I’m Asking for Votes


Best Novella

Best Novella

<

I have become a finalist for Best Novella of 2014 – however – in order to 'win' I need at least 20 votes. Your vote would go a long way to helping put 'The Emissary' in the top spot.

This is the link where you can vote: e-Festival of Words – Best Novella

You must register in order to vote. It’s free and I’ve never had any spam from this site.

“The Emissary: Journey” the first book of “Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse.” I’m getting ready to send the second installment of the series to the copy editor.

“The Emissary” is a horse story as well as an adventure tale. The McLeod sisters use their horses to fight, as the Roman’s did, and as sentries with a keen sense of smell. I have always thought that horses were a better choice for the Zombie Apocalypse because of their instincts and the fact they eat grass not gasoline. The bow is the weapon of choice for the McLeod sisters because bows are quiet and arrows are reusable. The McLeods prefer stealth and agility over loud engines and bullets.

“The Emissary” is about how women could survive the Zombie Apocalypse – without the sterotypical roles of helpless-female or heartless Amazon. It’s my way of exploring the Apocalypse from a completely female point of view – cooperation, team work, empowering the weak and protecting the helpless, with a touch of humor.

The McLeod sisters are down-to-earth girls who have complete confidence in their training, their horses and each other. The Davidson clansmen who think they’re superior with their trucks and machine guns are in for a surprise.

Please feel free to get the e-book here:

The Emissary: Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse it is free on Smashwords.

The Emissary: Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse – Amazon US The e-book is $0.99 here.

The Emissary: Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse – Amazon UK The e-book is 0.99 here.

In a world where the dead walk the land, Bethany McLeod must leave the safety of her fortress home to take her sisters Alexis, Dani and Julie cross-country to Fort Chatten, Kentucky. Alexis McLeod is a healer, nurse and pharmacist, eager to prove herself at Fort Chatten. Led by Bethany, the four sisters risk their lives to help the struggling Davidson clan.

It’s just three years since the Zombie Apocalypse. The McLeod and Davidson’s clans survive in a world where the muerto viviente – walking dead – infest the cities and towns. Armed to the teeth, the sisters are horse archers, a light cavalry quiet enough to avoid the muerto, or fast enough to outrun them. Militia, marauders and mad-men abound, the stinking dead walk the land, eating everything in their path.

Can four women and six horses make a hundred mile journey through the Zombie Apocalypse and arrive alive? What will they find if they get to Fort Chatten?

This story is suitable for all ages.

Don’t go change that channel!

Advertisements

Drumroll – Please!


TheEmissaryFinal - part 1

I started uploading ‘The Emissary’ to e-book vendors last night.

I feel its premature to sound the horns and all that. I’ve no idea how long Pubit will take to process the e-book. However, sometime after midnight – I uploaded ‘The Emissary’ to Barnes & Noble’s Pubit.

The reason I’m not crowing: it can take 2 months to get an e-book actually available on B&N.

That’s right – TWO MONTHS.

So there would be, IMHO no more foolish action than to start plugging the poor book before it was actually available.

The last e-book I uploaded to Kobo took 3 weeks to process. Another place where you don’t want to upload at the last minute before you start advertising.

Smashwords, while painfully slow to pay – is usually good about getting the e-books available all but instantly – if you can get passed the AutoVetter of Meatgrinder.

Amazon – well – yes, it’s faster, however there are SO many e-books this one may never make a splash.

So I’m doing this a small step at a time. See if I can get the turtle-slow vendors in place first.

You DO know that I want to shout this from the rooftops, right?

I’m being SO restrained – it’s like a scene from 50 Shades of Tie Me Up and Spank Me.

No, really!

‘The Emissary” on Nook book.

“The Emissary” on Kobo Books

Tick-tock, Tick-tock – Waiting to Publish


Image

Happy Easter

Shades of ‘The Tell-tale Heart’ – I sit in my den, banging away at the laptop, listening to the clock tick and getting antsier by the moment.

Maybe it’s the coffee?

I want to publish ‘The Emissary’ right this very moment. I was up until two A.M.  working on the prologue and the blurb. I’ve handed it off for a final read-through to some trusted readers – and the copy editor – for one-last-look-before-I-pull-the-trigger.

I tried to clean stalls yesterday – didn’t get very far. However, it was progress. Top it all off – I’ve got a freaking cold – on Easter Sunday, AND I’m out of chocoate!

Not that I’m whining (whinging for my UK friends) mind you.

There always seems to be those last-minute tweaks: A bit of this, a dash of that, a missed word, a comma misplaced. And for dyslexics like myself, the possibility that I didn’t catch a correction. (Maybe it’s old age and blindness, not dyslexia?)

I’m excited to have this little action-adventure story out into the world. It’s a fun read, very ‘Girl-Power’ for horsewomen and the guys will like it too. (No mushy stuff…in Part 1). I think the understory, the difference between our ‘techno-dependent’ culture and a the ‘Earth-first’ application of that technology, will come out without sounding preachy. The women of Dunvegan have embraced the need to turn back the clock – while the men of Fort Chatten cling to technology that will quickly wear out.

One might be able to recycle bullet casings, but the technology that created the refined gunpowder is gone, along with 80% of the population. One might be able to distill alcohol to fuel a truck, but the parts will wear out. There is always a more successful scavenger up the food chain – so things like gas, tires, bullets and food become instantly scarse – and get more expensive with every day that passes. Meanwhile, currency has lost it’s value, credit cards are useless and without fuel and fertilizer – where does food come from?

Not long ago – I expressed the opinion that Dystopian has a hold on us because there is an inner ‘wild beast’ that wants to shed the trappings of civilization and roam free once again. We each have a wild side – one that wants to hunt, gather and howl at the moon. That’s why we grow restless in spring – it’s time to pack up and migrate to fresh grass and new places.

Well, this spring is late – someone needs to shoot the groundhog.

Meanwhile, the clock ticks and I’m chomping at the bit.

Final Draft – Finally


Image
Cover by Katie W. Stewart

‘The Emissary’ is an adventure tale, set in a world in ruins. The Zombie Apocalypse was two years ago – the survivors are struggling to hold their own against the muerto – the walking dead. In order to survive, humanity has to band together.

Beth McLeod is determined to make happen. She is the Emissary.

Cover artist – Katie W. Stewart – gets full credit for this lovely cover.

I’m done procrastinating.

Really.

I’ve got the final edits to ‘The Emissary’ text and am working on front and back matter today. Some time tonight I will publish the story.

It is a matter of where it will go up first.

A year ago, there would have been no question – I would publish to Amazon and KDP Select for the 5 free days. It would have tied up the e-book for 90 days, but (a year ago) it would have given the book plenty of exposure.

Unfortunately, this business has already changed so much that Amazon exposure is no longer a guarantee of success. In fact, Barnes & Noble, once my best market, hasn’t given me a sale in an entire year.

Not one.

Kobo, oddly enough, has provided me with more sales than B&N. Even odder, ‘Impressive Bravado’ is my best selling e-book.  (Everywhere but Amazon. ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ is my best seller on Amazon.)

It was the success of ‘Impressive Bravado’ that led me to writing ‘The Emissary.’ I think there is a market for horse stories – or should I call them “Equine Adventures” instead?

However, I can’t see any giveaway numbers on Kobo. Therefore, there is no sense in going there first. I’ll never know how the book did.

That leaves me charging a pittance for it – not a good way to introduce a series. IMO, if I introduce the e-book for cheap, I’ll never get my money back out if it. (I learned that from ‘Swallow the Moon’ the hard way. After 2 years sales are sluggish to non-existant. It does well as a freebie, but that’s it.)

Smashwords is great – as a distributor. But it will take 3 months to get an idea of how well the e-book does. Worse yet, it will take at least 6 MORE months, if not a year, to get paid. My intention is to put out a quarter of the e-book every few weeks.

So I have a lot to think about – today – because this book is going out in the next day or so. I want it on sale this weekend – somewhere.

Stay tuned.

New Book Cover!


TheEmissary3dThis is the link to the new book cover.

Katie Stewart has been darling while I’ve been a fusspot.

I know my audience of horse lover’s is SO picky about being able to identify a breed. So I’ve been driving the poor dear to distraction with details of the horse’s head. However, I haven’t had to say a word about color and compostion.

I recommend her as a stylistic cover artist any time.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1171900?utm_content=A&utm_medium=email&utm_source=comment_instant#comment_65667572

Trouble With a Title


ImageI’m good with one-liners and smart-ass remarks, so I don’t often have trouble making up titles.

Usually.

But this one is kicking my butt.

The saying that a picture is worth a thousand words had better be right. Otherwiser, I’m going to have a crap-load of explaining to do.

I don’t want to explain the book, so I’m working with a cover artist.

I trust the book cover is going to do for me what will take a couple hundred words to do otherwise.

Some writers, okay, KKR* and DWS** say all covers should look the same for a writer. Building a brand. If that’s true, I’m in deep do-do (or don’t-don’t) because I’m using one pen name for a covers of a different genre. It may not work. But I can’t imagine having my WIP cover look like ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ – any more than it could look like ‘Swallow the Moon’.

<<< Sigh >>>

Anyways – this is my next attempt at a title for my Zombie Apocalypse story.

Wait until you get to see the cover – it will blow your mind!

Why Not Use Spanish?


Rearing horse and rider

Rearing horse and rider

There are so many ways to express a concept. Language is a wonderful thing, so are pictures. The internet has brought the world to my laptop – so I’m going to play in a bigger sandbox than I’ve ever tried. Today I am experimenting with Spanish, to go with my Spanish mustangs. I’ve fallen in love with the words, their flavors are tangy and fresh.

My Zombies are Muerto (dead), Apestando Muerto (stinking dead) and Aullador Muerto (Howling Dead) according to my characters. I LOVE these names.

Why am I using Spanish instead of English?

Well – my undead critters are different than the average Zombie. A twist that I need to credit to my years as a Dungeon Master. Towit – some things evolve.

If a virus is powerful enough to ‘raise the dead’ what else can it do? Ohhh – no more spoilers on this one. I’m having too much fun.