Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rys Rising in the UK Kindle free top 100 epic fantasy

I'll admit it's not much to get excited about, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that Rys Rising: Book I has broken into the top 100 free epic fantasy ebooks list at Kindle UK. It's number 57 today to be precise. Amusingly it is right above the title British Legends: The Life and Legacy of J.R.R. Tolkien. Well, he was certainly an inspiration for me to start writing fantasy fiction.

If you have no money and a desire to read some hard hitting epic fantasy, please consider Rys Rising for Kindle UK.

Additionally, Rys Rising is a free download right here in a choice of formats.

Hopefully Amazon will keep it free for Kindle users. The company tried to sneak it back up to 99 cents and its British pounds equivalent for a few days this month, but thankfully that's been corrected by the price matching system because I offer Rys Rising for free everywhere. Amazon is the only place that won't let me set a free price, so I have to wait for price matching.

UK Nook is here with free fantasy ebooks

I'm excited to be included in the ebook catalog for the new Nook Store in the United Kingdom. I've done well with my fantasy novels in Barnes & Noble's Nook U.S. online catalog, so I'm hoping UK readers will enjoy the chance to discover my fiction with their Nooks.

To promote my fantasy series, I have two free fantasy ebooks in the UK Nook digital shop.


Free UK Nook download

Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I
The epic begins as Dreibrand Veta and the conquering Horde of the Atrophane Empire reach a mythic Wilderness that beckons with a magical call to glory. But Onja, Queen of the rys, a race far more powerful than the greatest human state, guards this land. She has the power to imprison souls and her genocidal rage is legendary. Everything is at risk for her desperate enemies, the union of renegades. 

Free UK Nook ebook
Rys Rising: Book I
Enjoy this unique epic of complex heroes and villains meant to engulf readers from many angles. You will root for everybody, even if you shouldn't. Packed with primitive energy, the intertwining stories and rising stakes of this fantasy world will indulge your cravings for intrigue, bravery, desire, and freedom.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My 10 Best Ideas for Promoting my Indie Novels


Now that I've finished writing the Rys Rising series, I have switched my focus to marketing. I also have another series The Rys Chronicles, so altogether I have 8 fantasy novels out there. Not a bad fleet to take out on the high seas I'm thinking.

But it's a crowded market and people have lots of reading choices. Most of those are presented by big publishing companies with already popular authors. They get attention online and sometimes placement in bookstores.

So to break out, I have to be innovative, nay provocative.

Here are some of my ideas to boost my publicity efforts.

1. Initiate a messy divorce with my husband. Something that will splash across tabloid magazines. We'll have a vicious fight over who gets stuck with children and who gets the pets.

2. Wardrobe malfunction. This seems to be a mainstay with female singers these days.

3. Marry a European prince. (I rather like this one. He can cheat on me. It's OK. I'll be dazzled by my diamonds while I gamble in Monte Carlo.)

4. Robocall people in large urban areas.

5. Be arrested protesting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Oh wait, the media pays NO attention to that ongoing injustice.

6. Start a reality TV show about being a novelist. It will feature daydreaming while listening to music and typing.

7. Begin using performance enhancing drugs. Everyone else is doing it right? Maybe that's why I can't break from the crowd.

8. Produce a runaway viral video of my cat doing something.

9. Perform a daredevil stunt like jumping off the Mackinaw bridge with a parachute.

10. Throw Stephen Colbert a birthday party and jump out of a cake naked for him.

Oh well, I suppose very little of the above is reasonable. Robocalls probably cost a fortune, and I defy anyone to get a video of my cat doing ANYTHING.

I will have to settle for the humble blog tour I am setting up. I'm giving away a $25 Etsy gift card and the Rys Rising complete series ebooks. The tour starts November 16th and goes until December 16th. I'm currently seeking blog tour hosts. For more information see the Feel Real Fantasy Blog Tour.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Add a giveaway to your blog - Join the Feel Real Fantasy Blog Tour


Among the people who enjoy my fantasy novels, many of them remark upon how much they enjoy the characters. They feel real to these readers who connect with my fantasy fiction, and they want to know what will happen next to the people and magical beings in my stories.

Therefore characters from the Rys Rising fantasy series will be my ambassadors on the blog tour to promote my recent completion of this fantasy quartet. I liken it to actors appearing on talk shows to promote a movie, except I'll do it with words and fictional characters.

Rys Rising, Savage Strom, New Religion, Love Lost

The content I offer participating bloggers will be character profiles. A character profile provides a description of the character, my insights about the character, and two or three quotes or a short excerpt featuring the character. See an example.

Although my fantasy series has many characters, I will also offer flash excerpts from the four novels of the series (Rys Rising, Savage Storm, New Religion, and Love Lost.) This way I can accommodate all interested bloggers and offer each one unique content even if I run out of main characters to profile. The flash excerpts will be about 200 to 300 words along with an introductory sentence or two to set the scene.

Prizes 

Bloggers like to host blog tours because they get some free content.

But giveaway prizes are much better for drawing extra traffic to your blog and keeping regular readers engaged (and maybe rewarded). Therefore, all participating bloggers will be able to present the blog tour giveaway drawing to their readers.

I'm giving away:

- $25 Etsy gift card

- Rys Rising complete fantasy series ebooks (Rys Rising, Savage Storm, New Religion, and Love Lost)


I'm running the giveaway through Rafflecopter, a widget service that should make things easy for everybody. It will handle the entries from various blogs and automatically open and close the giveaway on my selected dates. It will also allow me to randomly pick the winners. See widget below.

Please note that the Etsy gift card prize is only available in the United States. The ebook prize is available worldwide.

If any bloggers are wondering what Etsy is, it is my favorite online marketplace, especially for gift shopping. It is a sprawling wonderland of artists, crafters, creatives, and indie entrepreneurs of many stripes. I have no doubt that the person winning the gift card will find something to treasure from the Etsy marketplace.

Tour dates: November 16th to December 16th.


Interested bloggers can participate in the tour by leaving a comment here with:

- A link to your blog (Make sure your blog has some way for me to contact you.) 

- The date you want

Then I'll follow up by email and we can work out the details and deliverables. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Revisiting The Goddess Queen in audiobook form


I completed writing my second fantasy novel The Goddess Queen in 2000. I'm a little amazed to realize that was twelve years ago. Now that I'm producing it as an audiobook, I get to assess it after many years of distance. Sometimes I cringe and think "I was way too wordy with that paragraph." Or "Wow, that phrase was redundant." But other times I'm delighted by an exchange of dialogue or how I described a visual detail.

As an artist I am also intrigued by the process of hearing another creative person interpret my fiction as spoken word. I am still not sure how to express what it feels like to hear another person perform my writing. I enjoy it, but I think it goes beyond merely pleasuring my ego. I contemplate the fluidity of artistic expression. A creation in one medium becomes another creation when translated into a new medium.

Art functions on a spectrum of many colors, shapes, and sounds. Think of all the mythological stories that have inspired paintings. Oral and written stories have been expressed in visual forms to expand communication opportunities for thousands of years. The relief sculptures on the walls of countless temples have illustrated myths. Each medium adds something to a story experience.

The creative vision of one artist can continue on through other artists and lead to new ideas and visions and reach more audiences. I imagine it as an oak tree dropping an acorn that a squirrel carries away to a place where a new oak grows, unless of course it gets eaten.

As I listen to the chapters of The Goddess Queen audiobook, I can feel how the epic story of The Rys Chronicles really shoots up and reaches for the sun. Everything has been set in motion. The roots have gone deep and the branches are growing. The relationships among Dreibrand, Shan, and Miranda deepen, and the plot unfurls new leaves as more characters are introduced. Specifically I'm referring to Faychan, the Masterspy of the Kezanada. He's one of my favorite characters in the whole series. I think he injects a lot of intrigue and interest into the story. Despite his sense of humor, he's a cold and calculating man, but in the story he'll be unexpectedly nudged by softer feelings toward humanity. No one really gives him credit for it, but his actions will be critical to the cause of the rebels. A complicated relationship between Faychan and Dreibrand will also evolve throughout the saga.

Although I feel that I've improved as a writer since I created The Goddess Queen, I remain tremendously fond of the novel. The story came together for me in the way I wanted it to. It's packed with action and intrigue and hopefully a few surprises.

Everything in the first novel Union of Renegades comes to fruition in The Goddess Queen. I wish I could have had more happen in the first novel, but like many series, the first part has a lot of heavy lifting to do with establishing characters, setting, and plot. I like to think of Union of Renegades as the regular season and The Goddess Queen as the playoffs. A life and death championship is in play.

Today I published two more chapters of the audiobook:


In Chapter 7 Reports from the Masterspy, Miranda meets the powerful Kezanada named Faychan and attempts to influence his conscience.

In Chapter 8 Dominated, Quylan endures the relentless training of Queen Onja, and the Atrophane prisoner Lord Kwan emerges from his reclusive depression. 

Voice talent Andrew Wetmore is doing a lovely job with the reading. You can learn more about him at

www.voice123.com/andrewwetmore



Listen to a sample from the novel and access all available episodes at The Goddess Queen fantasy audiobook page.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Just Published! Love Lost: Rys Rising Book IV

Last night I made Love Lost, the fourth and final novel in the Rys Rising fantasy series, live at Brave Luck Books and emailed my readers' list. I've had sales already! Thanks everybody!

Love Lost: Rys Rising Book IV by Tracy Falbe
Courage only goes so far.

In this breathtaking conclusion to the series, unleashed monsters born of cruel spells test the mettle of the sturdiest warriors. Soul wrenching chaos consumes the faith of thousands, and Nufal meets an awesome assault ignited by the raging power of love lost.

Dacian embraces Onja’s dark inspirations and helps twist the flesh of captives into powerful new beasts. While building a larger human army for his Goddess, Amar shrugs off an assassination attempt but then must lash out viciously after a vengeful attack against his lover the rogue Princess Demeda. His magnificent fortress continues to rise while he gathers all tribes to his supremacy. With his armies ready, he awaits Onja’s call to war and dreams of feasting upon the spoils of wealthy Nufal.

Threatened with a rys invasion, Cruce Chenomet hardens his body for brutal combat and labors to prepare his society to survive the onslaught of terrible enemies. The new fenthakrabi beasts magically conceived by his tabre allies disturb him with their unholy presence, but he remains devoted to Alloi, who has pledged to defend his people. Torn between his need to protect his secret lover and son on the frontier and his family in Kwellstan, Cruce struggles through ever worsening battles until he finally wagers his life against the most favored warlord of Onja.

The ebook version in either PDF, Epub, or Kindle Prc can be purchased from my website for $4.95.

In the coming days and weeks, Love Lost will be distributed through several online retailers. I will also develop a hardcover and paperback as soon as I get a chance.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Writing and editing Love Lost consumed my life this year


In one week on Oct. 15th I'm going to release Love Lost: Rys Rising Book IV into the world. It is my 8th novel, and at this point I personally believe it's the best novel I've ever written. Reader opinions will certainly vary, but when I finished writing Love Lost, I felt an immense sense of accomplishment. It concluded a story that had been inside me for a very long time.

Over the past eight months since I published New Religion: Rys Rising Book III, I have devoted almost all my time to Love Lost. I had to finish drafting the manuscript, which was done in early July. Since July I have edited the entire manuscript twice and then did a final proofread. This means I have read the novel three times in the past three months. I can honestly say I am still in love with it. I hope some readers will be able to appreciate it as well.

I worked very hard to polish this novel so that readers can enjoy it. I removed a monstrous 17,000 words, and I think the prose flows much better now. My editing is mostly about refining the language. I rarely remove whole scenes. Generally I make the decision to remove or add scenes during the initial drafting of the novel. My editing removes wordiness and refines dialogue. I find that I often fumble around for three sentences trying to express something, and then during editing I find a way to smooth it down to one sentence.

I'm very excited about publishing Love Lost. I'm also eager to move on to new projects. I desperately need to get back to writing. I miss doing it.

When I write a novel I always tell myself to make it better than my last novel. With Love Lost, I truly believe that I have met my goal. People will say that what I think of my novel does not matter. Readers are what matter, and that is partially true because I want to deliver a good reader experience, but the fact remains that it is impossible to please everyone. My novel writing is my artistic pursuit. Ultimately I have to be happy with it. I can never truly be sure if other people will like a novel. I can only know if I like it.

To join my readers' list and receive an email when Love Lost is first available, please use the form on the right side of the Love Lost: Rys Rising Book IV page at Brave Luck Books.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Epic fantasy by Tracy Falbe in the Apple iBookstore

My fantasy novels have been well received in the Apple iBookstore, and I consider the iTunes based audience to be an important market for my work. 

Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I has maintained a 4.5-star rating for years, and my newer work Rys Rising: Book I recently received a glowing 5-star review.

The great news for readers is that you can start either of my fantasy epics for free.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Harvest / La Cosecha reveals lives of child migrant farm laborers

 
U. Roberto Romano, director, cinematographer, producer


I know I have to write about a documentary when I can't stop thinking about it. The Harvest or La Cosecha is a riveting documentary that concerns all people because we all eat the food harvested by migrant laborers.

The Harvest focuses on three underage people who work in the fields alongside their families and travel from job to job. Twelve-year-old Zulema works with her mother, grandmother, and younger siblings in Michigan, typically picking cucumbers, apples, and strawberries. Sixteen-year-old Victor is based in Florida and often works in the tomato fields. He carries 25-pound buckets of tomatoes all day long and moves 1,500 pounds of tomatoes in a day. Although Victor looks as strong as a tug boat, he laments that he can't keep up with the grown men and that the work is hard. Despite the hardship that includes triple-digit heat, he moves gracefully up and down the rows with a serene face and a heavy bucket on his shoulder. He works so hard because he sees that his family needs the money and his heart compels him to help provide. Soft spoken and devoted to his family, Victor projects all that is good in a man. He does not ask much of the world but longs simply for a secure job that pays him well enough to live and lets him do his work calmly.

Fifteen-year-old Perla in Texas bares her feelings to the filmmaker about what it is like to be told "to go back to Mexico" when she was born in the United States. Tearfully she confesses her misery about not being wanted in what is truly her own homeland. Her rejection was exacerbated by the death of her 16-year-old brother who was shot and denied treatment at a local hospital and bled to death. Her agony deepens because her parents' health is failing after too many years of hard labor, and she is tortured by worry for the future. Perla also explains how difficult it is for her to go to school because she is always traveling with her family. She has been held back a grade because her grades from one school did not reach a new school, which means she can't advance. It appears to be a hopeless cycle for her although she remains determined to someday lift herself out of her grinding poverty. But the migrant life owns her. Just when she is looking forward to being able to stay home, things go bad and she must seek work in the fields. Stoically she accepts her heartbreak and packs her bags.

Young Zulema with her lingering aura of childishness drives home the exploitation of child migrant farm labor. When she bites into an apple while high in a tree on a ladder with a heavy bag over her shoulder, she made me think of every time I've handed an apple to a child. The wonder of a child picking a fruit in Zulema's case is replaced by hunger in the middle of a grueling day. Everyone turns a blind eye to the children working in the fields. Zulema explains how she gives the name of someone else for the payroll. Nobody cares.

Heartbreakingly, at the end of the documentary when Zulema is asked about her dreams, she says, "I don't have any dreams."

I watch documentaries like these to keep me motivated. I grow a lot of food for my family and I go to U-pick farms to get fruit in quantity and then preserve it. I also shop the farmers' markets and get food from local producers. I believe that these activities reduce my contributions to large agribusiness commodity systems that pay workers poorly and profit from exploiting children in the fields.

A few weeks ago I took my family to a local orchard to pick apples. It was a lovely day and my young kids had a nice time. They picked apples for about half an hour. It's fun if you don't have to do it all day for weeks and then be out of work when the harvest is over.

When my family was done picking apples, my husband and I admonished our boys to consider the people in the fields who had to pick food for everybody.

The Harvest La Cosecha is a touching film. It left me really caring about the young people featured in it. Next time you're at the store and the prices of food seem high, think about how only a tiny fraction of that pricepoint compensated the backbreaking drudgery of people leading lives on the margins of society.

Buy The DVD Now!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cover Reveal for Love Lost: Rys Rising Book IV

Love Lost the conclusion of the Rys Rising series will be published on October 15th. Until then I will be working on formatting it for ebook readers. In the weeks and months following October 15th Love Lost will become available at many retailers worldwide and also be published in hardcover and paperback.

To join my readers' list so you can receive notification of Love Lost's publication, go to the page Love Lost: Rys Rising Book IV by Tracy Falbe and use the form on the right side.

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