Thursday, December 29, 2011

My guest spot with Red Tash

Today I appeared over on Red Tash's (author of This Brilliant Darkness) blog.  She is doing a series she calls "Fireside Reads" in honor of the release of the Kindle Fire and the fact that she got one.  I'm a bit jealous of that fact, but stop by and check out my post about some can't miss authors I've discovered this year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Guest blog with Terry W. Ervin II author of Flank Hawk and Blood Sword

Today's guest is Terry W. Ervin II author of Flank Hawk and the newly released Blood Sword.  I have had the pleasure of reading both of the books and they are some fantastic books.  In today's guest spot is about writing a sequel that also works as a standalone novel.


Writing a Sequel


Did I know there would be a sequel upon completing Flank Hawk? Honestly, no. I knew the basics of what would happen in the next novel, but I did little more than jot down ideas in a file and store them away. Why? I worked on other writing projects, mainly short stories, while trying to find a publisher for Flank Hawk.


While I planned to write Blood Sword, the second novel in the First Civilization’s Legacy series, as a standalone, I figured if I couldn’t sell the first novel, why write the second? True, I could’ve considered Flank Hawk to be a prequel to Blood Sword (if Blood Sword found a publisher), but in all honesty, I’m not a fan of prequels. Because of that, I didn’t have the drive to write a second novel with an eye toward releasing the first, if the second found a publisher. 


Fortunately, Gryphonwood Press accepted and published Flank Hawk. My debut novel’s sales had my publisher asking when the sequel would be finished. By then the sequel was in the works, but before any actual writing took place, I spent time figuring out exactly how to write the sequel.


So what was the problem—what’s to figure out? The world was already created, characters established and the storyline was strong enough to engage readers. Plus, I’m an author, right? And authors know these things.


True, but I wanted to do it right—or as I saw ‘right’ writing novel that was a standalone, yet complementing the first. I wanted readers of Flank Hawk to enjoy the second more than the first, while not feeling bogged down with necessary back story (references for new readers to events that occurred in Flank Hawk).


And I wanted readers starting with Blood Sword to enjoy the sequel while not feeling lost, or that there was something to the story missing. And if they enjoyed Blood Sword, they’d be interested in reading Flank Hawk.


I had to find that balance: To continue Krish’s story, and weave in necessary information and connections so readers new to the series understood a bit about who Krish is, including friends, associates, and his experiences, all while breaking new ground in the new adventure—which had its roots in events set in motion in Flank Hawk.


With that in mind, I went right to the source(s): Authors who have successfully done what I was preparing to attempt.


My Criteria (for authors/series):
a. Wrote action-filled stories, in first person, past tense.
b. Although one story arc was completed in the first novel, a larger storyline continued to be explored in subsequent works in the series.
c. Events and choices made in the first novel impacted what happened in the next.
d. Characters, from close friends to associates in the first novel, continued to influence
what happened in the second—including those that died or didn’t appear ‘on stage’ in the second novel.


I selected authors I’d read previously and enjoyed: Steven Brust (Vlad Taltos series), Roger Zelazny (Chronicles of Amber series) and Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake series).


It proved to be a time-consuming process as I read and reread the first two or three novels in each series, and even listened to audio versions when possible, all the time paying close attention to when and how the authors made reference to previously established (or relayed) information and events within the context of the second novel’s storyline.


It reaffirmed what I already knew:
1. There’s no secret formula with respect to when and how much previous information to provide in the sequel.
2. It’s handy for readers of previous works in the series to be reminded of past events.
3. Linking the previous storyline with the current one as well as weaving both into the overall direction of the events for novels to follow provides a consistent and enduring foundation for readers to comprehend and recall the who, what, where, when, how and whys of the created world, conflicts and characters. 


After careful study, I also came away with several techniques the authors used, including timing that allowed for smooth transitions from present to past and back while foreshadowing the future. Things like dialogue and POV character recollection, intertwined with character motivations (directly stated or implied), items and places, scenes and descriptions all played a role.


Then, after taking a few notes and including specific references, I integrated those techniques, merging them with my own storytelling method and writing style—working to get that balance just right.


If you do give either of my current novels in the First Civilization’s Legacy series a try (Flank Hawk and/or Blood Sword) I hope you’ll let me know if my effort was a success.


For more info check out Terry at his blog or his website.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Holidays Everyone

Hello all hope everyone had a great Christmas (or other holiday).  It's a day late but I'll share my favorite Christmas Carol for you all to enjoy.

Check out their other Christmas stuff
Carol of the Bells
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Little Drummer Boy
O Come, O come Emmanuel

Check out their band page on Amazon for more albums and info.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Guest blog with Jeffery Anderson author of Ephemera

Today's guest post is another of the author generously sharing their work as part of the WHBGE.  Check the link to sign up to win a copy or get it from Amazon right now (also in print).  Now I'll give the floor to Jeffery to talk about watching predictions come true.

Predicting the Future.

It’s something that has probably happened to a lot of writers who create stories about the future. Realistically, there is nothing magic about it. Even so, it made my jaw drop not too long ago to tune into an episode of American Dad! and see a remotely controlled cyborg technology as the centerpiece gag in an episode titled “Virtual-InStanity.” The technology does not exist yet, but it plays a crucial role in my novel, Ephemera. I have no doubt some government spider-hole contains a group of scientists working on something like it. Obviously someone on the show had the same thought.

Coincidence? I’m quite sure of it. At least, I never knew of anyone related to the show reading the novel.  I’m also pretty sure it is a coincidence because it isn’t the first time it has happened. When I began writing the novel in 2003, there were no smart phones, the internet and television were not integrated, there was no ipad either. Nearly identical versions of all of these things exist in my novel. There is plenty more that appears it is on the way, such as billboards and sensors that actively advertise to your devices as you pass by.

There are also social and political trends that did not exist, such as the Tea Party and the issue of texting while driving.

Now before anybody emails me and wants to know more about my Nostradamus-like predictions, let me assure you that anybody with an imagination can do it. A lot of fiction writers, as well as serious philosophical writers have been predicting what comes to pass for quite a while. Crack open a Fukuyama book some time. Nobody gets it right all the time. In fact, to see things I imagined become reality as frequently as they have, kind of surprises me.

What these writers are doing is simply observing the trends of the world and technology. Personally, I imagined things that people would really want to make their lives easier, if they could have them. It is called rational choice theory, the idea that people will always make choices that benefit them the most. Businesses capitalize on this theory all the time by creating things that have more and more gizmos to make a person’s life easier, or give them more power and control. The public lust for better technology is an easy trend to follow, and only the imagination hinders what will be created next.

I think writing futuristic fiction, being in the technology business and being a prophet of the future all require the same technique and skill-set. You just need to be able to see what people seem to want, or would want, if they could have it, and imagine what it would take for something like it to exist. You also need to see trends over time, war and politics, diplomacy and social evolution. It is within these realms that you have a good chance at coming up with plausible scenarios for the future, that may come to pass, even in small parts.

Some of us just don’t write our visions down in esoteric quatrains to mystify the reader in case we get it wrong.  Sorry, Nostradamus, cheap shot, I know.



Thanks for stopping by everyone and have a great Christmas or whatever you are celebrating. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

What's in a Fantasy? Guest post by Charlotte English

Today's guest is Charlotte English author of Draykon and Lokant.  Check out her motivation behind her books and if they sound good to you sign up to win copies of them for yourself in my WHBGE!

I've been a huge fan of fantasy fiction ever since I read Barbara Sleigh's "Carbonel" series when I was about nine years old. Those books were fantastic. There was a witch, and talking (royal) cats, and two kids who got to go on magical adventures. What could be better?

Well... if anything, mystery. A year or two later I became mildly obsessed with Nancy Drew and Enid Blyton's mystery tales, and that's a taste that's lasted into adulthood too (mysteries, I mean, though I've recently gone back to reading Enid Blyton's mystery series... in Dutch. A strange experience, that).  

So when it came time to stop mucking about with short stories and get on with those novels I'd always wanted to write, I wasn't particularly surprised that the result, Draykon, was a hybrid of the two genres. Nor that it included most of the things I'd always particularly enjoyed reading about: female protagonists, animal characters, unconventional detectives, high society, quirky technologies, weirdly illogical fantasy worlds, humour, romance and adventure. And when it came time to write the sequel, I managed to add vast libraries and secret societies to the mix as well.

Well, people say "write the book you want to read" and I think it's good advice. It certainly leads to a whole lot of fun and games along the way.

The Draykon Series is still pretty new. The first book came out in September of this year, and the second was published less than a fortnight ago. I've just started working on the third Draykon book this week, and I can't wait to get stuck into it and see where it takes me. I've also just finished a novella, on a completely different topic. Okay, not that different. More fantasy mystery. Another unconventional detective. But this time there are a few ghosts and witches along for the ride. And I've always enjoyed the idea of swampy forests, houses on stilts and nutty apothecaries, so I included those too.

See how much fun this is? This is why I love to write fantasy fiction: there are few boundaries, and there's room to simply let the imagination go and see what happens. It's hugely entertaining for me, and hopefully it's fun for the reader too.

It's been an incredibly exciting adventure so far, and I'm truly grateful for all the support, enthusiasm and help I've had from readers, fellow authors and book bloggers in the last few weeks. Indie publishing offers the unique opportunity to share books with the world and gain a readership on our own terms, and it's fantastic how supportive the indie community can be.

I hope that the winners of Draykon and Lokant will enjoy the read! I love to make new connections and to hear back from readers, so if you'd like to get in touch with me you can find me in a number of places: my website/blog: http://www.charlotteenglish.com/, facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CharlotteEEnglish and twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Charlottenglish. Or look me up on Goodreads!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Zero Sum by B Justin Shier review

Some excellent news for fans of B. Justin Shier, Zero Sum the second book in the Zero Sight series released late last month.  This has been  a pretty heavily anticipated release so in case you didn't catch the news or were on the fence about the purchase here is my review.

5 stars

Zero Sum by B. Justin Shier continue the tale of Dieter Resnick.  Dieter has survived his time at Elliot College, but just barely.  Now he and the other members of the Lambda Squad are on a mission to take on Talmax.

The second book in the series brings back all of the notable characters from Zero Sight, including my favorites Rei and Dante.  The rather unique relationship shared by Dieter and Rei continues to develop, as does their weft link.  The book also reveals a bit more about the past of both characters as well.  There are looks into just how troubled Dieter's childhood truly was and Rei finally unveils a little bit about her family.

There is still a lot of action this time around and a new breed of villain is introduced.  The characters remain consistent with the first book, so there is plenty of humor to offset the violence.  I enjoyed Dante's larger role and hope to see more of him as the series continues.

If you enjoyed the first book this one will be right up your alley.  Well done again Mr. Shier bring on book 3.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Guest blog with Marilyn Peake author of Gods in the Machine

Today's guest is Marilyn Peake author of Gods in the Machine, The Fisherman's Son and many other books.  Check the bottom of the post for the whole list with Amazon links.  Today she is going to share a little about her newest title and herself.  Also don't forget to check out the Winter Holiday Book Giveaway Extravaganza where she is giving 50 of each of the two books I mentioned earlier.

Space Construction Inc. has been granted permission by both the U.S. and U.N. to build space hotels along the equator.  In exchange, the U.S.-based company agrees to build a black ops complex inside every hotel.  Housed within one of these complexes is The Gods in the Machine Project.  In this program, the U.S. military creates religious holograms so real they are accepted by those who view them as visions.

The Gods in the Machine holograms are weaponized, used for brainwashing people into fighting green humanoid creatures observed in numerous places on Earth by members of the United Nations.  Unfortunately, no one in the U.N. bothered to check if these creatures are our enemy or our salvation.  There are a number of people who do know the true nature of these beings.  Racing against time, they try to get the message out.

Bio

Marilyn Peake is the author of both adult and children’s literature.  Her publications have received excellent reviews and won numerous awards.  She’s been interviewed on radio shows across the United States and in Canada.

Marilyn has written four novels and numerous short stories, and has served as editor for other published books.  Her latest novel is Gods in the Machine, an adult science fiction novel.  She’s also the author of a trilogy of children’s fantasy adventure novels: The Fisherman’s Son, The City of the Golden Sun, and Return of the Golden Age.

Awards: Silver Award, two Honorable Mentions and eight Finalist placements in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, two Winner and two Finalist placements in the EPPIE Awards, and Winner of the Dream Realm Awards.


Marilyn Peake’s Kindle publications, currently priced at 99 cents each:

Novels:


Short stories:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cyber Monday Giveaway winners announced!


The three winners for signed copies of M. R. Mathias Cold Hearted Son of a Witch are:
clenna
Jeff
Courtney

Congrats to you three and emails have been sent to collect the needed info to get you your prizes.

For a chance to win more prizes, including more signed books by M. R. Mathias stop by the Winter Holiday Book Giveaway Extravaganza.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bakkian Chronicles, Book II - Insurrection by Jeffrey Poole

5 stars

Bakkian Chronicles, Book II - Insurrection by Jeffrey Poole is the second book taking place in the world of Lentari.  When Steve gets a message from the world of Lentari he and Sarah know something is drastically wrong.  The Queen has been kidnapped!  They decide to head back to lend their powerful jhorun's to the chase.  Leaving Mikal with Sarah's sister Annie and Trisan, his bodyguard from Lentari they hop through the portal and return to the magical land.


The action in this book picks up much faster than it did in the first of the series.  Since almost of the characters have been introduced you are dumped straight into an exciting chase as Steve and Sarah try to stop the kidnappers before they reach the border.  The second in the series keeps all the strengths of the first and Jeffrey has grown a bit as a writer leading to a more polished book.


This book appeals to the same audience as book I although I believe there was a little bit more profanity this time.  No f-bombs or anything just a few more swear words used.  I am going to be looking forward to the third book in the series with a great deal of interest.  Jeffrey has created a truly wonderful world populated with interesting and believable characters.  If you have even the smallest interest in fantasy pick up the first book in the series and you will get sucked in.


Sign up to win a copy of this book in print or ebook format during the Indie Book Blog Winter Holiday Book Giveaway Extravaganza.


Purchase his books:
Bakkian I print  kindle
Bakkian II print  kindle

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stop by and say hi on Angela White's blog

Just a quick update that I was a guest poster on Angela White's blog.  My topic was the Winter Holiday Book Giveaway Extravaganza.  Even though you all probably already know about it stop by and say hi anyway!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Guest blog with Red Tash author of This Brilliant Darkness


Whew! It's a Free for All!
By Red Tash

I was just perusing Scott's list of 300 books available for free this month, to the lucky winners of his giveaway. Couldn't help but think about Ted Nugent's classic tune—which is kinda funny, because I was thinking of it this morning, too, while writing! I have this predilection for naming chapters after song titles. Thank God that's legal (I checked!)


Anyway, as you might have guessed, I'm an author, and my book This Brilliant Darkness is part of Scott's Super Mega Awesome Giveaway Explosion! Very happy to be included, and happy to see all of you here perusing the list, and Scott's reviews.

It's only been a couple of months or three since I started dabbling in epublishing, and even less since I purchased my first Kindle, a brand new Fire. I've found book reviewers like Scott to be an incredible asset, not just as a writer, but as a reader. Before I lay down any money for a book, or even take the time to click and buy a free or inexpensive one, I want to make sure it's something I'm going to like. Is it a subject matter I dig? I don't do a lot of blood and guts, and erotica's not my style, either. What's the author like, what else have they written? I don't want to waste time downloading books only to get a page or two in and go “Huh? Why am I reading this, again?”

Scott is kind enough to share his opinions of the books he reads, and I'm grateful. I work a lot and have a big family, so having reviews like Scott's to go on are a huge time & frustration-saver. I was so grateful, that I asked him to pen a guest post for me coming soon, aimed at new owners of the Kindle Fire. Is that you? Or are you a new Kindle or ereader-owner, in general? Then stay tuned, because I'm going to have several posts aimed at readers just like you, in my Playing With Fire series.

Hey, while I'm here, Scott asked for a little bit of a taste for readers about my book This Brilliant Darkness. How about a 30 second trailer?


Want to know more? Since I'm pretty horrible with blurbs, here's the first paragraph of an Alaskan Library Director's review of This Brilliant Darkness:

I'll begin with this: I'm a sucker for a well-written, fast-paced story with a twist that involves physics and supernatural phenomena. My bias clearly labeled at the outset, I'll begin my review of Red Tash's well-written, fast-paced story of twisty
physics and the supernatural entitled This Brilliant Darkness The physics part of it involves the appearance of a star, Stella Mirabilis, above Bloomington, Indiana. It's the star's behavior that provides the twist to the tale--a time traveling star that flickers in and out of our reality like particles flicker in and out of our reality. The star draws out the supernatural, and for one Christine Grace, the consequences of its appearance suddenly and abruptly pound down into her own reality--a reality shared by her erstwhile boyfriend who is desperate to marry her
and start a family, who is caught up in the strangeness that begins to define their existence in Bloomington.

Read the rest, and many more reviews, on the Amazon page.

Thanks, Scott, for having me, and for allowing me to be a part of your terrific Winter giveaway! Looking forward to sharing your post with all the new Kindle owners that'll be stopping by Playing With Fire.

Thanks to Red for stopping by and telling us some more about her book.  Don't forget to go to the Winter Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza page and sign up to win a copy of her book and while your there sign up to win some others!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Guest blog with Angela White author of The Survivors

Hi! I’m Angie. It’s very nice of you to have me here. This is a great book blog. I come here for all the
newest Indie authors, just like you! Today however, I came here for a different purpose. I’d like to ask
you a very important question. Inquiring minds are dying to know:

What is your favorite Apocalypse landscape?

There isn’t much that hasn’t been done and a new setting is usually a welcome touch but there are just
parts of an end of the world story that have to be there. The devastated environment is one of those.
From volcanoes and asteroids, to nuclear explosions, the transformation from civilized safety to survival of the strongest is one that fascinates. For generations, the world has viewed craters with windshield shatter sprays, pondering their origins while enjoying watching rugged hero’s venture into these death traps. We’ve explored the crumbling remains of city after city, still flinching when the shack falls or the monster lurking in the dark is revealed.

We’ve come together under the White and been misled by the Dark but the Apocalypse, in all its glory, just isn’t complete without a drastically changed environment. From order to chaos, with one push of a button, we devour such tales endlessly. Is it because we worry our future may look that way? Is it the sense of power it gives us to see these insurmountable terrains conquered by mere humans? Perhaps it’s both.

I personally, am addicted to exploring what remains of our largest cities. I prefer the aftermath and
am delighted when a new author takes me back to those dank, familiar places. I see those shadowy
darkways as extensions of my reality. They are the; what if, that still spooks me in the night and keeps
me coming back for more.

What about you? At the turn of the first page, where do you wish the author was taking you? Is it
seashore, where derelict bridges in the distance hide unspeakable horrors? Maybe you’re hiding
underground, struggling to avoid the fallout? I know. You’re with me, traveling through the heart of a
nuclear damaged city as two rival fractions of survivors begin to attack, with us caught in the middle…

So, what says the reading public? Which apocalyptic landscape gives you those perfectly unsettling
chills? Join the discussion.

Contest

To win, name the book and author the following passage came from!

(The first correct answer wins. Please place guesses in the comments section and don’t forget to say hi
to Scott while you’re here. He’s wonderful to be associated with and doesn’t he just have the best darn Indie book blog? You can find all the newest and hottest Indie authors here. Scott is in the middle of reviewing them all!)

Contest Passage:

She was squinting at the thermometer in the white light coming through the window. Beyond her, in
the drizzle, the other highrises in Co-OP City rose like the gray turrets of a penitentiary. Below, in the
airshafts, clotheslines flapped with ragged wash. Rats and plump alley cats circulated through the trash.

Hint: This is the opening paragraph to a world where the games, are everything.

Btw, Have you checked out my Post Apocalyptic Fantasy, The Survivors, yet? It’s only $.99

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Guest blog with Gregory Downs author of Brother Thief

Today we have Gregory Downs stopping by for a chat about his journey as a self published author while still being in highschool!  That's a pretty impressive statistic right there.  Also if you are interested in checking out Gregory's book you can sign up to win them during the Winter Holiday Book Giveaway Extravaganza right here on the Indie Book Blog.  Just an FYI he is giving away all three books of his Song of the Aura trilogy.

Kid Authors… Cringe. They Exist.

So once upon a time there was a kid. He had dreams, they were odd… and he was me.
I don’t want to bore you with the details of my slow realization of the wide world that is Writingdom. It should suffice for me to tell you who I am, what I do, and how it should all be impossible.

At age 16, I wrote my first book. It was… well, less than satisfactory. Nevertheless, it was a titanic accomplishment for someone who had never before aspired to anything greater than his next gaming session and the latest Eragon book. I decided that I wanted to get it published, so I sent it out to the few agents I somehow found through internet stalking. I think there were two or three.

Surprise! No response. Not even a rejection letter. Why this was, I may never know. Did I not format the queries right? Did I send them to the wrong place? Did they just get lost under all the slush? Or did perhaps they see the words “I am still in Highschool” in my letter and immediately chuck it?

Whatever the case, I soon came to the realization that I couldn’t make it in the publishing world, unless by some herculean stroke of luck. Oh. There is such a thing, and it’s called the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to me. You only have to be 13 to enter, and
everyone gets the same fair shot at publication. Never mind that I had about the same chance of winning at this as I did at American Idol: a chance is a chance.

So I entered my manuscript… and got to the Quarterfinals before I was eliminated.Publishers Weekly (or the hired denizen thereof) read and mildly enjoyed my book!

Elation!

But that didn’t solve my problems. Birthday Number 17 was rolling around, and I’d already written three more books. I had nowhere to go with all that creative energy. I was the rough equivalent of the Highschool theatre star- no, wait, theatre flunkie- who decides they want to be an actor… and then has no clue what to do beyond dream, dream on.

Then, this past summer, I discovered the world of Indie Authors. Indie Books. Indie Presses. Indie Book Blogs like this very one. Oh my gosh. Can it be? People who do it all themselves, and have it work out? I quickly enlisted a relative to make me a photoshopped cover, and someone else to edit the book a little more. I re-wrote the ending, which I had never really liked before… and ta-da! KDP-ready material!

Imagine my consternation when I sold only 9 copies in the first month, all to sympathetic friends and family. Oh that poor kid, he thinks he’s an author, let’s buy his book and make him happy.

Grr. But I was determined to succeed. I started researching madly over the summer
break, reading heretical blogs from people like Joe Konrath and Robin Sullivan- people who claimed there were ways to make it. I started preparing my three remaining books (part of a series) for e-publishing, but doubts nagged me constantly.

I am, after all, just a kid.

Finally, in September, I released those three fantasy e-books alongside my previous
standalone novel. In July I had sold 9 of said novel, and in August I had sold 4.  This month, though, I sold 58… not bad, I thought. Not bad at all. Almost 2 a day. Irrational hope stirred in me… I couldn’t have that many friends with Kindle Apps, could I? Were other people actually reading my books?

I decided to make the most of my (sorta) success. I joined Goodreads and Kindleboards and Shelfari, trying to learn and interact as much as I possibly could. I queried a few book bloggers, and was accepted a few times, garnering 1 extra review I wouldn’t have had before. Did my efforts pay off? I’m not sure… but it felt good to act like an author, and have others treat me like one… even if they didn’t know I was just a kid behind the cool forums avatar.

September ended. My writing on books and blogs and everything in between continued, though at a slower pace than before. October came… and suddenly my sales SPIKED. In October, I sold over 450 copies total, mostly of the first book in my series. Almost no sales came from the standalone, but people were buying multiple books in my series, so the sales weren’t flukes. If they’d hated the first book, they wouldn’t have bought the second one two days later, would they?

Previously, my failure to sell billions had hurt my ego enough that I had dropped my prices. I was beginning to build confidence now, so near the end of the month I raised them again. One book was 99 cents, and the others were $2.99. Not high, but not too low, either.

And sales kept coming. In case you’ve forgotten by this point, I’m still in school. Oh, and I’m not working, either. So in comes a small trickle of money and a smaller measure of appreciation… but it floated my boat, and I was happy.

Then came November. This month I finished the fourth book in my series, which should release in a week or so. I’ve made between 800-900 sales in 15 days, giving me somewhere around 60 sales a day. I’m not Amanda Hocking, thank Heaven, but I’m not a bottom feeder any more, either. Is this my peak? It very well could be… but I don’t care. 1,000+ sales in two months is enough that even if sales just DIE today and never pick up again, I’ll still feel pretty swell about myself.

Just call me Kid Author. Ha. Ha. Ha.

This has been something of a formless ramble, and I apologize for that. Heh. I guess my point is that in this bright new world of books and authors, there’s hope for anybody… if not everybody.

In things like music, movie-making, and acting (once my dream, but that’s another story), it’s a dog-eat-dog world. If you’re not already “born into the industry,” you’ve got about as much chance at making your dreams come true as a salmon does swimming up Niagara Falls. But in writing… in publishing… there’s hope. There’s a chance.

In anything you do, you have to strive to be the best. I may be young, but I strive for
excellence in my writing, and- though I’m sure there are people who will disagree- it
seems to be working so far. And guess what? I’m not the youngest author out there. I’ve read about kids as young as 13 making it in self-publishing… holy smokes.

Plus, my mom thinks I’m a better writer than Christopher Paolini. And really, what better validation is there?

~

To find out more about me or buy my books, you can visit my arrogantly titled blog
And become BFFs with me on Goodreads
And like my fanpages at: http://on.fb.me/p97MbP and: http://on.fb.me/mSopPP

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winter Holiday Book Giveaway Extravaganza!!! Nearly 300 FREE books and ebooks!!!

Well everyone it is getting to be time for all of the Winter Holidays to come around so here at the Indie Book Blog we are doing a HUGE book giveaway.  Thanks to the amazing generosity of these indie authors we have almost 300 prizes to giveaway!!!  As the month goes on several of these authors will be providing guest posts for more info, but don't wait sign up now!  If there are any books you are specifically interested in please don't hesitate to ask.  Also if you are interested in talking to any of the authors most of them are members of the Indie Book Club over on Goodreads so come join the discussions.

Paperbacks:

Bakkian Chronicles, Book I - The Prophecy
by Jeffrey Poole
Bakkian Chronicles, Book II - Insurrection   by Jeffrey Poole (signed copy!)
Ephemera  by Jeffery Anderson
The Sword and the Dragon
by M. R. Mathias (signed copy!)
The Royal Dragoneers by M. R. Mathias (signed copy!)
Cadman's Gambit by D. P. Prior
An Oak of Hope by Ken and Brandy Camel

Scourge of Screbulum by Ken and Brandy Camel
Legends Reborn by Douglas R Brown

E-Books:
Bakkian Chronicles, Book I - The Prophecy by Jeffrey Poole (already free!)
Bakkian Chronicles, Book II - Insurrection   by Jeffrey Poole (10 e-copies!)
Ephemera
by Jeffery Anderson
Harbingers of Mortality by Steve Thomas
Hemlock and the Wizard Tower
by B Throwsnaill (10 e-copies!)
Liberator's Ruin
by P. J. Johns
The Hawk and His Boy (Tormay Trilogy #1)
by Christopher Bunn
The Shadow at the Gate (Tormay Trilogy #2)
by Christopher Bunn
The Wicked Day (Tormay Trilogy #3) by Christopher Bunn
An Oak of Hope (Brandeis of Aura #1)  by Kenneth Camel
Scourge of Screbulum (Brandeis of Aura #2) by Kenneth Camel
Paradox Equation  by Sharon L. Reddy
S.I.  by Sharon L. Reddy
Survival of Cade by Sharon L. Reddy
Platinum Mind by Sharon L. Reddy
Barb, Blade and the Prince of Purse  by Sharon L. Reddy
This Brilliant Darkness by Red Tash
Cadman's Gambit by D.P. Prior (20 e-copies!)
Best Laid Plans by D.P. Prior (20 e-copies!)

Thanatos Rising by D.P. Prior (free)
The Ant-Man of Malfen by D.P. Prior
Lucifer's Odyssey by Rex Jameson
   (50 e-copies!)
Brother Thief (Song of the Aura, Book One) by Gregory J. Downs (20 e-copies!)
Winter Warrior (Song of the Aura, Book Two) by Gregory J. Downs (10 e-copies!)
Grym Prophet (Song of the Aura, Book Three) by Gregory J. Downs (10 e-copies!)
Mordred by Gregory J. Downs (10 e-copies!)
Twin-Bred by Karen A. Wyle
Gods in the Machine by Marilyn Peake (50 e-copies!)
Fisherman's Son by Marilyn Peake (50 e-copies!)
Pulse by Acacia Green (10 e-copies!)
The Comrades by Lynne Sears Williams (2 e-copies!)
Demon Gates by Robert Day (10 e-copies!)
Ashar'an Rising by Robert Day (10 e-copies!)

In Wilder Lands by Jim Galford (5 ecopies!)
The Hollow March by Chris Galford (2 e-copies!) 
Draykon by Charlotte English (10 e-copies!)
Lokant by Charlotte English (10 e-copies!) 
Basement Blues by JH Sked (10 e-copies!)
WolfSong by JH Sked (10 e-copies!)
5 e-book bundles by J. Adams (The LegacyThat Kind of Love-A Legacy Novelette, Against the Odds, Still His Woman-An Against the Odds Novelette, The Wishing Hour, and Guardian of My Heart-A Challissian Novelette)


Rules:  Print books open to residents of the continental US only.  Ebooks open worldwide.  To enter leave an e-mail address so I can contact all winners.  Emails will be forwarded to authors for prize distribution.  All prizes are prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the author.  Closed for entries midnight 12/31/11 Eastern time.

**UPDATE**  I have added this contact form for people who prefer not to leave their emails in public.   Feel free to use the contact form, but please leave a comment below as well.  Thanks everyone!!

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday FREE book giveaway

Happy Cyber Monday everyone!  As a retail employee these past two weeks are filled with misery preparing for the inevitable rush of shopping this past weekend.  The good news is, it is all over and I have caught back up on my sleep.


To celebrate the relatively new tradition of Cyber Monday M.R. Mathias has donated THREE signed copies of his newest book Cold Hearted Son of a Witch.


As this giveaway is for hard copies of the book it is open to continental US residents only.  Closed to new entries 12/12/11 midnight EST.  I will then notify the winners and collect addresses then forward that info to the author.  Eligible entries must contain an email address so I can notify the winners.  Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Picture Perfect by David Alderman free for a limited time!

David is offering up his background novella Picture Perfect free for the holiday weekend!  Check out this page of his blog for the coupon code to get it from Smashwords.  If you want a little bit more background here is my review of the book.

I'm not sure if I'll get a post up tomorrow so if I don't have a great holiday weekend everyone!  Also be sure to stop by on Monday for a chance to win one of three signed copies of Cold Hearted Son of a Witch by M.R. Mathias.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cadman's Gambit by D.P. Prior review

Dr Ernst Cadman has led a quiet life, but that’s how he’s wanted it all these hundreds of years. With a secret like his, anonymity and caution are the best friends a man can have. Nothing could tempt him from the safety of his parasitic existence at the heart of the city of Sarum—at least nothing this side of the Abyss.

Cadman stakes everything on obtaining the artefact that once destroyed an entire civilization, but in so doing he draws the gaze of a sinister presence from beyond the stars.

Meanwhile, Deacon Shader, veteran of the war against the undead armies of the Liche Lord, has one last fight in him. This time it’s just a tournament, with the prize a sword steeped in myth. Win or lose, Shader intends to defy his Templum master and retire to the Abbey of Pardes.

When a horror from the past wrecks Shader’s monastic dream and leads him to plague torn Sarum, he finds an ancient power unleashed that imperils more than he could possibly imagine—a power now in the hands of Dr Cadman.

Gods tremble, and worlds will fall unless Shader can conquer his personal demons and accept the fate he’s been prepared for since birth.



My review:
4 stars

Cadman's Gambit by D.P. Prior is the first book in the Shader series.  Taking place about 1000 years in Earth's future only the general landscape of the planet remains unchanged.  The story is woven in a complex arc that unwraps itself layer by layer to grant you a fuller understanding of who the characters are and what has happened to the world.


Deacon is the hero, a man of the church, who struggles with his own identity.  One who believes in peace, but is himself capable of great violence to protect his beliefs.


Cadman is a predator who is afraid of being revealed for what he truly is.  Hiding behind an illusory mask loathing the idea of what he has become, but unable to let go of his existence.


Sektis Gandaw an otherwordly figure ruled by logic and technology.  He wants to be able to return to the world and take what he sees as his rightful place at the top of it.  Unable to take direct physical action he uses his tools to have his agents seek out something that can change everything.


There are many more characters that we are treated to a surprising amount of insight about.  This book doesn't just have a few well formed characters and a cast of cardboard cutouts to fill the space and advance the plot.  Each person has their own motivations for their actions and the majority of them are easy to understand.


This book requires a fair amount of attention to detail to understand all of the different philosophies and political ideologies that the different regions follow.  Understanding them is important to really being able to submerge yourself in the complex state of the world.  This book is highly recommended for people who enjoy complete characters, complex worlds, and intriguing plot lines.  In other words if you like fantasy give the book a shot.


Review copy provided by the author.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Steve Thomas's books free for a limited time!

Steve Thomas has made his books free on Smashwords for a limited time only.  Check out Harbingers of Mortality and An Exercise in Futility.  Check out his author page for the downloads.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Spiral Tattoo by Michael J. Parry review

Law comes in two sizes: six inches and eight feet.

Elanore, the eight-foot tall troll, and Gurt, the six-inch tall (don't you dare call me a fairy) Eleinu, both guardsmen in the city of Delvenport, tackle their most baffling case yet. When they find a dead waitress, naked except for an intricate tattoo in a spiral across her body, they're launched into an adventure in the seedier side of Delvenport, filled with rogue mages, prostitution, and narcotics. 

But can they solve the case before madness and riots take over the city?

My review:
4 stars

The Spiral Tattoo by Michael J. Parry was a unique fantasy detective story following Elanore, an 8 foot tall troll and Gurt, the 6 inch tall Eleinu (a pixie/fairy character). Instead of completely redefining trolls, Elanore is a bit of a standout for her race. She is still very tough and you don't want to make her mad, but she is mostly calm and cerebral when investigating. Gurt is a bit of an enigma as well. Born into nobility he chose to leave it all behind when he got tired of all the politics that accompanied his birthright. 


The two characters form a strong bond and a very effective team utilizing each others strengths. Elanore is large and very powerful, while Gurt is unobtrusive and fairly skilled with magic. The combination enables them to deal with most threats that they run into, as well as giving them a very wide point of view when dealing with the leads they are chasing down. 


I felt that this book was very well done. I enjoyed the interactions between the two main characters and the extra helper that Gurt gets along the way was amusing at times. The pacing was also well done, there weren't any spots that I felt were overloaded with needless descriptions. The villain wasn't that hard to figure out, but I'm not sure how well hidden it was supposed to be. The system of magic seemed to be fairly well done, though if more books with these characters are coming out I would enjoy a little bit more explanation. Overall this book is definitely a good addition to the library if you are a fan of fantasy or crime books. The mix of action, character development, comedy, and mystery worked very well. If more books come out involving these characters I will be following them for sure.


Review copy provided by author.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Liberator's Ruin by P.J. Johns review


In a world at war, three people will decide the fate of an entire country. 

Nathaniel An’Rieyr is the captain of the airship Storm Brother and profiteer extraordinaire. He dreams of making his fortune in the lucrative southern trade routes. But to achieve that, he will need to get involved in a war he has made a career of avoiding. 

As the last surviving member of the Illysian Royal Family, the war is all Anna has left. The Rhivellian Empire took her family, her throne and her country. Unable to compete against the might of the Rhivellian war machine, Anna enacts a plan to retrieve a mighty artefact from a long forgotten Age. With it, she will finally have the power to reclaim her kingdom; a goal for which she will sacrifice anyone, even her closest ally. 

Thomas Ras’Kar, High Inquisitor of the Rhivellian Empire, has been sent to Illum in disgrace, where he will be forced to contend with the incompetent Thane Charles. Three years of occupation has seen the city’s populace cowed and the Thane’s interest turned to his own pleasures. A fate worse than death for a man of honour and action such as Thomas. But the Princess is returning to Illum, and she may be the key to his redemption.


My review:
4stars

Liberator's Ruin by P.J. Johns was a wonderful book.  It takes place in a world of interesting technology.  It has a bit of a steampunk feel to it, but there is not the steam driven technology that is required for that genre to truly fit.  The truly unique feature of the world is a mineral that is used in what are basically anti-gravity engines.  That is what allows the giant airships to rule the skies and even enables floating island colonies.

There are some wonderful characters in the book, my favorites being Nathaniel, Fran, Grekhis, and even Thomas.  There are several story lines active through the book following the different characters and no surprise I enjoyed Nathaniel's crew the most by far.  They have some great interactions and all seem to be good people despite the morally gray area that many of their jobs fall in.

I despised the character Anna.  Now that seems bad, but in reality I think it reflects very well on how she was written.  If I was apathetic to her it would show much less depth to her character, however I wanted terrible things to happen to her.

Review copy provided by the author.

This book was discussed in the Indie Book Club on Goodreads.  If you have read or have any questions about it feel free to stop by and ask!