It’s Halloween! And what better way to celebrate than with a free GHOSTS story? Specifically, with GHOST CLAWS. It will be free for the next three days at Amazon. Links below!
I’m now on chapter 14 (of 20) of MASK OF SWORDS. Here’s a snippet:
“You slew your brothers and your sisters and your son, and you have driven your footsteps through this world in paths of blood.”
“I have,” said Mazael, “but you are not Ragnachar or Corvad or any of the others. Who are you?”
“An enemy of your father’s,” said the black-armored form.
Mazael coughed out a laugh. “You’ll have to be much more specific.”
Reader Miguel Guhlin has some nice things to say about my books here, along with some entirely accurate criticisms of DRM.
I should mention that, whenever possible, I upload my books without DRM. So if you buy one of my books off Amazon, you can always download it, convert it through the free Calibre program into an EPUB file, and then load it onto a Nook or Kobo reader or whatever your device of choice.
But if that sounds like too much work, you could always get it off Smashwords in all formats at once.
THE RAVEN, THE ELF, AND RACHEL, sequel to 2014′s THE UNEXPECTED ENLIGHTENMENT OF RACHEL GRIFFIN, follows the adventures of Rachel Griffin, a thirteen-year-old girl at the Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts. (Roanoke, of course, having disappeared when the Parliament of the Wise, the governing body of wizards, hid the school to keep it from the Unwary, or non-magical mortals.) As is traditional for wizard schools, there is trouble afoot, with a sinister secret society of wizards plotting to bring about the end of the world. Much to her vast frustration, none of the adults in Rachel’s world seem to take the danger seriously, so if someone’s going to save the world, it’s up to her.
Rachel makes for a compelling protagonist, largely because she is a genius who nonetheless has the personality flaws and weaknesses of a 13-year-old girl without those flaws becoming annoying to the reader. She hasn’t quite grasped the fact that her emotional state is not necessarily reflective of the actual state of the universe, and her intellect and eidetic memory causes her to hoard secrets, refusing to give information unless she receives some in turn, which quite naturally causes trouble for her.
THE RAVEN, THE ELF, AND RACHEL is a entertaining fantasy YA novel with compelling protagonists and an intriguing setting, though I suspect the book will be more enjoyable to teenage girls due to the amount of space devoted to Rachel’s examination of her feelings.
Kobo is running a special promotion this weekend (October 17th through 20th). You can get THE GHOSTS OMNIBUS ONE for 50% off, GHOST IN THE COWL for 35% off, and FROSTBORN: THE GRAY KNIGHT for 25% off.
So if you’re a Kobo user and you want to give the FROSTBORN or THE GHOSTS series a try, now is an excellent chance!
Links and coupon codes below.
50% off THE GHOSTS OMNIBUS ONE, with coupon code SAVE50.
35% off GHOST IN THE COWL, with coupon code SAVE35.
25% off FROSTBORN: THE GRAY KNIGHT, with coupon code SAVE25. (Since FROSTBORN: THE GRAY KNIGHT is on sale for $0.99 until the end of the week, this is literally the cheapest the book has ever been!)
Since I mentioned that one of the main characters in MASK OF SWORDS would be Sigaldra of the Jutai, naturally I have gotten a few questions asking who the Jutai are. A short explanation is below. Note that it contains mild !!!SPOILERS!!! for SOUL OF SORCERY, SOUL OF SKULLS, and SOUL OF SWORDS.
When the Tervingi left the middle lands for the Grim Marches, they came across another barbarian nation called the Jutai. The Malrags had almost destroyed the Jutai, and the survivors were holed up in three towns. Athanaric and Aegidia the Guardian wanted to ignore the Jutai and go through their land in peace, but Ragnachar wanted to claim the supplies of the Jutai and kill them if they resisted. Two of the three Jutai towns agreed to join the Tervingi, while Ragnachar slaughtered the third. The remnants of the Jutai nation then accompanied the Tervingi to the Grim Marches.
After Ragnachar murdered Athanaric and Mazael Cravenlock killed Ragnachar in battle, the Jutai swore to Mazael as their new hrould. The Jutai stayed loyal to him, and sent men to fight at both the great battle of the Northwater and again at Knightcastle. After the war (which later became known as the Runedead War) was over, the Jutai returned to the Grim Marches, and Mazael settled them in a destroyed village a few days’ ride from Castle Cravenlock.
Sigaldra is the last holdmistress of the Jutai – among both the Jutai and the Tervingi, the holdmistress governs the affairs of an individual village, while the headman deals with matters of war, defense, and outsiders. But since the Jutai have no men left of sufficient stature to claim the rank of headman, Sigaldra has been serving as both the holdmistress and headman of her hold, essentially making her the last leader of the Jutai.
Apropos of my last post about short stories and Kindle Unlimited, I got an email from another writer saying that it seemed like a good idea, but he really hates writing short stories.
Well, yes. This strategy would only work if you actually like writing short stories.
Myself, I quite like writing short stories. In fact, for years short stories were all that I wrote, since in the Bad Old Days before ebooks, it was way easier to sell short stories than novels. So I got really good at paring down a story to 4,000 words or 6,000 words or whatever the word count limit of the particular market was. Of course, now that we’re in the age of ebooks, those limitations are artificial, and my short stories tend to want to land at 9,000 to 12,000 words or so. (I think that’s technically a novelette or a novella, but whatever.) That said, short stories are generally not very profitable, but I like doing them, and I enjoy using them as free giveaways for my longer books.
But if you don’t like writing short stories, I don’t think you should force yourself to write them just because it seems like a good promotional strategy. Book promotion should not make you want to tear your hair out.
Now on chapter 5 of 20 of MASK OF SWORDS. Time for an excerpt!
“When did you go to Skuldar?” said Mazael.
“Years ago,” said Romaria. “Long before I met you. Before I even went to the middle lands. I thought I was going to go mad and die, remember, and I wanted to see as much of the world as possible before I did. I had heard the Skuldari killed any who ventured into their mountains, which made me curious, so I went.”
“Clearly you got out alive,” said Wesson.
“It was a close thing,” said Romaria. “I shouldn’t have gone, but I was young and stupid and bitter. Worse, I was curious.”
“A deadlier affliction by far,” said Arnulf.