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Summer Giveaway! Free Audio Books!

 

So you’ve heard me go on and on about the SYNC Audiobooks Summer Reading Program, right?  If you remember, every week in the summer, they give away a pair of audiobooks. Usually fiction and non. Mostly YA, but it’s really great YA.

All you need is a working pair of ears (or just one) and the Overdrive Media App, that you can get absolutely free here.

Well, I have been very behind in my blogging for several months now, and I haven’t talked at all about the audiobooks being given away this summer. So, you’ll find all the info you need below. And since the giveaway for the first two books ends tomorrow, I’m posting Week 7’s Giveaway below, so be sure to read all the way down!

SYNC Selections for week 6 (June 1-6):

 

Beast, by Donna Jo Napoli | Read by Robert Ramirez
Published by Recorded Books
Young Persian Prince Orasmyn lives a peaceful life of quiet duty and thoughtful obedience. Tending his fragrance garden gives him much more pleasure than the bloody royal hunts staged by his father. But a single wrong decision sets in motion an ancient curse that changes Orasmyn’s fate forever. Told he will be killed by his own father, he is transformed into a lion on the day of a great hunt. The prince has no choice but to flee beloved Persia and his precious family. Balancing his fading human memories with his new beastly impulses, he makes his way to Europe-where his destiny awaits in the person of a French beauty named Belle. Donna Jo Napoli once again weaves the magic she has shown in books like Crazy Jack and Zel, transforming a well-known fairy tale into an unforgettable epic of duty, love, and redemption. Robert Ramirez’s narration captures all the anguish and struggle of Orasmyn’s quest to regain his humanity.

 

Of Beast And Beauty, by Stacey Jay | Read by Julia Whelan
Published by Tantor Media
It’s pointless. Hopeless. Even if she weren’t afraid of me, we’ll always be enemies at the core . . .

In the city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra is raised to be a human sacrifice. Her death will ensure her city’s vitality.

In the desert, a mutant beast named Gem fights to save his people, known as the Monstrous, from starvation.

Neither dreams that, together, they can return balance to their worlds. When Gem is captured for trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, he becomes a prisoner of the city. Isra enlists his help, and soon begins to care for him—and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

She’s a queen; I’m her prisoner. I am her monster and she is mine.


SYNC Selections for week 7 (June 8-15):

If I Run, by Terri Blackstock | Read by Nan Gurley

Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they’ve failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore. But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run? Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices: the girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

Plus One, by Elizabeth Fama | Read by Julia Whelan
Published by Elizabeth Fama
A dying wish. A family divided. A love that defies the law. Sol Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller in an America rigidly divided between people who wake, live, and work during the hours of darkness and those known as Rays, who live and work during daylight. Impulsive, passionate, and brave, Sol concocts a plan to kidnap her newborn niece—a Ray—in order to take the baby to visit her dying grandfather. Sol’s violation of the day/night curfew is already a serious crime, but when her kidnap attempt goes awry, she stumbles on a government conspiracy to manipulate the Smudge population. Sol escapes the authorities with an unexpected ally: a Ray who gets in her way, a boy she might have hated if fate hadn’t forced them on the run together—a boy the world now tells her she can’t love. Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day/night divide, Elizabeth Fama’s Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.


Hope you enjoy the audiobooks. But if audiobooks aren’t your thing, you can always try finding them at your local library or on Kindle Unlimited.
Reading is exercise for the brain!
Until next week …

Back in The Saddle

Well, technically, the saddle is a chair.

 

At my desk inside the master bedroom. That’s where I keep my laptop.

The Fall Semester has ended and the Holidays have passed, (Thank God! They were exhausting, weren’t they?)

While I am awaiting the start of Spring classes at my local Community College, I’ve been trying to make use of the downtime with WRITING!

And just in case you’re interested, I am working on the third and final book in my thrilling Sci-Fi trilogy!

The book is called REACTION and I’m planning on releasing late this year.

Still tinkering with the cover

INERTIA  and …

*free with Kindle Unlimited!

*free with Kindle Unlimited!

FORCE

*also FREE with Kinlde Unlimited

*also FREE with Kindle Unlimited

were the first two, and as exciting as those plots were, this last one is going to blow them both out of the water. AtomicBomb

I’m just over 20k words so far, but the book is already plotted out in my head! The final, BIG ending is going to be SO much FUN to write. I can’t wait for you all to read it.

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It’s That Time Of Year Again

Time for the SYNC Audiobook Summer Program! 

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In case you’ve new to the blog, I’ll explain:

SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. Running May 5th – August 17th 2016, SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a week (30 titles) – pairs of high interest titles, based on weekly themes.  In 2014, 26 titles were given away over 13 weeks. In 2015, 28 titles were given away over 14 weeks.

Last Friday was the kick-off date for this summer’s audiobook giveaway. You can get both of the following titles free, now through  05/12:


The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial by Peter Goodchild

The Scopes Trial, over the right to teach evolution in public schools, reaffirmed the importance of intellectual freedom as codified in the Bill of Rights. The trial, in a small-town Tennessee courtroom in 1925, set the stage for ongoing debates over the separation of Church and State in a democratic society—debates that continue to this day. Peter Goodchild used transcripts from the trial to create this intense docudrama.

 

The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.


 

That title is paired with:

Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle

Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple never believed in the evangelical Church of America, unlike her recently devout parents. But when Vivian returns home the night after the supposed “Rapture,” all that’s left of her parents are two holes in the roof. Suddenly, she doesn’t know who or what to believe. With her best friend Harp and a mysterious ally, Peter, Vivian embarks on a desperate cross-country road trip through a paranoid and panic-stricken America to find answers. Because at the end of the world, Vivian Apple isn’t looking for a savior. She’s looking for the truth.


Remember, you’ll need an Overdrive Media App to play these free titles!

Don’t have it? Don’t worry! That’s free too!

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Click the link to get Overdrive on your phone, tablet, kindle, or PC. The app offers free cloud storage and doesn’t take up much space on your device.

JNawx6QAND, Overdrive can be used for more than just listening to free audiobooks. It’s also the leading Library app in the nation. If you’ve got a library card, all you have to do is find your library inside the app and click it. Then punch in your card number and BAM! You’ve got access to your local library’s ebook and audiobook collections.

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Week 2 titles…..

 

 

Five Marketing Mistakes I Made Self-Publishing My First Book

Source: Bookdaily.com 

Five Marketing Mistakes I Made Self-Publishing My First Book

By Lennard Van Ree

Like so many writers I often find myself at odds with the art of marketing. Since publishing my first book two months ago I made at least five marketing mistakes. If you’re thinking of (self) publishing a book, these might be of interest to you:

1. Waiting.

It took me 30 years to summon the courage to start a blog. I was already somewhat good at writing at 20. That’s 10 years of list building that didn’t happen.

When my blog gave me the idea for my book, I essentially gave up on blogging to ‘make time’ for writing my novel. Isn’t that what writers do in movies after all? They retreat to an exotic location to work on their masterpiece, don’t they?

Anyone with experience in publishing will tell you writing is the easy part. Writers seclude themselves. Authors connect with people. And connecting with people takes confidence I lacked the first 30 years of my life.

Lesson learned: Confidence is a decision.

2. Being hasty.

After revising my book eight times I hit Publish on Amazon. I managed to sell some copies to a few bloggers that still remembered me. I was confident they would enjoy my 576 page diary novel. Some apparently did, but the general opinion was that it needed an editor. Badly. And that it needed to be shorter. Also badly.

It takes distance to read your own material objectively. Mine turned out to be an oasis of typos, clumsy grammar and endless pages of ‘plotlessness’.

Lesson learned: Confidence is not always rooted in reality

3. Connecting with people in the wrong place

The first review my book received was a one-star review.

It was an unpleasant start of my career as an author, but upon closer inspection of my book I came to realize my first reviewer had a point in saying my book needed an editor.

So I decided to write a funny acceptance speech in the comment section of her review. I ended up doing the same with four other reviews, which ranged from two stars to five.

I had read on this forum how the comment section is a good way to discuss the book’s progress for the world to see, so that’s what I did. I initiated a dialogue about my book’s progress. It got zero response.

It would be awkward if an actor came up to you insisting a dialogue about your opinion of his latest film. The same goes for authors. Writers write in the comment section. Authors let the comment section be.

Lesson learned: You’re in a dialogue with your audience. Know when to listen.

4. Connecting with the wrong people in the right place

Forums, comment sections, the blogosphere and social media have all been very helpful to me. I managed to strike up a small following of people interested in the subject matter of my book.

Until I realized that Subject matter ≠ Target audience.

At least not necessarily in the case of a fiction novel.

My book is a fictional tale set in a real world country. I spent time letting people know how much of an expert I am on my subject, neglecting the tale. Only when I started adding content about subjects that interest me as a person did I start to make some small but valuable connections. Marketing a book means marketing myself and the story I want to tell, not the background it takes place in.

Lesson learned: Confidence needs aim.

5. Assuming the quality of my book would be a factor

Knowing how many famous writers faced many rejections in their lifetime, I figured it might just be a matter of time before my book would land under the eyes of the right publisher.

While the quality of my book will no doubt be a factor in its eventual success, quality is like fuel lacking a flame. It takes an audience for publishers to take note.

Regardless of my unnecessary responses to my reviews, all of those reviews have been incredibly helpful to me. They helped me create an infinitely better book.

Those writers we see in movies tend to craft their classics in isolation. My reality is that my book didn’t start to shine until my audience became involved.

Lesson learned: I takes your audience to build your book.

Bonus mistake:

Doubt

Despite what you might think after reading about my mistakes, marketing is a lot of fun for me, in part because of the mistakes. I find the only thing holding me back sometimes is doubt.

There are millions of books on Amazon.

It’s easy feeling small when you are.

Lesson learned: Confidence is the best decision

Hopefully my mistakes will be as helpful to you as they have been to me. I for one am glad I made them.

Maybe you have experience with marketing hick-ups as well; share in the comments section. Or maybe you think writing a post about my mistakes is a mistake.

About the Author:
Lennard van Ree Originally a therapist, Lennard van Ree ventured into music composition and script writing and even wore a suit and tie as an HR manager for a while before becoming a full-time writer.

You can find out more about him on Twitter

What I’m Working On …

Well, duh, I’m still working on the sequel to INERTIA! It’s called … wait for it … it’s going to be epic … FORCE! (Think … Newtons Law of Motion)

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Join G in this second part of his journey as he learns more about the strange legacy his father left him and the seeming limitless power of the mysterious stones. In this next installment, G travels to new and unknown worlds, chasing the man that killed his father and finding the most exciting and unexpectedly dangerous adventures yet.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, I take forever to write a book. But I promise, the end result will be worth all my efforts, and your taking your time to read!

Not so sure? Well, I’m pasting a snippet of my magnum opus in progress below just to prove I’m right.


Daemon is here.

The adrenaline of this revelation clears my head and I survey my surroundings with renewed focus. Watching flames lick up the side of the apartment structure and inexplicably halt at the top corner of the roof near the back of the building.

I fight my way through the heat of the alley to find a better spot to check out this anomaly. Maneuvering around a stinking dumpster, I cover my face with my sleeve and look up. Directly overhead, the uncharacteristic blunt edge of a grouping of flames catches my eye. As if they’re pressing against an invisible wall.

Just above the stunted end of the flames stands a dark figure with outstretched arms. He’s about seven stories up, shrouded in smoke and ash, but I can tell who it is. His tattooed head and shaggy beard are unmistakable. His name is a curse on my lips.

The figure sails from the edge of the rooftop into the air and floats down with the ashes. Unhurried and light among the bedlam he’s fashioned.

I shouldn’t be surprised by his ability to do impossible things. I’ve seen it before, but damn, what a party trick. He’s practically flying.

But I won’t gape. I won’t give him the satisfaction.

When he hits he hits the ground I’ll be in perfect attack position.

A screeching sound shoots up from the alley behind me. When it gets too loud to ignore, I risk a quick glance back and find a long metal dumpster screeching towards me. Swinging to one side, I intend to miss it completely, but the damned thing turns to widen its’ path like its’ possessed and out to get me.

What the hell?

I jump back and over, veering behind an old wooden electric pole. The metal dumpster hits the post and bounces back.

Looking back to Daemon, I find him ten yards down the alleyway. His feet are planted far apart. His black trench coat swings in the hot wind coming off the blaze. The sound of sirens and cries cannot drown out his evil cackle.

He raises one arm, his hand half open as if clutching an invisible object. I notice a shadow over my head as his raised hand forms a fist.

And then I hear it: the loud crackle of protesting metal. Like a car accident. The shadow that fell upon me shifts and I look up to find the dumpster hovering over my head.

I’m hearing it break, watching it crumple like a toy car under an elephant. The mass shoots to one side, ramming into the side of the burning building, sending bits of brick into the alleyway and then shoots back, straight at me.

I jump away, but the wooden electric pole is cracked in two. Live wires spark and trickle to the ground amid the rubble as what’s left of the dumpster smashes down, nearly on top of me. I roll away, tucking my knees to my chest to keep them from being crushed.

This is crazy.

He can levitate and throw massive metal objects?

Scrambling back to my feet, I find Daemon turned away and tilting into a full run.

Teaser Tuesday: I’m Not a Serial Killer By Dan Wells

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat—and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

Dan Wells’s debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.


 

“Old skin was my favorite–dry and wrinkled with a texture like antique paper.”

I’m currently reading I’m Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells. The above quote is a sentence from the fourth paragraph of page one. 17305148.gif

So . . . yeah. I read that and had to keep reading. Plus, I’ve read the Partial Sequence, also by Dan Wells, and loved all of those books so much I posted rave reviews for each one here on my blog.

So far, all I can say is that, this kid (John) is sick in the head. I’m undecided as to whether or not he really is a killer. I’m kind of thinking that the kid is fixated on death; the idea of seeing someone or something dead is not the same as  making that someone dead and i’m hoping the John realizes the difference before he makes a choice he can’t take back.

There’s not much more I can say about the book, except that . . .  I have high expectations!

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Teaser Tuesday

What I’m Reading

Graduate students Zoë and Holli only mean to blow off some steam on their road trip to Las Vegas. But something goes terribly wrong on their way home, and the last time Zoë sees her, Holli is in the clutches of a sadistic killer. Zoë flees with her life, changed forever.

A year later and still tortured with guilt, Zoë latches on to a police investigation where the crime eerily resembles her abduction. Along with a zealous detective, she retraces the steps of that fateful night in the desert, hoping that her memory will return and help them find justice for Holli. Her abductor—labeled the “Tally Man” by a fascinated media—lies in wait for Zoë. For him, she is not a survivor but simply the one that got away.

With an unforgettable heroine, a chillingly disturbed psychopath, and a story that moves at breakneck speed, The One That Got Away is thriller writer Simon Wood at his finest.

The One That Got Away by Simon Wood is really good so far!

The author jumps right into the terrible stuff that’s happeningto the main character, Zoe, and her friend Holli. Then he jumps ahead fifteen months and shows us how Zoe’s life in changed, but then he jumps right back into the sick mind of the serial killer and gives us readers all the information that the cops want to know!

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It’s a nail bitter for sure. 

Here’s a quote from the page I’m reading, at 27%:

She’d always known that the man who abducted her and Holli was out ther somewhere, but she’d never known where. He existed in this formless shape that was some place. But last night had changed everything. He was in the bay area. She was within his grasp again.

Compelling, right?? 

I don’t know how this is going to end as I’ve never read Simon Woods work before, but  I’m liking it so far!


And I’ll review it when I’m done!

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Buy it here

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