Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Secrets Dragons Keep

The first revision pass for The Secrets Dragons Keep is DONE!! India Drummond and I are so happy and excited about the second book in The Dragons of Kudare series. That means we're on track for a mid-September release.

We also plan to put book 1, The Lies Dragons Tell, on sale for 99c close to release day. For details, sign up for my newsletter. I'll announce the dates to my subscribers first.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Upcoming Changes

As a reader, you may or may not know how books are made available to borrow for Amazon Prime members and those who subscribe to Amazon Unlimited. Many big-name publishers get special access through special deals, because they're special. We indie authors (and those published through small presses) who distribute through Amazon's KDP program are given the option to participate by way of what's called Amazon Select.

Opting into Amazon Select requires exclusivity to Amazon. That is, authors who put their books into Select cannot also sell them at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or any other retailer. If books are selling at other retailers, it's a huge risk to pull them out and hand over the keys to Amazon.

I've tried Amazon Select because, let's face it, I have to eat. I have a mortgage to pay, an electric bill to power the computer with which I write books, internet bill, phone bill... in other words, I'm a person without a deep pocketed spouse to pay my way through life. 100% of my income is through my writing, and sometimes that income is less than what I need to pay all the bills.

Generally speaking, I want my books to be available to anyone who wants to read them. I want to log into my account at Nook Press or iTunes or Kobo and see people buying them and enjoying them and wanting more! But... that's really only happening for my Kinshield series. It's my bread and butter, so I probably won't try Select for that series again (unless the exclusivity requirement is lifted).

The Mindstream series, on the other hand, is not getting much traction at other locations. So far, for the month of June, I've sold six copies of those books outside of Amazon. SIX. I can't live on that! And so the Mindstream Chronicles will be removed from sale at all retailers except Amazon so that I can try them in Select until the end of July.

You see, Amazon is making a change to the way authors are paid for borrows in the Select program. Rather than pay all authors the same for each book borrowed, they're going to pay for each page read. This means that authors of epic sagas who hold a reader's attention will earn more than someone who puts up a 2500-word short story. That's great for writers of sagas, assuming the work is compelling enough to hold the readers' attention.

If participation in the Select program still turns out to be a dud for me, I'll opt back out at the end of July and return the books to the other stores. It's not that I want to give non-Kindle readers the big middle finger. It's more that I need food in my belly if I'm to continue writing full time and not have to go back to a 9-5 job. :)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mobile friendly web site

After doing a crash learning session on Twitter Bootstrap, I've converted my web site to a mobile-friendly design. If you haven't seen it yet, it's at kcmay.com. I tried to keep it more or less the same as it was, but there are a few minor differences. The carousel "slider" on the home page isn't as slick, but I think most people aren't there to watch it change to all its varied images anyway, so I kept it to three.

What I like best about the bootstrap structure is that it's easy to incorporate existing HTML. I didn't have to change a whole lot. The menus are the same, the text is the same, but it's actually a lot easier to get everything to line up right on any size screen or browser.

Now, back to my revisions of Verse of the Vanguard...

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Kinshield Legacy as an audiobook

If you've downloaded the FREE Kindle edition of The Kinshield Legacy and haven't started reading it yet (or even if you have), I have great news! You can get the Audible audiobook edition to listen to it on your phone, tablet, computer, or Kindle (those models with audio capabilities) for $1.99!! The performance by Lee Alan is brilliant. Check it out! http://www.amazon.com/Kinshield-Legacy-Saga-Book/dp/B00QFPS6N2/?tag=kcmaybooks-20

Monday, December 08, 2014

It's so close, I can smell it

I sent the manuscript for Call of the Colossus (The Mindstream Chronicles book 2) off to the editor today! I'm really excited about this. It's the continuation of a story dear to me, and I hope everyone else likes it as much as I do.

Once I get the marked-up manuscript back, I'll enter the changes into my source file, do one final check-through, and then format and upload it. If all goes as planned, it'll be ready for sale on Friday, Dec. 26, 2014.

Usually, I put my new books on sale for release day, and that'll be no different this time. Book 1, Song of the Sea Spirit, will also be on sale, starting Dec. 19 and ending on Dec. 26. So here's the planned schedule:

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 - Friday, 26 Dec 2014: Song of the Sea Spirit on sale for 99c.
Friday, 26 Dec 2014: Call of the Colossus on sale for 99c.




(Is this not an awesome cover?)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

She has one brother left...


    Jora's mouth watered, and her stomach churned. Though she had to know what happened to her brother, she needed a minute to get a hold of herself first. She dabbed at the sweat on her brow, took a long drink of water, and continued.

    The two enforcers left the room. Finn struggled to get free, but it was no use. The straps were secure. After a few minutes, the big, ugly enforcer they called Gruesome entered, dressed in an apron stained with blood. Finn's face contorted into an expression of fearful disgust. He tried to say something, but the gag muffled his words beyond recognition.
    "Good afternoon," Gruesome said with a smile. He was missing the first two molars behind his long eyeteeth on the top, and the two center teeth were chipped and ragged. "I'm Gruesome, but you can call me Grue if you want." He checked the tightness of the straps holding Finn into the chair. "I'll try to make this as painless as possible. Apparently, your sister has threatened my boss with bodily harm if I hurt you too badly."
    "Jora?" Finn asked.
    "Around here, she's called the Gatekeeper. So sensitive, like a delicate flower. We have to tiptoe around her until we figure out how to harness her like a draft horse. You might just be the bit in her mouth, the yoke on her shoulders, the whip on her ass." Gruesome chuckled as he sauntered around behind the chair. "For that reason, we'll keep you alive as long as possible…"

Excerpt from Call of the Colossus, coming December 2014!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Kindle Countdown Sale


If you've been waiting for the books in The Kinshield Saga to go on sale, mark your calendars. I've got a Kindle Countdown Deal going on for each book. The initial price for each book during the countdown sale is 99c. It goes up to $1.99 halfway through, then returns to its usual price of $3.97 at the end of the sale. Here are the dates:

Book 2, The Wayfarer King: Begins Nov 1, ends Nov 7
Book 3, Well of the Damned: Begins Nov 8, ends Nov 14
Book 4, Kinshield's Redemption: Begins Nov 15, ends Nov 21.

My science fiction-thriller, Inhuman Salvation, is also participating: Begins Nov 22, ends Nov 28.

Remember, The Kinshield Saga Book 1, The Kinshield Legacy, is currently free at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

War as an instrument of justice

While watching last week's episode of Sleepy Hollow, I got wrapped up in one particular line, spoken by Jeremy, the Horseman of War.

"What is war but an instrument of justice?"

Indeed! I'm close to wrapping up the first draft of The Mindstream Chronicles book 2, and need to start planning and outlining book 3. It's helpful to think in terms of theme and premise when starting a new book: what's the story about? What statement does the story attempt to prove true?

Considering the strong themes of justice vs. revenge, doing the right thing, and loyalty in the series, this question was particularly poignant to me. Many wars are about domination or greed, but some are about justice. Attacking terrorists who blow up buildings, killing thousands of people inside is one example.

Then again, is that justice or revenge?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Do not eat the godfruit.

Though Boden didn't want to say goodbye to his neighbors and friends and family, he was eager to get started on his journey.

His father hugged him tightly, and he returned the embrace with only one loose arm. "Everyone around you will eat the godfruit every morning," Gunnar whispered into his ear. "It's a mistake. Don't eat it."

Boden stiffened. His father had never spoken of the godfruit or the Tree of the Fallen God, which were at the center of the century-old conflict, though only the men who'd returned from the war knew why. No one ever spoke of them, and on the few occasions Boden had asked, he'd received only a stern glare or a warning to drop the matter.

"Do you hear me, son? No matter what the other warriors say, no matter what your commander says. Do not eat the godfruit."

Boden was unsure he could disobey a commander who ordered him to eat it. "Why? What does it do?"

Gunnar pulled back and held him at arm's length, both hands gripping Boden's upper arms. The two men locked gazes. "It will infect your soul with a foul sickness. Rely on your training, not some magical fruit. You've worked hard, trained hard. You're ready. I haven't been the father you wanted, and I—I regret that, but I've been the drill master you needed. Trust me. Trust yourself."

He cares. Boden felt like a boy again, the one who'd wished every night for his papa to return safely from war. His eyes watered and threatened to spill over, but then Gunnar let him go and turned away. Boden breathed in deeply, tamped down the boy he used to be, tamped down the years of disappointment and hurt Gunnar had saddled him with, and became another version of his father.

An excerpt from Song of the Sea Spirit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"I've got a bad feeling about this..."

Ryder sat on the cold concrete floor in complete darkness, leaning against the wall. His punishment was six hours in solitary for fighting. Dane got a harsh reprimand and sent to his apartment. Huff and Puff got off with a warning. Where was the justice?

The lock tumbler clunked, and the door swung open. He shielded his eyes from the blinding light in the hallway. Three ASP guards stood in the doorway. They may have thought their faces were obscured by the cell’s darkness, but Ryder didn’t have any trouble making them out. If that weren’t enough, he knew them by their scents: Slater, Mann, and Richardson.

“My time isn’t up yet. What do you want?” An instinct awakened. Ryder got a bad feeling about this. No, they wouldn’t do anything. They wouldn’t dare.

“Your claw punctured that little boy’s arm,” Slater said. His voice sounded unusually deep and gravelly as if he was trying to obscure the natural timbre. “Poor kid might need rabies shots.”

No mention of the fracture. “It was an accident. Someone pushed me into him.”

“You should know better than to mess with a human child.”

“You got it wrong.” Ryder climbed to his feet in case he needed to defend himself. “I didn’t mess with Jory.”

“Humphrey and Pavel say different.”

“Huff and Puff? They would. They know how to play you stupid bastards.”

He saw the blur of a nightstick.

A short excerpt from Inhuman Salvation, a science fiction thriller.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Kinshield Saga Free to Read

A few days ago, I announced that I've removed my science fiction novel, Inhuman Salvation, from sale at all retail stores except for Amazon to try the "Select" program at Amazon. This gets the book into the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, putting it in front of a new audience and making it available to read "free" for Amazon Prime members and Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

I've decided to try the same program with books 2, 3 and 4 in The Kinshield Saga (The Wayfarer King, Well of the Damned, and Kinshield's Redemption). While this does mean the books won't be available at B&N, Kobo, iTunes, or Smashwords for at least the next 90 days, you can still buy the books if you don't shop at Amazon. Contact me for details. I don't want to "strand" anyone who wants to read the books!

The Kinshield Legacy (book 1) is still available as a free download at B&N, Kobo, iTunes, NoiseTrade, and Smashwords as well as Amazon.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I must be mad... mad... mad...

The auditions for the audiobook edition of The Kinshield Legacy are now closed, and a narrator has been selected. I was very impressed with the vocal talent out there on ACX.com and had over 30 fine narrators audition. If the market interest in book 1 is there, I'll go ahead and have the rest of the series done too.

There were 3-4 narrators that I loved. Any of them would have been awesome for this book, but one stood apart because of the extra touches he added to bring the story to life. I can't wait for y'all to hear it!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sentenced to death

"Guilty of treason."
Guilty.
Guilty.
The words echoed through Jora Lanseri's mind with every scuffling step she took down the dank corridor toward her doom. The shackles around her wrists clanged and echoed against the gray brick walls that closed in on her. The sound of her heartbeat intensified. Her breathing grew louder.
"Sentenced to death by hanging," the justice captain said.
Her knees weakened, and she stumbled. The enforcers' hands clamped harder around her upper arms and kept her from falling. No. It isn't fair.
With a whistle, she could have summoned an ally to free her, to turn her guards to stone or put them to sleep, but the gag between her teeth made calling for Po Teng impossible.

A sneak peek at book 2 of The Mindstream Chronicles, coming soon!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

“Anyone else care to try that?”

“I need to question a few more innkeepers before it gets too late.” Daia stood and drained her ale. “Be ready at daybreak. I’ll find out what I can tonight, and at the very least we can ask around at the Lucky Inn.”

As she walked through the tavern toward the door, one man reached out and patted her backside. Daia grabbed the man by the hair with one hand and yanked him backward so far that he teetered on the rear legs of his chair. She slammed her other fist into his face. The fool crashed to the floor, tumbled over backward with sprawling legs, and knocked into the table behind him, spilling ale everywhere.

“Anyone else care to try that?” she asked, looking around.

The tavern was as quiet as a tomb except for Gavin’s amused chuckle. He lifted his mug to her in a gesture of respect and agreement. He might actually enjoy this mission.
A short excerpt from The Kinshield Legacy, coming soon on Audible.com!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Available to read free

As a writer, my goal is to write stories that people want to read. As a publisher, my goal is to get people to buy the stories I do write. Some caught on and found a wonderful audience and continue to find new readers every day. One in particular... well, it just hasn't.

I've tried new covers, new titles, putting out an audiobook, and nothing has worked to breathe life into my science fiction novel, Inhuman Salvation, despite its great reviews. The vast majority of people who read it like it -- I'm confident of that. Something about the story (or its description) isn't striking a chord and getting people to try it. But there's one thing I haven't tried: going exclusive at Amazon through the Select program, which would make it available to read "free" via the Kindle Owners' Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited. (I put free in quotes, because you have to be an Amazon Prime member or pay for the KU service to get access to the library.)

What this means is that Inhuman Salvation is going to be removed from sale at all retail outlets except Amazon for at least the next 90 days. If you don't shop at Amazon and still want to read the book, you can buy it directly from me on my web site.