Friday, March 29, 2013

The Space Between~Early Release

The Space Between, the first part in my new series, The Book of Phoenix, is ripe and ready for release. The official release date is April 5, but the ebook will come out early. Woohoo! How early depends on how many Likes I can gain over on my Facebook page. I’m hoping this weekend? Maybe even today? Hmm…we’ll see.

Planning a release as an indie is kind of difficult. When we’re responsible for all of the pieces, you’d think making them come together by a certain time would be easy. We’re in control, right? Well, not so much. Especially when the retailers keep changing their parameters for the files that we upload. Or when they decide to take a day or two longer than normal to approve a new title.

Our editors and proofreaders may take longer or shorter to do their parts than we planned for. We ourselves may need more or less time than expected to do last minute fixes. Then there’s all the formatting for the various versions.

I always build in extra time because inevitably there are issues. I’m publishing my sixth title, but new problems still pop up. It’s such an exciting time to be prepping to push that PUBLISH button, but also extremely frustrating because regardless of how smoothly the process goes, it’s never smooth enough. I mean, why can’t everything work perfectly on the first try? Is that really asking for too much?

After the last couple of days of driving myself nutty with syntax coding errors (an extra space in a file name wasted three hours of troubleshooting time and that’s just one example), we’re pretty much ready to publish early. It’s not the first time I’ve been off by a few days, although it’s the first time I’ve been ready a week early.

Of course, now I start thinking, “That’s another week to read through and make any final changes to make it even more awesome.” We writers like to be insane, I do believe. So not to torture myself, we will be hitting PUBLISH very soon. Keep an eye out for The Space Between coming to ebookshelves in the next day or so.

About The Space Between, Part One in The Book of Phoenix:

When Life Falls to Pieces, Answers Lie in the Space Between


Bestselling author Kristie Cook, with over 200,000 books sold, brings you another New Adult paranormal series, The Book of Phoenix


“A completely unique story with a paranormal twist . . . the perfect blend of romance and mystery with a phenomenal plot that will keep you guessing.” ~ Jessica, Confessions of a Bookaholic

“I loved this book! The characters, the romance, the plot, the originality! It had everything to make it an amazing book!” ~ Kendall, Book Crazy


After a month-long dance tour through Italy, 20-year-old Leni Drago returns to Georgia to care for her great-uncle, only to find him gone, the home they shared empty and any evidence he ever existed wiped out. All that’s left is a journal she can’t open.

Jeric Winters has been searching for a piece of his past for over a year, only to reach a dead-end in Georgia. When an urgent and magnetic pull draws him out of his hotel room, he comes face-to-face with the beautiful dancer who’s been haunting his dreams day and night.

Jeric’s one to stay away from—a bad-boy, hit-it-and-quit-it type—but Leni can’t escape the fervent feelings between them. As their own existences begin to crumble around them and shadowy forms that are more monsters than men attack, they realize there’s more to the connection between them than physical fascination.

To solve the riddle their lives have become, they must embark on a journey that requires them to face their pasts and release their true souls. And they must do it fast—dark ones from another world are closing in, intent on killing them. Permanently.


“This is a completely new twist on the idea of a timeless love story with a paranormal twist unlike any other. The connection between the two characters is bone deep and resonates beautifully. I will never forget this novel.” ~ Heather McCorkle, Author of the fantasy Channeler series

“Kristie has done it again! Her Soul Savers series is my favorite by far and yet The Space Between is easily the best book she’s ever written! It's dangerous, suspenseful, and smokin’ hot.” ~ Marissa, Comfortably Read Book Reviews

“The Space Between is an amazing story of life, love and fates. Author Kristie Cook has you hanging on the edge of every page. This book stays in your head well after the last page.” ~ Mindy, Forbidden Reviews

**Mature Content** Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language.

About Kristie Cook:

Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. She continues to write the Soul Savers Series, a New Adult paranormal romance/contemporary fantasy, with the first four books, Promise, Purpose, Devotion and Power available now and the next book coming in June 2013. She’s also written a companion novella, Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella, currently available. Over 160,000 Soul Savers books have been sold, with Promise peaking at #54 on the Amazon Top 100 Paid list and at #1 in the Amazon Fantasy category.
The Space Between kicks off her second New Adult paranormal series, The Book of Phoenix.
Besides writing, Kristie enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at:

Author's Website & Blog:
Soul Savers Series Website:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Defining Success

I've officially been an indie author since September 2011, so about a year and a half. When I put my first baby out into the world all by myself, my idea of success was simple. To sell enough books to pay for the cost of self-publishing.

I mean, I couldn't justify losing money on my venture, so if I could just break even... I'd be a success.

It's funny how my view of success has changed a million times in just a few months. Now with self-publishers hitting all kinds bestseller's lists and dominating Amazon's top 100, and doing it in record time, the definition of success, or at least our perception of what success is, can be all over the map.

-if I break even, I'll be a success
-if I make enough money to pay the heating...
-If I make enough money to pay the rent/mortgage...
-if I make enough money to quit my day job

At some point it moves from making money to survive to this:

-if I make the top 100 Amazon
-if I make NYT bestsellers list
-if agents start calling me
-if I get a publishing deal AND I get to keep my e-rights
-if I become a household name in the industry
-if I have a zillion fans
-if I get a movie deal

(Even Trad published authors get caught up in this. One well-known YA author actually tweeted about how HARD it was for her to keep getting asked when her book was going to be made into a movie. She felt like a barren woman who was always being asked when she was going to have kids. Yes, she REALLY said this!)

Let me tell you, this is a recipe for crazy making.

So, what is the definition of success?

I don't know. It's different for everyone. I actually have a hard time seeing myself as successful because I've placed a high bar in front of me that I haven't yet reached.

Sometimes you need to lower the bar.

I got this email recently. It made me smile. It helped me to lower my bar.

"... I've bought all of the clockwise series, Seaweed, Perception, and the Jars of Clay series, ... your writing is amazing, and I can only hope that one day I will be a success like you (:"

(emphasis mine)

Sometimes we don't see ourselves the way other people see us. I'd say, most of the time.

Are you a success? I bet you are. Just lower the bar and keep smiling.

~Elle Strauss
Author of paranormal young adult and new adult novels under the pseudonym Lee Strauss.

Friday, March 22, 2013

IE Reviews: The Backworlds

I came across this sci-fi novel by M. Pax while reading a friend's blog. It is geared toward adults.

I love a great sci-fi book and can't get enough of them lately so I was delighted when I downloaded this and the first page sucked me in. The world is well developed and interesting. That said, it fell short for me in a few areas. However, this is a very well written novel, superbly edited, and well executed, which I would recommend for sci-fi fans. What are short comings for me, another is likely to not even noticed.

The best part is, if you're hesitant to try it out, no need to be, it's free! So decide for yourself. You can't go wrong there. You can find it at the following links:

Amazon / B&N / Smashwords

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

IE Reviews: Delirium: Debt Collector 1

Lately it is incredibly rare for me to find a book that captivates me so much that I cannot put it down. I'm picky, I admit it. Which is why I don't do a lot of reviews. It takes something special. This is something very special. Susan Kaye Quinn's The Debt Collector just released. It is a new future-noir serial for adults (no not that kind of adult book). People, it is BEYOND amazing. The first episode, Delirium, launched  on 3/20.

My official review:

"Utterly captivating and completely amazing from the first word to the last. This is science fiction at its forward-thinking best. Delirium is the first in a serial about a man who collects people's life force when their time is up and they have ceased to be a productive member of society with a valuable future. It promises to be an outstanding series, one that I will be waiting on with bated breath. This is everything the movie 'In Time' should have been, and then some. It would not surprise me in the least if Hollywood comes calling Susan on this one."

Yes really, it was that good. I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment in the serial, which is coming out soon! Here is more about it:

What’s your life worth on the open market?

A debt collector can tell you precisely.

Lirium plays the part of the grim reaper well, with his dark trenchcoat, jackboots, and the black marks on his soul that every debt collector carries. He’s just in it for his cut, the ten percent of the life energy he collects before he transfers it on to the high potentials, the people who will make the world a better place with their brains, their work, and their lives. That hit of life energy, a bottle of vodka, and a visit from one of Madam Anastazja’s sex workers keep him alive, stable, and mostly sane… until he collects again. But when his recovery ritual is disrupted by a sex worker who isn’t what she seems, he has to choose between doing an illegal hit for a girl whose story has more holes than his soul or facing the bottle alone—a dark pit he’s not sure he’ll be able to climb out of again.

Contains mature content and themes. For YA-appropriate thrills, see Susan’s Mindjack series.

Delirium is approximately 12,000 words or 48 pages and is one of nine episodes in the first season of The Debt Collector serial (how cool is that?!). This dark and gritty future-noir is about a world where your life-worth is tabulated on the open market and going into debt risks a lot more than your credit rating. You can find out more about the series at the Debt Collector website and facebook page. The Debt Collector newsletter is a special list just for episode releases.
Early Praise
 “The street-smart science of LOOPER meets the cold, just-the-facts voice of DOUBLE INDEMNITY in this edgy, future-noir thriller that will have you holding your breath, looking over your shoulder, and begging for more.” —Leigh Talbert Moore, author of The Truth About Faking, The Truth About Letting Go, and Rouge
“Do you owe more than your life is worth? No worries. A more deserving person than you can benefit from that excess life—and someone else will get paid with it. Enter the Debt Collector.” —Dianne Salerni, author of We Hear the Dead, The Caged Graves, and The Eighth Day (HarperCollins 2014)
The first three episodes of Debt Collector will be released a week apart, starting Wednesday 3/20. The remaining episodes will release every two weeks. Delirium can be found on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iTunes, Kobo. Or add it to your TBR on Goodreads.

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling YA SF Mindjack series. Debt Collector is her more grown-up SF. Her steampunk fantasy romance is temporarily on hold while she madly writes episodes to keep Lirium happy. Plus she needs to leave time to play on Facebook. Susan has a lot of degrees in engineering, which come in handy when dreaming up dangerous mind powers, future dystopias, and slightly plausible steampunk inventions. Mostly she sits around in her pajamas in awe that she gets make stuff up full-time. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Nerves of STEEL – erm – Jello

When I released Neverlove, I was so overly excited that I didn’t get to be nervous. Plus, I had my Partner in ParanormYA by my side, virtually that is, to address each day’s issues that came up. So when it came to Frailties of the Bond, I figured this would be “old hat business”. Been there. Done it. Thought about getting the t-shirt designed but couldn’t quite afford commissioning a custom art piece for the tee lol!

With March 20th’s release date staring me eyeball to eyeball, I have nerves of STEEL – erm – Jello. They’re flimsy, flopping about like lightning struck live wires. I’m at the corner of not-quite-a-nervous-wreck and what-the-Frankenstein-makes-me-think-ANYONE-will-care-about-this-story-or-me?

Not a very confident place to be lol!!

But am I going to go ostrich and stick my head in the ground? Well, maybe for about two minutes – lol! – but not much longer than that. Nothing gets accomplished by doing nothing.

I’ve done something, taken a chance on me and believing that someone out there just might enjoy a short, quick read about two teens discovering things about themselves and about love-lust-love :-)

Yes, there will be vampires.

Sorry, they don’t sparkle.

About Angela Brown
Single mom, working author, lover of chocolate and Wild Cherry Pepsi addict. Story telling includes Neverlove, an upper YA novel with paranormal, action and romance elements woven throughout. Then there’s Frailties of the Bond, a YA urban fantasy where one bite can change a life.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pieces of Me by Eisley Jacobs

PiecesofMe_SquareI'm so excited to announce the upcoming release of my Young Adult Science-Fantasy Novel, PIECES OF ME.  

Blurb: Forget everything you know. Forget your name. Forget any memory of your parents. Forget your own face in the mirror. Then, and only then, can you understand my world. My name is Braidan, and I'm seventeen years old. I wake every day with no memory of what happened yesterday. No recollection of who I am. Only a series of sticky notes hint at the life I supposedly lead. But no matter how hard I try, I can't dismiss the thought that this isn't my life or my true identity. Notes plastered all over my room and school books tell me to search for answers. But how can I learn the truth when I'll forget everything the moment my mind drifts to sleep? Ian, the new boy at school, claims he has the key to my walking coma. If what he says is true, I'm far more than just a girl with amnesia... and I've got precious little time to unlock my past. Pieces of Me depend on it.

About the Novel: PIECES OF ME started out as a log line rolling around my head at 1:30 in the morning. I jotted it down in my phone (otherwise I wouldn't have slept) and let it sit there for weeks (maybe it was months, time just seems to zip by these days). Then, after the publication of my first two novels (BORN TO BE A DRAGON and RUNAWAY CHOICES), I came to a lull in my writing schedule and happened to look at my phone one day and WHAMMO, it just sort of happened. The novel flew from my fingertips faster than almost any novel I'd written in my life, but somewhere around 3/4ths of the way, I stalled and stared at the screen, wondering what was next. Wondering how my timeline would work itself out. I charted and charted timeline after timeline, hoping to figure out the algorithms down to the minute. And when I did, I stared at it for days and still wrote nothing. The breaking point happened when I realized I'd come to a stalemate because I didn't want to see the novel end. After I allowed myself time to mourn, and mourn I did, I finished the novel. I cried when I closed the file for the last time and realized (to the tune of Gracie's Theme by Paul Cardall) that my characters have so much to live for and so much hope. The PIECES OF ME that were placed in this novel were now ready for the readers. I sat on this novel a long time, unwilling to open my fists and release it into the wild. So, after a couple months of dragging the feet of indecision, I finally made the plunge and shimmied up the Indie ladder once again. The view from up here is amazing. I can see the book in the hands of the world, and it's exciting. I'm excited about this release and hope it lives up to the reviews I've already received.

About the Author: Eisley Jacobs Eisley Jacobs lives in Shingle Springs, California with her three children and husband. Eisley actively writes the characters that stroll through her head. The first YA Novel she completed was in high school, but somehow got lost in the shuffle into real life. While studying at college, stories began to plague her mind and she tried her best to keep them at bay while she did more important things like... like... Who are we kidding? Her grades suffered because the voices wouldn't stop. So instead of going insane, she wrote. In 2010, a blue dragon named Deglan interfered in her attempts to finish the final book in the YA series and thus the series starter for DRAGONS FOREVER, BORN TO BE A DRAGON, was hatched and has found a home in the hearts of many children. Eisley's first YA Sci-Fantasy, PIECES OF ME, is due out March 27. To learn more about Eisley and her novels click here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Writing Life: Be Prepared

When I discovered my post on the Indie E blog was set for March 12th, I knew I had to do something related to the birthday of the Girl Scouts / Girl Guides organization ( Here I am getting “sworn in” as a Brownie way back in the 70s:

Besides my enduring love of the cookies, I’d have to say my time in the Canadian Girl Guides as a Brownie, Guide, and Pathfinder – has impacted my writing life. Through Girl Guides I was able to try numerous creative, physical, and mentally challenging activities. To volunteer, to survive winter and summer campouts, to fundraise, to perform, to sing - to fail and allow myself to try again.

That’s right, my friends, when you embark on a writing career it’s best to have a few merit badges under your belt. Ones perhaps along the lines of:

Thick Skin Badge,
Show Don’t Tell Badge
I Wrote a Query and Then I Wrote 100 More Badge
There’s No Such Thing as a New Story Badge
But That Was My Idea Badge
My Book Was Optioned But There’s Still No Movie Badge
I Self-Published My Rejected Novels as EBooks Badge
I Have Seventeen Social Media Sites to Maintain Badge
My Ass Gets Bigger With Each Book I Write Badge

But, seriously? Yes, I’d say my time selling cookies door-to-door and in malls around town has influenced my writing today. Girl Guides introduced me to the thrill of a good campfire ghost story, taught me tragic songs about the Titanic and so I understood the power of a sad ending, but mostly I absorbed their motto: Be Prepared.

That’s really it. Writing life will challenge you, scare you, thrill / astonish / uplift you and just as easily break your heart. So read all the manuals. Learn from your fellow writers. Lend a hand and be kind to each other along the journey.

And be prepared for the ride of your life.

You can follow me on Facebook:
On the Twitter: @judithgraves
Or via my website:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Full-Blown Panic

The year is getting away from me and it's only March.
Early March at that.

Some days I feel there is so much to do I have to lie down for a while, which turns into a nap, which then turns into panic that I've slept so long I've missed the school pickup.

There are forms on the desk that need filling out. Appointments to make. Exercises to do (because the physiotherapy bills are pretty huge so there's no point paying all that money if I don't then do the work).

Oh, and a manuscript to finish. And four book covers to design.

Which will also necessitate the redesign of my website and then the promotions on top of that . . .

Oh, and I'd better format the books into all those different, um, formats, so they can go on sale.

Breathe, Ebs, breathe!

The thing is, everyone I know is insanely busy just about every single day. We get done what we can, and try not to beat ourselves up about it.

One of my new years resolutions this year was to look after my back. I have pathetic posture from slumping over a keyboard all day for the past mumble-twenty-mumble years. I'm getting there, with loads of help from the physiotherapist. That's one thing I'm sorting out.

The other resolution was to launch my Ondine novels into the USA, starting in June. (Only 3 months away. Breathe, Ebs, breathe!)

But the big resolution this year was to say 'No' more often.
I've stepped down from fundraising at my son's school. I still help out with some things, but I'm not on the committee. I'm not carrying that load around with me.

I said no to my writers' group committee - I could not see that I'd have the time to be the treasurer. I did say yes to being the Librarian, because I'm a control freak and I've downloaded an app to put the collection on and it's feeding my OCD.

I'm making LISTS.
Lists, people.

Lists are helping me get through the pile of things that need doing. Then, when I've done them, I can draw a line through them.

You may have noticed I like structure in my novels. The same applies to life. I like structure in my life. I like knowing, more of less, what is going to happen each day. I love surprises (like when my husband comes home from work with chocolate. Not the kind of surprises where I start thinking about what to make for dinner and the refrigerator is empty).

Lists are my structure. Lists are my friend. Lists will get me through this. Lists stop me spinning wildly like the Tasmanian Devil of cartoon fame (not the real ones, which don't spin. Not even if you give them a push).

How about you? Do you make lists or do you find them too restrictive? What are your tips for getting through a pile of "things" that need doing?

Author of the Ondine series. The Ondine books are a sparkling combination of romance and magic – perfect for teen girls. Written with genuine humour and unique eccentricity, the series is an obvious choice for fans of The Princess Bride and Ella Enchanted.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Loss of Indie Free-dom

Many an indie author has gained notice and a foothold in sales by actually giving their book away for free, but the benefits of such a thing may be going the way of the dinosaur. 

For those of you scratching your head and wondering, "Free, you say? How can that possibly help sales?" worry not, I haven't gone off my rocker. In the past, when an author listed their book for free, spread the word, and got as many people to download it as possible, it climbed the ranks of free books, and if they were lucky, made it into the top 'selling' free books. Lists of top selling free books in all different types of genres were extremely popular trolling grounds on Amazon for readers looking for a free read. One way this helps sales is that people are more likely to buy your second, third, and following books if they have read the first. Another way is that it got the author up on the lists, got them noticed, and if they were lucky, the sales picked right up where the downloads left off as soon as their book went back to paid. Sounds crazy, but it worked. 

Worked being the key word. There was a time when we could 'tag' books on Amazon. This helped people find books that were tagged with words like 'fantasy', 'dragons', 'vampires', etc. Amazon tags disappeared. You may have noticed the Amazon 'Like' buttons are disappearing as well. Some books have them, some don't. Authors and published are unable to control which do and which don't. The 'Amazon Gods' are the only ones who know why this is disappearing. The 'Likes' helped books get noticed by easily promoting them on FaceBook, as well as in other ways, such as the effect how many likes a book had on the mysterious algorithms. 

And now, Amazon is messing with free books. The 'best selling' lists of free books are getting harder to find, some are even disappearing. Many websites offer links to books on Amazon. This is part of Amazon's 'Associate' plan. Those sites (blogs included) can get a percentage off books sold to customers who click on them through the website listing them. Amazon has put their foot down on those websites who promote mostly free books, saying they won't pay them for advertising if the majority of the books they advertise are free. This means authors who used such websites to spread the word about their free book, will find fewer websites willing to spread the word for them. Which honestly, was the best way to get your downloads up and get onto the 'best selling' free lists. 

Whether you're a reader who enjoyed discovering new authors through free books, building your reading list with them, or you're an author who used them as part of your marketing plan, this will effect you. The only constant in this business, is change. 


Author of the paranormal Earth-conscious channeler series: Born of Fire (FREE novella), The Secret of Spruce KnollChanneler's ChoiceRise of a Rector, and the historical fantasy, To Ride A Puca. Heather also has stories in the following anthologies: In His Eyes  and Winter Wonders