A Hard Lesson Learned

Hard Lessons LearnedAlthough it’s tough to admit it, six years ago, I made a horrible mistake in my publishing journey. After publishing the first book in my Castle Keepers fantasy series, Shadows in the Stone, I should have buckled down and completed the draft to the second book in the series, Scattered Stones.

However, feeling the pressure to get more books on my publishing shelf, I wrote a few short stories that were not in the fantasy genre. They were quick writes, quickly edited by my editor and quickly published. I soon had four books on my shelf. It looked impressive.

I was following the advice of those who believed the more books on a shelf, the more a writer gets noticed because they have a larger footprint.

However, those giving advice didn’t stress the vital fact that the books written should all be in one genre. Readers sometimes stick to one genre, so those who loved my fantasy novel might not like my contemporary stories about death, domestic abuse or a cranky neighbour.

Sigh.

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Nova Scotia – Life Near Water free eBook – Last Chance

Castle clouds cropped02This is the last chance to download Nova Scotia – Life Near Water, my first collection of short stories, for free from Kindle. I’ve decided to not run anymore for this book, and possibly others in 2014. When the Select Kindle period ends this time, I’m removing this anthology from the program and releasing it on other platforms (such as Smashwords, Chapters and Sony).

The promotion for Nova Scotia – Life Near Water will run for two days. It began a few hours ago and will end Friday January 3rd, at 11:59 pm, Pacific Time. The regular price is $2.99. Canadian residents can download it here, and those in the United States will find it here. It’s available in other countries too by visiting the Amazon page for that particular country.

Thank you for your downloads.

The two short stories in the Castle Keepers Tales series–Destiny Governed their Lives and Blade of Truth–are available for free through Smashwords and other outlets, but I had to put a 99 cent sticker price on them at Kindle to get them listed. At Smashwords you can pick up the Kindle-formatted version.

These books will remain free for another year or so. Once all three books in the Castle Keepers series are released, I’ll gather these short stories, add a few others I’ve written and release them all in a collection.

About the Castle Keepers Tales

I began the Castle Keepers Tales to share extra stories about the characters who appear in The Castle Keepers novel series. Each is a stand-alone story, often telling a tragic event that happened in the past, before the first book, Shadows in the Stone. Through these stories, readers can better understand the characters and appreciate a little more of why they act as they do. We are all products of our past and pivotal events shape us into whom we are. These stories are not spoilers for the books, but enhance them. If a story does prove to undermine the enjoyment of a book, I’ll make note that the book should be read first. Otherwise, enjoy these tales without worry.

Enjoy and Happy New Year

NS Life Near Water candle

My First Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads GiveawayWhen I first learnt about Goodreads Giveaways, I thought it was a great idea, a wonderful way to get your book into the hands of new readers. So far, I still do see it as a wonderful avenue for writers to explore.

If you’ve never participated in this option in Goodreads, let me share my experience (so far) with you.

Only paper copies of books (hard cover, paperbacks) are permitted in giveaways. I didn’t mind this restriction since I had planned to release a paperback version of Shadows in the Stone. Obviously, paperback giveaways cost more to do than eBook giveaways.

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Goodreads Giveaway of Shadows in the Stone ends October 31st

Shadows in the StoneThree signed paperback copies of the first book in the fantasy series The Castle Keepers—Shadows in the Stone—are up for grabs at Goodreads.

The giveaway ends on Wednesday October 31st, midnight. For a chance to Win a Copy of this Book, visit the Giveaway Page.

Good luck.

Snippet from Shadows in the Stone:

Bronwyn caught her studying him as he regained his breath. Besides her frazzled appearance and cut below her right eye, she seemed fine. Her deep breathing caused her bosom to gently rise and fall, drawing his eyes to the soft hollow between her breasts. A button appeared to have broken off in the scuffle, revealing soft curves of delicate skin. His blood warmed and the tiny hairs on his ears pricked. He swallowed hard, realising his gaze had lingered too long. He quickly looked at the stone wall. “Thank you for casting the spell to protect me.” His voice sounded gentler than he expected. He looked back at her. “You risked your life for mine.”

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Making of a Book Trailer

Book Trailer - Shadows in the StoneOver the past few months, I’ve been gathering pictures and ideas to create a book trailer for my fantasy novel, Shadows in the Stone. I’ve watched about two dozen trailers of various degrees of quality to get an idea of what others are doing. Even the poorest was interesting and held my attention, which meant they worked. The high quality trailers were elaborate with a cast, unique music and played like a movie trailer.

My hope is my trailer falls somewhere in the middle; it’s my first, and although I see a few things that need to be changed, I don’t have the experience to fix the problems…yet.

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Lost in Ath-o’Lea; I Need a Map!

With plans for the paperback version of Shadows in the Stone underway, I realised today that I need a map of my fantasy world: Ath-o’Lea!

I’ve already completed the initial sketches and the second draft, decided on place names, compass position and various other things I want to add. Still, I don’t have it print ready; just the draft. I need to hand-draw the sea dragons and decide on the final design of the compass rose and Key.

Here’s what I have so far. I created it on paper, scanned it and plugged in the extra items and place names. I’m not happy with the font, so I’ll have to find something more fantasy-like. This was done with the Ulead program, but for my final version, I’ll use Power Point.

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