The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Story – New Release #Horror #Short Stories

Tags

, , ,

Watcher cover (1).jpg

 

As some of you may know I have always been rather fascinated by the legend of Jack the Ripper. (Don’t look at my browsing history – I’m a writer so it’s a bit weird!). For anyone unfamiliar with him Jack the Ripper stalked the London streets in the Autumn of 1888 and left at least five women dead and mutilated. These poor women were prostitutes of the lowest class; it was a dangerous profession.  In many ways the killings highlighted the plight of the Victorian poor, particularly for females. Who did not have much choice in how they supported themselves if a husband was not around, or the family was very poor.

 

There are hundreds of theories about who he (or she) was – ranging from the grandson of the Queen Victoria (Eddie – Duke of Clarence who might have had some rather dubious doings but was several hundred miles away in Scotland at the time of one of the killings), to a mad doctor, to a Jewish slaughterman, to a midwife, to a wealthy Liverpool businessman (who himself was (possibly murdered by his wife Florence Maybrick ).  

George Chapman, another unpleasant woman-killer of the time was also mentioned, as was the artist Walter Sickert.  Any or none of these could have been the killer.

Who was this person who left London in the grip of terror? This new murderer more wicked than any before him? Who knows? That is part of the enduring legend. Jack the Ripper was never caught and his legacy is such that writers and historians aplenty have fielded proof, disproof, and stories for over a hundred years.

Anyway enough background…. The story is from the point of view of the killer – and recounts his last known murder – that of Mary Jane Kelly.  I am not putting forward names – other than Jack but there is a twist at the end of his identity.

This was previously published as an anthology piece for Tales from Darker Places and Boo Fore! but has been updated and revised for this version.

Welcome to the darkness of Victorian London….

The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Story

The year is 1888, and the place is Whitechapel, in the very heart of London. But the heart is bleeding. A mysterious killer is stalking women of the streets – his true name is unknown but his legend will go down in history. This is a short tale of Jack the Ripper.

18 rated for scenes of violence.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074S83GHF

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074S83GHF

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/743134

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/the-watcher

Coming soon to Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Apple.

 

Background reading for those interested.

 

 

 

Jack the Ripper – a rundown

Florence Maybrick – Did she kill him? 

The Florence Maybrick case is fascinating in itself, tragic for all concerned and showed the morals of the time well enough.  Mrs Maybrick was tried more for the fact she’d had affairs (including with her husband’s brother) than anything else. Her husband had a mistress, was a hypochondriac who took arsenic as a tonic, and in more than one case had struck his wife.

Walter Sickert – Casebook review

Swift Six Author Interview – A. A. Bavar multigenre #kindlescout

Tags

, , , ,

#Meetanauthor #Swiftsix

Name: A. A. Bavar

What attracts you to the genre in which you write?
I’m not bound to any one genre. What genre I choose to write mostly depends on my mood at that specific moment, or the premise that pops into my head. From there, it develops almost organically. Originally, I started as a screenwriter and wrote action, comedy, and thrillers. As an author, my books follow the same pattern. I’ve written fantasy, action, comedy, and creative non-fiction. Bottom line, my motivation is to write stories that move my readers independent of the genre.

What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures?
That a bird in the hand is no doubt the best advice anyone could get. How I wish I had taken that to heart when I was offered my first sale many years ago. But, alas, I trusted my agent and the rest is history and a lot of hard work!

If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you choose?
Wow, this is a difficult one. I had a quick five minute “lunch” with New Line Cinema and Harrison Ford – remember the bird? – and that didn’t change my life the way I had envisioned, although it could have. I guess it depends on whether you want to meet someone influential or a person you admire. Today, I’d choose Bryan Cranston. I respect his work and he could definitely be cast in my screenplay Shutdown.

Who has been the greatest influence on your own work?
My children and upbringing. When I started writing, it was very clear to me that anything I wrote should be a source of pride for my children. Not because of any success it may have, but because it upholds good morals and integrity. I would never write anything that my children shouldn’t read.

As an author, I greatly admire the writing styles of Alexandre Dumas and Robert Ludlum.

Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print?
Absolutely not.

Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?
The Three Musketeers by Dumas. I love the humour and adventure. It is a complete work that encompasses every aspect of life: dignity, honour, love, loss, and survival.

The Bourne Identity by Ludlum. The book is very different from the movie, and for the better. It’s fast paced and adrenaline packed. What better to take my mind off my troubles when stuck on an island by myself?

The Princess Bride by William Goldman. It’s the perfect love story.
 

Author bio and book synopsis

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

I was only nine when my mother rushed me out of school to board a plane for Italy. It was the beginning of the Iranian Revolution, the beginning of my exile. From there, life became an adventure, from going to school in an ancient castle in Florence and playing tennis on the lawns at Wimbledon, to dribbling a soccer ball on the white, sandy beaches of Brazil. What I didn’t realize was that my roots had been permanently up-heaved and that I would spend the rest of my life trying to find a place to belong.

Can you imagine being nine and suddenly going to school in Italy without knowing a single word in Italian or having any friends? And then, as you’re slowly finding your way, to be yanked away again to live in England? Again, no friends, but at least I was fluent in English. But that didn’t last long either, since I soon found myself in Brazil. Once again, no friends and no language. Luckily, I went to the American school so the transition was a bit smoother, but unfortunately, the Iran/U.S. relationship wasn’t. We were right in the middle of the hostage crisis… more on this later. Yes, you guessed it, I’m writing my own life story.

When people ask me where I’m from, I find myself stammering, wondering what I should say. Am I Iranian? Brazilian? American? No, not really… more like an international, cultural mess. So I say I’m from earth, even though when I first came to the U.S. I was tagged as an alien! On the positive side, as a citizen of the world, I understand the nuances of many diverse cultures and can write about almost anything, usually with a lot of humour. Too bad I still haven’t found a place I can truly call home.

After high school in Brazil, I moved to the U.S. and majored in computer engineering with a concentration in creative writing. I met my future wife in engineering lab and we got married soon after graduation.

In 1999, I wrote my first screenplay, Shutdown, which was considered for production by New Line Cinema with Harrison Ford. I went on to write several other screenplays, and in 2015 published my first novel, Az – Revenge of an Archangel.

Also in 2015, I was approached by one of the jurors in the Boston Marathon bombing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and wrote the book Juror 83, which for personal reasons was not published.

In 2016, I entered a script competition and wrote an episode for the sitcom Last Man Standing called My Truck Needs a Wash, while working on my novel Samantha which I finished in 2017. Samantha is a romantic thriller with a touch of magic. Imagine Bewitched meets Fatal Attraction! Doesn’t that say it all? It’s currently competing on Kindle Scout, so please go to https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2YWWJWSRZQ9XT and NOMINATE it for publication by Amazon. Thank you!

Right now I’m working on my next novel, Kiss Me at the Finish Line, due for publication in December, 2017. It’s an action drama based on my work in Juror 83.

 

 

Links
Vote for Samantha: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2YWWJWSRZQ9XT
Az – Revenge of an Archangel: https://www.amazon.com/Az-Revenge-Archangel-Bavar-ebook/dp/B00XIN9ICC

Social media
www.aabavar.com
https://www.facebook.com/amir.bavar.5
https://www.instagram.com/amirbavar/

Dirty Dozen Author Interview – Lana Campbell #ParanormalRomance #Vampires

Tags

, , , ,

Welcome to Lana Campbell

#vampires #redemption #paranormalromance

*Please tell us about your publications. I’ve published three books so far in my Forever and a Night vampire series. These are not your typical vampire romances. For instance in my first book Forever and a Night my heroine is 42 with three grown girls who become my heroines in subsequent books. In book one devout Christian Mia Peebles falls for billionaire vampire Nathan Davenport.

Nathan Davenport is being stalked by Isabella Ravini, the feral vampire who stole his human life over a hundred and sixty years ago. She made him her fledging, a slave for her dark, evil purposes—hunting humans. After a few years, she released him, and Nathan reluctantly learned to accept the cursed life she’d foisted upon him.Over time he amassed a great fortune, which today has made him famous worldwide. Isabella decides she wants to be a part of this world of fame and fortune Nathan created for himself. She’s determined to marry him, and love has nothing to do with it. His money is her primary target, and the fame and prestige attached to being the wife of one of the richest men in the world wouldn’t be so bad either.

In an effort to evade her until he can figure out how to stop her, he hides at a safe house he owns in New Orleans. One Saturday evening in NOLA, he decides to have dinner in the city. He chooses a quiet little Italian bistro, never imagining this night will change his life forever. The human woman who delivers his order isn’t a server, but the restaurant’s sous chef, a beautiful ethnic woman possessing the most delicious blood scent he’s ever encountered. The moment Mia Peebles arrives at his table with his plate, tasting her becomes an obsession. Mia wants nothing to do with him because of Nathan’s reputation as a playboy. So Nathan enchants her, feeds from her, but his lusts for her blood and body play havoc with his thinking.

Nathan finds a way to bring her into his life as his personal chef and quickly falls in love with her. The trouble is Mia has no idea he’s a vampire because, during the enchanting episodes, Nathan blocked her memories of those sensual encounters. How will Nathan tell her the truth without losing her and keep Isabella from finding him? Or worst yet, will Isabella discover how much Mia has come to mean to him?o_0cae4a31f14f691a_001

 

Book two Dark Experiments is about Tiffany Peebles and OB/GYN vampire Dr Christian LaMond. On the cusp of their romance, an angel of death begins poisoning Christian’s pregnant vampire patients. Tiffany is also poisoned.

Christian is the exception to Tiffany’s rule that all males are louses. For years Tiffany has lusted after Christian and of late she can’t help but wonder what it might be like to have a brief fling with him. The opportunity to explore her secret fantasy appears when Christian offers her a job as the IT person for his practice, the V clinic. She knows if he gives her the green light, she’s going to have a romp with her sexy vampire. When the night finally arrives and she and Christian have sex, the experience is so overwhelmingly powerful, Tiffany backpedals and tries to turn down the heat between them. She’s human. He’s a vampire. She can’t afford to fall in love with him.

Christian has other ideas. During their sexual encounter, he discovers Tiffany is his life mate and he vows to change her thinking. His intentions are put on hold when he gets caught up in an angel of death’s vicious plan to chemically terminate V clinic patients’ pregnancies. Tiffany herself falls victim to a lethal dose of arsenic and Christian can only save her by turning her into a vampire. She’s furious when she wakes from her turning and discovers what Christian has done. She wants nothing to do with him ever again, but when she’s kidnapped by this angel of death and used as a guinea pig for deadly experiments she only has Christian to turn to save her life.

222

 

In book three Deadly Secrets, Chelsie Peebles discovers she’s dying of an incurable brain tumor. No form of treatment will save her but one. She must turn into a vampire.

When Dr Chelsie Peebles, an OB/GYN for vampires discovers she’s dying from a stage four glioblastoma she learns there is only one sure cure that can save her life. She must turn into a vampire. Chelsie is the member of a big extended family of vampires. In fact, she is the only human left in her entire clan. Headaches have been plaguing her for months and when she’s diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor, Chelsie chooses to keep the horrific news from her family to spare them hurt until she can figure out viable treatments or a cure.

Researching her options for survival lead her to the inevitable conclusion she is going to die no matter what treatments she chooses unless she turns into a vampire. Chelsie’s desperate. She blackmails the partners of her vampire OB/GYN clinic into aiding her in this life altering transformation.

Asa Bradley, one of her partners thinks Chelsie’s crazy for wanting to turn because the reasons she gives are flakey. He has no idea she’s dying. He is however bewitched by the little human doctor and wants to know what has her so hellbent on wanting to become a vampire. So one night when he’s invited to a bar where Chelsie moonlights as a country/western singer, he goes and is stunned to discover she has the voice of an angel and the body of a seductress since all he’s ever seen her wear is a lab coat. Asa is smitten with the surprising Dr. Peebles.

Trouble is Chelsie has an ex named Chad who she sings with in the band and he thinks Chelsie belongs to him. Chad’s dangerously possessive and threatens to hurt Chelsie if Asa doesn’t leave her alone. Asa isn’t going to be thwarted by a puny human. He romances Chelsie and gains her trust and affection which inevitably leads him to discover Chelsie’s deadly secret.

Can Asa keep Chelsie safe from her maniacal ex and get her this transformation she needs before cancer or her villainess ex claims her life?

20604235_1906708909583347_6528318446970481549_n

What first prompted you to publish your work? Back when Twilight was becoming popular my teenage girls at the time were so into the series. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about so I read the books. I enjoyed them, loved the vampire aspect, but I wanted to read vampire stories with older protagonists and more human like vampires. So I set about creating a story with a 42-year-old female protagonist and an older vampire hero who lived longer than most humans but was mortal. In my stories, vampires can eat and they can have children because they are a sub-species of humans, evolved from humans due to a blood disease.

What have you found the most challenging part of the process? Getting published. All three of my books were published with a small press publisher.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? Definitely a pantser. I know the general plot and story of the book I’m writing, but as I write it I let the story evolve on its own. I can’t say why but it works for me.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey? My first book was published by a vanity press. I wish I’d known no author should have to pay to have their book published. If your work is good enough you will find someone to publish your book and they won’t charge and you’ll make money.

What are your views on authors offering free books? Do you believe, as some do, that it demeans an author and his or her work? I’ve tried this and I see no benefit in it. It didn’t help me achieve more book sales nor did it garner me any reviews. I don’t think I’d do it again.

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? An author commenting on reviews should only thank the reviewer I think. The worse thing one could do is argue the review with the reviewer. To me, it’s demeaning to the author.

How do you deal with bad reviews? I get bummed for a bit, then I let it go and concentrate on the good reviews. I realize not everyone is going to love my work, but others will. I think this goes for every book ever written. Not everyone is going to have the same opinion. But if I could add one thing to say to readers, please leave reviews on the books you read. This is so important to the author and so appreciated.

Sort these into the order of importance:

Good plot– This is second. A good plot should be fast moving and should keep the reader engaged.

Great characters– I think this is first. If your characters pop off the pages, you’ll snag your reader into your story.

Awesome world-building– This would be last. It’s certainly important, but if an author goes overboard with description it can slow the plot.

Technically perfect– People hate reading books with grammatical difficulties, but most are forgiving so I’d have to put this at number three. Still it’s important to edit, edit, edit and don’t rely solely on an editor to clean up your work. Do it yourself and do it well.

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? All I can say is thank God for Google. I research constantly as I go along. I’d have to say the wildest subject I researched which is in book one, Forever and a Night would be the grave of Marie LaVue. My protagonists were touring the cemetery and ran across her grave. I brought into the scene some of the wild information about her intriguing life.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? As far as writing, to write every day and to do so with passion. A person either has a passion for writing or they don’t. If you do you’ll write every spare moment you have.

If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why? I would like to be one of my vampires. In my books, they age very slowly and live for six or seven hundred years. They have psychic and telekinetic abilities as well as strength and speed ten times that of a human. Who wouldn’t want those abilities?

Which authors have influenced you the most? Nora Roberts, Christine Feehan

What is your writing space like? It must be neat. I clean my space before I begin. No noise. I can’t write if the TV is on or if there’s music or any annoying noise going on.

Tell us about your latest piece? I just finished a vampire romance called Alabama Rain. In this story, Alabama Rain is a born vampire whose father is a villainous drug dealer. He’s a much more powerful vampire than Alabama. He forces Alabama to steal drugs for him from his rival drug lord which of course places Alabama in danger. Early into the story, she has a run in with Nate Davenport when she’s trying to do a drug theft for her father. When Nate discovers she deals drugs, he’s determined to catch her in the act and bring her to justice. He just doesn’t plan on falling in love with her in the process.

What’s your next writing adventure? I’m writing book six in my series right now. It’s about Alabama Rain’s brother Ganja Elisha Holden. He used to be a thief of drugs for his father Ken Holden an evil and powerful vampire who is also a drug lord. In the book previous, Alabama Rain, he has been planted in his father’s rival drug cartel, Manny Cordova’s, in order to report back to his father about when drug deals are going down in the Cordova cartel. When Cordova discovers Ganja has been an intricate part in the theft of his drugs, he puts a hit out on him. Ganja flees to the midwest to a small Arkansas town called Eureka Springs. There he makes a life for himself as a small business owner of a jewellery and antiques store. One day all of that is threatened when the daughter of Manny Cordova appears in his store. Lydia Cordova has always bewitched Gan. She presents a clear danger to Gan but he can’t help but want her even though she could lead her father who wants him dead straight to him.

Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline?It definitely is the age of e-books. More and more people are loving reading their favorite stories on their devices. I’m one of them. But there are still lots of people who would much rather hold a real book in their hands, but not as many as there used to be. Sadly bookshops are in decline. Some major retailers have closed their doors. I think this is bad news for authors because we make more money on physical book sales than we do off e-books.

With the influx of indie authors do you think this is the future of storytelling? Yes, thanks to Amazon more and more indie authors publish every day. I definitely think this is the future of storytelling.

Are indie/self-published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this? I don’t think so. If a reader likes the sound of your book, I think they’d buy it no matter the publisher. On the other hand, some self-published books are terribly written with horrible grammatical errors. I’ve read my fair share. This could detour some readers from buying a book without a publishing house behind it.

Is there a message in your books? Yes, there is. I have a Christian message in each of my books, a message of redemption from a higher power. It by no means overwhelms the book, it’s just there as a facet of my character’s character. I’ve gotten mixed reviews on it, but most people are amazed that I can successfully weave a redemption message into a vampire story. It certainly hasn’t hurt my sales, rather the opposite.

How important is writing to you? I live it, breathe it, sleep it. I love to write and would no matter if I sold books or not. Unfortunately, it is more of a hobby than a career. I truly hope to change that some day.

19893787_914772628663225_583380329_o

 

Links

Forever night

Dark Experiments

Deadly Secrets

 

Bio

I’m the author of the Forever and a Night vampire romance series. The first book in my series is Forever and a Night. My second book Dark Experiments just came out 5/21/16. BTP has just recently bought my third book Deadly Secrets. I love writing paranormal romance and I’m an avid reader of it too. I live in Avoca AR with my husband, oldest daughter and a cat named Felix

Review – Magic for a Rainy Day #fantasy #fairytales

Tags

, , , , , , ,

5 stars #fantasy #fairytales

This delightful collection of short stories twists and turns with Celtic magic from Scotland, to Ireland, to Fairyland. Fairytales retold, and with a heart and passion that is apparent in every word. None of the stories is particularly long or heavy; there is a lightness of phrase from the author which is refreshing and fits the ambience of the collection.

I found myself laughing, smiling and recalling tales from old – particularly with the Irish tale of Banoffee Pie and Black Pudding. This is a fine tale of fairy gifts and being careful what one wishes for.

The last tale –They Stole My Love Last Night was poignantly told, sad and moving with a bittersweet ending. It was a good finale to the collection.

I’d like to learn more about these characters, especially the half-wyndling Skye, and read more of her adventures. Definitely recommend this to readers of fantasy, fairy tales and mythical stories.

 

Set in Scotland, Ireland, and the Pacific Northwest, these five stories share three things: a little rain, a little fantasy, and a lot of heart.

In “Sidewynd,” Sky Patel balances life between Edinburgh and its mirror in the faerie realm. Until the balance breaks.

In “The Flat Above the Wynd,” Sky’s inherited responsibilities double when past mistakes come back to haunt her.

In “Banoffee Pie and Black Pudding,” Alyssa Granville’s troubles begin with a strange gift from a stranger Irish man.

In “(Not a) Fairy Tale,” a bullied teenage girl learns a startling truth. But fairies don’t go to high school…do they?

In “They Stole My Love Last Night,” Celtic music, fairies, and ghosts collide, turning a bitter story sweet.

Book Spotlight – Traitor’s Prize – Thaddeus White #Fantasy

Tags

, , , ,

 

Title: Traitor’s Prize (The Bloody Crown Trilogy book 2)

Author: Thaddeus White

Genre: fantasy

Main character description (short). William Penmere is king of Denland, accused of bastardry by the rebellious House of Esden. Facing treachery within his own ranks and outnumbered on the field, he battles to save his throne. And his head.

Synopsis: Internal divisions threaten to rupture both the Houses of Penmere and Esden. William Penmere has to grapple with a barbarian invasion and the joys of buying soldiers with his marriage bed, whilst Stuart Esden is angered to be sent south to deal with the Earl of Hurstwood rather than confronting Black Will.

Bloodshed and betrayal abound, battles rage and cities are besieged, but a knife in the back can be worth a thousand swords.

Brief Excerpt 250 words:

James stepped forward, and heard the men behind him re-forming the line. The noonday sun brightly illuminated the battlements of the fort. A score of men had their bows strung, but none were aimed at him. Yet.

“I have come to parley,” he called.

Hushed whispers between the defenders soon gave way to silence.

“We are willing to accept your surrender,” one man answered, to the defenders’ laughter.

“Sir Ralph Boulton, I take it?”

The man stood atop the wall nodded. “Aye. You’re taller than I expected. I heard Stuart Esden was a stumpy little bastard.”

James smiled. “The prince is neither stumpy, nor little, nor a bastard, good sir. I am his brother-in-arms, Sir James Seidmore, sent to acquire the Maiden, whether by your consent or by your death.”

“And what do you offer for the surrender of this fine fort?”

“Your lives,” James answered. “All will be ransomed, if possible, and kept from harm if not. Those who prefer freedom may buy it at the cost of two fingers from the right hand, that they cannot fight against Esden upon release.”

Ralph spat over the battlements. “Imprisonment, ransom and having fingers snipped off does not sound very appealing, Sir James.”

Aren’t we an astute little rabbit?

“I agree. But all of those things are better than death. Prince Stuart will have this bridge in his hands by dusk.”

 

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)? Traitor’s Prize is a twisting tale of treachery and heroism, grim bloodshed and valiant deeds, an intoxicating blend of backstabbers and noble men and women trying to do what’s right in an unkind world. [NB It follows immediately on from Kingdom Asunder (reduced to $0.99 until 5 August).]

 

Traitors Prize Cover Small Canvas Small File

 

Links etc.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Smashwords

Kobo

Barnes and Noble

 

Author links:

https://twitter.com/MorrisF1

http://thaddeuswhite.weebly.com/writing-blog

http://thaddeusthesixth.blogspot.co.uk

 

 

Book Spotlight – Quest for the Sundered Crown #fantasy #new release

Tags

, , , ,

Title: Quest for the Sundered Crown

Author: Matthew Olney

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Main character description (short).

Luxon Edioz now nineteen fights to save the Kingdom of Delfinnia from the evil that threatens to consume it. He has short sandy blonde hair, blue/grey eyes and strong jawline. Typically, he wears a simple tunic, breeches and boots with his green wizard’s cloak over the top. Strapped to his back is his staff ‘Dragasdol’ a powerful staff forged in a dragon’s flame.

Synopsis:

Danon’s army sweeps across the Kingdom of Delfinnia and Luxon, the only one capable of stopping the annihilation of the realm embarks on a desperate quest to cure himself of the deadly Void Sickness that threatens his life. To find the cure, Luxon must travel through the Magic Gates and find the Waters of Magic, but in doing so, he will be sent to new worlds and even through time. There he will uncover the shocking truth about Danon and another he calls friend and mentor.

Elsewhere, dragons ravage the eastern lands spurring Kaiden to reform the Knights of Niveren and in the south, the King’s Legion, led by the usurper Ricard makes a desperate stand against Danon’s hordes. As the world turns ever darker, one hope remains. The legendary sacred sword Asphodel remains hidden.

The Quest is on to claim the blade and perhaps push back the evil threatening creation itself.

Brief Excerpt 250 words:

The little girl cowered in the cellar of the town’s tavern. Around were other citizens who had fled blindly from their beds and who had been smart enough to seek sanctuary underground. Deafening booms, roars and screams sounded from above.

An hour before the horror now unfolding around her began the girl had been sound asleep in her mother’s house on the next street over from the inn. It had been a night like any other. She’d been carried up to her bed by her father, and as usual, he had sung her a nursery rhyme. She’d drifted off to sleep with not a care in the world feeling loved. Then the roars had started and then came the screaming. A powerful explosion had tossed her out of bed, and the smell of smoke quickly filled the bedroom. Crawling over splinters and broken glass, she reached the landing and cried out for her parents. Where their room had been was now a gaping hole that revealed the hellscape beyond.

The fire was everywhere, and people were screaming and running in all directions. The roar had sounded again, so loud that the girl covered her ears lest the noise burst her eardrums. Dazed and confused she staggered down the ravaged staircase and outside the front door which had been blown off its hinges. She cried out for her parents once more, but her voice was drowned out by the chaos happening all around her. She noticed the people running and watching the night sky. She looked up and screamed. Massive winged shapes flew over the town.

Dragons.

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?

Quest for the Sundered is the third book in the epic Sundered Crown Saga. If you love dragons, magic and epic conflict then this is the book for you!

covq

 

Links etc.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07231N8YV

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07231N8YV

 

 

A Noob’s Guide to Audiobooks with ACX – part 2 #audiobooks #writers #writingtips

Tags

, ,

So now you’ve set up your account, and know about royalties so what’s next?

  • How do I add my book?

Once your account is set up go to ADD MY TITLE link in the top right – this will allow you to search if you have the book on Amazon already or create a Title Profile for your book – This is what it says on the tin – Title – genre – word count – synopsis etc. If you have a decent following it’s more likely narrators will want to produce your book – especially with royalty share. It’s worth stating if you have an active blog, facebook following and other social media.

 

ACX4

 

Or Assert More Titles – this screen will also tell you if there are any offers to produce your book, how many are in production, if you have asserted a title but not produced it. ACx 3

ACX generally works in hours – so if you buy a book on Audible it’s so many listening hours

For an example, The Count of Monte Cristo comes up at between 40-50 hours depending on the version/narrator. It’s close on 100 chapters – Imagine how long that took to produce!

http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Classics/The-Count-of-Monte-Cristo-Audiobook/B005GFRMBE/

But my poetry book is 18 minutes….

So keep in mind you will need to have the time available to listen to the files your narrator uploads before the book is approved. He or she will upload the files and these need to be listened to CAREFULLY. From the point of view of the narrator I have been told it’s 2- 2.5 hours of work per finished hour – so producing an audio book is NOT a quick process. It has to be checked for background noises, mispronunciations, and the timing has to be correct. There is a set time between chapters/scenes and ACX will not approve for sale if this is incorrect.

This is a legal contract – keep that in mind – so ensure you find the right narrator for your work. If you do have problems with the narrator there are ways to break the agreement but it is complicated and you may have to pay out for work done. When setting up you are asked to provide a 5 minute sample in PDF – say a chapter – so narrators can audition. This should give you an idea of how the narrator sounds.

This is where you can specify your preferred type of narrator – male/female; US/English etc. It’s pretty specific. Of course, you may not get the ideal person you’ve imagined so keep an open mind.

5 )How do I find a narrator?

Ideally, they come to you but all the narrators have profiles so you can search and approach them if you wish.

It’s a lot more time consuming for the narrator – I understand it’s about two hours work per finished hour – and thenn they have to ensure there are no background noises, the pronunciation is alright, the gaps between the chapters are the right length etc. ACX has strict criteria about how long the silence is at the beginning or end of each chapter and if it’s too long or too short they won’t approve it. Honestly, I can’t tell unless it’s really obvious so I have to trust my narrator on that.

Officially once the narrator has uploaded the files the author can request up to two rounds of editing – so the author needs to listen to the files carefully to decide on any changes. Some narrators will do more but as it’s so time-consuming the author can’t send them notes on every little thing unless it really is an error/revision.

The cover art – that has to be square (think a CD case) so that has to be adapted, but there is guidance in the FAQ.

Then there’s a suitable sample to be agreed.

Once both sides are happy the narrator signs off his or her side and the author approves it.

The book will then go to review – which can take a couple of weeks. It’s checked for obvious errors, whether it meets the sound quality and the time between chapters. At this point, it’s possible for ACX to reject (say there is a big silence between chapter 1 and chapter 2). Changes can be made if requested by ACX. Once it’s approved it will ‘head to retail’ and appear in the store a week or so later.

Once or twice I’ve had to contact ACX support (long story) but they aren’t great. The changes took weeks to go through, even though I was told it would be a couple of days. I had to email regularly for updates. That said if it’s an easy question then they do respond.

 

 

 

 

A noob’s guide to audio books with ACX – part 1 #audio #writers #writingtips

Tags

, , ,

I love having audio books, and I love listening to audio books. Recently I was helping another author with advice on getting her books converted to audio. I thought I’d share my notes.

A quick guide on turning your book into an audio book with ACX – part 1

  • Why should I turn my book into an audio edition?

Audio books are very popular – they are great for the commute to work (which is usually when I listen to them), around the house, in bed or just about anywhere. Many people don’t have the time to sit and read, but as an audio book can be playing whilst you do other things a listener can hear and appreciate the story and not need to put time aside to look at a book. They are also, of course, a great format for people with restricted sight, who might find it difficult or impossible to read from a book or e-reader.

As an author, it is also very useful to have your books in as many accessible formats as possible. More avenues of sale = more potential sales.

 

  • What is ACX and how do I sign up?

https://www.acx.com/help/authors/200484540 – author help and advice

ACX distributes to Amazon, Audible (an Amazon company) and I-books and if you have an Amazon account then you can use that to log in. Otherwise, it’s a case of setting it up. ACX has a reasonable set of help pages https://www.acx.com/help/about-acx/200484860 and it’s useful to start there. Do read the TOS and the FAQ, it will save a lot of heartache later if something goes wrong or you don’t understand something.

You have to provide your bank details, tax info and all the usual legal and financial malarky otherwise you won’t get paid. And yes, if you aren’t a US citizen you still need to provide your tax details – the IRS states that ANY goods sold in or through the US are subject to tax. This is NOT Amazon’s rule – it’s the law. If you are not a US citizen and your country has a withholding agreement hopefully you will not actually have to pay the tax – it still gets declared though. Anyway enough of that tedium.

‘Anyone who holds the rights to an audiobook (a Rights Holder) can connect with the people who can get those audiobooks made (the Producers).’

https://www.acx.com/help/a-marketplace-for-you/200487070

Basically, if you are the copyright holder you can turn your book into an audio edition.

https://www.acx.com/help/how-it-works/200484210ACX image 1

  • What are the royalties?

ROYALTY SHARE it will 20% for you and 20% for the narrator. ACX sets the price so you won’t necessarily know what you’ll get.

NON ROYALTY SHARE means you’ll get 40% but you will have to pay the narrator up front. Narrators will state their fee (expect to pay out quite a bit for a novel) but of course, once it’s paid then any royalties are all yours.

Some narrators only work for money up front so royalty share does restrict your pool of talent – but it still quite large.

There is also $50 bonus scheme – put simply this means if yours is the first book a new customer buys with their audible credits you get a bonus ($25 if royalty share).

Royalties are paid monthly, at the end of the second month (So Jan paid in Feb, Feb in March etc). Personally, I find the payments confusing – as there are payments for:

AL: Audible Listener – purchases made by members with membership credits.

ALOP: Audible Listener Over Plan – purchases made by members with cash (not with membership credits).

ALC: A la carte – purchases made by customers, not in an Audible Listener membership.

Basically, members buying with credits, members without credits and non-members with cash.

Thus far I have not managed to work out how ACX defines the separate payments for these.

You’ll be sent an email saying royalties are now payable. Log in to your sales dashboard and this will show you how many of each title you’ve sold.  Below this is the earnings report page – you can download a summary report (says how many you’ve sold of each title per month) and a royalty report (how much money is coming your way).ACX sales page image for blog

 

More information to follow on how to upload your book, and finding a narrator.

Swift Six Character Interview – Ser Colin

Tags

, , , , , ,

Character Name: I am Ser Colin i’Nola, of the Order of the Morning

Which book/world do you live in? I was born and raised in the kingdom of Kholast, and I fight in the service of King Boris III. (In the novella, With a Broken Sword)

Tell us about yourself: I am the newest, and youngest, Knight of the Morning, which none of my fellows will let me forget. I squired for Ser Jane i’Julia for four years. First blooded at the Battle of Winter Creek. Knighted for valor at the Stone Hills Betrayal.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Ser Jane would say my greatest weakness was “exuberance.” Usually, she meant impatience to prove myself.

As for my greatest strength, it feels boastful to answer such a question myself. If I must answer, then determination. Though I am the last knight between the Berledthi invaders and the people of Three Bridges, I will not yield and I must not fail.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

1) The Order of the Morning, of course, and its members. Especially my mentor, Ser Jane.

2) Terrwyn. Only a seamstress, but an impressive woman, and the leader of the Three Bridges Resistance Army.

3) Three Bridges Resistance Army. Hardly an army. A collection of dockworkers, fishers, crafters and traders. But they have spirit. And spirit goes a long way.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

Who will stand in defiance of certain defeat? Who will risk his own life to save others? Call that man a hero, but don’t expect him to accept the title. To him, there is no other option.

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

If he is responsible for those foul Querain sorcerers and their evil plans for the good people of Three Bridges, then he must be a sick individual.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

“Kings come and go. Borders shift and change. It’s the people that matter.”

Links to book

www.books2read.com/u/3GRxOb

Swift Six Author Interview – Stefon Mears #Fantasy #Bookbundle #Heroictales

Tags

, , , ,

 

Name: Stefon Mears

What attracts you to the genre in which you write?

I write in a number of genres, but since the Heroic Tales Bundle has one of my fantasy novellas, I’ll stick to fantasy for now.

I cut my teeth on the fantasy genre. As a small child, my picture books were children’s versions of Greek and Norse myths. After those came Uncle Wiggly and Kipling’s Just So Stories. After that, straight to Tolkien and Moorcock, Howard and Leiber. Anywhere I could find dragons or magic or both, I was happy.

That led naturally into playing Dungeons and Dragons, and suddenly I wasn’t just reading fantasy stories, I was playing interactive fantasy stories. From there to writing down my own was not a big step.

What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures?

Well, I’d love to go back to my teenage self and shove a copy of Heinlein’s Rules into my hand, but failing that, I’ll go with, “It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be finished.”

If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you choose?

The answers to questions like these will change any time you ask me, but for right now…

Famous person: I’d love to have dinner with Roger Zelazny. Partially because I’d love to pick his brain about writing, but more than that I’d love to hear his stories.

Character: Bilbo Baggins. He was the first fantasy character I remember really identifying with as a child, and I think it would make for marvellous conversation. Plus, the food would be amazing!

Who has been the greatest influence on your own work?

That’s a tough call. There are so many. I’d like to say Zelazny, because in many ways I think his work made me want to write. But it may be more honest to say Tolkien, because the wonder I found in his stories probably underlies everything I do.

Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print?

No. I think it’s just given readers more options, which is always a good thing.

Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?

Three books. Whuf. Another one of those that will change every time it’s asked, but for right now…

The Complete Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny, which might be cheating because it’s ten novels in one, but it is a book. So, number of stories is a factor in this one, but also because these stories always fire off my imagination in a different direction.

The Ultimate Survival Manual (from Outdoor Life) for obvious reasons. And it’s not cheating, because I own a copy.

The Complete Enchanter by DeCamp and Pratt. Always gets me thinking along philosophical lines, which would probably be a good thing, since I’ll have a lot of time to myself.

Author bio and book synopsis

 

Stefon Mears earned his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from N.I.L.A., and his B.A. in Religious Studies (double emphasis in Ritual and Mythology) from U.C. Berkeley. Stefon’s short pieces have sold to magazines such as Fireside and Strange Horizons and anthologies edited by Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Kerrie L. Hughes, and John Helfers. He has published eighteen books to date, including the Rise of Magic series.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

My book in this bundle is With a Broken Sword.

One knight stands between invaders and conquest.

His secret mission ended in an ambush. Now Ser Colin awakens on a battlefield under the bodies of his friends, the last knight still alive. And the invaders have seized the town of Three Bridges, with river access to the whole kingdom.

How can one lone knight lead a ragtag group of townsfolk to victory over warriors and wizards?

With a Broken Sword, a rollicking fantasy adventure full of magic and excitement. From Stefon Mears, author of Half a Wizard. Fans of Game of Thrones won’t want to miss this one!

 

Links

Website: www.stefonmears.com

Newsletter: www.stefonmears.com/join

Patreon: www.patreon.com/stefonmears

Social media

Facebook

Twitter

GooglePlus