Thursday, March 28, 2013

Save 20 percent off hardcovers or paperbacks Rys Rising fantasy series

I'm passing along a coupon code from the print-on-demand service Lulu. I have a publishing account set up there that offers hardcover or paperback copies of Rys Rising: Book I, Savage Storm, New Religion, and Love Lost.

Through March 31st you can get 20 percent off with the coupon code VERNUM.

Access the Rys Rising hardcovers and paperbacks at Lulu.

If you're not in the U.S. scroll down to the bottom of the page. Under the heading International you can change the shop to your country. Lulu operates in many countries so maybe yours is on the list.

She sees her Good magic as Evil - Azrel Character Profile

Today I welcome author Nichelle Rae who is touring her new novel Only a Glow. Rae has prepared a character profile to help readers get to know Azrel

Currently the novel has a 4.5 star rating at Amazon. Now let's get to know more about Azrel.

Introducing the most hated person in Casdanarus, well the most hated person among those who know she has returned, Azrel; also known as The White Warrior. Also known as, for those among us that even knows of The White Warrior, “The biggest coward in Casdanarus who ever existed and will ever exist.” Or also known as “The coward deserving 1,000 torturous deaths.”
Granted Casdanarus doesn’t even know Azrel, but the world certainly has never forgotten her father; The First White Warrior, for which a death penalty awaits anyone in many lands of Casdanarus that even speaks highly of The White Warrior.
Basic Statistics

Name: Azrel
Age: 29
Current Residence: Casdanarus
Siblings (describe relationship): Rabryn. Brother younger than her by 12 years. A very devoted and loyal and loving relationship is between them. They will protect each other to their last breath, even if the other does not want protection.
Relationship skills: Loyalty

Physical Characteristics:

Height: 5
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Brown
Greatest flaw: Misdirected self hatred.
Best quality: Brave, Noble, Honorable, and Loyal.
Body type: Agile, Muscular, and Tight. Sleek and Feminine. Could be compared to a cat.

Intellectual/Mental/Personality Attributes and Attitudes

Learning Experiences: Too many to list here. You
re just going to have to read the book to find out. 

Character's short-term goals in life: Returning a lost magical necklace to its owner before the soul of the gem that is attached to the chain dies, and everything with the ability to heal in the world dies with it.

Character's long-term goals in life: Bringing honor to her father’s name by killing Hathum, the last reminisce of evil from the age of the last Shadow Gods rule before he can allow the Shadow Gods to rule her land again.

How does Character see himself/herself? Even though she was created by the very hand of the Light Gods of Goodness, she has suffered so much horrible hardship that she hates herself and her magic with a fierce passion for causing such hardships in her life. She sees her magic of Goodness as Evil because protecting it has hurt her so much.

How does Character believe he/she is perceived by others? She knows her brother loves her but any other positive treatment or sign of affection from anyone else is lost on her and confuses her. She hates herself so much she can’t see how anyone can love her.

How self-confident is the character? She is not. She is loyal and will die for anyone of her friends even though some of her friends she’s often doesn’t believe truly think she’s great, even though they do.

Does the character seem ruled by emotion or logic or some combination thereof? YUP! Both! She is ruled by emotion mostly. Her own hatred for the world that abandoned her great father who single handedly pulled the world back from the brink of Shadow 10,000 years ago. She is driven by her determination to bring honor back to her father’s name as The White Warrior. Also her logical side of warfare knowledge and weaponry and weapon use, taught to her by her father, gives her confidence in battle even if she is not confident in herself as a person. She knows she can kill and kill well, and she will do so in order to protect people she loves even though she doesn’t believe they could love her in return.

Emotional Characteristics

How does the character deal with anger? She loser her temper and starts arguments. Sometimes she screams really loud and changes into her White Warrior form when she gets angry enough to go temporarily insane.

With sadness? She deals with sadness by getting angry as well. She’s just learning how to cry at the beginning of the book when she’s forced to tell her brother Rabryn that she’s the world wide hated White Warrior.

With conflict? She arguesloudly.

With change? She is afraid of it at first in the very beginning of the book, but soon welcomes it if it gets her out of The Pitt and gives her the opportunity to kill Hathum and bring honor to her father’s name.

With loss? She blames her magic and her magical Sword and the Light Gods for taking anything from her.

What does the character want out of life? To bring honor to her father’s name and not lose anyone she loves in the process.

What would the character like to change in his/her life? The way the world see The White Warrior.

What motivates this character? Bringing honor to her father’s name is the only thing that drives her at first. Then the protection of her brother Rabryn and best friend Ortheldo are added to the determination.

What frightens this character? Failure and Water.

What makes this character happy? Her brother Rabryn.

Spiritual Characteristics

What are the character's spiritual beliefs? She knows the gods of her world exist though she does everything to try and not believe it because she hates them so much and blame them for all her hardship and loss.

Is religion or spirituality a part of this character's life? Yup. A huge part.

If so, what role does it play? She is the Light Gods very creation. She is Their earthly incarnation of Their very own power of Goodness and Light.

How the Character is Involved in the Story

Character's role in the novel: Main character. Heroine.

Scene where character first appears: Chapter One outside of her and her father’s cave she first appears at 13 years old.

Relationships with other characters:

1. Rabryn: -- They are very protective of each other though Rabryn is very naive as to exactly what kind of danger he wants to protect Azrel from. He knows nothing of the dangers in the world outside of The Pitt he grew up in. He lived a very secluded life and knew nothing of weapons and warfare until Azrel came into his life. But he witnessed firsthand horrendous torture and abused his beloved sister endured at the hands of the people of The Pitt and he loves Azrel with a fierce unwavering love and will protect her if he can for the rest of her life. Azrel is more aware of the dangers of the world. She grew up being trained by her father as a warrior. Rabryn is the only wholesome pure and good thing in her life and she will protect him to her dying day because her brother is the only good thing she thinks is in her life.

2. Ortheldo: -- Grew up with Azrel starting at 10 years old (Azrel was 13) when Azrel’s father found him as a runaway.  The two were at first dueling partners only. But when they lost each other suddenly and unexpectedly for 9 years, they realized in that absence that they meant more to each other than just dueling and training partners. Ortheldo’s love for Azrel is much like Rabryns, only on the romantic side of the coin of affection. Azrel fights hard to love Ortheldo because she believe herself evil and doesn’t want him to get hurt, or to hurt him ever. But as the perilous journey of theirs progresses it gets harder and harder for Azrel to deny how much she loves him.

3. Beldorn: -- Beldorn is a kind and gentle Wizard that rescues Azrel from an unseen peril. After Azrel’s father dies, he temporarily takes over the role as Azrel’s teacher. They travel together for a year, all over Casdanarus, as he shows her races and realms her father only could show her in books. They become great friends and Azrel is genuinely sad when they have to part ways. They reunite down the road as Azrel’s journey gets underway and Beldorn plays the role of wise advisor.

4. Forfirith: -- Is Azrel’s horse. At first Forfirith is just a mode of transportation, but because Azrel loves horses so much, she treats him like a regular friend, even talking to him on a occasion. Shockingly, he somehow seems to respond to Azrel much like a human companion would, even without talking. Soon Forfirith becomes a loyal and trusted friend to Azrel that she depends on for more than just a means of quicker travel.

Excerpt Of Azrel:
As much as I wanted her too, as much as I tried, Azrel never belonged in The Pitt. Her upbringing with her father was so dynamic it sparked her fiery nature. The Pitt, because of its simplicity on top of the scorn for her, was the worst place for someone like her to be in. She told me once that it made her feel like a caged animal. She wasn’t so much an animal, but she had an amazing spirit. Because of that wild spirit, she was a caged animal in a sense. 
It made me sad knowing The Pitt had wilted that spirit over the years. Though it had indeed wilted, it was far from dead. I’d already seen it start to come to life again and we were only a day away from The Pitt. Nothing pleased me more now than to see my sister in good spirits. She was free now.

Quotes From Azrel:
“Gift! How would you know if it’s a gift? You know nothing about my magic! How dare you call it a gift!”
“Forgive me if I don't tremble in fear, but I don't see you as any kind of a threat to me.”
“Don’t you dare go far into these woods, little brother. I had better be able to smell you nearby. Do you understand me?”
“If harm ever threatens you, I want it to be my life before yours!”

Contact Nichelle Rae:
Twitter: @Nichelle_Writes
Goodreads: Nichelle Rae


GET “Only a Glow”

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New audio episode - Chapters 17 and 18 of The Goddess Queen audiobook

I just published two more chapters from The Goddess Queen audiobook production. Chapters 17 and 18 are now available in mp3 format. I'm over halfway toward completing the audiobook. I can't wait until it's done.

In Chapter 17 The Battle of the Jingten Pass, the army of Shan has reached the Rysamand and Onja’s magic strikes with devastating force.

In Chapter 18 The Glare of the Victorious, Shan encounters Quylan who begs for his help, and Dreibrand prepares for a reckoning with his old master Lord Kwan Chenomet.

Please visit The Goddess Queen audiobook page at Brave Luck Books to buy the new chapters. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Soylent Green is the movie that made me a foodie

Back in the 1970s Soylent Green was a leader in the dystopia genre. The grim movie presented an overpopulated, polluted, and depleted world in which people were being secretly fed food biscuits made out of dead people. Makes the recent horse meat scandal sound a little tame doesn't it?

One of my very favorite actors of all time is the star of the movie: Charlton Heston.  I had always heard about this famous movie but it was not until about 2006 that I actually sat down and watched it. It had a profound effect on me. It was such a horrifying portrayal of the future that I could not get it out of my mind. I finally worked up the courage to watch it again this winter. It is an astonishing movie. The issues it presents are eerily relevant, especially global warming. In the story people are living in a never ending heat wave. Even in January in New York it is 90 degrees. The greenhouse effect is directly mentioned. Air conditioning is a luxury that few people have access to. Showers and hot water are also rare because resources are so scarce. Electricity is rationed. A man rides a stationary bike to generate power for a light bulb.

Throughout the story people say they won't take any risks that will cost them their job. If you lose your job then you will be in the street. The streets are clogged with millions of homeless, awaiting their food handouts. Armed guards sit at the doors to apartment buildings to protect residents from the unsheltered hordes. When the mobs riot they are controlled with the "scoops" that are big trucks that toss people back with big front loaders.

Food is mostly derived from plankton harvested from the oceans. The land has been depleted and poisoned and can no longer produce anything close to enough food for the world. The story is commenting on the deleterious effects of industrial farming practices that strip mine nutrients from the soil and pollute the land and water with pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Our existing food system is something that will ultimately fail.

The big secret in the story is that even the plankton-based food supply has collapsed. The Earth's ability to nourish humanity is utterly spent. This is why dead people are now going to the food factories because they are a source of protein. This of course is also a secret. Death centers promote assisted suicide to the masses as an escape from the misery of existence without mentioning that their bodies will be translated into mass cannibalism.

One scene that had a great impact on me was the one with the strawberry jam. The character played by Charlton Heston is a police detective and he'll steal anything of value that he encounters while doing investigations, especially food and things like soap. He comes home with a jar of strawberry jam but does not know what it is. He asks his older partner to taste it. After some thought the older man replies that it's strawberries. The concept of a world in which people would not recognize the taste of strawberries terrified me. This movie impressed on me the need to appreciate real food with real flavor. It also made me much more aware of the state of the modern food supply. Now I grow food and shop at farmers' markets and do my part to nurture a local food system. I want to encourage a food system based on a sustainable model.

Since I first watched Soylent Green I go strawberry picking every spring and make jam. That's the power of science fiction. It can dramatize plausible real world scenarios and impart a lesson.

No matter how things go in the future, I want to be certain that I still have strawberry jam. And when I eat highly processed foods that are usually crunchy and of uniform shape and color, I jokingly call them Soylent Green. Hopefully such snacks only contain trace amounts of dead people. Nothing a little monosodium glutamate won't fix up.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I got a review so good it almost made me cry

Reviews on ebook retail sites are slow to come in for me. It's somewhere between hard and impossible for me to solicit reviews from book bloggers that specialize in book criticism. They have enormous reading lists because of an endless supply of authors seeking reviews. On top of this my novels are long, so reviewers probably tend to go for the quicker reads. Then there are the many reviewers who refuse to look at anything self published.

I rely almost solely on reviews from my actual readers. I put a statement at the end of my novels asking readers to leave a star rating or written review for me if they liked one of my novels. Most readers don't bother because they want to enjoy books, not write book reports. But every once in a while, a reader kindly takes the time to leave me a review. I got one of the best ones of my life at Amazon US on March 19th for Rys Rising: Book I.
The reader concluded her review by writing: "This is truly a work of art."
I was so touched to have my creation called a work of art. It is immensely gratifying to create a written work that another person is able to enjoy and also appreciate the depth of effort I put into the novel. I spent two years writing Rys Rising. I put one or two years of my life into every novel I write. It's so good to know I'm not wasting my time. Every reader who gives one of my novels a try creates a new opportunity for me to succeed as an artist. It is half of my goal as a writer. The other half is to express myself because if I don't I'll be miserable.

Please visit Brave Luck Books to sample, buy, and learn more about all my novels. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

25% off Savage Storm ebook plus Rys Rising paperback giveaway

Spectacular Spring Fantasy Sale - March 20-22, 2013 - all books under $5

For three days only March 20th, 21st, and 22nd, readers can enjoy 25% off the regular price of Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book II.

 The sale price is $3.71 and you can enjoy the sale at either:

Brave Luck Books (no coupon code needed)


Smashwords (At Smashwords use coupon code BY35Z )

This spring celebration promotion is part of the Magic Appreciation Tour Spectacular Spring Equinox Fantasy Sale. Over 30 titles are part of the sale. Everything is under $5 and many are only 99 cents.

Please visit the sale page to browse all the great titles.

To make the event even more exciting there are two big giveaway drawings included. I have donated a prize to the drawing for U.S. residents. It's a signed paperback copy of Rys Rising: Book I. Please use this form to enter the drawing. Good luck!

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rys Rising fantasy series part of Trindiebooks 1st Anniversary Giveaway

I am among the sponsors of the 1st Anniversary celebration at Trindiebooks, a Kobo focused book blog. The grand prize is a Kobo Mini ereader, which I imagine just about anyone would enjoy having. I know I'd like one because I'm in the market for a new ebook reader. The grand prize also includes 17 ebooks along with the Kobo Mini.

Then there will be 9 additional winners chosen who will win various titles from the supporting authors. And one lucky person will get all four of the Rys Rising novels: Rys Rising, Savage Storm, New Religion, and Love Lost.

My novels have been well received in the Kobo marketplace without me really do much to promote them at that retailer, so I've been focusing on reaching out to the Kobo audience a little more. Browse me ebooks at Kobo.

You can use this form if you want to enter the Trindie Books giveaway:

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My recent appearances around the web

Richard Stephenson author of Collapse helps out authors at his blog. He recently published an excerpt from Rys Rising: Book I. Visit his blog to read the opening from Chapter 24 when Amar has begun terrorizing the tribal kingdoms and plots his revenge against the Patharki Tribe. Thank you for the guest spot.

The Eden Plague author David VanDyke kindly published my guest post about Keeping it Real for Fantasy Warriors. Thank you!

Does it ever bother you when you’re watching a movie and someone gets shot in the shoulder but still runs up and down a mountain, gets in a fist fight, and isn’t even really bleeding 15 minutes later? I enjoy fantasy but I can’t imagine away chunks of flesh flying loose from the upper body and not having to take a breather. If a warrior takes a bad wound he better have a friend ready to jump in and defend him from the mortal blow.
Keep reading it David's blog.

And on March 8th Digital Book Today syndicated my article Are We Enjoying A Golden Age of Reader Rewards? that first appeared at this blog. Add a comment if you have something to say about book giveaways or have been lucky enough to win one.

Monday, March 11, 2013

My fantasy novels are now available at Buggle Books in the UK

On twitter not long ago I came across a small UK-based ebook retailer called Buggle Books. I noticed that the site was open to selling ebooks from authors, so I contacted the operator, Ken May. He agreed to include my ebooks in his online store.

I don't really have any way of knowing if any sales will come from being included at this little store, or if the place has any intention of paying me if any sales occur. But I figured why not give it a try? The more readers who run across my novels the better. Because my novels are newly added, I have a nice feature on the home page right now. My free ebooks also happen to be listed under the Bestsellers heading. That tickles me.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for Buggle Books. I hope it's a legitimate effort and that I reach a few more readers. See all my fantasy ebooks at Buggle Books.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Seed of an Idea by Coral Russell plus Kindle Fire giveaway

Today I welcome author Coral Russell who has just released her novel Sacrifice. It sure sounds like a good one

And be sure to enter the giveaway drawing at the bottom for a chance to win ebooks and even a Kindle Fire. 

About Sacrifice

When Mexican drug cartels fight for control along the border, Juarez becomes the murder capital of the world. In El Paso, Texas it's drug business as usual: a grifter sets out to buy her freedom, a car salesman runs drugs to make his fortune, a gang leader battles to rise among the ranks of the cartel, and a detective and his wife are ripped apart by a family secret. Everyone's fate lies in the hands of an old woman. Will she let the past die with her or take revenge the only way she knows how? Sacrifice is a fast-paced, gritty story that'll keep you guessing, gasping, and gripping your eBook.

Get the novel at Amazon.

How did the author come up with the idea for this novel?

Here's what Coral Russel has to say.

Thanks to The Indie Exchange for letting me kick off my Sacrifice Book Release and Tour and also to The Bunny's Review for helping sponsor the tour.

The Seed of An Idea

I never knew where writers got their ideas. Mostly they said it comes to them out of nowhere or by doing research on some subject and just because it might look like a tidbit from their life, it really isn't. I also heard that it's not 'Write what about what you know.' but rather 'Write about what you want to know.'

Having finished Sacrifice I can definitely tell you that tidbits of the story came from real life and sometimes you write what you know and what you don't want to know. Don't get me wrong, real life is boring a majority of the time. When you're writing fiction you have to spice it up. So lets say I had this friend. I hadn't talked to her in a while because I moved away. She passed away after a long illness and thinking back on our relationship I realized I had a secret I was going to take to the grave.

Now the assumptions are: one, she never told anyone else. You know how someone tells you, 'I'm going to tell you a secret...' and no one else is supposed to know only come to find out later everyone knows. Yeah, so that's a big assumption. Two, it wasn't anything earth shattering. Like I said, life is generally boring.

Here's the fun part. What if? What if I was really the only person who knew. What if it was earth-shattering at least to one other person. And that's how the story begins...

To be continued. Find Part 2 at Java With Jambor on March 15th.

Enjoy the book trailer. It will really get you interested. 

Get the novel at Amazon.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

TED talk by Allan Savory about greening deserts and halting climate change

I've watched many TED talks and this one has to be one of the most important ones. I've been working to sequester carbon in my small bit of land and see great results from it. Now I just need to figure a way to integrate grazing animals into my suburban quarter acre and I'll really prosper.

Please watch the video. It's very inspiring.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Parting of Friends and The Fate of Captives

The headline names the two newest chapters just completed for The Goddess Queen audiobook.

The Goddess Queen is a novel that I wrote about 14 years ago, so the details of it are not exactly fresh in my mind. Listening to the chapters as they are recorded has been a delightful experience. Chapters 15 and 16 are really intense to listen to. The narrator Andrew Wetmore did a marvelous job of it. These chapters are really emotional and story-shifting. 

In Chapter 15 The Parting of Friends, Shan realizes that he should have granted Taischek the favor he wanted, and Dreibrand worries that his position is in jeopardy.

In Chapter 16 The Fate of Captives, Onja puts Quylan to a final brutal test, and Lord Kwan approaches the breaking point no matter the consequences. 

If you are looking for a fantasy fiction listening experience, please visit my fantasy audiobooks page and download samples from the complete audiobook Union of Renegades and listen to samples from The Goddess Queen audiobook production. You can buy mp3 chapters to support the recording. 

My narrator and I officially passed the halfway point for recording The Goddess Queen, and I'm really looking forward to publishing the completed audiobook late this summer and getting it into iTunes and Audible. 

If audiobooks don't suit your lifestyle, The Goddess Queen is also available as an ebook


Friday, March 1, 2013

New 5 star review for Rys Rising at Barnes and Noble

Although I try not to look at reviews, I still do, and I was rewarded this week with a great one.

At the Barnes & Noble site a reader gave me 5 stars on February 27 along with this glowing feedback.

"Loved it..

Everything is here. Magic. World building. Multidimensional character. Pathos. Conflict. I have read more than 50 books in this venue. Rys Rising is the only 5 star rating I have given."

I'm especially flattered by the statement that this reader is not a quick draw with 5 stars. I'm so happy every time I hear of a reader enjoying my novel. It really means a lot to me. Thank you!

Find out if my fiction is a good fit for you too.