Category: Blog

Star Shepherd Blog hop – Day Two

Posted March 20, 2019

STAR blog Indie

Welcome to the Star Sheperd BLOG HOP TOUR.

Please get yourself comfortable as we take a daily tour through these fabulous blogs. Each blog you visit will entertain you with exclusive articles and excerpts from this fantastic new book. Get an insight into the character’s head with interviews and profile images. Then hunt down the hidden word that will get you one step closer to the $10 Amazon Gift Card.

You are here to celebrate the release of Star Shepard, book one of the space western series, Shepherd of Light, by R.R.Virdi.

Star Shepherd knows a raw deal when he sees one. And he’s got the worst one in the galaxy: to deliver a mysterious package to a rebellion to change the scales of power in favor of the common man. As he meets with an old friend to seek much-needed help, he draws the attention of a genocidal admiral willing to destroy entire worlds if it means catching Star Shepherd.

Will Star survive the chase and bring hope to the rebellion, or deliver a gift into the hands of a worse power, tipping the galaxy into further chaos?

https://amzn.to/2CpdbEA

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Excerpt

Zheer exhaled through his nose. “Government and corporations are after you. Expect trouble of the private, well-armed, and not-so-nice, and law-abiding kind.”

Star rolled his eyes. “Corporations are the government last I checked.”

Zheer waved a dismissive hand. “Think they used to call that semantics. Still, for the money they’re offering, won’t be long till more than just those bodies will be after you. We’re talking citizens, less than savory sorts. Heck, Liberation Movement folks will be after you. Separatists—extremists too. You know what they’re like. Always crowing on about how the government and those that serve ‘em are dogs needin’ to be put down. They’re just as ruthless and maybe crazier Shepherding. You’re going to need friends and one heck of a corner to hide in.”

Star pulled his drink back, swirling the amber fluid around without wanting to take a sip. “So, question is: Are you friend, Zheer?”

Zheer clicked his tongue. “Not as good as one as I should be. Showed up just in time to tell you to get what you came for and run.”

Don’t forget to visit all the blogs and collect the 10 hidden words for your chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.
Send your completed word list to kkantasauthorassist@gmail.com

Tuesday 19thhttps://rrvirdi.com
Wednesday 20thhttp://indiescififantasy.com
Thursday 21sthttps://readcommendations.com
Friday 22ndhttps://mmcquillen44.wixsite.com/themadhouse
Saturday 23rdhttps://www.authorerikamszabo.com/my-thinking-board
Sunday 24thhttps://rainne15.wordpress.com
Monday 25thhttps://www.maryrwoldering.com
Tuesday 26thhttps://karensbookbuzz.wordpress.com
Wednesday 27thhttps://katerauner.wordpress.com/
Thursday 28thhttps://celthric.com

Blog Hop Tour organized by Author Assist

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Sponsored by Bolide Publishing Limited

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Alpha Tales 2044 by Wesley Britton

Posted December 17, 2018

Alien Vision presents a collection of short stories and sketches from the Beta-Earth Chronicles by Wesley Britton.

Alpha Tales 2044, opens on Beta-Earth when two genetically-enhanced mutants are forced to recover a stolen secret, the cure to the ancient Plague-With-No-Name that defined a planet for millennia.
Then we jump across the multi-verse to our earth, Alpha-Earth, where police Captain Mary Carpenter infiltrates a gang of White Supremacists who want to purify Texas after decades of climate change and weaponized plagues.

Still on Alpha, we leap ahead in time to 40 years in the future where Mary Carpenter joins up with four aliens, two from Beta-Earth, two from Serapin-Earth. All four share the same father, The Blind Alien from Alpha-Earth. They’ve traveled across the multi-verse to tell us about their worlds.

But Alphans, scarred by the devastations to our world, are unhappy about learning about very different cultures from anything we’ve ever known and especially hearing about multiple deities. So the alien band are forced to go on the run and take sanctuary in a First Nation domed city in British Columbia.

But their sanctuary doesn’t last long. Forced to travel further into the Canadian wilderness, the family encounters a pair of Sasquatch who change everything for them. They learn about the many definitions of what it means to be human.

Alpha Tales 2044, is a collection of stories that are part sci-fi, part murder mysteries, part horror, and part social commentary. But completely full of the unexpected, surprises, and tales, unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

 

Official Released 8/12 price $0.99
iBook, Nook and Kobo: https://www.draft2digital.com/book/392281
Where to buy Amazon:  http://bit.ly/AT2044

 

About the Author

Immerse yourself in an extraordinary universe revealed by the most original storytelling you’ll ever experience. “Science fiction yes, but so much more.”

Besides his 33 years in the classroom, Dr. Wesley Britton considers his Beta-Earth Chronicles the most important work he’s ever done. “I suppose an author profile is intended to be a good little biography,” Britton says, “but the best way to know who I am is to read my novels.”

Still, a few things you might like to know about Wes include the fact he’s the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in the media, most notably The Encyclopedia of TV Spies (2009). Beginning in 1983, he was a widely published poet, article writer for a number of encyclopedias, and was a noted scholar of American literature. Since those days, for sites like BlogCritics.org and BookPleasures.com, Britton wrote over 500 music, book, and movie reviews. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents for which he contributed celebrity interviews with musicians, authors, actors, and entertainment insiders.

Starting in fall 2015, his science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted with The Blind Alien. Throughout 2016, four sequels followed including The Blood of Balnakin, When War Returns, A Throne for an Alien, and The Third Earth. Return to Alpha was the sixth volume of this multi-planetary epic.

Britton earned his doctorate in American Literature at the University of North Texas in 1990. He taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College until his retirement in 2016. He serves on the Board of Directors for Vision Resources of Central Pennsylvania.

 

Where to find Wesley online.

Website: https://drwesleybritton.com/books/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BetaEarthChronicles/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wesley_britton

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wesley-Britton/e/B001HD455U

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/295635.Wesley_Britton

Mailing list sign up: http://eepurl.com/dwvfQr

 

EXCERPT: From Last Night Of The Colective

I vividly remember the afternoon when Jrin Rol, the second-in-command of our security unit, and I stepped onto the ground floor of the Hotel Domino in the new city called Monte Carlo. The hotel was an entertainment center named after yet another Alpha game Malcolm Renbourn had brought to our planet. It should have been named Hotel Backgammon for all the pointed spikes of alternating colors on the floors and walls.

 

On this day, I was listening to Jrin’s wistful hopes for an extended leave from service so she could deepen her studies in linguistic morphologies, geographic spatial patterns, and other analytical investigative techniques that would make her far more than a skilled expert in stealth and counter-espionage operations. I was becoming more and more impressed with what I heard as we walked into the dining hall.

 

Then, my blood chilled. In one moment, I felt as if I’d drank a bath shell-sized cocktail of adrenaline and dread. Sitting alone at a table in the corner was First Helprim Kiem Holenris from ital, the supreme head of the Munchen Collective. The last I’d seen of this seeming old crone had been in my offices in Bercumel. On that day, Holendris had let me know my life was on the line if I continued my then-pointless, personal war with my bond-family. For, like her, my genetically-enhanced mutations had come at a cost. The little pills the Collective now provided me slowed the metabolic rushing of time that aged such as us much faster than our years. If I wanted to live a healthy and beautiful life and for a good long time, I needed the pills only the Collective could provide me.

 

Holendris looked like a woman who’d seen four generations of descendants from her womb. But she was merely the age of my own mother. Like me, her appearance concealed a body of extraordinary gifts. Unlike me, she had started her pill regimen much later in her life than I had, hence her aged face and deceptively marked skin. On this day, while her lips were twisted in an almost skullish smile, her eyes sent a clear message to me across the wide hall of tables and happy noises.

 

“Child,” they wordlessly told me, “bring your sun-drenched bronze skin and bright, blonde hair over here to me. You must come to me now. A matter of dire importance awaits you. Awaits us.”

 

I looked to Jrin, who understood my own silent signal. We slowly made our way to the Helprim’s round, polished white table where Kiem studied our movements with practiced eyes. She nodded as we came close and indicated two chairs.

 

“Sit, little kitty,” she cooed. “Sit, Jrin Rol of the Mask-Painters.”

 

Wordlessly, we took our places as serving hands quickly brought us trays of beverages. Kiem waited until the hands departed and took a sip of her own red pravine, then said softly, “Thank you for your quick compliance, as what I am here to discuss requires some delicacy.”

 

 

[Goodreviews isbn=”B07KJBSQG5″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Day Three of Destroyed Blog Tour

Posted November 22, 2018

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Destroyed blog tour – day two

Welcome to the third day of the blog tour, which features a short excerpt from Destroyed, the fourth book in Madeline Dyer’s Untamed series. The dreamland has now gone, and with the Enhanced posing a new threat, Seven is faced with an impossible choice:
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Excerpt from Destroyed

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_testimonial _builder_version=”3.4.1″]Destroyed Madeline DyerIt’s just him. My eyes narrow.

Raleigh.

He looks strong, in better shape than any of us. He flexes his arms slightly, and muscles bulge. More muscular than I’ve ever seen him. No guesses as to which augmenters he’s taken.

I stare at him. “How are you finding me?” A tracker? Is there a tracker on me? But no, I know there isn’t. My powers tell me.

Raleigh laughs. “I can always find you. Did you really think I’d let you get away?” He takes a step forward. “You’re the savior, Shania. As if I’d be so careless as to lose you again.”

“Get away,” Elf snarls.

Raleigh snorts. “You think these people can protect you? You think these are the people to save? Look at them—oh dear.” He points at Corin. “Well, he’s not much use, is he?” He laughs again, then he seems to notice Toivo for the first time. He takes a step back. “Well, congratulations are obviously in order.”

“Rot in hell,” Esther whispers.

Elf throws light forward, but Raleigh deflects it. Elf ducks as the light bolts back at him and hits a rock behind us. I hear it shatter.

How are you finding us?” I keep my voice steady, steely.

“Oh, Shania. I own the world. I am powerful. My people are everywhere.” Raleigh shakes his head, mock-sympathy on his face. “Not to mention, I have technology. I have cameras, drones, detection systems in place.” He tilts his head to one side. “That’s the problem with you wild ones. You forget we have advanced beyond running around in caves, being hunter-gatherers. You need to embrace the new direction for the human race. Our ancestors did. They moved out of caves, away from living off the land. It seems, you are moving backward though. That is never a good move. You need to embrace evolution.”

“Even when evolution destroys humanity?” I stare at him.

What do you know about humanity?

My shoulders tighten.

Raleigh shrugs. “Humanity adapts.”

“You have no humanity.” And I look into Raleigh’s soul—and it’s because I’m desperate. I need to know what evil looks like so I know I’m not it. That I’m not destined to become a killer worse than Raleigh.

 

Amazon  |  iBooks  |  Kobo  |  Nook  |  Google Play

 
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Madeline Dyer lives on a farm in the southwest of England, where she hangs out with her Shetland ponies and writes young adult books—sometimes, at the same time. She holds a BA Honors degree in English from the University of Exeter, and several presses have published her fiction. Madeline has a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or paranormal, and she can frequently be found exploring wild places. At least one notebook is known to follow her wherever she goes.

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Untamed Giveaway

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_code]a Rafflecopter giveaway[/et_pb_code][et_pb_divider _builder_version=”3.4.1″][/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.4.1″]

Blog Tour Schedule

 
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Book Bundle

Posted July 27, 2017

Book Bundle

The wonderful APC (Authors-Professionals Co-Op) is offering one lucky reader the chance of winning this book bundle (via Rafflecopter). There is no subscription or sign-up required.

**Ends in two days**

 


Change of Newsletter provider

Posted December 26, 2016

I am currently in the process of changing newsletter providers as the one I was using is a little temperamental, so I’ve decided to use MailChimp instead. I will only be transferring those people who have double-opted in (i.e confirmed their interest in subscribing to this website’s newsletters by both entering their email address and confirming the said request via a link sent to their email address).

I assume you will get an email via MailChimp when this is complete. Please feel free to unsubscribe if you wish to do so, although I would prefer it if you didn’t. I’ve not as yet started using the newsletter feature, but intend to shortly.

If you would like to join the new mailing list (via MailChimp) then you can do so here: http://indiescififantasy.com/newsletter-2/


Ten Things I’ve Learned Since Having a Book Published by Madeline Dyer

Posted June 3, 2016

 

So, a few days ago I celebrated the one year anniversary for the publication of my debut novel, UNTAMED (Prizm Books, May 2015). During that year, I’ve learned a whole bunch of things and thought I’d share ten of them here with you.

 

1: Not everyone realises having a book published is a big deal. 

You feel great about your book being published, but some of the people you excitedly tell just don’t ‘get’ it. You see their faces fall and realise that when you told them you had ‘big news’, they were expecting something much bigger. And it’s hard not to let that upset you.

But writing a book—and getting it published—is a huge achievement. And we know just how many months (and even years) of hard work, sweat, and tears have gone into this… but not everyone gets this.  To some, writing a book is nothing, and publishing it is just a shrug-your-shoulders kind of moment. But you shouldn’t let the reactions of non-knowers (as I affectionately call them) get you down.

Just because someone doesn’t understand that you’ve poured your soul into this book and spent months and months labouring away over it, it doesn’t mean that your achievement is any less validated.

You still rock—you wrote a book! And don’t worry, there’ll be other people who do understand why this is a shout-from-the-rooftops moment.

 

2: A lot of the non-writers who you tell about your novel will suddenly confess their dream to you—that they, too, wish to write a book.

Often this statement is followed by some sort of justifier, that they will write their book ‘when they have time’. And time seems to be the only thing a lot of non-writers think is necessary to have when writing a book…

At first, I was surprised by how many people seemed to think I had managed to write my book because I apparently ‘had the time’ to do so. In their eyes, skill and motivation didn’t really feature that highly. And didn’t they realise that I was busy with other stuff too?

I mean, I wrote the first draft of UNTAMED when I was 18—whilst I was at school and studying for A-levels. And then I worked on in-house edits with one of my publisher’s editors alongside doing my degree. It was tough to fit it all in.

But part of being a writer is having the determination to write, and the determination to find time to write. That fifteen-minute break? Well, I can write a couple of hundred words then. That bus journey? Yes, I can get some outlining done.

Writers don’t magically have more hours in the day than everyone else in the world. We have the same amount of time. But we just have to find the time to write, and we organise ourselves in such a way that we do have time—even if it means less sleep, or not going out to see that film.

I’m a firm believer that if someone’s a writer, they have to write as much as possibly they can. Writers don’t have any choice, and they can’t put off their writing dreams for a more suitable time—say, in ten years. There’ll never be a more suitable time, and writers write whenever they possibly can.

 

3: You also won’t feel like a proper writer.

Even now, after signing a second book deal with my publisher, I still feel like I’m not the real thing. From talking to other writers, it seems the aptly named Imposter Syndrome is common among us all. We all feel like we’re not good enough, and that soon someone is going to realise it—but, according to some, that’s a sign of a proper writer. It’s when you’re certain that your writing is spectacular and that you’re the next J.K. Rowling that you might need to worry…

So, I guess the thing that I’ve learned here is that it’s okay to feel like this. It’s normal. And other famous writers feel like this too.

 

4: But once you’ve got one book published, writing your next can be harder.

I’ve certainly found this to be true for me. Having already had one book published, I feel there’s a great amount of pressure on me to write one that readers love just as much—if not more.

And these expectations we think people have makes writing a follow-up book an incredibly daunting task all of a sudden. And all your doubts about your writing ability come flooding back. After all, what if that first book was a fluke? What if you can’t produce the stunning sequel that you know readers are waiting for?

Well, don’t worry. That’s my answer, and that’s what I’ve been telling myself every time I start fretting. I think the main problem for me is that I’m now comparing my patchy first draft of book two to the final version of book one. And of course, the writing’s not going to be great in a first draft. And there will be holes in the plot, and characters who aren’t that well formed.

But I know I can fix all this. I have to tackle it one step at a time, just as I did when I was rewriting and editing Untamed. And I have to believe in myself. If I wrote one book that readers loved, then I know, deep down, that I can write another, even if my first thought is that I can’t. I’m still the same writer. And it’s all about self-belief and not becoming intimidated by what you achieved before.

So, just write. And get your first draft done. That, for me, is still the hardest bit, and becoming a published writer hasn’t made it any easier.

 

5: Now onto reviews: don’t read them!

Okay, I’m not very good with this one. I know I shouldn’t read the reviews that my book garners, but I just can’t help it. There’s something exciting about realising you have a new review on Goodreads, or Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. And you just find yourself clicking through to read it, whilst anxiously wondering whether the person loved or hated your book.

And there will be some negative reviews. Whether a book is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is, after all, subjective. And you won’t be able to please everyone.

But as soon as you come across a negative review, you suddenly feel as if this review speaks the Ultimate Truth. All the good things you’ve previously read about your book are washed away, and all you can focus on now is the less-than-favourable thing that someone has said. And this really fuels that feeling that you’re not good enough, that you’re not a proper writer… that you’re an imposter.

And it can hamper your creativity.

That’s why I know that no author should read their reviews—and NEVER respond to any. Seriously, don’t.

But, if you must read those reviews then definitely do the next thing on my list.

 

6: Save your good reviews.

Print out a hard copy of your favourite reviews and stick them in a scrapbook. Then, whenever you come across a negative review and end up feeling like you’re the worst writer ever, read through your book of positive reviews. I promise they’ll make you feel much better, and you won’t (hopefully) spend days crying.

But, at the same time, don’t fall back into the trap of reading your best reviews and thinking, ‘but what if I can’t write a sequel that readers love as much as my first?’

So, yes, even your good reviews can be a double-edged sword. They certainly make me feel better and motivate me to write, but at the same time, I worry about disappointing my fans with my next manuscript. Ah, it gets so complicated…

 

7: Finding readers can be hard.

Even when your book is traditionally published, finding readers can be tricky. There are so many books out there competing for readers’ attention that many unfortunately do get lost.

But this is where promotion and marketing come in—trust me, marketing your book is important. And marketing it correctly is even more important.

You need to know your audience, and you need to engage with them. You also need to seem like a real person, so talk about your everyday life and share funny anecdotes. And always engage with your readers as an equal—never talk down to them.

But you also need to make sure that readers can find information about you quickly. A website is a must—and if you can host it on your own domain, even better. You’ll seem more professional that way. And make sure that you have clear links on your website to where readers can buy your book—don’t make it hard for them to find this information.

 

8: The number of reviews you have is important.

Once you reach certain numbers of reviews for a single work, many retailers include your book in different lists—and even on newsletters. So, the number of reviews you have is important. And the more reviews you have, the easier it is to sell your book.

But getting genuine reviews can be difficult, especially when you need unbiased reviews from people who you don’t know. Amazon removes the reviews from reviewers they think know the author, believing these to biased and untrustworthy.

And finding readers who will review your book can be difficult enough in itself. Especially when only around 1 in 100 will write a quick review of your book off their own back.

But book bloggers are great. And there are thousands of professional reviewers and bloggers out there who will write an honest review of your book in exchange for a free copy of your book—and include that disclaimer in their review. Plus, many of these reviews can also be used as editorial reviews, and often you can use snippets from these reviews in your marketing.

And also; NEVER buy reviews. I mean it. NEVER do it. When I hear that others are considering it, I cringe so much. Buying reviews can destroy everything—and cause retailers to block all your reviews (even any genuine ones). Never do it. Your reviews need to be genuine and unbiased, from actual readers who have actually read your book.

 

9: Nothing sells your last book like your next.

This is actually something I’ve read a few times now, in many different places. But it seems to be true. And it makes sense: the more books you have out, the more people will see your name, and the more readers will look for your other works having read one.

So perhaps the best marketing you can do for book one is to produce book two.

It seems so simple, and it emphasises an important part of being a writer—you know, the writing part.  Just because you’ve got one book out, doesn’t mean you need to stop writing. Quite the opposite, actually!

(And again, don’t let you success with one book intimidate you and make you feel under pressure with your second—I’m definitely struggling with this, now that we’re less than months away from the release of my second book… but what if readers really don’t like the direction I’m taking the Untamed Series in?)

 

10: And the final thing to mention here is that reading (and relaxing) is still important.

All writers, whether they publish or not, need to read widely. Don’t stop reading—and having fun—just because you’ve had a book published. Sure, it can be harder to find the time, now that your days (and nights) are filled up with marketing, promotion, answering interviews, writing, editing, researching, and booking events—plus other life commitments!

But you still need to read.

So please, don’t stop. Make sure you have time.

For me, reading is also a way of relaxing. And it is so important. Don’t overwork yourself—you still need some time off. And you still need to do what you love.


Madeline Dyer lives in the southwest of England, and has a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or paranormal. She can frequently be found exploring wild places, and at least one notebook is known to follow her wherever she goes. Her debut novel, UNTAMED (Prizm Books, May 2015), examines a world in which anyone who has negative emotions is hunted down, and a culture where addiction is encouraged. FRAGMENTED (Prizm Books, Sept. 2016) is her second novel.


Advertising and Amazon and stats

Posted November 24, 2015

This is one of those posts where I witter on about my favourite subject – stats. I love them. Can’t get enough of them. So imagine my excitement last night when I clicked on a teensy weensy arrow in my Amazon affiliate area and it told me just how many times the direct url (the one I put in Twitter or website) had been clicked. Oh, I was in my element last night I can tell you.

What it told me was that all the one-off tweets/FB/Google plus shares (the one I send when I list a book) get one or two link clicks, but the paid ones are seeing a few thousand visits to the page over the duration of the ad.

This one here (from when we had only 1,000 followers) was one of the guaranteed Twitter engagement ads and ran for five months:

samplex

 

The ‘1’ was a sale, although I would like to think the other 3,650 visitors didn’t just click and run. This particular book is on Kindle Unlimited, so I’m assuming (hoping) a few people took advantage of that, and then, of course, there are kindle samples (which I, myself, usually go for when directed to a book.)

I did hear that page visits alone can help (a little) with rank, although I don’t know how true it is, I’d like to think this website helps out independent authors in some small way.

Anyway, I thought I would share this with you.

To advertise with Indiescififantasy (guarantee Twitter engagements) please click here.

 


Beyond the Pale: Promo

Posted November 22, 2015

pale


Beyond the Pale is available on e-book for just 99p/99c for the next few days. It is a tale of dystopia, a high-walled citadel and conflicting cultures (and it’s on my to-be-read list).

amazon

[goodreviews isbn=”B00O39BCNS” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

Synopsis

In a post-apocalyptic America, a young outlander is captured and processed as a new citizen of a high-walled citadel. Unable to leave, he soon becomes the houseguest of a security officer whose life he saved in the outlands. A passage to freedom can be arranged, but his growing infatuation with the city and for his benefactor’s daughter makes him unwilling to leave. If he stays, he may be faced with compromising his beliefs for a woman he loves.
Then an unfortunate turn of events leads to him becoming an unwelcome guest in a city that appears increasingly dystopian and alien to him. Without any support in this foreign land, he must try to leave whilst evading arrest. Fortunately, there are those on the outside who have not given up looking for him yet.
It is the tale of the interaction of two alternative and conflicting cultures as exemplified through the interactions of two men who try to appreciate each other’s world. They share many joint interests but hold to different values.
Society is at the dawn of a transhumanist transformation that is using technology to master nature. However some outlanders who remain beyond the pale, feel that nature itself is about to change, and will transform everything in its wake.
Keywords = Science Fiction, New adult, Romance, Dystopian, metaphysical, Visionary, transhumanism, technology, surveillance, Native American.

 


Review: Lesser Evil by P.F.Davids

Posted November 13, 2015

Lesser Evil

P.F.Davids contacted me to ask if I would read Lesser Evil and provide an honest review in exchange for a copy, however, it is available on Kindle Unlimited so I obtained the book via this method.

Lesser EvilKester is one of the last surviving defenders of the Church of True Light. With the Serpentine Empire closing in, Kester finds himself on a desperate mission to recruit the aid of one of the Church’s greatest enemies: a man who is often called a demon. When his ideologies are tested, Kester must choose between upholding the tenants of the Church and completing his mission.

There is nothing Reis wants more than to be left alone to his research. But when the Empire comes knocking, Reis is left with no choice but to fight back. Knowing the imperials will not stop coming for him, Reis is left with one path. If his research is to continue, Marcus Serpentine must die.

Together, the two may have a chance to cripple the greatest military force the world has ever known…if their conflicting ideals don’t make them kill each other first.


The story telling

Lesser Evil begins at the heart of a conflict between Serpentine’s imperial soldiers and the Church of True Light. It begins in medias res, introducing the reader to the conflict, the stakes, and key characters while moving the story forward. The first paragraph sets the scene briefly: ‘bodies littered the room ahead,  stripped bare with faces twisted in agony,‘ while the reaction and interaction between Demos, Collette and Ottone orientates the reader with current events.The narration blends smoothly with the dialogue. The narrative voice in each of the chapters is clearly defined and where used, reads like the POV character’s natural thought process.

The environment brings to mind that of a medieval setting with its transport by horseback, sword battles, old buildings and secret passageways…

As the story progresses the reader is introduced to Kester, a young soldier in the Church of True Light, recently promoted to a position of responsibility, he devises a plan that may yet save the Church from annihilation.

My thoughts

If you enjoy a work of fantasy with a ‘light versus dark’, ‘good versus evil’ premise than I believe you will enjoy this book. The atmosphere is established early on, as are the motives of both the Church of True Light and Serpentine. The characters are multi-dimensional, with each of the key characters having shared and personal obstacles to overcome. Throw a little alchemy into the mix, a pinch of a misunderstood ability with balanced pacing and tension and you have a book promising a great read.

As I warned the author is our email exchange, I am not one of those people who can force myself to read a book that does not hold my interest (I’ve been known to give up on books after the first few pages), but with Lesser Evil I found myself orientated into the history, world and characters needs early on. The writing lured me into the tale P.F.Davids has penned and held my interest. With each page turned I found myself wanted to read and learn more and look forward to the next installment of the Lesser Evil trilogy.

Author Links:

Website: http://www.pfdavids.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PFDavids

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pfdavids

Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14391176.P_F_Davids

 

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Paperback release of Grave Beginnings

Posted November 4, 2015

Grave BeginningsAfter much arm-twisting and nagging and encouraging and pleading, R.R.Virdi has finally released Grave Beginnings on paperback.

Priced at $14.99/£9.76 this book is a fast-paced read and worth every cent/penny. It has been on sale in ebook format since December 2013.

At the time of writing has amassed an amazing 107 reviews (some of which you can read for yourself if you scroll down a little).


The Blurb:

Thirteen…
As far as numbers go, it isn’t a great one. Hell, it’s not even a good one and Vincent Graves is going to find out just how unlucky of a number it can be.
Because someone, or something, is killing people in the Empire state, and whatever it is, it gives people everything they ever desired and more. And it’s the more that’s the problem!
Well…it’s one of the problems.
Vincent’s investigation also seems to have drawn the attention of a relentless FBI agent and then there’s the little bit where he has only thirteen hours to solve the case, or he dies.
Talk about your literal deadlines….
…No pressure.
By the end of this case Vincent will come to understand the meaning of an age old proverb: Be careful what you wish for – because you just might get it!


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The Reviews:

[goodreviews isbn=”B00HIN97WO” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


New Banner reveal and a ‘Thank You’.

Posted August 4, 2015

As much as I love the dragon eye image I’ve been using on this website it was only going to be for the short-term – basically until I got my act together and decided on the ‘look’ I wanted. Upon the recommendation of a couple of indie authors I’ve come to know, I was referred to Kat Mellon, a freelance designer of book covers, promotional artwork and of course banners (and she deserves a medal purely for making any sense of my 150 word ramble about the ‘look’ I was after).

This website caters for both science fiction and fantasy, and so, of course, I wanted a banner that would reflect both aspects. I liked the dragon’s eye, but I wanted a science fiction element to somehow blend with it, perhaps a spaceship, or a planet, perhaps even a futuristic city… basically, I was clueless, apart from the colour. I knew I wanted green.

That was the brief, and this is what the amazing Kat came up with:

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I had a choice of three finishes, but this was the one that drew my attention (and also the eyes of a good friend). I love the background with the planet and city, but that dragon… I just love it.

And now for the designer plug:

If you are an author looking for a cover or promo material (or a manner), I would seriously check Kat’s website out. She has a wide range of premade covers available at a reasonable price, offers a variety of different services and can work from the most confusing of briefs (mine being proof of that).

Here are Kat’s contact details (and I shall certainly be engaging her services for my other two websites and my book cover – when I eventually get around to writing and editing the wretched thing):

Website

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Excerpt: Blood in the Fire

Posted June 30, 2015

 

Liz scurried toward the backyard faster than a cockroach caught in a flashlight beam. Luke didn’t move a muscle as she left. He just stared off into the distance. Then, once she was gone, the hand he was resting on the dining table curled into a single trembling fist.

“It’s not easy parenting two teenagers, is it?” I asked. “Especially when one of them is me, and the other one can turn you into a rabbit.”

“Can she really do that?” Luke asked quietly. I walked around and took the seat Liz had occupied.

“I have no idea,” I replied. Finally, his gaze refocused, and he turned to me. His eyes glistened. They were fighting back tears.

My brother’s not soft. He’s the toughest guy I know. Tough enough to hold it together at our parents’ funeral because he thought we needed him to hide his fear. Did he think Liz and I didn’t know that his heart was breaking? And at the age of twenty, he abandoned his plans to go to college, got a job and took guardianship of my sister and me. That’s courage. But his face right now reflected the overwhelming burden that he bore on his shoulders. Liz nearly died and she was acting like the whole thing was no big deal.

“What am I doing?” he asked at last. “Aliens tried to kill Liz. They almost killed all three of us, and I just agreed to go along with her on some mission.”

I let out a long sigh. “She’s stubborn,” I said. “If you tell her she can’t use her magic, she’s just going to do it behind your back.”

Luke glared at me. “So my role as her guardian is to just go along with it?” he asked, tossing his arms into the air in frustration. “She makes the decision to fight in some kind of war, and I’m just supposed to say okay?”

He waited for an answer. Reassurances buzzed on the tip of my tongue, but I kept them to myself. My gaze fell on the kitchen faucet as I considered my response. I hadn’t tightened the knob and water dripped slowly into the sink.

Maybe if Luke pleaded with Liz long enough, she would see what she was doing to both of us and give in. But I knew better. Her obsession with magic consumed her. Enough to make her blind to Luke’s pain. The only thing I could do to improve the situation was reassure him.

I was about to remind Luke just how bad-ass our sister was. This was a girl who was feared by the thugs and bullies at her school. Real thugs, with blades and criminal records. She had a developed a reputation for being able to kick butt.

He chimed in before I could start. “When I was holding her and she fell unconscious. Her blood was all over the floor and my hands and shirt. I thought—”

“I know what you thought,” I interrupted. “I was there.” Neither one of us needed to relive the moments before my two fingers on her neck felt her weak pulse.

But Luke didn’t stop talking. “Then yesterday, you came home and asked me if she was here, then told me she wasn’t at the hospital, and I swear to God, Mark, for the first few moments, I thought it was another dream.” Why would Luke think he was dreaming? Then, I realized: he must have been having nightmares that resembled that exact scenario. We’d both shared the unspoken fear that the wizards would come back for her.

“Mark, there was a chance magical aliens had my sister,” he continued, “and what did I do? I cleaned dishes.”

“Well, those dishes had been piling up for a while,” I offered. Luke shot me an irritated glare. He was right; it wasn’t funny. It wasn’t like I had come up with any bright ideas last night either. I searched the hospital. Then I came home to see if she had found a way back here. When I learned she was still at large, all I did was plant my behind on the couch and stare at the damn wooden door. If she hadn’t walked through, I don’t know how long I would have sat there, hoping for good news.

“There was nothing you could do,” I said.

“No, you’re right!” Luke exclaimed. “Because I couldn’t call the cops and tell them aliens might be trying to kill my sister. Child services would have revoked my guardianship so fast, Liz would already be in a foster house.”

“She is sorry,” I said. “You know how scared she is of hospitals. She just wasn’t thinking straight.” I wondered if Luke could hear the steady drip of water too. It was out of sync with the ticking clock and the noise was driving me mad. Still, I didn’t move to fix it.

“Yeah, I know she’s sorry,” Luke said, softening his tone. “Sometimes she acts so mature, I forget she’s a fourteen-year-old teenager. I expect her to be an adult. Then she goes off, pulls a stunt like the one from last night, and I remember she’s still a kid.”

“Nah, she’s not a kid. She’s more mature than I am,” I countered. “Which is why I think we should give her a chance. It might even be fun.”

Luke smiled. “It’s not hard to be more mature than a college student who still watches Tom and Jerry cartoons between classes,” he ribbed. I smiled too. I knew Luke couldn’t pass up an opening to tease me, and I’d purposefully handed him that one on a silver platter.

“Hey, don’t you go knocking the genius that is cartoon physics,” I said. Even though Luke had smiled, his eyes were still sad.

“Look, Liz acts like this world of hers is no-big deal,” I continued. “Maybe it’s not. Maybe what happened was some freak act of nature and once you and I get a chance to look into it, it won’t seem so scary anymore.” Luke picked up the glass Liz had been drinking from and took it to the sink to rinse out. He turned the faucet on and finally the dripping was replaced by a steady stream of water. I kept talking. “I mean she’s been doing this for years and she’s never come home hurt before. Mom and Dad got her started for goodness sake. Would they have done that if she was in real danger?”

Luke nodded. He placed the clean cup on the towel by the sink and turned toward me. “Thanks bro,” he said, rustling my hair as he walked by.

“We’ll go with her and then we’re both gonna feel better about this whole thing,” I replied. Luke was already half way to his bedroom, but I kept talking. “And in the meantime, if we get to kick some alien wizard butt along the way, well how cool would that be?”

 

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Independently (self-published) books / book promotion

Posted June 15, 2015

It has taken me a while, but through the course of promoting books for free on my other site, and through several engagements with independent authors, I have come to a decision as to what direction to take with this site. While I am keen to continue writing about all things science fiction and fantasy (and subgenres thereof) I also intend to promote independent books with a high standard of writing.

At present, I am working my way through my book promotion website and checking Kindle samples for quality writing (and removing those that do not fit the criteria). I would, in a nutshell, like the book promotion I offer via my websites to be associated with quality, and I think this will help qualifying authors get their voices heard above the hundreds of thousands of other indie books – that’s the plan anyway.

So, with that said, if you know of any science fiction or fantasy books meeting the criteria, or are an author yourself, please feel free to submit your book for assessment here (it’s free).

 

 

Image courtesy of PublicDomainPictures.net


Tome Tender (Book Blog)

Posted January 18, 2015

Tome Tender book blogTome Tender book blog features books is several genres – Paranormal romance, historical romance,  contemporary romance, urban fantasy, romantic suspense, young adult, steampunk, fantasy, and paranormal fiction. Requests for reviews are available, and the guidelines for these are very clear and precise.

With a good number of followers, this networked blog features include author interviews, giveaways, covers and book related thoughts. The reviews are concise, and in addition to detailing basic information about the book, such as genre, page length and a brief synopsis,  the author’s review provides thoughts from the viewpoint of a reader.

Tome Tender book blog share their reviews on Facebook, Twitter, TumblrGoogle plus, and of course their blog.
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