New Release – Tears and Crimson Velvet #Phantom #shortstory #horrorfantasy

Here’s today’s news:) I am delighted to announce the release of my latest short story – Tears and Crimson Velvet – a short story based (loosely) on the characters and events in Phantom of the Opera.

The latest Legacy of the Mask Tale features Madam Giry, a much underrated and misunderstood character.

Giry finds herself embroiled in the tragedy unfolding at the Opera house; mystery and murder stalk the corridors and, it is said, a ghost haunts the place. Giry knows the truth, for she recalls the caged man she met so many years ago. This is her story, their story.

When murder and mystery begin at the Opera House one woman knows who is behind it, and what really lies beneath the mask. Secrets, lies and tragedy sing a powerful song in this ‘might have been’ tale.
A short, tragic tale based on characters from Phantom of the Opera.

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

Tears of Crimson Velvet Cover Draft 1.jpg

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073TMFF9M/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073TMFF9M/

 

Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake – #fantasy #swordnsorcery

Hurrah! Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake is now live!

Coel, the bard, thinks his life has taken a turn for the worst, but he hasn’t met the Thiefmaster yet. An ill-conceived notion of earning more money to pay off his debt and escape a dark past leaves the minstrel in a situation he can’t escape and with a deadly bargain. Will he survive his mistake? Who is this mysterious patron?

(Please note this is 18 rated for the sexy scenes and themes of violence, slavery and injustice).

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2pQADCj

Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/2orn0s9

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/696686

Kobo http://bit.ly/2oMTwdh

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2puZ4WL

 

Print Editions

Amazon.co.uk https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1546421726/

Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1546421726/

 

Coming soon in audio.

Set in the world of Erana, where magic is outlawed and the people live under the harsh rule of the Order of Witch-Hunters, Coel the musician is trying to survive day by day. On the run, he’s a wanted man but even wanted men need to eat. Plying his trade in the low-life crime ridden backstreet taverns Coel thinks things can’t get any worse. A ‘mistake’ leads him to a dangerous, but strangely thrilling underworld where even the lowly make a difference.

The Tales of Erana are mythical or adventurous fantasy tales set in a world of magic.

Tales of Erana Series

Tales of Erana Series by A. L. Butcher @libraryoferana #fantasy #shortstories #SFF

Hurrah, here is my book series spotlight for Tales of Erana.

Also now in print on Amazon, and arriving in the associated stores soon.

 

Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake – Pre-release #Fantasy #Eranafic

Tales of Erana Series.pngI am delighted to announce the forthcoming release of Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake on Kindle pre-release.  The final release date is 6th May 2017.

(Adult rated for a sexy scene, some themes, and mild violence).

Coel, the bard, thinks his life has taken a turn for the worst, but he hasn’t met the Thiefmaster yet. An ill-conceived notion of earning more money to pay off his debt and escape a dark past leaves the minstrel in a situation he can’t escape and with a deadly bargain. Will he survive his mistake? Who is this mysterious patron?

You might have seen the first incarnation of this tale in Nine Heroes: Tales of Heroic Fantasy but it has been expanded, revised and generally made a whole lot more spiffy:)

Our hero, Coel, is a charming young chap with a talent for music and bedding the ladies (and sometimes the fellas too – no prejudice in Erana, at least not of that sort.) Unfortunately, he has got himself into a bit of a pickle – with a surprise corpse, another man’s wife and an innocent man being punished. Quite some pickle. On the run, living in hiding in the slums of the city of Varlek – a jaded old crone – he thinks life could not get much worse, or more complicated. Oh, how wrong can he be?

Thus our intrepid bard must extricate himself from an impossible situation, understand the rules of another man’s deadly game, redeem himself and generally live to see the dawn.

Currently, the novella is only on Amazon pre-release but should be arriving on Smashwords and hence the associated stores in the next couple of week.

And I’ll let you into a secret…. there might be a combined collection of Erana tales comprising all the stories to date appearing on Bundle Rabbit. More to follow on that.

In the meantime, do order Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake and tell your friends.

Oh and Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends will now be only 99c (77p).

 

Book Cover

The Shining Citadel – now in audio #fantasy #Lightbeyondthestorm

Hurrah! First new release of the year:)

The Shining Citadel is now out as an audio edition, narrated by Rob Goll. It sounds wonderful!  Rob is versatile, filled with passion for his craft and I’d have no problem at all hiring him again.

So anyway the book:

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book II

Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden and elves enslaved? A journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy. (Please note the 18+ rating.)

We welcome back Dii, Archos, Olek and Ozena and meet some new folks – good and bad. This is a book of revelations – many of them most unwelcome – of heroism, the issue of choice, the nature of good and evil and of course magic and mayhem.

I think Dii really comes into her own here; starting to become the woman she always should have been it’s not an easy journey. That’s reflected in the epic quest to find a lost elven citadel, and discover that truth may be relative and certainly not what it first appears.

 

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2iSW5GF

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2iOOWoB

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2i3tf5t

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2j1DSnF

shining-citadel-square-audio

KDP and Publishing – a Noob’s Guide Part 3

(C)A L Butcher

It never ceases to amaze me how people (often quite intelligent people) don’t bother to read things beyond what they want to see. Where I work (won’t mention the name) I’m forever yelling things like RTFM (read the f*cking manual) as no one has bothered to read past the first line of the email telling them what is needed, and more importantly how and when. And public wise – honestly – read the bloody info!

KDP-wise – check out the forums BEFORE you ask that question that has been asked a thousand times before. I’ve said it before READ THE FAQ. PLEASE. Years ago when I ventured on the Lulu forums as a noob I got totally roasted as I asked noobie questions and certain folks there really were NOT helpful. Anyway general the KDP folks are but it becomes very tedious with newbies asking the same questions as the person 30 seconds before.

Also if you want advice – then don’t fly off the handle if you’re given it and don’t like what you’re told. There are hundreds of threads asking about why books don’t sell, why the reports are ‘lying’, why the big bad Zon are diddling hardworking authors out of their money and mostly it’s bollocks. There are a number of active forum members who are happy to offer advice, point people towards the relevant FAQ area and try and help, but bitching to them as they’ve told you your book needs more work, or you haven’t registered your bank account etc, and getting snarky is likely to piss people off and remove said advice in the future.

So why isn’t your book selling? There are millions of books available on Kindle, and thousands more are uploaded every day. Why should anyone look at, or even find your book, or mine for that matter?

Reasons:

Promoting and marketing are not Amazon’s job – it’s yours. And it’s hard work, it takes time, patience and a certain degree of luck. There are tons of threads asking for advice on how to go about this. What works for one person might not work for another so there is a lot of trial and error. Here are some of the tactics I use and have used but there are plenty of others:

Author interviews. Get yourself on blogs and spotlights. There are hundreds if not thousands of blogs that will offer interviews, features and spotlights either free or at low cost. (This one for a start).  Obviously, there is some effort in this – you have to search around to find suitable blogs – genre related is better but some people do offer to any genre. Ask the host what their following is – what you get – especially if you are expected to pay.

https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com/ – is a great promotional site. The hosters are friendly and although the author does have to pay, it’s worth the money. At roughly $11.50 a shot, it’s within the budget of newbies.

Get your own blog/website. Currently, we are working on a website to companion the blog and promote my books. It’s useful to have a website – especially if you have more than one book. You can pay, or try and make your own for low cost  Try WordPress.com, Wix.com or squarespace.com. I think a blog of some sort is a must. For a start it allows you to network – and this is really important. Generally, indie authors are a supportive lot and will reciprocate.  Also, a blog is a space for readers and followers to get to know you (ditto author interviews). It’s not just about the books.  Some people say it takes time away from writing – well yes and no. It does take time away from stories but you are still writing, and honing skills. It makes you think about what to write, who your audience is, what is interesting, what isn’t. Of course, many bloggers use their space to share research or topics that interest them. I’m big on research and I think this also gives the reader some confidence that the author knows what they are talking about.

Facebook: It’s worth getting an author/book page on Facebook.

Here’s mine https://www.facebook.com/LightBeyondtheStorm

Recently I took a foundation diploma in social media marketing and one of the modules dealt with Facebook and ads. I haven’t used a paid ad there yet (I may next year) but there are plenty of free groups that allow promotion. Some people say FB isn’t a good platform – I disagree. I’ve bought books directly from FB promotions and I’ve made good friends and good contacts from FB.

Twitter: I wasn’t a fan of Twitter and held off getting an account for some while. Does it help? Yes, I think so. It’s a good platform to get the word out.

Why else might the book not be selling?

It’s crap. Of course ‘crap’ is a relative term but generally, I mean it’s badly formatted, badly written and well, bad. We’ve probably all seen them: those books in which the English language and grammar are distinctly lacking and a plot is absent or scraped from the internet. Now every author thinks their book is great, but it’s worth making sure it’s well written, formatted properly and (preferably) edited.  Do you have a decent cover? A decent synopsis?

KDP don’t have a quality check – that’s your job as well, at least in part. Formatting guidelines can be found here: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A12NQC9HQPI9CA

I find formatting for Kindle a lot easier than the other formats but with a decent knowledge of MSword it’s not that tricky. If you don’t have a good grasp you may be better to hire a formatter. (That might be a service on offer from us next year) or search the interweb for sites.

It’s worth remembering it takes time to build a following. Very few indie authors release a book and it’s a best seller in a week. It can take years.

There’s a particular poster on the KDP forum who tells newbies to write what sells. If you’re like me you can’t simply sit down and say ‘ah romance is hot this week – I’ll write a romance novel’. Well, I can but no one would want to read it. Besides what is popular changes. Tastes change.

It annoys me – substandard ‘popular’ trash uploaded quickly with no care for the reader. There’s a reason indies have a bad rep. Grr.

What I’m rambling about is basically – it takes time, patience and works to sell books. The writing is easy (sort of). Do the best you can with the resources you can spare.

KDP Support Contact https://kdp.amazon.com/contact-us

Boo! Authors – A.L. Butcher #Horror

Who are you? I’m A. L. Butcher (Alexandra) but most people call me Alex.

Tell us about your Boo! story: The Watcher is a rewrite of a short story set during the Autumn of Terror –1888’s London and the killer known to history as Jack the Ripper.  He was, and still is, an enigma and has fascinated me for years. I read a lot of true crime and have read most of the theories about his (or her) identity. This is a work of fiction – a might have been. It’s dark, violent and disturbing. But then again it’s meant to be.

What else have your written? Lots. I have a series of dark adult fantasy fiction, which has been called ‘sex and sorcery’. The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles is set in a world where magic is illegal and half the population is enslaved. Please check out my author profile or blog for further details.

I’ve also got several short stories, and short story collections of fantasy tales, a book of poetry and, most recently, a short tragic tale based around the Phantom of the Opera.

 

What frightens you the most? Clowns, enclosed spaces, cancer.

Have you ever seen a ghost? Probably. There was definitely something there. Our old house had some…. strange habits and I worked in a couple of places with ‘documented’ spooks.

What are you reading at the moment? A book about Woodes Rogers (a local privateer turned pirate hunter), a book about the ‘invention’ of murder by the Victorians, and a book about ancient Rome.

If you could meet any living famous person for dinner who would it be and what would you eat?

Sir David Attenborough. Cheese on toast or my late mother’s steak and kidney stewJ

If you could meet any dead famous person who would be and what would you have to eat?

Terry Pratchett, or Leonardo Da Vinci – same as above.

Which book do you see as the most influential in your life?

Many, many, many books. Phantom of the Opera; Count of Monte Christo; Wuthering Heights; Dracula; most of the Discworld series; Lord of the Rings: I, the Sun; Watership Down, and lots more.

In the zombie apocalypse what would be your weapon of choice with which to defend yourself?

Flamethrower with unlimited fuel, failing that a sword probably.

 

 

Social media links etc.

A.L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series, and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genres.  She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys. Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.

 

Blog:                      https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/

Goodreads:        https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430414A_L_Butcher

Amazon:              http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexandra-Butcher/e/B008BQFCC6/

Twitter:                @libraryoferana

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

Interview with AL Butcher

My latest author interview:) #Fantasy #Lightbeyondthestorm

shona kinsella

Today. I’m pleased to welcome AL Butcher to the blog. Alexandra is the author of several fantasy novels as well as being a poet.

1)     To start with, could you introduce yourself and tell us about your current project?

Hi, I’m Alexandra (A.L Butcher), British fantasy author and poet. My current project? Which one…. Let me see – I have a couple of Tales of Erana novellas I’m working on, a horror anthology, another poetry collection, and the next novel in my series.

2)     Would you mind sharing an excerpt with us, or a favourite quote?

chronicles-banner24Shivering, Dii pulled her old wool cloak around her and looked at the sky, the stars now fading into the grey dawn. Mages could sense the weather, so Dii knew that more rain would follow this day; even now she could sense the pressure in the air. Hunger made her belly grumble, and as…

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Echoes of a Song – New Release – Dark Fantasy/Horror/Phantom

Those of you who know me fairly well will be aware that the love of my life is the Phantom of the Opera. I first saw the stage show in London with the great Michael Crawford when I was 11 and from then I adored it. The original story was written by Gaston Leroux, a French author of mystery, suspense and horror in 1910 (and 1911 for the English translation).

I’m sure many of you know the story – or think you do but I’ll summarise it here:

The Paris Opera House has been ‘haunted’ by the mysterious Opera Ghost, whose antics include fleecing the managers out of a good deal of money, causing mayhem among the young and niave corps de ballet and a number of other rather mischievous and wicked events. Many tales abound of this strange figure but no one has really seen the man he truly is.

Christine Daae – the young and rather innocent daughter of a Swedish musician joins and the Phantom becomes her ‘maestro’, her ‘good genius’. Giving her singing lessons, filling her niave head with tales of angels, and fantasy he weaves a spell for them both that can only end in tragedy. And it does.

Erik, for that’s the name he uses, although we never learn his real name, is disfigured form birth. Leroux’s book describes him as a human skeleton – with pale, yellowish flesh, sunken glowing eyes and just a hole where his nose should be. Hence he wears a mask, hides himself away and is rarely seen by anyone except as the ghost. Erik is a tragic soul – he is a man, with a man’s desires, emotions and needs but because of his appearance cannot find love, or even affection. He claims not even his mother loved him. So when he falls hard for the young singer he tries to win her love with his voice. For he has ‘the voice of an angel.’ To complicate matters Christine is wooed by the young, handsome and equally niave Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny who ends up fighting the phantom for her hand. Someone is going to lose. And I confess I cried the first time I read the book, pretty much every time since then and at every show I saw – considering I worked for a month or more on the National Tour I still blubbed at the end. This story is passionate, tragic, filled with suspense and is, ultimately, a love story – and whether it has a happy ending depends on your point of view.

So what’s my point here? Echoes of a Song is a short tale from Raoul’s point of view set twelve or so years after the events at the opera house. Keep in mind his brother died there, he was imprisoned there, he was forced to try and rescue his fiancee there and almost die and so it’s not somewhere filled with happy memories. Raoul has issues. I guess now we’d call it PTSD or something similar. Anyway he’s not a happy bunny but he’s doing the best he can for his young family, despite what appears to be a curse on his family. In Raoul’s troubled imagination the ghosts of the past are everywhere, and a strange and powerful music still calls in his dreams.

Madness, obsession and the legacy of the past weave their spell in this short, tragic tale based on the Phantom of the Opera.

I haven’t seen a great deal of stories from Raoul’s point of view (I’ve read a few… not that it’s an obsession or anything) and so this is his story.  It’s dark, and leaves much unanswered, but that’s part of the point. Was Erik more than a man? Was Raoul and Christine’s life going to be simple? What aftermath was there?

This is a tale of love, of hatred and mystery – much like the original.

Available on Amazon for just 99c (99p) this a great coffee break read for phantom fans, and those who like old style horror.

Please note the Phantom of the Opera is a public domain work.

mask in hand.halloween concept

Synopsis

Echoes of a Song – Legacy of the Mask Tales

A dozen tumultuous years after the dramatic events at the Paris Opera House Raoul, Comte de Chagny is still haunted by the mysterious Opera Ghost – the creature of legend who held staff at the Opera House under his thrall, kidnapped Raoul’s lover and murdered his brother. In Raoul’s troubled imagination the ghosts of the past are everywhere, and a strange and powerful music still calls in his dreams.

Madness, obsession and the legacy of the past weave their spell in this short, tragic tale based on the Phantom of the Opera.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1P25XF

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M1P25XF

Author Interview – A.L. Butcher – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles, Tales of Erana, Shattered Mirror: A Poetry Collection & The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales: A Fire-Side Tales Collection

My latest interview. #Fantasy #Lightbeyondthestorm

toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

Hello everyone.

The weekend starts here, so put on your party gear!

For today’s scintillating segment in the Author Interviews Series, may I present to you all the extremely talented author A.L. Butcher, as she delves deeper with us into her fantasy books, exquisite poetry and short story collections.

Come with us both on a magical journey that I am sure you will all enjoy and have a fantastic weekend, thank you for reading.

Hi there Alex, it is with the greatest of pleasure to have you here as our guest today.

Let’s begin with your Light Beyond The Storm Chronicles series. Tell us more about the genre, characters and world that this series inhabits, along with the challenges that our heroes face.

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles is a fantasy series laced with steamy romance. One reviewer labelled it sex and sorcery 🙂 The land of Erana is…

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