Monday, May 20, 2013

Add your blog to the Rys Rising review tours

I'm working with two organizations this summer to connect with book reviewers. Book bloggers are invited to join a tour. Each bloggers gets a free ebook copy of my fantasy novel Rys Rising to read and review. Each tour also includes a giveaway drawing prize to encourage visitors to your blog.

Goddess Fish Promotions
Tour includes a $25 Amazon gift card in a random drawing.
Visit the Rys Rising review tour page for sign up details. 

Earth's Book Nook Tours
Tour includes a $25 Etsy gift card.
Contact Heather Powers and reference my novel Rys Rising if you'd like to participate.

Rys Rising has already received several good reviews from genuine readers at various retailers. 

At Amazon it currently has a 4-star rating.

At Barnes & Noble it also has a 4-star rating.

At iTunes, it is enjoying a 5-star rating.

If you're a blogger who would like to read a quality epic fantasy, please join one of the review tours.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rys Rising jumped into top 20 epic and sword and sorcery at Amazon Kindle

Rys Rising - A daring epic of complex heroes and villains. 

Onja can control what others see. Soon everyone will see things her way. 

I noticed a welcome increase in downloads for Rys Rising this weekend at both the US Kindle and UK Kindle stores. As of today it is trending into the top 20 for the fantasy categories of "epic" and "sword and sorcery" in the United States followed closely by a #27 spot in the UK.

Ranks this morning at the US Kindle Store.
Rank this morning at the UK Kindle Store.
Of course these ranks fluctuate hourly and may or may not last long. I hope they keep getting better though! If interested please put Rys Rising on your reading list. It is available at all ebook retailers.

Readers can download a free ebook copy of Rys Rising: Book I at Brave Luck Books

Also find it at your favorite online retailer.

Barnes & Noble Nook

UK Nook

Amazon Kindle US*

Amazon Kindle UK*

Apple iBooks US

Apple iBooks UK

Apple iBooks Canada



Sony Reader Store

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Writing Update: I'm working on a new novel

I make this announcement with some trepidation. Since 1997 I've been writing in my rys world and produced eight novels in that fantasy setting. Now I'm entering new territory. I've selected a historical setting and I'm working on a paranormal adventure. It's a werewolf novel set in 16th century Renaissance Bohemia.

I'm 24 chapters into the first draft. The novel has the working title of Werelord Thal. I might keep the title but it is too early to know for sure.

Readers interested in a sample of this work in progress may download a 4-chapter sneak preview of Werelord Thal.

Free PDF of Werelord Thal preview

It's been very strange for me to write outside my rys fantasy world. That's been my happy safe place for so long, but as an artist I need to aspire to new challenges.

I very much love studying history. The Renaissance or more accurately the Early Modern period is so gripping. So much about our current civilization emerged during this mind-blowing time. Institutions of prosecutorial social control, emerging nation states, global colonization, and resistance to theocracy name just a few of the forces that defined the Early Modern period and shaped our current civilization.

Superstitions common in 16th century Europe also provide a two-level candy box of inspiration. This was a time when people honestly believed in witchcraft. Supernatural forces brushed close to everyone's heart in a world still commonly full of dangerous beasts and lacking electrical lighting.

I'm having a good time studying one of my favorite historical periods more closely and creating new characters. Follow this blog so you'll know when Werelord Thal will be published. To follow, see left sidebar for easy subscribing or like Brave Luck Books on Facebook because this blog feeds into that page too.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Productivity tips video from Sparring Mind

I'm sharing this video from Sparring Mind because it packs many great points into a short presentation. It proclaims the evils of multi tasking and gives good advice about avoiding time wasting habits. I can attest to the value of working in short productive bursts of 60 to 90 minutes. This is the length of most of my writing sessions. After about 90 minutes I definitely need to take a break to refresh my mind. The video says that this is the general work pattern of successful and creative people. There is no point in trying to power through and work longer without a break. It won't produce better results.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day to Me - I bought a Nook HD

I went shopping this week and bought myself a Nook HD. Barnes & Noble was kind enough to send me an email promoting its sale price for Mother's Day. I got mine with 16 GB for $179.

I've been needing a new ereader since my Sony PRS that I bought in 2008 stopped taking a charge. The Nook HD is lovely. It's my first tablet and I'm still getting used to operating the touch screen. The display is very sharp.

Big selling points for me were the ability to set up profiles for my kids and that I could go talk to a human at the local B&N store for tech support if I wanted. So far I'm not having much trouble finding my way around the system. I sideloaded a pdf file today and that was rather painless. It's important to me that an ereader be easy to add my personal documents to. I'm constantly reading my own manuscripts as I work on them and like them portable. I also get ARCs from other authors sometimes and need to toss those on a reader.

It was also high time I had a tablet that I could watch video on as well as read books. Because the Nook HD has wifi connectivity I'm now suddenly interested in public places with free wifi. This is a strange feeling because I really don't want to become one of the many people staring at little screens, tapping and scrolling. But maybe I do? If I'm to believe what I read, apparently much of our behavior is subconsciously driven. That concept irks me because it makes me wonder about the decisions I make. Not being fully aware of my motivations bothers me.

Monday, May 6, 2013

I saw a fox last night

Photo from U.S. Fish & Game service
I always get a happy feeling whenever I see a fox. The neighborhood kids have been telling me there was a fox around for about a year. Last night after dark I finally spotted him myself. I looked out a window because my dog was agitated. It's not unusual for her to get excited about something after dark because there are always animals of some sort out there, especially deer.

My lane was quiet and dark except for porch lights. I spotted movement in the yard directly across from my house. At first I thought it might be a cat, but then the thick luxuriant tail was revealed at the end of a lean and dainty body.

The fox sat down in a driveway, back lit by a porch light. He kicked back and scratched an ear. My dog barked at him through the window. He looked at us nonchalantly as if to say "Yeah, I know you're there." I admired him for a few moments until he trotted off into the neighbor's backyard. When he went under the light I saw his brilliant red coat. He was beautiful and had a jaunty attitude just like a fox in a cartoon. Mr. Fox was a delight to see. I wonder if I'll be able to sneak a peek at him again this year. He just might let me. We had a nice and proper introduction last night.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Fantasy ebook giveaway drawing for Judgment Rising

Win Judgment Rising: The Rys Chronicles Book III by Tracy Falbe

When I wrote Judgment Rising I had conceived of it as a new entry point to The Rys Chronicles series where a reader could begin the story. Although it is the third novel of The Rys Chronicles, it picks up 5 years after the events in the first two novels. New challenges and adventures are set in motion. Some new characters are added.

Most people buy Judgment Rising after reading Union of Renegades and The Goddess Queen, but readers who enjoy epics driven by multiple characters can jump in and start reading with Book III.

Through the end of May, you can enter to win one of three ebook copies of Judgment Rising. Use the Rafflecopter form below. You can enter by leaving a comment here or liking my Brave Luck Books Facebook page.

Read this short excerpt to see if you like my style and then enter the drawing. 

In this scene, Sandin Promentro seeks the favor of his Empire's war god before campaigning into the Wilderness guarded by the magical rys.

The grim statue of the anthropomorphic God of war sat across from Sandin behind the altar. Carved of black basalt, the indifferent face of the harsh God gazed beyond the ceremony taking place at his feet. Driven by desire that could never be fully satisfied, Golan surveyed Ektren with roving eyes that did not blink, not even when confronted by the worst mayhem.
Standing before the altar, the high priest wore a shining black robe and a headdress emblazoned with flames in gold leaf. Sandin approached the elderly lord of the temple, who was bent with great age and a great contradiction to the young men sent to serve Golan’s cravings.
After all the other priests kneeled, Sandin dropped to his knees before the high priest. Despite having a body withered by age and not wounds, the high priest had a strong voice that filled the sanctum.
“Great Golan, brother of civilization, look upon a warrior who comes to honor you. He is the best among the men of your chosen country, but even in his success, he knows that he is just your agent. He knows that your greatness gave him the courage to defeat his enemies.”
The priests responded together. “Golan, giver of victory, hear our praise.”
“And continue to bless Clan Promentro’s finest son with the banner of victory,” the high priest added.
“May my body and mind never waver and thereby prove worthy of Golan’s rewards in this world and in death,” Sandin said.
“Hear the pledge of the warrior and be pleased, great Golan, for there is no higher warrior in all the world,” the high priest declared.
“Golan, giver of eternal paradise, accept our warrior,” the priests intoned.
A gong was struck and the note quivered in the air like a battle cry. When it faded, the high priest continued. “Lord General, rise and present your gift to Golan, the most generous and wanton of Gods.”
Sandin obeyed and drew forth a scroll from the pouch on his belt. Although tied with a golden ribbon, it appeared an insignificant thing next to the treasures that littered the temple. Mere words on parchment seemed unbefitting the extreme appetites of war. But with the document, Sandin delivered up great wealth—an immense prize for both God and temple.
The high priest opened the scroll and after scanning the contents, which he of course already had knowledge of, announced, “Lord General Sandin has given the region of Belesti and the Pandovelari city-state of Koreltia to his patron God. From this moment forth those properties are now in the stewardship of the temple. In the name of Golan, I praise the Lord General for his mighty gift. We shall keep his name in our hearts and on our lips. Atrophane will not forget him or ignore his titles while he is away doing the work of our God.”

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Review of Rowena and the Dark Lord by Melodie Campbell

Yesterday Melodie Campbell visited Her Ladyship's Quest and wrote about Romancing the Villain. I also received a copy of her new release Rowena and the Dark Lord a few weeks ago and I am sharing my review. 

Rowena and the Dark Lord by Melodie Campbell presents a fast paced and fun loving romp through a magical fantasy world called Lands End. The snarky female-centric style of the novel mixes a girls-night-out cocktail of independent women tangoing with macho warriors who don't listen to their girlfriends.

The novel continues the story begun in Rowena Through the Wall in which a veterinarian named Rowena who lives in Arizona magically shifts into another fantasy world where she finds romance, a husband, and a devil worshipping lover. No, they aren't all the same person. Women keeping their options open when it comes to men is a theme of the novel as Campbell playfully injects a liberated female attitude into a world where men are "protectors" and think they are in charge of everything.

Rowena is in love with Thane, but they aren't together for most of the story. She's busy avoiding Cedric, the Lucifer worshipping sorcerer who is likely the father of her unborn child. He exerts his power over Rowena to make her want him even though she knows better. She's undeniably attracted to him, but not entirely interested in being his queen if she can avoid it.

Rowena and the Dark Lord is a splendidly complicated and whimsical play date in a fantasy setting. The author tosses in ridiculous twists and turns and pulls it off. The action flows smoothly. In fact Campbell has an enviable ability to maintain an upbeat narrative that strung together scenes effortlessly. Something is always happening, and Rowena's shining personality is pleasant and sympathetic.

Much of the humor of the novel is at the expense of the male gender. It's decidedly a women's novel, and I'll admit to chuckling at the relentless portrayal of men as thoughtless brawlers intent on their next mug of ale, war, and bedroom encounter.

For pleasant fairy tale flavor updated with a modern female outlook, Rowena and the Dark Lord offers unfailing entertainment. It's a madcap comedy and you'll never know what will happen next.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Romancing the Villain! The appeal of Bad Boys…

Today I welcome Melodie Campbell, who delivers a fun and irresistible blend of humor and fantasy in her brand new release Rowena and the Dark Lord. In her guest post she admits that a villain could make an extraordinary boyfriend.

Romancing the Villain!  The appeal of Bad Boys…

by Guest Blogger Melodie Campbell

What is it about the appeal of Bad Boys?  A strange thing happened while writing Rowena and the Dark Lord… I appear to have fallen for my villain.

Yes, Thane is the hero, and Rowena is smitten with him, as she should be.  But her literary creator has become more and more enamoured with bad boy Cedric – the villain of the piece.  Cedric is determined to have Rowena to himself, and he will stop at nothing to get her, including selling his soul to Lucifer.  Cedric messes with the black arts.

Cedric can mess with me anytime.

How the heck did this happen?  I set out to write a funny and sexy adventure, with good guys, bad guys and spunky heroines.  Love that Rowena.  She’s everything I would like to be. Clever, beautiful, sexy… a bit daring, but with a strong moral compass.  Thane is a terrific match for her; strong, smart, loyal, handsome, and the King to boot.  Arch enemy of Cedric of course.

I wanted to make the story rich with characters, so I worked hard to make my villain three-dimensional.  He has thoughts, moods, desires just like anyone else.  And maybe even some good traits.  It’s hard not to be moved by a guy who will risk his life for you. 

Something about that Cedric pulls me.  He’s not as good-looking as Thane.  He probably isn’t as smart. His morals are questionable – maybe nonexistent.  But he is cunning.  He is dynamic.  He is never, ever boring.

Cedric is the typical bad boy.

What it is about men who don’t fit the typical hero mode, but ‘bother’ us, somehow? That’s how Rowena puts it.  “I didn’t like his looks – they bothered me.”  I’ll say they did.  Rowena was rocked to the core!  You see, I know that feeling.  I’ve felt it myself…

Cedric has long red-gold hair.  His eyes are green, and they have an eerie glow when he uses magic. He’s tall, broad and thoroughly masculine, with bands of muscles on his arms.  And he draws her like a moth to fire…

Exciting, that’s the word.  The bad boys in our past made us feel like we were alive.  Living on the edge has its attractions.

So Thane may be the ideal man for Rowena, and for many women.  But Cedric will always be there, in the back of her mind, tempting…promising something that will take her beyond the ordinary, something delicious, enticing…

Damn, that’s attractive.  I can’t kill him off.

Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best this year when Library Journal compared her to Janet Evanovich.  She has over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories, and 4 novels. She has won 6 awards for fiction. 
ROWENA AND THE DARK LORD, book 2 in the Land’s End series, is NOW AVAILABLE at the special introductory price of .99! (regular price $3.99, after May 1.)

For Amazon Kindle
And the one that started it all: ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL, book 1 in the Land’s End series. Get it for Kindle.