Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Up and Coming: A Third Book in The Chronicles of Demetri Risk & Sneak Peek?

This morning I thought I'd share just a snippet of my upcoming book, The Sin Eater's Curse. It is the continuation of The Chronicles of Demetri Risk, and the third in the series.  Right now the plan is to make it a longer story, perhaps novella or even full-length, but who really knows. That could change once I really get into the story.

You're going to see some familiar characters. Of course, there's Demetri, Esmeralda, and Brosnan. I also plan to introduce Lady Scarlet Ashcroft in the flesh. She's a character I created sometime back just for a fun piece, and she's been mentioned in the past. She has really come to life in this book, and I think she may be sticking around for future ones.

There are quite a few changes that have happened between the end of The Succubus Within and The Sin Eater's Curse, and even more unexpected changes coming in the third installment. I decided to open the book with Nazi Germany, and portray the evils of a concentration camp. So, the book starts out a lot darker than Demon Night or The Succubus Within. In fact, it's going to be darker through-out, but I am really enjoying the writing process and seeing all the new places Demetri is visiting.

I hope you enjoy the snippet. Thanks for reading!


The Sin Eater's Curse

“Does it work? I will be forgiven?” The old man’s blue eyes widened but were barely visible in the dark room.

A shrouded priest poured wine into a goblet, as the old man leaned closer to him. His clasped his fingers until his knuckles turned white.

The priest sat the goblet onto the table in front of them beside a hand-dipped candle and nodded. “Yes. For everything. I will bear your sin, and you shall carry it no more.”

The old man smiled, and the folds around his cheeks sunk in. “For everything.” He took a deep breath, then exhaled in a low whistle. “I was sixteen, you know when they came to power. We were young and German. I wanted to make my fatherland proud. I only did my duty.”

The priest nodded and placed a small wafer into a copper charger. “Tell me more.” 

“I killed many. Although, how many I do not know. They came into camp by rail car. So many were already dead and stinking when they got there. The old and very young couldn’t make the trip. No food, no water, and the heat.” The man frowned. “I can still taste the stench.”

“More.” The priest sat down in front of him. Shadows danced against the priest’s face, but his dark eyes seemed to glow from beneath the hood.

The old man examined the priest’s eyes, and he swallowed hard. For a fleeting moment, fear flashed across the old man’s face, but as quickly as it had appeared it disappeared. 


The old man nodded and coughed. “I had to clean the rail cars after they were sent into the camp. We loaded bodies into wagons and burned them. I wanted to burn them all. I hated them. Because of them, I had to leave my school, my home, my family. I lost so much.” He dabbed at the corner of his eye with a handkerchief.  “It was hard work, and the stink of it.” The old man shivered. “I couldn’t escape the smell of them, so I started drinking. One night after a particularly hot day, Ernst and I went to the bar.” He stared at his shaking hands.

The priest leaned forward. “Give me your hand. I want to see.” He pressed hard against the old man’s hand until his fingernails dug into his palm. The room spun around them. The old man closed his eyes fighting off the urge to vomit. When the motion stopped, he opened them. Shock filled his body as his memories unfolded.

Suddenly, the pair were in front of a bar. Two men in Nazi uniforms exited onto the street. 

Tears flowed down the old man’s face. “Why have you brought us here, priest? I don’t want to see anymore.”

The priest clutched the old man’s arm. “You have no choice. If I must live with what you’ve done, you can stand silent as the past unfolds.” He tightened his grip. “Understand.”

The old man nodded.

The young Nazi soldiers had stopped in front of the bar. The older of the pair lit a cigarette. He cast his companion a sideways glance. “Karl. You stink of Jew.”

The blond haired man sniffed his uniform. The unmistakable smell of fire clung to the fibers of his coat. “No, I don’t, Ernst. I smell faintly of smoke. That’s all. Perhaps a nice campfire.”

He shook his head. “You do. I can smell the train on you. You stink of it. No wonder we couldn’t get girls tonight.” Ernst took another drag.

Anger flashed across Karl’s face. He swung at his friend, and missed, falling to the ground.

Ernst laughed. His cigarette hung low from the corner of his mouth. “You’re drunk, and you stink.” He pulled Karl to his feet. “Let’s go.”

The pair stumbled down the dirt road that led back to the barracks, and past the epicenter of the concentration camp. A woman’s cries pierced the darkness and echoed across the road.

Ernst frowned. “Stupid woman. She’ll wake up the Commandant.”

“A Jew. What do you expect?” Karl spat in the dirt.

The woman screamed again.

Ernst unholstered his pistol and entered the camp. They followed the sound of her voice. 

The woman sat underneath a tree in the darkness, rocking back and forth. She held a small body in her arms. Another sob escaped her throat. “My baby.” Tears fell down her face, leaving muddy tracks.

Karl rushed to her side. “Shut up woman. You’ll wake the entire camp.”

She looked up at him. “My baby. She’s dead.”

Ernst kicked her, and she screamed. “Good. One less Jewess. I said shut up.” Ernst kicked her again, this time hard enough to knock the dead child from her arms.

The woman scrambled to pick up her baby. Karl kicked her in the back and she went flying face down into the dirt, her dress slid high on her thighs.

Ernst licked his lips. “What do you say, Karl?”

Karl nodded, and pointed his pistol at her head. “Don’t make a sound.”

The woman whimpered, as the men closed in on her, ripping her dress and satisfying their most primal needs. 

The woman lay still, but small groans escaped her throats. Her tear-stained voice, whispered, “You’re monsters.”

Karl straddled her waist, and shoved her head hard into the dirt. “I am not a monster!”

The woman spit in his face. “Yes, you are.”

His fingers curled around her neck and shook her side to side. “Say that again, Jew.”

She struggled beneath his weight, but didn’t have enough strength to free herself.

Karl pushed his thumbs into her neck, and she arched her back. He met her resistance with more force, pushing harder until her movements stopped and the small veins in her eyes burst. He stood up and buttoned his trousers.

Ernst laughed. “Stupid Jew. She should have shut up.” He kicked her body. “Guess we’ll need to throw them in the pit.”

Karl shrugged. “I guess.”

The men carried the woman and baby to the side of the death pit and tossed them in. They landed with a thud.

Karl laughed. “Guess who stinks of Jew now?”

The image faded from the priest’s mind. “Is there more?” He licked his lips.

“Yes. Much more.” Tears slid down the old man’s face. “I need forgiveness, Father.”

He patted the back of Karl’s hand. “It will be okay, my son. You shall have forgiveness.” He turned Karl’s hand over and started to carve a cross in the center of his hand with his long fingernail. Karl tried to pull away, but the man’s grip was too strong. “Relax. It will all be over soon.” 

Blood pulled in Karl’s hand and he whimpered.

The priest prayed over the cup and the bread, then slid the bread into his mouth. The room spun as the old man’s sins and memories filled his mind. The priest’s eyes grew darker, and his eye-teeth elongated. 

Momentarily, fear swept across Karl’s face, as the priest dug his teeth into his neck, and he tried to pull away.

The priest drunk his fill and Karl’s body crumpled to the floor.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Differences Between Novels, Shorts, and More!

The world of publishing is ever-changing, and new trends develop almost daily, or so it seems. A few years ago I worked in a big-box bookstore, and even then the literary world was changing. Today, gone is the restrictions on so many “fundamental” standards of what constitutes a piece of literature that will sell. Believe it or not, today’s publishing market, especially for those who publish through Amazon KDP is a virtual wonderland.

Traditionally, when you think of publishing a work, you categorize it by calling it a novel, novella or short story. Today those categories are broken down even further (if you publish virtually.) In fact, remember the stories of the dime store novels, or the history of people like Poe who published serial stories in newspapers and magazines? Today, the dime store novel has made a comeback, and serials are even sought after!

So, what I am telling you is that there are so many different categories and options for publishing an ebook, you may already have a few “books” nearly finished, and you don’t even know it. Now for you purists, I am going to use the term book interchangeably, even for a short read, so button down the hatches and get ready to deal with it. 

Cool Amazon Listing Categories

Now, you don’t have to list your book in these categories. Amazon does it for you. I believe it is based on word count, but who really knows because, well Amazon.
Short Reads! And I mean exactly what I said. Short reads!!!

Short Reads come in all lengths: 30-minute reads (12-21 pages), 45-minute reads (22-32 pages), 1-hour (33-43 pages), and 2-hour reads (65-100 pages). Traditional short stories fall into this category. Short stories are no more than 10,000 words, but unlike traditional short stories, these stories are published individual instead of in a collection of works. Cool, right? People actually love this length, because it gives them something to read during a few minutes of downtime. Think of them as temporary escapes from the daily grind.

With that said, there are some critics who just like to complain that there isn’t enough to read in these kinds of stories. I say BOO on YOU! Stand up for yourself, mark the story a short read, and be done with it. Trust me; I’ve had scores of downloads on mine. If people didn’t want them, Amazon wouldn’t be selling them.

Of course, make sure to price them accordingly. I’ve had a few of mine priced anywhere between .99 and 2.99 and still really haven’t found the sweet spot for sales. Some people don’t want to pay 2.99 for a short read, but some people will. Investigate your market to see what books in your genre are selling for. I’ve downloaded many short reads that were listed at 2.99 because I had Kindle Unlimited. So, that’s also a thing you should consider when pricing. Are you going to list in Kindle Unlimited? If so, you can probably get by with the higher price.

Novellas: Extended Short Stories.

I love the novella. I suspect most of my fiction writing falls into this category. Novellas tend to be between 10,001 to 39,999 words. Novellas are long enough to spin a good yarn, and keep people wanting more.

Pricing a novella can be tricky, but most of the time I price mine at 2.99. Again, that depends on the genre and if a work is fiction or nonfiction. I can’t stress enough to do market research.

Short Novel: A Baby Novel

Short novels are long enough to be considered a true “book” but are not quite long enough to be a novel. Short novel word count falls between 40,000 and 59,000 words. Depending on the genre, this may be the traditional word count for a book. For example, the typical romance novel only has around 40,000 to 45,000 words.

Short novel pricing is a little easier for me. I generally price these novels for 4.99. That gives an author a 70% royalty rate and about 3.50 per book. That is a huge royalty rate! Royalties on traditionally published books at this price are less than a dollar per book. It’s easy to see why so many traditionally published authors are taking up the Indie platform.

Novel: Wow! Did you really write that much?

A novel is anything over 60,000 words. That is a lot of writing, and if you have made it to this word count you deserve a pat on the back!!! Novels are those books you see in the bookstore that are ginormous. Think Stephen King, and Harry Potter book 7. When I wrote my first book, I told myself that I just had to write 250 pages and I would have a book. It helped me move forward, and I finally produced a book, even though it took years. A long time ago, these were the novels that you slaved over and then sent off to publishers. I am happy to say in today’s market; you can slave over it, have it edited, then upload it yourself for a nifty profit.

Be careful when you price your novel. Novel prices are all over the place. You don’t want to price your book too low and undervalue it, but you don’t want to price it too high either. Again, market research is your new best friend. Different genres and different topics of non-fiction get different prices. I like to see what traditional authors in my genre are selling their books at and make sure I don’t price mine over that. Let’s face it, I’m not JK Rowling, or Stephanie Meyer, no matter how much I’d like to be selling books like them.

I hope if you’re writing these breakdowns will help you, and also if you were unfamiliar with short reads, I am glad you now know about them. I look forward to hearing from you!

*Originally posted at COCWA, by Arwen Chandler (Susan Elliott)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sneak Peek: Working Book Call Me Damon Rowe by Arwen Chandler

Inspirational Cover Only
So, I'm working on a new book. It's not in the Outer World Chronicles, nor the Seven Kingdoms, and doesn't include Demetri Risk. It does, however, feature a female pirate that would give Jack Sparrow a run for his money.

I haven't decided which way I'm going to take it. Do I want to keep it a straight historical romance, or do I want to add a touch of fantasy? (I'm leaning toward fantasy, but only time will tell.)

So, I'm going to share with you a sneak peek of the rough draft. I hope you enjoy it!


Call Me Damon Rowe

Chapter One

The salty sea breeze spun through the open window so that the gauzy white curtains danced in the air as it drifted into the room. The early morning sun cast its soft rays of light onto the rows and rows of leather-bound books lining the wall.  Not far in the distance, the faint chatter of pelicans and gulls echoed off the crystal blue water. It was already hot and sticky in Port Avi; the on again, off again breeze was the only reprieve from the soggy heat.
Inside the offices of Litchfield and Froggenhall, Kinborowe Litchfield hunched over his large teak desk. He squinted, his face drawn as he studied the accounting ledger.  “Tyballis, have you met with Mr. Webb? His account is seriously past due. We must repossess.”
“I, umm…” Tyballis cleared his throat, “I met with him only two days ago, forgot to mention it to you…neglected to mark the ledger, sorry.” Tyballis hid his face behind a large stack of papers. Some days he hated his job. “Mr. Webb said he would be in today to put his account in order.” Tyballis slunk down even further in his chair, before adding softly, “I gave him until the close of day to be here.”
A heavy sigh hissed from behind Litchfield’s desk. “Tyballis, my man, you are too saintly. I believe Mr. Webb has already missed his appointment. It was yesterday.” Kinborowe daubed a heavy plumed quill into his glass inkwell before writing the word, Repossess in large letters across the heading of Mr. Webb’s account page. “Another farm and manor house will need to be listed in the advertisement we send back to England. Perhaps we can find a more suitable type of person this time.” Kinborowe shook his head. He had no time for people beneath his class.
Tyballis glanced around his papers. “Yes, Sir. I’ll have the advertisement drawn up.” He frowned and reached inside the desk drawer. He removed small flask and unscrewed the top. He glanced at Kinborowe. He wasn’t looking, so Tyballis took a quick drink and stuffed the bottle back into his desk drawer. His stomach gurgled, and his eyes widened. For a moment, he thought he was going to have to run to the toilet, but almost as suddenly as the urge came on, it subsided. He gently patted his stomach, before returning to his books.
The melodious sound of women’s laughter drifted through the open window and stopped short at the front door.  As the heavy wooden door opened, it struck the silver welcome bell. Kinborowe looked up from his desk and quickly tucked his ledger into a long drawer. A genuine smile tugged at the corners of his mouth.
“Emlinie, my girl, what brings you to town?”
She grinned. “Just a short visit and shopping.”
“Good morning, Miss Joanna.” Kinborowe cast a longing glance over her form, and his eyes rested momentarily on her soft pink breasts. They poked up in peaks above her corset and gently bounced as she walked.
Joanna nodded. “Good morning, Mr. Litchfield. Mr. Froggenhall. I trust this day brings you good health and happiness.” She studied Kinborowe’s dark eyes and tanned skin. Her pulse quickened, and she licked her lips.
“I find myself quite well today, and I trust Mr. Froggenhall is enjoying the same quality of health.” Kinborowe motioned to Tyballis, as he crossed the room. He grabbed Joanna’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze, then dropped it.
“Yes, indeed; quite well today.” Tyballis stood up from his desk and removed a book from the shelves behind his desk. He opened it, disappearing behind its pages.
Kinborowe reached out for Emlinie.
She wrapped her toned arms around her father’s neck and hugged him tightly. “You smell of tobacco and salt water.” She laughed.
Kinborowe sniffed his jacket, “I don’t smell anything.”
“You wouldn’t father. It’s just your scent. And, I love it.”
Kinborowe kissed her cheek.  “And, I love you. Ladies, would you like a seat?” Kinborowe returned to the high-backed leather chair behind his desk.
“Oh, no thank you, Father. We can’t stay long.”
“Well then, may I ask what kind of shopping brings you girls to town today?”  
“As you know Father, the Bushbury’s are planning a ball for tomorrow evening. Joanna and I met early this morning to plan our attire, and I realized I needed to buy new ribbon for my lacings. My heart is set on wearing my green gown, but the lacings are quite worn. I wanted to ask you if I could purchase new ribbons.” She grinned, and her dimples framed her smile.
“How can I resist that face?” Kinborowe leaned back in his chair.
            “Mr. Litchfield, Joanna has to wear her green grown. It brings out the color of her eyes and makes her hair look like the sun setting over the ocean. Emlinie wants to look her very best.” Joanna smiled at Kinborowe and cast Emlinie a knowing look.
“And why is that?” Kinborowe stared deeply into Joanna’s green eyes. He held his gaze until Joanna’s face began to color.
“Jacobus O’Frazier will be there.” Joanna’s lips sucked into her mouth as she inhaled trying to recapture the words.
Emlinie’s gaze shot daggers in Joanna’s direction, but she held her tongue. She grinned again, “Father, the Bushbury’s have invited everyone of standing on the island, and while Mr. O’Frazier earns a meager living, he has governed Knightonn estate for several years now.” Emlinie paused, trying to soothe her father’s sudden change in mood.
“You remember, Mr. and Mrs. Knightonn traveled back to England, a few years ago, because of her failing health. Mr. O’Frazier’s standing in society has improved gradually ever since. So, it’s only natural the Bushburry’s have included him in their invitation. I’m sure you’ve noticed his steady upward climb in society.  Nothing escapes your notice. Father.” Emlinie timidly smiled.
Kinborowe shuffled through some papers. “Yes, I have heard the rumors Jacobus O’ Frazier will inherit the Knightonn estate. Of course, the Knightonns have no sons.”
“Father, Mr. O’Frazier is quite close to Mr. Knightonn. He is like a son. It’s rumored he should inherit at least four-thousand pounds a year at their passing. Quite a living for a man, especially on the island.”
“I see.” Kinborowe studied his daughter’s face. “There may be probate on the matter. It will hold up his inheritance. The estate is on prime property.”
Emlinie frowned. “There’s no one. No distant relations. Nothing. I can’t imagine…”
“Never mind. You needn’t worry.” Kinborowe retrieved his ledger out of the desk drawer. “Emlinie, purchase whatever you need, a new dress if necessary. Tell Mr. Poff to charge it to my account.”
Kinborowe thumbed through his book, then looked up. “I’ve heard Mr. Withinghall will be in attendance. I also hear he fancies you. Emlinie, his estate is worth at least thirty thousand pounds a year, and he winters in Paris. He is a good match; I’d dare say, for my beautiful Emlinie.”
Emlinie paled. “Yes. He should be.”
“Well, you ladies enjoy your day, and tell Mrs. Rigsby I won’t be home for dinner. I’ll be taking it in the public-house tonight.”
“Yes, Father. Thank you.” Emlinie opened the office door, and Joanna followed. “I am tempted to look at Mr. Poff’s latest gowns since you’ve given permission.”
Kinborowe looked at his daughter. “Do as you wish.”
“Thank you.”
He gave Joanna a lusty glance, and she returned his gaze before following Emlinie out of the door.
Kinborowe listened as the girls’ voices grew distant, then spoke. “Tyballis, I don’t like the way Emlinie looks when she speaks about Jacobus O’ Frazier. It worries me, four-thousand pounds a year; ha. That’s nothing for a girl of Emlinie or Joanna’s standing.” 
Tyballis shook his head. “I know Kinborowe; he might as well be a pauper.”

To Be Continued...

That's all for now. I hope you enjoyed your sneak peek into the working world of Arwen Chandler.  If you enjoyed this, make sure to check out my other books available on Amazon.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Battle for the Four Realms: Dragon Bone by Aldrea Johnson

Introducing a new YA novel by author Aldrea Johnson. It's a brand new release, and it looks to be a good one.

About The Battle For the Four Realms: Dragon Bone

"Siblings Aliedori and Maldar, heirs to the throne of the Southern Realm are attacked by an unseen assailant while camping in The Sacred Forest. Aliedori's brother Maldar and his golden dragon, Keidrop, are trapped by a powerful binding spell; a spell that leaves Aliedori strangely unaffected. In a

n attempt to track down their unseen attacker Aliedori uses her natural gifts and casts a "Seeker" charm enabling her to pursue a chase to a shadowy figure through the dark woods until he mysteriously disappears without a trace...and the adventure begins!

As the trio sets off in the direction the mysterious figure disappeared they encounter mysterious creatures formed from dark magic, a mage powerful enough to incapacitate dragons and other threats only ever spoken of by the Chronicler.

As they journey East more of the Chronicler's prediction come true, Aliedori's destiny lay ahead along with ... the battle for the four realms!" (Amazon)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Writing Killer Book Blurbs

Navigating the Indie writing world is tricky, but it's gotten a whole lot easier with the help of Facebook Groups and some great ebooks. There are workshop style groups, and books that cover just about anything, but my favorite by far is a book and group that helps authors tackle blurb writing.

As a word of caution, always read the rules of the group when you join it. You don't want to get banned. I'm speaking from experience here. I joined a group (which I loved) and forgot there was no promo of any kind. I asked for readers. Banned for life. No warning, nothing. So, remember to keep the rules in mind when posting.

Group Help for Writing Awesome Book Blurbs

Perhaps the bane for any writer is writing book blurbs. I know mine have been less than subpar for years. But, I read a few books, joined a Facebook group, and I think I've finally gotten the hang of it.

What do you think? Here's my latest. For Beneath the Metreskan Sands.

Babylonia Steele has spent her life digging in the dirt looking for artifacts, but no dig has ever been as important as the one on Mirada. Her findings could shake the very foundation of the planet’s government. A tip from a traitor in her inner circle has alerted the Militarian authority, and it seeks to stop her at all costs. Fortunately for her, her closest friend just happens to be Gwyn Casteliano, the best smuggler, and pilot in the quadrant. In a life and death chase, she will risk all to protect her findings. Will the government destroy her? Will she lose everything Beneath the Metreskan Sands?

I think it's pretty good, but I thought the other ones were pretty good, too. I needed a second opinion, so I submitted it to the Facebook group and got feedback. It was a go. If there had been a problem, members would have helped me rewrite it, or offered suggestions. This is the kind of help you can find in Facebook groups.

I highly recommend the group Write Compelling Fiction Blurbs with Glenna Mageau. It's a small group, but highly resourceful and engaging.

More Help for Writing Awesome Book Blurbs

Gotta Read It! by Libbie Hawker, is currently free on Amazon. I don't know if it is perma-free, or not. But, I highly recommend getting it either way. I have a hard time following author's instructions for writing book blurbs, because I often equate those instructions with word problems, and I hate math. I think it's because of my dyslexia of math, but either way, I didn't have this problem with this book. It was easy to understand, and once I found the golden nugget inside, it was simple and step by step. I have used her formula ever since.

I don't want to give away the exact details because I don't want to spoil the book or reveal her secrets, but Ms. Hawker boils down a hard and difficult subject into five sentences that for me, were life changing.

What books or Facebook groups have you found helpful? I'd love to hear from you!


Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Short Time Opportunity for Space Opera Fans: Beneath the Metreskan Sands Free Promo

Don't miss this opportunity to get your own copy of the newly released book, Beneath the Metreskan Sands. It's the continuing adventures of Gwyn and Adrik, with a whole lot of awesomeness thrown in the mix. Get yours today.

Free Promo is 5/27/2017-5/28/2017

About Beneath the Metreskan Sands

Babylonia Steele has spent her life digging in the dirt looking for artifacts, but no dig has ever been as important as the one on Mirada. Her findings could shake the very foundation of the planet’s government. A tip from a traitor in her inner circle has alerted the Militarian authority, and it seeks to stop her at all costs. Fortunately for her, her closest friend just happens to be Gwyn Casteliano, the best smuggler, and pilot in the quadrant. In a life and death chase, she will risk all to protect her findings. Will the government destroy her? Will she lose everything Beneath the Metreskan Sands?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

New From Arwen Chandler: Beneath the Metreskan Sands

Beneath the Metreskan Sands will be out May 26, 2017! Make sure to check it out for pre-order!

About Beneath the Metreskan Sands

"Babylonia Steele has spent her life digging in the dirt looking for artifacts, but no dig has ever been as important as the one on Mirada. Her findings could shake the very foundation of the planet’s government. A tip from a traitor in her inner circle has alerted the Militarian authority, and it seeks to stop her at all costs. Fortunately for her, her closest friend just happens to be Gwyn Casteliano, the best smuggler, and pilot in the quadrant. In a life and death chase, she will risk all to protect her findings. Will the government destroy her? Will she lose everything Beneath the Metreskan Sands?"

Beneath the Metreskan Sands is the third book in The Outer World Chronicles.

Book One: The Militarian Job

About The Militarian Job:

Gwyn's smuggling activity has never been secret, but she has always flown under the radar of the Militarian -- until now. Forced to smuggle or die by order of the Militarian authority, she is on the run with a steep price on her head. Smuggling may be lucrative, but it becomes clear that her dangerous activity has compromised both herself, a new life form, and her family back home. Faced with a lifetime sentence on a prison planet, she and Adrik, her new ex-Militarian ally, must find a way to right the wrongs they've committed, and escape the Militarian death-grip she's fallen under.

Book Two: The Louvre Still Stands

About The Louvre Still Stands:

In a perilous age where humanity lives under the control of the Militarian government, one woman risks  life, limb, and ship, for a lost treasure trove on old Earth.

Gwyndalaria Casteliano, Captain of the starship Pleiades, leads her Ex-Militarian companion Adrik, and her childhood friend Rodrigo on the treasure hunt of a lifetime. While the common belief is that old Earth has been completely lost, after a bio chemical attack, Gwyn knows it’s ripe for the taking.

Intelligence, bought for a steep price, proves that the Louvre still stands. Gwyn leads her comrades on an adventure of a lifetime, as they make a desperate attempt at fortune. It’s too bad Militarian troops are hot on their trail.

Monday, May 1, 2017

War Machine by Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel

Check out the new book War Machine from the Destiny in the Shadows series. Not only are you in for an exciting read, when you purchase War Machine, you are helping to protect child and sex trafficking victims in Cambodia through Agape International Missions. Ten percent of the proceeds of the sales will go to support this great effort.

War Machine Book Blurb:

"Blackmailed, cornered, and screwed. That’s what happens when you get caught… If you’re an assassin, that is. 

When a contract killer teams up with a four-star general to track down an elusive terrorist group intent upon detonating a nuclear bomb inside their city, sparks fly and not of the romantic variety. Racing against the clock through the desert, facing harrowing odds and dire consequences should they fail, they discover that the terrorists aren’t always the ones to fear… and may not be their true enemy.

Set in the ruins of New York, WAR MACHINE is a fast-paced adventure thriller filled with betrayal, suspense, and alliances that quickly turn into deadly enemies. Destiny in the Shadows hauntingly echoes the state of the world today and the fate of the heroes determined to save it.

Praise for Destiny in the Shadows 

" Absolutely WAR MACHINE is a well written novel that one cannot stop reading until the very last page - and then thirsts for a sequel! I especially love how the characters play off of and interact with one another throughout, especially given their roles on a journey that could prove to be a death mission in a dark world of deception. There is a balanced essence of danger, compassion, romance, and even humor, all elements not easy to successfully combine. Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel nailed it with all the skills of a seasoned writer. I cannot wait to read more from this budding, brilliant author! "
- A Goodreads Review

Keep up with Maggie on her blog: Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel

Monday, April 24, 2017

Kim Huther a Fantastic and Experienced Editor

You've used Word proofreading and Grammarly. Should you still hire an editor? The resounding answer is YES! Even the best of us need an extra pair of eyes on our masterpieces. I've had my fair share of oops, how did I miss thats?

Trust me, you don't want to be there. Kim Huther is available to help you make your work shine. Her website is Wordsmith Proofreading, and you can also check out her Facebook Page, Wordsmith Proof Reading Services.


Her current rates as of April 2017 are $4/page or $.016/word (client's choice)

Your writing is perfect, so why hire a proofreader?

You want your manuscript to be taken seriously, to be reviewed positively, but you know errors strewn throughout your pages will stop publishers, agents, and readers in their tracks. A professional proofreader/editor can rescue you from duplicated words, homophones, rogue capitalization, improper indentations, missing punctuation, AND keep your readers from scratching their heads when a sentence just doesn't make sense.

As a first-time author, it can be tempting to call in favors to keep your costs down, but editing an entire book is not the same as proofreading your college papers. This is your life's work; you shouldn’t trust it to just anyone. Hiring a professional will save you time, and their impartiality will provide an honest examination that a friend or relative may not give.

Kimberly Huther of Wordsmith Proofreading has edited over 500 manuscripts since 2008. She's a five-star-rated editor with clients ranging from first-time authors to signed, recognizable names. She knows what your manuscript needs to get you noticed and provide a smooth reading experience for your target audience.

Here's what some of Kimberly's clients have to say: 

  • "She is affordable, professional, flexible in working with my multiple genres, and has a great attitude." 
  • "Kim has dramatically improved my final manuscripts." 
  • "Kim has become a rock star with editing." 

By the time you write “The End,” you will have read your manuscript so many times you may believe it’s perfect as-is, but send one chapter to Kimberly Huther and you’ll see the value in hiring a professional to polish your pages. 

Call today, because with reviews like this one you can see that she’s in demand: 

"I plan on hiring her for as much as she'd like to edit for me." 

You should, too.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Free Promo: The Militarian Job by Arwen Chandler

So, have you already read The Louvre Still Stands? Well, if you have great because you already know Gwyn and Adrik. If you haven't don't worry there's still time, and you don't need to read it first. The Militarian Job is the prequel to the short read, The Louvre Still Stands, and it is currently on free kindle promo April 23/2017-April 27/2017.

The Militarian Job is already making wave worldwide. Within twenty-four hours of publication, it hit number one in both marine science fiction and space operas in the United Kingdom, as well as one-hundred-fifty-three in the general Kindle store. Here at home, it's already reached seventh and ninth in those categories, and just over 2,000 in the Kindle free store.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to own your own free copy of The Militarian Job today!

Book Blurb:

“You think the Admiral will come looking for us?”
“I’m certain of it.” Adrik removed the wrist band from around his wrist and placed it on the picnic table. “We’re going to be blind for a bit.”
Gwyn reached into her bag and retrieved a small black box. She placed it in his hand. “Put it against your wristband. It’ll reformat the tracers, so it can’t be tracked.”
Adrik followed her directions. The box turned green as he passed it over the band. 
“It’s good and completely untraceable. You can put it back on.”
Adrik secured it back in place. “Your tech is pretty sweet, Gwyn.”
She smiled. “I know a guy.”

Smuggling is lucrative, but life-threatening when the solar system’s reigning military organization hires Gwyn Casteliano for an illegal and dangerous operation.

Gwyndalaria Casteliano, the best starship pilot and smuggler in the quadrant, is apprehensive when summoned to Raygus Prime, by the head of the Militarian. But, how can you tell him no, when he holds those you love in his powerful hands?

Accompanied by Lieutenant Commander Adrik, she fights her way across the system, chased by bounty hunters. What’s a girl to do when she falls for the Militarian man she is accused of kidnapping? Gwyn has a plan.

And Don't forget to check out The Louvre Still Stands!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Opportunity to Delve into a New Telling of Little Red Riding Hood For Free

fantasy books, books about red riding hood, red riding hood
(c) Aly Runke
Aly Runke is looking for readers, and you can be one. Her book, Lilith, is now available for download through Inkitt.


In a world where the sun hasn't shined in centuries, a battle has been waged between the two species at the top of the food chain -- the Lupus and man. Adapted to living with limited resources, control over the water resources is mandatory for survival. Keeping a balance are the Hoodsmen who protect man from the dangers of resource starved animals. Lilith is the daughter of the deceased Master Hoodsman, her Uncle has taken up the mantle, but not everything is as it seems. Lilith learns of the hardship s of the people under her Uncle's regime, and that the Lupus attack that took er mother and her childhood wasn't t all that it seemed.

You can read the Prologue and download your own copy from Inkitt. Click: here.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Free for a Limited Time: Demon Night by Arwen Chandler

The first episode of The Chronicles of Demetri Risk is free for a limited time. Make sure to get your copy.


About Demon Night: The Chronicles of Demetri Risk

The night walker shrieked, and slashed at him with clawed fingers. The claws ripped his flesh, burning as if the fires of hell themselves had etched the four-inch gashes across his skin.

Demon hunter and magician, Demetri Risk, lives a life on the edge, and the Order of the Craft has noticed.

On the most dangerous night of the year, Demetri is summoned to the manor house of Brosnan Cage. Unwittingly, Demetri enters into a dangerous hunt that leads the Order to the brink of extinction. Will the Order survive in the light of the blood moon?

Editorial Review:

This story opens fast and never lets you catch your breath. I can't wait until the next episode!
--Lynn Nodima

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

New Book Demon Night: The Chronicles of Demetri Risk

I have a new book out, and I love it! It is the first in a line of serial books staring Demetri Risk, demon hunter, and wizard. I am currently looking for reviewers. So, if you'd be interested in a free pdf copy of this book, please contact me on my Facebook Author Page. This is a limited time offer, so please hurry! I look forward to hearing from you.

-- Arwen

About Demon Night

The night walker shrieked, and slashed at him with clawed fingers. The claws ripped his flesh, burning as if the fires of hell themselves had etched the four-inch gashes across his skin.

Demon hunter and magician, Demetri Risk, lives a life on the edge, and the Order of the Craft has noticed.

On the most dangerous night of the year, Demetri is summoned to the manor house of Brosnan Cage. Unwittingly, Demetri enters into a dangerous hunt that leads the Order to the brink of extinction. Will the Order survive in the light of the blood moon?

Editorial Review:

This story opens fast and never lets you catch your breath. I can't wait until the next episode!
--Lynn Nodima

Monday, January 9, 2017

Author Interview with Science Fiction Author Larry Cockerham

Today, science fiction author Larry Cockerham is ready and willing to talk about all things writing. Spend a bit of time getting to know this author, and check out some of his books!


If you could, would you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I have been a pastor for thirty-five years and have a Master of Theology degree. I enjoy writing both fiction as well as non-fiction. I've watched sci-fi and military
movies and documentaries for over fifty years. I'm married with three children and four grandchildren.  I retired in January of this year, but I still preach at a local church.

How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first non-fiction book in 1995, followed by a space opera a couple of years later.  Then twenty years later, I wiped the dust off of the sci-fi manuscript and had it formatted and uploaded to Createspace and Kindle.

So, what have you written?
I've written one non-fiction book, Revelation: Prophetic Addresses to the Seven Churches, and four sci fi novels.  The first was Dark Force Invasion (1995), the second was The Mortalis: Beyond the Stars (2015), the second was The Mortalis: Beyond the Cosmos, and the third was The Mortalis: Beyond Eternity.  I've just finished uploading the three in a boxed set.

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book(s)?
I haven't decided yet on a trailer.

Where can we find your books?

My books are on most of the major vendors. I first uploaded them on Amazon, then decided to use Draft2Digital to get more coverage.

What genre are your books?
Except for the non-fiction book, all of my books fall into the space opera category.

Is there something about this genre that draws you to it?
I think that the ability to travel to the stars is part of being human, the desire for exploration.

Do you have a favorite book that you've written?
My second book in the Mortalis trilogy was my favorite as it was primarily a time travel adventure.

If you could cast anyone to play the characters in your most recent book, who would they be?
It would have to be a very tall actress as my main character is well over six feet tall.

Why do you write?
I get a sense of completion when I write which is not always possible in most vocations.

Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
I would love to write a time travel novel or series of novels, but I'm not sure what direction it would take.

Where do the your ideas come from?
Most of the tekkie stuff comes from past series and movies, but the basic premise for The Mortalis series was mainly theological.

Some authors use outlines, some just fly by the seat of their pants. How do you write?
Usually I have a beginning and end already in my mind.  It's the middle that sometimes brings me to a halt.  Usually I will outline as I start to get into the middle and end of the book mainly to check my thoughts in order, to notice the word count, number of chapters.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It's been taking about three months, not counting the editing and formatting.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Once I have an idea that I'm passion about, I write whenever I get a break in my schedule.  My most creative time is late at night.

Do you design your own book covers?
Most of the later covers were done by thecovercollection.com.  They have some great artistic covers that they can overlay your title and information. Once you have one of their covers the image is taken down and is unique to only your novel.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
The later covers by thecovercollection.com played a big part in the process.

How do you market your books?
I have used some of the social media, Amazon marketing, and other avenues, such as, Goodreads, Wattpad, etc.

Do you have any advice on how to get book reviews?
I have software that automates a certain amount of the process of book reviews. But I have used some bloggers and others.

What are your thoughts on good vs. bad reviews?
I think the negative reviews were certainly helpful, although I think some were overly critical for various reasons.

Who are your favorite authors?
I loved H.G. Wells along with Isaac Asimov, but most of my immersion in science
fiction has come through movies and television series.

If you could have been an author for any book, who would it be and what book?
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I would say study the craft of creative writing.  Buy as many books as possible about writing.  If you love to write, write, even if you never do it full time.  It has always given me a sense of satisfaction, although I have a ministry to care for.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Most of my writing has a theological undertone, although it's not always obvious.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?
I have a website, Facebook page and am on Lnkedin, Amazon, Twitter as noted below.

Larry Cockerham
Ultimate Marketing.com 
Prophecy Forum
Blog: Prophecy Forum
Facebook: Larry Cockerham
Twitter: Larry Cockerham
Linkedin: Larry Cockerham
Pinterest: Larry Cockerham
Amazon Author Page: Larry Cockerham

Book Links:
Revelation: Prophetic Addresses
The Mortalis: Beyond the Stars 
The Mortalis: Beyond the Cosmos 
The Mortalis: Beyond Eternity 
The Mortalis Series: Books 1-3
Dark Force Invasion


Friday, January 6, 2017

Author Interview with YA Author J.S. Frankel

First of all, I want to thank author J.S. Frankel for agreeing to an author interview. He's an interesting Canadian author, and a fellow fantasy writer. He specializes in YA fantasy and his works look intriguing. Enjoy!


If you could, would you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I was born in Toronto, Canada, a long time ago. Moved to Japan when I was twenty-six and never really left. I got married about twenty years ago, have two children, and a very lovely wife.

How long have you been writing?
Not very long, really. I have only been writing seriously since 2014.

So, what have you written? 
Mainly YA. See my Amazon link at the bottom of this page.

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book(s)?
This is my youtube trailer, made by a friend. The music is pretty loud, but it shows all the books I've written to date.

Where can we find your books?
I'm on Amazon, at this link: J.S. Frankel

My main publisher for most of my novels is Devine Destinies.com.

What genre are your books?
YA Fantasy, Paranormal, with a little romance thrown in for good measure. Lots of action, some violence, but not nearly as bloody as some other books I've read. There is blood, though. Not gratuituous...I won't go there.

Is there something about this genre that draws you to it?
YA is fresh and immediate. Decisions young people make seem to be more important at that age, although in the fullness of time they may think those decisions weren't so wonderful or necessary. YA allows my inner geek to come out, and I can journey pretty much anywhere I want to.

Do you have a favorite book that you've written?
Of all of them, probably the Catnip series. YA Action/Paranormal, it takes the mundane and turns it into something extraordinary. The series is only five books, but we see the protagonist, Harry Goldman, go from nerdy teenager to a married man who isn't quite a man. His wife isn't quite a woman, either, so they make a very unconventional but happy couple.

If you could cast anyone to play the characters in your most recent book, who would they be?
Oh wow, great question! I would really go with unknowns who fit the physical description, rather than go with a name. I think that if the audience sees the current male or female heartthrob, they might think "Oh, they're all wrong for this part". That's why going with unknowns is better, in my opinion. And, if a movie is made, it might make them a star!

Why do you write?
Very simply, I have stories to tell that I think will entertain. Some of them carry a message, but I never preach. That's the kiss of death. I simply try to show. That's what my main goal has always been.

Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
Hopefully to the bestsellers list. (Yes, a joke). I'd really like to see my books read more widely. I have no illusions over being a top writer in Hollywood or anything like that, but if a lot of people like what I write, that's really good enough for me.

Where do the your ideas come from?
Everywhere! I look at online newspapers, watch YouTube videos (I've gotten a ton of ideas from them) and even throwaway lines from people on Facebook and other social sites. Those things, combined with my own imagination, take me places.

Some authors use outlines, some just fly by the seat of their pants. How do you write?
I outline, but go about it in a very basic way. I make notes on each chapter, who's doing what, add in dialogue and flesh out the narrative. I do that for every chapter and try to end on a mini-cliffhanger. I always try to have to reader think "Oh, what's going to happen next?"

How long on average does it take you to write a book?
For first drafts, three weeks. Yes, I know that sounds short, but that works for me. Keep in mind, though, my novels average out to be 67500 words or so, not too long, but just enough to keep you interested and reading more.

After the initial draft is done, I take another two weeks or so to edit, revise and redo, and then take one more pass at it before submitting it. If it's accepted, then I work with my editor to make it the best I can make it.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I write at night, from around ten until midnight or after, while my family is asleep. Sure, it's sleep deprivation for me, but that's the only time I have, so I might as well make the most of it.

Do you design your own book covers?
No, my book covers are done by the publishers. Carmen Waters (she's on Facebook) has done all my Catnip covers and some other novels. My other publishers have also put out awesome covers to my Nightmare Crew novels as well.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Yes, I think so. If you have an eye-catching cover, chances are the reader will be interested. Having said that, you do need to write a quality story as well.

How do you market your books?
Facebook, Twitter, and CoPromote are my three main marketing avenues. These days, a writer, whether self-published or not, has to use any and all tools available, although word of mouth is still a tried and true method. But this being the digital age, you can't get around using digital media. It's there, it's fast, and it works.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
See above. Make connections, find common interests, and market. Hopefully, you'll profit by it.

Do you have any advice on how to get book reviews?
Going to bloggers, sending out emails asking for reviews, and following other writers can help. It's tough, yes, but worth it, if you can find a good reviewer.

What are your thoughts on good vs. bad reviews?
My thoughts are the same. Reviews are like noses. Everyone has one. Not everyone is going to like what you write or how you write it. I've had mainly good to very good reviews for my novels, but had a few stinkers as well. If they give constructive criticism, I'll read it, use it, and then move on and try to improve the next time around. We all should. That's part of the learning process.

Who are your favorite authors?
In no particular order, Robert McCammon, N.K. Jemisin, Stephen King, and a lot of the classic writers, such as Bronte, Thackery, Dickens, and many more of that era.

If you could have been an author for any book, who would it be and what book?
Wow, that's hard...probably...Gone South, by Robert McCammon. I loved that novel. Long, wordy, yet nothing was wasted. I would have added a tad more action, but there was enough, really. I remember thinking the first time I read it that it would make a great movie if it were adapted for the screen. I still think so.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 
Keep writing, learn, read other authors, ask for feedback, don't be afraid to write about something difficult. Stretch and go beyond what you know, be unafraid, be bold, dare to dream.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Just to say "Thank you!" for allowing me to write my thoughts down for you. Not everyone is as open. I am grateful for the opportunity to show who I am and what I've done.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JS-Frankel-AUTHOR-1458667077729037/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessSFrankel
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/J.S.-Frankel/e/B004XUUTB8/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Book Links: DeviineDestinies.com/FinchBooks.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4859674.J_S_Frankel