Monday, December 31, 2012

First blog review for Well of the Damned

Many of us authors are excited yet terrified to see reviews of our work. We're in this at least partly to entertain people. When we succeed, it's like a party inside our head. When we fail... well, it feels bad. We know we can't please everyone, but that doesn't stop us from wanting to. ("I'm going to be the first author in the history of the world to thrill every single person who reads my book!" hahaha)

Book bloggers read a lot. It's what they do, right? Because they read so much, it's easy to find bloggers who like the same kinds of stories, writing, etc. as we do. Following them can yield some great book recommendations.

If you enjoy reading indie books & discovering new authors, head on over to the Indie Book Blog and read Scott's reviews and author interviews. Most recently, he has posted his review of my new release, Well of the Damned.

Oh, and since he doesn't get paid to give readers a heads up on books he reads, please consider using the link at the bottom of the reviews to buy the books he's convinced you to try. :)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Win some digital books!

Here's a chance to win digital books from LK Rigel, KC May, JC Phelps and Debra L Martin! Sign up here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Not long ago, my friends Moses Siregar and A.E. Marling invited me to join a blog series called The Next Big Thing, in which writers talk a little bit about their work in progress or, in my case, latest book. It seems to have been started by -- which looks like a cool blog for women writers.

You'll find Moses's blog at If you haven't read his novel, The Black God's War, definitely check it out. It's a more mature work in the fantasy genre, unusual for a first novel, and it's getting rave reviews! He has a new novella out, Children of Wood and Wind.

A.E. Marling's web site is and he writes highly rated fantasy. In fact, he's offering Fox's Bride free on Amazon right now, so be sure to grab a copy.

So without further ado, let's get to it.

What is the working title of your book?

I've settled on Well of the Damned. When I started the project, I called it Wellspring of Enlightenment, but that's not as compelling as Well of the Damned. It's now available at, and Smashwords, but Kobo is still processing.

I'll be starting book four in The Kinshield Saga in January (well, technically I've already started -- by moving scenes I originally wrote for Well of the Damned), but I don't have a working title for that one yet. It might be something like Kinshield's Redemption. Or something along those lines. Or something completely different. heh.

I'm celebrating the release with a drawing for a Kindle Fire! Be sure to enter the drawing.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

In The Kinshield Saga books one and two, Gavin Kinshield begins to get pieces of a story that explains his obsession with the King's Runes, his recurring dreams, and his frequent bouts of deja vu. He finally learns the truth about what happened to King Arek two hundred years earlier. In the third book, Well of the Damned, his goal is to answer the question, "Why?" Book four will answer the question, "What are you going to do about it?"

What genre does your book fall under?

This is most definitely a fantasy novel, with kings and swords and magic. It takes place in a made-up country called Thendylath that's a mix of British and American culture, language and technology of the mid 1600s. I hesitate to call it "epic" fantasy, but I do call it "heroic" fantasy. Some would even call it sword-and-sorcery.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie version?

Gavin Kinshield is quite a large man -- he's 6'6" and about 300 lbs. For that reason, I'd probably choose Jason Momoa to play him in the movie. If you've seen Game of Thrones on HBO, you know him as Kahl Drogo. He also played Conan in the recent remake of Conan the Barbarian.

Most of the women actors would need to be hard-core athletes to play battlers realistically -- someone who looks fit and strong, like Jillian Michaels or natural (steroid-free) bodybuilders, like Felicia Romero

 or Lauren Frahn.

None of my women battlers would be caught dead in bikini armor!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of the book?

Gavin Kinshield recovers a valuable artifact and discovers a wellspring whose magical waters could save -- or destroy -- the kingdom.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

This book was self-published. Perhaps one day I'll submit my work to a publisher, but not until things change in the industry. We authors can actually make more money and sell books at a lower price when we self-publish. The efficacy of traditional publishing just isn't what it once was.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I'd say about six or seven months. It helps that the world and characters were already developed. The first book in the series took roughly four years to complete!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Well, The Kinshield Saga is traditional fantasy fare, but I hesitate to compare it to any particular story. I don't recall reading anything else that tells two stories in one -- the unraveling of a land's lost history along with the developing adventures of the hero.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Readers did! I received quite a few emails from people who wanted to see where the story went after The Wayfarer King -- what happened to Cirang? I have to admit that I'm also a bit of a Gavin Kinshield fan :), and while I do like to torture him, I admire his perseverance and thirst for knowledge. I also like stories of scandal and intrigue among royalty, and so the opportunity to write one featuring my favorite swordsman was too appealing to resist.

What else about your book might pique the interest of readers?

If you like fantasy novels that are long on dialog and short on flowery description, if you prefer stories about heroes who are flawed yet decent, who do the best they can in difficult situations, if you're tired of novels that digress into philosophical rantings or seem like thinly veiled political statements, if you enjoy escapist novels, you might like The Kinshield Saga.

Here are some authors who’ll be participating in the Next Big Thing Blog Series next week. (More to be added as folks accept my invitation to participate!) I urge you to check them out!

L.K. Rigel
Debra L. Martin

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Kindle Fire Giveaway

In celebration of the release of Well of the Damned (book 3 of The Kinshield Saga), I'm giving away an Amazon Kindle Fire in a drawing on December 31, 2012. Check out the rules below and enter to win!

DATES: The giveaway will begin at midnight (eastern time) on December 21, 2012 and end at midnight (eastern time) on December 31, 2012.

HOW TO ENTER: No purchase necessary, but you must be a U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to enter. Start here:

Click to join KC's Rafflecopter giveaway

You can have multiple entries for more chances to win!
    There are four ways to enter:
  • Answer a question (one entry per person)
  • Like K. C. May books on Facebook (one entry per person)
  • Follow @GASciFiAuthor on Twitter (one entry per person)
  • Tweet about the giveaway (one entry per day) using hashtag #WellOfTheDamned. If you follow GASciFiAuthor, you can just retweet my announcement tweets.
Remember, you must register for the giveaway on the Rafflecopter site before you go about liking and tweeting and so forth! Be sure to tell your friends!

WINNER SELECTION: The winner will be selected by random drawing of all entries submitted. The winner will be notified by e-mail and must respond with U.S. shipping address within 72 hours from the notification email timestamp to claim the prize. If prize is not claimed within 72 hours, he forfeits the prize and another winner is selected. PRIZES: One (1) Amazon Kindle Fire 7" LCD Display, Wi-Fi, 8GB w/special offers
Eligibility and Limitations. Participants and winner(s) must be a resident of the United States of America and be at least 18-years old at the time of the drawing. Members of my immediate or extended family are not eligible to participate and win. The term "immediate or extended family" includes spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins whether as "in-laws," or by current or past marriage(s), remarriage(s), adoption, co-habitation or other family extension, and any other persons residing at the same household whether or not related.
Delivery Disclaimer. I disclaim all liability for any delays, misdelivery, loss, or failure in the delivery of any item sent by mail, email, courier, express, electronic transmission, or other delivery method. I will ship the prize within 30 days of winner's acceptance.
Publicity. By participating, all participants and winner(s) grant me exclusive permission to use their names, location, characters, photographs, voices, and likenesses in connection with promotion of this giveaway, and waive any claims to royalty, right, or remuneration for such use.
Release. By participating, each participant and winner waives any and all claims of liability against me for any personal injury or loss which may occur from the conduct of, or participation in, the giveaway, or from the use of the prize.
Taxes. Any valuation of the prize(s) stated above is based on available information provided by, and the value of the prize awarded to a winner may be reported for tax purposes as required by law. Each winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying any and all applicable taxes. Prizes are not transferrable or redeemable for cash.
Decisions. I reserve the right to disqualify any participant or winner and may refuse to award any prize to a person who is ineligible or has violated any rule, gained unfair advantage in participating in the giveaway, or obtained winner status using fraudulent means. Further, I will resolve any disputes, conflicting claims or ambiguities concerning the rules and my decisions concerning such disputes shall be final. All decisions will be made by me and are final. I may waive any of these rules at my discretion.
Miscellaneous. No purchase is necessary to participate or win. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend upon the number of participants and entries. I disclaim any responsibility to notify participants of any aspect related to the conduct of this giveaway.
Compliance with Law. The conduct of this giveaway is governed by the applicable laws of the United States of America, which take precedence over any rule to the contrary herein.
Kindle, Kindle Fire, and Amazon are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates. Kindle devices are given away on behalf of author K.C. May. Amazon is not a sponsor of this giveaway.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Kinshield Saga continues

My original intention was to limit The Kinshield Saga to two books: The Kinshield Legacy and The Wayfarer King. However, I left a door ajar at the end of The Wayfarer King -- where "Cirang" unexpectedly survives her encounter with Ritol.

I've spent the summer & fall working on the next book about Gavin Kinshield and his friends. As I got closer to the end, I realized that to create a new series would require more backstory and more explanation of the magic. No matter how hard I tried to justify calling it book 1 of a new series, the fact of the matter was that it's really book 3 of the first series. It's all part of the same overall story arc.

Like The Wayfarer King, the new book, Well of the Damned, picks up immediately where the previous book left off. Had several years gone by, or even months, it might have been easier to convince myself that it was the beginning of a new series about the existing characters, but that just "felt" wrong. When I asked some writer friends about it, they agreed. It's better to call it book 3 than risk confusing readers who begin with book 1 of the new series and find themselves in the middle of the larger story.

So I'm here to announce that, officially, The Kinshield Saga, originally intended to be a two-book series, will become a four-book series. The story will conclude at the end of book 4, and whoever is left alive will live happily (or not) ever after.

Having banished the demon released from its prison by his defeated nemesis Ravenkind, Gavin Kinshield faces new challenges: a magical barrage by Ravenkind's grieving mother and an age-old mystery whose time has come to be revealed.

A former member of an elite battlers' guild, Cirang Deathsblade has a dark past. She sits in gaol, awaiting the new king's sentence for her terrible crimes... but she's not who he thinks she is.

In exchange for a leniency, Cirang leads Gavin to a centuries-old, hidden journal that holds the secrets of ancient kings and a magical wellspring with its own dark past... and an even more terrible future.

The official release date will be Dec 25, though it might show up on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, etc. before then. I can't show you the cover art, because I don't have it yet, but I'm 99.9% sure everything will come together by Christmas. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Revision time!

I've spent most of the year working on my next novel, which still doesn't have a proper title. For a time, I tried writing two novels simultaneously, but I realized that I wasn't getting either one done very quickly. I decided to set aside the science fiction novel for now and focus on finishing the story of Gavin Kinshield.

And now, my favorite part of writing has begun: revisions. This is where I get to fix what's broken in the story. I don't worry about getting the words right. Not yet. That'll come in the editing phase. For now, I'm adding warning signs (foreshadowing), setting up roadblocks (conflict and obstacles), and repairing pot holes (logic problems).

Those who've read the first series, The Kinshield Saga, learned that Crigoth Sevae sent Ritol to attack King Arek, but like Gavin, they don't know why. In the first book in this new two-book series, Gavin's main focus is answering that question. Of course, in doing so, he uncovers a new problem that must be resolved before he can even hope to live happily ever after...

Planned release date: late December 2012. If you want to be the first to know the exact date, sign up for my newsletter!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Guest post

Author R. Mac Wheeler invited me to be a guest poster on his blog series about the elements of story: plot, action, character and setting. Here's how I see it:

While you're there, check out Mac's vast array of books! He writes fantasy, science fiction, paranormal and suspense.

In other news, yesterday I sent out my first ever email newsletter. I'll be announcing my book updates in the newsletter before I do so anywhere else. If you'd like to be on the mailing list, you can subscribe here.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

How many of you have enjoyed listening to audiobooks? I used to listen to them in my car when I was on the road, and they sure helped to pass the time. The Kindle has text-to-speech, but it's not perfect, though it is nice to have in a pinch. I decided late in July to create an audiobook edition for The Venom of Vipers. 
I went to and interviewed a few narrators, found one whose voice was terrific, and got started. Unfortunately, she had some technical issues that made creating quality audio recordings next to impossible and had to bow out. My dilemma was to find someone else or try recording it myself. The benefit to hiring a voice actor is, of course, quality of the voice acting. :) At one time, I was a pretty darned good actress, myself, but my voice doesn't have the kind of quality to make birds sing or men's knees go weak. Rumor has it, audiobook listeners really enjoy hearing the author read the story herself. 
Now, this isn't the greatest recording ever made, but it's a decent first try, I think. How about you? Have a listen and tell me what you think. Too fast? Too slow? Should I keep going, or get someone who knows what she's doing?

Monday, September 03, 2012

I've been featured!

Have you seen the new Kindleboards blog yet? It's got lots of great articles and tips for Kindle users, including low-priced apps and ebooks. They also have a featured author segment, and today that author is yours truly.
Check it out at kboards blog.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Eight indie books you should look at!

Readers! Eight award winners in the 2012 eFestival of Words "Best of the Independent eBook Awards" have grouped together to offer you an amazing opportunity. They've reduced the prices of their award-winning novels to 99 cents for August 27 and 28th!

Whether you like to read mysteries, romance, horror, young adult, women's fiction, or fantasy, this group has it. Are you a writer yourself? Do you want to learn all about digitally publishing your next masterpiece? They've got you covered there too.

Get all eight award-winning ebooks for the price of one single paperback!

Award Winners

Best Mystery/Suspense: Dead is the New Black by Christine DeMaio-Rice
Best Non-Fiction: DIY/Self-Help: Let's Get Digital by David Gaughran
Best Horror: 61 A.D. by David McAfee
Best Romance: Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne
Best Young Adult: The Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto
Best Fantasy/Urban Fantasy and Best NovelThe Black God's War by Moses Siregar III
Best Chick Lit/Women's LitCarpe Bead'em by Tonya Kappes
Award for Best Twist ("I've Been Shyamalaned"): The Survival of Thomas Ford by John A.A. Logan

Here's a one-stop shopping link for your convenience:

Happy reading!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Adventures in willpower

Part of being a successful writer requires developing the discipline of sitting down to write, or putting "butt in chair" as some like to call it. With the internet at my fingertips, it's easy to become distracted. It starts out innocently enough -- I need to look up a word, a concept, a technology, select a name for a character -- and the next thing I know, I'm back on Facebook or reading an article about someone rescuing a puppy trapped in a sewer. This happens more times than I'd like to admit. When I looked at my calendar and realized that August is mostly over, I also realized the YEAR is mostly over. I'm only half as far into my current novel as I'd planned to be. I should've had the first draft completely done by now. I condemned myself for not being motivated to finish.

It occurred to me then that my lack of discipline has nothing to do with my motivation. I'm enjoying the story and the process of writing it. I want to finish. I want to start revising -- my favorite part of the process. I want to start a new book. My lack of discipline seems to be largely focused in this one area. How am I going to rein myself in when I have only myself to answer to? Ironically, the answer came in a tweet.

Someone tweeted about a book on willpower. I went to Amazon and looked it up, read some reviews of it, and ended up buying a Kindle book called The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It.  Unfortunately, it's $13 and NOT available to borrow from the KOLL, but it has great reviews, along with a long political discussion in the comments on the only 2-star review, which, of course, sucked me in because I HAVE NO WILLPOWER!


So I've read the first chapter, which discusses the three aspects of willpower the author calls "I won't, I will, and I want." Each chapter gives a technique for strengthening willpower. In the first chapter, he recommends starting with a 5-minute daily meditation to train the brain. Let's see how it goes. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Opening scene - untitled SF novel

Here's the opening of a story I work on when I get writer's block on the Kinshield series. :)

Dr. Benjamin Sykes sat beside a hospital bed in room one in the Forsyth Labs' surgical ward with a notebook computer in front of him. The man who lay still, an anonymous victim of a car-pedestrian accident over a year ago, responded to neither Ben's presence nor the soft tapping of his fingers on the keyboard. Not yet. If all went well, he would awaken soon.
The patient was a Hispanic John Doe about Ben's age -- mid-thirties. Average-looking fellow with brown hair and eyes. No one had claimed him. The police had searched the missing persons reports for a man matching his description and came up empty.
For thirteen months, the man they'd nicknamed John W. Doe, the thirty-third such anonymous victim in 2024, had lain in a persistent vegetative state; he had normal reflex movements but demonstrated no higher cognitive function. The taxpayers had financed his medical treatment at the county hospital for twelve months, the government-mandated maximum limit for state-funded care of unidentified patients. The surgeon general declared that patients in this state for a year had only a .1% chance of recovering, and so the state opted to pay for a casket and grave plot rather than another day of care for the hapless victim. Minutes before they were going to administer a lethal injection to end this John Doe's life, Ben's boss, Dr. Pamela Forsyth, convinced some pencil-pusher high enough on the food chain to give Ben's radical new treatment a chance. That was three weeks ago, and the surgery had gone off without a hitch.
Now came the moment of truth.

What do you think? Interesting enough to keep reading, or should I work on the opening a bit more?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dear Reader

Now and then, a reader makes a comment in a review or in an email that I really want to address.

About The Kinshield Saga

Reader quote: "Lastly, the ending is a bit open ended. The universe lives on and there is more action to come, though we might not have the pleasure of reading about it."

Dear Reader,

All I can say is "Mwahahahaha!" There's a new two-book Kinshield series in the works. Those who've read both of The Kinshield Saga books know that someone survives unexpectedly. One can assume that the character faces justice for treason and dies in prison and that's the end of the story, but I can't *really* leave it at that, can I? Besides, we still don't know why Crigoth Sevae summoned Ritol to kill King Arek in the first place. That story still needs to be told!

Reader quote: "I really wanted more storyline with Brawna!"

Dear Reader,

You'll be pleased to know that Brawna The Blade returns in book one of the next Kinshield series. I didn't feel I could use her in The Wayfarer King because she had more to learn at the Viragon Sisterhood, but now that Thendylath has a king on the throne... well, things change. Brawna finds her way back to Gavin's side, and though she's young and inexperienced, her passion for protecting him and her natural skill prove valuable.

Reader quote: "Feanna is a little too perfect to be much of a three-dimensional character..."

Dear Reader,

Feanna definitely rises to the challenge of caring for more children than she can afford to because she cares so deeply for them. She has room to grow, like Gavin did in the beginning of The Kinshield Legacy, and she'll be put to the test in book one of the new series. Will love be enough to inspire her to action?

I'm about half-way through the first draft, but it's picking up steam. My goal is to have book one out by Christmas. Wish me luck!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Works in progress

Goodness! Has it really been six months since I last posted on my blog? Yikes! Sorry about that. :) I spend more time on Facebook than I should, I guess. Doesn't everyone?

In the last few months, I've been relaxing a little, working a little, and writing a little. I started working on a novel that I've been wanting to write for at least 15 years, but my muse decided to take me in a different direction. I suppose that story's time has not yet come. Instead, I'm working on two new novels.

The first is a science fiction novel featuring a cure for psychopathy. Science fiction is always fun because I get to do lots of interesting research. For a geek like me who loves science, that's one of the funnest parts about writing. Did you know that, according to Dr. Robert Hare, a world-famous psychologist renowned for his work with psychopaths both inside and outside of prisons, approximately 1% to 2% of our population are psychopaths? This personality disorder is one of the most destructive, leaving heartbreak, empty wallets, and sometimes death in its wake. Although most psychopaths are not murderers, their inability to experience guilt makes them particularly adept at getting whatever they want, no matter the cost.

The second is a fantasy novel, the first of a two-book series that delves into the secrets and scandals associated with King Arek's reign. We know that the evil wizard Crigoth Sevae had used a summoning rune to try to usurp the throne. Where did that rune come from in the first place? That is what Gavin Kinshield intends to find out...

Writing one novel in one's spare time is hard enough, but two? I definitely have my work cut out for me. If all goes well, I'll manage to get at least one of them finished this year, but who knows? Life happens.