Reading Indie Ambush No. 1

Watch out for a new ambush each week as the Reading Indie Ambush takes off 🙂 

This week we’re at Rainne’s Ramblings.

Pop over to her site for a full look at Excalibur Rising … and more.

Title: Excalibur Rising Book Four: An Arthurian Saga Author: Eileen Enwright Hodgetts Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy Dates: 7th of August Excalibur Rising Book Four is the final episode of the Excalibur Rising Series where all questions are answered. Merlin’s magical powers are fading and Albion faces enemies on all sides. While Arthur’s heir fights for […]

via Excalibur Rising by Eileen Enwright Hodgetts — Rainne’s Ramblings

I asked: You answered

I have a feeling my reading slump is over. 

After asking for your recommendations, I’m excited to hide my nose in a good book again. I’ve even ordered real books – the ones with paper and everything!!

While I love my Kindle, maybe my reading practice was just getting too regimental. Having a physical book will – hopefully – rekindle (pun intended) my love for reading.

And, I’ll be asking for more recommendations from you all again.

These little darlings are winging there way to me right now – some as ebooks but a couple by post:

Thank you to all who replied with a recommendation.

 

If at first you don’t succeed …

Success is a subjective matter. Rather like the saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
You can measure success in so many ways, but as this is my book blog, then you can guess where I’m going …well, sort of anyway.

So many of my author friends have been going down the audiobook path recently. To be honest, it wasn’t something I’d considered, even though I devour audiobooks when my eyes are too tired to read.

After having listened to a few snippets of books I’d already read, I was amazed at how the whole story drew me in again. Believe me, I’m not one for re-reading books or re-watching movies. Very few of either form of entertainment actually make it to my ‘repeated viewing’ pile.

But there was something special about hearing a story being told. The actors brought the characters to life again and made me want to continue listening.

Naturally, with one’s interest piqued, one had to investigate further. Didn’t one? (Yeah, I lapse into third person when things don’t go my way – it’s a way to distance myself from the issue and make it less personal.)

The findings took one by surprise. The great powers that be—the giant that is Amazon/Audible/ACX—said no. Or rather they said “not yet”, but that’s as good as a “no”.

By virtue of living outside of their “English-speaking Empire” one is not able to use this service at the moment.

Cue angry face! Not going to rest though!

This was personal: I’m getting rather fed up of being the poor relation, the last to lick up the dregs after the great high-and-mighty nations have had their fill.

Alternative options do exist – but they also cost a pretty euro more. In fact, the costs involved reach into the realm of ‘never  gone make that back in a month of Sundays’.

So … while I might not be able to transform Lacey’s Law into an audiobook just yet, I’ve found something to sweeten the pill.

I’ve created an audioblurb.

Free audio, free photos from Pixabay and an hour or so faffing about on Movie Maker and …hey presto, let me present to you the audioblurb for Casualty of Court. (The link will take you to YouTube)

One is feeling rather impressed with oneself, right now. Success? Yep, I think so 😉

Thanks for popping by and have a stress-free day 🙂

In a reading funk: please help

If I don’t have a book at my side, then you can be sure I’m not well.

This month I surpassed my reading goal for the year. Yay, go me! (okay, so I probably underestimated how many books I’d read – 60 seemed like a good starting point at first)

But as the month went on, I struggled to enjoy—and sometimes, even finish—books that I’d been looking forward to reading.
Don’t ask me why? Had I burned out? Possibly. Maybe my reading matter had simply become repetitive; always the same types of story.
Had I become a formulaic reader? Eek, now there’s a thought—a scary one at that.


Maybe I need to explore new genres, or return to some old favourites.

Whatever happens, I can’t let this go on.
I’m going to ask my writing buddies to help out.

So, I’m asking for recommendations—any genre except horror or romance or paranormal.
Message me on Facebook, send me a tweet (the links are on the sidebar) or leave a comment here.

I’ll be forever in your debt if you can help me out of this big, black hole.

Thank you

Book Blitz – The Conclave – with R&R Book Tours

Stopping by today we have Tenille Berezay with THE CONCLAVE, book 3 in The Converters Trilogy.

THE CONCLAVE is the intense, action-packed final book in the Converters trilogy; the conclusion of Desiree’s journey.

Having escaped the dangers of The Keep, Desiree is determined to free Blake. But when a government-enhanced converter goes rogue, the ensuing battle for power, control, and lives makes Blake’s rescue a secondary mission. As Desiree struggles to overcome past demons and new, stifling expectations, she faces converters more powerful, dangerous, and desperate than ever. To protect those she loves, redeem the convergence, overtake The Keep, and honor the Conclave, Desiree will have to redefine her future.

It’s already garnering some fab reviews on Goodreads. 

Take a peek at this excerpt:

Pausing at the door, I peer through the tiny window into the lab. Just as the doctor said, Michelle is there, her bright skirt touching the floor, her glasses firmly planted on the bridge of her nose, her small frame hunched over a stool.

The lab is like her; mostly organized with small spaces of chaos. Reminding myself of my sole purpose for visiting, my solitary question, I push through the door.

Glancing up, Michelle stills at the sight of me. Between open shelves filled with metal plates, computer chips and various other tools, her eyes go wide. Under dark frames her blue gaze studies me intently before softening. “Desiree,” she says and I can almost believe she missed me.

I pick up a remote-like object from the counter, shifting it from one hand to the other, suddenly as awkward as the scientist in front of me.

“It works almost like a magnet, you pass it over an ankle band or an Equalizer and they automatically open,” Michelle says, before stopping abruptly.

I set it down, thinking of the many times a device like that would have come in handy. Looking to the ceiling for surveillance cameras, I ask, “Is this lab secure?”

“One of the most secure locations in the building.” She glances down at the counter before her. “Damiz wanted all my inventions kept secret.” As I round the counter, I can see the pencil swinging in her hand, the drawing laid out before her.

“And Talbot?”

She looks back to me, curiosity overcoming her guilt. “What about Talbot?”

“How many secrets is he demanding?” I rap my fingers on the counter.

Michelle glances to the exit. Flipping the pencil, she taps the eraser on the paper. I allow the awkward silence, my fingers drumming, opposing her nervous beat.

Finally, her hand stills. The pencil drops and her shoulders slump. “The number doesn’t matter, does it?” I inch forward to hear her quietly whispered words. “One is enough. Enough to condemn me.”

Condemn. That’s what I’ve done to her—put the weight of my expectations and disappointments on her. If she had had more fight, would I have had less of one?

Staring vacantly at her paper, she reaches for the discarded pencil. “The least I can do is keep my work from hurting anyone else.”

“Do you trust Talbot?” I ask the question that’s been growing, clawing at my resolve since I stepped into Amplified Industries. The question I keep asking myself.

Michelle’s face becomes open in its honesty. “I don’t trust anyone anymore.” Her confession comes out pained. It was what I expected but hoped not to hear.

I shift away from her hurt, turning to the door. There, I pause, hand on the doorway when Michelle’s says, “It seems like the more secrets we have, the more threatened we are.”

Without turning back, I answer, “Then maybe it’s time to stop hiding.”

***

If you haven’t read the earlier books in the trilogy, go check them out too.

 

Here’s a little more about the author:

After living throughout the western U.S., Tenille now claims rural Northern Nevada as her home. If she’s not being consumed by a book—whether her own or another author’s—she’d like to be found horseback riding, backpacking with her high-school sweetheart/husband, or photographing their three beautiful children.

Tenille loves to read any genre (as long as there’s great dialogue with a touch of snark). She believes in authentic characters, romantic sub-plots, and realistic, happy endings.

Preorder link

You can contact Tenille here:

Website

Facebook

Goodreads

And there’s even a Giveaway

Enjoy! 🙂

Lacey gets a makeover

We all get tired of the same old look, don’t we?

Imagine how books must feel – wearing the same cover, day in, day out – on every occasion and to every event.

If it’s true what they say that we all judge a book by its cover, then surely we should give our books a wardrobe tweak every now and then. (Although, it’d be hypocritical of me to say that book covers are the first thing that grab my eye about a book. I don’t belong to the school of thought that places more attention on a cover image than on the story itself. For me, if the title is compelling, then I’ll read the blurb and make a decision from that. I know that’s not the trend, but it’s my way.)

Anyway … I decided to give Lacey’s Law a new look. Well, it’s kind of an old look with a fresher feel.

This was my original cover.

I loved it, because it meant something to me as the writer. But, I guess it was a case of ‘you had to be there – in my head’ to appreciate it.

I wasn’t aiming for attention-grabbing, but I did feel it represented the overall theme well enough to get readers to read the blurb.

Then, I won a competition to get a new cover. Great, you might think. A chance to try out the other line of thinking without any cost to me.

Hmm, well, yes. It was. But … I could only choose from a handful of pre-made covers and so had to make my story fit someone else’s image.

“It’ll be worth it,” they said. “Having a professionally designed cover will have a major impact.”

Here’s the cover I selected. 

Very different, don’t you think.

Even a new tagline – Beware the fury of a patient woman.

So, I made the change and waited.

But, something felt wrong.

While ‘the fury of a patient woman’ did fit the story, it didn’t represent the growth of my character. Instead, Lacey came across as vindictive and unlikable. In fact, she’s not like that at all. Yes, she was angry, and wanted revenge – but life threw her an ironic twist. One that changed everything. Which is the point of the story. Her need to defend her family (at first, her parents) soon became a need to protect her future family. So, that’s why I’m taking her back to her roots.

This is the new cover.

The tree is back, as is the original tagline.

It has a softer, less cut-throat, feel about it – one I hope better reflects her growth and validates her as a woman whose emotional reactions are forced to adapt.

In effect, Lacey grows up properly (and yes, she’s already in her forties when the story starts, but she hadn’t really been challenged as an adult before.) It’s a story about friendships and relationships; about trust and betrayal; about dealing with obstacles and – ultimately – “adulting”.

I once called this story ‘an eye for an eye meets happy ever after’, and I think it still fits rather well.

 

 

Featured Author – Iris Chacon

Let’s give a warm welcome to Iris Chacon, this month’s featured author from Mystery Authors International.

If you’re looking for an authentic taste of the Sunshine State, then look no further – you’re in the right place.

Duby’s Doctor is her fifth novel, and it carries on the Chacon tradition of good, clean fun, mystery, humor, romance, and a “sunshine state of mind.” Iris hails from the Sunshine State, Florida, where her ancestors have lived since Florida was a Spanish colony, before the United States existed. She is working on her next novel, which incorporates many of the adventures she has enjoyed in the American Southwest.

We’re here to talk about Duby’s Doctor.  So, let’s jump right in at the deep end and take a peek at an excerpt:

Excerpt from Duby’s Doctor, chapter 10 [context: Mitchell picks up John/Jean from his maintenance job at St. Luke’s Daycare.]

“He’ll be right out,” the nun said. “He’s all right. We were just cleaning him up. It looked worse than it is. The bleeding seems to have stopped—”

“Bleeding?”

“—and the paramedics said—”

“Paramedics?”

“—they don’t think Mister Kavanaugh’s ribs are broken, just bruised—”

“Who?”

“—and the police said, since nobody seems to want to press charges, — ”

“Police?”

“—that we can just forget about it. Of course, Jean had to be punished for hitting—”

“Hitting?”

“—so he had to run laps. And that started the nosebleed again. But everything’s all right now. Here he is.”

Jean limped out of the back room, holding a bloodied washcloth against his nose.

Sister Elizabeth sighed. “It’s been an exciting day.”

Mitchell studied Jean from head to toe, incredulous. She pointed at his swollen left knee. “You ran on concrete? And hitting? You were hitting! The children?”

“Oh, dear, no!” said Sister Elizabeth. “He was hitting Mister Kavanaugh.”

Mitchell stared at Sister Elizabeth and back at Jean. “You ran on concrete and you hit Mister Kavanaugh? Who is Mister Kavanaugh?”

“Debbie’s father,” answered Sister Elizabeth.

Mitchell was looking at Jean. “Excuse me, Sister, but unless Kavanaugh cut his tongue out, I’d like to hear Johnny answer something. John, why did you hit Debbie’s father?”

Jean pulled the washcloth away from his face to say, “He hits Debbie.”

After a pause, Mitchell muttered, “I told you never to run on the concrete.”

Well, that got my attention!

Reading the full blurb will have you running to one-click this right away.

When he can steal time away from his undercover assignment (as an arms dealer’s bodyguard), Agent Yves Dubreau jogs with all the other muscular Coconut Grove athletes. He enjoys the morning tai chi group in Peacock Park, and he quietly remains on the fringes of the Grove’s art scene — until he blows his cover and almost gets himself murdered. When resuscitated, he is a scarred, nameless giant with no memories, no language, and only his drawings with which to communicate. Of course, he still has the same deadly enemies he had in his former life; he just doesn’t know it. Neither does naive, lady surgeon, Dr. Mitchell Oberon. Soon, Duby’s unscrupulous supervisor forces the unsuspecting Mitchell to shelter this recovering “John Doe” in her home and begin teaching him how to live again. Both Duby and Dr. Oberon will learn a lot about living— they just may not be living long. A murderous arms dealer will soon be stalking them.

Coconut Grove sounds alluring, doesn’t it? What made Iris write this story and set it there?

Duby’s story was inspired by the landscapes, art culture, elaborate mansions, and live-aboard sailboats of Coconut Grove. For years the author passed through the magical Grove community on her way to work in the high-rise offices of Miami. The unique aura and ambience of the Grove always launched the writer’s imagination into a happy stratosphere of quirky characters and exotic locations. Sometimes the girls in the author’s carpool would simply stop in the Grove and watch the panoply of beautiful people (mostly male) passing by. Thus, a secret agent, who lived on a boat and worked undercover in an arms dealer’s mansion, was born. And if he lived in Coconut Grove, he had to be an artsy type, so Agent Yves Dubreau, a/k/a Duby, became a talented sketcher and painter.

I can see the attraction 🙂 What’s not to love about the grandeur of the location and the intriguing plot Iris has outlined here.

If this has whetted your appetite, you can get your copy here.

For more details about Iris’ books – there are some real gems to be found on her bookshelf – then check out the links here:

WEBSITE  

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

GOODREADS AUTHOR PAGE

SMASHWORDS AUTHOR PAGE

Thank you, Iris, for sharing these details with me. Wishing you heaps of success, but more than anything I hope your “Sunshine State of mind” lives on forever – we could all do with a healthy dose of that 🙂