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This last book in the Boucher’s World trilogy will be out on March 30th.  It is available at Smashwords for a sample and/or pre-order.

encounters cover5

Boucher’s World, a planet in the Epsilon Eridani star system, is occupied by humans and an alien race called Elvwists.  Having finally emerged from a two thousand years long confinement inside a continent covering, transparent dome, they undergo a life changing transformation, and learn, from the beings who originally put the dome in place, the reason why they were kept inside.

As they go about the task of adjusting to their redefined place in the scheme of the universe, they discover that ships from their respective home worlds will soon be arriving, and the ones from the humans’ planet, Earth, are coming with a mandate: secure Boucher’s World for their government.

The captain of the expedition, Timothy Moore, knows the planet may be occupied but supposes the people are at least semi-primitives who can be appeased with trinkets and/or a show of might.  He has no idea that they are coming to an planet inhabited by a high-tech society of psychic adepts, some of whom are non-human.

What will Captain Moore do when he realizes Boucher’s World is not as they presumed?

Will the new humans from Earth undergo the same change that befell the human ancestors of the current occupants a thousand years ago when they became psychics, and will they, too, then, transform? Will the Elvwists from the home world, who are already psychics, transform?

Find out how and why Jade, one of the discoverers of the exit from the dome, once again finds herself in Between, the world of the astral plane, and what she comes upon there.

Read an Ebook Week – Redux!

Yes, it’s back!  Starting Sunday, March 2nd, at Smashwords only,  get to downloading and reading!   Sale ends Saturday, March 8th.

train

I will be participating in Read an Ebook Week  again this year, from March 2nd to March 8th.   The second book in my trilogy – Boucher’s World: Transformation, will be available for the reduced price of  $1.50  with coupon REW50.

Get my other books FREE with coupon RW100!   Just go to my writer’s page here, (or click on the above image) and use the coupon code at checkout!  Enjoy!

A Review of “The Order of the Wolf” by Freddie Silva

Okay.  I have to tell the truth.  When I first saw this book, for some reason I had the notion it was about werewolves. You know, with the usual storyline of alpha males, fawning females trying to get next to the alpha, soul mates, pack fights, that sort of thing.  Even after reading the blurb I still thought a werewolf might be in there somewhere.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good werewolf story but really wasn’t in the mood for one.  Then I read the sample before buying, and boy, was I delightfully wrong!  And, after reading the book, I’m happy to say: I was wonderfully wrong!

Instead, what I found was an engaging tale set in an alternate world and time.  A world of warring kingdoms and mercenary warriors who, though fighting for different rulers of the land, try to hold to a code of honor.  The story begins directly after the destruction in battle of a particular company in the Order of the Wolf, called The Old Guard, wherein our protagonist has been horribly wounded, and is the only surviving member of his company.  He wants to die and join his comrades but is instead, healed and pressed into training a company of newbies by the Order commander.

The story takes off from there through a string of twists and turns, some of them political, all of them intriguing.  It has lots of action but is not just a litany of one battle after another.  There’s even a touch of humor, and, it has a hint of romance but not enough to make you wonder what it’s doing in a story of war and bloodshed as it fits the circumstances.

The writing is clear and concise and the story moves right along.  My only complaint is that it ended before I was ready for it to!  I want to know more!  I want to know what happens next!  Now, I have to sit and wait – impatiently – for the sequel.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good read that has action, adventure, and intrigue, set in another time and place.

Most definitely: Five stars!

A Review of “The Universe, Five Minutes At A Time” by James McAllister

I had intended to first, read a couple of the stories in this book of shorts, then get the others, a few at a time, later, when I had more time.  However, I found that as I finished each one I was anxious to go on to the next intriguing story.  So, I finished the book at one sitting, and then sat around wishing for more.

The stories range from the humorous to the tragic – occasionally within the same one, such as I found in “The Neptune Fudge Affair”.  I especially enjoyed “Looking for Master” and “The Used Car Salesman”, but as someone who loves science fiction, I appreciated every story.  They are well plotted and told, and generally well written.  I felt I was right in the middle of the action with each one.

This was a quick and easy read, great for anybody who doesn’t have a lot of time, and I’d recommend these extremely good stories to any fan of science fiction.  And, if you’ve never read anything in the genre, I think this would be a great place to start.

A Review of “Fin & Tonic, Talon & Tombstone by David Moss & Lance Carney 

What an entertaining read! This book of well written short stories span a range of topics, some dealing with the supernatural or paranormal, some with science fiction.  Some are horror, and quite dark, guaranteed to give a delicious shiver, or in the case of “The Pizza Man”, a shiver and a laugh.  One favorite of mine, “You Do What You Gotta Do”, a science fiction piece dealing with an alien come to do some abductions, I found to be downright hilarious – and surprisingly sweet.   A few of the stories can’t be categorized into a specific genre as they contain elements of more than one, but they are, nevertheless, a delight to read.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys any of the above genres, blended or otherwise, especially if they don’t have a lot of time to read, or to anyone who likes a good short story.

Five stars for excellence!

So I’ve been absent for a while…

I’ve been absent for a while.  I’ve been dodging between raindrops, so to speak, what with the holidays, trying to get in some reading, working on the first draft of the third book in my trilogy (Boucher’s World: Encounters, remember?), which, by the way, I’ve finished and am in the middle of a first edit before getting beta readers.  I’m also trying to finish proofing two short novellas I’m publishing on Createspace.  I got sick on the second day of the new year and couldn’t function for nearly a week (except to tweet – only missed one day of doing that, LOL), so I’m not nearly where I’d intended to be by now.  Oh, well.  Stuff happens, and then you move on.  I’m not sweating any of this, just taking it one day at a time.  I’m feeling better now, though I had a slight set-back yesterday, but today, I’m moving on.

I did manage to get to the first meeting of the year for the writing meet-up group I’m a member of (the University Area Write to Publish group), and lo and behold, there was a very nice young lady there who’s a free-lance writer for our local newspaper, The Charlotte Observer, and she has written a wonderful article about our meet-up group.  It can be found here.  I thought she also took a great picture of the group to go along with the article.  This young lady, Marjorie Dana, is also starting down the road to becoming a novelist herself, so I’m wishing her the best in her endeavors, and, judging from how well she writes articles, I can believe she’s going to be quite impressive with her book.

It has been nearly a year, now, since I published my first book.  I’m an indie author as it’s referred to, and what that means is I don’t have an agent or a publisher.  I arrange for proof reading, editing, and publishing. I do most of it myself and I even do all my own covers.  I’ve seen all sorts of articles and blogs, and postings in forums, that decry this method as being the worst possible way to go about putting out the “perfect” book, and I must say, they have a point.

I do get some help from my very sharp daughter who also is good at pitching ideas to me, but basically, I read and re-read my story ’til I’m blue in the face then after its published, I still find typos and errors.  Sigh.  So, I go back and do updates ’til I’m blue in the face than pray I didn’t do something stupid in my formatting so the manuscript will get past that meat-grinder converter at Smashwords or that Amazon or Createspace doesn’t sneer at what I’ve wrought.  I have to admit that I haven’t had a lot of trouble with that, although a couple of times I found I’d re-uploaded the exact same error-ridden manuscript and had to go back and do a re-re-upload.  Heh.  That’s life.

I’ve redone some book covers because they were terrible, and even now am in the process of redoing several more because they’re not so hot.

In case you’re wondering why I don’t just pay someone to do these things for me – because, after all, all of these services can be bought and some of the prices are quite reasonable – it’s because I’m broke.  I can either pay my mortgage and other bills, and buy groceries, not to mention keep my internet connection, or pay for all those wonderful services.  So.

Truth be told, I never set out to publish in the first place.  I just wanted to write a book – mostly because I’ve always liked to write.  The book was actually one I started some years ago but living got in the way of writing so I laid it down and forgot it for a while.  Then I retired.

I twiddled my thumbs for a while, did a little drawing and painting, joined Facebook and played Farmville and various other fun games over there.  Then, one day my old desktop computer started acting up and I decided to get a new one before it went all the way kerplunket.

When I checked to see if there were any documents or files I wanted to save from the old one to the new, I found the book I’d started years before, hiding in an old version of Word.  So I hauled it out and began fiddling around with it.  It actually turned into a trilogy once I got going because it was ‘way too much for one book.  I’ve already published the first two books and am currently writing the third. As a matter of fact, I’ve found that I’ve published ten altogether in this year since I got started.

Didn’t set out to do that either; it just sort of happened.  Oh, most are not novel-length, just the two in the trilogy. There are a couple of novellas, some novelettes, and some short stories.  Still, it’s quite a bit more than I ever set out to do.

I probably never would have published the first book at all if one of my daughters hadn’t said, “Mom, you gonna publish that?”

Anyway, I’ve been asked why I decided to self-publish instead of trying to go the traditional route.  Here’s why: knowing absolutely nothing about it at all, I did what you do when you don’t know how to do something: I Googled it.  After looking up a lot of stuff and learning I’d need an agent before I could ever get to a publisher, I Googled “agents”.

After some judicious reading, it gradually began to dawn on me that I’d probably be dead and cremated before I ever got anything into print.  Or, as my other daughter said, too old and addled to remember I’d ever written anything.  Then I ran across an article on self-publishing, did more Googling, found Smashwords, and thought: “I’ll do that!”  And so I did.  And it was sooo easy!

The thing is, you can publish all you want but if you don’t promote, no one knows it’s there because there are a kazillion other writers out there, all clamoring to get some attention for their work.  This presents a problem in being seen for the the individual author, and if you want to actually sell some books, they have to be seen.   So…back to Googling.

Sigh.  Promoting means “selling” and a salesperson I’m not.  I’ve tried some of the suggestions I ran up on, such as getting a blog – which I had no idea how to use once I (Googled how and) got one.  Then, there was the Facebook author page, setting up my other author pages at Smashwords and Amazon, then I was told I should put my books on  Goodreads and set up an author’s page there, too, and  I should sign up for Twitter and various and sundry other social media.  And I did.  I’m not good at any of that stuff but I did it anyway.

In between trying to learn how to use all that stuff, I’m still plugging away at that third book in my trilogy, plus, there are four others I’ve got started (don’t ask me why! It just happened!) that I haven’t worked on in a while.  Plus, I haven’t played Farmville in a loooong time. And I liked that game.  It helped me relax.

Today, it occurred to me that I’m missing something else important to me: I haven’t had time to read! I love to read and my Kindle is loaded with books that I truly want to read. Before I got on this kick of trying to promote books that I never set out to publish in the first place, I read a lot. Now, the last book I read was back during the summer, and I only read that one to do a review. And I’m tired and headachy from trying to keep up with all the Facebook groups I’ve joined, the blogs I follow, Goodreads, Wattpad, my blog(s), all the other social media…double sigh!

I’m retired but lately I’ve begun to feel as if I’m back to working  a job and I don’t want a job.  I worked all my life and that was fine.  It’s what people do who want to take care of their families, have a house to live in, food to eat, maybe get a few little niceties.  No problem.  But I don’t want to do it now.  I want to read.  When I want to.  And writing is fun, I absolutely love it, so I want to keep doing that, too. Promoting and selling?  Not so much.  Maybe if I had started doing this years ago, when I was much younger, it would be different.  I had more energy then, so, perhaps.  But, that is neither here nor there.  It’s the present and I’m going to relax, get in some reading, write a little, and enjoy myself.

Besides, I’ve given away a lot more books than I ever sold.

Short Stories

I’ve been writing some really short stories lately, something I’d never done before.   I think the shortest story I’d ever written had around seven thousand words.   I have Michael Brookes, the  author of several successful books,  to thank for my even trying.   He runs a monthly five-hundred-word-or-less contest on his blog, The Cult of Me, and I decided to enter the one for July.   Well, I was hooked so I also entered for August, September, and his latest one for October.   So far, I’ve not won one, but I have truly enjoyed the challenge of writing such a short story as I tend to sometimes get wordy when I write, and I found that restricting the number of words I can use makes me try and think of  a different approach, another way to put the words together.

(Michael did an author interview on me a few months ago, which, for some reason, I neglected to mention before *shaking my head*.   It can be found here)

Michael also writes extremely (at least I think it’s extreme!) short stories called “drabbles”, which are full stories of exactly one hundred words.  Heh.  I have not tried writing any of those!  Or at least not yet.   As soon as I work up my nerve I think I’ll give it a whirl.

I haven’t published any of my shorts yet but they are posted on Wattpad.  Click the following links to check them out:

The Desire -Horror

Martin’s Cafe -Horror

The Man in the Armani Suit -Horror

Shelter -Horror

The Tech -Science Fiction

And God Said “Let it Ride” -Fantasy (sort of)

Smashwords Interview

Decided to do the Smashwords interview yesterday.  It can be found here.  Writers can use all the exposure they can get and I’ve gotten a number of views already, so I figure that’s a good thing.

There are a series of questions for you to answer – you answer as many as you want or you can supply your own – then you hit “publish” and that’s it.   You can even go back and edit your interview if necessary, say if you forgot something you meant to put in, or if you decide to answer more of the questions or add more of your own.  Very easy.  The site even places a clickable list of your books at the end of the interview.

I think it’s a pretty good feature, and ties in well with all the other attractions Smashwords has to offer.  I don’t know if it will translate into any more sales, but it can’t hurt.

Our Dangerous Fixation With Genres

realpeal:

I’m reblogging this because I totally agree!

Originally posted on The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard:

Revolutionary SnoopyThe writing world is full of factions.

Each of these factions, have their own heroes (or leaders), their own book clubs, their own book dealers, their own sites, their own rules, their own readers, etc.

Sometimes I like to imagine them as armies, each with their own distinct style and strengths and weaponry.

  • The romance army is nothing more than a collection of men with long flowing hair and amazing abs. There is a good chance that their swords might be a phallic thing though, consider yourself warned.
  • The paranormal army is made up of brooding men who may be vampires… or werewolves… or zombies… or ghosts. Whatever the case, they are dreamy.
  • In the YA ranks you will find confused teenagers with an overwhelming sense of destiny. They will be looking for something and once they find it, watch out.
  • Yes, the scifi army is full of little green…

View original 1,150 more words

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