Archive for the ‘Recommendations’ Category

Last night, I saw that Michael J. Sullivan’s Theft of Swords is today’s Kindle Daily Deal, on sale for $1.99.  I wrote up a personal story about it over at reddit/r/fantasy:

I rarely read physical books anymore, but one year ago our Barnes and Noble in Prescott, AZ closed down for good. Michael’s novel had just come out, and I really wanted to own a physical copy, for more than one reason. Not to toot me ‘umble horn, but I knew this guy was destined for great things back in 2010 when he was one of the very first fantasy authors to have tremendous success as a self-published author. So I interviewed him on my blog in August of 2010, and then again for our Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast in early 2011.

Of course I was bummed about our B&N closing. I stayed in the store until the end, on the last night of the year in 2011. I hung around and asked if I could buy the final book ever sold at the store. I chose Theft of Swords, because I thought that would be a well-deserved honor for Michael. It’s hard to see the story from this pic, but I didn’t have a camera with me so I asked a guy to take a picture of the book just before the B&N folks kicked me out for good. And there it is through the glass:

I wanted to support Michael by buying his book, but this paperback also symbolizes something for me. It’s proof that in this new age of digital publishing, a hardworking independent author can succeed in a really big way—even if you write good old traditional fantasy books.

As for his book, it’s a lot of fun. His series builds in complexity from one book to the next, but IMO it’s always compulsive reading. He’s not trying to be grittier than Martin, more epic than Erikson, to write better prose than Rothfuss, or to build a more magical world than Sanderson. He just tells you one hell of a story full of outstanding twists and turns, and he writes for anyone who can still enjoy a classic fantasy tale.

If you’ve got a couple of bucks burning a hole in your pocket, I say treat yourself for the holidays and vote with your wallet to support a fantastic new voice in fantasy.

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23
Dec

A New Release! With my Name on it …

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III Tags: ,

I’ll have more on this soon, but here’s a quick announcement about my new release: THE CHILDREN OF WIND AND WOOD, published on December 21st, 2012 just in time for the end of the world! It’s going to be exclusive to Amazon for its first three months, so if you’re an Amazon Prime customer you can check it out from the Kindle Lending Library (I actually earn quite a bit more that way) or you can pick it up for 99 cents. If you read on another device (Nook, Kobo, Sony, etc.), I’d love to send you a free ePub file. Please let me know your email address and I’ll get that right out to you.

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Description

A girl wanders the ancient forests of Andars, peering through misty groves swelling with nature spirits. Idonea hopes to hear whispers from the final resting places of the grandfathers and grandmothers, from the wind and from the trees. The Ancestors lead her to the wand she seeks, but not without great cost–and only after a bargain.

Rezzia’s legions occupy the hills of Andars for the next seven years, even as Rezzia’s war with Pawelon rages on. Yearning to send the Rezzians back to the desert, Idonea’s brother Skye grabs his axe and joins their father at the Hall of the Ancestors. Skye’s father channels his own father’s spirit for guidance, and a Rezzian atrocity is revealed.

A reluctant drummer begins sounding the end of the world.

The primordial Orns, Fidelity, Angst, and Wrath, have seen all of this before. Driven by Andaran suffering, Wrath searches for an instrument … a woman of the wood, a woman of power.

The Children of Wind and Wood by Moses Siregar III

Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you’ll enjoy this one.

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Readers! Eight award winners in the 2012 eFestival of Words “Best of the Independent eBook Awards” have grouped together to offer you an amazing opportunity. They’ve reduced the prices of their award-winning novels to 99 cents for August 27 and 28th!

Whether you like to read mysteries, romance, horror, young adult, women’s fiction, or fantasy, this group has it. Are you a writer yourself? Do you want to learn all about digitally publishing your next masterpiece? They’ve got you covered there too.

Get all eight award-winning ebooks for the price of one single paperback!

 

Award Winners

Best Mystery/Suspense: Dead is the New Black by Christine DeMaio-Rice

Best Non-Fiction: DIY/Self-Help: Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran

Best Horror: 61 A.D. by David McAfee

Best Romance: Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne

Best Young Adult: The Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto

Best Fantasy/Urban Fantasy and Best NovelThe Black God’s War by Moses Siregar III

Best Chick Lit/Women’s LitCarpe Bead’em by Tonya Kappes

Award for Best Twist (“I’ve Been Shyamalaned”): The Survival of Thomas Ford by John A.A. Logan

Here’s a one-stop shopping link for your convenience: http://amzn.to/MO7qBY

Book Blurbs

Dead is the New Black by Christine DeMaio-Rice

Laura Carnegie gave up on the man of her dreams a long time ago. He’s fashion designer Jeremy St. James, and not only is he her boss, everyone knows he’s gay.

When the woman who holds the company purse strings is found dead in the office, and Jeremy’s arrested for the murder, everything changes. If Laura can just solve this crime, keep the cops off her tail, break up a counterfeiting ring, and get the show on the runway by Friday, she might stop being Seventh Avenue’s perpetual loser.

If you love Project Runway, or enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada, try Dead Is the New Black.

 

Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran

This guide contains over 60,000 words of essays, articles, and how-to guides, as well as contributions from 33 bestselling indie authors including J Carson Black, Bob Mayer, Victorine Lieske, Mark Edwards, and many more.

It covers everything from how the disruptive power of the internet has changed the publishing business forever to the opportunities this has created for writers. It gives you practical advice on editing, cover design, formatting, and pricing. And it reveals marketing tips from blogging and social networking right through to competitions, discounts, reviews, and giveaways.

If you are considering self-publishing, if you need to breathe life into your flagging sales, or if you want to understand why it’s a great time to be a writer, Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should will explain it all.

 

61 A.D. by David McAfee

61 A.D. For ten years, Taras has lived in the young city of Londinium, feeding off the city’s underbelly. But now Theron, his old enemy, has come looking for revenge, and Taras’ nights of living in relative peace are about to end.

Yet not even Theron can slip into town unnoticed, and the Council of Thirteen sends Ramah to deal with the two renegades once and for all. But unknown to the Council, a much older enemy is also in Londinium, and this time even the great Ramah might not be safe.

Set against the backdrop of the Iceni uprising in Roman-era Britannia, 61 A.D. continues the story of Taras, Theron, and Ramah, as they fight their way through history.

 

Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne

Nic Lamoureux’s perfect movie star life is shattered by a stalker who threatens any woman close to him. When he meets photographer Lauren James, the attraction is instant–and mutual. She’s exactly the sort of woman he craves, but the stalker makes deadly clear Lauren is the competition.

And the competition must be eliminated.

“Stock up on ice cubes because this is definitely one sizzling debut. Readers will be hooked from the first sentence- on the book and on Nic! As rich as a white chocolate cheesecake, Cayne’s entrance into the suspense genre is invigorating, explosive and simply intoxicating.” ~ RT Book Reviews Top Pick

 

The Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto

When teen witch Ivy MacTavish changes a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, everything turns to chaos. And when no one is powerful enough to transform him back except Ivy, it sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Worse, someone has used an evil spell book to bring back two of history’s most nefarious killers.

Ivy’s got a simple plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. No problem! But first, she’ll have to deal with something more dangerous than murderous spirits: the school’s hotter-than-brimstone demon bad boy, Nick Marcelli. Demons are about as hard to handle as black magic, and Ivy soon discovers it’s going to take more than a lot of luck and a little charm if she wants to clear her status as a dark witch, get a warm-blooded boyfriend, and have her former date back to eating meal worms before the week’s end

The Black God’s War by Moses Siregar III

Against the backdrop of epic warfare and the powers of ten mysterious gods, Lucia struggles to understand The Black One.

Her father-king wants war.

Her messianic brother wants peace.

The black god wants his due.

She suffers all the consequences.

“Moses is a fine writer deserving of success, and I think that it will follow … I really enjoyed Moses’s work.” – David Farland, NYT Bestselling Author of The Runelords

 

Carpe Bead’em by Tonya Kappes

Hallie Mediate was raised by her (slightly) crazy Great Aunt Grace on the wrong side of the tracks in Cincinnati. Hallie escapes her hometown and never looks back.

That is, until she’s transferred back to the hometown. Not wanting her past to cross paths with her future, Hallie puts her life on hold.

Aunt Grace is still up to her old tricks, but Hallie finds some sanity at a local jewelry-making class where she uncovers a hidden talent for beading.

Will she keep searching for the happiness she may already have found?

 

The Survival of Thomas Ford by John A.A. Logan

Thomas Ford is the only survivor of the car crash which killed his wife. He is also the only witness who would be willing to identify the young, reckless driver who caused the crash. But the driver would sooner see Thomas Ford dead than ever let that happen.
Happy Reading!

Setting a new world record, Bryan Thomas Schmidt is now the first person to have written two guest blog posts here. His first was about creating relatable characters. I’m honored that he wrote another significant post for me and Dionysus in the bar, this time on a perennial question in fantasy and science fiction circles: what is epic? Btw, the second book in Bryan’s Saga of Davi Rhii was released just yesterday. The man writes epic-fun space opera, his work ethic is epic-inspiring, and he is an epic-awesome friend. We hope to see you in the comments!

Before I turn this over to Bryan, here are some other great posts on this subject from the fantasy side. N.K. Jemisin wrote one of the most interesting things I’ve read on What is Epic Fantasy? Chloe Smith at Fantasy-Faction covered good ground in “What Makes Epic Fantasy ‘Epic’?” And Clarkesworld featured what is indeed an epic discussion of epic fantasy (and because there’s always a sequel, part 2) featuring 26 popular authors, one agent, and an editor discussing the heart of Epic Fantasy. I’ll add some quick thoughts to the comments on this post.

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The Returning by Bryan Thomas SchmidtWhat does it mean when a story is described as epic? Epic fantasy comes to mind as do historical epics, and epic romances. These are common associations in which people use the term “epic” to describe stories or genres. But in science fiction, space operas are the typical subgenre with which the term “epic” is most associated. Per the dictionary, epic means “long story; long poems about legendary heroes; sagas or prose epics about famous men and women, especially of medieval times; synonyms: heroic poem, legend, narrative, saga, tale; antonym: short story.

Okay, so now that we’ve clarified that. Yeah, right, doesn’t help much.

When I interview authors and ask them to describe epic fantasy, terms like “high stakes,” “good versus evil,” and “save the world quests” are commonly thrown out. George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice and Fire, the basis of HBO’s popular Game Of Thrones TV spectacle is epic fantasy. So is The Lord Of The Rings and stories like Wheel Of Time, Terry Goodkind’s Sword Of Truth, Terry Brooks’ Shannara series, Weis and Hickman’s Dragonlance. The list could get quite long, but you probably get the idea. So let’s look at what’s epic on the science fiction side: Star Wars is considered an epic saga, along with Frank Herbert’s Dune series, TV series like Babylon 5FarscapeBattlestar GalacticaStar Trek, and Firefly, even Arthur C. Clarke’s famous Space Odyssey novels.

What makes these stories epic?

Epic stories take place on a large scale. They typically occur on more than one planet or across an entire continent or planet (in epic fantasy and historicals) with large casts of characters and complicated storylines. Political maneuvering tends to play a big role as do romance and battles against incredible odds and very ruthless antagonists. Heroes may work in groups, typically just a few in number, or they may work alone. Usually there is a mentor character of some sort and a sense of coming of age for the protagonist in some way, although exceptions do exist.

Epic stories tend to have large set pieces: scenes with large armies or many ships or vehicles or people involved, most often in battles. They tend to have lots of action and melodrama, although this doesn’t have to be of the exaggerated community theatre-type. Often differences in ideologies play a part such as the Dark and Light sides of the force in Star Wars or the different parties chasing the One Ring in Middle Earth. Quite often large families are involved or at least several generations of a family such as the Skywalkers, the Baggins, the Rahls, etc. Many times a member of the family has betrayed the rest or the family has split into factions. Sometimes there’s a lost prodigal. And sometimes there’s romantic competition.

The Worker Prince by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Last but not least, epic stories tend to have many creatures. This can take the form of mystical beings like dwarves, elves, trolls, etc. or aliens from other planets. Usually they are sentient beings and can communicate with each other somehow. Often they conflict over culture, needs and goals. But they all tend to be players in the larger drama in some way. Whether historical or fantastical,  epic stories always project a sense of history, a largeness, as if the world and its populace have existed long before the immediate story and will exist long after. There’s a historical stage on which events take place, whether real or make believe and its implications for the larger world and its inhabitants tend to be high stakes. Overall, the story tends to involve a quest or journey the outcome of which has bearing on a lot more than just one individual’s life.  In adventure fantasy, like sword and sorcery, you might have a lone hero saving damsels or fighting bad guys to win glory or prove his honor, but the outcome is much more about his personal journey than the entire history of the world or planet itself. Epic stories tend to involve earthshaking consequences for the whole world itself.

All of these are common themes one can find in epic stories as we tend to encounter them today. I’m sure you’ll recognize many of the elements from the stories mentioned but I’ll bet you can think of other stories with these elements. Moses’ The Black God’s War and my own Saga of Davi Rhii are epic stories, for example. What are some other elements I didn’t mention which you think should be on the list?  What are some of your favorite epic stories and why do you like them? I look forward to dialoguing with you about that below.

In Bryan’s second novel, The Returning, new challenges arise as Davi Rhii’s rival Bordox and his uncle, Xalivar, seek revenge for his actions in The Worker Prince, putting his life and those of his friends and family in constant danger. Meanwhile, politics as usual has the Borali Alliance split apart over questions of citizenship and freedom for the former slaves. Someone’s even killing them off. Davi’s involvement in the investigation turns his life upside down, including his relationship with his fiancée, Tela. The answers are not easy with his whole world at stake.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt is the author of the space opera novels The Worker Prince, a Barnes & Noble Book Clubs Year’s Best SF Releases of 2011 Honorable Mention, and The Returning, the collection The North Star Serial, Part 1, and several short stories featured  in anthologies and magazines.  He edited the anthology Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6 for Flying Pen Press, headlined by Mike Resnick. As a freelance editor, he’s edited novels and nonfiction.  He’s also the host of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat every Wednesday at 9 pm EST on Twitter under the hashtag #sffwrtcht. A frequent contributor to Adventures In SF PublishingGrasping For The Wind and SFSignal, he can be found online as @BryanThomasS on Twitter or via his website. Bryan is an affiliate member of the SFWA.

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Fahrenheit 451I sat in a movie theater re-reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 for an hour before Prometheus began. Terrible decision. Turrible decision.

Fahrenheit 451 is a masterful clarion call from 1951 warning us about dumbed-down, soulless, unconscious modern life: quick electronic entertainment over real relationships; staying numb rather than asking real questions; doing things the same old way instead of seizing the now.

Bradbury was Socrates asking us to examine our lives, to think rather than follow the herd. Thoreau calling us to live authentically. Jesus raising our vision to much greater things. Buddha reminding us of the suffering of others and calling us to put our feet on the path to enlightenment.

Prometheus is no District 9, a sci-fi movie which understood that speculative fiction can be mindlessly entertaining and possess uplifting social consciousness. Prometheus is the kind of entertainment that could have played the role of antagonist in Fahrenheit. Not that there’s anything wrong with mindless entertainment now and then (for the record, I really enjoyed The Avengers). It’s just going to induce some of the best parts of your nature to snooze more deeply, particularly when the end product is mediocre. Storytellers, we can do better. Audiences and readers deserve better.

Prometheus features gorgeous special effects, it’s nice and subtle in 3-D, but it’s cheap horror in outer space. It’s Hollywood. It’s fine for what it is, which is a spinoff on Alien/Aliens (better movies). If that’s what you’re looking for, then go see Prometheus. Disposable, one-dimensional characters who prevent your suspension of disbelief? Likable characters who turn into invincible killer space gorillas? B-Grade horror movie flashbacks? Action without humor? Prometheus has all of that. Go see it.

Then, when you need to put the pieces of your soul back together (and you will–whether you realize it or not), do yourself a favor and read Fahrenheit 451 afterward.

That will blow your mind. Completely.

p.s. Please check out one of the best tributes to Ray Bradbury I’ve read this week, from Stephen Hubbard at BookReporter.com: Farewell, Ray.

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Welllll, not quite. But the Indie Book Podcast did (in an audio review), and they filled in nicely. Spoiler: Two thumbs up. They talked about The Black God’s War for about 7 minutes, and I really loved hearing their thoughts (I especially loved that Jane liked Narayani, Aayu, and Duilio–three of my characters that don’t usually get as much love as the others). I also found their criticisms right on the mark and helpful.

IndieBookPodcast.com is a book review podcast that focuses on indie/self-published books and news about indie publishing. Next week, their episode will also feature a brief interview with me.

Thanks very much, Jane!

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The Black God's War (Novel)Writing isn’t nearly as much fun without loud music in my face. I need your help so I can rock (or groove, or float) on.

I recently asked my homeys on Facebook and Twitter to recommend just one song for my next music playlist. These are the songs I’ll listen to as I write my next book, The Gods Divided (sequel to The Black God’s War, which comes out on August 1st). There’s still time to recommend a song (only one, please). I’ve listened to all of the current suggestions (thanks, y’all!), and here are the ten songs I’ve approved so far.

In no particular order:

Map of the Problematique, by Muse (from @AlexJKane).
Crystal, by New Order (from @RinnFalconer).
Call me When You’re Sober, by Evanescence (from @MumofBabyDavros).
The Last of the Mohicans, from the soundtrack (from @Strassur).
Timshel, by Mumford & Sons (from @charlotte_abel).
Roads, by Portishead (from @I_Pagan).
Sigur Ros, by Sæglópur (from Corey Podwinski)
Angels, by Wax Poetic featuring Norah Jones (Alexandra Geraets)
Sign of the Southern Cross, by Black Sabbath (Eric Kent Edstrom)
Remembering, by Karen Thurber (Karen Thurber‘s MySpace)

(I’ll keep adding songs to this list as I approve new songs.)

New songs added since I published this blog post:

Philosophia, by Guggenheim Grotto (@_MoniqueMartin_)
Anywhere on This Road, by Lhasa de Sela (Sarah Bartsch)
For Prayer, by Wye Oak (@iamfantastikate)
Blow Me Away, by Breaking Benjamin featuring Valora (lexcade)
Escape Artist, by Zoe Keating  (Timothy C Ward)
Threads, by This Will Destroy You (bennylol)
A Song for Starlit Beaches, by Yndi Halda (Machine_Gun_Jubblies)
Solitude is Bliss, by Tame Impala (MunkyAU)
Lobby, by The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble (thepaganapostle)
Welcome Home, by Coheed and Cambria (Barry Napier)

Feel free to comment with a song suggestion, and leave something like an email address or twitter handle in case I add your song. The first 20 selections will win paper copies of my book. EDIT: I’ve just reached 20 songs, but feel free to suggest a song if you’d like a chance to win a free ebook edition of The Black God’s War.

My taste is eclectic, and I like variety in my playlists. Thanks for your help, and check out the links to the songs above if you’re looking for a good time.

There’s a wealth of free video footage from the first Superstars Writing Seminar available on YouTube. Some of the topics on that YouTube channel include publishing myths, agents, self-promotion, increasing writing productivity, economics for writers, novel contracts, collaboration, self-publishing, networking, and many more (including Dan Wells on story structure).

I attended the actual seminar in March of this year, had a great time meeting other writers (aspiring and pro), and found the material enlightening. More than anything for me, it was a priceless chance to look inside the minds of a handful of best-selling authors and to try to absorb as much as possible by osmosis. I also got to ask more questions than I should’ve been allowed to ask!

There will be another Superstars Writing Seminar January 13th-15th, 2011 in Salt Lake City, UT. The presenters are Kevin J Anderson, Brandon Sanderson, Sherrilyn Kenyon, David Farland, Eric Flint, and Rebecca Moesta. I found all of these speakers to be very friendly and helpful at the first event (all of them were at the first event, except for Sherrilyn Kenyon). I even video-interviewed a few of them while I was there (Sanderson, Farland/Wolverton, and Flint)

At the event, I also filmed some attendees who talked about their opinion of the seminar. One of them was Marc Scott Zicree, a multi-talented Hugo and Nebula award nominee. Here’s Marc talking about the Superstars seminar (the YouTube channel that the testimonial is on also has three others, including one from the awesome Mignon Fogarty, a.k.a. Grammar Girl):

I’m going to attend the next event as well, because anything worth hearing once is worth hearing twice (thick skulls and all that). I hope to see you there! By the way, if you can’t make it, they also sell the complete audio and video recordings from the first seminar.
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I’m just going to copy and paste the information from this page.

What is The Great Indie Book Contest?

It started with David McAfee, an author of horror novels, deciding he wanted to reward readers who buy indie books. He called a few author friends – Daniel Arenson, Mike Crane, David Dalglish, and John Fitch V — to help him with a contest. Together, they would choose a lucky winner from people who buy indie books… and give him or her a Kindle3 + $50 Amazon.com gift card.

What Are Indie Books?

Indie books are released independently, without a publisher. This allows authors to sell directly to readers online.

How Do I Play?

To enter the contest, simply buy an indie book or ebook [Moses says: including mine]. For every book you buy, you’ll gain one entry. The more books you buy, the higher your chances to win.

Where to find indie books?

Any indie book you buy — from our sponsors, or from any other author — is worth an entry.

Once you’ve bought one or more books, forward your receipts (or screencaps of your receipts) to Coelacanthpress@yahoo.com, and you’ll be entered to WIN!
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David Farland

David Farland

No matter how long you’ve been writing, the study never ends. Whether it’s the nuts and bolts of craft, how to construct a gripping story, or how to sell a manuscript, there’s always more to learn, even more so because the world publishing is rapidly changing.

It’s not easy to find an old pro who will share their best secrets and tips with you, but that’s what David Farland (the pen name of Dave Wolverton) does for free with his email service called the “Daily Kick in the Pants.” I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve learned from this free service. I knew David Farland was a respected and successful writer with decades of wisdom behind him, but I didn’t realize how invaluable some of his tips would be until I started reading his “Daily Kick.”

You can sign up for it at DavidFarland.net.

There’s also new item on David Farland’s home page (10/19/10), a free recording of a recent conference call:

David Farland’s First Authors Advisory Conference Call

Listen in on David’s first ever Authors Advisory Conference Call where Dave covers everything from world creation to adience analysis!

David Farland will also be speaking at the next Superstars Writing Seminar in Salt Lake City, UT, January 13-15, 2011. I attended the first event and loved it Here’s a blog post from Kevin J Anderson about the event. Early bird pricing is still in effect until the end of October. Tell ‘em Large Mo sent ya!
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