Thursday, December 13, 2012

Out soon: Not for Glory - an Excerpt

Not for Glory will be out in about three weeks. Here is one essential scene:

James heard a high, clear voice singing.

As I was walking all alone,
I heard twa corbies makin a moan;
The one unto the other say,
"Where shall we go and dine the-day?”

The voice stopped as well it should. James laughed under his breath. Was she truly teaching that song to the court’s children? He’d wager a gold merk the queen would not be pleased. A child’s squeal followed and a piping demand, “Sing more.”

 James snapped his fingers at his shaggy-coated deerhound that had stopped to nose a scent on the wall. “Mac Ailpín, come.” He rounded the corner of the thorny hedge into the pleasure garden.  The air was redolent with summer roses and violets and a bushy rue gave up a spicy scent. William again demanded, “Sing more,” hanging from hanging on Ysabella of Ramsey’s arm as little Princess Maud knelt pulling the blossoms from a wallflower and dropping them into the grass.

Ysabella. A perfect rose in the midst of the garden, and he had never before seen it. Fair Ysabella. Golden-haired Ysabella. Wide-eyed Ysabella. She was slender, straight as a blade, with a radiant face and hair like a pour of honey. No longer a child, she wore a wife’s vein of blue that matched her eyes bound by a golden circlet and a silken gown that shimmered in the sun. He stared at her as she laughed down at his son. There was joy in her face.

“Lad, you mustn’t pull so on a lady,” James said.

The lad turned loose and looked up. “Father!” And then his eyes widened. “A dog…” he said in a rapt voice.

Ysabella sent James a look that barely hid a grin. “Greet your lord father properly.”

William gave a good try at a bow. He slid a look at Yabella from the corner of his eye and frowned fiercely. “My lord father,” he said.

James squatted and held our his arms. “Come. Let me see if you’ve grown whilst I was gone.”

William ran to fling himself onto his father’s chest, wrapping his arms around his neck. “I’m very big now. Did you bring me something? I want to play with the dog. Is it yours? May I have one?”

“It depends on what I hear of you.” But a clear-eyed examination from his son showed the lad had every confidence in gifts from his lord father. Ruffling the lad’s hair, James couldn’t help beaming. How did a child grow so fast? Had that much time truly passed? In two years, he’d be of an age to take a place as a page. And James had to wonder how he himself had gotten so old. He hoisted the boy up as he stood. “Has he been learning his manners, Lady Ysabella?”

She wrinkled her brow as she pretended to frown. “He talks a great deal, my lord. Even sometimes when he should be silent.” James looked into her wide, blue eyes and it was as though she could see right through his eyes into him. But her frown dissolved into a smile.

William’s lower lip was trembling and he looked at Ysabella.

“But he behaves not too ill,” she gave in. 
James sank onto the stone bench beside her and sat the lad on his feet. He patted William’s bottom. “Play with Mac Ailpín and mayhap I have something for you before I go.”

The hound settled with a resigned sigh at James’s feet as William eagerly tugged on its ears. “Come look,” he commanded the Princess who’d apparently tired of destroying flowers and wandered over to crow at the dog's feathered tail.

Where is Prince Robert…” He shrugged. The health of Marjorie’s son was a delicate subject. “Is he unwell?”

“He…” She lowered her voice. “He tries so hard to keep up with the others. But he still limps from the way of his birth, and yesterday he fell. He hurt his leg, so he’s abed.” Ysabella twined her long fingers together. She looked away and swallowed.

James rested his hand on hers to stop the twisting. “It can’t be anything serious. His grace would have said something.”

“No, but it’s hard to see him try and fail. And the other children aren’t always kind.”

William had straddled the big deerhound like a horse. The dog rose with a surge that sent the lad tumbling into the grass. He looked up, blinking at the indignity. James reached into his purse and brought out a top painted in stripes of bright blue and red. “I don’t suppose anyone might want this?” he asked.

“Mine!” William exclaimed. When Ysabella shook her head at him, he said, “Thank you.”

Ysabella rose and held out a hand to the Princess and William. “I married this year you know, my lord."

“I know.” He was still staring at her. 
She led the children to the entrance through the hedge, but she paused to give James a last look. "Welcome back." Then she was gone.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Coming Soon: Not for Glory, Book 3 in The Black Douglas Trilogy

An excerpt from Chapter One:
A pale-faced lad dodged backward. "The king sent me. He wants you."
An unhorsed Englishman screamed as his head was crushed by a slashing hoof. He fell atop a knight already dead. James's own men wore helms and studded leather brigandines, marked with the blue and white Saltire of Scotland under the streaks of dirt and blood and gore. The steel tide surged against the crumbling mass of a panicked foe. They heaved forward a step.
Six hours they’d fought, since the cool of dawn, hacking at an army that seemed without number. His arm suddenly was heavy with the fatigue from a day of hack and slash.   
The English war horns shrilled thin. Harooo Harooo… Retire… Retire…
He blinked the sting of sweat from his eyes. Where was Walter Stewart? In the chaos, James spotted Walter’s blue and white checky pennant. He grabbed Iain’s arm and pulled him out of the line of pikesmen. "Find Sir Walter. Tell him he has command." He shoved his sword into his black leather sheath and jerked a nod to the squire. "Lead on."
The lad turned and clamored across the broken sod, past a sprawled body of a knight, his armor still agleam as his blood soaked into the dry earth. For a moment, a wind from the east gust the smell of the salt sea and cut through the fug of blood and shit. Who could have imagined such a battle? A body in a ripped brigandine marked with a Saltire was pierced by the shattered remains of a pike next to a gutted stallion. A corbie, its black feathers gleaming in the sun, took flight from the guts spilled onto the ground with an angry kraaa. They trudged past it all and the uproar faded behind them into a rumble.
Beyond a ragged stand of alder, leaves drooping in summer’s heat, the king’s golden lion banner hung limp in the still air. The lad pointed. James slapped his shoulder and strode through the welcome shade of the trees as he reached up to wrench off his helm.
Robert de Bruce’s hand rested on the hilt of his sword, his head tilted, as he listened to what the Keith was saying. At the Bruce’s feet sat his helm topped by a gold crown. Enemy blood streaked his armor and cloth-of-gold tabard. He ran a hand through fair hair dripping with sweat. "Jamie," the king exclaimed.
James worked some spit into his parched mouth. "Your Grace."
"Bring him water," the Bruce called and the squire scurried away.
The Keith said, "King Edward fled the field and Aymer du Valence with him with five hundred guards."
James felt his eyes widen as he looked from his good-father to the king.
"Come." The Bruce strode a little way through the alders so they could watch the battle. On the distant hill, Stirling Castle loomed gray against a cloudless noon sky. The king shook his head.  "If someone took command they might still turn the battle."
"They’re in full flight." The Keith pointed toward the battle and past to the deep gully cut by the Bannockburn. "They’re forcing their horses down the gully into the Bannockburn. Already it’s mired with bodies. Some are fleeing for the River Forth."
"Our men so weary they can barely lift a pike," the king said, squinting at the roiling mass of the battle. "How many hours can a man fight? If it turned now, we’d be in desperate case."
The squire ran up with a cup and flagon and thrust the cup of water into James’s hand. He gulped it down. It ran down his throat like rain after a drought.  He held out the cup and let the squire re-fill it. "But without their king?"
"I want to pursue Edward," the Keith said. He slid a glance toward the king. "There is no one left who could rally them. We’ve won."
"We don’t know where Gilbert de Clair is or Robert de Clifford is or Humphrey de Bohun or Ralph de Monthermer. Any of those could rally them. Even broken, such a great army is dangerous. Like a wounded boar." His gaze was fixed on the chaos of the battle. The sound was a roar of a distant sea. Remorseless. "I won’t chance it."
"Did King Edward make for Stirling Castle?" James asked.
The Keith jerked a nod. "I pursued him so far. Mowbray must have refused him entrance. They turned south."
"No, Lord Marishcal. I’ll have sixty of your chivalry. That will leave you a full 400 knights if we have need of them." The Bruce skewered James with a look. "You’ll lead the sixty to follow the curst English king. Aught who lag, you will take but the king... Don't waste your life trying to take him."
James blew out a long breath. His whole body was a mass of weary aches. He looked at the cup of water in his hand, lifted it, and dumped the water over his head. It ran through his hair and down his cheeks to drip from his close-cropped beard, mixing with sweat until he shook his head hard like a wet hound.  
The king and his good-father were watching him. "We’ll skirt the battle and take the North Park road."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

NEW in the Kazak Guardian Series: The Unthinkable by C. R. Daems

Lynn the Fox has been a Kazak for several years and thought she had seen it all; after all, she's a Master Kazak having killed more than five Assassins—professional killers with wizard-like talents. But life is unpredictable and the unimaginable is about to happen.

From Double Dragon Press. Only $4.99 on Amazon!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: The Generosity of Strangers by Thomas E. Antonaccio

Description from Amazon: When War Came to Fornelli is written in first person, free verse, and consists of a series of vignettes chronicling the real life experiences of a young girl and her family in war-torn Italy in the 1940s. The story is set in the town of Fornelli–a tiny hilltop community in Italy’s mountainous heart.
For Lucia and her family, life in Fornelli is anything but boring. Life is difficult, yet tranquil. But soon the war comes, and life in Fornelli is tranquil no more.


In many ways this is a simple book. It is about Lucia, a small girl in a village in Italy, her Mamma and Tata, her brothers and sisters, and the animals around the farm. 

However, in many ways it is a darker book than many children's books, because it also looks at World War II through the eyes of a child. Her father leaves and there is loss and sadness. There is also family and beauty. 

As is appropriate in a child's book, the language is relatively simple and although it shows the sadness that does happen in life, it is child friendly. It is written in verse in short chapters which is unusual, but works quite well. The Generosity of Strangers is I think a good way to introduce children to the past and to the fact that there can be loss as well as happiness and that having the first does not mean never again having the second.

This is a book that I will be giving to one of the children in my own family.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Coming Soon: Not for Glory, a Historical Novel of Scotland

The final novel in The Black Douglas Trilogy and still in edit but here is the opening:

June 24, 1314
The English were trapped against the Bannockburn. The hedge of Scottish steel shoved once more against the desperate knights, and Sir James de Douglas saw the banners flying above the writhing mass. Those banners included the huge scarlet banner with the Plantagenet leopards; that banner proclaimed that King Edward of Caernarfon was somewhere close in the chaos.  James bellowed his battle cry, “A Douglas! A Douglas!” battle fury sweeping through him. Rage and hatred unleashed for the losses and the pain. He smashed his sword into an English face. For Isabella. For his father. For Thomas. For Alycie. He swung again and again.
Around him his men screamed, “Scotland! Scotland! On them!” Hungry for revenge, they had spent their lives fighting the invader, and they had become savagely good at war. An arrow sliced in from the right, striking James’s shield. He lifted it, but no more came. Archers would have been the last chance for the English, but King Robert de Bruce had planned well for them, and held back his five hundred Scottish chivalry to sweep behind the English line and attack the archers.
James’s men shouted as they thrust their pikes into the belly and face of English horses, into the gaps in gleaming armor; they chopped with their weapons. And the English fell back, horses screaming as they went down the steep edge of a gully.
The English had nowhere more to go. Under the English hooves, men lay, dead, wounded, shrieking in pain. Their commanders were shouting to retire. And the Scots slashed into them. English knights shouted curses, thrust with lances, swung swords as they were forced back. Ribbons of scarlet waved through the Bannockburn’s waters. The English knights fought with the desperation of trapped men.
Next to James, one of his men grunted as he hacked his pike into the writhing mass of English. Another horse went down. Blood and mud splattered onto James’s helm. The rider threw himself free, landing flat on his back. James grunted as he slammed a foot on the knight’s chest and thrust his sword down through his throat.
“On them!” The bellows from his men were deafening. "They fail!"
"Sir James!"
James spun at the hand on his shoulder, jerking his sword arm into position.
A pale-faced lad dodged backward. "The king sent me. He wants you."
An unhorsed Englishman screamed as his head was crushed by a slashing hoof. He fell atop a knight already dead. James's own men wore helms and studded leather, marked with the blue and white Saltire of Scotland, now streaked with mud and blood and gore. The steel tide surged against the crumbling mass of a panicked foe. They heaved forward a step.
Six hours they’d fought, since the cool of dawn, hacking at an army that seemed without number. His arm suddenly was heavy with the fatigue of a day of slash and thrust.   
The English trumpets shrilled thin. Harooo Harooo… Retire… Retire…
He blinked the sting of sweat from his eyes. Where was Walter Stewart? In the chaos, James spotted Walter’s blue and white checky pennant. He grabbed Iain’s arm and pulled him out of the line of pikesmen. "Find Sir Walter. Tell him he has command." He shoved his sword into his black leather sheath and jerked a nod to the squire. "Lead on."
The lad turned and clamored across the broken sod, past a sprawled body of a knight, his armor still agleam as his blood soaked into the dry earth. For a moment a breath of a breeze cut through the fug of blood and shit. Who could have imagined such a battle? A body wearing a studded brigandine marked with a Saltire was pierced by the shattered remains of a pike next to a stallion, its guts spilled onto the ground. They trudged past it all and the uproar faded behind them into a rumble.
Beyond a ragged stand of alder, leaves drooping in summer’s heat, the king’s golden lion banner hung limp in the still air. The lad pointed. James slapped his shoulder and strode through the welcome shade of the trees as he reached up to wrench off his helm.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Scotland, NATO and Nuclear Weapons

I have recently seen some absurd arguments on this topic. While I tend to try to stay away from politics on this blog, I find it necessary to comment.

There are 28 nations in the NATO alliance: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States.

There is something very interesting about that list. Of those 28 nations in NATO, only three have nuclear weapons: France, the US and the UK. That means they at least more or less have their own weapons (although whether the UK could use theirs without input from the US is open to question). However, there are this time five nations of NATO that allow nuclear weapons -- mostly operated and guarded by US forces -- upon their soil in what is called "nuclear sharing": Belguim, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey.

That's it. Twenty-eight nations in NATO, and only eight have nuclear weapons on their soil. Twenty do not.

Canada "hosted" nuclear weapons until 1984 when they were expelled from the country. Until 2001 nuclear weapons were "hosted" in Greece at which time they were expelled from that country. Now in Scotland in the run-up to the referendum, there are many people who will tell you that Scotland cannot be part of the NATO alliance unless they allow nuclear weapons in the waters of the River Clyde, next to their most populous city!

Every nation that has been admitted in the past few years, and there has been a number of them, (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland) has been admitted WITHOUT imposing nuclear weapons upon them on their own soil. But supposedly, according to some, Scotland would be expelled -- as it is now in effect a member as a part of the UK -- if it does not meekly agree to nuclear weapons in its waters.

Frankly, the argument is risible.

I am not getting into the argument about whether Scotland should be an independent or not. That is not my business. In the autumn of 2014, the people of Scotland will rightfully decide that matter in a referendum. But they must be given facts upon which to decide. It would be a travesty for the decision to be based upon lies perpetrated by pro-Union politicians and those who are simply in opposition to NATO.

Edited to add: Congratulations to my many friends in Scotland today on the signing of the agreement between the Scottish Government and the UK Government on a referendum for Scottish independence. Alba gu bràth!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

National Coming Out Day

Three of the most life-impacting (and life-affirming) words you can say in our society are these:

I am gay.

At time, sadly, they may seem very isolating. LGBTQ in books in literature are one step in breaking that isolation, in realizing that we are merely one variable in the myriad variety that makes up being human. 

Here is a list of a few novels which include LGBTQ characters and themes and for National Coming Out Day they are 50% off at Smashwords.

Although not taking part in a promotion, another author whose work you might want to visit is Josh Lanyon.

My fantasy novel Blood Duty has two secondary characters who are gay.

Another good novel with a main character who is gay and female is C. R. Daem's The Kazak Guardians

Coming out does not make us less part of the human community, just allows us to take part in it honestly.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Free on Amazon: FREEDOM'S SWORD

I am thrilled to say that Freedom's Sword, a Historical Novel of Scotland has excellent reviews on Amazon with twelve 5-star and fourteen 4-star reviews. Because it is the opening novel in my Scottish historical series, I am offering it to readers free on Amazon US, Nook Books, and iTunes.

The other books in the series now available are:

A Kingdom's Cost
Countenance of War

Not for Glory is planned for released in January.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Guest Post: Genre Phobia by Pavarti K. Tyler

I only recently found out that I was a fantasy author.  I know, it sounds ridiculous.  Especially since Two Moons of Sera Vol One was released in November of 2011.  But see, I was in a kind of denial.  My own prejudices shone through and clouded my ability to see that I was in fact the very subject of my own discrimination.

As a science fiction buff, I’ve always kind of looked down on fantasy.  You know, with elves and fairies and knights you can play fast and loose with the rules of logic.  This flies in the face of everything science fiction stands for!

I remember the days of sitting in the lunch room cafeteria with my nerdly friends.  Come wore gauntlets even to school, most were excitedly discussing the next RPG game they would be meeting up for and far too many owned their own capes.  I loved them all, but silently I scoffed.  I would go to the games and listen, but rarely play, mostly there to smoke cigarettes and make out with my fella.

A life time of snobbery later, I find that I have no flame to light my righteous way as I stand in the wind.  I have written a fantasy novel.  I tried to convince myself it was more romance than fantasy (it’s not), then I tried to say it was kind of sci-fi (it’s not), or maybe sort of dystopian (it’s not).  Two Moons of Sera is solidly fantasy and now that I’ve accepted that I have found a whole new world has opened up to me.

The rules of logic I had clung to as dogma for so long have fallen away and now I am free to dream without limits.  I have opened my mind to books and plot lines I’d never considered before.  I even recently read a book about Faeries and loved it.  Before, I would have rolled my eyes at the spelling, but now, I’m free to just enjoy it (Check out The Betweenby LJ Cohen for a great read).

Now I proudly announce that Two Moons of Sera is a Fantasy first, a Romance second.  It’s a book that has inspired the crashing of my pre-conceived notions and allowed me a kind of freedom to explore the possibilities of my imagination in ways never before possible.

About the author: Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway.

Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry several international law firms. She now operates her own accounting firm in the Washington DC area, where she lives with her husband, two daughters and two terrible dogs. When not preparing taxes, she is busy working as the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity or penning her next novel.

Her current project, Two Moons of Sera, is being published in serial format.  Volumes 1-3 are available now on  Volume 4 is expected out before the end of 2012.

This blog post is  part of a blog tour put together by Orangeberry Book Tours

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Title, Title, Who Has a Title?

I am deep into work on my next (and final) novel in The Black Douglas Trilogy. It isn't coming easy. I hadn't researched the years after the Battle of Bannockburn as deeply as I had the years before and I needed some additional books. I am still waiting for the part of Bower's  Scotichronicon that covers from 1320 to 1360 and the cost made me cry. But I have most of what I need and am just looking for bits and pieces I may have missed. Of course, much of it is open to question and a lot of details are lost in the shroud of history. All the more fun for me.

I am still wrestling with a big question. Who WAS the mother of James Douglas's bastard son, later  known as Archibald the Grim or Black Archibald? Admittedly it could have been anyone, including the local milkmaid, but the fact that Archibald grew up in the King's household is rather mysterious. Even King Robert's illegitimate children were not normally a part of the royal household. And Archibald eventually became the 3rd Earl of Douglas. A bastard becoming powerful and inheriting was not unknown in 14th century Scotland, but was a long way from the norm. This leads me to speculate that the mother had some power in addition to his being Douglas's son. But who would she have been?

Another big question is the title. I am wavering on choosing "The Hammer of England" in spite of some people saying that it sounds as though he was English. TheOldNat suggested Mell of England since I've been known to sneak in a word or two of Scots. Of course, hardly anyone would know what the title meant (it means a wooden mallet in Scots) but that might not be a big issue. Or it might be.

I'm open to suggestion on both questions. 

Anyway, I am researching and writing away at it. The artist is working on art for the cover and I have a cover designer ready to design the cover. My editor is ready. Unless something really unexpected happens the final book in The Black Douglas Trilogy will be out early next year.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

2012 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards

I'm proud to announce that A Kingdom's Cost won for Best Historical Novel at the eFestival of Words. To be exact, it tied with Vestal Virgin by Suzanne Tyrpak. For those not acquainted with this award, the staff of the festival solicited peer-nominations from authors, editors, book reviewers, and publishers. Authors were not allowed to nominate their own books. Everyone was nominated by their peers in the industry. The voting was opened to the attendees of the eFestival of Words.

Here is the complete list of winners and runners up:

Genre Specific Awards

Non Fiction: General
WINNER: Hippie Boy: A Girl's Story by Ingrid Ricks (Ingrid Ricks)
RUNNER UP: Walk in the Snark by Rachel Thompson (Rachel Thompson)

Best Non-Fiction: DIY/Self-Help
WINNER: Let's Get Digital by David Gaughran (Arriba Arriba Books)
RUNNER UP: What Your Mother Never Told You: A Survival Guide for Teenage Girls by Richard Dudum (Island Publishing)

Non-Fiction: Religion/Spirituality
WINNER: Ever-Flowing Streams: Beyond Bible-Belt Thinking by Dana Taylor (Supernal Friends Publishing)
RUNNER UP: Northern Wisdom: The Havamal, Tao of the Vikings by Oaghan Odinsson (Asgard Studios)

General Fiction
WINNER: Finding Emma by Steena Holmes (Steena Holmes)
RUNNER UP: Someone Else's Fairytale by Emily Mah Tippetts (Emily Mah Tippetts)

Best Action/Adventure
WINNER: LeMans by Dakota Franklin (CoolMain Press)
RUNNER UP: Redaction by Linda Andrews (LandNa Publishing)

Chick Lit/Women’s Lit
WINNER: Carpe Bead 'Em by Tonya Kappes (Tonya Kappes)
RUNNER UP: Drawing Free by Elena Aitken (Ink Blot Communications)

Best Children’s Lit
WINNER: Alice Parker's Metamorphosis by Nicola Palmer (Kallisto)
RUNNER UP: The Lost Secret of Fairies by Tiffany Turner (Tiffany Turner)

Best Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
WINNER: The Black God's War by Moses Siregar III(Cup of Gold)
RUNNER UP: Mind Over Mind by Karina Fabian (Dragon Moon Press)

Best Historical Fiction
WINNER (TIE) A Kingdom's Cost by JR Tomlin (JR Tomlin)
WINNER (TIE)Vestal Virgin by Suzanne Tyrpak (Suzanne Tyrpak)
RUNNER UP: Fiji by Lance Morcan (Sterling Gate Books)

Best Horror
WINNER: 61 A.D. by David McAfee (David McAfee)
RUNNER UP: Zombie Bible: What Our Eyes Have Witnessed by Stant Litore (Dante's Heart)

Best Literary
WINNER: Village Books by Craig McLay (Craig McLay)
RUNNER UP: The Midget's House by Anita Bartholomew (Anita Bartholomew)

Best Mystery/Suspense
WINNER: Dead is the New Black by Christine DeMaio-Rice (Christine DeMaio-Rice)
RUNNER UP: Not What She Seems by Victorine Lieske (Victorine Lieske)

Best Romance
WINNER: Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne (Kristine Cayne)
RUNNER UP: Again by Diana Murdock (Diana Murdock)

Best Science Fiction
WINNER: Wool by Hugh Howey (Broad Reach)
RUNNER-UP: The Next Genesis by Humberto Sachs and Kimberly Coghlan (Two Moon Press)

Best Thriller
WINNER: The Chosen by Jay Hartlove (Damnation Books)
RUNNER UP: A Blade Away by Jack Wallen (Autumnal Press)

Best Young Adult
WINNER: The Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto (Michelle Muto)
RUNNER UP: Neeta Lyffe: Zombie Exterminator by Karina Fabian (Damnation Books)

Format-Specific Awards

Best Anthology
WINNER: Indie Chicks: 25 Women, 25 Stories (Still Waters Publishing)
RUNNER UP: Tales Of The Far West Gareth-Michael Skarka, editor (Adamant Entertainment)

Best Novel
WINNER: The Black God's War by Moses Siregar III(Cup of Gold)
RUNNER UP: On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves (Tracey Garvis Graves)

Best Short Story (Individual Story)
WINNER (TIE) Transfection by David Gaughran (Arriba Arriba Books)
WINNER (TIE): Chamber Music by Peter Balaskas (Uncial Press)
RUNNER UP: Matchmakers 2.0 by Debora Geary (Fireweed Press)

Short Story Collection (Single Author)
WINNER: Mortal Clay, Stone Heart, and Other Stories in Black and White by Eugie Foster (Eugie Foster)
RUNNER UP: After the Apocalypse by Maureen F McHugh (Small Beer Press)

Best Poetry Collection
WINNER: Trouble by Jess C Scott (jessINK)
RUNNER UP: Disreputable by Jane Holland (Jane Holland)
RUNNER UP: The Untasted Day by Mark Murray (Mark Murray)

Best Magazine in Digital Format
WINNER: Morpheus Tales
RUNNER UP (TIE): Apex Magazine
RUNNER UP (TIE): Clarksworld Magazine

Special Awards

The Harvey Award for the Book We Most Want to See Made into a Movie
WINNER: Wool by Hugh Howey (Broad Reach)
RUNNER UP: On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves (Tracey Garvis Graves)

The "I've Been Shyamalaned" Award for Best Twist
WINNER: The Survival of Thomas Ford by John AA Logan (White Butterfly Press)
RUNNER UP: A Blade Away by Jack Wallen (Autumnal Press)

Best Hero/Heroine
WINNER: Jetta, Firedancer by SA Bolich
RUNNER UP: Emily Grant, Not What She Seems by Victorine Lieske

Best Villain
WINNER (TIE): Salahn, Wrath of the White Tigress by David Alastair Hayden
WINNER (TIE)The Castus Organization, The Sin Collector by Jessica Fortunato
RUNNER UP: Victor Clay, She Cried Wolf by Lee Lopez

Best Cover Art
WINNER: Death at Bandit Creek by Amy Jo Fleming (April Martinez, artist)
RUNNER UP: The Weight of Glass by Stuart Heatherington

Monday, August 13, 2012

Let's Help Restore LendInk

I support this effort and have already made a small contribution. Like many authors, I'm not rich but every little bit will add up.

What's more I am ashamed of the indie author community and what has been done to the LendInk owner, Dale Porter. There is no excuse for it and an "I'm sorry" from the people -- mainly indie authors -- who did the damage is not enough. This gives all of us a chance to make things right.

No, I did not take part in the attacks; in fact, on several forums I said that the site was NOT pirating. But I also feel that I didn't speak out strongly enough. Largely because I wasn't paying attention, I stood by silent while much of this happened.

So I apologize to Dale Porter, and I urge those who are concerned with righting a wrong to contribute to restoring LendInk on Fundrazr.

Here is Dale Porter's message discussing his plans for the site and what he needs to restore it: is an online community created to help readers discovery new authors and books by way of facilitating the legal lending of eBooks via the and Barnes and Noble lending programs. The site was recently shutdown by a group of angry authors who thought Lendink was pirating their books. This was the result of misinformation being spread via numerous online portals and by the time word got out that Lendink was a legit service, the damages had been done and the site taken down due to threats to Lendink and their web hosting company.

We have had hundreds of people write us and offer their support to bring back but in order to do this, we must transfer to a web host capable of handling the increase demands the recent exposure has brought. We also want to have the site worked on in order to better explain the book lending process and ensure that authors and readers alike understand how the site works.

We would also like to have some additional features built into the site such as "Meet the Author" and "Book of the Week".

Unfortunately, we also anticipate further issues from some of the misguided authors that still do not fully understand how the site operates. To this end, we also need to setup a legal fund to hire legal representation.

The success of Lendink is dependent on your donations. If you like Lendink and would like to see the site back online, please consider helping us.

Breakdown of funds needed:

Legal Retainer: $3,000
Hosting (12 months): $1,000
Website Redesign: $6,000
 I sincerely believe this is the right thing to do.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

LendInk and a Twitter Mob

I've been trying to blog about this for several days. It is one of the few times I've been truly ashamed to be an author. I do feel like someone on the day after a lynching, wondering how something quite innocent could have gone so terribly wrong and who was to blame.

It started last week when someone (and it's hard to pin down the first post or tweet) started sending out messages and posting on forums and tweeting that LendInk was a "pirate" site with pirated novels on it. I took a brief look, saw that this was incorrect and didn't pay much attention to it at first.

So what WAS LendInk doing and why wasn't it piracy?

Well, when you buy an eBook from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, you are allowed to loan it one time for up to two weeks. While it is on loan it is not available on your Kindle or Nook. So a number of sites out there put together someone who has an eBook they are willing to lend with someone who would like to borrow it. The sites do not have the files; they act as, in effect, matchmakers. There is nothing either illegal or immoral about this. Hell, it's not even fattening!

On several of the popular writers forums, some of us such as Amanda Brice, Victorine Leiske and I amongst several others, were trying to explain this to fellow writers--and our explanations were falling on deaf ears. In the meantime, on Twitter the accusations went viral. Without bothering to check, author after author tweeted accusations that the site was pirating. It turned into a virtual mob (no pun) going after this business man. (I'm not naming names but it doesn't take much research to know the biggest offenders.) According to the LendInk owner, things even went so far as having threats of violence made against him and his family.

Then to make things even "better" as a response to the heavy influx of angry traffic and DMCA notices, the service providers took down the site. The fact that there was no truth to the accusations and no copyright violation anywhere on the site didn't matter. Not only were they NOT pirating, the site had links to Amazon and B&N where the novels could be purchased if they weren't available for a borrow.

In fact, having your book listed there was a GOOD thing, just as it is a good thing to have neighbors lending your book because they enjoyed it or people checking it out of the library. First: It was perfectly legal. Second: It is how people find new authors.

But what upsets me... What has me really angry is that there are still authors out there defending what they did! They put the man who owned it out of business by what is basically a mob action and they have NO shame. The worst I saw was on Critique Circle forums where some of this mob action was formed and where I WAS a long time member.

Not any more. I do not want to be any part of the writers' community that behaves in this fashion.

Addendum: I read on the site owner's Facebook page that the site hosts have offered to restore LendInk. After the threats to himself and his family as well as the stress of the last week, he apparently has decided not to restore it. I can hardly blame him.