Category Archives: writing

The Great Death and other kindle books

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THE GREAT DEATH by dr. ish ism (dystopia/space opera novel)

Eighteen-year-old Phoh Weaver was abandoned in the former United States as a baby. Now she lives with her adoptive tribe along the Great Michigan Desert. Living with her friends and adoptive human family, Phoh negotiates being an alien while trying to hide her supernatural gifts.

The enigmatic Woman in White enters Phoh’s life—bringing a mission. One task. But few tasks are as daunting as hunting—and stopping—the immortal world-killing monster known as the Great Death.

When the survival of Phoh’s tribe is put at risk, she is forced to step into a frightening new world of wealth, lies, and monsters—a new Earth where Shangri-La China is the center of government, finance, and power. “Are you afraid to die?” In Shangri-La, even death has lost its sting thanks to advances in medicine and technology.

Lurking behind it all is the mysterious destroyer of worlds called The Great Death.

With the survival of billions of people forced upon Phoh’s young shoulders, finding out what the Woman in White knows is crucial.

The Great Death is an 86,000-word speculative fiction novel.

Get it here on Kindle: ($o.99 / Free on Kindle Unlimited)

Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, New Adult, Space Opera, Dystopia, Cyberpunk Girl, Afrofuturism, Blerd

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Burned by Magic: a New Adult Fantasy Novel (The Baine Chronicles Book 1) by Jasmine Walt

The first book in the hot new adult fantasy series readers are comparing to Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs.

In the city of Solantha, mages rule absolute, with shifters considered second-class citizens and humans something in between. No one outside the mage families are allowed to have magic, and anyone born with it must agree to have it stripped from them to avoid execution.

Sunaya Baine, a shifter-mage hybrid, has managed to keep her unruly magic under wraps for the last twenty-four years. But while chasing down a shifter-hunting serial killer, she loses control of her magic in front of witnesses, drawing the attention of the dangerous and enigmatic Chief Mage.

Locked up in the Chief Mage’s castle and reduced to little more than a lab rat, Sunaya resists his attempts to analyze and control her at every turn. But she soon realizes that to regain her freedom and catch the killer, she must overcome her hatred of mages and win the most powerful mage in the city to her side.

Get it here on Kindle: ($2.99 / Free on Kindle Unlimited)

Genres: Fantasy, New Adult and College, Science Fiction, Mythology
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Morning Star: Book III of The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown

Red Rising thrilled readers and announced the presence of a talented new author. Golden Son changed the game and took the story of Darrow to the next level. Now comes the exhilarating conclusion to the Red Rising Trilogy: Morning Star.

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.

Get it here on Kindle: ($13.99)

Advance praise for Morning Star
 
“Multilayered and seething with characters who exist in a shadow world between history and myth, much as in Frank Herbert’s Dune . . . an ambitious and satisfying conclusion to a monumental saga.”Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Pierce Brown and the Red Rising Trilogy

Red Rising

“[A] spectacular adventure . . . one heart-pounding ride . . . Pierce Brown’s dizzyingly good debut novel evokes The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and Ender’s Game. . . . [Red Rising] has everything it needs to become meteoric.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“[A] top-notch debut novel . . . Red Rising ascends above a crowded dystopian field.”—USA Today
 
“Pierce Brown has done an astounding job at delivering a powerful piece of literature that will definitely make a mark in the minds of readers.”—The Huffington Post
 
Golden Son
 
“Brown writes layered, flawed characters . . . but plot is his most breathtaking strength. . . . Every action seems to flow into the next.”—NPR
 
“In a word, Golden Son is stunning. Among science fiction fans, it should be a shoo-in for book of the year.”Tor.com
 
“The jaw-dropper of an ending will leave readers hungry for the conclusion to Brown’s wholly original, completely thrilling saga.”Booklist (starred review)

*****

Glass Sword (Red Queen) by Victoria Aveyard

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

Get it here on Kindle: $11.99

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Writing Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories, and More

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Working on Two novels at the Same Time … A Writer’s Journey

I am in the unfortunate position of working on two novels at the same time. I say unfortunate because this presents some risks.

The first risk is becoming a hack, meaning that I am writing two novels that have the same feeling… pace… plot twists, dialogue… characters, etc. This is similar to observations about Adam Sandler.  You are never seeing him as a new character… but you are seeing Sandler in a new situation. If I write two novels at the same time, they have the risk of feeling very much the same. Because I am aware of this, I think the characters and the pacing are different… the voice is different. But who knows. It might be hackish… using the same typecast characters over, and over, and over again…

Another risk is that I get lost working on both, and finish neither one. Although I don’t think that will happen, it is possible that one of the books does not get finished. Because I am working on two books, I might lose some of the “steam” required to finish both… become bored with one… and abandon it to some abyss of lost fiction characters.

That is a sad place for fictional characters to go… a lost space of forgotten characters. I suppose that’s what the Twilight Zone is for.

Writing is still fun… the characters still intrigue me… their problems are still fun puzzles… and making their lives miserable is still a joy (for me). But how many books is too many to work on at one time? At what point will it become a dizzying mess of words?

 

Top 5 Female Action-Heroes (movies)

With Terminator Genisys (2015) coming out soon, my first thought was “why” are we getting another Terminator movie? It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the first two movies, but I am somewhat critical of all timeline story angles. Stories that involve altering timelines are always problematic because of temporal paradoxes.

However, the release of Terminator also reminded me of Sarah Connor. Clearly Sarah Connor is an amazing action-hero, and one of the few really good female action-heroes. Sarah Connor is one of the women I think about whenever I try to create women action-heroes.

So, that got me pondering. Who are the greatest female action-heroes of all time? I tried to limit it to live-action origin, or first visual was in a live-action film. This eliminates cartoons, video games, and comic books. With that said, let me give a nod to Wonder-Woman… without a doubt the greatest fictional female hero of all time. In addition, Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft is perfection. However… the Lara Croft films, which had video game origins, needed better writers and better directors.

Below are my top 5 female action heroes, but feel free to add others in the comments.

5.) Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games trilogy

She came from District 12, a poor coal mining district, and survived the very dangerous and very political Hunger Games… a televised fight to the death.

4.) Trinity, The Matrix trilogy

In a world dominated by machines, Trinity is one of the top soldiers in humanity’s fight against the machines. She is clearly a soldier who shoes little fear in the face of overwhelming odds.

3.) Sarah Connor, The Terminator series

She fought the T100 and the T1000 when the life of her son was put in jeopardy by the time-traveling assassins. Instead of running away, she ran toward the danger to save her son… and to save the future of humanity. Probably the most noble of all the women on this list… and her action sequences were believable.

2.) The Bride, Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2

The Bride is rated higher than Sarah Connor because she did action-scenes, and combat, in a way equal to the greatest male action-heroes. Sarah Connor may have done action that was more believable… but let’s be honest, the greatest male action-heroes do lots of stuff which pushes our ability to suspend disbelief. On this list it is quite a feat to rate higher than an action icon like Sarah Connor.

Jumping, slicing, and fighting her way until she finally finds Bill… The Bride is a powerful action-heroine.

1.) Ellen Ripley, The Alien Series

I base this on Alien and Aliens, the first two movies of the Aliens franchise which were both really good. The acid bleeding aliens killed Ripley’s friends, and the aliens killed the Marines… but Ripley killed the aliens. The thing that separates Ripley and Sarah Connor from the Bride, is that Sarah Connor and Ripley feel iconic… whereas the Bride just doesn’t feel iconic to me.

So that’s my list. The top three were separated by tiny details, and on another day the top three might be in a different order. So what are your thoughts?

Copy Editing, and Marinating the Novel … A Writer’s Journey

I am copy editing my novel.  Copy editing is not as fun as voice editing. In fact, copy editing is tedious and somewhat boring. For indie authors, I generally forgive some grammar/typos because I know they could not afford a copy editor. But I do not expect that same level of grace from someone who will read my book.

I am doing the best I can, and almost at the writing stage where I let friends read the book. This is what I call the marinating stage, because I will not be working on the book. But my friends will be reading it and giving feedback. I will use their feedback to make the book even better. But copy editing feels like I have ripped the soul out of the writing process. It no longer feels creative. It’s about form, structure, etc.

Once I officially start the marinating stage, it could involve a few rewrites 😦

I did my best to create dynamic, interesting characters. I generated an amazing, fast-paced story. Now I’m making the sentences readalicious.