Archive | July, 2014

Oh, the places you’ll go!

29 Jul

TWSH-coverOne of the most fun things in this series has been creating new places to take readers to, and Book 5, The White-Silver House, continues that trend.

From the discovery of the house in the Old Wood, it’s been a wild ride.

We went through the marsh – something I had no clue about before spending years in Florida. If you look closely at the marsh, you’ll see some resemblance to the swamps in the state I call home.

We spent time in the castle, then the Hall of the Prophetess. The market scene in that book came directly from my experience in the chaotic, crowded Sunday Night Market in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Winter was easy to write about after spending time in the Chicago area, but the mountains are based those in Southern California, which I used to call home, because there’s a distinct shortage of mountains in Chicago.

And speaking of Southern California, the deserts of Anarka were built on my memories of living and working California’s high desert for a couple of years, as well as a particularly memorable family vacation in the low desert when I was a teenager.

It’s in the desert that The White-Silver House picks up.

We go directly from the sands to the Forest of Bones within the desert of Anarka. I don’t want to tell you too much about that – you’ll have to read the book – but the Forest of Bones contains a surprise.

From there, we head north again, and you finally get to see the rugged home of the wild Teneka Dhu. Their home is based on an area of North Carolina where I’ve gone backpacking, the Wilson Creek area. It’s a rocky, hill place where, a century ago, a strong, free people farmed and harvested timber and scraped out a living for themselves.

Then … well, it’s off to someplace I can’t reveal without giving away part of the story.

And after that, you’ll get to discover Jurakhahazhi’ina, Jura’s Harbor, the home of one our key characters, a city that you could say was built on white silver. It’s an ancient capital, the capital of a kingdom that predated the sundering. This is where I come back to Chiang Mai, the ancient capital of kingdom that once ruled what is now northern Thailand.

Shortly after that, our entire story wraps up.

I think you’ll enjoy the journey.

The Kindle Unlimited no one knows

23 Jul

Poor misunderstood Kindle Unlimited. No one seems to know what it is.

Are you paying for an overpriced library card … or for the key to a treasure chest?

Is it a place that lacks your favorite authors … or is it a mine of uncut gems?

Even Amazon isn’t helping. They call Kindle Unlimited “unlimited access to over 600,000 titles” … but is it actually an open door to thousands and thousands of undiscovered worlds?

Think about this: What if I told you that for $9.99 a month I could take you to amazing places you might never dream of going yourself?

That’s the promise of Kindle Unlimited.

The heart and soul of the offerings on Kindle Unlimited are the works of independent authors who take part in Amazon’s Kindle Select program. (Full disclosure: Like me.) They are, for the most part, authors you have never heard of. Authors whose books you may be reluctant to spend money on. I understand; I’ve been there. I’ve questioned whether I want to spend $4.99 on a book by someone I don’t know.

But now, $9.99 a month gives you and me the opportunity to discover authors we really enjoy, who we might otherwise never even know existed.

It’s like paying $10 to walk down a very long street where there’s a band in every garage. Some you’ll find competent, maybe even good, but not your style. Some you just plain won’t like. One or two might be just plain bad. But somewhere on that very long street you are bound to find one that just fits. One you can watch and follow and recommend, and know that you played a part in their success.

That’s the promise of Kindle Unlimited. Without the headache.

You might download a few books that you end up not liking. So? You’re not limited. You can keep looking. And that’s not really the point. The real point is, with all those Kindle Select titles, chances are very high that you’ll find some books and authors you really like. You will discover hidden gems that might otherwise have lain buried deep in Amazon’s listings. You will.

Then you can follow them and watch them. (I’m speaking metaphorically here, not encouraging stalking.) You can recommend them to your friends, spread the word on blogs and Facebook and Twitter — and know that you helped them succeed. You can probably even contact them and get a personal response. Ask questions, and get answers. Get to know them, if you want.

So look at authors you don’t know. Check out genres you’ve said you don’t like. Take a chance on something different.

Isn’t that why you read? For discovery?

Come on, then! There are worlds waiting for you to discover them.

Kindle Unlimited 30-day free trial

The House in the Old WoodKaria's Path

Speaking of sharing: Kindle Unlimited

22 Jul

Amazon has rolled out a new ebook subscription service called Kindle Unlimited that allows people to borrow “unlimited” books for $9.99 a month.

Amid everyone and their brother expressing opinions about it, one thing is clear:

Nothing is clear yet.

Well, OK, there are a lot of individual facts that are clear. But how they all add up – or how they might change – is not.

I’m going to take a hopefully optimistic tone:

1) All my books are available there, and since the 600,000 books on Kindle Unlimited is a limited slice of the pie that is Amazon’s listing of some 4 million books, I have a slightly better chance of people finding my books now.

2) What Amazon has been paying for such “borrows”—about $2 – is not bad for each book. I am hoping that stays the same. (Although I don’t actually get paid for Kindle Unlimited borrows, but for every time a reader gets past 10 percent of a book.)

3) That could add up to more income from my books. So far, I have discovered that being a novelist is just about the only thing that pays worse than being a missionary. J

So, in the spirit of sharing my books and getting the word out there, I would be delighted if Kindle Unlimited subscribers took a gander at any of my books.

Please let me know if you do; I’d be interested in what the experience is like for readers. Oh, and you can get a one-month free trial of Kindle Unlimited.

The House in the Old WoodKaria's Path

You can do that?

21 Jul

The House in the Old Wood coverOne thing people love about physical books is the ability to share them.

Turns out, people like that in ebooks too.

A recent study by Author Earnings shows that ebooks you can share outsell “protected” ebooks two-to-one.

Didn’t know you can share ebooks? You can. At least with Kindle books, with other Kindle users, you can.

You can share all my ebooks. (With one exception which I will fix soon.) And I encourage you to do so. Let your friends read them. You could do that if it was a physical book, right? You paid for it, right?

Oh, hey, some people got the ebook version of The House in the Old Wood free, didn’t they?

No matter. Feel free to share it. It’s yours. I gave it to you.

(At this time, new purchases of The House in the Old Wood are protected. I am having trouble toggling that to “off.” I will do so soon, but this may result in the book being unavailable for a couple of days.)

Support your local bookstore

17 Jul

Do you want to get my books and support your local bookstore?

You can.

Go to your bookstore with my name and the title of the book you want, and they can order it for you. Yep, any bookstore that stocks new books can order you a paperback copy of any of the books in the series The Day Magic Died:

  • The House in the Old Wood (Book 1)
  • Karia’s Path (Book 2)
  • The Hall of the Prophetess (Book 3)
  • The Dwarf’s Legacy (Book 4)

I should mention that some independent bookstores may refuse to order my books for you. It’s a long story. Contact me if you want to hear it. The bottom line is, if they don’t want the sale, it’s their loss. Order my books somewhere else.

No waiting in Orlando

If you’re in the Orlando area, you don’t have to order my books and wait for them to arrive. They’re on the shelves at Bookmark It in the East End Market. Check them out.

And of course, all of my books are available in paperback and for Kindle at Amazon:
The House in the Old WoodKaria's Path

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