Map Compass

Maps, Books, and finally, really coming soon.

Maps. I love maps. As a child I remember spendings hours pouring over maps in Lord of the Rings. I loved the maps. I wanted to know what each thing was, what each section was. Maps, to me, bring the world that I’m exploring into focus. It shows me just how much more there is that the little part that the story touches. Maps give me the key to fleshing out what the writers imagination has created.

So of course I needed maps for ‘Blood of a Fallen God.’ I’ve shared these on social media, but not here for some odd reason. So here they are, two maps. one of the land of Palnor, one of Ture, the Capitol of Palnor.

Map of Palnor
Map of the Land of Palnor
Map of Ture
Map of the capitol of Palnor, the city of Ture

Hope you like them as much as I do. In other news, the book.. is just waiting for cover art! Once that is done, I’ll be sending it out to those who have agreed to do pre-release reviews for Goodreads, and finally, the Book will be done. At least book one. It’s been nearly two years since my last book release, and I think I’ve learned a lot since then. I hope so. Stay tuned on that front.

I am looking forward to seeing what people think of this book, it’s by far longer than anything else I’ve written, and I’ve thrown myself into it in ways I did not before. But hey, everyone has an opinion 😉 So if your reading this, and you’d like an advance ebook copy and willing to put a review up on Goodreads, let me know. I’ll be happy to send you a copy. I expect book official launch to be 5 weeks or so after the review copies go out. That *should* be enough time.

Finish it!

Getting it done.. or Why I have more patience with big name authors


As anyone who reads this knows (all 3 of you haha) I’ve been working on Blood of a Fallen God or #BOAFG (Hashtag powa!) since the beginning of the year. The last book I actually finished was Bridgebreaker back in September of LAST year. Now part of me feels like a bit of a failure in terms of not getting the book I’m working on out yet.  Guilt even.

As I’ve alluded to in the past, this book is a different animal, it’s far larger, and that’s putting it mildly. The first draft is shaping up to be three times the size of the first draft of Bridgefinders. This is also a far more complex book in terms of world building, characters, and plots and subplots. Being my first full stab at epic fantasy, set in a fantasy world that’s very different than our own, I don’t think I fully understood how much more detail I needed to interweave into the story, without delving into the trap of doing four or five pages of description, which no one really likes. Now I have all those descriptions but for me, as notes.

However all of this has done something that has made me rethink some of my past thoughts and criticisms of some of my favorite authors.

I love Game of Thrones. Both the books and the TV show. I enjoy both and don’t take ‘sides’ on the which is better drama. Both are enjoyable for me for what they are, full stop.


I’ll be honest, before tackling this book I had gotten impatient with George RR Martin, really impatient. He’d been working on this next book for years now, how can it take so long?? I mean I’m a less than tiny fish in the book world, but I can push out two books a year! (Self satisfaction is bad stuff.)

Yeah.. Epic or High Fantasy, is.. complicated to write. When you’ve got that many characters, with that much going on, just cross checking to make sure what’s going on over here, makes sense based on what happened six chapters ago with totally different characters gets complex. Then that short conversation two characters had back at the beginning of the book needs to work with something that happens at the end, etc etc.


It’s a web. And as a beginning/struggling/wanna be writer, I’ve already learned the hard way that if you make ANY mistakes there, a reader will find it, and use it to bash you over the head 1001 times, just because they can.

I had the same thoughts back when the late Robert Jordan was writing the Wheel of Time series. Loved the books and was impatient to read the next one.

But here’s my mea culpa, it’s complicated, and can really take up a lot of thought and mental power to keep it all straight even WITH copious notes.


As for the sign above…

I’m still working on the first draft.. I’m VERY close to done, but not there yet. Finishing does mean just getting it written.. finishing means rewrites, editing, clean up, proofreading, beta reading, another round of clean up and rewrites, cover art, etc. etc.

And THEN I can finally submit to Kindle Scout (Click the link to see what I mean by that..) and hope for the best.

I’m proud of this story.  I think it shows my growth as a writer, and not because of length. But because I think the characters are more alive, the plot is better, and there’s more.. emotional impact peppered through the story to keep the readers interested. I’m really looking forward to the first time someone gives me feedback on it.

But first..


I need to finish the damned book!




Blood of a Fallen God. News, and bits of Information.

Blood of a Fallen God has somehow become my ‘fantasy magnum opus’ in terms of both size and detail. I literally have 33 pages of notes about the world, character relations, and timelines so I can keep everything both clear to me, and much more importantly, clear to the reader. The last thing I want is to fall into what I call the ‘War and Peace’ model of fantasy writing where the reader can never figure out who a character is or why it’s important.

Because of this #BOAFG (My self made Blood of a Fallen God hashtag..) will have a glossary, if only to help make things clear to the reader.  Which of course brings forth a whole new set of thought questions about what do I make sure is in the glossary and what can I safely leave out. Gah!

Anyways, besides the actual story, I should be getting the maps finalized soon. I’ve decided to share ONE of the three maps when that happens. Also, mostly because I want to, I will be doing a daily tweet about a single god in this fantasy world I’ve created. I started today May 11, 2017 with the big bad himself, Valnijz.

But JUST in case someone see’s this and didn’t see that..

Valnijz: The Scaled One, God of Blood and Rage. The Destroyer. One of the two ‘dead’ gods, Valnijz still has a very large cult like religion utterly devoted to him. More like a death-cult than anything else, they seek more than anything to return Valnijz to life for the sole purpose of killing all of those who do not follow him.


Blood of a Fallen God has in many ways stretched me as a writer.  It also has made me realize I owe a thought of apology to writers like George RR Martin and the late Robert Jordan. Epic fantasy takes, more than anything, TIME. And lots of it.  Next post, will cover Amder, the God of Craft and Creation. Maybe the map reveal as well, if it’s ready.

Keep reading, writing and enjoying life!




P.S. If you are looking for something to read… don’t forget the Bridgefinders books!


Where have I been?

So where have I been? I’ve not updated the blog in over a month, Facebook as well. There’s been a couple of things going on, and though there’s not a lot of people who visit this tiny corner of the web, hey it’s my tiny corner, and I’ll share!

  1. Work – I currently have a great job, and I mean that. I work as one of two IT support people at a Tax/Bookkeeping/Auditing group here in Florida. However,  until last week it was ‘Tax Season’ which is usually the most busy part of the year.  I wanted to keep up with things, and I did at first. Tax season runs from January through to Mid April. Sadly for me, the closer we got to the tax deadline day, things got busier, so no blog updates, and very little social media items done.
  2. Allergies/illness – So as I mentioned I live in Florida. Seasonal allergies aren’t anything new here, but this year was a beast. Much worse than normal, and I spent two  plus weeks coughing up a lung and blowing my nose every 10 minutes to breathe. Not fun, not pleasant, and not overly conducive for writing, or again social media. All better now, thanks to the end of ‘Pollen Hell 2017’
  3. The Wall – This was the final reason. I hit a wall. Meaning a combination of poor book sales and writers block made me so profoundly unmotivated to do anything with my writing for a bit. I simply did not care, nor did I have the energy to move through it at the time. The good news is that I’m past that now. I had some sales (unexpected and happily.) and I got through my writers block.


Blood of a Fallen God is back on track, and I’m working to get this first draft done and put away. I’ve some cover stuff to look into, maps to finish off, and a few other things. I’ve also got Book THREE ( I like saying that, hence the caps) in the Echo Worlds series to finish, and then that stand alone book called ‘Timetable 93’

So I’m back, I’ll update the blog at least twice a month moving forward, and try to be more active on twitter and my Facebook page.

Here’s to taking that next step!

So that’s where I’ve been.

Bridgebreaker Cover


Bridgebreaker, the second book in my series, The Echo Worlds, is now out on pre-order! (click that link to be taken to the pre-order page.) And there was much rejoicing. Release date is September 12th, and I’m looking forward to it. This marks the first time I’ve really been able to get a series started, and I’m already mentally laying out the next book. Once I get a good handle on everything I’ll be jotting down main points and getting down to the business of actually writing it out.

Bridgebreaker has greatly improved by the help of my great Beta Readers (who get a shout out in the book.) They all gave great feedback, useful feedback, and I think made the story a great deal stronger. I have heard that so far everyone who has read it feels it’s a stronger story than the first book. Not that Bridgefinders was bad at all, but this part of the series has more emotional ‘oomph’ than the first book did, which was actually by design.

This also marks the first time I’ll be trying two new marketing strats with a book release. Namely pre-orders, AND lining up release day reviews. So far I have 5 or 6 release day reviews promised to me. I’ve given out ARC’s (Author Review Copies) and have given them a timeline to get the reviews done. I’ll be sending out reminders to them a few days before, and the day of release as well, hopefully this will give this book, and of course the FIRST book a bit more viability.

I would be stupid if I didn’t also give a shout out to my cover artist guy, S.A. Hunt, who put up with my last minute requests for changes. I greatly appreciate it, and the issues were totally creations of my own rush to get things done. If your ever looking for a cover guy, S.A. is great!

So Bridgebreaker is being released, I’m starting to work on the next book, I’m accepting auditions for the Audiobook version of Bridgebreaker, the paperback is pretty much ready to go (once I push it out for release) and things are lining up nicely!



Contest! (Plus other things)


No, I’m not doing a contest (yet) but I’ve entered one. See, I really like my cover to Bridgefinders. I think it’s awesome. Lets look at it again, shall we?



See, that’s awesome 🙂 So being rightly proud of it, I have entered it in a contest for a Facebook group called ‘Book Viral’. The winner of the contest gets 500$ worth of credit towards book marketing with them. Now, given that they have a pretty nice plan, and it’s not cheap, 500$ would really help. So I entered.

The link is HERE.


All you need to do is click the heart under my book cover, and fill in the form. (Book Name: Bridgefinders, etc.) Now they WILL ask for an email address, and yes they will email you at whatever address you put in. It’s book suggestions really, but if you were to put in something other than your normal address I don’t think it would really matter. So if you read this, a vote for Bridgefinders would be appreciated. And if you click the link and you see a cover you like more, well.. I understand, vote for them! (It pains me to say that.. *heh*)

So what other things are going on in my world besides contests?

Hmm.. The audiobook for Project: Perception is moving along, I’ve joined a review group on Goodreads, and I’m writing. I believe my next post will be about PoV (Point of View) changes, and why/how I do them, as this seems to be a subject of some debate I’ve unknowingly discovered. The Goodreads group is an interesting thing that another author got me started on. You get into a review ‘circle’ and your book is reviewed by 4 people, and you review 4 DIFFERENT peoples book. They can either send you an ARC (Author Review Copy) but I prefer if I can to get the book via Kindle Unlimited. I prefer it for two main reasons, one, it gets the author a tiny bit of money, since Amazon pays them per page read, and it also shows up as a ‘verified’ review, since I downloaded it from Amazon. And since Amazon weights verified reviews a bit differently, it helps.

Being the overly fast reader I am, have torn through and reviewed 2 of my 4 books already since I started, 2 days ago. I’m loving it. Both books I’ve gone through so far have been very good, and I recommend them.

The two books in question are: The Midnight Land: Part 1 and White Serpent, Black Dragon

I’ll post links to the next two when I’m done with them as well.

So that’s it for today, I’d love your vote for my book in the cover contest.

Buyer beware…

“Buyer Beware” is a saying that has new meaning to me now, let me tell you a story…

Hello! I’m sure you’ve heard a version of events that makes it look like I’m stealing. I’m not.

Let’s go over what I got, and what I paid for, and why exactly I disputed the charge with the credit card company.

On April 2nd I bought the ‘Book Launch Boost service’ from for 250$. What was supposed to be included?

50 verified reviews

Multi-step Author Platform review

5 Marketing mockups


I was pretty excited about this purchase. I was launching my latest book and wanted to get it out there.

Before purchased I had been in twitter DM contact with Erin Kirchner, aka BookmarketingDiva and had asked a few questions. One of the main was how did this not violate Amazon TOS as Amazon can be highly touchy about this.

I was told this:

You would change the price to $.99 for 2 weeks for our purchasers. If you’re unable to change price then we allocate $50 towards verified and make the rest unverified.


We don’t violate TOS because we are hiring readers that purchase your book directly and are not affiliated with you.

Flag this message Delete this message


They get a gift certificate from us only after a review has been completed and posted.

Mar 16


There’s s big difference in buying reviews which Amazon depicts as “review farms” – same individuals owning all the accounts – and what we do.

Mar 16


Compensation would mean that we actually make money which we don’t. It’s an in and out transaction.


Let’s keep that in mind shall we?

So I purchased… And then was told it would be three weeks due to ‘high demand’ before they got started… Ok, not super happy but ok. A few days later I got an email from a asking for the book title. I had been pretty sure I had given it, but gave it again. It was a nice normal conversation.

I’ll be honest, I was impatient. I emailed them a week later asking if the wait was still three weeks. I was trying to get a firm launch date as I was having the audiobook made and wanted to try and coordinate the release of the audiobook with the upcoming reviews, which if you’re a writer makes sense.

I got back a response, a bit curt saying yes, but they wouldn’t’ actually give me a firm start date, just ‘at the earliest the 25th’ which was a bit after three weeks truthfully, but I jotted down that date.

The 25th of April came and went, and still nothing.

I wrote another email (still polite, just asking for information. I’ve paid them at this point, right? I’m a client, I’d think an actual professional would know that…but I digress.) Asking when it would start. I had expected the 25th, and honestly had overlooked the ‘at the earliest’ part of that email when I had jotted down the date. I got a even more curt email in response stating it was all an estimate, and they’d let me know when they started.

So then… The 29th came around, and I got an email saying they started! Yay!


Something weird happened.

I got this spike of ‘sales’ on the following Sunday… 26 sales, but I got no credit for them. Really strange. Amazon has been known however to lag on things, so I waited… And watched. Looked for reviews… waited and watched. Days pass. No reviews, and no money. I did email Erin asking how the sales had been done, as it wasn’t acting like a normal sale, and she did write back, but it was a non-reply as in she didn’t answer the question. Mostly she just told me that book rankings on Amazon don’t matter. So I wrote Amazon an email asking about the sales.

Lo and behold I got a response back, they were gift purchases. Wait, what?

If you remember the conversation above you will note that I was told that only after the reviewers purchase and POST a review are they reimbursed, and that’s clearly not what’s going on. So I emailed them again, the Leah/Erin team, and was told nothing. Nothing as in they didn’t respond.

At this point I get curious… I start looking into Leah Hart and Erin Kirchner.

1) Leah claims to be an author with lots of books for sale

2) Erin claims, nothing.

So I go looking, and see that Leah Hart while she claims to have a great many books for sale, in fact has a handful, several very poorly reviewed, and hardly any overall. And in fact at least based on her website, all these books she’s launched.. I can’t find evidence of them really existing anymore (if they ever did.)

The picture she uses for media, is the back of a head, that’s not her. It’s a prom hair picture from 2015. As in ‘Look at these great options of awesome hair at prom!’ click bait picture. Google image search is a great thing. So I do a bit of digging on the websites themselves, websites registered to a law office in LA? The phone numbers are all disconnected (and in Arizona.) Curiouser and curiouser.

So at this point I just ask where Leah’s books are as I was interested in one (I actually was.) I got no response again. See a pattern?

A few more days pass, and I write them again, asking where the mockups and platform review were.


The one day (with no other communication) I get an email with a drop box! My mockups! I was happy to get something, and thought “Maybe I’m just being paranoid, it should be fine.”


I really liked the mockups, and mentioned so to another author. Lo and Behold, I discovered they were totally free templates. Hmmm. Then Leah posts a periscope with her doing my mockups, and it took her all of 11 minutes. Note, her laptop is a very old MacBook, missing keys, this is important.

So the mockups cost her 11 minutes of time, and nothing for the templates. Not exactly overly professional, but ok. Not worth 250$. To date this is the ONLY thing I’ve ever gotten from them.

Then she (Leah) posts a supposed screen capture from createspace showing her with a monthly royalty of 72 grand. Yes, 72 grand. Remember what I said about the laptop.. and on top of it, it’s a bad photochop.


(all rights to this image are via @leahhart

Doesn’t add up does it?


So I talk to a few other ‘clients’ of theirs, and find out people before me have been asking the same questions, and still, not gotten answers. Those who have gotten their platform reviews aren’t for the most part happy with them (seems to be a bunch of questions asked in variations with the same answers over and over.. basically Hire Creativwriter to do this for you.)

The mockups were done with free templates and took 11 minutes.

And people have been waiting much longer than I for reviews, and still haven’t gotten them.

What takes the cake (as I’m seeing, and expected.) is that if you want off this, if you question, you get publicly attacked. Which also is so very professional of them.


I don’t believe Leah is a real person truthfully.. I believe she is an alias, a pen name. I lean towards the idea that Erin isn’t real either. There’s also a Kendall Sparks name, that’s an alias. I am pretty much sure the real person is Stacey Keene. No I don’t have hard proof, just suspicions, with some circumstantial evidence. I’m working on fleshing this out.

I have sent them an email offering to pay 50$ however. 25 for the mock-ups, and 25 for the fake gift purchases.. I’ll update when they respond.. if they do 🙂

What's going on?


So finally.. Bridgefinders is out.. for sale, ready, done.. finis. Whhhoohoo. I’m really proud of Bridgefinders, I truly believe that it’s my strongest story yet, which makes me pretty happy. The eBook is out now, the paperback is coming out the next day or so, hopefully Amazon will get them linked correctly, otherwise I’ll have to jump through that hoop. For those who don’t know, if you have your book out on Amazon as an eBook, and you add a Paperback version via Createspace (an Amazon Company) they don’t *always* seem to link them, meaning there’s a totally seperate page for the paperback version and the eBook version. Then you have to get Amazon to link them, which can take a few days.

But anyways..and also for the first time, I’m working on getting Bridgefinders made into an audiobook through ACX (Also an Amazon company) that if all works, will mean the Audiobook will be on Amazon, audible and iTunes. This is new territory for me, so we will see how that manages to go.

Now that the book is actually for sale, all the Marketing plans are being put into motion, including a new one I had briefly mentioned before. There will be a follow up post on that, but I think that’s it’s a decent idea, and the other self published authors I’ve talked to about it have liked the idea.

For now Bridgefinders is for sale for *ONLY* 99 cents. Trying to drive early support and reviews to it now, hopefully that works. The price will go up to 2.99 at some point after the first month.

But for now, I’m really happy with the work, and how well it all turned out.

Upcoming: The marketing idea, and FINALLY finishing the keyboard review. I’m writing on the mechanical keyboard right now, still liking it…a lot.

Busy times

Bridgefinders cover and Marketing.



Cover time and Marketing! I’ve release this on Facebook and Twitter, but hadn’t done it here on the blog yet, which in retrospect, I should have done it here first, and then on twitter and Facebook. Drive more traffic here, right? Next time!

Anyways, I’m really happy with this cover. The creator of the cover is the talented @authorsahunt. Very easy to work with, asked the right questions. Highly recommend, and I will be working with him again for the sequel (in progress!) for Bridgefinders. I’ve got about a week left till I get my manuscript back from the editor, the also talented @brianawrites. She’s finishing up copy edits, and she wanted to format it as well, so more’s the power to her on that! 🙂

Which leads me to the next subject, something I’ve not taken overly seriously until now, marketing.

See, like a lot of folks who write, I have some issues with putting myself out there and flogging the book. While I used to do a lot of theater (had a very nice scholarship for it back in the day.) I’ve gotten away from that over the years, and found myself somewhat uncomfortable with selling. I like to sell my books, don’t get me wrong, the money is nice as a reward for the work. However like other’s who came into this over the years, I seemed to suffer from the common delusion that writing was easy and once I got it done I’d just put it for sale and then make money.

This, however, is grade ‘A’ total fantasy.

  1. Writing is harder than it looks.
  2. Marketing your books is totally 110% necessary if you actual want to sell any of them at any volume.

Now, if your writing and just putting them out there for family and some friends to buy, great! Have a wonderful time doing so, but don’t really plan on getting any real money out of it. Yes, there is I guess some slight slim chance you’ll get ‘discovered’ and do well. But the odds, frankly, are against it. You’ve got to try to push the book. So this time I’m going out of my way to do so. And yes, that means I may have to spend $$ to make $$$.

So what you ask am I doing?

  1. Facebook ads. Yes, really. The fact is, Facebook will let you target your ads in certain places. But I’m not all that good at that. So I’ll be using a service I already had to help get those ads out.The service is authorRise. authorRise has a neat tool that allows you to make free “book flyers” for your book to share on twitter and other social media sites. They also offer targeted Facebook ads to help drive sales, so I’m going to try it. The cost is minimal but there is a cost.
  2. theBookPromoter. Another book marketing service. Also costs (but again, not breaking the bank, and has a money back guarantee. So there’s that. Includes twitter traffic, mailing the book to a list of book reviewers, and more.
  3. Targeted traffic for the first two weeks of sale. This means quite simply, I’m flogging the book for the first two weeks at a discounted rate (.99 cents vs 2.99) and calling in every favor I can to get family and friends to buy the book and review it. The goal, to get on Amazon’s ‘Hot and New’ list for my genres. Going to try at least. Doing so gets you a TON of exposure.
  4. Picking the RIGHT genres. I’ve been working out exactly which lists or area’s I’m going to place the book in. I think I have a good plan now but I’m going to leave this one a surprise.. for now 😉
  5. Bookmarks. wait, what? Yeah Bookmarks. You can get them cheap off Vistaprint, some alluring cover art, a QR code that links to the book on Amazon (going through an affiliate sales link to boot.) Leaving some at libraries, bookstores, coffee shops. I’ve also seen people offering to leave bookmarks out places if authors will send them some. I’m down with that. (Idea: Twice a year bookmark sharing hashtag, authors send bookmarks to each other to be placed where they live. Hmm…..)

I’m really proud of this book honestly. It was born out of a bunch of idea’s I had jotted down over a few years that I hadn’t been able to make work on their own. I had been working on a different book that is still unfinished (It wasn’t very good, and still isn’t.) when the idea for combining some of these things came to me. I actually blasted through the first draft in a month and a week, which is pretty damn fast for me. Revision, editing, and cover stuff has taken almost twice as long as writing the first draft. But I’m forcing myself to take my TIME this time around and not rushing it. Hard for me, but working on it!

So in the same way I reported on my free book promo, I’ll report on my marketing efforts about a month after launch. I’m expecting book launch to be the first week in April, which means the end of April for a follow up post.. I’ll keep you updated!


And remember, join the blog and POST if you want to make comments 😉



Free Book Experiment :Results

So as promised, here’s the results from the ‘Free Book Experiment.” I posted about last week. As I said I had kept reading about how you should do a free book promo to get traffic, reviews, and ultimately, drive some sales. I used one of my older books, Project:Perception and using the Amazon author portal, made it free for 4 days. The results were in fact a bit better than expected, but not any sort of major breakthrough.

  1. The first day I had a major spike in downloads of the book. This is pretty normal for the first day on any free promotion. I’m not clear on how Amazon markets this, but I hit 600 downloads, 634 to be exact on the first day. But then as normal, the second, third, and fourth day dropped a lot. 211, 63, and 51 respectively. This is also pretty normal, the spike and tapering off of downloads. The nice thing is that your book gets a lot more visible, but only while the free promo is going on.  Once the promo is over, your book vanishes from the free list and back to whatever it was ranked before.
  2. One unexpected thing was a download or two via Kindle Unlimited. This is still free, but I get paid based on the number of pages read. Tiny money, but still, money. I say unexpected because I hadn’t had that happen before.
  3. I got one review, but a 3 star out of 5. So it was so-so to them. But still, nice to have. (I’ve mentioned before, reviews are gold.)
  4. I got one actual sale of the book after the promo ended. One.

So was it worth it?

Not sure. Now I didn’t do this “Free Book Experiment” the way most do. Usually this is planned out more, you submit your free promo to mailing lists, promote it on social media, and flog the hell out of it. I didn’t do any of that. I simply made it free, posted it once or twice on twitter, and mentioned it on my blog (which auto-posts on twitter, and I made a Facebook post for it.) So I really didn’t market it at all. Would the results have been better? Quite possibly. If you can get it mentioned on some of the larger eBook mailing lists I’ve seen reliable accounts of getting 20-30K downloads in a single day.

So all in all I’d say this has been a mostly useful exercise. I got a review, made a tiny amount of cash, and really didn’t do any work for it. (Well outside of writing the book in the first place.)

Upcoming: *finishing that keyboard review*, Cover reveal for Bridgefinders (much rejoicing.) and the release of Bridgefinders, currently looking like the first week in April.