Thursday, December 29, 2011

December Indie Cover Art Poll- Vote and W * I * N 16 E-Books

Vote for your favourite from the fabulous list below and be put in a draw where you can win 16 e-books! One book from each of the authors who participate and one from me, the host of the poll. From me you can choose either Sundered or my new release, Dark Waters (Neither of which are a part of the actual voting).

You can only choose 1 cover as your favourite and you can only get a single entry, no matter how many times you comment.

The winner will be announced on January 5th and entries will be taken until midnight December 31st.

The winning cover art will then be displayed on all the other author’s blogs who have participated this month for a minimum of 1 blog post.

If you’d like to have your cover art involved in the January Indie Cover Art Poll, send the cover, a short blurb and one link to

Don't forget to leave your email address when you vote. Now, let the voting begin!

**If you are going to leave an Anonymous comment you MUST put in your email for the vote to count**

Lennie Cook’s father disappeared when she was a child, leaving her alone to survive her mother’s descent into alcoholism. After her mother’s death, a letter surfaces among her mother’s things, giving Lennie her first clue to her father’s fate. He has taken the “iron road” to protect Lennie from a mysterious legacy that has haunted the Cook family for more than a century. Torn between anger and longing for her missing father, Lennie resolves to find him and learn the truth.

But when Lennie follows her father into a world of trains, hobos, prophecy, gangbangers, mythical beings, railroad detectives, and a living, breathing Fate, she finds that the truth is more horrific than she ever imagined. To save her father – and save the world – she must defeat Fenrir and right the wrongs of her ancestor.

To learn more click on --> # 1

When shy and retiring Llandry Sanfaer discovers a mesmerising new gemstone, she suddenly becomes the most famous jeweller across the Seven Realms. Demand for the coveted stone escalates fast; when people begin dying for it, Llandry finds that she herself has become a target.

Lady Evastany Glostrum has her life in pristine order. Prestigious, powerful and wealthy, she is on the verge of crowning her successes with the perfect marriage. But when her closest friend is murdered for the jewellery she wears, Eva is drawn into the mystery surrounding the curious "istore" gem.

To learn more click on --> # 2

A dark power described in Genesis revisits a small mountain town.

A journalist who witnessed an evil presence searches for answers.

He finds a town succumbing to supernatural forces.

Now, an evil prophesy may be fulfilled by the Nephilim.

To learn more click on --> # 3

Marcila doesn't fit in on her home island of Slinaria. When she finds out her father abandoned her as a toddler, she goes to the mainland to search for him.

She discovers magic is more than myth and learns wonders beyond comprehension. But when a young caden, a magical creature with unlimited power and a simple mind comes into her life, she cannot ignore the urge to help him.

But there are those who want to kill the peace-loving cadens and bring about their demise. With the help of mages and civilians she meets, she makes plans to stop the caden killings.

To learn more click on --> # 4

Mandy Hardy lost more than a breast to cancer; she lost her fiancé when he dumped her a week before her mastectomy. Her ego bruised and her self-esteem battered, Mandy’s sure she’ll never fall in love again.

Justin Seward is a headstrong Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer with a heart of gold and the supernatural ability to command the seas. He had to hide his feelings while Mandy was engaged to his best friend. Now that she’s free, he’s vowed to make her his.

Together, they may hold the key to each other’s salvation. But when Justin’s past catches up with him, and Mandy’s ex-fiancé wants vengeance, they realize they might not live long enough for happily ever after.

To learn more click on --> # 5

Zoë Merrick wakes up after she is murdered, and is surprised to find she is not only alive - but transformed. Even more unexplainable are the new abilities she has no control over.

It's not until a handsome and arrogant man named Justus walks into her life that Zoë discovers she is no longer human, but like him - a Mage. Forced to trust him, she must come to terms with accepting her new life and identity.

When her immortal freedom is threatened by the one man who has a right to claim her, Zoë learns the price of freedom...and the value of loyalty.

To learn more click on --> # 6

How far would a villain go to help a friend? Lord Arkus of Blackriver Castle thinks doing three heroic deeds is a bit too far.

Not only it’s plain detestable, it can ruin his reputation and get him in trouble with the Villains League. On the other hand, it’s not like he’s got friends to spare. And losing the League’s membership isn’t the end of the world, one can always work independently.

To learn more click on --> # 7

The Aetelia – now known as angels – are returning. Following a fateful night of violence, Matty DiCamillo finds herself drawn into this world by a mysterious savior, who becomes a driving force in Matty’s new life.

Both driven by and fighting the prophecy that lay out her destiny, Matty, her lover Kristy, and her best friend Daniel accompany this mysterious woman on a journey that crosses time and space. Matty soon discovers that her savior may not be what she seems, and that even the denizens of this twilight world have no idea what lurks behind the stage dressing of reality. Matty finds herself racing to rescue the woman she loves and learning that she herself could cause the Universe’s day of reckoning.

To learn more click on --> # 8

Today electricity is delivered wirelessly, a technological revolution that saved the world from a drastic energy shortage. One company has the monopoly to deliver this power through the air, but this stranglehold thrusts thousands of cities and millions of people into an eternal blackout.

Luke Kincaid’s hometown wasn’t the first to be forced off the grid, but when the blackout leads directly to his parent’s deaths, Luke has just one company and one man to blame. It’s time to fight back.

To learn more click on --> # 9

In the west the ancient empire of Prast crumbles, an old man too sick to climb out of his deathbed. In the east an upstart nation of sun worshipers spread their heathen ways, swallowing up city-states and small kingdoms as they tread ever closer to Prast’s borders. War is inevitable. A war greater and more bloodthirsty than any seen since the old gods left the world.
And yet, war is as nothing compared to the greatest danger.

The Shadowland.

Only one man carries the key to stopping the Shadowland’s progress. A man battered and scarred from his years alone in its deadly grasp. To stop it he must first make a friend of his greatest enemy…

To learn more click on --> # 10

Annie Hynes is a tomboy. Naïve and love-starved, she’ll soon to be celebrating her big 3-0. Something needs to be done! Celi, her guardian angel appears to help kick-start Annie’s big change. Annie becomes embroiled with new associates and hooked on the power of big business. Unfortunately, overwork forces her to ignore old friends, and her lapse places someone she cares about in terrible danger.

Social Worker, Tyler Jones, signals disinterest in women, and only wants Annie in his life as a good buddy, and to help with his mixed-up street kids. Perversely, once her life alters, he misses her like hell. In one sweet night of loving everything changes. But, due to an overabundance of nightcaps, she doesn’t remember the night he can’t forget.

To learn more click on --> #11

J.J. Graves has seen a lot of dead bodies in her line of work...

She's not only in the mortuary business, but she's also the coroner for King George County, Virginia. When a grisly murder is discovered in the small town of Bloody Mary, it's up to J.J. and her best friend, Detective Jack Lawson, to bring the victim justice.

When a popular mystery writer shows up on J.J.'s doorstep with plans of writing his new book about the Bloody Mary Serial Killer, J.J. has to decide if he might be going above and beyond the call of duty to create the spine tingle’s he's so well known for.

J.J and Jack discover each victim had a shocking secret—secrets that make her a perfect target in a deadly game.

To learn more click on --> # 12

When Leila moves to her new home, all she wants is a family, a place to belong. Instead she discovers the local ancient myths of the telesa spirit women are more than just scary stories. The more she finds out about her heritage, the more sinister her new home turns out to be. Embraced by a Covenant Sisterhood of earth's elemental guardians - what will Leila choose? Her fiery birthright as a telesa? Or will she choose the boy who offers her his heart? Daniel - stamped with the distinctive tattoo markings of a noble Pacific warrior and willing to risk everything for the chance to be with her. Can their love stand against the Covenant Keeper?

To learn more click on --> # 13

Callie is shocked when she is ripped from her home in the middle of the night. She is taken to a city that she never knew existed only to find that she is actually a fairy. Not just any fairy, but one destined to become queen of the fairies.

The only problem is the current queen is a cruel tyrant and Callie will have to fight for the title that she was meant for. She would love nothing more than to go back to being the normal human girl that she always thought that she was. When tragedy strikes, Callie finds that she no longer knows who she can trust. She must learn to survive on her own, dealing with the struggles of life and love for the first time. Will it be more than she can bear?

To learn more click on --> # 14

Cursed with endless drowsiness, Enchantress Hiresha sleeps more than she lives. Since she never has had a chance to raise a family, she sometimes feels like every woman is pregnant except for her. This time, she is right.
From virgin to grandmother, all the women in her city have conceived. One unexpected pregnancy is a drama; fifty thousand is citywide hysteria.
A lurking sorcerer drains power from the unnatural pregnancies, and Hiresha must track him by his magic. Unfortunately, her cultured education in enchantment ill equips her to understand his spellcraft, which is decidedly less than proper. The only person uncivilized enough to help is the Lord of the Feast, a dangerous yet charming illusionist. Associating with him may imperil Hiresha’s city, yet refusing his help will allow the sorcerer to leech godlike power from the mass births

To learn more click on --> # 15

Review Dark Waters- Celtic Legacy, and W * I * N B * I * G

To celebrate the release of Dark Waters I am going to have a review drive, just like I did for Sundered.

Only this time, the Grand Prize is cold, hard, Amazon Gift Certificates.

$150 to one luck winner, and 5 $10 gift certificates to runners up.

How do you get in on this fabulous contest? There’s no purchase necessary, you can sign up for my NEWSLETTER (Which only goes out once a month) to get 1 entry into this contest. How do you sign up? You can leave a comment below with your email, you can email me at to tell me you want to be a part of my newsletter OR you can sign up off my Facebook Fan Page.

Want another free entry? “Like” my Facebook Fan page and I’ll give you an additional entry.

Now, you can get EVEN MORE entries just by purchasing Dark Waters. (Which by the way is only .99 for the last 3 days of 2011) Email me your POP for 10 entries into the contest.

Write me a review on Amazon, email me the link, and get an additional 20 entries!!

Phew. That’s a lot of chances to win, so good luck, and happy reading.

This contest is open internationally, and will run from December 29th/2011 – January 29th 2012. Winners
will be announced February 5th 2012.

*All reviews and purchase links NOT emailed to me will NOT be entered into the contest.*

*Entries through Facebook and the Newsletter sign up need not send any additional emails in order to be entered into the contest*

Thursday, December 22, 2011

#IndieBookBlowout Final thoughts

I was lucky enough to be a part of IBB 12 days of Christmas Event which has been a total blast! If you haven't checked it out yet, you should. Like, immediately following the reading of this post! ;p

By Ryan Bibby-
With that in mind, there are TONS of great books, Sundered included in that list that are only .99. In fact, in order to win the Kindle, all you have to do is sign up for their newsletter, which gives you even more chances to win. It's Crazy, I know.

But, anyway, on to the meat of the post. Was the money I put out for the promotion worth it?

I paid for the $100 level, which gave me good exposure, an optimization class which if you read my previous posts(Why your Cover Sucks and it's Killing your sales), you can see the results with my HUGE cover change, it's given me a chance to rub elbows with a Kindle Bestselling Author, Carolyn McCray and absorb some of her knowledge, I've met a ton of other authors AND, for once, I didn't have to do ALL the work. :)

So, would I recommend this type of promotion to other authors?

Yes, I would. I've seen my exposure increase along with my sales which is the whole point, right?

IBB has been easy to work with, very much concerned with helping the authors get the most bang for their buck and really, overall, very, very willing to go the extra mile to help.

Psst. Here's the new cover for Bound, since you're here, let me know what you think!

By Ryan Bibby-

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Why Your Cover Sucks, AND it's killing your sales

Harsh, I know, but the truth often stings us in our most sensitive bits.

You know, right in our babies, our books, our belief that we have the BEST cover art EVER.

And, it's all a lie.

Now, you have to realize this has ZERO to do with your cover artist. That's right, zero. This problem has to do with YOU (and by you I mean me too) not being able to give your cover artist something to work with.

For instance, my book, Sundered, originally had a very cool cover. This one, right here.

It took TALENT to produce this cover, something I do not have. What I also didn't have was an understanding of what I would NEED to have on the cover in order for it to sell to my MARKET.

This book cover is great, but it really doesn't sell to my market, which is ZOMBIES and monsters. Much as there is a romance in the book, that is just a bonus.

It took some advice from Carolyn McCray, bestselling Kindle author and her Optimization Workshop to set me straight.

What I learned blew my mind. NO, really it did. As proud as I was of Sundered's cover, it wasn't helping me sell my book. It was scaring away potential readers because the book cover said one thing (erotic romance apparently ;) while the blurb said Zombies, Monsters and high action. A contradiction that scared readers off.

So I took Carolyn's advice and had a second cover done. Again, a talented artist, but THIS time, I knew what I was looking for. Zombie, monsters, freaky looking.  I knew my market better, understood what my readers were looking for and I gave it to them.

Now, what did the cover change do for me? It increased sales by 800%. Yes, you read that right.  Because now, what I show my potential readers and what the blurb says MATCHES.

All because I finally had someone tell me the truth. My cover art sucked because I didn't recognize my market and wasn't able to then give the ideas to my artist and it was KILLING my sales.

So, now that you see the two covers together, both by VERY talented artists, what do you think? Which one would you buy?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Indie Book Blowout- Books, Kindles and Cash

This is pretty straight forward. A whole bunch of .99 Indie Authors got together for a couple of promotions and YOU, our readers can double dip on the prizes!

The first site is the 12 Days of Christmas Indie Book Blowout where you have the largest selection of all genres. Lots, and lots of books! And yes, Sundered is there with its NEW COVER. You can win a BRAND NEW KINDLE through this giveaway, just for joining the newsletter!

The Second site is the 12 Days of Christmas Extra, Secret, Special Giveaway where you can enter to win a Kindle Fire OR a $200 Amazon Gift Card! Sundered is here too with the new cover. :)

So what are you waiting for? Go get yourself some prizes!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Saying "Goodbye" to my Agent

Wow, never thought I'd title a post with that.

I know that some of you are grabbing your head in your hands, screaming at the computer. "Why?" I would have been that person not so long ago.

Here's the long and the short of it.

 Advances in traditional market are low right now. Really, really low. Why would I tie up a novel in a one to two year process for $2500 (on a good day) when I could put it out myself; in that two year period make that same money, and then some, on my own? That route doesn't make as much sense as it once did, nor is it as potentially profitable.

 Would you rather chase after a publishing house or have them come to you? I choose to HOPE that by publishing on my own, they will come to me. And if they don't? I'll survive. I'll just need each of you to buy 10 books. ;p

The traditional world of publishing is 1, maybe 2 books a year. With the way things are now, readers don't have the patience they once did to wait for a year. We should be putting out (this is from a kindle bestseller) 3-4 books a year if you want to keep your readers from forgetting about you and moving on to the next authors work.

You'll never get that with a traditional publisher.

Finally, and most importantly, my agent just didn't have time for me, as much as she made a last ditch effort to connect with me. I've been with her for over a year, the last 7 months she's been MIA due to personal issues, but even before that, I was having to dodge her heels to make things happen. That is not my job. My job is to write. I'm grateful she thought well enough of me to take me on, but that isn't enough, not in this market.

So that's it, those are my reasons without getting into the nitty, gritty detailas as to why I left my agent, and am striking out completely on my own. Maybe you have reasons, different than mine, to go indie too?

Monday, December 05, 2011

A book Promotion: What worked, What didn't and Who cashed in.

*This is a couple of days early, but since I had it ready, I decided to announce it today along with the winners*

The quick and dirty version of how the promotion was laid out was this.--> Four books pushed over two days to get their Amazon rankings hopefully high enough that they would catch fire and keep going. What we were hoping for was a snowball effect. If you want the long version of the contest, click here.

How the promo got set up.--> We put a call out for bloggers, asking them to put up a post for us that we would prep ahead of time. All the bloggers had to do was cut and paste. For doing that, the blogger with the most comments on their blog got a $20 Amazon gift card.
There were great prizes and overall it went pretty well.

Here are the numbers.

• 75 bloggers participated

• The top selling book sold 45 books, 22 on day one, 23 on day two- Best Ranking was 4800 overall

• The next best selling book sold 35 books, 20 on day one, 15 on day two- Best ranking was 5700 overall

• The next best selling book sold 26 books, 14 on day one 12 on day two- Best ranking was 7500 overall and this book also ended up #49 in their category of top 100

• The last book sold 23 books, 11 on day one, 12 on day two – Best ranking was 8500 overall

• Total book sales between the four books was 129.

What worked--- Offering Amazon Gift cards as a prize
Getting other bloggers on board

Having multiple authors

How we had the participants enter

What didn’t work --We had almost a 20% drop out rate of bloggers, people who signed up to help and didn’t follow through. Apparently this is common and asking around, we actually had a very low drop out rate. It is usually closer to 50%.

Never use anything except blind carbon copy when conversing with all the bloggers (BCC) I mistakenly put the group into the “to” section and then people hit reply all and then the poop hit the fan. It was my mistake, but it pissed people off and I think it’s where I lost a few bloggers.

The sales were good, but not fantastic. When other groups have done this, they are hitting closer to 80 sales per day which gives them the snowball effect which we didn’t quite manage. This I think was in part to the two day spread.

Would I do this again/was it worth it? Yes and yes. Sales are sales and readers are readers, even if there was only 5 per book, that is still 5 readers we didn’t have before.

I would change how many days we did this, condensing it to a single day, lots more advertising of the contest well before the day it happens, I would start planning it more than a week and a half in advance and I would try to get at least 300 bloggers signed up. If I’m going to assume that half of them won’t follow through, you have to go big. We were lucky by all accounts to have fabulous bloggers who stuck to their word!! :D I would have the promo on the weekend, when sales already tend to be high and I would find a way to encourage people to go to the participating blogs. Lots to think about.

Now, on to the good stuff. The winners!!

The blog with the most comments belongs to Reena Jacobs!

The first $5 Amazon Gift Card goes to Lynn Hallbrooks and her comment on The Beauty Brat

The Second $5 Amazon Gift Card goes to Stina Lindenblatt and her comment on Heather McCorkle’s Blog

And the grand prize of $100 goes to Crystal Fulcher AND because she bought all 4 books she gets a bonus of $25.

Thank you everyone for participating, the event could not have happened without all the support from the bloggers, readers and tweeters!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Humility? In writers? You must be thinking of someone else. . .

I am a naturally confident woman. That is good, but it can also get me into trouble. Yes, in that picture, I would be the cat . . .

November has taught me humility. I cannot do it all. I am not super woman who can type three novels at a time, while promoting a fourth, while plotting a fifth, while editing a sixth, while participating in Nanowrimo, while running my business that pays the bills, while taking care of my farm, while getting in enough sleep not to lose my mind. Amongst other things that I shall not name now for fear you will think me nuts.

I do no like to fail. But, November taught me that if I try to do all the things on my to-do list in one shot, none of those things will be done to the high standards I hold myself to.

If I want to be seen as a writer who puts only good books out (always the goal) I have to realize my limitations. I will always push them, that is just who I am, but I also have to acknowledge when enough is enough.

So, thanks November, for kicking my ass and teaching me that it's okay to let go, to focus on just one project, complete it and then start another. It was a tough lesson, but one I needed to learn, even if it was the hard way.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Support Four Debut Authors and Snag $125

Four books

Two Days

Great Prizes

With this contest, there is something for everyone and it’s SO simple to be in on the winning!

On November 28 and/or 29, purchase 1 or all 4 of the debut author’s books listed here. Then forward proof of purchase (the receipt Amazon sends you will do just fine) to : and get up to 4 entries into a draw for a $100 Amazon gift card.

It’s that easy, no reviews, no hoops to jump through. Just a great .99 book or two. Or three or four. AND, if the person who wins the $100 Amazon Gift Card has purchased all 4 books, an additional $25 Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to the winner!

On top of that, 2 random commenter’s picked from 2 of our participating blogs will receive $5 gift Amazon gift cards . So, be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think of the promo, the books, or the authors.

Winners will be chosen randomly, one entry per person, per book.

All winners will be announced on December 7th on Wringing Out Words

“Between” by Cyndi Tefft

It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water's life isn't alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile, and Scottish accent.

After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.

Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven's siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries.


“Until Dawn: Last Light” by Jennifer Simas

When darkness falls, whose side will you be on?

For the past six years, Zoë has been anything but “normal.” Struggling to accept her immortality and thrown into a war that’s been waging in the shadows for over a thousand years, Zoë must now become who she was meant to be, joining the other Chosen to save what’s left of humanity. When the endless night falls over the Earth, will she be able to save the one man who reminds her of what it is to be human, or will it be too late?

Until Dawn: Last Light is a story of death and despair, love and longing, hope and hopelessness, and the ability to survive and keep going even when it seems impossible – when you want nothing more than to give up.


“The Kayson Cycle” by Jonathan D. Allen

A stranger enters a dying town and makes a desperate plea…

The Kayson Cycle introduces the Kayson Brothers, a pair of faith healers who once wowed crowds in a traveling show but went their separate ways after a night in which a healing took a dark turn. Jeffrey Kayson disappeared into the wilderness and William Kayson, wracked by guilt, moved to the failing mining town of Calico Hills to build a nice, quiet life – one that has lasted for over ten years.

His quiet, predictable life crumbles when a mysterious stranger walks into his tavern bearing a proposal to find his long-lost brother and do the one thing that William has sworn to never do again - have his brother heal a woman. William soon learns that he can’t escape his family – or his destiny.

Includes an exclusive sample chapter of The Corridors of the Dead. Please note that this is a Kindle Single, and around 6,000 words in length.


“Sundered” by Shannon Mayer

A miracle drug, Nevermore, spreads like wildfire throughout the world allowing people to eat what they want, and still lose weight. It is everything the human population has ever dreamed of and Mara is no different. Only a simple twist of fate stops her from taking Nevermore.

As the weeks roll by, it becomes apparent that Nevermore is not the miracle it claimed. A true to life nightmare, the drug steals the very essence that makes up humanity and unleashes a new and deadly species on the world that is bent on filling its belly. Locked down within their small farm home, Mara and her husband Sebastian struggle against increasingly bad odds, fighting off marauders and monsters alike.

But Sebastian carries a dark secret, one that more than threatens to tear them apart, it threatens to destroy them both and the love they have for each other.

Now Mara must make the ultimate choice. Will she live for love, or will she live to survive?


And, finally but far from least, here is a list of our FABULOUS bloggers who have been so generous in helping spread the word about this contest.

The Immortal words of Doctor Fab

Call Sign: Wrecking Crew on the Run

Labotomy of a Writer

The Romanceaholic

Micheal Young: The Canticle

J Keller Ford: Dreamweaver’s Cottage

Scott Bury: Jambalian

Dreaming Dreams no Mortal ever Dared

Ren’s Blogging About


Horror. Punk. Buddhism.

Between the Pages Reviews

Live by the Pen, Die by the Pen

Fictional Distraction Book Reviews

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Announcing a Kindle Fire Or Nook Tablet Give-A-Way

Trish McCallan is the author of "Forged in Fire" and she has some great prizes for her readers that she has asked me to share with you, my readers!

Two months ago I launched my debut romantic suspense Forged in Fire.

As a new author with no fan base, and no name recognition I thought it would take Forged several months to connect with readers. Instead, readers across the globe have embraced the book and I’m feeling incredibly blessed.

As I type this, Forged in Fire is #8 in bestselling romantic suspense novels within the Kindle Store. This is a huge thrill to me since it’s outselling all the new releases of my traditionally published idols. (At least in the Kindle Store!) Forged also has 53 reviews on Amazon, 47 rankings and reviews on Goodreads, eight on Barnes and Noble, three on iBook and numerous reviews posted on blogs across the internet.

In appreciation of my readers’ tremendous support, I will be holding a drawing for a new Kindle Fire, or Barnes and Noble Color Tablet. (Winner’s preference) This giveaway will include a $25.00 gift certificate so the winner can download some new reading material to their new e-reader. The winner will be chosen on December 19th, by random draw.

To enter this drawing all you need to do is send me a review of a self-published book. Ranking does not matter. The book reviewed does NOT have to be mine. Any self-published book, with any ranking will enter you in the drawing. The more reviews you send in, the more chances you have in the drawing.

The only reviews that will not be eligible for this drawing are reviews on self-published works that were previously published through a different publisher. This drawing is for reviews on new work that has not been previously published.

This contest is open to readers outside the United States as well, although in some cases a gift certificate of equal value may need to be substituted.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will address it. Please send all emails with reviews attached to

Good luck to everyone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shagging the Muse with author Jonathan Allen

It's always exciting to learn about an author and I am happy to have Jonathan Allen on my blog today so you can have just that chance.

1.First off, tell us about your writing. Is this a full time career or are you writing on the side while doing a “day job”?

That’s always such a tricky question to answer, because the answer is somewhere in between. I do write full-time for a living, as both a technical writer and a freelance writer (mostly handling government reports and analyses), so on some level I guess that makes me a full-time writer. The thing is, I’d also like to be a full-time novelist, which in my mind is very different. Still, I try to bring some of my fiction writing sensibilities to my technical writing job. It’s not that hard to weave an effective narrative out of even simple directions, if you use the language correctly.

2. The Kayson Cycle, tell us about the novel and how long it took you from start to up to the point where you are getting it on Amazon.

The Kayson Cycle arose from my entry in the Rule of Three Renaissance Blogfest. I’ve been knee-deep in editing my next book, due out at the end of November, as well as working on the next book, so I don’t know what I was thinking taking on another story, even if it is a short story. In the end, though, I fell in love with the characters and the situation. That always holds my interest, and so the story took roughly a month from start to publication.

The story itself is about a bartender (Kayson) who once worked with his brother performing faith healing in a traveling show. Twelve years after they go their separate ways and his brother vanishes into the desert, a strange man walks into Kayson’s bar. This man says he knows the location of Kayson’s long-lost brother, but needs his help in recruiting his brother to heal the stranger’s wife, who is dying of a plague that’s sweeping the countryside. What follows is a roller-coaster ride of betrayal, death, and redemption.

3. Favourite munchy food/beverage while working on your writing, we all have at least one so spill!

Haha! Only one? Seriously, I’m a fiend for any sort of Mountain Dew. Caffeine has always been the writer’s friend and I unfortunately can no longer have coffee, so I take what I can get. I’m also completely addicted to Nerds candy, and no longer allow them near my desk since I can’t be sane about them!

4. What sparked your interest in writing, what made you think, “hey, I could do that”.

I started out very young, so it’s kind of hard to pinpoint exactly what it was, but I do know that the 1982 film Tron sparked my interest in a sequel, so I started writing up my own version of the sequel. That would have been either in 1982 or 1983, when I was 6 or 7. Since then, it’s just been a matter of refining what I do. So yes, I basically started in fanfiction, at a very young age.

5. Favourite classic book and then favourite modern book.

Classic, I’d go with the Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi) by Hermann Hesse. There’s a great description of exactly why I like it on Amazon: “The book is an intricate bildungsroman about humanity's eternal quest for enlightenment and for synthesis of the intellectual and the participatory life.” That sort of thing has always fascinated me – looking at how we pursue that which is larger than ourself. Modern book, without a doubt, is Imajica by Clive Barker. The depth of imagination and world building in that book is without parallel.

6. Thing you like the least about the publishing world right now.

Oh, no, this is a surefire way to get me started. In fact, my problem might be narrowing it down. I suppose my least-favorite part would be the methods by which traditional publishing refuses to acknowledge that the world is changing around them – why does it cost more to buy an eBook from the Big Six than a paperback? It makes no sense unless they’re protecting the hardcover market, something that I’ve thought should long be obsolete.

7. Thing you like the best about the publishing world right now.

The newfound community among writers. I think there’s always been something of that going on, between corresponding and conferences, but now we have ways to support one another instantly – whether it’s helping with marketing, cheering on a friend with writer’s block, or participating in group writing challenges. It’s really heartening.

8. Any writing habits/superstitions or quirks you’d like to share?

I constantly change my writing habits. It’s a side-effect of ADHD. One week dictating a scene full out of my head works; the next week I need to have complete silence, darkness, and candle light only. These seem to run in cycles, but I can’t figure out what triggers them, aside from the approaching darkness of Autumn prompting that last approach. One of the most important methods for figuring out which approach works at the moment, however, is mood. The more aware I am of my emotional tone, the better I can figure out what will work. At the moment, I’ve dropped back into the habit of dictating a scene, then shaping it when I transcribe it.

9. What can we expect to see next from you and your writing?

My first full-length novel, The Corridors of the Dead, the first in the Among the Dead trilogy, should be out by 11/30. I’ve always been fascinated with alternate histories, and for those who don’t know, there is a system of magick called the Enochian system, so named for Enoch, from the Old Testament, who was ascended straight to Heaven. Enoch wrote a book that was cut from the Old Testament that told the story of the rebel angels, known as the Watchers, who came to Earth and bred with humans. I’d always been fascinated with the concept, and I wondered what it would be like to make them angels in name only – instead a flawed race that was given the keys to the universe but don’t really understand why or how. The Corridors of the Dead explores a young woman who gets drawn into their world as their “Chosen One” and what she finds behind the veil that even the Watchers couldn’t penetrate, getting to the question of what it even means to be a messiah and bear the burden of history. It’s also LGBT friendly, as I’ve tried to portray the lesbian protagonist in a non-exploitative light, so I’m hoping that some in the LGBT community can embrace it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November Indie Cover Art Poll

Vote for your favourite and be put in a draw where you can win 16 e-books! One book from each of the authors who participate and one from me, the host of the poll. You can only choose 1 cover as your favourite and you can only get a single entry, no matter how many times you comment.

The winner will be announced on November the 15 and entries will be taken until noon on the 15th.

The winning cover art will then be displayed on all the other author’s blogs who have participated this month for a minimum of 1 blog post.

If you’d like to have your cover art involved in the December Indie Cover Art Poll, send the cover, a short blurb and one link to

Don't forget to leave your email address when you vote. Now, let the voting begin!

**If you are going to leave an annonymous comment you MUST put in your email for the vote to count**

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.


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Denver Detective Bobby Macaulay has faced down a truckload of tragedy over recent years.
After the man who ruined his leg and killed his first partner is executed, Macaulay becomes the lead detective investigating the Sloan's Lake murders. The method of killing is so heinous it leads Macaulay and his partner down an ever-darkening path--one that must be traversed if they are to discover the evil forces behind the slaughter.
Just when Bobby Macaulay is questioning the very career that has been his salvation, he will discover a heroic history buried within his own family roots: The Clan MacAulay--a deep family lineage of protectors at the very core of a millenniums-long war against unimaginable evil.


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In a strange world of myth and magic, one name is feared above all others: GNARL, wielder of the Crimson Battle Axe. Sworn defender of his people, the Biroc, for over a century Gnarl has cut down enemies with his flaming battle axe. Gnarl must put aside his differences with the humans and all the other races of his world to have any chance of success against the greatest evil his world has ever known- the Dark Lord Nobis. Gnarl faces death at every turn, though inconceivably, the fate of the world may rest upon Gnarl’s unusual relationship with the lovely young human female whom Gnarl improbably calls friend.
The Crimson Battle Axe, a sword-and-sorcery hero story about justice versus vengeance, love versus apathy, forgiveness versus bitterness, and good versus evil. Through fantastic battles and tender moments, with humor and unlikely friendship, five travelers follow their destiny on an amazing quest.

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A gel-like substance is discovered by DHS across the country and tested to figure out just what it is. The goo is very complex; the scientists conclude it is not of this planet. They realize it can clone animals--even humans. When new people are cloned, they 'arrive' with no knowledge, memories or clothes. They are found by DHS and contained on an abandoned military base. While contained, the clones discover themselves and the world around them--or as much as DHS will allow. They also receive a message that was hidden in the goo. When the message is triggered for one of the clones, Sue, she decides that she must deliver it... and escapes from the base.


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# 5

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Edward Caulfield was not a simple man. Losing his wife early in their marriage he continued to live his life as a shrine to her. In his twilight years he encountered a troubled young woman. There were lessons to be learned from each other. With the spirit of his deceased wife by his side Edward Caulfield left behind a legacy in his words to ease a troubled heart.


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   Blake Harrison:
Rich, titled, and charming… And in need of a wife by Wednesday so he turns to Sam Elliot who isn’t the business man he expected. Instead, Blake is faced with Samantha Elliot, engaging and spunky with a voice men call 900 numbers to hear.
Samantha Elliot:
Owner of Alliance, her matchmaking firm, and not on the marital menu... That is until Blake offers her ten million dollars for a one-year contract. All she needs to do is keep her attraction to her husband to herself and avoid his bed. But Blake’s toe-curling kisses and charm prove too difficult to combat. Now she needs to protect her heart so she can walk away when their mercenary life together is over.

# 7
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Ten-year-old Nathan Rockledge cannot catch a break. After all, life as a fourth-grader can be hazardous what with science projects to deal with and recess football games to avoid. Everyone, including his best friend Tommy, seems to have bad luck when hanging around Nathan. Throw in an older sister who is a royal pain, a dad who is stuck in the past, and a mom who keeps trying to poison him with her awful cooking, and poor Nathan’s life as a fourth grader appears to be completely doomed.

Armed only with his sketchpad, his imagination, and his wits, Nathan Rockledge navigates the perils of the fourth grade in style, to emerge heroic, as Nate Rocks, proving that even a ten-year-old can accomplish great things.


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Marion is an incompetent witch who thinks she needs magic to deal with a homicidal ex-boyfriend. Except, all her magic does is blow up love potions. Aidan is a cursed elf who believes protecting Marion is the ticket back to his life in Fairy. When they finally realize what they really need is each other, it might be too late.

# 9

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Beth Brown doesn’t believe in premonitions until she dreams a sexy stranger is gunned down during the brutal hijacking of a commercial airliner. When events in her dream start coming true, she heads to the flight’s departure gate. To her shock, she recognizes the man she’d watched die the night before. Lieutenant Commander Zane Winters comes from a bloodline of elite warriors with psychic abilities. When Zane and two of his platoon buddies arrive at Sea-Tac Airport, he has a vision of his teammates’ corpses. Then she arrives—a leggy blonde who sets off a different kind of alarm.
As Beth teams up with Zane, they discover the hijacking is the first step in a secret cartel’s deadly global agenda and that key personnel within the FBI are compromised. To survive the forces mobilizing against them, Beth will need to open herself to a psychic connection with the sexy SEAL who claims to be her soul mate.


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Convinced a fresh start is all she needs to escape the problems at home, seventeen-year-old Jenna Lyons runs away in the middle of the night. But when her car breaks down on the outskirts of La Grange, Missouri, population less than a thousand, she gets sucked into the small town, and one family in particular. Jenna discovers there’s a liar in La Grange, and he’s deceived everyone. Now she must decide whether to run away from the truth, or blow his secret wide open.

# 11

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In the Fall of 2001, John’s life has fallen off a cliff. His six- year-old daughter, Lucy, needs a kidney transplant and his Durham, NC travel agency has been wrecked by the events of 9/11. He must find a way to secure a large amount of money quickly in order to pay for Lucy’s surgery. He’s been in tight places before but he’s currently out of solutions. Wanda, a client of John’s travel agency, has had her livelihood hit hard by 9/11 also. She can no longer transport cocaine via airline flights due to increase airport security. Like John, she is a single parent. She needs more money to allow her and daughter Tonya, to move from Durham to California and break free of her boss. John and Wanda form a partnership around a plan to smuggle cocaine via cruise ships. Despite being nearly killed on their first run, it worked. How far should a father go to save his child? Can a man and woman from completely different worlds help each other? Could they fall in love? And which one of these people will live to see the summer of 2002?

# 12

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Tangerine is a novel set in the future that tells the story of Dr. Ava Majestic, a biologist who evaluates uninhabited planets being considered for colonization. Ava discovers she is the heir to a device that allows her to travel backward in time. Use of the device is fraught with consequences, as she soon learns. Ava is pursued for this device by an unsavory but wealthy collector, Agnotico. Tangerine describes life in a future time when space travel is commonplace and aliens are a natural part of everyday life. Upcoming release.

# 13

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Krystoff is a vampire and enforcer of the laws of his people. Sent out to hunt down those who have turned their back on the Council, he is drawn to Austin, and the next on his long list of targets. Once in the
city he is drawn to a club that provides more than just a distraction, it
reveals a woman that is more than she seems and what’s worse is the
renegades have set their sights on her.
Alexandra, part human and part Fae, has done her best to keep her
non-human legacy from those around her. To her dismay, the one night she decides to spend the evening out singing, she draws the unwanted attention of what she’s tried to hide from all her life… vampires. Suddenly she is on the run and her only ally is the very species she has been warned against. Could this hunter be her only savior? Together they must find out why the renegades are after Alex, but first they must learn to trust each other… before time runs out.

# 14 

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# 15
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