Monday, April 28, 2014

Blades of the Old Empire Fantasy Book Review

Review of Blades of the Old Empire by Anna Kashina published by Angry Robot Books.




In Blades of the Old Empire by Anna Kashina a fantasy world is on the cusp of great change. For centuries the official religion has restricted magic by testing children and killing those with magic powers.

But now the Kaddim Brotherhood has unleashed an ancient evil that will give them the power to dominate all peoples and only Prince Kythar, whose magic was hidden during childhood, can stop them.

Many relationships in this sprawling epic produce a book with interesting contrasts. Kythar or Kyth for short and his friend Ellah are in love and falling in love respectively with diamond warriors of the Majat guild. This guild sells security services to powerful people and diamond Majats are the most lethal.

Kyth is in love with a Kara, a prodigy even among diamond Majats. As a young man, his love toward her is simple, unquestioning, and intense, but these are age appropriate characteristics for his emotions. Kara, although young, almost seems too mature and worldly for Kyth, but she returns his affection.

Through the course of the story the young woman Ellah also falls for a diamond Majat named Mai. He is an enigma, acting both aloof yet charming. He is also a consummate warrior whose masculinity entices Ellah. She represents the plain girl who wants a man seemingly out of her league.

I really enjoyed Ellah's story line because she did not have fantastic fighting skills. She was just a girl off the farm who was now acting on the stage of world events. She offered a pleasing foil to Kara, who is fast, graceful, beautiful, respected, and brilliant.

Beyond the carefully woven tapestry of characters, Kashina presents a fantasy world of rich detail. It possesses a reverence for Nature illustrated in Ayalla, a supernatural female like a forest or Earth goddess. Trees follow her and form her shelter wherever she stops, and a garment of living spiders hangs upon her body.

Blades of the Old Empire is written at a good pace. Shocking action and turbulent emotions abound. I recommend the book to people who like Medieval style fantasy with quests and lots of characters.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

4 Writing Tips from Australian Writer Ray Gates

Today I found a useful writing advice article. I think it has good value and will help people who desire the writing life but are finding it difficult to walk the walk. As someone who has written almost every day for many years, I can recommend these writing tips from Australian writer Ray Gates.


You Really Can Write Every Day: My 4 Tips (via http://raygates.me)
If you’ve ever tried to be a writer, at some point you will no doubt have come across the sagely advice that to become a good writer, you must write every single day. There is certainly truth to this: writing is a skill, and like any skill, the more…

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Available for Pre Order on Barnes & Noble Nook My First Children's Book Bear Dog Dog Bear

The $2.99 Ebook for Bear Dog Dog Bear is now available for Pre-Order on Nook. It is releasing May 8th. The listing is so new that the description has not been loaded at Barnes & Noble yet so I'll provide it here.

Children's Chapter Book of approximately 12,000 words.

It’s easy to see what you’re told to see.

Daniel Wood and his family are getting a puppy. A black German Shepherd puppy to be precise. His dad already picked her out on the internet, and they are on the road to the breeder’s house at the end of a long creepy country road into the woods. It looks like a woods where bears might live, but no one is thinking about that when disaster strikes the puppy barn.

This cheerful chapter book brings the wild into suburban Cherry Park and sets a puppy loose in the countryside.Daniel has no idea what is happening until the truth is broadcast on the evening news and a video of his dad wrestling a bear cub hits YouTube.


Only $2.99 on Nook






Union of Renegades featured fantasy ebook at Indie Book Bargains




Ebook readers in the United Kingdom have been alerted to the free Kindle book Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I by Indie Book Bargains. Thanks for featuring my free title. Many fantasy fans have falled in love with this series.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Join the Union of Renegades Book Blast with Unlimited Ebook Prizes for Everyone




Union of Renegades Book Blast
Indie Fantasy for People Who Don’t Do What They’re Told

Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I is the first novel I published and the gateway to the epic world of the rys revealed through 7 more novels.

A Little History

Union of Renegades was published way before there were any kindles or nooks or ipads. There weren’t even many book blogs back in 2006 when I started producing my fiction. Because I’m a person who thinks it’s never too late for anything, I’m organizing a book blast to let readers know about it.

Union of Renegades will now get the honeymoon it deserves after many years of marriage!

By joining the book blast bloggers get to let their readers know about a free fantasy ebook deal. Union of Renegades is free at Brave Luck Books and major ebook retailers Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Is there a giveaway prize with the book blast?

Everyone who wants a prize can get one. In addition to getting the free Union of Renegades ebook, blog visitors who join my email list will be sent a coupon code from Smashwords to download the sequel The Goddess Queen: The Rys Chronicles Book II. This allows people access to the prize around the world in whatever format they like.

When is the book blast?

The Union of Renegades book blast will run from May 5th to May 9th. Bloggers can select any of those days to participate.

What is the content of the book blast?

Every blogger will receive the following materials to publish:

  • Book blast graphic and cover images
  • Short blurb
  • Meet the main players article - This will introduce readers to the main characters including what they represent in my mind and how I developed them.
  • 3-chapter excerpt presented in an embeddable SlideShare presentation that's easy for everyone to use.
  • Links to free Union of Renegades ebook
  • Invitation to join my email list and receive the coupon for the free copy of The Goddess Queen. This will be a link to the Mailchimp form.
How to join the book blast

Fill out the form below and I will follow up with all the materials.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New 5 star Review of Rys Rising on Kindle Praises Character Development

As an author it's always a special moment when a reader contacts me to say how much she enjoyed my novel. In a personal email Julia P. told me that she had just finished reading Rys Rising: Book I and was looking forward to the rest of the series.

She also left this nice 5-star review in the Kindle store for Rys Rising: Book I on April 18th.


I'm glad that she praised Rys Rising: Book I for being a "true novel not a 200 page attempt to get me to buy the next in the series."

The first book of the Rys Rising series is over 175,000 words of hard-hitting epic fantasy that sprawls across two civilizations and includes two magical races the rys and the tabre. Although it of course sets up the story for the next 3 books in the series, it contains a complete story arc. My novels always have a complete story within them but are of course intended to leave you wanting more. The wanting more comes from caring about the characters or at least being fascinated by them. I strive to bring characters alive in readers' heads so that they will wonder about their futures.

Rys Rising: Book I is a $2.99 ebook at numerous retailers.

Get it at:
 
 
Also available in paperback and hardcover.

 



Monday, April 21, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Hop


I was tagged by Will Hahn to answer questions about my writing process. When Hahn wrote about his writing process I learned that he's a chronicler not a writer. I like this distinction, and to be precise he chronicles the Tales from the Land of Hope.

Honored that he thought of me when it was time to pass on the baton of this blog hop, I now present my writing process.

1. What am I working on?

I have almost completed the manuscript for my tenth novel Journey of the Hunted. It is a historical fantasy set in 1561 Bohemia that blends the supernatural folklore of the time about werewolves, fairies, and witches into the real historical setting of the Holy Roman Empire. Journey of the Hunted picks up the story in Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale published last November. That novel ended with Thal learning that his sorcerer father Sarputeen was alive. Journey of the Hunted tells the story of Thal crossing Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia on his way to his father’s castle in the Tatras Mountains. His journey is complicated by the fact that he has multiple warrants for his arrest for shapeshifting, Devil worship, and a killing spree. It’s all true, except for the Devil worship, and the roads are swarming with bounty hunters eager to slay the fearsome werewolf called the “Butcher of Prague” and collect the reward of 200 gold florins.
 
Thal is not overly worried about the bounty hunters because he is a werelord with an enchanted wolf fur that lets him change into a werewolf at will. Regardless of the phase of the moon he can transform into his mighty wolf self and generally slay whoever threatens him. He does not necessarily bother with that because his sword, pair of pistols, and supernatural strength suffice to handle most problems. The regular folk he meets along the road are wooed by his charm and notoriety along with the fact that he travels with a talented troupe of musicians.    

Everything is going well until he encounters a bounty hunter that’s a werewolf. Then his guide Mileko informs him that this werewolf is the agent of Tekax, a powerful sorcerer and nemesis of Thal’s father. Instead of anticipating a happy reunion with his father, Thal is now at the center of a conflict of rival sorcerers.
 
Journey of the Hunted is tentatively planned for a late summer or fall release.
     
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My historical fantasy Werelord Thal is different because there are not many novels set in that time period. I know it seems hard to believe but there is no “Renaissance” category of historical fiction. There’s “Medieval” which is similar, but Werelord Thal has very Renaissance themes. The Renaissance is also very accurately labeled the Early Modern period because western civilization was shifting out of the Medieval era and the institutions and global empires of our modern world were taking shape. So my historical fantasy set in the Renaissance presents a supernatural adventure against the backdrop of a crucial technological innovation (printing books) and the social and religious upheaval of the 16th century, illustrated gruesomely by the horrors of state-sanctioned torture and witch hunting.

As for my epic fantasies, I shy away from the tried-and-true motif of the orphan young man or woman who discovers his or her magical powers are needed to save the world. In my novels the magical races of the rys and tabre have powers and people are just people. They have enchanted items like crystals and swords given to them that offer protection from spells, but people don’t have any magic. I find it much more interesting to develop characters who have to cope within a world run by magical superior beings.

Also unlike the typical good prevailing against evil that fantasy is so well known for, I delve into rather dark and cynical themes, but my stories are given heart by intense family loyalties, romance, and great friendships.   

3. Why do I write what I do?

Fantasy has and will always be my favorite genre. I read all types of books, fiction and nonfiction, but fantasy is my creative space. I just don’t know if I could go through the trouble of writing a novel and not put magic and sword fights in it.

4. How does my writing process work?

It begins with me tapping into the ocean of characters and adventures that fills my mind. I focus on my feelings and from these will come characters. And sometimes characters just show up on their own like stray cats that demand that I write epics about them instead of a bowl of milk.

As I populate a story I think about the plot and what I want to communicate. I always have an ending in mind before I start composing the manuscript. I think it is important to know where I’m going before I start. There’s room for my imagination to throw things in along the way, but I want to work toward a goal.

Once I’ve settled on roughly what the story is I’ll start writing. I call this the composition stage. I try to write every day. While I’m composing a novel, I go back and read what I’ve written. After the manuscript is complete, I’ll do a complete read through. Then I’ll start editing. I’ll go through it two more times. The second phase is a strong edit and the third read through is a close proofreading and copyedit. Then it’s ready for the public.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Wolf Photographed in the Czech Republic - 1st Sighting in 100 Years


The headline First wolf in a century spotted in Czech Republic caught my eye at Treehugger today because I've always admired wolves and I like to see animals surviving in a difficult world. The wolf image was taken by a motion activated wildlife camera.

The Czech Republic and more precisely Bohemia also happens to be the setting of my most recent novel Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale. That novel is set in 1561 and has a werewolf hero. I chose Bohemia for the setting of the novel because it still has some forested regions to this day and I was able to imagine it being much wilder hundreds of years ago.

You can read the first 4 chapters of the novel right here.


Monday, April 14, 2014

I Got to See The Wedding Dance by Pieter Bruegel the Elder Yesterday at the Detroit Institute of Arts


I spent Sunday afternoon at the Detroit Institute of Arts and it was a most enriching experience. I had not been to this museum since a school trip in junior high. It was a privilege to have access to the priceless collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts. I know that trips here with my family when I was young greatly contributed to my interest in history and especially Renaissance Art.

Just last month during the blog tour for Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale I prepared a presentation about how Renaissance artists aided my research for my historical fantasy novel. I particularly cited the works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder for his amazing depictions of common people. His art helped me envision the clothing and attitudes of peasants.

The Bruegel painting at the DIA is the Wedding Dance. This richly detailed masterpiece is packed with bawdy detail and Bacchanalian joy. While studying the painting in person yesterday I overheard the reactions of other people in the gallery. The obvious erections of the men in the foreground immediately titillated viewers who then started looking more closely to see what else they could find in the festive composition.

I highly recommend visiting the DIA website and using its magnification tool to study the Wedding Dance.

See more examples of Bruegel's art and other artists who inspired my writing of Werelord Thal in the presentation below.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hitting the Top 100 Dark Fantasy Kindle Best Seller Rank Tonight

In this final day of the 99-cents sale for Rys Rising: Book I preliminary results of the promotion show that my fantasy book has popped up on the dark fantasy best seller rankings. At the moment of the screenshot Saturday night, Rys Rising was #86 in the Kindle Store for Dark Fantasy.

Get it at:

Also available in paperback and hardcover.

Bring Me Your Children...So I Can Tell Them a Story


I've written a children's book Bear Dog Dog Bear

 I have grade school age children and they wanted me to write something for them. Also last year I gave a talk about writing to all the third graders at my son's school and they wanted me to make something for them too. All my other novels are at a higher level meant for older teens and adults, but it was admittedly fun to turn my skills toward writing a children's book. I'm personally happy with the result. As a mother I've waded through a lot of chapter books with my kids that I think are just mind-numbing drivel, so I'm sure I topped that.

My son Curtis Falbe who is 10 years old provided the artwork for the cover. I guess I've reached that point in my career when I inflict the creations of my children on the public. Cool! 

In the coming weeks, I'll be publishing this story as an ebook and paperback...if I can ever get done with my kids' laundry. 

About Bear Dog Dog Bear

Daniel Wood and his family are getting a puppy. A black German Shepherd puppy to be precise. His dad already picked her out on the internet, and they are on the road to the breeder’s house at the end of a long creepy country road into the woods. It looks like a woods where bears might live, but no one is thinking about that when disaster strikes the puppy barn.

This cheerful chapter book brings the wild into suburban Cherry Park and sets a puppy loose in the countryside. Daniel has no idea what is happening until the truth is broadcast on the evening news and a video of his dad wrestling a bear cub hits YouTube.


To be notified when this children's chapter book is available, please join my Readers' List.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

English Language Fantasy Ebook On Sale for 0,89 Euro in German Kindle Store


Rys Rising: Book I is on sale through April 12th in all kindle stores for $0.99. This makes it 0,89 Euro in the Kindle store in Germany.

About Rys Rising: Book I

A young warrior ruined and near death is saved by Onja a mysterious rys female. Forsaking all that he was, he will take the name Amar and serve his new magical mistress. A lord among outlaws he will become, feared by kings and called the dro-shalum or curse demon by the common folk.

Onja nurtures his growing power among the tribal kingdoms so she can strike against the tabre of Nufal. They are the ancient race of magic users that created the rys with their experimental spells, but they revile their creations. The tabre keep the rys hidden away while they rule over their beautiful realm. The key to Onja’s victory will be if she can win over the rys prodigy Dacian who is loyal to the ruling tabre order. Will he endure more dark abuses for the sake of peace or reach out to Onja and her growing army of allies?

Packed with primitive energy, the intertwining stories of this fantasy world will indulge your cravings for intrigue, bravery, desire, and freedom.

Get it on Kindle in Germany

Excerpt:

The noisy mirth drew their leader into the lantern light. Demeda recognized the man who stalked back down the trail as the one who had bound her hands. He had a young face set in hard lines, and the laughter hushed upon his appearance.

He took in the scene quickly and Demeda succeeded in finally righting her clothing. While she was at it, she loosened her gag before someone yanked on one of her straps and she dropped her hands.

The leader confronted the man who had been carrying Demeda. “You can’t carry a girl?” he asked.

The man dropped to one knee. “Forgive me, Amar,” he said.

Demeda became perfectly still as she realized that she was looking upon the dro-shalum. Amar of the Kez had taken her and Ulet. She had naturally imagined him as older. Demeda thought that it was strange that his youth should command such solemn authority over these men. Her brother was young and shown respect and obeyed, but not like this. The men around her feared this Amar not because of his station but because he was the curse demon. Kings withered in his presence, and now he possessed her.

Disgust flitted across Amar’s face. He waved dismissively at the man who knelt before him and approached Demeda. She quailed back a step. He grabbed both straps on her arms and yanked her toward him. She fell against his chest. His net-like armor of small bronze plates poked through her thin clothing. Demeda looked up into his eyes and glimpsed a wild disregard for all of society that opened a gateway to a world unimagined. 

Other English language fantasy ebooks by Tracy Falbe available in Germany's Kindle store:

Savage Storm
New Religion
Love Lost
Union of Renegades
The Goddess Queen
Judgment Rising
The Borderlands of Power
Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale


Prefer Taschenbuch?

Order this 404 page 6 x 9 inch trade paperback at Germany's Amazon store. 




Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Book Explores the Ghosts, Vampires, and Mysteries of Paris

There are so many interesting book projects these days. The fundraising site Kickstarter offers many people a platform for creating media they may not otherwise have the resources to accomplish. This news I found today is about Father Sebastiaan of Paris who normally runs a ghost and vampire tour company in this ancient city that has catacombs and graves from the Reign of Terror. I'll take buttery pastries and love thank you very much! Right now he's over $3,000 toward his Kickstarter project to produce the book Mysteries of Paris.
SBWire Mysteries of Paris Unveils the City's Dark Side (via SBWire)

Father Sebastiaan’s new book examines mysteries, atrocities and tales of terror in the City of Lights. Paris, France -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/07/2014 -- The legendary Father Sebastiaan, a leading expert on the occult and vampire subculture, is transforming…




Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Kindle 99-cents Sale for Epic Fantasy Rys Rising: Book I


It's sale time if you read Kindle ebooks. 

Rys Rising: Book I is only $0.99 through April 12th. 

This is your chance for a pittance to discover a fantasy novel that readers at Amazon called "a work of art" and "One of the better epic tales I have read in a long time."

Get it at:

About the novel

A young warrior ruined and near death is saved by Onja a mysterious rys female. Forsaking all that he was, he will take the name Amar and serve his new magical mistress. A lord among outlaws he will become, feared by kings and called the dro-shalum or curse demon by the common folk.

Onja nurtures his growing power among the tribal kingdoms so she can strike against the tabre of Nufal. They are the ancient race of magic users that created the rys with their experimental spells, but they revile their creations. The tabre keep the rys hidden away while they rule over their beautiful realm. The key to Onja’s victory will be if she can win over the rys prodigy Dacian who is loyal to the ruling tabre order. Will he endure more dark abuses for the sake of peace or reach out to Onja and her growing army of allies?

Packed with primitive energy, the intertwining stories of this fantasy world will indulge your cravings for intrigue, bravery, desire, and freedom.

Visit its Kindle page and read a short excerpt that will excite you for the whole story. 

Get it at:

Also available in paperback and hardcover.



Monday, April 7, 2014

How to Get Fantasy Paperbacks by Tracy Falbe in the UK


I imagine there must be some fantasy readers in United Kingdom considering it's the homeland of J.R.R. Tolkein and J.K. Rowling.

As an independent author it's easy for me to focus my global marketing on the ebook market because my fantasy ebooks are so easily distributed as digital content. But my appearances at conventions over the past months have reminded me that many people still prefer print.

The company Createspace has proven to be a reliable and convenient service for selling my paperback fantasy novels in Amazon stores in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the United States. Why not Canada? I don't know!

For my readers in the UK who prefer print, 5 of my 9 fantasy books are available there as 6 x 9 inch trade paperbacks. These will be brand new books produced specifically to fulfill your order.

Rys Rising: Book I
Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book II
New Religion: Rys Rising Book III
Love Lost: Rys Rising Book IV

Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale

Also availalbe is
My Grandma's Vintage Recipes: Old Standards for a New Age
I published this cookbook last year after salvaging 64 recipes from the handwritten notes of my Grandmother in a notebook from 1926.

Alas The Rys Chronicles are not set up at Createspace, which means they do not have affordable print-on-demand fulfillment in the UK. Maybe I'll get it set up someday, but it would be a time consuming project. When I first set up my publishing company years ago I produced The Rys Chronicles in small print runs. Therefore all the remaining stock is in the United States and shipping charges overseas are prohibitive. However, resellers do have copies of The Rys Chronicles listed for UK delivery.

Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I
The Goddess Queen: The Rys Chronicles Book II
Judgment Rising: The Rys Chronicles Book III
The Borderlands of Power: The Rys Chronicles Book IV

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kobo Sponsors Opening Up To Indie Authors Campaign With Alliance of Independent Authors

The Alliance of Independent Authors is partnering with Kobo to publish a guidebook for authors and people in the publishing industry to develop ways to broadly include self published works in the global book selling ecosystem. I am all for this, but I wish Kobo would reinstate my titles in its UK ecommerce sites after a fiasco last fall when THEY REMOVED ALL SELF PUBLISHED TITLES from their stores because of some complaints about erotica. They only pulled self published erotica mind you. My novels aren't erotica but I have yet to have Kobo allow their UK customers to buy them again. Hopefully Kobo's supposed support for self publishers will include selling them to people in the UK. Thankfully my titles remain available at other countries through Kobo.

See the complete press release about the Opening Up to Indie Authors campaign.

The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) announces the global launch of the Opening Up to Indie Authors Guidebook & Campaign with Kobo Writing Life (KWL) (via PRWeb)

With sponsorship from Kobo Writing Life and featuring author publishers across the world, the launch of Opening Up to Indie Authors promises a publishing first. "Everyone benefits when author-published work is included." - Orna Ross, ALLi London (PRWEB…


Friday, April 4, 2014

Smashwords $0.99 Ebook Deal This Week

This week I had an author inform me of a short term price drop to $0.99 an a Smashwords ebook. The sale ends on Apirl 6th, so take a look quick.


Coming Home Logan's Wish

A.R.M.

Erotica

$2.99 now $0.99 through April 6th

Get it at Smashwords

Logan returns home to find the woman of his dreams has caught the romantic attention of his brother Dillon.

Happy Reading!

Please subscribe to Her Ladyship’s Quest so you can come back and browse new Smashwords Deals as they are added.

Authors: Send me your coupon codes with the form at the bottom of the Smashwords Deals page.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

75 Reasons to Read Books

I found this fun list for book lovers at Youth Connect, a student oriented magazine in India that promotes the joys of reading.

I particularly liked number 59. It feeds my need for intelligent conversation! So it’s okay if you act dumb around me, my books take care of that void!

75 Reasons Why I Read Books (via Youth Connect )
When you are done reading these points, run to the nearest book shop, grab a book, start reading and tell me if and when you stop! Here are 75 reasons why I read books.  1. When there is reading, there is no boredom!2. Through reading, I escape into…

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