Friday, October 24, 2014

STORM WITHOUT END (Requiem for the Rift King) by @RJ_Blain #MustRead #Fantasy #AmReading

“Stand up and drop the weapon.”
A long shadow stretched over the grass, followed by a second. Breton loosened his grip on the weapon and let it fall. Careful to step on the blade as he rose, he held out his hands to show he wasn’t armed.
A second robed figure emerged from the knee-tall grass, and the tip of a second arrowhead glinted in the sunlight. Breton ran his tongue over his teeth. The first stood close enough for Breton to reach, if he could avoid being struck.
The second man would prove the true problem. If Breton was hit — or if the archers missed him and hit Ferethian instead — he’d have more than his survival to worry about. While he needed to find Kalen, he didn’t want to lure the Rift King back to the Rift through death.
“That’s right. Easy now. Keep your hands where we can see them, Rifter.”
Breton glanced out of the corner of his eye at Ferethian. The Rift King’s horse stood rigid, the animal’s dark eyes staring beyond the two outsiders.
The pair of large shadows moved closer, and it took all of Breton’s will to stare at the two figures in front of him.
“Hands up higher, Rift King,” the man snapped.
Breton hesitated, glancing at each figure in turn. They thought he was the Rift King? He frowned and considered the two men. They didn’t exactly go out of their way to describe Kalen to anyone. However, he could recall a few missives talking about how unusually small the Rift King’s horse was. Had they learned of Ferethian, but not of the man who rode him?
“Do it!”
The shadows solidified to the towering forms of black horses. The taller of the two Breton recognized from the familiar warmth in his chest born from being near his horse. Perin’s teeth were bared and both ears were turned back. The second horse was covered in river mud and dust, with black patches showing through.
Breton held his breath.
Ferethian lifted his hoof and struck the ground once. A chill ran through Breton. The two large animals took their placed behind the robed figures, their movements silenced by the ever-present hiss of the wind.
“Halter your horse,” the man ordered.
He lifted his hands to his shoulder to grab the ruined halter. Ferethian snorted and reared back, slamming both hooves down at the same time.
The outsiders fell to the heavy blow of hooves to the head. Angry squeals broke the silence, and Ferethian surged forward to trample the fallen, his long tail bannering.
Breton shivered, stooping to pick up the poisoned blade and the outsiders’ bows and arrows. One of them was carrying a small pouch tied to his belt. He grabbed it and tucked it away in a pocket. Pivoting on a heel, he left the bodies for the nibblers. The three Rift horses flanked him.
He hurried to where the Foristasa cut its way through the plains. The weapons vanished beneath the white caps of its waters. Perin draped his head over Breton’s shoulder and sighed. There was only one reason he could think of for outsiders to make their way to Blind Mare Run. They wanted the Rift King, dead or alive.
If the outsiders learned the truth of the Rift King’s disappearance, he didn’t want to think of the consequences. Breton knelt by the river’s edge and clucked his tongue at the horses. Perin came without complaint, letting him clean the blood from his legs.
The other two horses refused, as though unwilling to wash away the evidence of their devotion to the King no longer within the Rift.
He glanced in the direction of the bodies, shook his head, and headed back towards Blind Mare Run to call for the other Guardians.

Kalen’s throne is his saddle, his crown is the dirt on his brow, and his right to rule is sealed in the blood that stains his hand. Few know the truth about the one-armed Rift King, and he prefers it that way. When people get too close to him, they either betray him or die. The Rift he rules cares nothing for the weak. More often than not, even the strong fail to survive.
When he’s abducted, his disappearance threatens to destroy his home, his people, and start a hopeless and bloody war. There are many who desire his death, and few who hope for his survival. With peace in the Six Kingdoms quickly crumbling, it falls on him to try to stop the conflict swiftly taking the entire continent by storm.
But something even more terrifying than the machinations of men has returned to the lands: The skreed. They haven’t been seen for a thousand years, and even the true power of the Rift King might not be enough to save his people — and the world — from destruction.
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Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG – 13
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Connect with RJ Blain on Facebook and Twitter

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Top 5 Favorite Marketing Tools for Writers by Kelly Wilson @LiveCheap #SelfPub #AmWriting #WriteTip

Top 5 Favorite Marketing Tools for Writers

Book marketing is an essential part of the life of every writer. While we’d like to spend hours hunched over a notebook or laptop writing to our hearts’ content, the truth is that marketing our work requires time and attention in order to build a writing career.

In my several years of online marketing experience, I have come up with a set of book marketing tools that I absolutely cannot live without. They might take some time to master, but the benefits of making these part of your daily book marketing tool belt will consistently pay off over time.

If you’re wondering whether or not you should have a website, the answer is, “A thousand times, YES.” A website is the foundation of your book marketing efforts. You own that digital space, which means that nobody can take it from you; contrast this with social media - you don’t own any of that space, so they can take down anything of yours at any time.

There are many ways to build a website, but Wordpress is my favorite. It’s easy to use and fairly intuitive, especially if the idea of building or maintaining a website is particularly scary. Choose a domain name that fits your business – mine, for example, is “Wilson Writes” – and follow the directions for set up. Choose a theme that you can customize and tinker around. It’s worth the time!

Besides content, the most essential element of a website is a wide range of photos. Photoshop, while it takes some time to learn, offers a ton of options to manipulate photos and work on website design. Complete basic photo editing or create something unique using the limitless tools contained in the software. I like to use it to make funny memes and then post them on my website, because sometimes life is too funny NOT to take a photo of it and then make a meme.

Mailchimp and/or Feedburner
When your website is finished, don’t wait for people to visit you. Make sure to put an email capture program on the site to get the addresses of those who visit your site, and then post regular blog articles to keep readers engaged. I like to use both Feedburner and Mailchimp.

Feedburner sends out a daily digest of articles posted to your blog, while Mailchimp allows you to send customized newsletters out to readers. Both are useful, and the list captured via Feedburner can be downloaded into Mailchimp for easy use.

BookBuzzr is a valuable book marketing site that allows authors to set up profile pages that highlights their books. These pages are easy to set up and create more of an online presence for you and your books. There’s a lot more to what BookBuzzr offers based on what you are able to pay, but two of my favorite free options are the BookBuzzr book widgets and the Book Tweeter function.

Social media can feel overwhelming. You may start with updating Twitter, end up on Facebook via Instagram and pretty soon, an hour of your writing time has gone by. Hootsuite makes it possible to save time and effort by consolidating your social media profiles all on one platform.

Use Hootsuite to keep track of your mentions and retweets so that you can connect with those readers. Schedule out Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn status updates throughout the day, spending 20 minutes at the beginning of the day so your writing time is still all about writing…and not social media.

There are, of course, additional valuable tools for book marketing, but these are my favorites on my professional tool belt. What book marketing tools would you add that you can’t live without?

Bio: Kelly Wilson is a Portland, Oregon author and comedian who loves a bargain and likes to do as much online book marketing as possible for free. She is the author of Live Cheap & Free, Don’t Punch People in the Junk, and Caskets From Costco, along with numerous articles and short stories for children and adults. Kelly Wilson currently writes for a living and lives with her Magically Delicious husband, junk-punching children, dog, and cat, with a stereotypical minivan in the garage. Read more about her at

Caskets From Costco
For twenty years, Kelly Wilson thought that she had been marching through the stages of grief in a straight line. She had been following the formula, crossing each processed grief experience off her list.

Except that Kelly was totally deluded. And she didn’t discover that until Jim, her beloved father-in-law, died. She found herself drying off from her shower the morning after his death, really hoping that he couldn’t see her naked. Or, if he could, that he was averting his eyes.

From that moment, Kelly's path through grief resembled a roller coaster, spiraling and twisting and turning, circling back around. Echoes of past trauma, including childhood abuse and cheating death, would no longer be ignored. She somehow needed to get from the beginning to the end of this grief adventure, and she doesn't have a good sense of direction.

But what is always present during a journey through grief, regardless of the path chosen?


Caskets From Costco is a funny book about grief that demonstrates the certainty of hope and healing in an uncertain and painful world.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Memoir, Humor
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kelly Wilson on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

John E. Wade II and Charlotte Livingston Piotrowski on Life Experience & Writing #AmWriting #Inspirational

Note: These are being answered by John E. Wade II (JW) and Charlotte Livingston Piotrwoski (CP), as indicated below.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
CP: I was born and raised in New Orleans, though I have traveled across the country, to parts of South America, and around Europe. I believe that getting out and meeting new people and seeing other cultures has helped with my writing as well as made me a well-rounded person in general. Living in New Orleans tends to make people pretty easy-going, open to different lifestyles, and very fun-loving. But, for those of us who endured Hurricane Katrina, living here has also made us value what’s truly important.
How did you develop your writing?
JW: I believe my mother was well-spoken and a good writer, so I think I came by this naturally. I am currently taking a creative writing course at a local university, and have attended writer’s workshops. When I read samples of my writing from years ago, as compared to my more recent writing, I can see vast improvement.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
JW: I have found marketing to be the biggest challenge. Perhaps it is because there are so many books available to the public and so many methods of locating and buying books. We’re taking a broader approach with this most recent book, so it will be interesting to see what does and does not work.
Do you find it hard to share your work?
JW: I am inspired to share my work. In fact, it is my calling to write about heaven on earth, so I share my writing with anyone and everyone. In addition to my several blogs (,, and, I’ve been known to hand out copies of my books to perfect strangers!
Do you plan to publish more books?
JW: I am currently working with a publisher in the manuscript of my memoir and I already have about 80% of the manuscript drafted for the next in my series of heaven on earth books.
What other jobs have you had in your life?
JW: I worked as a CPA—in private practice and for the federal government—for nearly thirty years. I now mainly support myself through investing.
CP: I was a toxic tort and product liability litigator for just over ten years before a health issue forced my early retirement. I now write, edit, and create website and social media content full time.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
JW: I frequently audit university classes—take the classes, but not for credit—and have recently studied psychology.
CP: I am fascinated by astronomy, and although I minored in general sciences, I’d probably have to take more physics classes before even an introduction to astronomy class would make sense to me.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
JW: New Orleans (where I currently live).
CP: New Orleans (where I currently live).
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
JW: I carry a Moleskin journal with me everywhere I go, and write when a thought occurs to me. I then have these journals typed, and Charlotte Piotrowski, my editor, uses what I’ve written for blog and social media content. When I am writing for a specific literary project, I frequently handwrite, then have my notes typed, though recently I have been doing some of my own typing, which allows me to make revisions on the spot.
CP: I have a lovely home office which is fitted with a laptop connected to a docking station, as I prefer a full-sized keyboard and large monitor. I rarely write anywhere else.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
JW: I am one of those people who might go to bed at a “normal” time, then wake up with a great idea, and race to the computer and spend hours writing something. But, then I’ll take a nap later in the day to catch up. Since I don’t have a set work schedule, I have the freedom to set my own sleep schedule.
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
JW: I am very grateful to my first editor, Patricia Livingston, for her many years of valuable feedback. I now work closely with Charlotte Piotrowski, who is not only my editor, but also helps me brainstorm all sorts of creative projects. We meet on a weekly basis, and I think that really keeps my creative juices flowing.
CP: I have a very close friend who recently submitted her first manuscript to an editor, and she is very encouraging. I think having a friend who knows the challenges of this business really helps, since it is not a standard career path at all!
Glimpses of Heaven on Earth

Editor and author John E. Wade II has compiled a spiritual guide of invaluable insight for finding peace and meaning in life while making the world a better place for all. Along with co-authors Charlotte Livingston Piotrowski, Daniel Agatino, Michael Nagler, and Martin Rutte, this collection of enlightening essays and inspirational quotes from renowned thinkers and leaders throughout history provides the intellectual tools needed to live a more harmonious life.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Inspirational
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with John E. Wade II on Facebook

Friday, October 3, 2014

Lord Ra Krishna EL on His Favourite Authors and Writing @Lord_Ra_Krishna #AmReading #Philosophy

Who is your favorite author? That’s impossible, that’ like choosing a favorite child, however some of my favorites are Napoleon Hill, Friedrich Nietzsche, Osho, Maya Angelou, Maxwell Maltz, Robert Green, the Buddha and many others.

What book genre of books do you adore?

What book should everybody read at least once?
Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz

How did you develop your writing? My writing comes from creating music… it’s all just music to me.

Where do you get your inspiration from? Everything around me

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?

What marketing works for you? Social media magazine ads

Do you find it hard to share your work?
No, I actually enjoy sharing

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? they are all very supportive

Do you plan to publish more books? Yes, we’re working on Vol. II of Lucifer the indigo kids… last prophet.

"This “new age” book of poetry reflects the diverse views and philosophies of it’s author Ra Krishna EL. It’s an intimate, humorous and thought provoking group of poems intended to evoke strong emotion. To quote the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, this style of poetry can be called “Zukunfts poesie“ which translates into “Poetry of the future”, where truly original ideas are presented thru poetry. Also known as post Nietzschean poetry.

It’s subjects include society, pop culture, love, religious dogma, God and the new age of Aquarius. This book was written and published during the false incarceration of its author in Chicago’s notorious Cook County Jail, the largest jail in the country."

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Poetry, Philosophy
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Lord Ra Krishna EL on Facebook & Twitter