Every author knows cover reveals are exciting. This is the fourth book design I’ve purchased through Pro Book Covers. They just keep getting better.I remember how excited I was to see Dragon Badge. The first time is always special. When I saw Enemy of Man, it took my breath away because it fit the story perfectly. Sometimes in life, you actually get more than you hope for!Now I am looking at Son of Orlan with fresh inspiration. Soon my editor will return her comments. Facing the final revision strikes terror in the boldest author, but I can’t wait. The release date has been set for August 1st, but I should be done before then. (It’s always good to pad the schedule a little when it comes to polishing 85,000 words.)I hope you like this cover as much as I do and will consider reading the Chronicles of Kin Roland series.
Archives for May 2014
The second book in the Chronicles of Kin Roland series has been a long time coming. The first draft flowed through the keyboard like a gift from the imagination. However, I’ve dedicated myself to writing the best I possibly can. The Son of Orlan has been edited and revised more than anything I’ve published. The release date has yet to be set. I’m waiting on a final round of editor’s comments and beta reader feedback before finalizing the manuscript. (Samantha LaFantasie edited Enemy of Man, and has graciously agreed to do the same for book two.)The new cover by probookcovers.com looks great and I can’t wait to share it. This Friday, the intensely visual artwork will be on display for Enemy of Man fans to drool over.SON OF ORLANKin Roland survived the Battle of Crater Town. He managed to keep his friends alive, though most remained at his side on Crashdown when the safe course would have been to evacuate with Earth Fleet. Kin even found the girl of his dreams.Surviving Earth Fleet justice and a Reaper vendetta was only the beginning. Now Kin has real trouble. With the Grand Army of the Mazz Empire descending on the planet to destroy ancient enemies and Reapers sweeping across the landscape leaving terror and death in their wake, Kin learns the truth of his supposedly invincible enemies. The largest military expedition in history isn’t that of of a conquering force. The Mazz are on the run–fleeing extinction and Kin knows desperate enemies are dangerous.Kin will find himself in a position no one expected. He’ll define humanity with his next choice, or doom them eternally.If you are new to the series, please check out book one: Enemy of Man
A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War revealed aspects of the historical period I hadn’t been exposed to in other books. The author, Amanda Foreman, describes key events I have read in other books on the Civil War, but also shows the surprising effect on England and other parts of the world.I vaguely remember some of the stranger attempts at holding the Union together, but this book made my eyes pop open. Secretary of State William Henry Seward attempted a novel tactic at the beginning of the war, namely, he raised the specter of a potential foreign war in the belief the Confederate States would rejoin the Union out of a sense of nationalism. The potential disaster of this course of action can barely be imagined.A World on Fire also recounts the tale of the CSS Alabama and how much of the world seemed fascinated by the ship and crew’s exploits. The book explained how many people in England supported the Confederacy despite their hatred of slavery.I had also never read about Confederate operations from Canada, nor seen a detailed account of the conscription of English citizens on both sides of the war.A World on Fire follows the lives of colorful characters, some noble, some not so much.The audiobook version is narrated by Dean Robertson, who does a good job and is easy to listen to.This is definitely a book to read. Civil War history has always interested me, and I plan to re-read previous books and search for new discussions of the topic.
I’ve met some great people since my entrance into the world of social media; readers, novelists, and bloggers from all walks of life. One of the excellent sites I follow is Consuming Worlds. Several of her blog posts have mentioned an author named Steven Montano. She refers to him as one of her favorite authors, and I keep adding his books to my wish list. Like most readers with two jobs and a single income family of six, my to-be-read pile is long and new entries are serious business.Today I pulled the trigger and picked up a Kindle copy of Blood Skies, which to my delight, was free. I have no idea if this is a perma-free book to introduce the series or if I just got lucky. I have no affiliation with Mr. Montano other than Danielle’s persistent recommendations of his writing. Please check back for my review and be patient. I’m a slow reader. When I spend time in the pages, I daydream my way through the story. That’s why I have a high standard for what I read. If you follow my blog (or followed my previous blog Scott Moon Blog) then you know I listen to a lot of audio books, because I need stories and driving is a big part of my life.Anyhow, I will be participating in the cover reveal of Vampire Down: Book 7 in the Blood Skies series. My review of the first book should be done by the beginning of July. With luck, I might score a guest post from Steven Montano during his blog tour.If you would like to participate in the cover reveal for Vampire Down, please visit Danielle’s site here.Thanks for stopping by.
Perhaps there are writers craving competition with the intensity of a mixed martial arts superstar. And maybe pigs will fly to the moon and eat cheese. The sad reality is that more books are published now than any time in history, but there is good news. Tools exist to help authors stand out from the crowd.Nothing exists to replaced imagination or a skilled editor. The editing tools I am about to describe require time, effort, and don’t replaced professional eyes and the red pen that follows. Serenity Software: Editor and Pro Writing Aid can help deliver a superior product to a paid editor that should spend less time on the manuscript and thus reduce the overall fee.With luck, a writer can pull ahead of the crowd by concentrating on craft and evocative storytelling. Marketing can sell anything, but readers won’t purchase a second mediocre book.First impressions count.
Why I like Serenity Software: EditorThis program is great for finding usage errors and cleaning up diction. It is especially helpful for locating compound words and those that need to be compound words. Serenity brings consistency and can be used in Word.The price is reasonable, and is a one time expense, unlike Grammarly. Which I haven’t tried yet, and thus can’t review. The monthly fee is a bit daunting.
Grammarly has a free option that includes contextual spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Sentence structure, style, vocabulary use, and the palgerism check cost extra.
Why I like Pro Writing AidThis tool works online. It highlights targeted writing issues and offers suggestions. The writing style check will show adverbs in bright colors making it easy to spot problem areas in a manuscript. The cliches and redundancies check is nice. There is a passive word index and repeated word program just to name a few features.Pro Writing Aid also has an affiliate marketing program, which I have elected not to pursue. Some authors advocate affiliate marketing as a way to bolster total income, but my brief experiment with it seemed a waste of time that could have been spent writing.Smartphone TipI discovered a neat trick that allows me to review documents on my smart phone.Simply run Pro Writing Aid on a PC in Google Docs, then pull the file up on a smartphone when you can’t be at your computer. The highlighted words will remain visible for consideration. For my current work-in-progress, the Son of Orlan (book two in the Chronicles of Kin Roland) I’ve used both Serenity and Pro Writing Aid. Soon it will be ready for the eyes of Samantha LaFantasie, the editor of Enemy of Man.In future blogs I will discuss these tools in greater detail. Please share your experiences with these and other productivity tools in the comments section. I know I can use all the help I can get.Let’s write great stories and represent the growing ranks of professional indie authors.
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Enemy of Man(Science Fiction)Link