Showing posts from August, 2013

Today Only Buy a Book from Dragonwell, Get $5

A colleague of mine, whom I first met ten years ago (online) in the Online Writer's Workshop, is celebrating his book release today. He has a beautiful writing voice and this story is well-researched, a work of both passion and philosophy. I've only read excerpts of it so far, but I am looking forward to reading the whole thing. Visit Dragonwell and learn more about W.B.J. "Walt" Williams and his new fantasy novel The Garden at The Roof of the World . Or just head over to Amazon and grab the book! Today only if you buy a copy and send a screen shot of your proof of purchase, Dragonwell will give you a $5 gift certificate toward one of their other books. In fact, I can recommend most any of those too, such as Assassin's Gambit by Amy Raby , The Princess of Dhagabad by Anna Kashina, Crossfire by Nancy Kress --she had good books on Writing as well, by the way-- The Far West by Patricia C. Wrede , and Spellbent by Lucy A. Snyder . Dragonwell Publishing

Incubus: The Daughters Of Lilith: Book 2 by Jennifer Quintenz

Braedyn Murphy used to think nothing important ever happened in her sleepy town of Puerto Escondido. But that was before she learned she was a descendent of Lilith, the mother of all demons. Now Braedyn fights to protect humanity from the Lilitu - the beautiful, souls-stealing daughters of Lilith. As she fights the Lilitu, Braedyn must also fight her growing love for her boyfriend Lucas - because giving in to temptation could end his life. Their only ray of hope is an angel’s offer to make Braedyn human, but it’s an offer she can’t accept until the world is safe from the Lilitu. Braedyn knows she’s a key player in this ancient war... ...but she’s not ready to believe she just might be humanity’s best hope of surviving the final battle for Earth. What readers are saying... “I had already fallen in love with the author and the story line, but this is the best book. The plot twists were amazing, and as an avid reader many books can be pretty predictable. I will continue to lo

Mist by Cheree Alsop

Mist takes us to the world of Shadows when the royal family is threatened by an assassin and a handmaiden puts her life on the line to protect them. Rya is then sent to tend the injured prisoner as soldiers search for the true source of the threat. Battling volatile mist, Sathen, and revelations about her past, Rya is pushed far beyond the limits of a normal Duskie. She finds strength and love where she least expects it, in a pair of light grey eyes and strong hands ready to catch her should she fall. Mist tests the limits of love and strength during a time when Lumini and all within the Shadow kingdoms are threatened by darkness far more sinister than any they have ever faced before. You can download Mist  from Amazon  (also in paperback), Barnes and Noble and Smashwords . You can find more from Cheree on her website , Facebook and Twitter . 

Alien, Mine by Sandra Harris

THE BLUTHEN HAVE ONE CONSUMING PASSION: THEMSELVES. IN THEIR EXPANSION ACROSS THE GALAXY, THEY WILL GO TO ANY LENGTHS TO DOMINATE SPECIES THEY ENCOUNTER. Torn from modern day Earth and stranded on the far side of the Galaxy, Sandrea Fairbairn must use every particle of courage she possesses to adjust to her new life and live for tomorrow. Eugen Mhartak, a general in the Tri-Race Alliance Army, refuses to bow to the merciless Bluthen. Haunted by the loss of far too many innocent lives he has vowed to drive the ruthless invaders from Alliance space. The strength and valor of Eugen Mhartak attracts Sandrea as no man ever has, but she struggles to read the enigmatic general’s heart. Determined to help him triumph over the Bluthen she uncovers a diabolical plot against the Alliance. Drawn by the courage and exotic beauty of Sandrea, Mhartak battles to overcome the barriers of cross-cultural differences that separate them and claim her ardent interest. He must conquer his deepes

Book Trailer: DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth

The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw by Suzy Turner

Adopted sisters Lana Beth and Emma Jane are polar opposites, but when the same strange 'tattoo' suddenly appears and winds its way up their bodies within days of each other, they soon realize there's more to their relationship than they could ever have imagined. Sent off to London for two weeks of 'work experience', the Morgan Sisters soon find themselves being initiated into the ancient Praxos Foundation, one that protects the innocent while fighting evil, both human and supernatural. At the same time, Lana Beth and Emma Jane must also investigate why the sweet but sometimes pesky ghost of Josiah Grimshaw just won't leave them alone. The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw is FREE to download on Amazon , Kobo , Barnes and Noble  and iTunes . For more from Suzy Tuner, visit her website , blog , Facebook or Twitter . 

Gray Skies by Brian Spangler

Centuries ago something catastrophic happened. Historians claim it was an accident that spilled the clouds out of the sky, leaving humanity under a relentless veil of gray. For young Declan and Sammi, all they've ever known is a world of gray skies and dense fog. Now, at odds about the past and uncertain of their future, they're of age, and it's time to build their lives together. Yet the coming of the End of Gray Skies has been declared. For a world shrouded in the mysterious fog, the promise to fix a centuries-old accident brings new hope that they might one day see and feel the warmth of the sun on their faces. But questions begin to surface. Questions of whether there ever was an accident. Questions asking what really happened that changed the Earth and what will happen if their world once again sits under the sun. Gray Skies is a 38k word short novel, and is Book 1 of the Gray Skies series. Don't forget to check out the other books in the Gray Skies se

Call of the Herald by Brian Rathbone

It's been thousands of years since anyone on Godsland has displayed anything beyond normal human abilities, but that's about to change. When power returns to Godsland, no one is prepared and the course of the world will be changed. There are legends that tell of the last age of power, but it was so long ago that what remains is scattered and out of context. One thing that remains clear is the prophecy of the destroyer, which says that one will come to destroy entire nations. When Catrin Volker, a teenage horse trainer, accidentally fulfills this prophecy, she must find a way to convince the rest of the world she's not out to destroy them. This ebook is permanently free, and the premium audiobook read by Chris Snelgrove is just $1.99! Download Call of the Herald on Amazon , Barnes and Noble , Apple iBooks , Kobo , Sony Reader Store , Google Books , Smashwords , Feedbooks , PDF  (direct download), EPUB  (direct download), MOBI  (direct download) and audiobook and ebook

Karin Kross Defends Pacific Rim

I took my three little boys to see Pacific Rim when it was out. Giant robot dudes versus godzilla-monsters? Heck, yeah. They loved it. They had their transformers fighting their godzillas for a whole week afterward. (Later I think Angry Birds were involved as well. And Rainbow Puppy. They are eclectic.) In a piece for Tor, Karin Kross asks why people feel compelled to insult movies they like : There’s a kind of meme going around right now with regard to Pacific Rim that really gets up my nose: that Pacific Rim is a “dumb movie.” As in, a friend recently asked on Facebook if anyone had seen it, and amongst the responses was a comment along the lines of, “It was a dumb movie, but I really liked it.” ...Respectfully, I would like to disagree. Or at least, insist that we stop using the word dumb. Simple? Sure. Uncomplicated? Absolutely. Spectacular, in the truest sense of the word? Hell yes. But none of these things are dumb... When people say that Pacific Rim is a “dumb movie,” w

Whisper of Memory by Brinda Berry

Weapons training and winter formals… a deadly combination All Mia ever wanted was to fit in at Whispering Woods High. But being a portal-finder who dates a guy from another dimension sort of makes it hard. Mia's brother disappeared over a year ago, and now agents from the IIA are policing people’s movements through dimensions. She’d trusted Dr. Bleeker from the local university when he’d told her the IIA were the bad guys. But even a girl with an extraordinary ability to sense things can make mistakes. Now two people are dead, and as a portal gatekeeper for the IIA, Mia needs to find Dr. Bleeker before he hurts anyone else. And her boyfriend Regulus, an Agent for the IIA, carries secrets of his own. Between learning about weaponry, finding the perfect dress for the winter formal, and catching bad guys, who has time to fit in? Whisper of Memory is the second book in the Whispering Woods series. It is available on Amazon , Barnes and Noble , Goodreads , Omnilit and Kobo

Movie Trailer: The Secret of Walter Mitty

So, the problem with writers is that we are boring people in real life. Or maybe, to be nice about it, we are like twinkies. Yummy on the inside . That is the point of the short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty . (Maybe not the twinky part.) This doesn't translate well to movie form so well. Who wants to follow a boring character for two hours? Even if he has a vivid imagination? A movie version of this short story was made decades ago, and Hollywood decided that it would be more interesting if Mitty, who dreamed of being an adventurous spy (among other things), became embroiled in a crazy plot and really became a spy! That was much more interesting, but completely missed the point of the story. I'll be interested to see what this movie does with the story.

Eternity by Teresa Federici

Anna Greer is a quiet microbiologist with her feet planted firmly in reality. Her life gets turned upside down when she finally meets her elusive employer, Gareth Macgregor. Gareth is mysterious, sexy, powerful…and a vampire. Soon she's drawn into a world she only thought was mythical, creatures and beings that existed only in nightmares that turn out to be very real. Anna and Gareth are drawn together in a fight for their lives and Anna finds that there is a part of her that has lain dormant since her childhood, a power that could save them, or mark them for death. Gareth’s powerful enemy would stop them from finding what Gareth has been trying to find for centuries—a cure for vampirism and a love that transcends time. Download Eternity, Book 1 in the Immortals and Magick series on Amazon . Excerpt We stared at each other across the small space between us, our chests equally rising and falling. His strange brown eyes locked onto my green ones, and he moved toward

15 Minutes by Jill Cooper

The future can be a dangerous place when you changed the past.... 15 minutes is all the Rewind Agency gives a person when they travel to the past, but for Lara Crane it’s enough for her to race through the city, find her mother, and stop her from being killed in a mugging that happened over ten years ago. But the story she’s been told all her life is a lie. When Lara takes a bullet meant for her mother, her future changes forever. A new house, new friends and a new boyfriend turns Lara’s life upside down. She thinks if she can save her father from prison, reunite him with her mother, everything will be fine. 15 Minutes is an edgy high octane YA thriller where the people Lara trusts change in an instant. She is in a timeline she doesn't understand, and is about to make one fatal mistake as she faces an enemy so familiar, he’s family. Excerpt: A photo falls from my papers and lands face up. Her face. Her eyes. It's like looking in the mirror. I scoop the pi

Book Trailer: Gamer's Quest by George Ivanoff

George Ivanoff talks about how he made this fantastic trailer over on Writing for Children.

Only $0.99! The Complete Souls of the Stones Trilogy by Kelly Walker

A convenient omnibus edition of the three main works of the Souls of the Stones series. Souls of the Stones follows Emariya Warren as she navigates the three divided lands of her world, as well as the three families striving for control. The series incorporates traditional fantasy elements such as prophecy and magic with a love story that transcends genre and time. Books 1-3 are included. Cornerstone - When Emariya Warren learns enemy forces have captured her father, she'll do anything to save him. Anything. Even marry a mysterious prince she knows nothing about in order to rally the strength to arrange a rescue. During her journey to Torian's foreign castle, Emariya comes face to face with her mother's killers--and a deadly secret. Not only does Emariya possess a powerful but unexpected magical gift. So does the prince she's promised to marry, and an ominous prophecy has warned their gifts must never be combined. If she breaks her promise to marry Torian, sh

The Defiance by A.G. Henley

It hasn't been long since Fennel, a Sightless Groundling, and Peree, her Lofty Keeper, fell in love and learned the truth: the Scourge, and their world, are not what they seem. Fenn and Peree are determined to guide their people to the protected village of Koolkuna, but first they must convince them that everything they believe is a lie. An impossible task, especially when someone seems hell-bent on trying anything--even animal sacrifice and arson--to destroy the couple's new bond and crush the frail truce between the Groundlings and the Lofties. Not everyone wants to uproot their lives in the forest, and those who stay behind will be left terribly vulnerable. Fenn and Peree's resolve to be together, and the constant threat of the Scourge's return, push both groups to the breaking point. Unable to tell friend from foe, Fenn must again decide how much she's willing to sacrifice to ensure the future of the people of the forest. Only this time, the price of pea

Hilda the Wicked Witch by Paul Kater

Hilda and William leave for another vacation, some time away. Knowing the witch and her wizardly partner, this will end up in work of course. Tremors, flower witches, dwarves and trolls are only some of the elements that will turn this trip into yet an unforgettable one for the magical couple who will also have a few fun surprises along the way! Available to download on: Amazon Smashwords Barnes and Noble Kobo Rock 'n' Troll is the 11th book in the Hilda the Wicked Witch series. The first 7 books in the series are free in most places. Excerpt Slipton was one of those quaint little villages that had a typical charm to it. Slipton's charm was in its smell, because many a famous baker came from there, and new bakers were constantly being trained so the scent of freshly baked bread was always around. "Bakers?" William wondered. "That's special." "The baker in our village is from here also," Hilda lectured. "He was the

"Readers are not simply page turners, they are thought turners..."

" Readers are not simply page turners; they are thought turners, as well—true imaginative partners, not passive audience members ." I love that. This is from a thoughtful essay about the mid-list by the author of the traditionally published Red Sonja series, and also the now indie-published  Fall of the First World  series: Midlist authors reaching their readers in this age of instant gratification brings me to another observation, this one regarding my former agent, Don Maass, who has been spectacularly successful in developing precisely these sorts of instant-gratification, industrial-quantity products that regularly appear on the bestseller lists, where sales “consistently override all product development decisions.” Maass and I once talked about the possibility of my writing my breakthrough novel. When I knew him, early in his career and, as it turned out, near the end of mine, he championed my fantasy trilogy  The Fall of the First World , then recently out of

Movie Trailer: Kill Your Darlings

So just as the author of Harry Potter has been trying to rebrand herself , the lead actor from the Harry Potter movies is trying to prove that he can play a role other than a school boy... by playing a school boy. Baby steps. This is a brilliant movie to cast him in because:  (1) It will appeal to people who read... (2) ...who are in are in their twenties.... (3) ...and therefore want to see Harry Potter Daniel Radcliff in a movie about a bookish twenty-something. In other words, every Potter fan out there.

Lichgates by S.M. Boyce

Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things: Ourea. Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother's recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With nothing to do, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book's untamed power. Discovered by Ourea's royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict - a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn't trust anyone... but she's being hunted and can't survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn't know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing. For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption,

What did Charlotte Bronte think of Jane Austen?

A Bronte Rogue or  an Austenian Gentleman? “I had not seen  Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as Darcy till I had read that sentence of yours, and then I got the book. And what did I find? An accurate daguerrotyped [photographed] portrait of a commonplace face; a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but no glance of a bright vivid physiognomy, no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck [stream]. I should hardly like to live with her ladies and gentlemen, in their elegant but confined houses.” And you thought only contemporary authors could be snarky!  ( More here .) Considering Bronte had been told to write like Austen, she might have been justified for being a bit miffed. She decided to go a step further and slam her rival in classic nineteenth century style. Was this more than writerly rivalry, though? Does it represent a real difference in what kind of writing --  and what kind of hero -- or indeed, what

Moonlit by Jadie Jones

Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can’t be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods. When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t. But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself? Moonlit is the first in a trilogy and is available on  Amazon  and Barnes and Noble . Excerpt The glow from the barn quickly dissolves into the inky night. Not a shred of it accompanies us past the mangled gate. But the dark offers little relief from the shadows that plague me in the light of day. T

Copywriting for the Rest of Us

I picked up Copywriting for the Rest of Us free last night and read it this morning. It's short but useful. Although it's not targeted specifically at authors, I recommend it to authors who need to write blurbs or queries . In other words, all authors with a book to publish.  Coincidentally, I just read this advice again, in a different source. This book is on copyrighting (writing ad copy), and it's free on Amazon right now (Aug 10): Copywriting For The Rest Of Us (Marketing For The Rest Of Us)  - One of the things he says is the "best" way to learn copy is to write out other people's ads word for word. It both teaches and inspires. This sounds crazy, but it's true. I first learned this technique from a book on writing sentences: To actually copy, word for word, a sentence or a scene of a writer whom you admire. The logic: we remember admiring a clever sentence, we remember the way a beautiful passage made us feel, but

Five New Facts about the Book Industry

1.  "Online book retail, including ebooks, accounted for 44% of all spending by consumers on books in the U.S."  2.  "Women increased their lead over men in book buying, accounting for 58 percent of overall book spending in 2012, up from 55 percent in 2011. However, men are bigger hardcover buyers – the only area where their buying outpaces women’s." 3. "The slowly improving economy has improved the climate for purchasing books. By the close of 2012, 53 percent of consumers said the economy was having no effect on their book buying habits, up from 51 percent at the end of 2011." 4. "Ebooks continue their steady upward trend, with an 11 percent share of spending in 2012, compared to seven percent in 2011." 5. "The growth of ebooks varies widely among the different publishing categories with their deepest penetration focused in fiction, particularly in the mystery/detective, romance, and science fiction categories, where ebooks accou

The Art of Elysium

One of the cool things about cinema as an art form is that thousands of artists of all types collaborate together to produce one work of art. If you happen to be in the Pasadena area today, you can come meet some of the artists for Elysium  in person. Elysium is a highly anticipated science fiction film staring Matt Damon. In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on Elysium, a standford torus high-tech utopian metropolis located in orbit around Earth that is free of crime, war, poverty, hunger, and diseases, while everyone else lives on an overpopulated, ruined Earth below. The citizens of Elysium live a life of luxury which includes access to private medical machines that offer instant cures, while the citizens of the Earth struggle to survive on a daily basis and are desperate to escape the planet. Those who maintain Elysium will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve their citizens' lifestyle, even destroying ships that attempt to get there. Come

Three Problems With Middle Novels

The Unfinished Song series is half-way through. Not coincidentally, I've been obsessing lately about how to write solid "middles." Haven't you noticed how sometimes, especially in a long series, some of the middle novels end up falling flat? Here are the three biggest ways I've seen series fall on their face in later novels: 1. Filler When the middle novel/s seem like mostly "filler," the problem is that the characters are basically treading water in terms of plot. Sometimes, they characters literally spend whole chapters stuck in some place in the world, uncertain what to do... it's the author who actually has no idea what to do, but the characters are made to suffer for it. Sure, there are times characters mope for years, or centuries, depending on their lifespan, whinging they don't know what to do, but we don't really need to see this. I love the Twilight series handled Bella's three months of moping. Each cha

Render by Heidi C. Vlach

In a far distant land, where magic flows and legends bloom, three races face their troubles together. A TROUBLED COMMUNITY The insect-like aemets built new homes under mountain maples, and they wished for luck. But the years brought them much work and meagre reward. After poor harvests and a brush with forest fire, now wolves are striking down aemets who venture into the forest. Wolves have never menaced peoplekind in any of the teaching legends. Always a non-violent people, all the aemets know to do is work harder and pray. A GIRL CALLED LUCKY Rue is a young aemet coming of age in this strained village. Named after the fortuitous rue plant, she has never cared much for the idea of luck. She believed from the start that it was folly to live in this place — and when fellow aemets turn up dead, Rue is through waiting for the winds to change. With her aemet skill of sensing air movement, her chemistry training and a guard dog at her side, Rue promises herself that she'll fi

Shadowhero by Jacob Dunn

Ninth-grader Jared Brooks is tortured by the shadows of his life. The shadows distract him during tests, they keep him up at night, they bring out the worst in him. And they give him so much power that he almost never loses in a fight. Sadie knows what Jared is and what he can do. When she invites him to join a group of high school students who carry out questionable tasks for the secretive Shadowcouncil, Jared begins to hope he can use the darkness inside himself for something better. After discovering he’s a Shadowhero, Jared thinks there’s nothing he can’t do. When his brother offers him a chance to go boxing, he can’t say no. But one bad choice leads to another as Jared’s shadow takes him down a dark path. When Sadie gets hurt, Jared must choose between the darkness offered by his shadow, or the new life that Sadie has shown him. Every Shade does something they regret... Shadowhero Parts 1-3 is available on  Amazon . If you purchase Shadowhero, read it and review it b

7 Things I'll Be Blogging About

This is going to be one of those blogging about blogging posts.  Over in the Archive of my blog, is a list which reminds me how often I've posted a month. The last year looks like this: ►  July (5) ►  June (20) ►  May (4) ►  April (2) ►  March (1) ►  February (6) ►  January (11) Seriously, Tara? That's pathetic. I can do better than that. Plus, I noticed that I haven't updated my cover art blog in two years. Now, the strange thing is, this is not because I haven't done any cover art. I have, but clients usually found me another way, through referral. I'd like to share some of those covers, and maybe do some other fun stuff with cover art, like more editions of "Help! My cover looks like crap!" I was going to re-start my 500 Words blog in Sep

Book Trailer: STYXX by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Update)

Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of the few authors I can honestly say I found through her book trailers. She has a lot of them, and they are always fun. I read here that it was no coincidence I found Kenyon through her trailer. There was a huge campaign associated with her first book trailer. With a summer release for the paranormal romance, St. Martin's had a huge investment in a 350,000-copy first printing. They hired professionals to create a 33-second book trailer, Dark-Hunter Acheron, then hired Zeitghost Media to manage the campaign. The publishing house sent an e‑mail with a link to the video on to 90,000 people, which was preceded by teasers several days before announcing that something big was coming. Zeitghost Media distributed the video across the Web, and dozens of blogs and Web sites picked it up and continue to feature it. It's had more than 429,000 views. On the Dark Hunter website and offline, they also used these marketing tools: Ebook giveaways

Sharknado in Two Minutes

My son is having a birthday party this month. He's turning seven. Water slide, kiddie pool, water guns and inflatable sharks. The theme: Sharknado! If you still haven't seen this glorious masterpiece, here's the movie in a nutshell:

Kindred by Nicola Claire

"You may not be aware, ma douce, but not all vampyre have a kindred, some will live out their existence without such beauty in their lives. I have waited five hundred years for you."  Vampires, shape shifters, ghouls and magic users abound in a world where the Norms, (those humans without paranormal abilities) are ignorant of the creatures of the night and the supernatural species that live alongside them. Lucinda Monk is a bank teller by day and a vampire hunter by night, but she wasn't always a part of this world. Thrown into a heady mix of powerful people and sensual beings, she's had to find her way practically blindfolded in amongst the creatures of the night. But she's a capable and realistic kind of girl. Her motto: never show fear. But, there's something different about Lucinda, something those creatures she hunts, want. In order to stay one step ahead of the enemy she has to let the enemy in. In all his compelling, seductive and delicious ways.