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Beyond Anne McCaffrey We know Anne's not the only author you read and enjoy. Come here to discuss and discover authors beyond Anne!

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Old Dec 25 2011, 03:42 PM   #1
Anareth
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Default So...I wrote a book.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006PWUKWK/ref=r_soa_w_d

If you enjoy contemporary fantasy that doesn't have tarts with tramp stamps on the cover where the heroine is most definitely NOT dating the vampire (he's in a committed relationship), please give Strange Roads a try. If you do the Kindle Library, you can even borrow it (I get paid there, too.)
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Old Dec 26 2011, 05:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

First of all: congratulations!

I downloaded it. The blurb was interesting enough, the price ridiculously low and since I am a fan of Mercedes Lackey's books in this genre I might like yours, too. Besides that, all your online friends should buy one even if it was only to launch you and get you more exposure

You'll be hearing from me again after I gave read it and that might take a while because there's a neat stack of books waiting to be read.
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Old Dec 26 2011, 06:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Will definitely buy a copy for the kindle later on this week, once I've de-relatived. Congratulations!
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Old Dec 26 2011, 11:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Thanks! Hans, if you can believe, I was worried the price is too HIGH! But it has to be a minimum 2.99 for the 70% royalty and the Kindle Direct lending library program (so people signed up to borrow ebooks can do that, too--so if you're a Kindle library person you can borrow it, too!)

And you can thank Shalynn for the blurb--she brainstormed most of it with me. You should have heard me pulling teeth about the author bio when the lovely and talented Dasteroad (she's on Deviantart) needed it for the back of the dead-tree version. That will take another week or so as I have to get the proof copy to check.

If you like fantasy in a modern setting, and you like characters who aren't emotive teens or especially angsty, you might like it. I'm working on the next one, at least as soon as I finish a short story that's got a 12/31 deadline...that seemed so far away in September.....
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Old Dec 26 2011, 01:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

I will want to wait for the dead tree version as I don't do Kindle, but it is on my wish list now. Sounds like a good read
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Old Dec 26 2011, 02:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

I will let you know when the dead-tree version's ready. Hopefully only a couple weeks!
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Old Dec 26 2011, 11:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anareth View Post
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006PWUKWK/ref=r_soa_w_d

If you enjoy contemporary fantasy that doesn't have tarts with tramp stamps on the cover where the heroine is most definitely NOT dating the vampire (he's in a committed relationship), please give Strange Roads a try. If you do the Kindle Library, you can even borrow it (I get paid there, too.)
Rock on Araneth, I'll add it to my list. I need to get through a couple of the John Carter books before the movie comes out and then I've got Todd's City of Angels, but I'll check yours out after those!
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Old Dec 27 2011, 12:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Anareth, I saw a price of 2.99 somewhere on the page (top right) but I paid $5.74.
Maybe I paid more because I am outside the US? Or am I confused?

We'll see if I like the fantasy in a modern setting. The only stuff like it that I have read was also by Lackey, another series than the Elemental Masters.

And yes, I knew Laurie's real name (she's also in 40 Years of Pern) :-) She did a good job indeed.
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Old Dec 27 2011, 01:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

I paid £2.21 from amazon UK - a direct conversion from the dollars, most likely.
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Old Dec 27 2011, 02:55 PM   #10
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I'm actually really enjoying it. I found a few of the sentences on the first page a little awkward - specifically where Alan is getting to his feet and helping Nadia up at the same time - and the introduction of the Evil Bad Guys didn't leave much in doubt of their Evil Badness. (Unless you're going to pull a bit of a switch on us there...) That's a scene I'd be tempted to ditch in favour of introducing them as antagonists in media res in the second scene in which they appear, possibly, but the process of writing things that way might not necessarily work better at all. I do really really love your take on the central mythology you're using, and there's a really good sense of depth to your characters. Pacing is superb, and the language is ever so smooth. I tried to pay attention to the technicalities while reading it, and I can't fault the style of your language one bit. Just the right level of descriptive prose interspersed with action. The first conscious use of powers in the car chase felt a little check-boxy perhaps, but I'm no way knowledgable enough to tell if there's any way around that.

As far as the kindle edition itself goes, there's a bit of bad justification in the opening acknowledgements and the odd misplaced line or paragraph break and a handful of typos so far, but it's really pretty close to being in just as good a condition as most pro works I've read.

Very well done so far! I definitely see myself adding another positive review for you by the time I get to the end.
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Old Dec 27 2011, 08:43 PM   #11
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Hee, originally the villains got NO POV at all and just appeared, then Aaron Allston (my mentor) and my fellow workshoppers at JadeCon (my Star Wars group) wanted more. Ended up saving a certain character or two, too, as suddenly there were personalities.

The formatting issue in the first few pages (which are the only ones created only with the MS Word version of the document, everything else is converted from WordPerfect) seems to be from Mobicreator, the converter software that changes the .doc to the Kindle file, and I cannot figure out what it doesn't like. Seems to do with the hard returns, but it only accepts .doc and won't read a .wpd so I can't compare it, which is really annoying. The dead-tree version has it fixed as that comes from a PDF.

Glad you're enjoying it so far! There are bits I am less than entirely happy with, but this is the fifth or sixth draft (96,000 words give or take out about 350,000 written) and it mostly works out!

Hans, it's set to auto-convert the price, but I don't know if Amazon ads any fees outside US/UK. I can't read sales reports until it's been up a week and then hopefully I can tell who paid what where.
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Old Dec 28 2011, 09:20 AM   #12
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Congratulations, Anareth!

You might try using Calibre (a free ebook conversion software) to convert the properly formatted PDF to an appropriate uploadable format to fix the justification issues and upload it again? I've had great success with that in the past. Amazon is even nice and lets folks download the corrected format without charging them for it.
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Old Dec 28 2011, 10:26 AM   #13
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Oh, I'm not going to bother changing anything now unless the print proofs look bad. CreateSpace thinks the file's good or they don't move to Order Print. As far as the kindle, it's only the non-story pages that are a problem.

Book is now free until the 31st! (We get 5 free promos with Kindle Direct--not sure when I'll do the others.)
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Old Dec 28 2011, 12:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Sooo... who could possibly have been the inspiration for sartorial Scottish Iain I wonder...

Still enjoying it a lot. Elaine seems to have the strongest 'voice' of all four of the main protagonists. Would you say she's closest to yourself in spirit?
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Old Dec 28 2011, 08:47 PM   #15
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Gee, I don't know anyone...(the character's American of Scottish extraction, and he and Vita really ARE some of Alan's sharper coworkers...Iain in particular has Elaine figured out faster than Alan does...)

Actually the funny thing is they're all rather me, more or less--if I had to pick one who's a self-insert, Nadia's probably closest in looks and who I'd trade places with (Val is more my type than Alan), but Val says the sort of things I'd like to say, and I WISH I were half as smart as Elaine or as much a self-starter as Alan. And at least in this book, Elaine's the protagonist, Alan's the hero, or in the TV Tropes five-man band, Alan's the Hero, Elaine is the Lancer.

As for strip-mining real people for names, the bad-girl mage doesn't actually get named that I recall in this book, but she has one, and Laurie's sister will either be flattered or annoyed....
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Old Dec 31 2011, 11:56 AM   #16
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Congratulation, Anareth!
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Old Dec 31 2011, 03:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Quote:
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Congratulation, Anareth!
I got as far as downloading Kindle for PC, and I'm waiting to paid some bills before I buy something, I wanted to post this early on, but the wording got lost,
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Old Dec 31 2011, 07:03 PM   #18
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I wish Kibby had gotten a Kindal instead of a Nook. I'll have to wait. CONGRATS!
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Old Dec 31 2011, 07:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anareth View Post
Oh, I'm not going to bother changing anything now unless the print proofs look bad. CreateSpace thinks the file's good or they don't move to Order Print. As far as the kindle, it's only the non-story pages that are a problem.

Book is now free until the 31st! (We get 5 free promos with Kindle Direct--not sure when I'll do the others.)
Thanks for the heads-up! Got it!!

Quote:
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I wish Kibby had gotten a Kindal instead of a Nook. I'll have to wait. CONGRATS!
Even if you don't have a kindle, you can download Kindle for PC for free from Amazon and then you could go ahead and get it and read it on your computer. The nice thing about it is that if/when you do get a Kindle, you'll be able to put it on there, too.
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Old Dec 31 2011, 07:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Depending on how well KDP Select pays, it might be a long wait, though there will be a real copy once I can approve the proof.

Ginny, it's free until the end of today! And I'll do another free-download promo later, as you get four with KDP Select.
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Old Jan 4 2012, 05:35 PM   #21
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

I just finished this on my way in to work today, and I must say I was totally enthralled through most of the book! I was pleasantly surprised by how well you worked in a number of story twists - if you know what to expect you might see them coming, but in a casual read they slip up on the reader to good effect. I will be reading it through a second time to see what new nuances I pick up on with a better understanding of the characters. ^.^
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Old Jan 4 2012, 08:59 PM   #22
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Thank you, semantre!

For those who are waiting for a print version I do apologize, there were some errors in the proof (entirely my bad, arguing with the formatting and having absolutely no idea what I was doing when I uploaded it, though I still can't figure out how it ate the italics in one chapter...) and they SHOULD be fixed now, so as soon as I can approve the new proof, there'll be a dead-tree version. And unless numbers drastically pick up in borrowed versus bought, I'll try offering it for Nook in March when its first Kindle Select period is up.

ETA: Oh, on the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Omens-...30417210321917 I've posted a couple character biographies. Trivia, so far, and a preview of at least one future character in Alan's family.
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Old Jan 9 2012, 06:21 PM   #23
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

https://www.createspace.com/3756419

This SHOULD link to the CreateSpace page for ordering a 'dead-tree' copy (it will take 5-8 days to show up on Amazon's listings as a book.) Please someone let me know that you can access this page? It was password-protected until I cleared the proof, and for a while it wouldn't show up as anything else even after I approved.
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Old Jan 9 2012, 08:04 PM   #24
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Anareth, it still shows as password protected to me.

BTW, thanks for letting us know when your book was available free. I got it then. I'm reading some other stuff right now, but now I'll have it to read when I get time.
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Old Jan 10 2012, 12:11 PM   #25
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

The CreateSpace link should now be working! You also can now get the print version through Amazon, for those who like something a little more substantial than an e-reader.

Onward and upward, as my friend is wont to say...
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Old Jan 10 2012, 06:17 PM   #26
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Yep, the link is working now. Thanks, Anareth.
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Old Jan 22 2012, 02:21 PM   #27
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Anareth, I finished your book a few days ago and I must say I have been very pleasantly surprised. Surprised, not only by the quality of the writing but also surprised because I usually don't like magic/fantasy stories set in todays environment. You have a very nice way of writing and the book plot is set up nicely and ending with a feeling of "I want more", because this story certainly hasn't come to an end and leaves the reader wanting more. So well done in that departmetn already.

Of course I have some critique but that I always find that hard to write down. Above all I must say the book felt, more than necessary maybe (?), American. American in the sense of you, the author, using US things, customs, situations and references which I, as a European, didn't "get". And I don;t mean the setting because I enjoyed that very much, having actually visited many of the places myself about 30 years ago. But each time I encountered what I described I also thought, "heck, the biggest market out there is in her own country, so what". What I also noted is that at times you are a bit inclined to use difficult words and expressions. OK, you are not writing for the juvenile market maybe but still, I'd change that or be more awar of it. One peeve: a European lawyer would have a far better grasp of Latin than Alan (esepcially if he was also a history major) This is all nitpicking because there's absolutely nothing essentially wrong with your writing or the story.

Your characters are very good and you describe them very well. I enjoy there attractive sides as well as their irritating habits and negative aspects. No Gary Stue or Mary Sue in your story. I also had a big chuckle about Iain; but it was the only cameo I noticed. Were there more?
IMHO the story could be slightly improved upon, in certain places the writing could be somewhat clearer (especially near the end) and it could maybe be a little improved where you need to switch and/or connect from one part of the story to the next, but all that is not affecting the quality as a whole. It is a fast flowing story, one I could easily see made into a movie or TV series script. You're not going too deep into things (with Alan's life and ways a nice possibility for that) and it is a nice and easy read. If it would be any help I'd gladly recommend it to possible readers. If I can get my act together and come up with a good blurb I'll write a positive comment on Amazon.

So, thank you for a good read and in me you have a buyer for the second volume for sure. Any ide when that is coming as an ebook?
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Old Jan 22 2012, 10:15 PM   #28
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LOL, no current American lawyer would know Latin beyond the phrases that crop up--he'd definitely not be able to follow when Val gets rolling (and I apologize for any really crappy Latin grammar--I can struggle through it slowly, but I very nearly failed it in college. It's the only foreign language that's ever truly and completely kicked my arse.) Elaine both speaks a Romance language and has read a lot more Church Latin, and she clearly (as any good student) looked up the dirty words first.

Is it difficult, or is it difficult as in hard for an ESL to follow? I forget that English is not your first language? I appreciate the feedback. I don't really think of it as being complicated, compared to Serious Literature where the style is more the point than the plot. If anything I try to come at it a bit like John Bellairs (a YA author, who weirdly also grew up in Michigan and then moved to eastern Massachusetts, though I moved back. AWESOME books, even though they're written for 9-12 age range.) He never assumed something like setting a book around three modern people time-traveling to the Siege of Constantinople would be over a kid's head. A good thing or, since I never took European history before 1500 in college, I'd never have heard of it....

And yeah, I guess it's quite set in America--as we get into Val's deep backstory, obviously that changes, and Nadia's. . . okay, she comes from a VERY different part of America. (I will give that tiny spoiler--she's, technically, kind of, American by birth. Speaking continentally, anyway.) But the capital setting is kind of the point, as will eventually become clearer as the plot goes along (and Alan's chosen job gets even more and more relevant, too.)

And keep nagging me on the second book. I'm determined to finish it faster, but it's only on draft one. Laurie will hunt me down if I don't get on the stick, for certain--she's known about Nicodemus and his debut for ages and it will be worth seeing. (He's the character who, if it's possible with vampires, gives Val gray hairs.) Though I have an angry mob of mad scientists who need a fan fic sequel finished first....

I'm not thrilled with the ending, which is deliberately oblique, but it was that or end it without the epilogue and just leave it with Alan's POV in the Rotunda. (Now, if it were a miniseries I have this totally great idea for a crane shot...something thinking in pictures and converting to words is a pain!) I will say, though, I didn't entirely invent the haunting of St. John's. Though as I wasn't there at midnight myself, I can't say if the figures DO appear.

THANK you for reading and bothering to critique! I'm glad it surprised you pleasantly!
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Old Jan 23 2012, 03:49 AM   #29
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I've reviewed now as well. I've not cut you any slack with the star rating - you get four from me - but hopefully my honesty will give the review more weight than my gushing alone would have done.

Now get writing! I want the sequel!
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Old Jan 23 2012, 02:56 PM   #30
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Hey, you REVIEWED! Otherwise, I have one from the advance reader (Laurie), and one very short one (I suspect I know who wrote it, but I don't know for certain).

I think for comparison to "real" books four stars is fair/generous (and I'm sort of surprised people have the most issues with chapter one, which I think means after draft #3 I really forgot about it and was mostly thinking "Oh god this fight scene sucks this fight scene sucks this fight scene SUCKS the last chapters are the worst thing ever written end end END"....Apparently not as much as I think it does!)

For the average self-published Kindle book...I honestly think you have better odds finding a good pro-quality story by randomly searching fanfiction.net Fanfic authors are used to getting beta readers.

Heh, my dad spotted something I never even thought of (reading the print edition.) Elaine is right, the guy can't shoot back yet without cocking the gun....IF it's a single-action revolver. If, as is actually more likely, it's a modern double-action, he just has to pull the trigger and it will cock itself. (Of course he couldn't hit the center of a stationary target fifteen feet from him, the odds of him hitting a moving target coming at him while trying to aim are pretty low...)
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Old Jan 27 2012, 12:37 PM   #31
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Well, I finished it this morning, and I reviewed. Anareth, I can't believe how much I liked this book. I NEVER read stuff with vampires! Because I never like anything with vampires! But I actually liked Val, as well as the other main characters! And everything I wrote in the review is how I really feel about it. I love that your characters are consistent and don't do stupid, out of character things to move the story along. I love that they were normal in their responses. Yes, it was hard for them to believe what they were, but they didn't bog down there. And I'm really looking forward to the next book. Can't wait to see what comes next!
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Old Jan 27 2012, 02:03 PM   #32
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Crap. I really gotta work on that draft of book two (and sounds like I might have even more beta readers, potentially? Nothing like a good beta or three or five...heck, Laurie's MOM beta'd this for me...)

*eyes angry violent mad-scientist mob at GG fanfic group*

Um...oh dear. Gotta finish that first.

Thank you, kevia! And I'm glad you like Val despite not being a vampire person. He (and Mikelis, and the character recently dubbed Sir Not Appearing In Book One) are kind of my response to the weepy whiney mopey angsty bad-boy vampire trope (you saw what happens to those in my world). I got so freakin' sick of them, when if you WERE immortal, wouldn't you find something better to do with your time?
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Old Jan 27 2012, 02:31 PM   #33
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

If you need more beta readers, I'm up for it!
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Old Jan 27 2012, 10:04 PM   #34
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Anareth, do you think you could post an excerpt? Like, half a page or something? I'd love to see a sample...
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Old Jan 27 2012, 10:08 PM   #35
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

You can use the "look inside" feature on Amazon to read something like the first three chapters (just click on the book cover.) I actually can't even use an excerpt in my own advertising until the Kindle Select period ends (March 25). They don't even let you put a chapter on CreateSpace's promotion page, and they own CreateSpace. But the Look Inside sample is actually really long so you can get a pretty good feel from it. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006PWUKWK/ref=r_soa_w_d
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Old Jan 28 2012, 01:51 PM   #36
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Oh, thanks! I guess I hadn't actually looked at the amazon page!
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Old Feb 7 2012, 12:04 AM   #37
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anareth View Post
If you enjoy contemporary fantasy that doesn't have tarts with tramp stamps on the cover where the heroine is most definitely NOT dating the vampire (he's in a committed relationship), please give Strange Roads a try. If you do the Kindle Library, you can even borrow it (I get paid there, too.)
I like your description, way too many urban fantasies have become smut fests. I will need to check your book out.
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Old Feb 7 2012, 01:17 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara Henson View Post
I like your description, way too many urban fantasies have become smut fests. I will need to check your book out.
Lol, maybe it's my bitter singleton comingn out, but seriously, don't these people have bigger problems than "Which hot vampire should I be with THIS week?" (Without even getting to Laurel K. Hamilton, which I started out enjoying but now..no. Just no.)

My less-snarky tagline is "Sorry, the vampire's in a committed relationship." (Besides, if he and the heroine/female protagonist actually DID get together, one or both would be committed, all right, as in to an institution with padded walls...)
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Old Mar 24 2012, 07:20 PM   #39
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/144799

Now available via Smashwords. Also, Smashwords version and the paperback now include a sneak peek chapter from Book Two: The Demon That Is Dreaming. (Paperback version is currently under review and should be available again in a couple days via Createspace and Amazon.)
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Old Mar 25 2012, 04:40 PM   #40
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Default Re: So...I wrote a book.

Now she includes a sneak preview...
WHEN will that second book be available?

*starts drumming his fingers on the table*
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