The Stolen Tower – On Offer! 6-16th July 2015 – Kindle Countdown!!!


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Up until now I have never used one of the features of Kindle Select – A Kindle Countdown promotion.

(Kindle Countdown rules)

From 12 am PST 6th July – PST 12 am 13th will be offered  for 99c until July 6th and then $1.99 until July 13th against an original list price of $3.25.

From 13th -16th July will be on offer for 99p until the 16th against an original list price of £2.11.


I’ve heard mixed reviews of Kindle Countdown so I’ll post my experiences.thestolentower500x800 (1)

Smashwords Sale! 1-31st July 2015


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Smashwords have a summer sale! Loads of books are on offer from 75% off to free.

To celebrate I have offered my books at a discount.

How the Program Works:

At one minute past midnight Pacific time on July 1, the special Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale promotion catalog goes live on the Smashwords home page.  Readers can browse the catalog and search by coupon code levels and categories.  At the stoke of midnight Pacific time on July 31, the catalog disappears.

The coupon codes only work at Smashwords, not at retailers served by Smashwords. at 50% off – using the voucher code on site. SSW50 at 25% off – using the voucher code on site. SSW25

And finally for FREE!!!! Using code SSW25

Please be kind enough to leave a review.

Author Interview Number Ninety – Francis H. Powell – Dark Fiction


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Welcome to Francis H Powell

Where are you from and where do you live now? I was born in a “dormitory town” called Reading, not famous for much, apart from a huge Rock festival, and for the fact that Oscar Wilde was sent to prison there and wrote “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”. My family then moved to a farm in the country, in Sussex, not too far from London. I have lived in Austria, but presently I live in St Maurice, in the Parisian suburbs.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I would not like to be considered a horror writer…so maybe dark fiction with elements of wit.

Where do you find inspiration? To some extent my stories are indirectly autobiographical; my life has not been a smooth journey, with many setbacks along the way. I don’t think I consciously draw a line between real events and the fiction I write. I doubtlessly draw from my experiences, good or bad.

Some ideas come from nowhere. Once trav­el­ing on the Paris metro, a name sud­denly came to me…Little Mite…I then thought about, who would pos­sess such a name…concluding it seemed like a young ado­les­cent, rather wicked. The story is about two fam­i­lies: one old aris­toc­racy on the wane, the other nou­veau riche. Lit­tle Mite’s sis­ter is about to be mar­ried, a match made in heaven and ben­e­fi­cial to both fam­i­lies. There is a party on a lawn, all the final details are being made for the wed­ding. Lit­tle Mite entices the groom’s younger brother to her father’s work­shop and glues the inno­cent boy to a cof­fee table, a work in progress. Not con­tent with this, she goes and picks some sting­ing net­tles and thrashes the boys legs. This idea came from a news­pa­per about the author and writer Vita Sackville West, who had a sim­i­lar fate await­ing chil­dren who vis­ited the Sackville estate when she was a child. The story gets very dark, at the end when Lit­tle Mite decides to play a trick on her fam­ily, to try tow­ing back her parent’s good favor. Unfor­tu­nately her father mis­takes her for a bur­glar and shoots her with a hunt­ing rifle. This idea came to me after read­ing a news­pa­per arti­cle about a sim­i­lar mishap. Ideas seem to plant themselves in my head and I feel a need to expand on them and develop them.  Sometimes newspapers provide excellent sources.  I read obscure stories about people stealing other people’s identities, a person who pretends he is a Duke, but in reality he is a fraud.

Do you have a favourite character? If so why? I guess “Bugeyes” for me stands out.  He is born into an aristocratic family, with a genetic fault (over-large enormous eyes) and immediately rejected by his mother and sent to live with a servant on the estate.  He is mocked cruelly due to his physical defect, as well as being denied his natural inheritance. He gets revenge in the end.

Do you have a character you dislike? If so why? I write about cruel despicable characters, there is not one I particularly dislike.

Are your characters based on real people? Not directly, but as I have said, I think there is a lot of my past experiences intermingled, with my stories.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? If I am writing about a subject I don’t know much about, then I trawl the internet for information. For example I have recently written a story called “The Orchid Wars” and I know nothing about orchids or growing flowers. It can be interesting and a good learning experience doing research.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? I write about outsiders, freaks, oddballs, the oppressed of this world, the cruelty and injustices of this world, as well as those responsible for such situations, the oppressors.

The message, is rise up, you can win through in the end.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) From my point of view, write short stories so  great characters is very important. Secondly each sentence has to be powerful, the language rich. I would like to be technically perfect, maybe I have a long way to go.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? Softback, at the moment.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I worked with two editors. It was hard. I live in France, they live in the US, so all the work was done by e mail. Also my stories are British in character. I must say the stories evolved and my writing at the same time.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? You have to rely a lot on other authors concerning publicity…to do a lot of exchanges…author helping author. Whether reviews under these circumstances are objective, I am not sure. A  good review can help a lot…people can do a lot of research before they decide to buy a book on Amazon, a good review might swing a sale for an author.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? Not really.

What are your reviews on authors reviewing other authors? As above I wonder how objective they can be…

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? With a book, a writer can leave things incomplete and ambiguous.  Films (made in Hollywood at least) tend to formularized, meaning the cinema goer has to leave with a happy conclusion, even if whatever has happened before is tragic. A book does not have to end in a happy way. Films revolve around how actors interpret a character or how a director envisages a story.  Some films stay in your head a long time after you have seen them…others you can’t even recall the title of the film. Books leave a deeper impression.  However films can give so much visual stimulus which can influence your writing. I was once advised by an art tutor, try to go to see a film once a week, even if it’s not a great film, it will offer so much stimulus. I have never really been into video games.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? 

Stick at it, don’t fall by the wayside.

Find a format of writing that really suits you.

Let inspiration come from many sources, newspapers, film, TV, or even just eavesdropping some people’s conversations on public transport. Keep your eyes and ears open all the time.

What are your best marketing/networking tips? What are your worst? It is hard to say,  how much the social media helps to sell books. I have a book trailer for Flight of Destiny. I tweet on a regular daily basis. I am on Linkedin and I pin stuff on Pinterest. I am a disciple of Goodreads. I do author to author interview exchanges. I have a youtube channel dedicated to my book. I collaborate with musicians. There are lots of new social media sites that are emerging, some of which are not good to be involved with, because maybe they are there for the youth market…one I joined to my regret seemed to be filled with middle aged lonely hearts…who looked not really the types to engage with.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? I read “This party’s got to stop” by Rupert Thompson, a person I met while I was at my first Art College. It is a memoir of when his father died, it is moving but funny at the same time.

Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author? As above Rupert Thompson, who is of the traditional published variety. I am not sure about the indie variety.

Do you have a favourite movie? I love films…and I am sure a lot have indirectly influenced my writing…A couple of my favourite films would be “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest” and “Amadeus”.  I like films that are historical, psychological, unusual, films that make me think, films that educate me. Films that are witty

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I was once on AustrianTV, wearing a kilt, pretending to toss a caber. They were looking for Scots, I am a part Scottish.  I was and still am a bit scrawny and I don’t look anything like somebody who would participate in a Highland Games. I could barely hold up this “caber” and it was lucky I did,’t drop it on somebody’s head. I was also once in Pigbag video, wearing a Guerrilla suit, pretending to play a trumpet. ..

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Amazon… A virtual marketplace, or Big Brother?


Worrying. Whilst I agree some reviews CAN be biased – like someone’s sister reviewing the majority aren’t. Personally I can separate Author me from Reader me. I might think someone’s books are great but don’t know them or think they are a jerk, likewise someone I might pass the time of day with on facebook might write in a genre I read. That doesn’t mean I will give them a good rating because of it, if I don’t like it.
Authors review as readers not because they want a review in return. Personally I state I do not review on request and I don’t review swap. If someone reviews my book I want them to be honest – even if the review is negative not because they think they’ll get a good review in return.

Originally posted on imy santiago:

A couple of weeks ago I read the third installment of a series I really loved. I will refrain from sharing the name of the novel and its author.

Like any reader, as soon as I finished reading, I wrote my review. When I tried posting it on Amazon (I did buy the eBook, just like any normal and decent human being would), I received a rather concerning email.

I will not share the screenshot of the email as it does contain the title of the book and name of the author. In its place I have copied the body of the email below.

Dear Amazon Customer,

Thanks for submitting a customer review on Amazon. Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines:

Here I was, thinking I had included an…

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Polish your swords! Joe Bonadonna, an author of heroic fantasy is here!


A great interview

Originally posted on AUTHOR JENNIFER LOISKE:

I’m pleased to introduce you to Joe Bonadonna, one of the authors in Doctors in Hell, a heroic science fiction and fantasy writer that has so many interesting books available, that after this interview I’m gonna run to Amazon and buy them all! Yes, I’m not ashamed to admit I do judge book by the covers and Joe’s covers definitely hooked me…I’m especially interested to know what’s hidden between ‘THREE AGAINST THE STARS’ covers.

27Joe has thus far published three books: the heroic fantasy, Mad Shadows: The Weird Tales of Dorgo the Dowser, published by iUniverse; the space opera, Three Against The Stars, published by Airship 27 Productions; and Waters of Darkness, a sword and sorcery pirate adventure, (in collaboration with David C. Smith), published by Damnation Books. He also written stories for several fantasy and sword & sorcery anthologies: Azieran: Artifacts and Relics, published by Heathen Oracle;Griots:…

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Sunday Surprise


Joe Bonadonna’s Heroika Post.

Originally posted on creative barbwire (or the many lives of a creator):

Last guest of the month! Another Heroika author! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Joe Bonadonna!

HEROIKA1 New banner heroika_TChirezpromoWhere do you live and write from?

I live and work where I was born and raised — Chicago, IL, USA.

1 (2)Why do you write?

I’ve always been something of a natural-born fabricator and exaggerator of the truth — I’ve enjoyed telling tall tales ever since I was a kid. Starting as far back as I can remember I was a fairly voracious reader. I really have no memory of learning to read and write, of when and how that happened; it just seems as if I’ve always been able to do both. My Dad worked next door to a book bindery called Spinner Brothers, and was friends with the manager there. So Dad always brought home these wonderful books for me back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, many of them educational books…

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Giveaway! Heroika: Dragon Eaters – win a free copy


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We are delighted to announce a chance to win a copy of Perseid Press new release Heroika: Dragon Eaters.  The competition runs until 21st JUly 2015.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dragon Eaters by Janet E. Morris

Dragon Eaters

by Janet E. Morris

Giveaway ends July 21, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

The art of dragon killing: Dragons have been eating humans for centuries. Now heroes throughout history stalk their legendary foe. Learn how to hunt, kill, and eat the wild dragon. Never before has revenge tasted so good. A literary feast for the bloody-minded. In Janet Morris’ anthology on the art of dragon killing, seventeen writers bring you so close to dragons you can smell their fetid breath. Tales for the bold among you. HEROIKA 1 — DRAGON EATERS, an anthology of heroic fiction edited by Janet Morris, features original stories by Janet Morris and Chris Morris, S.E. Lindberg, Jack William Finley, Travis Ludvigson, Tom Barczak, JP Wilder, Joe Bonadonna, Milton Davis, A.L. Butcher, William Hiles, M Harold Page, Walter Rhein, Cas Peace, Beth W. Patterson, Bruce Durham, Mark Finn.

Sunday Surprise


Here’s an interview with Heroika: Dragon Eaters author Walter Rhein.

Originally posted on creative barbwire (or the many lives of a creator):

And it’s a guest! Remember that anthology about dragons, Heroika? He’s one of them authors, as promised! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Walter Rhein!

HEROIKA1 New banner heroika_TChirezpromoWhere do you live and write from?

I live in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. My family and I have a small house and we rent out the first floor. This is sort of a variation on the “micro-home” movement. I love the flexibility you get when you live in something small and you don’t have to be terrified about finding the mortgage money every month. That’s an important consideration when you’re addicted to writing. I don’t really take notice of my immediate environment anyway since I’m usually daydreaming (but I know my wife would prefer more living space).

Why do you write?

It’s a good way to sort out what I think about things. Writing can be something of a thought experiment. You create characters, conceive of…

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Returning Author Victoria Zigler – Announcement


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The Great Degu Round-Up:

A Very Degu Christmas:

My name is Victoria Zigler, and I’m a blind author of children’s
fiction and poetry.

In April 2012, I began publishing my books as eBooks via Smashwords,
who then distribute them to multiple eBook retailers, including – but
not limited to – Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Since then, I’ve received several requests to make my books available
in paperback format.

I’m pleased to announce that I am finally able to grant these requests!

The first two of my books are now available to buy in paperback from
CreateSpace and Amazon, with the rest of my backlist of books
following as soon as it can be arranged.

The paperback versions will also be made available to request from
other retailers and bookstores, as well as from your local library,
though this will take a little longer to arrange.

“The Great Degu Round-Up” and “A Very Degu Christmas” are the titles
already available to buy in paperback.

Victoria “Tori” Zigler
(Children’s author and poet)

Facebook author page:

A Week with the Dragon Eaters – Bruce Durham


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Here’s the last interview (for now) with the authors and characters featured in Heroika: Dragon Eaters. Today I welcome Bruce Durham.

Character questions (choose from):

*Who are you? I’m Mackenzie Secord, though my friends call me Mac. I captain an ice-clipper and hunt food.

Why are you embarking on this quest? Quest? I wouldn’t call what I do a quest. We hunt to survive.

Where are you from? (Tell us about it) I’m originally from Newmarket, near Toronto, but that’s a lifetime ago. Now what few of us remain live in an abandoned military base in the Arctic. It’s a good location, some natural defences, and the wyrms aren’t near as abundant as they are in the warmer climes. At least, for now.

*Tell us about dragons in your world. We call them wyrms. They don’t fly, just crawl and burrow. Tough as all hell, too. They only have one real weak spot.

What is the political system of your world? These days? Chaos. I have no idea how many of us are left on this world. Sometimes we make contact with other settlements via shortwave. But that’s just sometimes. Doesn’t usually last long.

Do you have a family? Not any more. Next question.

Do you see yourself as a hero? What is a hero? Haven’t got a clue. I’m a survivor. I look after my crew and pray I can get them home safely. If that makes me a hero, then so be it.

What is the technology level of your world? I don’t right know anymore, though we’re probably a generation away from barbarism, if we live that long.

Where do dragons come from? Apparently through a series of portals. Scientists theorized it was some kind of alternate dimensional thing. Frankly, it’s above my pay grade.

Are there other such monsters in your world? God, I hope not!

Author questions (choose from):

*Who are you? Bruce Durham. Author of some thirty plus short stories. Sometime artist. Now currently semi-retired from the working world.

Why did you choose this world/era to write in? I’ve always had a fascination with the Arctic. This theme allowed me to explore an idea of mine, how remnants of mankind would chance settling in some remote, seemingly inhospitable part of the planet just to prevent their extinction.

Give us a couple of lines about your characters. All of my characters are survivors. Mackenzie captains the crew of an ice-clipper in search of food for her settlement. Before that she was in the army, and when the wyrms arrived, become one of the first females to pilot a Mühle, a construct designed to fight the invaders.

How much research did you need for your story? I did a fair amount on the Arctic, primarily the abandoned DEW line bases and some of the geography in northern Canada.

Have you written for anthologies before? How does it differ from writing a novel? I’ve been involved with several anthologies over the years. I enjoy writing short stories. Themed anthologies can be especially fun, though challenging, but worth it when a story is accepted.  Unlike novels, short stories force you to get right down to business and (hopefully) hook the reader from the get-go.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? I’m definitely a plotter, though the pantser takes over while doing the actual writing. It’s a trade-off, so long as I stick to the story I’ve outlined.

What other novels/short stories have you written? No novels yet, but I’ve appeared in several publications and anthologies over the years. My very first sale, The Marsh God, was published in ‘Flashing Swords’. It placed first in the annual Preditors & Editors poll that year for best SF&F in the short story category. It was subsequently adapted into a graphic novel. Some anthologies I’ve appeared in are:  Valley of Bones in ‘Return of the Sword’, Yaggoth-Voor in ‘Rage of the Behemoth’, Deathstalk in ‘Sha’Daa: Last Call’, Plains of Hell in ‘Lawyers in Hell’, Colony in ‘Rogues in Hell’ and Hell-hounds in ‘Poets in Hell’. Anezka appeared in ‘Paradox: The Magazine of Historical & Speculative Fiction’ and I have a couple of stories in the ‘Lovecraft eZine’: The Crane Horror and The Case of the Galloway Eidolon. The latter was a Sherlock Holmes/Lovecraft crossover with a serious shout-out to The Dark Man by Robert E. Howard.

What book(s) are you currently reading? The Invasion Year by Dewey Lambdin and Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia.

Tell us one unusual fact about yourself. I walked away from a plane crash back in the early 70s.

Author website/blog:

Twitter: @BJDurham



Amazon page:


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