Visions of Zarua – #Audiobook in the pipeline – #narrators wanted #fantasy

I have toyed with the idea of an audiobook for a few years now, but I was always put off by the length of my book and the cost that would mean for the customer. But now I see many of my fellow indie authors going for it I’ve finally decided to try it out for myself.

I’ve registered Visions of Zarua with ACX and it’s ready for narrators to audition. Now comes the difficult part – getting in touch with narrators. I’ve spent a few fun hours listening to voice samples and I have found a couple I really like. I plan to approach them soon, but it is impossible to know what kind of voice will work for a novel with three male viewpoints and one female.

I suppose I will know the voice when I hear it, the same as I knew this cover was the one the moment I saw it.

Visions of Zarua book cover

If you are interested in auditioning here’s the ACX link to see Visions of Zarua’s audition request page. I’d love to hear from you and see how you plan to bring the book to life.

Advice wanted – If you have produced an audiobook, or are an author whose book has been narrated, maybe you could share some of your knowledge and tips?

I will do a follow up post in the future on my experience with audiobooks.

For now I shall leave you with the blurb and Amazon / Goodreads links of you want to find out more about Visions of Zarua.

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Two wizards, 350 years apart. Can they save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past?

An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.
Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.
Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer.
The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions and save the Paltrian people before the dark menace of Zarua’s past is unleashed?

Amazon

Goodreads

WEBSITE BANNER

Silent Sea Chronicles worldwide #Booksale ends 15th October #fantasy #epicfantasy #99p #99c

Happy weekend everyone. I would just like to let you know that my book sale is coming to an end. But if you’re quick you can pick up both books in this heroic fantasy series for just 99p each. The sale is worldwide so everyone can grab a bargain book.

The Lost Sentinel – Book 1.

The Sentinel’s Reign – Book 2.

two book covers

‘If you’re a loving fantasy fan seeking a tale filled with adventure and magic then you should really give this series a try’ – Pooled Ink Reviews

The Lost Sentinel – ‘Overall this is an amazing and gripping fantasy read. It’s a long book but filled with a lot of great action and a perfect fantasy setting ( there are no fantasy type creatures just humans). The world of Kalaya is rich and dark and I’m amazed at how sucked into the action I was reading this, and how unpredictable and dark the storyline is. The ending is a satisfying one but the story is far from over, it’s only beginning and sets up questions for the next book in the series and I can’t wait to read it!’ – Strawberry

The Lost Sentinel ‘…this story bowled me over, it was an absolutely outstanding epic fantasy and the kind of writing fantasy authors should be aspiring to. The only negative I have is that I’m dreading the wait for book two.’BrizzleLass

The Sentinel’s Reign ‘A super paced story, plenty going off and an ending that makes me hungry for the last instalment. This is a cracking epic saga.’ Susan Hampson Books from Dusk Till Dawn.

‘There is a 3rd book planned for this series so don’t despair if you get to the end and want more. Even if you don’t like fantasy books usually you will like this series, so don’t delay, get your copy today!’ – Alinefromabook

Why don’t you give the series a go and make this authors day. See further reviews on Goodreads.

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#sundayblogshare #SPFBO4 Interview with Suzanne Rogerson, author of The Lost Sentinel #1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles #fantasy #spfbo

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Yesterday I was lucky enough to be interviewed on Lynn’s Books. Lynn was the judge tasked with reading The Lost Sentinel for SPFBO this year. Though The Lost Sentinel didn’t make the cut, she had some great things to say in her wrap up post and it was a pleasure to be interviewed by her. Please head over to read it now.

via #SPFBO4 Interview with Suzanne Rogerson, author of The Lost Sentinel #1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles

#Tuesdaybookblog #bookreview The Exercise of Vital Powers Ian Gregoire @lonelyboy1977 #selfpubfantasymonth #fantasy

Here’s my short review of The Exercise of Vital Powers by Ian Gregoire. But first the all important blurb;

Some Lessons Must Be Learned The Hard Way

Since its inception, The Order has been dedicated to the prevention of the misuse and abuse of magic. For seven decades this mandate has guaranteed peace and stability throughout The Nine Kingdoms. But a potential threat to the peace has emerged, and its source is much closer to home than the leadership of The Order may realise.

Arrogant, manipulative, confrontational and angry. Undesirable qualities in a person at the best of times, but more so in a young woman born with the power to bring kingdoms to their knees. Kayden Jayta, precocious apprentice of The Order, is all these things and more, yet wholly unwilling to acknowledge and rectify her many troubling traits.

Unbeknown to anyone, Kayden’s resolute determination to join the ranks of The Order is born of a secret that puts her priorities at odds with the precepts of the organisation, setting her inexorably on a collision course with the most powerful institution in The Nine Kingdoms.

If Kayden is to be dissuaded from walking the path she has chosen, averting tragic consequences in the process, two unanswered questions must be answered: What is the dark secret guiding Kayden’s actions? And, why has a legendary figure within The Order, with a secret of her own, taken undue interest in Kayden’s future?

***

The Exercise of Vital Powers was entered into SPFBO in 2017 and was a semi finalist in it’s group, which is a very big deal in my opinion. Having followed the author for a while (and appearing on his blog last year) I know he made the brave decision to unpublish the book in order to re-edit it and source a professional cover.

It was re-released in July 2018 and I was quick to snap up a copy. If the cover is anything to go by, I’d say Mr Gregoire made the right choice. I adore this cover and having just finished the book I feel it depicts the main character, Kayden, perfectly.

cover-artwork

I enjoyed this novel very much. It takes place over a few days in Kayden’s life when so many things change and she learns much about herself. The Order and the magic system are well thought out, and the world brought to life with descriptive writing. I really liked Kayden’s mentors Fay and Ari, and Kayden is pretty cool once you get past her arrogant front. At points I just couldn’t stop reading and stayed up way past bedtime because I had to know what happened next.

I felt there was a little too much information at times, which slowed the story down. However, there was a lot of historical battles and background to get across, and you need these slower passages to understand the current situation in the Nine Kingdoms. I think it also sets up possible ideas of the troubles to come in future books.

I can’t believe the author managed to fit so much in over so little time. I feel this is the start of a great adventure and I am very much looking forward to the second instalment of what I believe will be a 5 part series.

I give this book 4 stars and recommend to those who love detailed world building and love being transported into magical worlds.

Why not check it out for yourself on Goodreads.

#mondayblog Meet An Indie Author Monday (MAIAM) with Special Guest #indieauthor Suzanne Rogerson #fantasy

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Today I’ve taken a break from writing to share my indie author interview over on Booksbyilcruz.  Please stop by and check out this new feature.

via Meet An Indie Author Monday (MAIAM) with Special Guest Suzanne Rogerson

#SPFBO 2018 Starts today and 120+ #fantasy authors have discounted their books to 99c / 99p! #indieauthor

This is the day 300 indie fantasy authors have been waiting for. The Self Published Fantasy Blog Off competition starts now 1st August 2018.

SPFBO graphic1

To celebrate SPFBO 4 over 120 fantasy authors have discounted their books to only 99c / 99p. This is the dedicated page listing all the books in the sale. Please head over to see their wonderful book covers, teasers and links to buy. We all appreciate your support.

With fantasy sub genres of epic, romance, urban and many more there will be something to suit every taste.

And of course The Lost Sentinel is on the list under epic/high fantasy.

SPFBO Graphic square

Good luck to all my fellow SPFBO contestants and happy reading to everyone!

And a big thank you to Andrea Domanski for organising everything!

Here’s the link again to the dedicated fantasy book sale page. Thanks for reading,

#Mondayblogs Why Createspace is still king! My paperback experience #Indieauthor #indie

I couple of months ago I asked for some advice on whether to publish the paperback of my newest book via Createspace or try out Amazon KDP. I got some great advice and many people were happy to have changed over to KDP. Here’s the link to my original post.

I deliberated for some time, but decided to stick with Createspace as I knew the process and it was getting close to the book release date. I didn’t want any last minute problems messing everything up.

Using Createspace was as simple as ever and I had soon uploaded the doc and cover files, checked on screen for errors and ordered my proof copy. The only gripe I have is the shipping costs. As usual, I left myself no time to mess about before the release date on 29th June 2018, so I had to use their priorty shipping. Over $20 later, I had my proof and read it through for typos and formatting errors. Once I was happy with it, it was just a matter of agreeing the proof and then it went live in a few hours! I quickly ordered a UK copy (free shipping as I’m a prime member) and double checked those last minute changes were ok before making the big announcement to the world that it was for sale.

At the same time I did a test print with Lulu. It was cheaper as the postage was a lot less, but I felt the cover colours were inferior to Createspace and they did not support the font used for my chapter headers (reverting it automatically to times new roman). The overall quality of the book was better than I’d seen in the past. The quality of the paper was good and it felt more sturdy than the test copy I received from them last year for The Lost Sentinel. I weighed it all up and ordered 3 books from Lulu to keep as stock or give as gifts. Great, or so I thought until the books arrived a week later. There were 3 different books from 3 different authors in the package! I assumed somehow Lulu had sent me someone else’s order until I looked inside the book cover. It was The Sentinel’s Reign!

I got straight onto Lulu who replied 2 days later (standard response time) they wanted photos to prove what had happened. I sent them over and they agreed to redo the order free of charge with express shipping. A week later and I’m still waiting for the order to be fulfilled, let alone delivered to me. All in all, I’m not too impressed with Lulu.

Whilst waiting for the Lulu mess to be sorted last week, I ordered 10 books from Createspace as I really wanted to have some stock for the people who prefer to buy direct from me rather than online. I paid for the expedited shipping method, which they estimated would be about 2 weeks. They arrived within 5 days! And they are all perfect, though this picture doesn’t do them justice.

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I still want to trial the KDP paperback, but I’ve had such good service from Createspace and the covers are so tactile and beautiful I think I’ll stick with them for a bit longer.

One last note on why I’m sticking with Createspace –  the US paperback copies feel so much nicer than the UK paperbacks. I like that silicone feel they have, while I know others prefer the matt feel of the UK version. It is a small detail, but enough to convince me to stay where I am and pay that little bit extra for postage.

What are your thoughts or experiences with Createspace, KDP and Lulu?

Help – Should I use Createspace or KDP for my paperback? #indieauthors #writers

In the next day or so I will be setting up the paperback version of my new book, The Sentinel’s Reign. It will be the third book I’ve published since 2015.

The first two paperback went through Createspace, which I have found easy and straightforward but being in the UK I would prefer to be able to get a local proof copy and not wait on shipping time and have to pay so much for postage etc. It will also be cheaper to buy my own stock without having to add on overseas postage.

I’ve heard good and bad about the KDP print books and I’m reluctant to take the plunge now. Is it worth it? Should I go for it and switch the other two books over too?

I’m reaching out to those indie authors who have made the switch to ask what you think. Was it easy? Would you recommend it?

Or perhaps, like me, you’re unsure or you’ve decided to stick with Createspace. I would love to know what other indie authors are doing about their print books and if you have any advice to share. I’m sure many people are having the same doubts and we can help each other.

#CoverReveal The Exercise of Vital Powers by Ian Gregoire @lonelyboy1977 #fantasy

Today I’m really pleased to share the cover reveal for Ian Gregoire’s book, The Exercise of Vital Powers. This is the second edition of his book and will be available to preorder very soon.

I think you will agree the cover is stunning and could well be in the running for my favourite cover of the year. So here it is…

 

cover-artwork

The Blurb

Some Lessons Must Be Learned The Hard Way

Since its inception, The Order has been dedicated to the prevention of the misuse and abuse of magic. For seven decades this mandate has guaranteed peace and stability throughout The Nine Kingdoms. But a potential threat to the peace has emerged, and its source is much closer to home than the leadership of The Order may realise.

Arrogant, manipulative, confrontational and angry. Undesirable qualities in a person at the best of times, but more so in a young woman born with the power to bring kingdoms to their knees. Kayden Jayta, precocious apprentice of The Order, is all these things and more, yet wholly unwilling to acknowledge and rectify her many troubling traits.

Unbeknown to anyone, Kayden’s resolute determination to join the ranks of The Order is born of a secret that puts her priorities at odds with the precepts of the organisation, setting her inexorably on a collision course with the most powerful institution in The Nine Kingdoms.

If Kayden is to be dissuaded from walking the path she has chosen, averting tragic consequences in the process, two unanswered questions must be answered: What is the dark secret guiding Kayden’s actions? And, why has a legendary figure within The Order, with a secret of her own, taken undue interest in Kayden’s future?

Expected Publication

The Exercise Of Vital Powers is due to go on sale from Monday 2nd July 2018, in ebook and paperback editions. Pre-orders will be open in June via all the usual online retailers.

Add To Goodreads

Background about the book

Ian Gregoire’s debut fantasy novel was self-published with no fanfare in the spring of 2017. On a whim, he entered the book into the SPFBO competition organised by Mark Lawrence two weeks later, and was just as surprised as everyone else when The Exercise Of Vital Powers was selected as Kitty G’s first semi-finalist. The book subsequently garnered a number of positive reviews, culminating in a place on the longlist of nominations for Best Self-Published Novel in the inaugural BookNest Fantasy Awards.

Originally written and published as a stand-alone novel, the soon to be released second edition of The Exercise Of Vital Powers is now book one of a five book series called Legends Of The Order. Readers who missed out the first time around will now have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the book’s precocious protagonist before she returns in the sequel, coming soon.

About the Author

author-headshot

The reclusive Ian Gregoire is a taciturn introvert residing somewhere in London, where he was born and raised. Of all life’s diversions, reading and writing are the only ones he ever deemed worthwhile enough to be passionate about. This eventually led to his belated decision to pursue his true calling in life as a fantasy and science fiction author. His debut novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, is just the first of many books he intends to inflict upon an unsuspecting world.

On the occasions he steps out of his reading and writing comfort zone, Ian has a fondness for computing, melancholy music, retro gaming, and Asian Cinema. Ian also loves peace and quiet, something that is in frustratingly short supply in his life.

Ian can currently be found (or not) living the life of a hermit somewhere in London, continuing his quest to become your future favourite fantasy and science fiction author. To find out more about him and his ongoing publishing journey be sure to visit his official online hangouts.

Website | Blog | Newsletter

Social Media

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Last.fm | Pinterest | Tumblr

 

If you still need to be convinced to pick up this book, here’s some praise for the first edition;

“I don’t know what I was expecting, really, but I don’t think I was expecting such an engaging, well thought out story from a self-published debut novel I had never heard of before…” Kristen (Superstardrifter)

“I don’t pretend to be the most well read person, but I found this to be completely unique, and I loved it!  I felt very engaged right from the start, and somehow became even more engaged by the end.” Kim (The Writing Process)

“I love reading about flawed characters, and the development that Kayden shows through the course of the novel is impressive.” Rachel (The Perspicacious Bookworm)

“Overall, TEOVP, being a debut work, is a good book that every fan of character-driven fantasy should try to read.” Lukasz (Goodreads)

“Gregoire has done an amazing job of creating a feeling of tension throughout, while leaving  us guessing as to what will happen next, or even how the outcome will turn out.” Dianne (Tome Tender)

“…this book was sneaky amazing.” Angelica (The Effervescent Bookworm)

#tuesdaybookblog #Bookreview The Sand Scuttler by Rosalyn Kelly #fantasy

Today I am excited to share my review of The Sand Scuttler, which has just gone on sale today. I received a ARC copy from the author ahead of its publication (1st May 2018).

sand scuttler

The Blurb

Ripped from her mother’s arms and forced into slavery, the beautiful Jakira is soon sold. Destined to become her new master’s bed slave when she matures, she’s put to work in the kitchen.

But whilst Jakira is being branded, she discovers she can tame fire.

Determined to gain her freedom and find her mother before Jakira comes of age, she uses her magic to ask the bloodthirsty God for a miracle.

When this fails, a desperate Jakira goes in search of a mysterious creature, the last of its kind, who lives deep in the vast desert. Known as the Sand Scuttler, it can bestow great power on the one it deems worthy.

For centuries it hasn’t met that one, until now.

Set in the same ruthless world as the grimdark, epic fantasy novel Melokai (In the Heart of the Mountains #1) and twenty years before, The Sand Scuttler tells of the early life of Ammad’s mother Jakira.

This adult fantasy novella can be read as a standalone story, no prior knowledge of Melokai is required.
 
My Review
First of all I was drawn to this book by the cover. It feels to me as if Jakira is inviting you to read her story.
I’d heard of Melokai (book 1 in the series) and had it on my TBR list, but when the author called for advance reviewers in her newsletter I jumped at the chance to start with this novella.
From the start you are thrust into a vividly different world with a young girl ripped away from her family when her father sells her and her mother to pay off his gambling debts. In this one act, you realise how cheap life is for these people and that Jakira is not going to have an easy time.
The story of Jakira’s life in slavery draws you along and I found myself desperately turning / flicking the pages on the kindle to see what happens next.
The desert setting is very different to the fantasy I’m used to and is populated with a race of people who have humps on their backs – the richer the people, the smaller the humps as they live closer to the precious water source. I found this concept strange at first, but it’s well imagined and the history of the people is described within the story so there is no need for info dumps.
I really liked Jakira. Her determination to get free of slavery and save her mother made you will her to succeed. When she discovers her ability to withstand any fire, she starts to plan her escape with single-mindedness.
The supporting cast is well drawn including her disgusting master and the disfigured cook who befriends her. The Sand Scuttler is a mysterious and tricky beast, and is one I wouldn’t want to mess with.
I really did not want this book to end. As soon as I finished, I bought Melokai. I can’t wait to see what adventures will befall Jakira’s daughter.
You can pick up your copy of The Sand Scuttler on Amazon UK  Amazon US.