drive.

Of course, nothing is ever as easy as it sounds.  I find the older Kindle App versions work best with the Calibre Plugin. Apple books are another story. Apple makes it almost impossible to export books anywhere other than their own devices.

Why go to so much trouble? Because when I buy a book, I want it to stay bought. I strongly believe that $14.95 buys me a book, not a rental to a book. In addition, I have little faith in the honesty, goodwill, or resiliency of mega corporations.

Companies that seem invincible today go by the wayside tomorrow, disappearing with all your content. Because laws now protect the corporations over the individual, I know that if Amazon or Apple pulled all my books, for whatever reason they felt necessary, I would certainly lose them, and my money would not be returned.

Itunes used to be quite useful when importing iBooks to your PC. It no longer handles iBooks at all other than audiobooks. You can share an iBook or email it to yourself and open it in your PC, but all you get is a link which opens the book in apple’s library. It is not the file itself.

I would never sell or make a profit from something I have not created. However, when I spend $14.95 per eBook from my favorite traditional authors, I expect to enjoy them for the rest of my life. If my iPad dies, and I don’t have $800 to spend on another, I’d like to take my iBooks and read them on a cheap Kindle or a generic tablet or my Android phone or even my 2008 stone-age PC.

I have many favorite authors, and they write two and three books a year. That’s a lot of money I have invested. Reading is my favorite pastime. I expect when I’m too old to walk, I’ll sit all bundled up in bed, sipping a cup of tea, reading an old eBook copy of Amelia Peabody’s Egyptian adventures.

BookFunnel for Readers

Have you heard of BookFunnel? If you haven’t, it’s time you did.

BookFunnel is a service many authors use to deliver books to their readers. These may be Beta copies for Beta readers, Free books for promotional purposes, or plain freebies. Some authors use the service to grow their email lists.

BookFunnel has a great way of delivering your book straight into your Kindle Library or your iBooks Library. The books are installed and appear alongside all your store-bought books. BookFunnel has an App you install in your device. The App is free and does it all for you.

Apple Devices

The BookFunnel App is a free App at the Apple App store. You do a search for BookFunnel App and download it the way you would any other apple App. Once you download it into your iPhone or iPad, you are set to receive BookFunnel books.

Kindle Devices

The Kindle App store does not offer the BookFunnel app, but it’s a simple process to install it on a Kindle Fire.

For other Kindle eraders, check out this link: https://vimeo.com/157887624.

For Kindle Fire tablets, do the following.

  1. At your Home screen, go to “Settings.”
  2. On Settings, Click on “Security & Privacy.”
  3.  Click on “Apps from Unknown Sources.”
  4.  Click on “Silk Browser.”
  5. Turn on “Allow from this source.”

This is a simple permission which allows you to install certain outside apps to your Kindle. Now, in your Silk browser (internet) go to the following address:      https://getbookfunnel.com

There you will see the option to install on your Amazon device. Click on it. In a few seconds, the App will be downloaded.

  • On the upper left of your screen, click on the Menu button (three small lines)
  • Tap on Downloads.
  • Find BookFunnel download and tap it to install. Now you are ready to receive books from BookFunnel.

Now, to show you how to use the App, I am going to gift you a copy of my story, Edge of the World.

WARNING: This book is not for younger readers or for adults who object to sexual content and graphic scenes of violence.

Click Here for Your Free Copy

The above link will take you to my BookFunnel book.

  1. Click on GET MY BOOK.
  2. Choose your device.
  3. You will see the download link-   BookHip.com/KDMKGB
  4. The letters KDMKGB are the only thing you need.
  5. 5. Open your BookFunnel App’s Home Tab.
  6. Enter those letters into the Submit Code box. The book will show.
  7. Tap your choice- whether to read in the App or to save to your Kindle, iBooks, or another library. Save to your library and the book will appear along all your other books.

Remember: The App is designed for both readers and authors. To download your books, always open to the HOME tab.  The Library tab in the App refers to the BookFunnel library, not your Kindle or iBooks library.  

Open your iBooks or Kindle library. There you will find all your books, including your copy of Edge of the World.

Enjoy! If your have any questions or need extra help, feel free to email me at zeecelugo@gmail.com, and I will respond.

Speculative Fiction

Have You Heard of It?

Speculative Fiction. No Vampires Here!

We are all familiar with the popular reading genres such as romance, mystery, thriller, science fiction, and horror. Those are further divided into subgenres such as paranormal romance and historical romance, cozy mysteries, YA, etc. While fantasy has become popularly accepted as a major genre, it is still considered a subgenre of science fiction.

Have you heard of “Speculative Fiction”? Most readers have not. In fact, if you were to look in Amazon’s categories, as wide-ranging as they are, you will not find speculative fiction anywhere. However, it is a type of fiction which encompasses genres such as futuristic fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, and many others.

In its simplest elements, it is any fiction that “speculates” as to possibilities. These possibilities may be future, present, or past. For example, The Man in the High Castle is speculative fiction because it speculates on what may have happened if the Nazis had won WWII. Jurassic Park also is speculative fiction because it explores the possible results of bringing creatures that nature chose for extinction into the present.

Anytime a work of fiction “speculates,” when it explores the “what if,” it can be considered speculative fiction. Some writers, such as Margaret Atwood, have gone a bit further into their definition of what constitutes speculative fiction. She held that speculative fiction must be plausible. She felt it was fiction that “could happen.”

In this view, science fiction that deals with Martians is not speculative because it could not happen as we now know for sure that Mars has no inhabitants. Fiction that speculates on humanity settling Mars and terraforming the planet would be speculative.

You might be tempted to ask: why is this type of genre necessary or important? It is necessary because some works of fiction do not fall into any other simple genre. Case in point is my Future-Past (Daniel’s Fork) series, in which I constructed a society ruled by lords as Europe was centuries back. The people of Daniel’s Fork (a village) speak in simple, formal English. They live with technology that dates back to the colonial times.

Many of my readers have asked why I chose to do that.   A good friend, when she first read the Hunter’s Snare (previously Daniel’s Fork), was very angry and insulted. She argued that Americans, with such a history and fierce love of democracy, would revert back to being ruled by lords in the future.

Of course, 2020 was still seven years in the future, when the danger of losing our democracy became too real. In the future, possibility is the key word! It is understandable that my friend was doubtful of the possibilities. However, if you read the book I wrote after, Fire Dance, you begin to see the very real possibilities in Hunter’s Snare.

I have been working, (between other projects) on the first novel, time-line wise, of the series. It is called Lords, and it takes place three years after the pandemic. Needless to say, I have a great deal of rewriting to do after lessons learned in the present-day Covid pandemic.

In Lords, the following questions are answered: Why did I choose stilted, formal language? Why are there bathrooms and not aqueducts? Why are there lords and not presidents? Why use blades, bows, and shotguns too?

Some readers have observed that Hunter’s Snare reads like historical fiction. Others feel it reads like fantasy. While I made a creative decision to use simplified, formal English, the novels are not historical fiction. In fact, they are futuristic! 

They depict a future society that has inherited knowledge of our present, a history of technology, but an inability to maintain or create the technology anew. In many ways, I was influenced by the world that Anne McCaffrey created in her Pern novels.

Anyone who has read Hunter’s Snare can see that while it takes place in the future, eighty years after a pandemic, it does not fit well into science fiction. It might be called dystopian by some, but it lacks the elements of the dystopian genre in that the society works rather well and is not disaffected

The biggest hurdle in classifying Hunter’s Snare is that it is, at heart, a mystery! It is the tale of the new alpha male in town, arriving to replace the beloved, dead lord. His first task is to catch a serial killer who has run amok for years. Still, selling the novel as a mystery would target readers who expect cozy mysteries or police detective stories. They would not be happy.

Finally, there is the erotic side to Hunter’s Snare. There are strong sex scenes, one that includes two males having sex. This causes some promo sites to categorize the novel as “erotica,” and many sites refuse to promote it because of those few scenes. You can now understand the problem of genre categorization for some works of fiction.

In fact, my Future Past series can only be categorized properly as “Speculative Fiction.”  It is totally possible if in a few years from now, a pandemic decimated our world, and a few survivors opted to re-form society by keeping that which was tried and true.