Additional Site Updates

I’ve continued playing with the site throughout the day. I’ve made some layout changes. I’ve made some changes to the Titles page and the Tales of the Supers page, mostly with font and link incorporation.

I’ve also added some crossposting, both to Dreamwidth and LiveJournal. This post will be the test to see if the crossposting will work for both of them. Fingers crossed, right?

Also, April Camp NaNoWriMo starts in a couple of days. Wish me luck, all. It’s pretty much a big finishing things project for me this time.

Site updates

It’s very late at night, so please pardon any oddities about this post. I’m probably a little bit out of it. I’ve been up working on editing projects for a wee bit of money and making site changes.

I’ve found another two stores where the physical book is listed, and I have added them to the Tales of the Supers page: Schuler Books and IndieBound. For some reason, I can find the e-book version on SmashWords and Apple, but it’s not showing up on Barnes and Noble or Kobo. For the meanwhile, you can still download those versions via SmashWords.

So that’s the bulk of this post. Hopefully, I’ll have more to add at a not too distant date.

What I’m Reading: Issue 1

Okay, I’ve been debating on something to post here. Obviously, there can’t be sales going all the time or things would just get dull. Right? Right. So I want to do something a little different. I want to talk about things I’m reading right now. I’m not going to rate things I’m reading; if I’m discussing them at all, it’s because I’m enjoying them.

Darkest London series
by Kristen Callihan

Firelight: Darkest London Book 1

I’ve been reading the Darkest London series by Kristen Callihan for the last few days. I had picked up the first book, Firelight, on a whim because I had enough Discover Rewards points to get a free book on Amazon. The 4th book in the series series had been recced by some of the steampunk communities I’m on. Honestly, there isn’t a lot of steampunk to the series. Yes, it takes place in Victorian times and there are fantastic elements… but it’s more fantasy than science fiction. There is the whole secret society thing going on, which does give vague steampunk leanings, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call the series itself “steampunk”.

Actually, saying it’s fantasy romance is even a bit of a misnomer. It’s a very paranormal series. The first book has a firestarter for a heroine and a man who is slowly turning into a demon as a hero. The second book, the hero is a lycan (not a werewolf, because werewolves are what lycans become when they lose control of the wolf and are no longer men) and the heroine has abilities that I will leave a secret, because it’s a pretty big spoiler for the end of the book. The third book, the one I’m on now, there is a lot more on this Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals. There are demons, ice witches, shapeshifters, and body jumpers (my best explanations for the GIMs: Ghosts in the Machine).

Like I said, I’m on Book 3, Winterblaze. I read Firelight in one sitting over the span of a few hours. Once I was almost done with it, I went ahead and ordered the rest of the series that is out right now: Moonglow, Winterblaze, and Shadowdance, the last of which was the one that was recced by the steampunk community and got me interested in the series in the first place. I got the books in the mail yesterday, and I finished Moonglow in my brief awake period yesterday. I’m about halfway through Winterblaze now. I will be taking it (if I don’t finish it tonight) and Shadowdance with me to read tomorrow.

I also picked up the two e-book short stories in the series. The first, Ember, is pretty much the cut scenes from Firelight. The second, Entwined, takes place between books three and four, so I’m waiting to read it until I’ve finished Winterblaze. I will admit to the fact I’m looking forward to reading Book Four, the one originally recced, Shadowdance. The two main character, Mary Chase and Jack Talent, have appeared in previous books (Moonglow and Winterblaze for both of them), and I’m interested to hear their stories.

The author is pretty productive too. The first book, Firelight, came out in January 2012, the second in July 2012, the third in February 2013, the fourth in December 2013, and the fifth is due out in August 2014. I’m in serious envy of her writing speeds here.

And that… was a babble. I suppose the long and short of it is that I’m happy having a new paranormal romance series to read since the last one I enjoyed jumped the shark in a pretty serious way (not naming names here). This one is pretty well self-contained, with established rules and boundaries that have so far been respected. We haven’t hit upon a single overpowered character as far as I’ve gotten, and the characters themselves are interesting. There is even a background character, Billy Finger, who might upstage a lot of the scenes he’s in, but Callihan doesn’t let him hog the spotlight. She seems to have done her research on Victorian history, slang, and mannerisms, which is a huge plus in my mind.

All in all, if you like Victorian romance or paranormal romance, give the series a try. Let me know what you think.

Read an eBook Week participation

Over on Smashwords, this week is the sixth annual Read an eBook Week, the design of which is to promote interest in both reading and reading ebooks. I’m participating in it for Tales of the Supers, and for the sale, I’m offering the book at 50% off.

Now, bear in mind that this offer is only available for the book on Smashwords. It will not be available on Amazon or any of the other sites it may now be up on.

In order to get the discount, you will need to purchase the book on Smashwords and use the code REW50 at checkout. It’s on good through 11:59 PST on March 8th, though, so grab it while it’s available!

Also a few brief news points: Tales of the Supers is now up on Barnes and Noble’s website and on Books-A-Million’s website, as well as on Amazon’s regular webspace (not just CreateSpace–and don’t ask me why it shows May 2013 as the publication date, because I have no idea). It’s also now available on iTunes.

Finally, whoever made Legends of the Cryptids has created one of the most addictive games I’ve ever played. It’s possible I will hear that music in my sleep for days to come.

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

I might be slightly out of my mind. I’ve entered Tales of the Supers into Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award. It’s still in the early days of the contest, so there’s nothing to say yet where it stands, but I wanted to share my insanity with anyone who might be reading this little blog.

The Kindle version of Tales of the Supers is up on Amazon now. It will likely be a few more days before the print version is available anywhere but CreateSpace, but hopefully that won’t be too much longer.

And in other news, I’m going to try to find somewhere to wait out a headache I’ve had all day. Excedrin Migraine is making a slight dent in it, but it’s not enough to make me willing to go deal with the world at large.

The battle is over

Tales of the Supers - ebook

I almost can’t believe I’m finally ready to announce this. Tales of the Supers 1 is finished. It’s up on Smashwords for ebooks, and it’s on CreateSpace for print. In the next week, it should be available on Amazon itself for print and Kindle, and within a few more weeks, it should be available at other bookstores and for library orders. It may also be a few weeks before the electronic format shows up in other online bookstores, such as Barnes and Noble and Kobo and so on. I will, of course, update when these are available.

If you order from Smashwords, you have the option of several formats, including PDF, epub, mobi, online, and several others. This covers most formats used by digital readers. If there is a format you need that you don’t see available on Smashwords, let me know in a comment to this post, and I’ll see what I can do to get a copy available in that format for you.

You will note that I had to change the cover. CreateSpace was being quite a stick in the mud about the cover I had created… and I suck at math, so I wasn’t even going to try to figure out the complex goings on behind spine width and bleed and so on.

Yay, I’m so excited! It’s finally here and available.

Updates on “Tales of the Supers”

I promise I have not yet abandoned this site! I have been working on several projects, not all of which are currently listed here… mainly because I don’t actually have titles for the series these stories would fall into. They’re getting a lot of interest from at least one of my pre-readers, though, and that’s encouraging to me.

You may also notice that the site layout has changed. I’ve been trying to find a WordPress theme that is (1) free and (2) appropriate for an author and (3) appropriate for the sort of things this author writes. For now, I like this one, but I have a few others I’m fond of and may eventually  play with.

But I have promised an update on Tales of the Supers. Somewhere back in October, I mentioned that I had been working on edits. The external hard drive that had my most recent copy of the edits crashed and burned, taking with it all the changes I had made to the document. Naturally, this was a bit depressive, and so instead I start focusing on writing Endless Loop.

While going through several of my backup discs yesterday, though, I found a copy of the edits. It wasn’t the most recent copy, but it was better than starting from scratch. In point of reference, there are five chapters and an epilogue to Tales of the Supers. The version I lost had edits done all the way to Chapter Four; the version I located had edits through the end of Chapter Two. So I lost half my work… but that’s better than losing all of it.

That in mind, I’ve been editing like a fiend these last few nights, and I’m hoping to have it ready to have one more check done by the end of the weekend. I would like to have it available on CreateSpace by my birthday at the end of February, if not sooner.

This will, however, push the release date for Color of Life: Endless Loop Book 1 back a bit, but hopefully it won’t be by too much.

Finally, please continue to bear with me. As I mentioned in the middle of October, I am unemployed. I’m still unemployed, now in February. In only a few weeks, my unemployment will run out. I have over 240 applications out, but I’ve had less than 10 interviews. I will put the PayPal link back up, because I’m beyond having any pride left.

Twitter fiend?

Apparently I’ve been updating Twitter madly, which is new for me. I’m usually a bit too long winded for 140 characters. I’m trying my best to keep it brief, though. So far it’s working.

As far as NaNoWriMo goes, I’m about 5000 words behind where I need to be for the day. I’m going to try to marathon today and see if I can’t get caught back up. There is the big family thing next Thursday through Saturday, so I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to do massive amounts of writing then. I’ll just have to do my best until I leave Wednesday.

And to keep myself honest, I’m posting my word count widget through the NaNoWriMo site here.

Author photos, at last!

At long last, the author photos are now available!

Of the set that Kari Bishop and I took, we ended up with three good ones. I put it to Facebook to decide which one was the best… and it came to a tie. So I have made an executive decision: one will be used on my author page here on the site, one will be used for my profile image on Facebook and Twitter, and the third will be used on the actual books. So I’m thinking that’s a good thing… other than WordPress not cooperating with my photo posting needs. (It refuses to resize. Grr! I’ll wrangle it in Photoshop when it’s not the middle of the night.)

In the meanwhile, I leave you with the three photos!

Ellie Hicks Ellie Hicks Ellie Hicks

A teaser

Endless Loop 1: Color of Life

This post is mostly for one thing and one thing alone: a teaser image. I’ve finished the cover for Endless Loop 1: Color of Life. The editing on the book is still ongoing, but the cover itself is done.

I’m at work on Endless Loop 2: Blood and Sacrifice for NaNoWriMo this year. As of right now, I’m over 9,000 (!!!) words in, and I think it’s going quite nicely. The live-in pre-reader, Kari Bishop, enjoyed the first chapter; I haven’t gotten her to look at Chapter Two yet. (Though maybe I should be making her read Color of Life in an editing capacity before I give her too much of Blood and Sacrifice, huh?)

So, yeah, this is what happens when I have access to free stock images, Photoshop, and pretty fonts. I make covers. They’re not as good as professional covers by any means, but I’m not a professional cover artist.

And now… back to Blood and Sacrifice. Wish me luck.