Saturday, July 23, 2016

Spotlight on Asante's Gullah Journey by S. A. Gibson

Book spotlight of --
Asante's Gullah Journey by S. A. Gibson
Nefarious land grabbers threaten family farms in the Gullah Lowcounty. It falls to Beneda to bring her people through this chaos. She appeals to the Libraries, those with power in this technology free world. Joined by Librarian-swordsman Asante, Beneda pulls her community together as her grandmother did generations ago. Within this tale of swords and soul, doing what's right leads to threats unimaginable.

Asante's Gullah Journey is a young adult adventure novel that will appeal to lovers of action, futuristic fiction, post-apocalyptic tales, sword & soul, and archery conflict.

African Asante sword and Gullah Beneda bow are joined in this post-apocalyptic setting, for family, birthright, and oh so much more.

About the author --
Published author of academic articles and book chapters and post-apocalyptic “woodpunk” fiction, S.A. Gibson turns his passions for learning and science into accessible worlds of wonder and fascination. He lives with his beautiful wife and their beloved Dachshund-Chihuahua in Southern California

-- Excerpt from the book  
Savoring the pie, Lakisha looks up at noises from the front room.
Zenobia backs into the dining room. Her hands held up, her robe swirling around her legs. “You can’t come in. We are closed—”
An older voice rings out, “I don’t care about that. We have to see the Librarian. Now!”
An old lady holding her white shawl tight to her chest has pushed past Zenobia. And a younger woman, in pants and a blue blouse, follows. At Asante’s wave, Zenobia retreats, backing out in a hurry. Lookin’ for the Librarian.
Gripping her shawl tightly, the grey haired one marches on Asante. He puts down his fork, folding his hands, yet calmly, he stays sitting. He a big man. yet he respectful, like with mama. Don’t wanta ruffle this ol hen’s feathers.
“You have de librarian’s vest on.”
Shaking his head. “I am a library scout.” His calm steady eyes settle on her and her follower. “From Africa.”

- Links for the book
author website –
publisher website –

** Author Interview **

When did you start reading, and what's your favorite book?
Thanks for having me visit. I got an early start. My mother started me when I was three or four. Ironically, she didn't want me reading science fiction, but I was hooked early. Sneaking science fiction at the school libraries got be loving Heinlein and Herbert. I devoured space operas like Dune.

When did you start writing, and what do you like to write best?
My first book as an adult was two years ago. All my stories are adventures with late teens or twenty-somethings who are in the future Earth without modern technology. It's science fiction, without high tech.

Where is your favorite place to write? What helps you to write?
I write at my desk at home. Folk, jazz music is playing and my dog, Cantinflas is on his bed beside me.

What's your favorite tv show, past or present?
Firefly, of course. It is space opera like I like. And, it has low-tech elements like horses, cattle ranching, and train jobs.

What's your all time favorite movie?
Smilla's Sense of Snow from 1997 has all the elements I like in a movie. A female hero who is flawed. Smilla was raised by Inuits so she knows all she needs to about snow. She is an ordinary character who has to become a super sleuth to try to help a child. She doesn't know who to trust, and must win people over with her brains and tenacity. The perfect story.

Who or what has had the greatest influence on your writing?
Strangely, I think my academic work has a great impact on my fiction writing. I am interested in imparting information about the world to readers. I want to research and convey interesting tidbits about the world of our present and past. I use Google and academic databases to research story elements that I use in my books.

How do you get your ideas for what you write?
Based on research, I think about how characters would live their lives in difficult situations. I want to test characters, to challenge them, to rise above themselves, or break. My ideas come from situations in real life, or from history.

What are some of your favorite writer places on the internet?  -groups, websites, forums, pages, blogs, etc.
I visit The Dragon's Rocketship Facebook group every day. I have found the writers and artists there to be a supportive family that full of interesting ideas and suggestions. I spend a lot of time on Goodreads, connecting to readers, other authors and groups of interest to me.

Just for fun - if you could be any fictional character, who would you want to be? - either from movies, tv shows, books, comics, cartoons, etc. –
The DC comic world had a character Oracle. This was the secret identity of Barbara Gordon, who appeared in Batman and other comics and in a TV show Birds of Prey. She is confined to a wheelchair and has no superpowers, but uses her intellect and Ph.D in library science to solve crime and foil bad guys. That is the idea hero in my opinion.

Tell us about what you're working on now, or your latest release?
Thank you for having me, and giving me an opportunity to mention my book. My current book in release is Asante's Gullah Journey. Nefarious land grabbers threaten family farms in Carolina’s Gullah Lowcountry. It falls to Beneda and Librarian Asante to fight to bring her people through this chaos.  The ebook is available at Amazon and other online stores. For a chance to win the ebook, enter the Amazon giveaway at:

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sale on books by Danyelle Leafty

Hello there! You love sales don't you? I know I do. And I have some sale info for you.

Two books by author Danyelle Leafty are on sale, now through April 12th, so grab them while you can.

The first one is:
on sale for $0.99 cents
When Aneira awakens to find she has been sprited away into the night by none other than the dread witch Baba Yaga, she is faced with a choice: help Baba Yaga find her sisters' magical skins and Aneira can go home to her family or refuse to help and lose her mother and sisters forever.

The task is simple. She just has to steal the Lord of Winter’s heart by lulling him to sleep with the Harp of the Seven Winds. Once she has it, all Aneira has to do is lock it in a magic jar Baba Yaga gives her. After that, she’s free to go home.

The only way to obtain the harp, however, is to succeed at the three tasks set forth by the winds themselves—winds that are bent on protecting the harp from mortal hands at all costs.

But stealing the Lord of Winter’s heart turns out to be more complicated than Aneira realized, and she must decide whether returning to her family is worth the price of the world losing Winter forever.

And the second book is:
on sale for $1.99
Aneira thought she had accepted her fate, but the longing for home grows strong enough that she sneaks into the Babas’ cottage to see if she can find a way to spell herself home.

Instead, she stumbles in upon a theft in progress. To make matters worse, the Babas had simply been waiting to spring their trap. They need both Aneira and the thief’s help, and they aren’t above threatening life and limb to get it.

As before, the Babas offer a choice: retrieve a firebird egg and the maiden they wish to apprentice, and the baby firebird in their possession will be free to find a more hospitable home. Refuse, and the selfsame firebird may well end up plucked and lightly seasoned.

The tasks are far from simple—especially when their journey takes them to the heart of Summer’s country. (An unpleasant proposition when your heart is made entirely of frost.)

Time grows short, and Aneira must decide if her heart—and the hope of returning home—is worth more than the fate of a baby firebird and a maiden she has never met.

The choice she makes will set her on a course that will either save who she is or destroy who she has the potential to become. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The author's guide to contacting reviewers, part 1

This is a topic, a series of articles, that I have been thinking about writing for a while now. A recent unpleasant episode has prompted me to go ahead and put up the post and start the series.

The focus of this series will be to enlighten authors about contacting book review bloggers for reviews. There's all kinds of articles on everything else, but I've never run across one like I plan to write. So, let's get started, shall we.

First of all, be nice, be polite.
When dealing with book review bloggers, rudeness will get you nowhere. These folks, for the most part, do a whole lot of work for no pay except for the free books that they get. They spend time working on their blog, their review format, keeping up with books they've agreed to review, contacting authors, promoting their blog, etc. They deserve your consideration and respect for all the hard work they put in that mostly benefits you. And they mostly do it because of their love of books and reading.

If someone wants to charge you for a review, run, don't walk away.
You should never pay for a review. It's a taboo thing in the reviewing arena, and severely frowned upon. Yes, there are places like Kirkus that charges for reviews; and you can find others elsewhere that charge for reviews, but they are all in the minority. Similarly, do not offer a reviewer payment in exchange for a review.

All you should offer a reviewer is a free copy of your book.
Do not offer a reviewer money to review your book. All you should give them is a free copy of your book in the format of their choice.

Be prepared to give them a copy of your book in the reviewer's preferred format
Do not expect the reviewer to just take whatever format you feel like giving them. Every reviewer has a preferred format that they like to read in, and you as an author should be prepared to be able to send the reviewer your book in their chosen format. Now keeping your book on hand in these three formats shouldn't be that hard; the 3 formats are:

  • pdf
  • mobi, or kindle version
  • epub, or nook version
All reviewers will use one of these 3 formats. Do not expect them to take what you send! Instead, send the format they prefer.

If you aren't prepared for a frank, honest review of your book --
Book review bloggers aren't there to pimp your book, and they aren't there to flatter you or your book. They're there to do honest reviews of the books, telling their honest opinion of that book. Their reviews may range from, 'It's great!', to, 'That really sucked!'. If you as an author aren't prepared to accept what you get, do the blogs a favor and don't request a review. Once again, let me repeat, they aren't there to flatter you! So before you go and request a review, be prepared to accept whatever they may say.


Well, this makes a good start on the subject, and is, I think, a good place to stop in this first post. Future posts will talk about how to find bloggers, more on what to expect from the review process, and what to say to reviewers.

If you have any suggestions or requests or questions that you would like to be covered in this series, be sure and let me know by filling out my contact form. You can find it under the 'Contact me' tab in the menu bar above.

So till next time, be nice to the reviewers.

-- jd --

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cover reveal - The Coming Darkness by Eric Swett

Welcome to the cover reveal of author Eric Swett,
and, without further adieu, here's the cover:

About the book:
Justin is a fallen Angel. He just happens to be one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Grim Reaper himself, Death. A year has passed since he remembered who he was and what he is. He is regaining some of the abilities and memories he lost when he chose to fall to earth and live amongst humans, but he has a long way to go before he can fully reclaim his title. When Justin comes across a young girl being chased by a monster, he does what he can to save her, but he soon discovers this is no normal girl, and failing to save her will change the world forever.

Excerpt from the book:
“Something tells me this is the place,” said Samantha.
“I think you’re right.” Justin felt the Power emanating from the place; the origin or intent of the magic cast upon the little building remained elusive.
Justin opened the door and Samantha strode inside. Her sharp business attire and well-manicured look terribly out of place in the shop filled with countless shelves filled with books and dark little trinkets and charms that hung from hooks throughout the room. She sniffed and wrinkled her nose. “It smells like a tomb in here,” she said as she picked up the desiccated corpse of a chameleon from a nearby shelf.
“I’ve smelled worse,” Justin said as he entered the room and shut the door behind him. He stopped when he stood behind her and whispered, “Human magic often requires these sort of physical components, at least until the wizard is powerful enough to eschew such trappings.”
“How…uncivilized,” Samantha said as she placed the dead lizard back on its shelf.
“So true.”
The Angels turned to see a man entering the shop through a doorway behind a broad wooden counter. He was tall for a human, though he fell well short of Justin’s six and a half feet. He wore a dark purple button down shirt that nearly concealed the tattoos that covered his biceps and upper chest. Thick black and grey stuble covered his shaved head. His eyes caught Justin’s attention. He saw that sort of dark fire burning within the eyes of men before. Monuments carved in their likeness and tomes filled with tails of heroism and infamy contained their names.
“Welcome to The Curious Cat. My name is Mathew Finitz, and this is my shop.”

Eric Swett is the husband of Tracy and the father of Zachary, Connor, and Kaitlyn, and could not be prouder of his family. He lives in Statesville, North Carolina, spends his daylight hours working in IT and has done so for the past six years. Being a fan of all things geek, he has spent most of his life reading science fiction and fantasy. He started writing in high school, but it wasn’t until he moved to North Carolina that writing became anything more than a hobby.

You can find Eric online at Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and My Writer’s Cramp.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Leisure Zone has a new way to request a review

Our sister blog, The Leisure Zone, has just today introduced a revolutionary new way for authors to request reviews from their blog.

This new way is a facebook group, where authors may come and post, requesting a review from the blog. Here's the link for the group:

And the group is called, The Leisure Zone review request group. Join us as we talk with the blog owner, Jacqueline Driggers, about this new addition to the blog, and more.

Q - What prompted this new idea?

Well, I was on facebook, taking care of some blog related stuff; and I had this group that I had created that had never taken off. The group was for people to share book review post links in. I mean, I didn't even post to it myself.

Then this idea popped into my head to repurpose it as a group specifically for authors to request a review from our blog.

Q - Why the change, or this addition?

Ever since I started up the blog, I've wrestled with different ways to handle review requests. The most efficient that I had found to date was using a form created on google drive, which collects the responses in the form of a spreadsheet.  That's fine when it's for yourself, but managing several for a whole team can get a bit time consuming and tedious.

So this is something new that I am doing. Going into the future, this will most likely become the main way to request a review from our blog.

Q - So can authors use this to request a review from a specific reviewer?

Yes, they can. Under the files tab in the group, there is a list of our different reviewers and the genres they review, the genres they don't review, and their preferred format. So authors can read this info and then mention the reviewer that they are interested in, in their post.

Q - Do you get a lot of review requests?

Yes, we keep a good flow coming in. That's the wonderful thing about the self-publishing of today - there's lots of books to review.

Q - What are all the ways you get the books you review?

Some come through our review requests. Some come from direct contact with an author somewhere online. I've done that often myself. Then there's also the free books on the Amazon and other book selling sites. Plus, there's book review sites like Net Galley and others.

Q - Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Yes, there is. If readers would like to get a monthly newsletter with a list of the blog's most recent reviews, they can subscribe to my own writer newsletter, called The Bluegrass Crew. Each month, I include a list of the blog's most recent reviews in the newsletter. They can subscribe to the newsletter here:

Monday, August 17, 2015

Book spotlight on Call to Arms, Nations Fall by Randy Lindsay

Joining the military had seemed like the right thing to do, but when war breaks out in Europe Robert wonders if he hasn’t made the biggest mistake of his life. The Russian juggernaut grinds its way toward Italy, the country Robert has grown to love. As one of a handful of American soldiers in the area, he must find a way to help the ragged remnants of NATO’s forces to prevent any more European nations from falling.

While back home, the rest of the Williams family struggles to protect themselves in the face of an impending civil war. The very fabric of society continues to unravel, threatening the destruction of the Constitution and the American way of life.

As Vice President, Calvin McCord continues to defy both sides of the political divide in order to find a solution to the war in Europe, the ravaging of the United States, and an espionage ring within the White House. 

Purchase your copy here: 

RANDY LINDSAY is a native of Arizona. He lives in Mesa with his wife, five of his nine children, and a hyper-active imagination. His wife calls him the “Storyman” because he sees everything as material for a good story. Randy’s first novel, The Gathering: End’s Beginning, was published in 2014. He has also been published in several anthologies during 2013-2014. If you want to find out more you can check him out at

Top Ten List:

I love top ten lists. I post them on my website whenever I can find an excuse to do one. In fact, I’m thinking I should put one together on my ten favorite top ten lists. Before I do that I better finish my list of Randy’s Ten Favorite Things.

10. Favorite television show – Top Chef.

9. Favorite child – whichever one is asking me that at the time.

8. Favorite character in Call to Arms: Nations Fall – Calvin McCord.

7. Favorite fun activity – going to the movies.

6. Favorite book – Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny.

5. Favorite place to visit – Delores, Colorado.

4. Favorite non-author job – theater manager.

3. Favorite movie – It’s a Wonderful Life.

2. Favorite ice cream flavor – double salted-caramel.

1. Favorite author activity – working on lists of my ten favorite things.

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Book spotlight on Pemberley: Pompous Schemes by Ayr Bray

Thrown from his horse, Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam is left to traverse the remaining fifteen miles to Pemberley on foot. Richard never imagined the first carriage to cross his path would contain the one woman he thought he would never see again.
Lady Aimée de Bourbon the only child of Prince du Sang Geoffroy de Bourbon, Marquis of Agen had captured and nearly broke Richard’s heart four years earlier. He had loved her and planned to give up his bachelor ways, but her father intended her to marry a royal, not an English Earl’s second son. Now Lady Aimée is affianced to Señor Duarte de Cortázar, a lesser Portuguese royal.
While lost in his thoughts of his prior love, the carriage is robbed, Lady Aimée’s dowry stolen, and Lord Agen is injured. Colonel Fitzwilliam directs the driver to take them to Pemberley where Mr. Darcy and his wife Elizabeth take them in and offer refuge and a place to heal.
Ancient customs of Dom Duarte’s family forbids marriage without the dowry present at the wedding and now with the dowry stolen, Lady Aimée and her father fear the de Cortázar’s will call off the marriage. But Lady Aimée intends to have love and will let nothing stand in her way, even if it means hurting the man she once professed to love.

Pompous Schemes Paperback and eBook Links:
Gumroad (Author Direct):

"From an early age I have always been fascinated by the written word and the mood and atmosphere it creates for a reader; especially those books that affect me and transport me to some far-off place. These are the elements I strive to create in my books. My books in many ways record what most affects me: my feelings and experiences with family, friends, and those I have run into on my life's journey. My hope is that in my books you will find something that touches you, something which will resonate in your soul and remind you that you are strong and can overcome anything, especially if you have the support of loving friends and family." - Ayr Bray 

Ayr Bray is from the Pacific Northwest, but travels as much as possible so she doesn't have to deal with the cold. Ayr loves to hear from readers. 
Connect with her at her website or on Facebook at  and Twitter:

10 Random and Possibly Funny Facts About Ayr
1. I wrote my first novel in 2007 while on bed rest for seven months during the pregnancy of my second son.  
2. Pompous Schemes is my 13th story published under the name of Ayr Bray, but my 14thpublished story.
3. I eat a 26.5 oz jar of Nutella spoonful by spoonful for every 35,000 words I write.
4. I love to learn, but I hated high school and college. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would graduate HS early get my degree online. Unfortunately those were not options back when I graduated.  Also, I should have taken classes I enjoyed rather than those that seemed practical for an economic future. Now, I have a degree which is completely useless since I’m writing books full-time.
5. Pink is my favorite color.
6. I love to sail.
7. I hate ... no, no, no, despise to cook and eat (other than Nutella). If I could just take a vitamin to get all of the nutrients and calories I needed to survive healthily and never have to cook or eat again I would buy it in a heartbeat. I would even be willing to give up Nutella, which is what I practically live on now.
8. I get remarkably little sleep because my mind is always busy with thoughts of new stories. I have 7 novels outlined and just sitting in a file waiting for me to finish them up.
9. I have been married to my own Mr. Darcy for 16 wonderful years. My Mr. Darcy and I have two awesome sons ages 10 and 8 who sometimes drive me crazy.
10. I love to travel. I sold my home and everything I own in 2012 and now I live and travel the USA with my husband and two sons in 240 square feet. I lived in 13 houses in 11 cities in 12 years. Now, in the past 4 years I have lived in 1 house in hundreds of cities and 37 states.
BONUS: My new office is only 40 square feet, but it is 40 square feet of floor to ceiling pure awesomesauce!
Snippet from Chapter 6

The clacking of balls in the billiards room down the hall drew Aimée from her gloomy thoughts. She glided towards the sound, her steps muffled by the luxurious carpet.
When she neared the door, she paused and peered inside. There was Colonel Fitzwilliam, alone, playing billiards in his shirt-sleeves. She watched as he took a shot, the ball landing squarely in the cornerpocket. His satisfaction showed in the slightest curve at one corner of his mouth.  
Aimée thought his expression adorable—in a manly way, of course. She remembered the week they had spent together in Aberdeen. She had enjoyed his flattering attentions, though she had known they could come to nothing. He was a second son of an English Earl and she the only daughter of a French Marquis. Their countries were at war and she, as a realist, had known their love could never be no matter how their hearts were touched.  
Seeing him now, relaxed as he was, made her appreciate the time they had spent together, but it did not make her long for him. She had never been in love with him, though she had once thought otherwise. What she had felt for him had been no more than childish infatuation.

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