A Book Tour. What a fun idea. Sounds like a way to meet new authors and promote your own book a bit. A tour guide introduces various writers on his or her blog within a given period of time, and each promoted writer, in turn, promotes a particular work of the host’s on their blog.
So let’s see how this goes.
First, I want to give you a little background on the author and host of this particular tour.
Meet D. Wallace Peach
Diana is a friend and writer whom I have known for several years. When we were budding authors, we used to meet once a month in a writing group here in the Northwest to read and critique each others’ work. It usually included tasty food and great camaraderie.
Diana writes fantasy books with lush descriptions and convoluted characters. She has written several series in the genre along with some stand alone novels. In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes several anthologies, short stories, flash fiction and poetry. Check them out on her blog at:
She lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats and the occasional family of coyotes.
Her latest, hot off the press and also available digitally downloaded, is The Necromancer’s Daughter.
It starts off with a gnarled doddering old guy named Barus who is rumored to be able to bring the dead back to life. He hasn’t practiced it much, but he learned it from his now dead mother who adopted him as an orphaned child and taught him things.
One day, the local ruler, King Aldring, summons him to the palace where his beloved queen lies dying in childbirth. The queen weakly whispers to Barus and pleads for him to save her child. Unfortunately, he cannot save her or the babe. Both cease breathing. Barus, however, falls in love with the stillborn child.
Here’s the moment from the book:
“Drawing in his breath, he stole a quiet step towards the tiny child. The infant’s skin appeared ashen, with petal-thin eyelids and a fringe of wispy lashes almost invisible to the eye. Spider-silk hair, as white a a summer cloud, matted the baby’s head, and her lips curved into a pink bow. Sweet hand curled under her chin like a spring flower yet to bloom. She was the most exquisite thing Barus had ever beheld.”
While the women busy themselves with the queen’s dead body, enraptured Barus secretly slips the child under his bundle. Shuffling away amidst the commotion of wailing women, he takes the babe home where he is able to bring her back to life, names her Aster, and raises her in what is thought to be secret.
Now, who wouldn’t want to read that story?A dead child brought back to life. What might she do?
Of course, merely that event is too simple, and King Aldring discovers his daughter is alive. However, dire warnings by the powerful palace Vicar of the Red Order that the undead are evil cause Barus to fear for his rule and her life if her existence were to become known. To protect his only heir, the king keeps her secret, but slips in an occasional disguised visit. But then, the day arrives when the king realizes he is dying and considered heirless by others. He defies the fanatical Red Order’s warning of the evil of the undead and tries to bring his daughter home to put on the throne. A power struggle between the religious order and the monarchy results in the king being attacked and assassinated in the royal carriage as he is bringing Aster to the palace as his heir. Aster escapes the attack.
Learning about the assassination from Aster as she runs home to warn him, Barus realizes his danger and flees, or limps out, just in time to avoid his own demise, and the now grown Aster leads the Red Order’s soldiers away from him into the forest.
Have I mentioned the dragons yet?
Of course, there are powerful dragons in this story. Aster encounters one in the forest who communicates with her. Turns out, her mother’s family rules nearby Blackrock, home of dragons and their bonded masters. And, Aster has a bit of their dragon talent in her blood.
Okay, you got to be interested now.
But … there is one more juicy tidbit to this story.
Following Aster, in attempt to capture and return her to the gallows, is the handsome captain of the Red Order’s soldiers and also son of the power-hungry Vicar. His father wants Aster dead, so he can rule.
The two are thrown together as she runs toward Blackrock and her uncle for sanctuary, while the persistent captain pursues her to return her home to his father’s justice.
It gets even more complicated.
However, he soon becomes morally conflicted about right and wrong, and what he should do. After he finally catches up, they are captured by forest bandits, where he gets to know her, and finds himself falling in love with her.
You saw that coming, I bet.
As they flee toward her mother’s family at Blackrock where her uncle now reigns, neither knows whether they will be greeted with open arms or a noose. Or maybe attacked by even more dangers lurking in the woods.
But having a dragon on your side definitely helps.
Actually, in the past, listing my books on various advertising venues was key to my overall book promotion. However, I would randomly select a site based on current data and post on what I guessed would be best.
So, to evaluate the more effective venue of two I liked, I decided on a little experiment. I selected Freebooksy and Book Barbarian, and varied the price, the book, and the date of each. Due to the varying rules of each site, I choose certain books.
Book Barbarian only takes the first book in a series, so Caught in Time qualified there. I wanted to offer it at a reduced price so I could earn something while giving my readers a special deal. Usually, I offer this book free as a starter to my series, but I wanted to do something new. I set the date for a Wednesday, July 27.
But would a reader pay $1.75 for a science fiction romance? Even if the price was good.
Then, I needed more reviews for A Dangerous Talent for Time and Freebooksy allows any book in a series. The rule here is that it has to be free.
Okay, no problem.
Also there is no requirement on the number of reviews, but Freebooksy has to approve it. I set this program for a Saturday on August 6.
Which would do better? I waited with bated breath.
The experiment turned out to be a disaster.
In the past, I have sold a lot of books using promotional ads sites, but this time neither did well. Book Barbarian did so poorly that I will not be using it in the future. Even though it was cheaper at $45, suffice it to say, I didn’t even earn my cost back.
Worse was the knock on my ego. I had to engage in a few cheerleading sessions afterwards.
Freebooksy did sell a total of 1316 units, unfortunately a lot of those were freebies. The good news is I also sold several Caught in Time, Space Song, Time’s Equation, Cosmic Entanglement and one Time Jumper. Each at their regular price.
Freebooksy was more expensive at $75 for a listing, but it returned a lot more than the other ad site. Also, since I’m in the Kindle reading program, I’ll pick up royalties as the free books are read.
All is not lost. But it won’t pay the mortgage. I was disappointed in the overall outcome.
However, my marketing experimentation will continue through my participation in Diana Peach’s blog book tour. On October 2, I’ll do a review on her exciting new Necromancer’s Daughter. In return, she will highlight one of my books on her very popular website. There will be a slew of bloggers promoting her book at various times and, in return, she will review theirs. It should be wild and fun. In addition, there’s a lottery for a book trailer for the winners book.
Diana used to be part of a critique group that I was in. We met once a month, but it’s now disbanded. A number of writers worked together, each critiquing the other’s work back when we were all struggling novice authors. So, I’m familiar with her work and proud to be a part of this event.
I did promise a cover reveal on my last blog so here it is: TA DAH!
This luscious book just went public August 25 on Amazon and also most book platforms for the incredible price of $.99. On October 2, I’ll review it . I can hardly wait. But you can get yours now. I already have.
Meanwhile, I’m finishing Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. I have to hurry as it is due back at the library. It’s over 880 pages long, but I’m almost done. So far, I’m enjoying the story, but I have a few issues with the writing style. I’ll tell you all about it in my next blog.
Once you finish writing a book, that’s pretty much it, except for occasional updates and revisions.
Marketing is FOREVER.
Recently, I decided to update my second book, A Dangerous Talent for Time and add the eleven books I have written since in the series. I increased the front matter to include the additional books, and then in the back matter, I listed the following books by title, a brief synopsis, and included a link to Amazon. This way when your readers are still in the story, after it ends, and they love it, they see the next book right in front of them, and with a simple one click, they go to Amazon and a buy button.
So I did all that, and felt that here was a good time to market again. Not being great at social media, I do a lot of my marketing through ad websites. Freebooksy is my go-to site because I have gotten the best results there. However, the last time I did, the numbers were down, and I felt that meeting new readers on another website might be better. Bookbub is famous, but extremely selective and very expensive. If you pass the hurdles, the return is said to be good. Have you tried it? Results?
Then I thought of Book Barbarian. This website only accepts science fiction and fantasy. That’s the target market I want. But closer scrutiny of the guidelines revealed that they take only the first book in a series. They also require more than ten reviews.
There is a series option for $125 that will feature the first two books in your series together. Maybe, but as a reader I usually don’t choose it because I want to see if I like the first before I buy the second. I also am value oriented, otherwise known as cheap.
So back to Freebooksy for A Dangerous Talent for Time, but, hey, I can do Caught in Time on Book Barbarian. It meets all their guidelines easily.
That’s when I got the brilliant idea to do a marketing experiment. I will compare cost, platform, price, and position of both. On Book Barbarian, I will post Caught in Time, Wednesday, July 27 and price it for $1.75. The cost to me will be $45. Reasonable. And, readers will get a nice discount from the normal retail price of $3.99.
On Freebooksy, I will advertise A Dangerous Talent for Time Saturday, August 6 for free. The cost to me will be $75. The readers will get an even better price than the $3.99 retail, so I should get a lot more downloads. Over time, I have found that offering one free usually results in retails sales of several other books in the series.
Then, I will compare both promotions to evaluate which was the better investment. Yes, I know that there are variables that will influence the data, it’s summertime, but the results should be interesting.
Which do you think will do better? What platform? What price? What day? Which cost? Comment below. Or if you prefer social media, how do you do it?
And …. on October 2, I will participate in a blog tour (for the first time ever) involving Diana Peach’s upcoming release of The Necromancer’s Daughter. When I blog about the results of my marketing experiment, I will reveal her awesome cover.
So, here it is. Here’s what I have been doing over the last few months.
This painting shows Ottercrest, Oregon, where a good friend has a condo and invites us out from time to time. I painted from a photograph we took, and my talented husband jumped in and crafted the frame. It was our thanks for her generosity, which provided wonderful memories.
This happened because after I finished writing the Terran Trilogy, my muse packed her bags and waved a cheery goodbye as I stared at a blank white page that morphed into a canvas. So I picked up a paintbrush instead of my iPad.
But I didn’t give up on reading science fiction. A lot of my books I get from websites such as Bookbub, Book Barbarian, and Freebooksy. You can get daily e-mails that select for your favorite genre. The prices are good and every day there’s something new to choose from.
…Which reminds me that my novel, Someone’s Clone will be showcased on Freebooksy tomorrow, June 4th. It fits into the Alysian Universe Series, but can stand on its own. The story is about a boy who goes on a search for his identity when he discovers that he is not who he thought he was. There’s time travel, invading aliens, augmented humans fighting to protect their planet, artificial intelligence, and secret clones… plus more.
Speaking of science fiction, I have been spending a lot of time watching Youtube lately. We are big Tesla fans and own an X and S. While watching a podcast with Elon Musk, we discovered Lex Fridman, a Russian-American computer scientist and artificial intelligence researcher who is also a professor at MIT. He interviews amazing guests and they frequently discuss deep space, colonization, artificial intelligence, the existence of aliens, or not, and many topics that touch future science ideas. The podcasts sometimes run several hours, but the time goes by fast. At the end, he often asks his guests what advice would they give young people trying to get a start in life and frequently closes by asking what they think is the meaning of life.
Their answers are fascinating.
The other night I watched his interview with science fiction author Neal Stephenson. I didn’t realize that Neal was the first employee at Jeff Bozo’s Blue Origin company. He has deep knowledge of space travel and the hurdles we face in becoming interplanetary.
Stephenson mention his new book, Termination Shock, which is about a Texas billionaire who decides to combat climate change by using his own resources. (sound familiar?) Complications develop.
Welcome to politics
Several years ago I did a review in one of my blogs on his book DODO. I was surprised at how much I liked it.
After the interview, I downloaded a sample of SevenEves and decided to read the rest of the book. For some reason, I thought it had clones in it.
Then I noticed that there are 880 pages in the paperback and remembered how long his books often run. I checked the reviews. They are dicey. However, it involves humans on spaceships, and he is well qualified to write about that. I’ll give it a try and let you know what I think.
PS… When asked what his favorite science fiction book was, Stephenson said, “Heinlein’s Have Spacesuit, Will Travel”
What is your favorite science fiction read?
And don’t forget to download Someone’s Clone for free. You’ll find lots of action with fun future science.
If you are an Indie author, as I am, then you’re always looking for what is the best way to market your book. I admit that I’m not a blogger. I write, I paint, I read … Notice how these activities are usually a one-gal show?
And not particularly interactive.
So taking the initiative and blogging is daunting, even though I like to write novels. (14 to date)
I use Freebooksy as my ad platform because it works best for me. I ran an ad in May and garnered about a thousand downloads. This wasn’t too bad in that the book had been marketed previously last year through Freebooksy, and this was a second go-around. The other thing was that the first review was not good. My reviews are usually very good, and I had gotten complacent because I really liked this book, A World Too Far. I had no doubt that it would get good reviews.
Arrogant lazy author. Can be a downfall.
I recently read a comment in the Passive Voice (highly recommended blog) from an article he included from the Wall Street Journal that “First impressions are hard to overcome.”
It’s from a study published by Marketing Science that finds a product’s first online review has “a lasting impact–affecting how many reviews it receives and its star ratings.” It goes on to say that products with a negative first review (3 stars or less) received almost 15 fewer reviews overall at the end of six months than products that received positive reviews and about 36 fewer reviews at the end of 12 months.
The research goes on in more detail and the reviews are more about household products, but the results support my experience. In addition, my dear reviewer got several things wrong, and I wanted to argue that he was coming to incorrect conclusions, but, of course, that’s not done. You don’t comment on reviews, or try to correct mistaken conclusions. No. No. They have a right to tro … have their opinion.
So, of course, Amazon put this review before all other more recent reviews and left me to chew nails.
Even so, because it is a series, a good number of readers followed up with the sequel Somewhat Alien and the third book, The Weight of Gravity. so that I did cover costs and am thankful to them and hope they enjoyed the series.
Because I am on the Written Word email list, which has Freebooksy as one of its platforms, I received this interesting email from them on what readers want. I pass it along to you my blog readers, because it has a lot of good information and suggestions if you are an Indie author and are looking for data on what influences readers. At my last peek, Freebooksy claimed 310,000 readers with over 90,000 science fiction enthusiasts. It’s probably higher now and they post the numbers on their website.
From the Written Word Blog:
We (Written Word)get a lot of questions from authors about how to write a book readers will love. Do they like series or standalone? Why do readers stop reading a book mid-way? Are reviews really that important? What better way to figure out what readers want than to ask them! We asked a few thousand readers what they like and don’t like about books and reading. We’ve rounded up their answers in this article and provided some key takeaways for authors.
Do Readers Prefer Books in a Series or Standalone Books?
Authors like writing in series. Marketers like marketing series. But how do readers feel? The overwhelming majority of readers are indifferent with 60% of respondents saying that they have no preference between series or standalone books. 14% said they prefer series while 26% said they prefer standalone books.
For authors, this is good news. It means that whichever way works for you, will work for a majority of readers. Successful authors tend to love the series model, and at Written Word Media, we do too. Offering the first book in a series for free or low-cost is a great way to hook a reader, and then draw them into your series.
The reader gets to try out a new author, and the author has an opportunity to gain a reader who will spur additional revenue month after month as they make their way through the series. It is easier to make the economics of writing and selling books work when you write in a series. If you have a series where the first book in the series is free, our Freebooksy Series Promotion (browse series promotional options for freebooksy here) is a good place to get your series in front of avid readers.
Some of the more enlightening information came in the open-ended comments section. One frustration that readers voiced with series books is simply the inability to find the other books in the series. That means that readers will gladly read your entire series, but only if it isn’t difficult for them to find the next book. When you are setting up your books in KDP or another retailer, make sure you keep series information consistent, so your readers can find the books they’re looking for.
I clearly mark which sequence my books are in the series, as I also have been frustrated trying to find out which book is next or how they work in the series.
Additionally, we saw lots of comments about cliffhangers. Readers hate them! It’s okay for your book to gently lead into the following book, but wrap up the story so the reader is satisfied by the last page. Cliffhangers lead to unsatisfied readers, and unsatisfied readers lead to bad reviews and a decline in follow-on sales!
Hear! Hear! I agree.
Why do some readers love series? For most, it’s the characters. One reader summed up the fear of falling in love with a character but only having a small amount of story about them: “I want to invest in the characters and know I’ll be seeing them again.”
Another reader said that reading a series reminded them of “visiting beloved friends.” A series is a great way to build a connection between your characters and your readers, and turn readers into fans.
Novels are more than a plotline.
What Makes Readers Put Down a Book?
In the era of Kindle Unlimited, where authors are paid by the page read, every page that a reader reads counts. With this in mind, we wanted to find out some of the biggest story no-nos according to readers, so we could help you avoid them. We asked readers what makes them stop reading a book, and the results were informative. We asked this as an open-ended question so as not to bias the poll. The most common theme among responses was the word BORING.
Readers want a plot and characters that keep them engaged. Also mentioned frequently were uninteresting characters and overdone descriptions. Farther down the list, but still worth mentioning were grammar mistakes and spelling errors.
For authors, this means plot and characters need to be a primary focus. It is critical to have a plot that progresses quickly to hook the reader and keep them reading. If you find there are slow parts to your story, try workshopping these scenes with an author friend until you’re confident readers will get hooked and stay engaged.
Reading through the comments, another big takeaway was that readers like reading a book that is inline with their expectations. If there’s going to be explicit sex scenes, make sure that’s clear up front. Do the same if your book has a lot of violence. If it’s part of a series, make sure to tell the reader that, so they can expect that some plot threads will be left untied at the end. Readers want to be surprised by how a story unfolds, but not confused by a book that is different from what they expect.
Make sure your cover and your book description give the reader an accurate picture of what type of book they will be reading.
This is visually what they see first, so create a cover that says, ” read me.”
Do Readers Want to Interact with Authors?
When we asked readers if they would want to interact with the author of the book they are reading, the responses fell into relatively even groups.
The most common answer from readers was “not sure” at 37%. Close to that was “yes” at 36%, and 27% of readers surveyed said they wanted no interaction with authors.
For authors, this is helpful in setting expectations for engagement. Only a third of readers actively want to interact with authors, many other readers just aren’t sure, and a solid amount also don’t want to interact, even if they love an author’s work.
So, if you are focused on engaging with your readers, know that some just won’t want to, and that’s not a problem.
Some authors may be shy too. I had a reader knit me an adorable bookworm and want to FaceTime. She was great, but I was a little reticent to interact that intimately with a stranger until I got to know her better and warm up. Thankfully, she was very patient with me.
We asked readers what their preferred interaction method is, and the responses were overwhelmingly digital. The top choices were email (75%) and social media (52%). That said, many readers would be interested in more intimate types of interaction like texting (32%) or in person meetups (47%).
Authors should feel comfortable engaging readers over social media, and many of you already do. Email is the preferred method of communication for most readers, so building a mailing list is something every author should invest in.
Which Social Media Platforms do Readers Use?
With so many social media platforms, it can be overwhelming to try to post to all of them. So, if you’re trying to decrease your social media workload, focus on where your readers are.
Granted, your audience is a specific subset of readers, so trying different platforms and techniques to see what gets the most engagement is the best plan. But these survey results can help give you an idea on where to start.
The most popular platform among readers surveyed? Facebook, and it’s not close. We know authors love Twitter, and it’s a great place to meet other Authors and engage with the wider author community, but Facebook is where the readers are. 69% of respondents chose Facebook as their preferred social media platform. If you are pressed for time and need to spend time updating your social media presence, focus on Facebook first.
Readers prefer Facebook over other social media sites.
Do Readers Care About Reviews or Price?
We asked readers to pick a book based on just a few limited factors to try and understand how reviews and price impact the decision making process. The answer to this question was dependent on the type of audience you are after, and your goals for the book. We found that readers that subscribe to our different brands answered this question a little differently. Readers were asked to choose from the four options below:
The readers on Freebooksy love free books. They are happy to choose a free book with no reviews over all others. In fact 50% of them would pick a free book with NO REVIEWS over other options. The next most popular option was the $0.99 book with 2 five star reviews. And the third most popular option for Freebooksy readers was the $2.99 book with four stars on 20 reviews.
Our Bargain Booksy audience enjoys a great deal but understands that good books often come at a price. That audience still liked the free book with no reviews, with 37% saying that would be their top choice, but only slightly less popular was the $0.99 book with two 5 star reviews.
A takeaway here is that in the early days of a book when it does not have a lot of reviews, you may need to lower your price in order to attract readers. If you don’t have any reviews on your book and your goal is to get those first few reviews, try running a Freebooksy feature. It will drive free downloads of your book which will get it in the hands of lots of potential reviewers.
The takeaway for authors is that reviews and price both matter to readers. When your book has more reviews you can begin to attract readers at a higher price. If you aren’t getting traction at $4.99 or $3.99 try lowering your price and running promotions to boost those reviews. After you get more reviews, you can start raising your price.
Your Book Description Matters
When asked to rank the importance of several factors when choosing a book, 57% of readers surveyed said the book description was the most important factor. Next most important was price at 37% and author at 23%.
Another finding was that the readers surveyed view review rating as more important than the total number of reviews. In fact, number of reviews was mostly likely to be ranked as “least important” by readers.
One important thing to note is that your description and reviews are often closely linked. As we observed earlier when identifying what turns readers off from a book, setting the correct expectations for your book is critical. If a reader is caught off-guard by violence, sex or the type of ending, they could leave a bad review. So, it’s important that your description both excites readers and sets the correct expectations.
We hope this has helped you gain some insight into the minds of readers. The major takeaways from our reader survey are:
Readers do not have a strong preference for series vs. standalone books. It is easier to become a profitable author when you write in a series and given that readers do not have a preference we recommend starting with the series model. If you are writing a series, make all books in your series easy to find and avoid cliffhangers at the end of books.
Make sure your book is not boring. Keep the plot moving quickly and spend time developing your characters.
Be honest about your book. If it’s a series, be up front about it. Sex scenes, bad language, genre fit – make sure all those things come through on your cover and book description, so readers are not surprised by what they find inside your book.
Interact with your readers through digital channels like Facebook and Email newsletters. Readers want to hear from you when you use their preferred communication channels.
If you have to pick, spend your time promoting and engaging on Facebook as opposed to other social sites.
Keep cool in this unusual heat. I’m headed for the Oregon coast as I have outgrown my dear duckpond. I have promised my friend there that I would paint her a picture of the shoreline she sees from her condo. I may share it with you after I have finished. I love to paint the Oregon coast. And I want to escape this heat.
Going with the momentum of my recent blog, I’m diving in.
After more than a year, I’m giving ad marketing another try. You, the reader, will be the beneficiary as Caught in Time, my first book in a series, will be offered for free through Freebooksy and Amazon tomorrow, May 26 through May 28.
Yes, Free. Free. Free.
The Alysia Series has eight books, but each one is a stand-alone with a different theme. Caught in Time is a time travel romance, A Dangerous Talent for Time follows a riddle quest, Cosmic Entanglement tells a starship academy story, Past the Event Horizon contains a spaceship adventure, Space Song deals with alien genetics, Touching Crystal involves an apocalyptic event, Someone’s Clone is the story of a clone in search of his identity, and Time’s Equation is a time-traveling murder mystery.
All are different, but connected along a timeline with interlocking relationships.
This is a limited-time opportunity, so dive in and enjoy the first of the series for free and find a whole world filled with science fiction adventure.
And, speaking of diving in, my science fiction reading suggestion for this blog is the Diving Series by Kristine Katherine Rusch. Kris is extremely prolific and writes in several genres under various pen names. This series is currently at ten books with a kickstarter that recently closed for more to be written.
The first book in her series is Diving the Wreck. I put off reading this series because I thought it was an underwater story … but no.
Her female protagonist, who insists on being called “Boss,” leads teams off-the-grid to salvage old abandoned spaceships. In the process of doing this, she encounters a 5,000 year-old military ship powered by an anacapa drive which folds space to enable a ship to travel immense distances, but when damaged can twist time.
… The perfect weapon to counter the powerful Empire that threatens her corner of space.
But not without life-threatening risks involved.
Interesting concepts and well-defined characters made this whole series an enjoyable read.
So… dive in.
And don’t forget that tomorrow, May 26, Caught in Time is free. This may be your week for great time travel stories.
A year seems like such a long time… And then it’s not.
I finished my trilogy, thrilled with how it turned out, but done, done, done.
I needed a break. So, I took one. Which has lasted longer than I planned. (Thanks coronavirus.)
Stuck at home, restless, I needed exercise. So, I began to walk around a picturesque local duckpond.
Then, I redirected my creative energy to painting it.
(pictures at the bottom.)
Recently I was musing over offering the first book in the Terran Trilogy on Freebooksy again and remembered a photo prompt that I did for Diana Peach on her Myths of the Mirrors Website.
This is the perfect prelude to the adventures on The New Found Hope in my first book of the Trilogy: A World TooFar. So I offer the photo and the short story below.
By Sheron Wood McCartha
Quiet. So quiet. The sound of her rasping breath filled the night as empty buildings loomed above on both sides, and a silent street stretched ahead. The only other noise was the thudding echo of her pounding feet on hard pavement as she ran as hard as she could.
Thud. Thud. Thud. The sole sounds in a deserted city. Her lungs burned. Her legs ached. She blinked watering eyes. But she had to keep running. Darkness surrounded her, making it hard to see ahead. But she had to continue. She dared not stop. Behind her the moon swelled, growing larger and larger in the night sky. She didn’t want to turn around to look. She couldn’t afford to turn around for even a brief glimpse.
For years, the moon had grown larger and larger in the overhead sky, causing ever increasing violent tidal swings. Now, the ground grumbled and shook under its tug every second of every minute, causing low-level cities to be evacuated as tidal surges wiped out people and places. Then higher altitudes were threatened. And higher. In other drier areas, the ground opened up, swallowing entire towns with one gulp.
Humanity peered upward towards the stars for salvation. It would not be found here on this devastated Earth. Sixty ships built, and fifty-nine already launched—the last now ready to leave the planet behind.
Any minute now. So, too, she would be left behind if she didn’t hurry. In the distance, she saw the glow of light silhouetting the last ship and heard the faint roar of frantic voices.
Run. Run. Faster. Faster. Mother had died in her arms, and she’d been glad to be there at her passing, but it may have been a fatal mistake to stay for her last goodbye. Nevertheless, she would never have forgiven herself if she hadn’t. The com in her pocket vibrated. She pulled it out and took precious time to answer. “What!” She couldn’t stop a second or even slow. Not now. She could see the dark bulk of the ship ahead of her. So close. “Where are you?” “Twenty minutes,” she panted. “Twenty minutes.” “There’s a mob at the front hatch. You’ll have to go around the back to the emergency entrance and move the gantry over three feet to the left. I told the Captain, your father, that you were a computer wizard, and he would need your skills. Don’t make me a liar. Hurry. I don’t want your death on my hands.” The voice continued, but she turned it off. She didn’t need the distraction. She couldn’t afford it. Blood pulsed in her ears. Her legs ached. Her mouth felt parched from inhaling the smoky night air and puffing it out in hard short bursts.
Huff. Huff. Huff. She arrived at the edge of the screaming mob, whose fists pounded vainly against impervious metal. Her feet did not slow a step. But, her heart hurt from hearing the desperation in their voices. Quickly, she circled to the back, stumbling in the effort. She wanted to lie down. To collapse on the ground and never rise again. But she couldn’t let Jazz down. Her best friend had saved her a seat. Tugging the gantry to the left, she eyed the endless rungs above her. Then she began to climb. Her hands grew raw from the rough metal, and her arms ached as they reached for yet the next rung. Suddenly, she felt the engines stir beneath her hands and the ship began to shake. A hiss of steam vented far below her. The monster within awakened. Heat licked her heels as engines ignited, and she hammered at the blurred words stenciled in front of her. Emergency Exit. She screamed, hoping to be heard above the increasing volume of noise. Suddenly, the hatch opened and a hand reached out to yank her in, then slammed shut. Lying on the hard metal floor, she stared up into the frantic face of her friend as the ship rumbled and began to slowly lift. Tears from above splashed onto her cheeks and her lips. “You cut it awfully close.” She nodded slightly. It was all she could manage. Lifted awkwardly into a chair, buckles snapped around her. The ship gathered velocity and leaped into the night sky with a roar.
She closed her eyes as the heavy hand of gravity slammed down on her. The moon expanded in the night sky outside, dooming all those left behind, but the stars twinkled a promise as they beckoned the ship forward.
A World Too Far starts the voyage of The New Found Hope to find a habitable world.
Space can also be just as dangerous.
But here on Earth we have lovely duck ponds. I promised you a few. This is winter duck pond and autumn duck pond.
Have you noticed recently a lot of familiar book titles showing up on various streaming services? Movies? Television series? Then I read the last few blogs of Kris Rusch talking about licensing your work. Story content is at a premium in the war for streaming memberships, and she urges authors to look into the lucrative world of licensing.
Think about it. Star Wars has made a fortune on licensing games, dolls, cups, sweatshirts. Oh, you’ve seen all the stuff. Their products are everywhere, and it’s all from a story.
But, you say… I’m not famous. Well, according to Kris, you don’t have to be. Check out her blog and her experience at the Vegas licensing conference.
However, it didn’t all come together in my mind until I read Tor’s blog on upcoming books adapted for media. (Movies, Netflix, TV, etc.)
There’s too many to list here, so I’m just going to mention those books I have recommended in my blogs that I’m familiar with. I’m omitting the large quantity of graphic novels slated for production. Also, some went into contact and because of delays, the contracts have expired.
But still, the list is extensive.
First…those science fiction stories that are returning from an already broadcasted series and are in upcoming productions for an additional season.
The Expanse by James Corey.– This is an long series that is very good. So far the production has been outstanding. Coming on Amazon streaming service Dec 13 renewed by Amazon after being dropped by Netflix.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness broadcast– US /BBC April 2019. Second and third season has no date yet but is in production. (See discussion on this below). Well done as a broadcast.
Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan (See trailer and review in previous blog) Season 1 was February 2018. It’s a gritty Cyberpunk murder mystery where people can be “sleeved” into other bodies or cloned. Far future. It has been renewed for eight seasons by Netflix and is in production to return in 2020.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman–Already available on Netflix, the first two seasons deal with a group of students at a college that teaches magic. They discover an alternate fantasy world through a book and soon are battling a variety of demons and bad guys while dealing with several romantic conflicts. Next in the series due out in 2020.
Man in the High Castle. By Philip K. Dick.–First two series on Netflix. Third season due out Nov 2019. It tells the story of an alternate universe during Hitler’s era where Germany and Japan have divided up the United States. However, there’s a secret film that has our timeline on it where Germany is defeated, and everybody is searching for it to take to the “man in the castle.”.
Outlander by Diana Gilbraldi. –several seasons already. Starz says that the fifth season of the Golden Globe-nominated original series Outlander will premiere on Sunday, February 16 2020. It will be the first time new episodes have aired since the season 4 finale in January. … Season five is currently in production in Scotland.
There are eight books in this romantic time travel series to date. My own Caught in Time has a similar premise of a woman traveling to the past and falling in love… Only my female protagonist is sent back to assassinate the king, but she accidentally falls in love with him because of mistaken identity.
The Umbrella Academy. First season on Netflix. No date yet for second season, but ten episodes confirmed. This is based on a comic book story of a dysfunctional family of superheroes who are now reunited to face a world threat.
The Feed by Nick Clarke Wundo. First season on Amazon Prime Nov 22 2019. Second season to date is neither canceled or confirmed. Based on science fiction thriller where technology is placed in everyone’s brain and people can read other’s minds.
The City and City by China Mieville aired BBC (Britbox) April 2019 but no date for U.S. yet. Science fiction crime thriller takes place in dimensionally overlapped cities.
These are a few of an already broadcasted series that I have mentioned in my blog or viewed.
There are many books or graphic novels that are in contract to be published in the media. Here are only a few I’m familiar with.
Artemis by Andy Weir. Film. 20th Century Fox
Artemis is a 2017 science fiction novel that takes place in the late 2080s and is set in Artemis, the first and so far only city on the Moon. It follows the life of porter and smuggler Jasmine “Jazz” Bashara as she gets caught up in a conspiracy for control of the city. Wild young lady who disrupt the moon community. (in blog)
Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie—to be announced. (In blog) Breq used to be the spaceship Justice of Toren, controlling countless ancillary soldiers, before an accident fragmented her. Now, in a single form, she is returning to the Imperial Radch to confront its ruler, Anaander Mianaai. adapted for Fox tv.
The Last Policeman by Ben Winters. Put pilot for TV. NBC. (In blog)
With an approaching asteroid on a collision course with Earth, the end of the world is just months away. But as civilization frays at the edges, police detective Hank Palace is determined to stay on the job and investigate the crimes everyone ignores. (In blog)
Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey is a high fantasy series called Kushiel’s Legacy. At this time, it is unclear if Lionsgate is planning a film franchise or looking to bring the series to a cable channel as a series in the vein of Game of Thrones or Outlander, which all had successful leaps from page to screen. (in blog)
Name of the Wind. By Patrick Rothfuss—optioned by Lionsgate for Film, TV, or possibly gaming. (In blog) The Kingkiller Chronicle is a fantasy series by Patrick Rothfuss, which recounts the story of Kvothe, an adventurer and musician. The story is narrated from the third person, but mostly consists of Kvothe narrating his life to a scribe in the first person.
Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin optioned for TV. (In blog)
Lies of Locke Lemora. By Scott Lynch —TV. Tba
The Lies of Locke Lamora is a 2006 fantasy novel by American writer Scott Lynch, the first book of the Gentleman Bastard series. Elite con artists calling themselves the “Gentleman Bastards” rob the rich of the city of Camorr, based on late medieval Venice but on an unnamed world. (In blog)
Fifth Season. By N. K. Jemisin TV. TNT in progress (In blog)
At the end of the world, a woman must hide her secret power and find her kidnapped daughter in this intricate and extraordinary Hugo Award winning novel of power, oppression, and revolution.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein (In blog)
The Peripheral by Gibson—Amazon series Neuromancer by Gibson. Film looking for screenwriter (In blog) Gibson is the father of the Cyberpunk genre. Hugo award winning novel.
Redshirts and Old Man’s War– Scalzi up for option on Old Man’s War. Netflix (In blog)
An adaptation of the John Scalzi science fiction novel “Old Man’s War.” Released in 2005, the novel tells the tale of a futuristic army, the Colonial Defense Forces. An intergalactic Earth military, the CDF’s soldiers are placed in updated versions of their own bodies and have their DNA enhanced by nanotechnology. At age 75, retired writer John Perry enlists and is given the gift of youth at the cost of military service.
Rivers of London by a Ben Aronvitch TV series (In blog) Also titled Midnight Riot.
This bestselling UK series follows Peter Grant, an ordinary constable turned magician’s apprentice, as he solves crimes across London in a sensational blend of inventive urban fantasy, gripping mystery thriller, and hilarious fantasy caper.
Sand Hugh Howey. TV at syfy channel, tv.
a story about a world covered in dunes in which a select few “sand divers” are able to retrieve lost relics from beneath the worldwide desert brought about by ecological devastation.
Seveneve’s Gaiman. Ron Howard adapting for movie
A colony of survivors living in outer space try to return to Earth thousands of years after it was evacuated.
Shipbreaker Paola Bacigalupi. In production. For film by Cinamablend beginning 2018
Shipbreakers is a thriller that deals with the ecological breakdown of Earth. The Polar caps are melting and New Orleans is under water. (in blog) YA
Spin Robert Charles Wilson syfy mini series now on backburner (In blog)
The Strange Case of the Alchemists Daughter by Theodora Goss. TV (in future blog)
Based on some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics, this is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—and the bigger mystery of their own origins.
Stranger in a Strange Land. Heinlein optioned for TV. Famous classic Hugo winning novel
Time Salvager Leslie Chu for film (In blog) optioned in 2015 tba
Centuries in the future, a burned-out time traveler breaks society’s highest law for love and the chance to restore a toxic Earth.
The Telling (aka The Disposed) Ursula Le Guin. Film (In blog)
The 2019 Sundance Film Festival began on January 24 and runs through February 3, 2019. “The Dispossessed” is part of the Shorts Program at Sundance Film Festival.
The Time Travelers Wife Already a movie, now optioned for TV (In blog)
Problems one faces when your husband is an involuntary time traveler.
The Three-body Problem by Cixin Liu. Six movies… Already finished shooting in 2015, but the release date is still unclear. During China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military program sends signals into space to initiate first contact with aliens. Years later, a physicist uses a virtual reality game to uncover what the aliens actually want from Earth. (in blog)
The Way of Kings Sanderson (In blog) DMG three movie sets.
The Stormlight Archive is set thousands of years after disastrous cyclical wars ravaged the storm-swept planet of Roshar—a time when the Heralds of the Knights Radiant and their ten powerful swords, the Honorblades, have been reduced to legend. Even the ancient Voidbringers, who once swept the planet in invasions called”Desolations,” are now a mystery. The nations of the world squabble amongst themselves, until the threat of a final Desolation known as the Everstorm rears its head at the end of The Way of Kings.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik (In blog) Warner Bros film along with co-producer Ellen Degeneress won rights in 2014. Air date to be announced.
Follows a young woman who lives near a corrupted woods where people rely on the powers of a wizard to keep the evil at bay.
Wool Hugh Hugh Howey (In blog) AMC developing TV series.
Tells a post-apocalyptic story that follows a sheriff, his wife, and their larger society forced underground due to toxic air on the surface of the planet.
These are just a few I cherry picked from a large list that I have already talked about in my blog. For a more complete list go to:
This blog idea came about when I received a free ARC copy of A Discovery of Witches and then noticed it was a series on Netflix.
Netflix did a good job with the adaptation that spans several episodes.
The story is about a descendent of one of the Salem witches who denies her powerful magical abilities until she is forced to use them to protect herself and acknowledge her legacy. She is a professor at University and when doing research on alchemy in the library there, one of the books she takes off the shelves is a sought after book by several supernatural creatures. A prominent professor, secret vampire, notices and stalks her to gain the book and its secrets. However, a difficult romantic entanglement ensues, and he decides to keep her safe from the clustering werewolves, vampires, witches, and other fey creatures who want the book for their own reasons. Time travel gets involved.
There are three novels in this trilogy and Times Convert, next on my list to read, is the second in the series. I look forward to the Netflix version when it airs.
I’ve been writing for a while (years) and have reached the point where I want to pause and evaluate what I have done. The advantage of self publishing is that you can do this. Amazon permits you to revise and then re-publish at no cost.
For a Tweeker like me, this is a boon.
So, if you have written several books, especially those in a series, you might want to think about how you can refresh your work.
A new cover might be in order. You can retitle too. A few years ago, another author added her book to Amazon under the title Caught in Time. I was furious. That was my title, but titles are not copyrighted. So, too bad for me. You would think she could have done a search on Amazon to see if anyone else had the title, but she didn’t. Then a few weeks ago, the title Cosmic Entanglement came on and popped up ahead of me on the search list. Don’t think I was pleased about that. I thought about a re-title, but that would only confuse my readers. So, check out your title for a duplicate before you publish. Even so, I can re-title if I feel the need.
Back in the day, early writers were eager to get published and some drew their own covers or had an artistic friend put one together. That was good enough for a beginning author. Now, several years later, they have networked with other authors, attended conferences, and realize the advantage of a professional looking cover. I know a few who have revamped the look of their entire series.
Sales bumped up.
Okay, the outside is all spiffed up. What about the inside? If you are writing a series like I am, your earlier books don’t have your most recent books listed in the front matter. You might want to add them. Also, in the back matter, make sure you have a short teaser for each book with a link. Best time to catch a reader is when he has just finished and is interested in reading more of the story. One click and he’s there at your buy button.
Self publishing used to have a bad rap. Authors would read over their works and think it was just fine. We can’t see our own mistakes … trust me on this one.
Commas. And repetition. My downfalls. Try as I could, I didn’t catch them all, even though I have a Masters Degree in English, speech and journalism.
That’s why I’m now going back through my third book, Cosmic Entanglement and making it even better. Yes, it was edited by someone who was not only a science fiction and fantasy writer, but who also edited for several New York publishing houses. I paid a professional level fee, but still, guess what? … There were errors.
This time, I’m not going back in alone either. I use the ProWriting Aid program and Grammarly. It’s an eye opener. Prowriting Aid is reasonably priced at the premium level. ($70 per year) It gives a summary and then breaks down the writing for grammar, style, sentence structure, repeats, over-used words, offers correcting suggestions, and has a thesaurus for your words. Other reports are also available.
Grammarly is widely used. It has a free version, but mentions frequently that you have more errors which a premium version could fix. Unfortunately, it runs thirty dollars per month ($30) or cheaper per month if you pay either quarterly or in a lump sum. Lump sum is $139.95 which averages out to $11.66 per month. But then you are committed if you don’t like it.
I use the free version, however, if you’re writing hot and heavy, the premium might be your choice. It is cheaper than an editor. Or, is a good way to clean up before presenting to an editor, so her time isn’t wasted with minor spelling and grammar errors.
Now you know what I’m currently doing in the writing field. This aspect of the job is important, but it takes a different skill set than creating a story. Perseverance is critical. You must be able to forgive yourself for how many times you used the word just in the manuscript and never noticed. ( or various other words you may be fond of ) Editing again takes time, but it is time well spent.
Another place I’m spending time is in reading. I recently finished Mark Lawrence’s series Book of the Ancestor: Red Sister, Grey Sister, and Holy Sister.
I highly recommend the series.
If you like strong female protagonists, magical abilities and antics in an Abbey, you’ll like this story. I also enjoyed the allusion to a previous race that left behind strange technology, and a past starfaring race that visited the planet and incorporated bits of their genes into the current inhabitants, giving a select few extraordinary abilities.
Also, the world itself was intriguing. Covered in cold and ice, a narrow corridor rings the land, which is kept warm by an artificial moon. Its laser beam heats up this section at night, staving off the ice. Unfortunately, the sun is dying and the world’s getting colder. The corridor is narrowing. The people are getting squeezed for land, causing wars and violence as various nations fight for room and survival.
Into this mix arrives a young, dirty, recently orphaned girl called Nona. Kidnaped by a child trader and sold to the fight arena, she kills the son of the richest lord in the land by defending herself and a friend. She is saved from the noose by Abbess Glass who runs the Convent of Sweet Mercy and recognizes something special in her. But, there’s nothing sweet about the abbey or Abbess Glass who trains certain genetically gifted young girls to kill.
Four alien starships visited this world at one time, each carrying a certain trait now disbursed into the genetic mix. Nona is a rare child that carries three of the four. Speed, envisioning the path, and conjuring magic are her gifts. Size and strength is the fourth combination talent. A prophesy predicts one child will come with all four traits and save the world.
Nona’s abilities gradually unfold as she trains at the Abbey, becoming an instrument of destruction for whoever crosses her path. She finds friends, makes an enemy of the richest lord of the land, his older son, and the deadliest woman of power. Within the girls themselves hide spies and traitors. Be prepared for twists and turns, betrayal and loyalty. Plan to lose sleep if you read at night.
Mark Lawrence writes a powerful book with a powerful storyline that I hope you’ll enjoy.
Sometimes you have to give someone a second chance.
In this case, I tried to read N. K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and not only was I confused, but bored. Gods meddling with humans is not my thing.
So, I shunned her novels for years until the acclaim became so great I felt I should try again.
After all, winning the Hugo three years in a row is quite a feat. Lois McMasters Bujold, my favorite author, has won four times and only Asimov, Willis, and Vinge have won three times, and not sequentially. All other authors have won two or less… or not at all.
So I started with The Fifth Season.
Right off the bat, I want to say that I did enjoy the whole series. But first, I had to get over being angry. At the very beginning, Jemisin writes as if the reader is sitting next to her in an easy chair and Jemisin is telling her a story … that flips back and forth through time.
Her first sentence : “Let’s start with the end of the world, why don’t we? Get it over with and move on to more interesting things.”
Start at the end? Talk straight to the reader?
What she moves on to is a detailed description of the land using an incredible amount of telling in third person ubiquitous. She also describes two people, one a man who raises his arms and creates a gigantic earthquake and breaks the land. You have no idea who he is or why he does what he is doing. Even, how he can do it. His description isn’t woven in the story as so many experts tell an author to do, but told… Telling not showing.
We have an award winning author writing from a point of view that many so-called word police say you shouldn’t. Keep your author’s comments and voice out of the story, they say. Also, “show, don’t tell.”
She didn’t. Lots of description.
Voice intrudes throughout the series.
“Don’t jump back and forth in time, you’ll only confused the reader.”
Then after long descriptions of the land, a city, and a strange metamorphosis of rock to a human shape, in the next chapter, she switches to the second person to tell the story of Essun who discovers her son dead in her home.
Second person narrative. Tricky at best.
With little background at this point, the reader has no idea what is happening until Nemisin hones the story down to Essun, a middle-aged, impoverished woman who walks into her home to find her son murdered by her husband, his father.
So, now the reader is interested. Why?
We find out Essun is an orogene, which means she has the ability to move the earth and control certain elements of the ground … and other scary stuff.
Her kind is hated and feared, and she has to hide what she is. Her children are to be eliminated to protect humanity. So, her son is murdered by his father when he realizes what his son is. For some reason he doesn’t kill the daughter, but runs away with her with plans to kill her.
But how did Essun come to this state?
Next chapter, we skip back to her childhood where as a young child she is sold by her mother to frightening warrior called “a Guardian.” He takes her to the Fulcrum, a place where orogenes like her are controlled and trained. The first thing the guardian does, once he finds her hiding in the barn under the straw, is place a tracker inside the back of her head. He smiles and says nice words, but doesn’t mean any of it.
So, the story takes off. You become used to being addressed directly at various points in the story and the changes in viewpoints, and the jumps through time. The land becomes almost another character as it affects the lives of the beings on the planet, not all of them human.
By the end of the first book, when I realized the planet was unstable due to a missing moon, I was ready to read the second in the series, The Obelisk Gate. This follows Essun as she searches for her daughter to try and save her. Only her daughter is growing more and more powerful, and can do a few things of her own.
I was interested in following more of the life of Essun, first known as Damaya, and also other names. Keep track.
The second book jumps back and forth between her and her daughter’s experiences. Yes, a bit confusing, but I wanted to know how they were going to save the planet from the many episodes of upheavals called “the Stillnesses.” These are dramatic upheavals of the dangerous planet that create devastating events such as plagues, floods, etc. and can happen at any time and last ages, or not.
Would the moon ever return? And if it did, would ancient technology left by a previous race, enable them to capture it and stabilize the planet?
So, I read The Obelisk Gate and then The Stone Sky.
I was hooked.
I realized an original and interesting story often trumps certain rules of writing.
Often the guidelines are there to strengthen your writing. Yesterday, I read Diana Wallace’s blog and finally understood “filter” words and how they weaken your writing.
In commerce, the middle man is being taken out of the transaction. Amazon goes directly to the buyer, eliminating the publishing house or consumer. In the same way, words such as heard, felt, thought are filters that diminish the reader’s experience. Here is an example taken from Diana’s blog that will explain.
Greta stood on her front porch. She felt the long-awaited spring call her with a rustling of leaves and patter of hummingbird wings. A smile brightened her face as she watched them battle around the feeder that she’d remembered to fill yesterday. She supposed she wasn’t the only one enjoying the languid morning. On the porch rail, she saw her lazy tabby stretch and heard his rumbling purr as she rubbed his ears. She knew he liked the sunshine; she imagined he always had.
Correction without filter words:
Greta stood on her front porch. The long-awaited spring called her with a rustling of leaves and patter of hummingbird wings. A smile brightened her face as they battled around the feeder that she’d filled yesterday. She wasn’t the only one enjoying the languid morning. On the porch rail, her lazy tabby stretched, and he rumbled a purr as she rubbed his ears. He liked the sunshine; he always had.
See the difference?
For more explanations and other great insights, check out her blog.
Yes, yes, I know that I just ranted and raved about a triple Hugo winner breaking all the rules, and then I turn around and give you a rule.
Earth’s ships, lost in space, search for a place to make a home. Will they wander forever in the dangerous universe or find safety at last?
Terran Trilogy: Somewhat Alien
A space station offers a midway refuge for Elise’s fleet, but the inhabitants of Alysia are reluctant to allow aliens to land on their planet.
Conflict over Alysia’s immigration policy creates violence.
Terran Trilogy: Weight of Gravity
The Terran landing on Alysia is long overdue, but the Alysians are anything but welcoming.
Richard Steele helps Elise recover several Terrans, kidnaped by slavers and sold into Khalib Allfyre’s harem.
But his problems are not over when time traveler, and daughter, Tempest Steele appears in the Timelab to warn him of possible attacking aliens. TheFallen are searching for a habitable planet and Alysia looks just perfect for them.
Terran and Alysian must put aside their animosities, build spaceships, and battle a hostile enemy to save the planet.
But it won’t be easy. And lives are on the line.
The Alysian Universe: An Exciting Series by Sheron Wood McCartha
Available online through Kindle and in paperback at Amazon.com
Caught In Time: Book 1
A Time Travel Romance
A Dangerous Talent for Time: Book 2
A quest to answer a riddle with a time traveling twist.
A cosmic entanglement in the form of an alien probe drags Alysia into the space age, but certain factions resist. Some won’t stop at murder to destroy the program.
Past the Event Horizon
Braden Steele and crew launch into space following a mysterious signal, searching for the aliens that created it.
Be careful what you go looking for…because you might find it…Past the Event Horizon.
A space adventure.
A threatened alien invasion and secret alien gene lab.
Alien crystals and cosmic disaster.
Not knowing who or what he is, Ailain Stone sets out to save the planet from war.
Five Elements Anthology
Seven short stories with five elements required in the story. My writers group, after winning several short story awards, put this together in a moment of insane…enthusiasm. All funds go towards Books for Children sponsored by the Willamette Writers.
A murder mystery with a science fiction twist.
A novella that offers a taste of each book in the Alysian Universe.
Young Ailain Steele accidentally activates a time gate and tumbles through time trying to find his way home.