Thursday, January 26, 2017

White Lies Only 99 Cents

I am experimenting with having my mysteries "wide", that is at various retailers instead of exclusive to Amazon. To launch this, I lowered the price on the White Lies ebook to 99cents. You can now find it online at Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo and others in addition to Amazon.

The market keeps changing and I am doing my best to stay abreast of it. New opportunities for advertising pop up and get overrun in no time. The author blogs and forums that I follow usually tout the latest trend and warn when it is no longer effective. But it all still feels like I'm running uphill in loose sand.

And it all comes down to product, which I am told, I need a lot more of, so I'm off to do writing.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Naomi Novik - My New Favorite Author

I don't remember where I read a review or recommendation of her book Uprooted. But it intrigued me enough to check it out. I liked her writing, enjoyed the book and went looking for more. That's when I discovered her dragon books.

The Temeraire series could probably be summed up as the Napoleonic Wars with dragons. But if I had read that, I wouldn't have tried it. Alternate histories are not something I read very often. The characters are the heart of the series and what has made me love it. There are battles and some interesting history along the way. (Not sure how much is true.)

I've been plowing through the series, book after book, quite gleefully. I discovered the other day that book 9 is the last book. I will be very curious to see how it is all wrapped up. Right now I am in the middle of book 6. I might need to slow down a little, now that I know it has an end.

Some of the books have more battles than others. I have to admit to skimming those parts a bit. Especially if my favorite characters aren't front and center.

The thing that constantly amazes me is the time it takes to travel or get news. A journey from England to Africa is said to take months. Letters can only travel as fast as a ship or a horse (or courier dragon!) can get them there. Moving troops and supplies and ships is an endeavor of weeks or months. Everything happens at a slower pace because it has to and plans must be drawn up a year in advance.

So if you're looking for a great dragon series, look her up.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Rollercoaster Weather

Last weekend we got 5" of snow. Today I was out working in the garden in my shirt sleeves. We went from a couple of nights in the single digits to days so warm the shrubs are budding.

When the temperature plummeted I started to complain, only to remember -- it's January! It's supposed to be cold. We've had such a mild winter that I hadn't even broken out the big coat yet. When I got ready to shovel snow, I had to dig around to find a pair of mittens because I hadn't used any so far this season.

The weather man delights in showing us the diagram of how we have been either colder or warmer than average. Consistently. Which I guess eventually leads to new averages, right?

My forsythia put out a few timid blooms just before the big freeze. As if to ask, "Is it time yet?" I noticed on my walk today that many of the trees have gotten knobby with buds. That's too soon for this area. Well, normally that is.

And our Big Freeze lasted less than a week...

I expect another dose of cold weather that will last a little longer. And I expect it to hit just when everything decides it's okay to bloom.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Reader's Block

Argh! It's happened again, that dastardly reader's block.

I read a lot of books. Ever since I was a child, I've always carried around a book I was working my way through. I would get stacks of books out of the library knowing I would have read them all by the time they were due. My parents always had books, too.

But every now and then I get stuck. I'm just not ready to immerse myself in a new world. I'd rather play endless games of solitaire or surf the net. Maybe it's a lack of focus. Too much caffeine? Sunspots?

It's frustrating because I just got a gift card and I'm eager to load up the Kindle. I've started a new wishlist in Amazon called "Series Next". I've added all the next books in the many, many series I'm reading so I can easily find them. And it's a reminder of what/who all those series and authors are.

So now I can go to my "Series Next" list and decide which characters I want to visit. Fantasy? Science Fiction? Urban Fantasy? Mystery? Whichever I pick, I'll have to remember to add the next book (unless it isn't written yet) so I won't lose track.

I'm sure I've forgotten a couple of series. When I am reading I tend to plow through books pretty quickly. Especially if a series is complete. I should go through my Goodreads lists.

I did read a book last week. Killing Rites - book 3 in the Black Sun Series by M L N Hanover (Daniel Abraham). Normally I wouldn't pick up a book with a sexy female on the cover, but I love all of his other books, so I gave it a try. It's a funky kind of Urban Fantasy that immediately appealed to me. Despite the sexy pose on the cover, there is very little in the way of romance in the story line. Which is the way I prefer it. I'm eager to read book 4.

And maybe I just talked myself out of my block!