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!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Wish of the Washy Writer


I've been trying to come up with the best title for book 2 of The Mindstream Chronicles (the sequel to Song of the Sea Spirit). Titles are important!

In my first title survey, The Whispering Sea was the most popular choice, with Gatekeeper's Quest and Beyond the Gates of Dawn coming in close behind. But I've been thinking hard about continuing the pattern of Noun of the Noun with alliteration. In my story, a sea spirit is a creature in and of itself (not a ghost living at sea), so it's not so much Noun of the Adjective Noun as it is Noun of the Noun. If that makes any sense.


I also like the idea of using variations of "song" that convey a bit about what's happening in the story. So I've created a new survey with some of the titles I've come up with thus far:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HMZXH32

Help me out -- vote for your favorite (or suggest something awesome)!

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.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Lies Dragons Tell

For the past couple weeks, we've been sharing excerpts, artwork, and teases on Facebook about Book 1 of The Dragons of Kudare, but the wait is over -- The Lies Dragons Tell is now available!

If you pre-ordered before today, the book will auto-download to your Kindle. Just sync and start reading!

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N1Y8FVI
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00N1Y8FVI
Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00N1Y8FVI
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00N1Y8FVI

Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00N1Y8FVI
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-lies-dragons-tell/id915345863?ls=1&mt=11
Kobo:http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-lies-dragons-tell

B&N:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lies-dragons-tell-india-drummond/1120328827?ean=2940150626850



Saturday, September 13, 2014

And a glint of wet steel

Excerpt

Jora glimpsed movement—a man. A stranger. He moved silently into another room, but all Jora could sense were darker shadows among lighter ones.

And a glint of wet steel.

No.

He entered another home where a lamp was burning. A woman was asleep in a rocker, an infant in her arms. Jora watched him, a shaven-headed soldier covered in blood, creep toward them.

No, Jora thought. Please don't.

She couldn't bear to watch what he did to them, but she saw his face as he did it. It was filled with madness and rage, and a perverse pleasure gleamed in his eyes.

A rag doll with yellow yarn ponytails tumbled to the floor and lay still.

Description

Jora Lanseri has the uncommon ability to enter the Mindstream to witness any event in the present or past. After beginning her training as a Truth Sayer in the Order of Justice Officials, Jora witnesses a shocking crime. Jora begins a dangerous quest to bring the culprit to justice, but the deeper she probes, the more she learns that greed and corruption hold benevolence hostage.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Whispering Sea - It Begins...

It looks like Book 2 in The Mindstream Chronicles will be called The Whispering Sea, unless I can come up with a better title between now and December. There's still plenty of time to vote on it if you have an opinion!


Only a day after finishing the formatting for The Lies Dragons Tell, and I'm ready to start writing again. In fact, I've been sneaking in some writing here and there, and have two chapters done so far!

For me, the hardest part about starting a new novel is knowing where to begin. Not so for this story. I know exactly where to begin, and I'm thrilled with the opening scene! I can't wait for y'all to read it -- and the rest of the story, too, of course. I have lots in store for poor Jora.

< evil laugh >

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

New Release Fun -- The Lies Dragons Tell!

To celebrate the upcoming release of The Lies Dragons Tell, India Drummond and I are giving away some great prizes!

* First Place (Grand Prize): A Kindle Fire HD (8GB) and Kindle edition of The Lies Dragons Tell
* Second Place: Paperback copy of The Lies Dragons Tell autographed by both authors *
* Third Place: A $10 Amazon gift card

To enter the drawing, visit The Dragons of Kudare Facebook page (http://woobox.com/uswjsa). To put your name in the hat more than once, after you enter, you'll be given the chance share the announcement with your friends. (You can share daily for more entries. When your friends sign up, you get more entries too!) Visit and Like our Facebook fan pages (India Drummond - Author and KC May Books) for two bonus entries.

Contest ends on Release Day, September 15th! Winners will be randomly selected via WooBox.


*Because the authors live in different countries, this might take a couple extra weeks to receive.



Book 1 of The Dragons of Kudare

A mysterious illness strikes down a young woman pledged to the god of the Blessed Empire. Two brothers, as helpless as the healers who say there's nothing more they can do, watch while their sister fades away.

Determined to save her, they approach a dragonborn alchemist who promises help but leads them along a path of hardship, darkness, sacrilege, and death. Impossible choices divide the brothers as their love and loyalty are tested. What price is too high to save someone you love?
 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A blog review for Song of the Sea Spirit

Song of the Sea Spirit got its first blog review at Juniper Grove! Like a parent sending her child off to her first day of school, I was nervous, excited, and proud. Would little Song make new friends? Would she get teased for being different?

http://www.junipergrove.net/book-review-song-sea-spirit-k-c-may


For untold centuries, the Spirit Stones have hummed a series of mysterious tones whose meanings were long forgotten. Now, a girl arrives with a flute and a book--keys to understanding the tones and the ancient knowledge locked within. When she witnesses a heinous crime, she must stand against an entire legion to save the people she loves.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Authors and readers weigh in

Everyone who reads has heard about the Amazon-Hachette debate, at least those in the USA and probably most in the Western world. Authors have been "taking sides" for one or the other since the news broke about what was happening.

I'm on the side of the reader. I am a reader. I love books. I want to be able to afford books and to read them on my ereader. That, I suppose, puts me on Amazon's side of the dispute, because they're fighting for low ebook prices. Not 99c books, of course -- that would be ridiculous. But $9.99 is not ridiculously low for an ebook that has an extremely low cost to produce.

A few years ago, a writer friend, David Gaughran, put out a book called Let's Get Digital. I'm one of the many authors he reached out to for a paragraph or two on how the ebook industry has affected me as a writer. David has become, along with Joe Konrath, Hugh Howey, and The Passive Guy, a vocal defender of indie publishing and ebooks. David has recently reposted a guest post by Ed Robertson about how Self-Publishers Aren’t Killing The Industry, They’re Saving It. Highly recommended reading.

As is this message from the Amazon Kindle team that I received in my inbox this morning.

For anyone confused about the issues, I highly recommend those two links. Or this one, written by one of Hachette's own authors, Michael Sullivan. Or this one from Yahoo Finance. To get both sides of the story, read this letter by author Douglas Preston and a few hundred of his peers.

I wrote to Mr. Preston about the issue and received this reply:

Dear Karen,
As is often the case with the Internet, not everything you read there is true. We’ve never called for higher prices. We’re not against Amazon or its indie publishing model—which I personally think is one of the best things Amazon has done. Those are misrepresentations of our position being floated about on the Internet. 
We aren’t taking sides in this dispute at all. If you read the letter, you will see that we are simply asking Amazon to resolve its differences with Hachette without hurting authors, blocking the sale of books, slowing delivery, and otherwise inconveniencing their own customers. Amazon has enormous negotiating tools at its disposal. It doesn’t need to drag innocent authors into their dispute with Hachette.
I hope that clears up our views on the matter.

All best,
Doug
I suspect that the authors who've signed the Authors United letter do not have a clear understanding of all the issues.

Hachette's contract with Amazon expired in February or March. Amazon extended it by a month to give Hachette time to review the new contract, but a new contract has not been signed. Amazon has made several offers, in fact, and Hachette keeps stonewalling. If there's no contract between them to allow Amazon to offer things like pre-orders and ebook discounts or stocking a certain number of print books in advance of orders, then what's a bookseller to do?

I had to sign an agreement with Amazon for it to sell my books. Why shouldn't Hachette? If the terms are not to their liking, they are free to choose not to sell at Amazon. They are also free to negotiate for terms they can live with, but they haven't. Amazon isn't responsible for those decisions on Hachette's part.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What's with all the titles?

The Venom of Vipers. Blood Pact. Inhuman Salvation.

Um, yeah. About that...


I originally released a science fiction novel in 2010 under the title The Venom of Vipers. It sold fairly well for a time, and then fell into obscurity. Nothing I did seemed to do much good, despite the fact that it was getting consistently good reviews.

In an effort to figure out why this poor book stopped selling, I tried a title change at some retail stores to no avail. Feedback I received from objective third parties suggested that the title The Venom of Vipers and the cover art weren’t doing what they were supposed to—attract fans of science fiction. I removed the book from sale for a time to work on remedying both issues.

Which brings me to now. I've re-released the book formerly known as The Venom of Vipers (and Blood Pact) under its new (and hopefully last) title, Inhuman Salvation! (Thanks to the fine folks who frequent reddit for suggesting better titles for me to pick from.)





As you can tell by the biohazard symbol, this is a story about a deadly virus that's wiping out the human race. The flames symbolize the urgent nature of the situation. The green is pretty. (What can I say? I like green!) As for the inhuman part, well, here. Have a look at the blurb.

A supervirus threatens to wipe out the human race.

The only hope for the future is a cure hidden inside the human hybrid Ryder Stone. Created in a lab and brutalized, betrayed and hated by humans, Ryder yearns for freedom. On the outside, a group of human genetic purists want him dead.

When Katie Marsh, a brilliant young geneticist, discovers his secret, she must fight to protect Ryder, gain his trust, and convince him to save humanity before the purists destroy them all.

I'm offering this updated version of the book in its new clothes for 99¢ for a limited time. Just look at all the wonderful things people have said about it!

"It's an interesting premise and a nice slant on the whole apocalypse angle and it's told in a remarkably clear and intelligent manner. The plot is just superb..."
~sfbook.com

"In all, I had a very, very good time with The Venom of Vipers. It’s a poignant and fast-paced melding of science fiction, drama, and mystery. KC May solidifies herself as a writer to look out for in the future. She has something to say, she’s not afraid to say it, and she’s damn good at telling her story."
~Author Robert Duperre on his blog The Journal of Always

"When I started reading K.C. May’s The Venom of Vipers, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The book does not fit neatly into a specific genre. It has a little science fiction, a little mystery, and a little thriller aspects to it. May neatly combines elements of those genres to develop her story that stands out in its own right."
~Greg Arnett on his blog Kindle Books Reviewed

"K.C. May offers readers a fast paced plot. The plot flows smoothly with never a glitch. ... The characters are likable and well developed. ... This is a fascinating book that will please fans of sci-fi and fantasy."
~Readers Favorite

"K. C. May has spun another captivating tale. With this second novel, she once again proves that she knows how to string a story to maintain reader interest. The story flows along cleanly, and the transitions are smooth and do much to carry the reader along. The storyline itself is quite engaging. The idea that a virus could be slowly killing off the entire human population is not too out of the realm of possibility, and some of the ideas the author introduces in this tale are quite amazing, yet believable. It was a compelling read that was able to sweep me away."
~Grace Krispy on her blog Motherlode

"The Venom of Vipers is a fast paced read with an interesting kick, exciting characters, and a unique story. I really enjoyed the pace and the believability of a future time and place in our possible history. In addition to being a futuristic thriller with a bizarre twist, the book is a great read that will keep you turning the pages and following the characters."
~Blog Critic

"I was delighted at how seamlessly The Venom of Vipers tied the real science in with the science fiction. You could almost even call it science future since the theory behind the concept is real (transgenic organisms). I was also thrilled with how the author incorporated the science content- the conversations were believable and the science was explained well enough that someone without a science background wouldn’t be lost."
~Goodreads reviewer MG

"The Venom of Vipers" is a unique and intriguing work of science fiction, highly recommended.
~Midwest Book Review

""Blown Away", "Riveted", "An Up-All-Nighter" - none of those catchy tag lines do justice to the way it grabbed my attention and held me captive until the last chapter."
~Matthew Keith Reviews

"an enjoyable and entertaining read"
~Big Al's Books and Pals


You'll find the buy links on my web site at kcmay.com.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

TLDT Progress Report

Just wanted to post an update on where we are with The Lies Dragons Tell (the book I'm co-authoring with India Drummond).

First of all, we're having a blast with this book! At least, I am -- and I hope India is, too. I never expected a co-written book could go so smoothly or be this fun. We contribute equally to the plotting, character development, and writing, and we feed off of each other's enthusiasm and ideas.

I just posted chapter 15, which was great fun to write. So far, we've been plugging along at about four chapters per week. We're about 2/3 of the way finished with the first draft, and will probably be done with it around the fourth week in July, maybe sooner. After that, we'll begin revisions. As this is the first time either of us have co-written a book, it's impossible to say how long that'll take, but probably about half as long as it would take either of us doing it separately.

After that, we'll be ready for beta readers! If you read fantasy, have an affinity for dragon stories, and would like to throw your name into the hat, leave a comment. What's a beta reader? Here's a good article that describes what a beta reader does.

Once we're sure we've got the best story possible, off it goes to our editor, Susan at West of Mars. Even though we're not done yet, I'm too excited not to post about how excited I am! :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Current projects & progress

As you probably know, India Drummond and I are working on a book called The Lies Dragons Tell. I'm happy to say that the outline is done (we might tweak it here and there, but it's pretty much nailed down), and writing is planned to begin in earnest the first of June. We're both super excited about this story. I can't wait to see what y'all think, once we get it done.

I'm also working on the outline for the second book in the Mindstream Chronicles. There's so much I need to resolve, and it's looking more and more like I need to write two more books for the series (and make it a trilogy), not just one more. If you've read book 1, you're going to be surprised by how deep the rabbit hole goes. I can't wait!

If writing goes as planned, The Lies Dragons Tell should be out late summer/early fall, and the Mindstream Chronicles book 2 by the end of December.