Saturday, 18 October 2014

Authors Need to Advertise !

In addition to all the other work authors do, such as maintain writer  blogs/pages, tweet on twitter, interact on Goodreads, and keep an eye on trends and what’s selling, we also need to advertise ourselves; especially Indie authors!  If you’re working with a publisher who is putting out the word for you, that’s great. Here’s another possible advertising idea for all authors, though some of you are likely using this already.

I needed to advertise some kittens we have available to new homes, and I thought I should put up an ad for my short story, The Everlasting Spell while I was at it.

I’ve started with Kijiji in my local area here in Ontario, Canada.  I really like Kijiji because they’re a simple-to-use platform, and it only takes minutes to post. Best of all, they’re Free!  You can post an image of your book cover, and any other visuals you’d like to put alongside.  For an additional fee ($5.00/month where I am), you can place a link to your website.  Kijiji is available in Canada, Italy, Hong Kong, and Taiwan according to Wikipedia as of Oct 2014.  You can only post in your local home town area, but it could be worth it to find new readers.

Then I wondered about other free internet classifieds sites, and found another good one, Locanto. They are also free, and are available in more than 50 countries. You can pay for upgrades of course to increase visibility for your ad.  One online classifieds I wouldn’t recommend is  They are riddled with continuous ads of their own and I find the site quite junky.  You can also try Craigslist. I’ve heard good things about them, but lately a lot of complaints that people steal your emails, etc.

If you have more info or success stories, I'd love to hear about them in comments.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Wasteland by Lindsay Leggett

What an interesting new author!  In Lindsay Leggett’s second novel in her Flight series, Wasteland comes as a solid, well written progression of plot, characters, and action. Here we find ace harpy hunter, Piper Madden, now jailed by Rupert Elder and subjected to bio-drug experimentation.

The author uses an interesting scene-switching technique from this torturous present, intertwined with the story line of Piper’s past as she became an ace harpy hunter when her brother, David, was still alive, to advance two plot lines. This technique keeps the reader on their toes to follow each sequence along intermittently (I admit to being a little confused at times).

Leggett is a rapidly evolving writer as I find her style a curious mixture of mature, ambitious themes (corrupted use of war, issues with human mortality, and even transference of souls), and young-ish, expressions (‘freaking’, etc.) as well as homey traditions such as her mother baking homemade bread (in a post-apocalyptic world partly destroyed by radiation, and at war with mutated beings).

Wasteland moves Piper’s story from being the Corp’s top harpy hunter along to something much more frightening as she discovers the Elder Corp has just been feeding her lies. Now she uncovers unbearable truths, and is beset by betrayals, and is even biometrically implanted. To top all of this, the Elder Corp has already started war with the harpy kingdom and Piper’s world is on a collision course.  Her love, Asher, the harpy prince, is a little in the background here but he has enormous obstacles of his own.

I would have liked to see more description of the characters and some time spent on how the radiation occurred with its particular effects.  However, Lindsay Leggett is very good with modern tech like simulated reality training games, and her action sequences.

My very favourite part is that Asher takes a moment in time to bring Piper to his family’s palace, where she meets his mother, the Empress.  What a scene this would make! Leggett paints an interesting, magical feel to the harpy world.

Wasteland has a stunning, catastrophic climax, and I think the series would make a fantastic film. Now, on to book 3, Valkyrie!  Available at Amazon here.
Wasteland at Amazon

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

October is For Reading

Spring, summer, and into fall 2014 has been insanely busy, with scarcely a moment for reading/writing. It doesn’t help that with the fall arriving, I’m also really loving getting back to knitting. But things are finally smoothing out, and I’ve had a chance to read Nimbus, by Austin King, and B.J. Keeton.

Lately I’ve been drawn to reading Steampunk, as the sense of adventure on board a free flying air ship has tremendous appeal. All the gizmos and curious steam inventions just add to the experience, though it seems that writing Steampunk well is challenging.

Nimbus, Part 1, has been an intriguing read.  The authors have created a creditable world where people now live either in burrows below ground to escape a life-threatening fog  that covers a layer of the planet, or in sky ports that serve as connections for various air ships that travel back and forth, above the fog.  The Gangly Dirigible is one such air ship, and our main character, Jude,is  a hoser (crew that works hoses on board to suck up moisture vapour from clouds and rainstorms to collect clean drinking water) who works aboard her.

King and Keeton have done a really great job interweaving a second plot line that is about the governing body of the world, the High Prelate, Cornelius Rucca, and his son, Demetrius. There is a great mystery about them as the story begins with a curious scene where Demetrius is saved from certain death by an unknown force.  It seems we will not find out what this force is until another book, although we see this force in work through Demetrius in Part 1.

So, the best elements of this story are very good interweaving of two story lines which don’t meet in this part, and an interesting scenario in the death fog and how everyone lives around it. I really enjoyed the scene where the Gangly Dirigible is working through a terrible storm with tornado-style wind forces, even though there is loss.

On the other side is the near complete lack of description of our characters, or the air ship. One feels as though they are in a sort of vacuum not knowing what Jude looks like, or what sort of air ship he works on (aside from wooden decks).  I don’t know if this is a deal breaker, but I feel somewhat blind going through the adventure.
For adventure, story line, and world building I would give this four stars. For lack of being able to visualize the characters and world clearly, two stars. If you really love steampunk, this is still worth a read.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Pearl Savage
By Tamara Rose Blodgett

I was really taken with the unique future world presented in The Pearl Savage and for other reasons I’ll mention, I would recommend reading this book.  Princess Clara lives in a dome world in order to survive a past earth disaster. The domes are maintained by steam machines and Clara’s dome farms oysters and pearls for their food and wealth.

There’s nothing like an easily identifiable enemy to rally the reader to the heroine’s cause.   Clara’s mother, the Queen, is a cruel woman whose only grasp on daily life is to keep a wine bottle in one hand and disperse drunken ‘discipline’ with the other, especially upon Clara.  So I really feel for Clara who takes the option of not retaliating in order to keep a few of her friends close to her and not wreak havoc upon their lives. But it’s hard to deal with Queen Ada’s unrelenting viciousness.

As is common in royal families, Clara is to be engaged to Prince Frederick who also turns out to be equally vicious as the Queen; maybe worse since he’s sober.  Clara finally agrees with her good friend Charles and maid that to save her own life, she must breach the domes and venture out into the outer world.  Where the savages are.

Clara has already seen two savages who have dared to observe her from outside her personal quarters. She is even curiously attracted to one of them.

This intriguing story then relates how Clara bravely learns about the outer world of the so-called savages. She also has an unusual connection with the savage clans in the romance department.

Clara I think represents the sacred feminine or goddess principle.  This is most clearly shown in the scene where she is tested with some members of the savage clan to determine who should be her mate/king. While the scene is somewhat basic, the idea that the reproductive forces of a Select female are held in such high honour, really highlight and promote the idea that the goddess principle is sacred and of value. Whatever the weaknesses of this book, I commend Blodgett.

I didn’t like the level of violence that Clara endured as it seemed a bit much at times though I would also say this shows how the goddess principle is currently under attack as well. Clara endured with strength. I would have liked more description of what everyone looked like.  I found this an interesting premise if somewhat simplistic execution. Overall I found the book entertaining and it ends with a positive promise to be taken up in the next book, The Savage Blood (five books total in the series).

Favourite quote “Bravery was a matter of containing your fear while throwing away caution.” (pp 225 of 337).

Saturday, 15 March 2014

St. Patrick's Day Read

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 
I wanted to read something set in Eire or thereabouts and decided on The King's Druidess by Sky Purington. This is a short story or novelette prelude to Sky Purington’s MacLomain series (Fate’s Monolith, Destiny’s Denial and Sylvan Mist).  Purington also has written other series.

This novelette begins with a sensual scene of Chiomara (a druidess/diviner of the goddess Brigit) meeting King Erc for a mystical coupling in the circle of the stones before his forthcoming marriage. The king is very taken with her and Chiomara herself has had feelings for Erc for a long time; however, their destiny may not allow them to be together. Despite this, they will have a predestined child.

There are many Celtic elements to this short read that are interesting and overall it’s a nice story. Because it’s so short (listed at 48 pages), there isn’t time to develop things. For example, Chiomara is a druidess and while we see her pray to her patron, Brigit, the goddess of divination and that she blesses the bread of some of King Erc’s subjects, there is no other detail about her druid practices and what she’s capable of.

The time-travel element which comes in right at the end brings the reader up to speed for the next book but is written very quickly and I found it useful but not satisfying.
If you've enjoyed reading the MacLomain series and want a bit more (especially about birth origins), this is a nice tidbit but I’d wait for a free Amazon day to download it.  Nice cover.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

entangled in Romance Submissions Call

entangled in Romance has a submissions call for their 2014 Holiday Anthology ending on March 15, 2014.

It's hard to think about next Christmas as we try to get through the rest of this winter (which has been sooo cold this year). Time to write something spicy to warm things up!

They are looking for 15-20k about the holiday season in any era up to and including WWI.

Please see my new writer's calendar on page 4 of my blog for upcoming events and submissions in the publishing world too.
entangledinromance Call-for-Submissions-2014-Holiday-Anthology

Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentine's Review on Her Sweetest Downfall

Happy Valentine's Day!
I had the opportunity to read Her Sweetest Downfall by Rebecca Hamilton.

Rebecca Hamilton has a nice, smooth writing style that makes it a pleasure to read Her Sweetest Downfall quickly.  I haven’t read any of the other books in this series.  I would give this 3.5 stars. This novella can be read stand-alone but is clearly part of a more encompassing and bigger story.

The reader is launched into action straight away with the abduction of Ophelia by the mysterious Ethan of Rome who has the ability to travel via the inbetween anywhere in a few moments.  Ophelia is a sweet girl who nevertheless has some sass and sensibility.

I’m not sure how I feel about the premise of a heroine faced with the decision of having to become something she at least initially abhors (a Cruor elemental) in order to fulfill her own destiny and essentially save the world order. However, Ophelia at least questions this and other things to her credit.

Ethan is very gentlemanly in his role but we don’t really get to know much about him. He is very dedicated to what he sees as doing his duty.

Rebecca Hamilton uses this in-between novella in The Forever Girl series to flesh out the elemental mythology of Cruor, Chibold, Ankou, Morts and Strigoi races and the dual breed mixes that she writes about in this book series.  I found the ending a little convenient in face of the challenge presented but on a romantic level, satisfying. And the ending reads a bit rushed, as if Hamilton didn’t want to spend the time working on it.  I liked Her Sweetest Downfall as a sweet, short read despite not being a vampire-type book fan but am not sure that I will read the others.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

YA/NA Books Are Amazing!

I think this growing new category of books is fantastic as the scope and variety are practically limitless.  We see everything from contemporary romance to westerns, paranormal romance, sci-fi and really anything the imagination can conceive. I'll be watching trends over this year to see which of the sub-categories are selling better.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Book Review - FLIGHT by Lindsay Leggett

by Lindsay Leggett

Flight has a very unique premise. In this post-apocalyptic world, a part of the human race has mutated into a winged being, a harpy that feeds on regular humans. The Elder Corp. tries to protect humans from the harpies by using specialized human hunters to kill them.

Piper is the Corp’s premier, hard-as-nails, elite hunter who we find under cover at Ichton. Tortured with guilt over what she believes is her responsibility for her brother’s death, David, also a hunter, Piper struggles to put her life back together while adapting to a whole new situation where harpies are not killed and hunters face a weapons ban.

I really like Lindsay's unusual premise for Flight. She uses both flashbacks and dreams as plot devices to advance her story and keeps a good pace. As the story develops, we find out new twists at every turn, not the least of which is her love, Asher. He is very protective of her and all the while has to deal with issues as great if not greater than hers.

Lindsay's writing style is direct and sometimes gritty. And Piper is quite hard on herself and others at the beginning but as she gets to know new colleagues, she forms helpful alliances with them. I like that she grows through the story.

If you enjoy edgy stories with strong female leads, you will want to read Flight! I'm looking forward to the next book in the series to see how Piper and Asher take things to the next level and what the fallout with Elder Corp will be.

FLIGHT Available at Amazon