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Here’s the ecover for the upcoming 4th book in the Keya Quests series. Because of the plot line, I strayed from the stock art of previous books and had an illustration created by the talented Thomas Boatwright. Of course, I had Robin Ludwig do the layout. Wait until you see the full cover around December.

I purchased an e-book copy of this book, but before I finished reading it, I had the opportunity to receive a free signed copy and took the opportunity. This was a book I knew I wanted to add to my collection. With that said, How to Market a Book is a straight forward, no-nonsense guide to book marketing. Whether it’s your first book, or in my case fourth, this book has something for everyone. Even if you have never attempted social media or marketing, this guide takes your hand, and walks you through the process in a plain talk, straight forward approach. It’s obvious the two authors know their subject matter. To borrow a line from the book, the first line for “Twitter” reads as follows: “We know, we know! The moment you saw the title, you rolled your eyes.”  I can totally relate as I have seen it myself so often. The authors then go on to give clear compelling reasons why people need to look past their preconceptions and step forward.

The subject matter of the book is arranged in an easy to read progressive order. I was highly impressed with the sections on doing your own keyword analysis, and SEO optimization of your website. My only dislike in the book is the not overwhelming, but frequent references to visit a website owned by one of the authors, which specializes in book marketing services. Other guides I’ve read frequently do the same, but generally, the links take you back to the publisher’s website where they host the content. I have no knowledge why they chose to host the reference material where they did, but personally I do not like being sent to a website that sells services to get reference material. Others may feel different. Despite the links, I highly recommend this book. While personally after several years in the field, I found a lot of the information too “beginner-ish” for lack of better term, it contained however, more than enough information to make it worth my while. I have already begun to make changes to my marketing strategies because of this book. I look forward to greater success because of it.

I give How to Market a Book four stars.

The Book can be purchased from Amazon here.

I have said it before, but I have to say it again, I love my cover designer Robin Ludwig, she does amazing work! Robin went above and beyond getting me this cover before leaving for vacation. Her professionalism and attention to detail is both commendable and refreshing. Three Souls Destiny-Bound has been rewritten to accommodate plot changes in the upcoming series. These changes will make the timeline and feel of the story, more uniform across the soon to be four editions. To celebrate the re-release, the book has been reformatted to reduce the page count and lower the cost. To Celebrate Keya’s upcoming 23rd birthday on August 26th, there will be a promotion I will detail soon. For my fans who have already read the first in the series, do not worry, this edition is the same great story and you will not be lost if you do not read this edition. For those who haven’t read the series, now will be your chance to get to know Keya and her friends. Here is the new cover.

A couple of weeks back after three days of redesign work on my website, I cursed my muse. I jokingly posted a classified ad to get rid of her, for having convinced me to go through the redesign hell I was experiencing at the time. Since then, I somehow became a muse for a fellow writer on a nanowrimo camp challenge. This has got me thinking about muses and society. The blogs are filled with references to muses pros and cons. Some hold them dear to their heart, others pound their fists in defiance of their existence, but what is a muse? The word itself is both verb and noun, I could for example be “musing” over my novel, while my “muse” inspires me to continue. On dictionary.com, my favorite definition of a muse is this one:
“the goddess or the power regarded as inspiring a poet, artist, thinker, or the like”
The key word to that definition is “inspiring” what is it that inspires you? Is it a voice in the back of your head, or perhaps a person, an achievement, or a goal? Whatever your answer, whether you want to admit it or not, that is your muse. I have boldly stated, my muse is a crazy little redheaded chatterbox of fairy. She hounds me endlessly day and night with her thoughts and ideas. You have to admit, it takes a man who is secure with his masculinity, or is totally insane to make such a statement. (The jury is still out on sane or insane). I know a friend who strongly argues there are no gods, powers, or creatures that inspire. All inspiration is created in the mind. Yet I am forced to counter, if the mind is nothing more than a biological computer with a subconscious OS and primary program that is our consciousness, then is it not true, that man uses but ten percent of their brain? Is it farfetched to propose that there might be other programs running in memory in the unused portions of the mind. Just as in a manmade computer, the underlying OS can handle multiple programs and provide transport layers so programs may share data. So why can’t that idea, have come from a program running elsewhere in the back of your mind and not you? Perhaps you have a muse after all. Think of it as a copy/paste between word processors, the destination has no idea where the words originated, it just knows they belong to it. OK, so I’m getting a bit deep, but I think you get the idea.
My point to all this, is that if you look at everything us, all we see, was inspired by a muse of one type or another. Even necessity is a muse of sorts, I give food, clothing and shelter for example. So whatever your muse may be, embrace it with open arms, forgive it when it drives you insane and enjoy the journey. I leave you with a modified poem dedicated to muses everywhere. Think of twinkle, twinkle little star when you read it.

Little muse inside my head
How I ponder what you said
You chatter on throughout the day
Your words of wisdom, here to stay
Little muse truth be told
You’re spoken thoughts are often bold
Your driving force though, makes me old
Before you babble, try to think
your crazy thoughts, make me drink
Little muse inside my head
Grant my wish and go to bed

I raise a toast to muses everywhere, slainte!
What is your muse, or do have one?
P.S.
On dictionary.com, their word dynamo told me, if I knew the meaning of muse, I know at least 20, 047 words just like a seventh grader. (Was that a compliment or an insult 😉 )

The Keya Quests: The Staff of Dionysia

Greetings everyone, the third book in the Keya Quests series, The Staff of Dionysia was released on May 25th. It is available in paperback, kindle and nook editions. The paperback and kindle editions are already available on Amazon. The nook version has been submitted and we are waiting for it to go live in the next couple days. paperback is $14.99, Kindle and nook $2.99

The Staff of Dionysia picks up where the second book ended, with our new queen celebrating with her new-found subjects before heading into town to heal the injured from yesterday’s battle. The battle for Shivenridge was won, but there is a kingdom that must be rebuilt. Far to the east, an ancient staff of power is failing. A wizard lays siege upon the fortress it protect. He seeks the stone which the staff protects. A FBI agent has descended upon the tiny island of Orrehaven, he seeks a missing person, one of Foster’s men. Meanwhile, Lydia plans a wedding. Join Keya and her friends on their continuing quests.

For those patiently waiting, here is the full cover image for The Staff of Dionysia. I’m just waiting on the Library of Congress Control Number to complete the interior and then I can submit everything for final review.

I heard about this book from tweets and posts going around the web. I don’t like anthologies, or collections normally, but I know a couple of the contributors through twitter and facebook. I decided to check this out. It is a collection of “seasonal” essays as the co-authors call it. A collection written by a dozen plus contributors who have written short essays about the four stages of their lives. With any collection, one expects to find an essay they like, and another they don’t. This variety of views is what in my opinion, makes them so popular. I have to admit to my surprise, I found them all heartwarming. Some were funny, some were inspirational and others charming. The contributors and co-authors did an excellent job providing a cross section of life. I read this book in three nights. Once I started reading it, I didn’t want to stop. I couldn’t wait to get home each night and settle into the next story.

I have only one complaint, when I read the “Summer” a section on “what would you tell your 20 yr old self if you had the chance” The essays seemed all the same. The stories were different, but they seemed to me to have but one common theme. I finally decided it reminded me of a theater in the round, with all the contributors mixed throughout the theater. Each one is telling the same story, but from their personal vantage point. All the stories were great, but the theme very common. This is a minor complaint, and it did not dampen my enjoyment, just surprised me.

I highly recommend this book, the authors and contributors put their souls into their essays, you can see it in the writing. I came a way with a smile, I think you will too. I give this book 5 stars.

 

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A young George Washington on route to London is shipwrecked and drowns off the coast of Ireland and is brought back from the dead by divine intervention, and this is just page one. George in London is an eloquently written comedy of the adventures of Young Mr Washington as told in a manuscript written by a free black seaman Darius Attuck. George, or “Geo” as “D” calls him, is en route to london to help a wealthy baron sell land parcels in Virginia. George’s knowledge of the land is the edge the baron seeks. From the moment the they are shipwrecked until the moment when they depart company back on My Vernon, the story is a non-stop and funny venture.

The story is well written and well paced. Do not let the fact that it is a comedy fool you, the plot is well written and full of surprises. I loved the tongue in cheek references to George Washington’s legend, the way they were twisted and weaved into the story was brilliant. I liked the premise that the story is contained in a recently discovered manuscript found in Washington’s home. The author did an excellent job telling the tale from Geo’s second and companion. I found most of the characters well-developed and full of life. The descriptions of the time and the settings gave a vivid picture of 18th century life. My only complaint of sorts is I thought the character of George himself not as well-developed as the characters around him and conflicting in a couple of scenes. As a whole this is a minor reservation.

I highly recommend this book. It is a funny and delightful tale of adventure, romance and companionship. I give this book 4 and a half stars

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Preying Angels is a dark cyber thriller that will leave you with an uneasy feeling for the technology we embrace today. The story begins in a part of the internet, long forgotten by most. A master hacker enlists the services of a psychotic killer as a tool to fulfill his master plan. When the hacker does the impossible, bringing the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Building to a halt, FBI special agent Gabrielle Sinclaire finds herself confronted with a past she would rather forget. An email taking responsibility for the attack, is signed simply lucifer, with an upside down ankh. It is that symbol which brings back a ghost from Gabrielle’s past, forcing her so seek out the aid of an old associate.
Gabrielle struggles to unlock the reason behind lucifer’s attack while his disciple seeks out unsuspecting teenage girls to fulfill his master’s orders. While the psychopath’s acts are disturbing and brutal, the author does an excellent job of presenting just enough detail to grasp the depravity of the moment, and move one. The author’s use and depiction of technology is impressive. This is a well written thriller.
I thought the first part of the story was a bit slow, but once the background and premise was laid out, the plot accelerated pulling you in. I have to admit, I figured out the ending early on, but the journey there was well worth the read. I would have liked to see more depth in the characters, but considering the subject matter and technology, the author balanced it all well. The nature of the violence by the serial killer, may turn some off, but as I stated earlier it was handled quite well by the author. I highly recommend this book

I give Preying Angels 4 stars

You can find it on Amazon

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This is an interesting Urban Fantasy. Ten years ago an elite team of mages, trained by the Catholic Church to fight evil, engages in a mission gone horribly wrong. The aftermath of the event scatters the team members leaving both deep physical and emotional scars. Step forward to the present, we find Symon Bryson, the most promising member of the defunct team, flying back from Dublin after ten years at the request of his old Monsignor only to find out he has been abducted by demons. Bitter memories, guilt and distrust engulf the team as they try to re-unite to save the monsignor. The stake, however is greater than any of them imagine.

The Podigal’s Foole is a well written fast paced story that will leave you wanting the sequel. The story is based out of Boston Massachusetts. The settings and surroundings penned by the author, brought the city to life.  A native to Massachusetts myself, I was impressed with the author’s efforts to keep the places and settings accurate. I thought the author did a very good job expressing the characters individualities and identities, but I would have liked to see a little more depth in the characters. There is plenty of non-stop excitement and suspense (both natural and supernatural) throughout. I look forward to the sequel.

I give The Prodigal’s Foole five stars.

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