Friday, 30 August 2013

Wilder Mage Launch Day

Today I'm thrilled to help with the release of CD Coffelt's Wilder Mage. You probably know her better as Huntress. She's been a part of the blogging and writing community for as long as I can remember, and one of the coolest people I know.

Now for the book launch. Drum roll...

The earthquake wasn’t his fault. Not this time.

Justus Aubre is a wilder. A mage unbound to the Imperium, and therefore a dangerous wild card in their eyes. The Imperium wants him, wants his power, but Justus has hidden for many years and now has some semblance of a normal life. All that’s about to change when Sable Rounds walks through the door of his antique shop, looking for work. Justus instantly knows what Sable is, he just doesn’t know the danger he’s in.

Alone, also on the run from the Imperium, Sable longs for a normal life. For somewhere to belong. She finds this when Justus hires her, but she knows it’s temporary and fragile, an illusion. Though she hates to think about it, she knows that one day she will have to move on.

The Imperium is always behind her, waiting. When they finally find Sable, they find Justus. And all hell’s about to break loose.

Wilder Mage

CD Coffelt, Huntress


CD Coffelt lives outside Maryville, Missouri with a bemused husband and way too many cats. She adores all things fantasy with a special love for urban and epic.

With a passion for good writing and Doritos as companions, locating Middle-Earth on a dusty road in rural Missouri wasn’t difficult. All it took was a little Magic, hours of reading, and an overactive imagination.

You can visit her blog at

Congratulations, Huntress. Another book to go on my TBR pile. My list never gets any shorter!

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Angela Brown & Gwen Gardner - Speculative Fiction Writers

I have two extra special guests this week - Angela Brown and Gwen Gardner. They're busy lighting up the blogosphere with cover reveals for the follow ups to their current novels. Loving having you here, ladies.

Now for the cover reveals!

(Add to Goodreads)

An Angel Among Us

Paranormal happenings at the Eady household are the norm. Recently, things have become downright peculiar. Childish giggles at odd hours of the night lead Indigo Eady to her little cousin, Bryan, a guileless cherub spirit, complete with Spider Man pajamas and a set of faux angel wings. The problem is that Bryan died nearly three years ago in a hit and run that killed him and his mum. The driver was never found.  Now the gang must solve the mystery of his death in order to send him back to heaven.  But where to start when the trail is three years cold?

Indigo Eady

Indigo Eady is not clumsy. At least, that’s what she keeps telling everyone. Can she help that the overactive spirit community of Sabrina Shores causes her psychic abilities to short-circuit? It’s unfortunate that her cute friend Badger is often on the receiving end of her mishaps. At times, she is positively hazardous to his health. Even so, sparks fly in more than one direction.

(Fabulous cover design by Corona Zschusschen)

THEY ALL FALL DOWN by Angela Brown (Add to Goodreads)

Abby and Basil: New love reaches new heights as they finally give in to their lust and desire for each other.

Q: Consumed by the Devourer within and his base need to claim Abby as his own.

The crave: What it all boils down to. A crave for souls. A crave to keep love intact beyond betrayals. A crave for a second chance. A crave for power and The Fall of mankind.

“Love can conquer all” is put to the test and salvation may be impossible when it’s “ashes, ashes…they all fall down.”

(Heat-seeker cover design by McCorkle Creations)

About Gwen

Gwen Gardner is a native Californian living in sunny San Diego, where her love of reading and writing led to a BA in English literature. Life is now complete with her husband, two dogs and a daily call from her daughter.

Since ghosts feature prominently in her young adult Indigo Eady Paranormal “Cozy” Mystery series, she has a secret desire to meet one face to face - but will run screaming for the hills if she ever does. Gwen adores travel and experiencing the cultures and foods of different countries. She is always up for an adventure and anything involving chocolate - not necessarily in that order.
Haunt at the following: Blog | Twitter | Facebook

About Angela

Angela is a lover of Wild Cherry Pepsi and chocolate/chocolate covered delicious-ness. Steampunk, fantasy and paranormal to contemporary - mostly young adult - fill her growing library of books. Mother to a rambunctious darling girl aptly nicknamed Chipmunk, life stays busy. Her favorite quote keeps her moving: "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

So, what do you think? I've fallen in love with both covers. Congratulations, Gwen and Angela.

I'll be back this Friday with CD Coffelt's book launch (you'll probably know her better as Huntress). Until then, happy reading and writing.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Amazon Woes, Goodreads Bullying, & Mormon Writers Back Gay Author

I have a more serious and sombre post for you today.

If you're one of my Facebook friends, you'll l already know I've been having major technical issues with Amazon KDP. To say that the last few weeks have been stressful, would be putting it mildly. But before I explain, let me say that I love Amazon KDP. As an indie writer, I like the freedom it gives me - the ability to decide the content, cover image, and price. So, this is not a post bashing Amazon KDP itself.

So what has been my problem with KDP? I uploaded updated files for both my eBooks in July and, despite the updated versions showing as live on my author bookshelf, they're not being sent to NEW customers. I tried to get this problem corrected via author support. Numerous emails went back and forth. Each time I contacted them, or they replied to me, a different person dealt with my problem. At first they didn't even understand the issue. When I finally seemed to be making progress, they told me they could offer no further advice or assistance. In other words, they don't understand and/or care.

Let me stress, I KNOW new customers are not receiving the updated versions of my books. I've had friends purchase my books just to check.

For Passing Time this isn't to big an issue. The updated book only contains added details of my second eBook - a cover picture, blurb, and links. Still, it would be nice to have them there. However, the updated version of Taking Time contains corrected errors. I NEED that version to be live.

The problem is there is no way for me to contact anyone higher than author support. I now have no choice but to re-publish both books as second editions, so that the correct versions are on sale. Passing Time should be available early September, after it's current term in KDP Select ends. This time I will be publishing it in ALL major eBook formats, not just through Kindle.

Unfortunately, Taking Time will have to wait until mid-October. Due to the errors, I've reluctantly taken it off sale. I will let you know when it's available again nearer the time.

The sad thing is it seems I'm not the only KDP author to be experiencing this problem. I've had other authors contact me with similar issues. On the other hand, I've had dozens of authors tell me they've not had any problems updating their books recently. So, what is going on?

Now on to Goodreads Bullying.

WARNING: You may find parts of this offensive.

Over the last week, alleged bullying at Goodreads has been the hot topic (Please note, I'm using the word alleged here because I haven't actually seen these reviews or listings myself). Author Lauren Howard made the decision to not publish her first book, Learning to Love, due to the behaviour of some Goodreads members. Unfortunately, Lauren has now taken down the post in which she details her yet to be published book receiving one-star ratings, nasty reviews, and being added to book lists where the author should be raped or sodomized. If this is the case, I can only imagine the distress this must have caused her.

While I believe that a reader has the right to leave any rating or review (and writers need to learn to accept that), the existence of such offensive Goodreads lists is wholly unacceptable. There should be some form of moderation, which would remove such listings because of their offensive nature. I can only hope that the media attention this issue has received will make Goodreads re-consider the current freedom to say anything you like policy.

In the meantime, author Lexa Cain has highlighted that there IS an option to flag an abusive review. You can complain. Click here to visit her blog and learn how to. Thank you, Lexa.

The third thing I want to discuss today is something that has gone a little way to restoring my faith in hunanity, Mormon Writers Back Gay Author.

I'm sure most, if not all of you, will have heard the shocking news that David Powers King and Michael Jensen's Woven publication was cancelled due to the inclusion of one line in Jensen's biography - a line that made reference to his male partner that the publisher felt would alienate their LDS readers. I'm not going to repeat the details of the homophobic discrimination Jensen was subjected to. However if you're only just learning of this issue now, here are some links:

David Powers King on Woven cancellation
Interview with Michael Jensen

What I would like to draw attention to is that since the shocking news of the books cancellation and the reason why, more than 40 Mormon authors in Utah have signed a letter supporting Michael Jensen. In it they say:

"While publishers have the right to choose what they will and will not publish, we believe books should be accepted or rejected upon the merits of their content, quality, and commercial viability, not on any other factor," the letter states. (You can read the full article here)

Read more here:

I second that. I can only hope that more people come forward and offer their support and the voice of reason. It's a sad day when a person's sexual orientation dictates whether they can be published.

That's it for today's post. I'll be back on Wednesday, with two Speculative Fiction Writer guests - the awesome Angela Brown and Gwen Gardner.

Read more here:

Friday, 23 August 2013

Elizabeth Arroyo's The Second Shadow Cover Reveal

I'm super-excited to help reveal the cover for book two of Elizabeth Arroyo's The Second Sign Series.
Now that is one sizzling cover! 

The Blurb

Jake thought being demon meant a shredded humanity, stripped of all human emotion. Chaos and self-preservation dominates a demon’s instincts. But Jake feels every ounce of pain and despair around him.

And it’s driving him deeper into Hell.

Gabby’s choice to save him last summer left a fissure in Hell’s gate that released a malevolent evil. When Jake’s given a mission by the demons to shadow a human girl who may know the whereabouts of an ethereal weapon, he doesn't expect to see Gabby. But Fate has her own agenda.

When Jake and Gabby are thrown together on a camping trip with a group of delinquent teens, Jake begins to grapple with the haunting choices he made in the past.  When the evil finds them, the group begins to battle for their lives, alliances are made, and truths revealed.

As the evil begins to influence Jake, he questions his link to the demons, his purpose, and his love for Gabby. 

But the answers to those questions are only found in Hell. And it may cost him his soul.

(Book 2 of The Second Sign series)

Dark YA Paranormal Romance
Available September 5, 2013

Sapphire Star Publishing

About the author

Elizabeth has worked in the community for the bulk of her professional career. She enjoys quiet moments, action flicks, and dancing with her four-year-old.  

You can find more information about Elizabeth at

A massive congratulations, Elizabeth. This and book one are going on my TBR. Now excuse me, while I go search Shutterstock for someone just as 'hot' to represent the male protagonist in my upcoming science fiction series. Have a great weekend everybody.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Matt Betts - Speculative Fiction Writer & Zombie Wrangler

Today I have the pleasure of introducing Matt Betts as this week's Speculative Fiction Writer. He recently released his debut novel, Odd Men Out. If you love zombies and multi-genre fiction, then this is the book is for.

Q:  Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, and what do you do when you're not writing?

I’m originally from Lima, Ohio and I’ve lived in Columbus, Ohio now for quite a while. When I’m not writing, (or editing, of thinking about writing) I spend time with my sons. They’re a lot of fun to play with and are both at great, creative ages. I like to read when I get time and I’m a love watching movies. Good ones, bad ones, doesn’t matter.

Q:  On your website you refer to yourself as a zombie wrangler. How would you wrangle a group of zombies?

I’d have to create some kind of diversion to get them interested in something other than eating me. Brain on a stick?

Q: Your debut novel, Odd Men Out, is just out. What's it about?

It’s got a lot going on. It’s basically the story of a military group called the OMO, which is tasked with keeping the peace after the Civil War ends in a draw. The two sides called a truce in order to work together to fight an outbreak of the dead that have come back to life. So there’s this uneasy peace, which is broken by a Union splinter group that wants the North to be back on top. The OMO is then forced to confront the group and stop them from obtaining a powerful weapon that could further their nefarious plans.

So, there are dirigibles, undead, Civil War superweapons and, also a giant Godzilla-like beast that further complicates things.

Q:  As soon as I saw the dirigible on the cover, I was hooked. What made you choose that particular mode of transport for your novel?

I love airships as a mode of transportation. They’re so much fun. As an author you can take that technology and run with it, as long as you stay in certain boundaries.
I think that image of a airship was where I originally started the story itself and started writing from there.

Q: Odd Men Out has been described as steampunk, alternate history, science fiction, and horror. How difficult was it balancing the different genres in one novel?

I wrote the kind of book that I like to read. You know? I love scifi, steampunk, horror, classic monster movies, etc. so I just started writing, without worrying about how it would be labelled. I didn’t worry about the genres or the balance of the narrative until I was done with an early draft. Then I went back and cut and rewrote to make sure it remained the same tonally. There were versions where I beefed up the horror and others where I reined it in. But in the end, it wasn’t too difficult to get a story I liked.

Q:  Would you like to share an excerpt from Odd Men Out with us? Sure!

As Lucinda entered, she spoke up a little to be heard over the vibration and rattle of the Turtle’s movements. “Gibson says the passengers in the cargo hold are bitching,” she said.

It was dark in the hall, with only the sunlight streaming through the occasional porthole to guide them. Still, Cyrus made a show of looking at his watch. “Six days already? Right on time. Let me guess. They’re hot and hungry and want fresh air? Did anyone mention to these people before they got aboard that they’d be traveling cross country in a giant, slow-moving metal box in the middle of summer?”

“With three hundred other people…”

He’d heard the same complaints on every trip he’d captained for the last two years. A three-week journey from one civilized and safe coast to the next and less than a third of the way through, everyone wants to go home. They hate the food, can’t stand the smell of their fellow human beings and the metallic grey and green walls are nothing to look at. “Is this meant to be your daily report?”

“No. Gibson was getting shit. I thought I’d pass it along.”

Cyrus opened the hatch to his quarters. “I’ll make a note.”

“Oh, there is something else. I hate to mention it,” Lucinda said.

Cyrus turned back and raised his eyebrow. She never mentioned anything unless it was important.

“Gibson got a note from the administrator down in the hold.” Her face was hard to read as it fluctuated from skeptical to grim. “Probably nothing.”

“Go on.”

“She seems to think one of the passengers is infected.”

Q:  Odd Men Out is published by Dog Star Books. What would be the key piece of advice you would offer someone seeking a publisher?

Keep at it. Revise your work until it’s the best it can be and then start sending it out. If you get rejected, get it back out there. If a publisher is kind enough to give you some sort of reason why they rejected your work, take it into consideration. It’s rare to get feedback, so take it serious. But keep sending it out, and don’t get discouraged.

Q:  Now for the compulsory random question: If you could live in any alternate history of your choosing, what would it be and why?

Whoa. That’s a tough one. Maybe one where I didn’t lose a bunch of my favorite action figures when I was 12 years old? What a sweet world that would be. Either that or one where space travel started earlier and quickly became more commonplace. Tough call.

ODD MEN OUT is available at, and Barnes &

About the book

The Civil War has ended but not because the South surrendered, instead it’s on hold while both sides face a new enemy—the chewers, dead men who’ve come back to life. Cyrus Joseph Spencer didn’t fight in the war and couldn’t care less about the United Nations of America that resulted from it. His main concern is making money and protecting his crew from all manner of danger. But when tragedy strikes he’s forced to take shelter onboard a dirigible piloted by the U.N.’s peace-keeping force. It’s soon apparent that many more dangers are lurking and Cyrus must decide whether to throw in with strangers in a desperate bid to protect the country or cast off on his own.

“It’s impossible to say this too strongly: this steampunk-horror-historical-thriller crossbreed is an amazing book. Word of mouth could turn this from an under-the-radar debut novel from a little-known imprint into a genre-busting cult classic. Get on board now.”—David Pitt,Booklist (starred review)
The stakes are high and the action and surprises are nonstop as Betts skillfully mixes elements of steampunk, alternate history, science fiction, and horror.—Publishers Weekly
“Betts has built a vivid steampunk history of the Reconstruction, one where giant lizards and zombies roam a desolate United Nations of America.”—Paul Melko, Award-Winning Author of The Walls of the Universe and The Broken Universe

Matt Betts is a former radio personality and reporter from Lima, Ohio. He attended the University of Toledo for much longer than he should have, but actually made it out alive. His fiction and poetry appears in various publications, including Kaleidotrope, eSteampunk and The Book of Tentacles anthology.
His book of speculative poetry, See No Evil, Say No Evil, is available from Alliteration Ink 

Matt's first novel, Odd men out, will be available this summer from Dog Star Books.


Thank you, Matt. I'm with you on the space-faring alternate history. How amazing would that be?

I will be back on Friday with a cover reveal from YA writer, Elizabeth Arroyo. Until then, happy reading and writing!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

It's Awesomesauce Day at Untethered Realms

What is Awesomesauce Day?

You can find the anwser at Untethered Realms.

We're not mad.

Just speculative fiction writers.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

M Pax - Speculative Fiction Writer

If you're looking for this month's Indie Life post, please click here.

Journeying all the way from Spacedock 19 is this week's Speculative Fiction Writer, Mary Pax. She's also a fellow Untethered Realms member, and an awesome science fiction writer. Like Graeme Ing, she agreed to answer a few more unusual questions.

Q: What is your favourite part of the day?

Mornings. Hot tea, purry kitties, and my manuscript waiting to go at it.

Q: What three adjectives best describe you?

Tenacious. Ambitious. Supportive.

Q: If I came to your home and looked in your refrigerator, what would I find?

Mostly veggies.

Q: If you were a genie, what wish would you not grant?

Anything that hurt someone else or made the world a worse place.

Q: What would you do if you were the last person on Earth?

Leave some sort of memorial so the aliens or next kings of evolution would know who we were.

Q: If you were spending six months on the International Space Station, what five items would you take with you?

Engage Your Brain Tea. Camera. Netbook. Moisturizer. Chapstick.

Q: If you could write a book about your life, what would you name it?

Starstruck. Although, I don’t think it’d be very interesting, not unless I could include some alien invasions and giant human-eating reptiles. A sharknado or two wouldn’t be amiss either.

Q: Which of your characters best fits your philosophy in life?

Leda in Semper Audacia – never give up the fight, do the right thing even when it’s hard. Mostly my motto is never give up.

Q: What is your next big project?
Beyond the Edge, Backworlds 4 will be out this October.

After the war with Earth, bioengineered humans scatter across the Backworlds. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to hoard his fortune by destroying his son. Cut off from family and friends, with little money, and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.

M. Pax is author of the sci-fi series, The Backworlds, and the new adult urban fantasy Hetty Locklear series. A Browncoat and SG fan, she’s also slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. In the summers she docents as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory where the other astronomers now believe she has the most extensive collection of moon photos in existence. No fear, there will be more next summer. She lives in stunning Central Oregon with the Husband Unit and two lovely, spoiled cats. 

Try The Backworlds for FREE! Available in all formats for all ereaders. 

Thank you, Mary. A sharknado would be cool! Swap the hot tea for coffee and I'd happily have your mornings as well.

That's it for this week, unless an issue I'm having with Amazon KDP isn't resolved. I'll tell your more in my next post. Have a great rest of the week.

Indie Life: Knowing When To Stop Writing

It's time for this month's Indie Life post, a monthly feature run by the awesome writers over at the Indelibles blog. Every second Wednesday of the month those taking part will post something related to indie life, such the highs, lows, triumphs, struggles, and milestones of going it alone in the publishing world.

Today I'm talking about knowing when to stop writing.

I don't mean stopping forever. I mean when you're too tired, too emotional, or there are events in your life that mean you've lost focus or concentration. When you can't give your writing your all.

I have personal experience of this. I pushed ahead with the publication of Taking Time and Other Science Fiction Stories despite major issues in my non-writing life. I insisted on squeezing it in during the odd hour or so I found each day. Now that would have been okay if I'd been writing the first or second draft, but I was working on the final draft with my editor. And I was exhausted. The result? I published a book with errors. Not tonnes, but enough to make me wonder how I'd missed them. I also didn't do a blog tour or anywhere near enough promotion. My sales suffered.

When my first book was published, it only contained one error. I was damn pleased with that figure. I can't say the same thing with Taking Time. In fact, due to ongoing technical issue with Amazon KDP, my book still has them. But that's a long story, and for another post.

"But what about deadlines?" I hear you say.

True. If you're a well-known writer or don't want to disappoint your loyal readers, sometimes you have no choice. In the past I've tutted when I've read a few errors in a book by a well-known author. Now I wonder what was going on in their life at that time? In hindsight, I should have delayed Taking Time's publication. As a little-known author, without a publishing deal, I could have done that. Should have done that.

What about you? Have you been faced with a similar scenario? Did you delay or carry on? Did you make the right decision?

Monday, 12 August 2013

I blame 1970s sci-fi shows & disaster movies

I've been tagged by the awesome Christine Rains. I don't normally take part in these writer-based tags, but how could I say no to Christine?

The tag is very simple. Answer FOUR questions and tag FOUR awesome writers. Here we go:

Q: What are you working on right now?

I'm actually working on two projects - a post-apocalyptic novella and a nine-part science fiction serial. I've fallen in love with both of them, so it's tough deciding which to work on whenever I have the time. I don't have a date for the science fiction serial yet, but I'm planning to release the novella before the end of the year.

Q: Why do you write what you do?

I blame it all on Gene Roddenberry, William Shatner, and disaster movies. I grew up watching Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and numerous other 1970s out-of-this-world shows. I love anything to do with space or the end of the world. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a doom and gloom person. Quite the opposite. My fascination is with how the human or alien races deal with disasters or the exploration of space. It's about world-building and characterisation.

Q: What is the hardest part about writing?

Apart from finding the time or energy, for me it's proofreading. I'm terrible at it. I become so familiar with the text I don't see the errors that are practically screaming at me. Thank goodness for editors and proofreaders.

Q: What scares you?

Never succeeding at what I love to do. I want to make a living writing, rather than it be a hobby. So while I will remain true to myself and my writing, I want to also make money. I'm realistic enough to know that unless I do a Hugh Howey, I'm not going to earn a massive amount. That's okay. I only want enough to live on.

Now it's time to tag four awesome writer:

My question for the rest of you is, have you seen Sharknado yet? I'm watching it tonight. I love a horror film that's so bad, it's good.

I'll be back on Wednesday with an Indie Life post and this week's Speculative Fiction Writer, Mary Pax. Until then, happy sharking.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Graeme Ing - Speculative Fiction Writer

This week's Speculative Fiction Writer, and fellow Untethered Realms member, is Graeme Ing. He was brave enough to answer some of my more unusual questions. He also has a character named after him in my sci-fi collection, Taking Time. Evil chuckle.

Q: What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Dashing, debonair and charming? Oh, all right, helpful, modest, encouraging.

Q: Are you a morning or night person?

I've been a night owl all my life. If I have something to get up for (like work) then I can, but my natural instinct is to lie in and avoid mornings. It’s terrible. I can’t write early in the morning and much prefer to write at night. I get all my best creative ideas at night.

Q: If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be?

Sleep. I resent spending a third of my life asleep. Think of everything I could do with that time. But you said daily, so I think that answer is cheating. I’d eliminate coffee. The number of trips to the coffee machine each day is like a crutch – it’s become as much a habit as the need to drink coffee. I have tried but I get crotchety. Do they make coffee patches?

Q: What item, that you don't already have, would you like to own?

A teleportation bracelet. One of my greatest passions is travel and I could see so much more of the world with this gizmo. Just think, lunch in Sydney, I could flit over to Paris for cheese or Chile to buy a nice Malbec. I could spend a couple of hours a day in a different town anywhere in the world.

Q: What is one thing that drives you crazy and why?

TV journalists/presenters when they ask stupid questions. Like “What did you think when your house exploded?” Really? As an author I feel that is an awful mechanism to elicit an emotional response. It also doesn't move the story along because we already know the answer. Woe betides the interviewer that ever levels a stupid question like that to me on live TV. “Well, Piers, I was thinking of redecorating anyway, and it sure was a great pyrotechnic show!”

Q: What three things do you think will become obsolete in the next 10 years?

Firstly, the computer mouse, as we all move to track pads, touch screens or voice and gesture recognition. Secondly, the concept of a landline telephone. Residential phones will be replaced by cell phones and business phones by the computer, a la Skype and GoToMeeting. Thirdly, paper newspapers. They've been dead for the last decade but just haven’t had the sense to lie down.

Q: What unique or quirky habit do you have?

Actually, I'm told that whenever I begin a sentence with "actually" that I end it with "actually" too, actually. I know, I know, as a writer I ought to have a superior grasp of language.

Q: What punctuation mark best describes you and why?

What an outrageously bizarre question. :) Probably parentheses, because I often add qualifiers or disclaimers when I'm presenting information

Q: Do you like your handwriting?

No, it’s absolutely awful. I admire people with gorgeous, neat script. Thank The Lord for computers.

Q: What's your next project?

It's a dark fantasy featuring a young, cocky and sarcastic necromancer who isn't the evil, shadowy figure you've read about before. Something sinister and not of this world is attacking the city. But that's not his only problem: an untrained apprentice is foisted upon him - a girl no less, someone is trying to kill them, and they stumble into an elaborate political scheme. Can they stay alive long enough to figure out how and why these events are related, and destroy the creature before thousands die?

Ocean of Dust

Fourteen-year old Lissa is snatched from her home and finds herself a slave on a trading ship traveling on a waterless ocean of nothing but gray dust. A feisty, curious and intelligent girl, her desire to explore the ship earns her the hatred of the cruel first officer, Farq.

Fascinated by the ocean of dust, Lissa becomes embroiled in its mysteries, sensing things that the crew cannot, while cryptic whispers in her head are leading her toward a destiny linked to the dust itself. Only one man aboard can help her make sense of her new talent, but can she trust him? All is not as it seems, and she must unravel the clues before it’s too late.

When a sinister plot casts her adrift on the barren ocean, her best friend is left in the hands of the treacherous crew. Everything hinges upon her courage, quick wits, and her ability to master her new talent.

Author Bio

Graeme Ing is a writer of fantasy and SF novels, both adult and YA. His first novel, Ocean of Dust is a YA fantasy.

Graeme is currently working on his second book, a horror fantasy hybrid, starring a cocky, sarcastic necromancer in a world of vicious undead and political machinations.

Born in England in 1965, Graeme lives in San Diego, California. His career as a software engineer and development manager spans 25 years, including the development of a dozen computer games for consoles, home computers and online. He is also an avid D&D nerd, armchair mountaineer, astronomer, mapmaker, pilot and general geek. He and his wife, Tamara, share their house with six crazy cats.

Useful Links

Twitter: @GraemeIng

Thank you, Graeme. I'm glad you found my punctuation mark question outrageously bizarre. I shall think of more! Now, where can we get that teleportation bracelet?

That's it for this week. I'll be back on Monday. Happy reading and writing, my friends.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Kicking Negativity to the Curb

If there is one thing that saps my creative energy more than any other, it's negative thoughts. To much time spent worrying about my own or other people's problems is draining. It leaves me in a dry and barren place; a wilderness with no words.

Let me be clear. I'm not talking about writing problems. I'm talking about money worries, relationship issues, other people's problems – anything that upsets the careful balance of my usually happy life can cause severe writer's block.

Are all writers like this? I hope not. Some writers use writing itself as a form of therapy – a way to escape the pressures of reality. I know this is something I should do more often.

So how do you stop negativity from blocking creativity? How do you kick negativity to the curb?

The most obvious solution is to eliminate the causes of the negativity in the first place. Of course, that isn't always possible. Sometimes we have no choice in what affects our lives on a day to day basis. But we do have a choice in how we respond and deal with it.

Here are some useful methods to help you cope:

  1. Write your worries down. Something about recording thoughts and concerns allows you to deal with them and then move on. Often, writing them down will allow you to see things aren't quite as bad as you thought they were.
  2. For every negative, think of a positive. Look at what is good in your life. Positives do exist!
  3. Acknowledge negative thoughts and choose to deal with them later. Simply say, I will think about that but not until I've done A, B, or C.
  4. Learn to spot the patterns and behaviours of those around you, and where possible take yourself out of the equation. Dorothea Brande talks about choosing the right people to spend time with in her seminal book, Becoming A Writer. If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.

How do you cope with negative thoughts and pressures from every day life? Do they affect your writing? If so, how do you eliminate them?