Click here for last week’s Book Plug Friday #1
Welcome to Book Plug Friday, so called because it goes up on Friday and we promote books.
The idea is to promote – mostly, but not exclusively – indie books. The indie market gets a bad rep, and sometimes it’s even deserved. Yes, there is a lot out there that is badly spelled, badly formatted or just plain bad. However, I’d like to point out a lot of the books with those failings are traditionally published.
By the time my first book was published by Berkley, publishers were less concerned with appealing to the public than with their choices looking good to the people at their cocktail parties. A series of mergers and hostile take- overs, both at the publishing and retail levels left the book business entirely in the hand of the “push model.”
That meant that what the editors wanted to sell usually sold. What they wanted to be ignored, was ignored. Thus more and more books chosen for a small group of people – the publishers and editors – mostly located in New York City. For some odd reason this left most readers unimpressed.
Print runs kept shrinking, authors got dropped left and right, bookstores (and finally chain bookstores) imploded, but the publishing market seemed impervious to the reading public’s opinion.
Now authors have options. Some are publishing only with their traditional houses. Some like me are doing both indie and traditional. And some are doing indie only.
Readers have options too.
Don’t judge a book by its publisher. What if J. K. Rowling hadn’t sent Harry Potter to the 22nd publisher, after the 21st rejected it? Kindle books have a preview function. Recreate the experience of bookstore browsing from the comfort of your own home, and give indie a chance.
What a wonderful world this is that has such reading and writing options in it.
Disclaimer – the blurbs for these books come from the authors themselves. Charlie and I haven’t read most of them. As a further disclaimer, I’ve written some of them. And some of the authors are friends or – in one case – my son.
I’ll lead off the parade of shameless self promotion:
Sarah A. Hoyt
Combining the three books of Sarah A. Hoyt’s Magical Shakespeare series, this volume takes Shakespeare — always bedeviled, aided and hampered by the elves of Arden forest, the spawn of Titania and Oberon — from a young and anonymous schoolmaster to an acclaimed playwright. His fame, and his dealings with fairyland put his son Hamnet at risk, and might destroy Shakespeare himself.
This Omnibus combines Ill Met By Moonlight, All Night Awake and Any Man so Daring. These books were originally published by Ace/Berkley between 10/2001 and 10/2003.
Note-: For those who’ve read my later works, these books are a very different type. I was told to make them poetic and full of Shakespeare allusions, and I did so, because I really wanted to get published. Also it took me years to learn to write more accessibly.
(This also happens to be me, cunningly disguised under my maiden name.)
In a land with a weak king, in a time when murder was often disregarded, four men made sure justice was served. Death of a Musketeer goes beyond the story we all know. This is the first of the murder mysteries starring Dumas’s musketeers. This book was originally published by Prime Crime, a division of Berkley. Now that the rights have reverted to me (at last) the second in the series will come out this month, and I hope to continue the series with the release of the sixth book, this December.
A vampire, a werewolf, an undercover angel and his succubus squeeze. Whoever picked this team to save the world wasn’t thinking of sending the very best. But then, since this particular threat to the universe and everything good is being staged in science fiction conventions, amid people in costume, misfits and creative geniuses, any conventional hero would have stood out. Now Jim, the vampire, and his unlikely sidekicks have to beat the clock to find out who’s sacrificing con goers before all hell breaks loose — literally.
There are vampires in the lobby, succubi in the beds, and bodies in the bathroom. It’s ConSensual, where the editors are demons, the writers are crazy and the vampires and werewolves might be the most stable people in the room.
If that isn’t enough, Dracula is staying at the hotel on a business trip for his wood-based hardware chain, Kit Marlowe is one of the authors, and there’s an out of control baby vampire to deal with. Once again, the “Save the World” department is caught with its pants down.
Across the one human colony world, a place technologically regressed to near medieval, possibly the last place humans still survive, a desperate search continues. Scattered across the deserts, tangled jungles, and alien fortresses, lie the core sections of the matter transmitter.
These sections hold the key to vast wealth, power, or… the fulfilment of the colony’s purpose: to help humankind survive the rabidly xenophobic alien Morkth who will tolerate no other intelligent species. The Morkth managed to follow the colony ship, and, despite their mothership being shot down and their queen being killed, they continue their relentless struggle to destroy humankind… and to reconstruct that incredibly valuable matter transmitter. If they succeed, they’ll be able to return to the hive with the location of the colony of vile humans, and have a new world to occupy. If they fail, they’ll destroy the planet.
The search has gone on for centuries, and it is all reaching an end point. The future hangs in the balance.
Dave Freer’s first book, originally published by Baen Books.
To the North of the Holy Roman Empire are the pagan Norse-lands. It is here that Prince Manfred of Brittany, and Erik, his Icelandic bodyguard, must venture in the dead of winter to a mountainous land of trolls and ice to find a stolen pagan relic, the arm-ring of Odin, something so magical that it should not be possible to move it beyond its wards, let alone take it away. It is gone, and unless it is recovered before Yuletide and the re-affirmation of truce-oaths, a new Viking age will be born. King Vorenbras will lead his berserkers in an orgy of killing, rapine, looting and destruction, across the Empire’s unguarded North-Western flank.
Princess Signy is the King’s older stepsister, and everyone believes her to be the thief, a witch and a murderess. Everyone, that is, but Cair, her stable-thrall, a man plucked from the ocean, with a hidden past. Cair doesn’t believe in witches or magic, let alone that Signy could steal and murder. If he has to drag the foremost knight of the age, and his deadly bodyguard kicking and screaming though the entire Norse nine worlds to prove it and free her, he’d do it. No Kobold, dwarf, or troll is going to stop him, or his scepticism. Not the wild hunt. Not even a Grendel. He doesn’t believe in this superstitious rubbish. He’s a man of science and learning, and he’s used that to fake his way into being feared as a magic worker. But for Signy, he’ll be all of mankind’s witches.
He’ll have to be, because that’s what it’ll take to defeat the dark magical forces which are marshalled against them.
Originally published by Baen Books.
Mike O’Hara has spent his life defending the family honor. His grandfather, Cap’n Al O’Hara, has been called everything from smuggler to coward and it is said he abandoned his family rather than pay his debts. Mike knows better, but what’s a boy to do?
When his father is injured in an automobile accident and the authorities threaten to take Mike from the family farm, Mike knows he has to do something. Spurred on by a radio transmission that just might be from Cap’n Al, Mike and his best friend, Amos, start out on a mission to find his grandfather. His journey takes him to an alternate South Africa inhabited by pirates and worse. Mike quickly finds himself in a race against time to rescue his grandfather and return home – before it’s too late.
A collection of six short stories by Dave Freer. A sorcerer’s familiar finds himself thrust into a New York populated by magical beings and zombie bartenders after getting into trouble — again. A mysterious silkie haunts the seaside. A lawyer does battle with the Devil. A mysterious tune leads a woman to her long missing lover. A man’s journey to meet his death leads instead to an encounter with the dreaded Jack o’ Lantern. A man’s good deed in aiding an injured fay leads to a reunion with a past love and possible death.
Michael A. Hooten
Cricket just wanted to learn how to play the harp. But his first teacher, Harper, taught him about being a bard, and all that it entails. When Cricket leaves the little farm he grew up on, he finds that not everyone knows the old rules, or follows them, and he has to decide for himself what is right–and how far he is willing to go to defend his beliefs.
Cricket has become a student at the Academy of the Bards. He learns how to use his music to make magic, and soon receives the Star of the Bards, the culmination of all his dreams. But he finds that being a bard is not at all like he thought it would be, and he again he must choose whether to follow the old ways, or to accept the new ways. This time, however, he serves the Queen, and he has not only his own honor to consider, but the good of all Glencairck as well.
Amanda S. Green
Some things can never be forgotten, no matter how hard you try.
Detective Sergeant Mackenzie Santos knows that bitter lesson all too well. The day she died changed her life and her perception of the world forever.It doesn’t matter that everyone, even her doctors, believe a miracle occurred when she awoke in the hospital morgue. Mac knows better. It hadn’t been a miracle, at least not a holy one. As far as she’s concerned, that’s the day the dogs of Hell came for her.
Investigating one of the most horrendous murders in recent Dallas history, Mac also has to break in a new partner and deal with nosy reporters who follow her every move and who publish confidential details of the investigation without a qualm.
Complicating matters even more, Mac learns the truth about her family and herself, a truth that forces her to deal with the monster within, as well as those on the outside.But none of this matters as much as discovering the identity of the murderer before he can kill again.
This updated edition includes a special preview of Nocturnal Serenade, Book 2 of Nocturnal Lives.
In this sequel to Nocturnal Origins, Lt. Mackenzie Santos of the Dallas Police Department learns there are worst things than finding out you come from a long line of shapeshifters. At least that’s what she keeps telling herself. It’s not that she resents suddenly discovering she can turn into a jaguar. Nor is it really the fact that no one warned her what might happen to her one day. Although, come to think of it, her mother does have a lot of explaining to do when – and if – Mac ever talks to her again. No, the real problem is how to keep the existence of shapeshifters hidden from the normals, especially when just one piece of forensic evidence in the hands of the wrong technician could lead to their discovery.
Add in blackmail, a long overdue talk with her grandmother about their heritage and an attack on her mother and Mac’s life is about to get a lot more complicated. What she wouldn’t give for a run-of-the-mill murder to investigate. THAT would be a nice change of pace.
A touching and inspiring look at American exceptionalism seen through the lens of the USAF’s efforts to build a credible, accountable Iraqi partner
in the deserts of the Middle East. Through humor and tragedy, Major Banzet describes the hidden efforts of the American, British and desperately courageous Iraqis to build a new Air Force out of war and destruction. With his perceptive eye and rare wit, he compares the two cultures; both aiming to rebuild and grow the next generation of the young Iraqi men and women that could determine the fate of the Middle East for the next fifty years.
You won’t forget this book.
Weddings always bring out the worst in people. Or at least that’s the way it seems to Jessica Jones as her younger sister’s wedding day approaches. It’s bad enough Jessie has to wear a bridesmaid dress that looks like it was designed by a color blind Harlequin. Then there’s the best man who is all hands and no manners. Now add in a murder and Jessie’s former lover — former because she caught him doing the horizontal tango on their kitchen table with her also-former best friend. It really is almost more than a girl should be expected to handle. . . .
When Meg Finley’s parents died, the authorities classified it as a double suicide. Alone, hurting and suddenly the object of the clan’s alpha’s desire, her life was a nightmare. He didn’t care that she was grieving any more than he cared that she was only fifteen. So she’d run and she’d been running ever since. But now, years later, her luck’s run out. The alpha’s trackers have found her and they’re under orders to bring her back, no matter what.
Without warning, Meg finds herself in a game of cat and mouse with the trackers in a downtown Dallas parking garage. She’s learned a lot over the years but, without help, it might not be enough to escape a fate she knows will be worse than death. What she didn’t expect was that help would come from the local clan leader. But would he turn out to be her savior or something else, something much more dangerous?
Linn can’t believe what is happening to her summer. First, she winds up babysitting a litter of newborn kittens with a very special heritage. Then her own family’s past catches up with them, and Linn is on the run… and all alone with the kittens — Vulcan’s Kittens.
Two people who share a common plight… His magic holds the key to release both of them, but first, she has to steal it back. It’s a good thing she is a professional thief, but it’s a bad thing that her target is a witch.
“Of all the fairy rings, in all the worlds, she walks into mine.” When gritty detectives meet shapeshifters and dragons, when the gorgeous dame is an elf and the grifter is a selkie, that’s when you know you’re in deeper than you thought possible. In the shadowy streets of these stories, the dangers are more than just shooters and muggers. Here the bouncer might be an orc, the mark might be a centaur. Venture in at your own risk. Walk soft, carry a big gun, and keep a stone with a hole in it in your pocket.
Once upon a time the anxious Prince Althelstan went in search of a bride …
His restless cousin, Lady Vevila, went in search of adventure…
His friend Mazigian, proud graduate of the Recondite University, went in search of employment…
And each found what they were looking for—by following a folktale to a remote castle buried in thorns and briars. Behind its foreboding walls, one princess and three identical princes are cursed to eternal sleep. And it’s going to take a mysterious dwarf named Rumplestiltskin, an enchanted toad, a wicked stepmother, and one even more wicked miracle to wake them. All it takes is one kiss, give or take a few, and a fairy tale really can come true.
Originally Published by Berkley/Ace
Valor must balance his public persona of a royal dandy with his privately shrewd nature, managing to survive interplanetary politics, his psychotic father, and his arranged marriage.
Robert A. Hoyt
The Mountain at The End Of The World upon which a bird sharpens its beak is down to where one more beak-wipe will eliminate it, and thus bring about the end of the universe. The only ones who can save us are… a bunch of stray cats.
Before “Catspaw”, there was only Tom. Journey into the past of an orphaned young cat who ventures into the deadly clutches of the Broxton street rats. There he must fight to defend the only thing still worth fighting for: beer, and lots of it. But as he claws his way into the seedy underbelly of the rodent world, he’ll have to dodge frantic brewers and enter the mind of a mad rat… to discover firsthand that reality is not as simple as it first seems.
Leah lives alone in a house by the sea where she receives strange visitors who bring her gifts from her brothers who are scattered all over the world. From the gifts Leah dreams stories of love and death.
You will have read nothing like this before, but once you read it you will remember why you first fell in love with reading.
They’re launching a product that will save the company. At the biggest trade show in the universe. At stake: corporate vice president Rocco Pinocco’s masterfully plotted career. The teetering marriage of local pol Stewart “Bo” Valgus. Taylor Song’s crush on the world’s only obsessive-compulsive anarchist.
Not to mention the economic future of the entire city of Borschtester, NY.
Then they discover their worst nightmare has come true.
The product they’re launching?
In a near future alternate history, America has split. Sovereign security companies compete in the booming Arizona Zone.
Evie retired as an anti-terrorist detective sergeant and emigrated to escape from Britain. Who is hunting her for revenge?
Evie hires Sam Harper, from Sharper Security, to protect her. Who is her mysterious attacker, plotting from a distance?
How will Sam defeat the soldiers, intrigue and legal maneuvers of his competitors to capture Evie’s nemesis and deliver justice for what really happened in Paris 18 years ago?
Answers involving forgiveness and redemption are revealed during a week of mystery, intrigue, technology, heroes, villains, action and adventure in the Sonoran desert.
Marjorie F. Baldwin
Can two men co-exist inside one mind? Andrew Caine and Joshua Scherrer can barely co-exist outside, on the same planet. After they’re involved in a fatal car accident, the enigmatic native Phoenicians have sent someone to “help” them blend together, into a new man. Can they accept the new existence together, or will their minds collide as fatally as the car crash that killed them?
When two brilliant scientists die together in a careless traffic accident, the Community, a fledgling human colony on an alien world, suffers a devastating blow. Joshua Scherrer and Andrew Caine might have loathed each other personally, but their collective knowledge was vital to humanity’s survival on this Phoenician world. Without them and their contributions, Administrator Stafar Baghendi fears for the very survival of humanity’s last stand.
Shayla didn’t ask to be a Councillor. She’s Phoenician. There’s no good reason for Phoenicians to live among the humans. None, except that the Seven Chiefs had ordered her to do it. They’d entrusted her safety to a human Proctor named Raif. They’d said it was all part of the Plan. Well, the Seven Chiefs could keep their Plan. Shayla had plans of her own now and they didn’t include the Seven Chiefs or the World Council. Raif had never intended for things to go this far. A few months, maybe a year, and he could send the little Phoenician girl home again, back where she belonged. After more than a decade, she was not a little girl anymore and he couldn’t bring himself to let her go. He had no idea why he’d never seen her like this before but now she was all he could think about. A Proctor shouldn’t think, certainly not about his Councillor that way. As Raif finds himself in competition with his own progenitor for control over his Heir (and future) Shayla discovers Raif’s past. He was never meant to be a Proctor. Is this what the Seven Chiefs had intended from the start?