Friday, August 29, 2014

The Tale of a Book's Evolution

I wrote "The Tales of Abu Nuwas" first as a series of seven stories following the adventures of a girl and her accidentally procured genie. The first few stories were published in on-line zines, then the full seven stories were combined into a single print volume published by Sam's Dot Publishing (no longer exists). In that iteration it was titled "The Seven Adventures of Cadida."

Then I decided to novelize the stories by putting them together a la Scheherazade using a frame story of an old story teller sitting in a bazaar in ancient Persia, offering his stories for whoever might pay a coin to hear. One day, a spice seller (I must resist saying Spice Girl) asks for a tale to ease her heart's woe. She has been promised to marry an older man she didn't much like. But, those were the days of forced marriages (Oh, right. We're still in the days of forced marriages some places in the world.) and the girl had no say in the matter. Her mother was very ill and only the money provided by the merchant groom would buy the medicine and care she needed.

I had the frame set up and alternated between the genie stories and the plight of the spice seller. The story teller, Abu Nuwas (named for a real 8th C. Persian poet), tells the tales providing some parallels to the spice seller's life.

I re-wrote and edited a bit, then submitted the book to MuseItUp Publishing with the title "Setara's Genie." I have my rights back for that book, then issued it myself under that title. But I wanted to return the book to Abu Nuwas' capable hands. Thus, I added the subtitle and went back to the original cover, Although the cover for "Setara's Genie" is beautiful, and I did use it with the print edition, I wanted to make it my own again. I want all of my books to belong to me, only me, and just me forever and ever, amen.

Now the book is entirely mine. All other iterations are wiped from the earth (except as sold in print by 3rd party vendors).

THE TALES OF ABU NUWAS - SETARA'S GENIE
A girl, a genie, a few demons. Would could go wrong?

Available only at Amazon until KDP Select runs out in October. Free for KindleUnlimited customers. Print is available in other stores as well as Amazon.

Abu Nuwas sits in the bazaar telling stories to the passersby he can tempt to pay. He relates the adventures of the bored daughter of a rich merchant, Setara, and her genie, Basit, as they encounter the creatures of legend and folklore: a lonely cave demon seeking a home; a flying, fire-breathing horse who has lost his mate; a dragon searching for his family; an evil genie hunting for the man who bottled him; and a merboy prince cast out of his undersea kingdom.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Who's Your Little Demon?

From Quest for the Simurgh - Faizah's Destiny

Encyclopedia Mythica has plenty to say about Persian mythology. The three demons in "Quest for the Simurgh - Faizah's Destiny" are minions of Dev, the war god.

Aesma is the demon of lust and anger, wrath and revenge. His wrath is mainly directed towards the cow (go figure). He is the symbol of violence, a lover of conflict and war. He's resting on his laurels these days since war just seems to keep going from inertia. 





Buyasta is an ancient Persian demon of laziness who tries to prevent people from working. He's even lazier than usual lately since plenty of people are out of work without his help.
Nanghaithya An archfiend, which is a demonic upgrade. Nanghaithya is busy making people discontented. It seems that this guy has plenty of work in this downturn economy.
My Mashup

Dev (the little devil) wants war to usher in Armageddon. Why? Because war is his thing and wiping out all humankind is on his to-do list.

To that end, he sends three daevas (demons, if you will) to turn Faizah’s companions on the quest to the dark side (sort of a Darth Vader thing).

Aesma appears to Parvaiz in the form of a bear with a serpent’s tail. Parvaiz was a slave and has a mile-wide chip on his shoulder. Aesma fuels that anger and convinces Parvaiz that the others are his enemies, not his friends. He’s told to wait for Dev to call him into battle. And, of course, keep his mouth shut about the little meeting.

Dev sends Buyasta in the form of a giant spider to Bahaar, who has always dreamt of becoming a warrior. The demon takes advantage of that dream to make Bahaar fall asleep (laziness) and dream of himself as a mighty fighter in a huge battle. The good part: Bahaar is kicking major butt. The bad part: The butts he’s kicking are those of his best friends.

Nanghaithya has a little un-pep talk (he’s a voice-over character) with Harib claiming that his friends all laugh at him and only keep his company because his father is rich. The demon attempts to make Harib discontented with his relationship with the others. Harib, however, is having none of it. He’s the only of the three boys who stays true to Faizah.

Who's your personal demon? For writers, it seems Buyasta (sloth) and Nanghaithya (insecurity) have alternating work schedules. Hopefully, the seesaw demons don't turn an author to Aesma (anger).


QUEST FOR THE SIMURGH - FAIZAH'S DESTINY
The gods are at war and only a farmer’s daughter can save the world from Armageddon.
Buy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002LLNDVY

The village magician has gone missing.  His four pupils think he has left a clue to his whereabouts in the Magicalis Bestialis--the book of magical creatures.  They must seek the help of the elusive Simurgh, the mythical birds who know all the secrets of the universe.

However, this is not an easy camping trip into the mountains.  Spirits, gods, and demons confront the four friends, who are not aware they’re being set up by otherworldly forces for a much larger task.

A farmer’s daughter, Faizah is chosen to lead the humans in the battle. She must persuade a slave, an orphan, and a rich merchant’s son to join in the battle on the side of good. Although divided by Dev, the evil god of war, the teens must band together to find the Simurgh, rescue their teacher, and stave off Armageddon.

 

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Village Magician - Faizah's Destiny

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

The Village Magician

The four teen adventurers in Quest for the Simurgh - Faizah’sDestiny are all students of the village magician, who also serves as teacher for the children who have some time to expend on schooling. Master Wafai is an all-round teacher, covering the academic topics such as mathematics and writing. As a magician with minor skills, he also loves to impart his knowledge of magical beasts that roam the earth.

Master Wafai wants more than anything to meet the elusive, all-knowing Simurgh. He feels it’s very important for his students to learn about magic, even though there is very little to be found around their tiny village. Of the Simurgh, he says:

“The Simurgh is a tutelary creature. It is so old, according to legend, it has seen the world destroyed three times over. Many believe it has learned so much that it possesses the knowledge of all the ages―a great teacher and a guardian. The Simurgh simply are. In the past for all of eternity and in the future for all of eternity.”

One day, Master Wafai isn’t at his little school. His four pupils are puzzled and concerned. Why is their teacher gone without leaving word? A possible answer is found on a page of the Magicalis Bestialis. The book was left open to the text describing the Simurgh.


Faizah, a farmer’s daughter and Wafai’s favorite pupil, knows how much the Master loves the Simurgh, she immediately believes the open page is a sign that she and the boys who are also students must seach for the home of the Simurgh.

The boys scoff at the silly idea, but agree to searching the nearby mountains for signs of Wafai’s whereabouts. They only decide to go on the search when they find the adults in the village are content to send word to the Sultan and have troops sent to search for the missing teacher.

Excerpt:

Master Wafai sat at the small table that served him for both dining and desk. One of his prized books, the Magicalis Bestialis lay on the table before him, open to the section on the Simurgh. If only they were real. Wafai sighed. His advancing years never dimmed the hope that someday he would know for certain such magical beasts truly existed.

The stories he had heard of the flying, fire-breathing horse stabled in the Sultan’s palace, helped to keep that hope alive. Still, he longed to meet such a creature, to see it with his own eyes.

He sighed again and stood. He moved into the bare kitchen and carried a bowl of fruit back to the table. In this tiny village, there was not much chance of seeing anything magical. Wafai had long ago accepted the fact he would never be a great or powerful mage. A competent magician in an average sort of way, he could cure most common ailments, cast a spell to clear the air after a sandstorm, find lost livestock, and sometimes water. He could even generate a few small curses, though he seldom chose to do so.

Peeling an orange, he stared, unseeing, at his whitewashed walls, smudged with ochre chalk. His students provided the greatest joy in his life. A mediocre magician though he might be, Wafai was a born teacher. His pupils made jokes about him ‘putting on his teaching voice,’ but when he did, they listened. Although Wafai had always longed to meet a magical creature or two, what he really wanted was for one or more of his students to have the opportunities he had missed.

He thought about his three students and wondered about the new boy. Would any of them become adept? Would any of them ever meet a flying horse, a demon, or a Djinn? Most of the village children came to his school only until they were eight or nine, and then family duties called them away.

Harib, the son of a rich merchant, was the only one free to do as he pleased. He attended school to be with his friends. Left mostly to his own devices when his mother died, Harib had come to the school out of curiosity and boredom. He met Faizah and Bahaar there, and the three of them soon formed a close friendship. School was easy for Faizah and Harib, however Bahaar struggled a bit. They had all mastered the basics of reading and arithmetic and were now engrossed in learning what they could of the magical arts.

Wafai looked down at the Magicalis Bestialis and picked up an orange pip he had dropped. He closed the book and put it aside.

Bahaar, too, lived mostly on his own. Although an indifferent student, he preferred staying in Wafai’s classroom with his friends to begging in the streets. Still, he had his strengths―the fastest runner in the village, he could easily outdistance the bullies, but his bravado made him face them instead.

Faizah neared the age when Wafai would reluctantly release her to help take care of her father’s household, although he knew the girl really wanted to continue her education. He thought it most unfair that just because she was a girl, her parents expected her to stay home and help raise her younger siblings. Soon, it would be time for her to marry and have children of her own.

With her almond eyes and long dark hair, she was pretty enough to attract a prince, but with her parents’ low standing, the best she could do would be to marry a merchant. Particularly sad, Wafai thought, because of his three students, Faizah was the only one with a real talent for magic.

This talent provided the reason she was still in school. The herbs and simple cures she had already learned from Wafai earned a few extra coins for her family, so her parents considered Wafai’s classroom a better use of her time than doing laundry...for now. All too soon, they would take her out of his school and marry her off to some merchant or farmer.

Such a waste.

* * *

QUEST FOR THE SIMURGH - FAIZAH'S DESTINY
The gods are at war and only a farmer’s daughter can save the world from Armageddon.

Kindle Only Free today: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002LLNDVY (always free for those on the KindleUnlimited program)

Blurb:

The village magician has gone missing. His four pupils think he has left a clue to his whereabouts in the Magicalis Bestialis--the book of magical creatures. They must seek the help of the elusive Simurgh, the mythical birds who know all the secrets of the universe.

However, this is not an easy camping trip into the mountains. Spirits, gods, and demons confront the four friends, who are not aware they’re being set up by otherworldly forces for a much larger task.

A farmer’s daughter, Faizah is chosen to lead the humans in the battle. She must persuade a slave, an orphan, and a rich merchant’s son to join in the battle on the side of good. Although divided by Dev, the evil god of war, the teens must band together to find the Simurgh, rescue their teacher, and stave off Armageddon.



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Just a Farmer's Daughter - Faizah's Destiny


Just a Farmer’s Daughter

Hi. I’m Marva Dasef, author of “Quest for the Simurgh - Faizah’s Destiny.” Today, I’m interviewing Faizah, the star of the novel, to find out a little more about her life and times.

(Marva) Keef haalak, Faizah?

(Faizah) Kowayyesah, Marva.

(Marva) Laww Smahti? Actually, Faizah, I don’t speak Arabic, so if you could indulge me by using English, I’d appreciate it.

(Faizah giggles) Min fadlik. No problem.

(Marva) You attend a small school run by Master Wafai. How did you start school when you’re from a poor family of low status?

(Faizah) Luck, I guess. When I was only five, my mother was giving birth. The delivery was difficult, and my mother was in great pain. My father sent my brother, Ali, to Master Wafai. He came, of course, and helped ease my mother’s birth pangs. Without him, she might have died. Unfortunately, my sister did not survive.

(Marva) I’m sorry to hear that. But you credit Master Wafai for saving your mother’s life. Is that what got you interested in the medicine he practices?

(Faizah) Indeed. I watched closely as he blended the pain killing mixture. Beid el djinn is the root of the mandrake plant. It stifles pain and helps a person to sleep. Too much, however, would kill. It’s the knowledge of which plants to use and how much I wanted to learn. Master Wafai watched me watching him. He asked my father’s permission for me to attend school to learn the healing arts. My father saw the wisdom of his daughter having this knowledge.

Laughs Of course, he doesn’t know that Master Wafai also taught me to read and write, mathematics, and some simple spells. Master Wafai says that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, which is why one pursues as much knowledge as possible. It leaves off being dangerous and, instead, becomes useful.

(Marva) Master Wafai is wise. How about Bahaar and Harib, your friends. How did they happen to go to Master Wafai’s school?

(Faizah) Bahaar was sent by his brother, Sayid. Since they have no parents, Sayid must leave the village for days as he works for the caravan drivers. Being a good brother, he sought to keep his hot-headed little brother out of trouble by making him go to school. Harib’s father is wealthy, but he comes to school mostly because Bahaar and I are his friends.

(Marva) Now that the adventures recounted in your book are through, what do you plan to do with yourself?

(Faizah) Master Wafai is staying with the Simurghs for awhile, so he encouraged me to continue my studies of the healing arts at the Temple of Anahita in Gamaal. After that, who knows?

(Marva) I wish you the best. Finally, can you tell us about the day Master Wafai went missing.

(Faizah) Perhaps reading about it in the words you have put down in the book with my name upon the cover is the best way to do that.

(Marva) Absolutely. Thanks for talking to me today.

Excerpt:

One by one, they stepped through the archway into the courtyard. The air hung heavy with the heat, and only the hum of insects broke the silence. The door into Wafai’s house hung open.

Faizah thought this strange. “He’d not leave the door open. It lets in the heat.”

Bahaar glanced around the courtyard. “You wait here. I’ll look.” He entered the house while the other three gathered under the palm tree for whatever relief its shade could provide. Faizah soon grew impatient; Bahaar was taking a long time inside. She was just about to go in after him when he appeared in the doorway.

“He’s not here, and everything’s a mess!”

“Should we wait outside for him?” Parvaiz asked. “What is the proper thing to do?”

“No, we can wait inside. He should be back soon,” Faizah replied. Bahaar stepped aside as she walked through the open door. Harib and Parvaiz followed close behind her.

“Goodness. It’s hotter in here than outside,” Faizah said, fanning her face. “Close the door, Harib. Maybe it will cool off some.”

Harib reached for the door string and gave it a tug. The top hinge broke free, and the door slumped across the opening.

Startled, Harib gasped, “Uh oh, I didn’t mean to break it!”

Parvaiz examined the hinges. “You didn’t. Someone already pulled the hinge right out of the wall.”

“Something’s definitely wrong here,” Harib voiced what they were all thinking. Master Wafai usually kept his home neat as a pin, but not today. Besides the broken door, someone had scattered Wafai’s possessions on the floor. The chair was askew from the table and the curtain partially pulled back from the alcove where he had his bed.

Harib continued, “Maybe he had to leave in a hurry. Maybe somebody got hurt or something.”

Faizah considered this and then answered slowly, “Maybe.” She pointed toward the shelf. “But he didn’t take his medicine bag. Let’s check with the neighbors. It’s possible someone saw him leave.”

They filed out through the courtyard and turned left into the lane. The inn three doors down showed the only signs of activity, so they headed there. The public room was dark and cool after the stifling heat outside. The four friends clustered just inside the door while their eyes adjusted to the dim light. Bahaar carefully latched the door behind them to keep out the heat.

“What do you kids want?” Faluj, the innkeeper asked when they entered.

Harib stepped forward to do the talking. His father’s status in the village guaranteed Faluj would pay more attention to him than any of the others.

After salaaming to show his respect, Harib told the innkeeper, “We’re looking for Master Wafai. We were supposed to have lessons from him this afternoon, but he’s not at home, and his door is broken. We’re worried. Do you know anything?” he asked.

Faluj rubbed his stubbled chin for a moment in thought. “There may be no connection, but some mountain nomads came in here last night. I overheard one of them say their chieftain’s son was sick.” He shrugged, “Maybe they wanted Wafai to treat him.”

“Possibly,” Bahaar agreed, “but it doesn’t look like he left voluntarily.”

“That’s right.” Faizah didn’t try to hide the concern in her voice. “His medicine bag was still on the shelf. He wouldn’t go to treat someone without his potions.”

The four exchanged worried glances. There might be some innocent explanation for all of this, but it didn’t look good. What could have happened to their teacher?

* * *

QUEST FOR THE SIMURGH - FAIZAH'S DESTINY
The gods are at war and only a farmer’s daughter can save the world from Armageddon.


Blurb:

The village magician has gone missing. His four pupils think he has left a clue to his whereabouts in the Magicalis Bestialis--the book of magical creatures. They must seek the help of the elusive Simurgh, the mythical birds who know all the secrets of the universe.

However, this is not an easy camping trip into the mountains. Spirits, gods, and demons confront the four friends, who are not aware they’re being set up by otherworldly forces for a much larger task.

A farmer’s daughter, Faizah is chosen to lead the humans in the battle. She must persuade a slave, an orphan, and a rich merchant’s son to join in the battle on the side of good. Although divided by Dev, the evil god of war, the teens must band together to find the Simurgh, rescue their teacher, and stave off Armageddon.

Bio:

Marva Dasef lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two ungrateful cats. Retired from thirty-five years in the software industry, she has now turned her energies to writing fiction and finds it a much more satisfying occupation. Marva has published more than forty stories in a number of on-line and print magazines, with several included in Best of anthologies. She has several published books.

Twitter Handle: @Gurina


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sue Perkins Releases ELISETTE (Cloud Kingdom Bk 2)

ELISETTE is the second book in the CloudKingdoms series and is available from Desert Breeze Publishing. There are four books in the series: Caishel is already available; Tazia will be available on 21st February 2015 and Zaeyen on the 21st August 2015. All the books are set on the planet Hejmen and concern women from the individual dukedoms, each with its own Duke's castle flying in the sky.

Merchants and ordinary folk live downside. There are also the Eos, the indigenous people of the planet who have evolved to the point of spiritual beings, although their young are solid until they reach adulthood.

Elisette, usually known as Lise, is the stepdaughter of a northside farmer but when her stepbrothers begin to take an interest in her, her mother sends her away to Lan to find a job in one of the merchant's houses. Thanks to Capet Sard she gets employment as a nursemaid to the Duke and Duchess's children in the sky castle. Capet Sard and Lise fall in love, but when Sard is called back to his home in Rak, Lise is left in Lan. Rumours abound regarding Sard not returning and also an arranged marriage. Lise leaves Lan and journeys to Rak but all sorts of unpleasantness cross her path until she believes Sard and she will never be together.

Excerpt

With a sigh Lise closed the door and trudged upward. After a few more steps a white, wispy creature appeared on the stairs above her. The feet of the creature didn't touch the floor as it floated gracefully toward her. Her stepfather had scared her with tales of evil spirits inhabiting the island offshore from Landon. Lise hadn't believed him, but now her assuredness had been shaken and her body shrank back against the bare stone wall.

The spirit came abreast of her and stopped. Large limpid eyes turned in her direction. Her breath caught in her throat. Could her stepfather's tales be true? Would this being take her soul from her leaving her an empty husk?

Hello. The spirit's green eyes smiled at her, although its lips didn't move.

"Hello," Lise gasped in response.

The spirit nodded and continued down the stairs. Lise sagged with relief and hurriedly continued her climb before the full impact of what she'd seen registered in her mind. The being's lips remained still when the eyes smiled, and they had not moved when it spoke. The words had come directly into her brain!

Lise ran up the rest of the stairs and flung herself through the door on the next landing. Relief flooded through her when she recognized the nursery floor. Once through the nursery door she closed it behind her and leaned against the plaswood panels, trying to catch her breath.

"Mercy child, whatever's the matter?" Keva looked at her, concern written all over her face.

"I sa-saw," Lise stuttered, trying to pull her thoughts together. "I saw a spirit on the stairs."

"A spirit?" Keva's face cleared and she smiled. "You must have seen one of the Eos. They regularly come to visit the Duchess."

"Eos?" Lise had never heard of any Eos before.

"Wherever do you come from, child? I thought everyone knew about the Eos. They live on the island over the horizon from the harbor. They're the people who were here before our ancestors arrived on Hejmen."

"You said they were friends of the Duchess."

"Yes. They became friends after the Duke inherited Lan. The Duchess got lost and the Eos found her, but they needed help which the Duchess provided. Ever since, they've been welcome in the castle and the Duke protects their island. Nobody's allowed to land unless they're specifically invited by the Eos."
Lise didn't know whether to trust Keva's explanation or her stepfather's regarding the strange being on the stairs. She wisely remained silent. On her first day as nursemaid Keva didn't need to have any more doubts about her.





Tuesday, August 19, 2014

99 Cent Ebooks, $1.99 Audio Books

I've put the first book in the Witches of Galdorheim series on sale for 99 cents at Amazon. I figured people weren't as likely to start the series on book 2, so I made both ebooks 99 cents.

Amazon (and Audible.com) have down-priced BOTH audio books to only $1.99. I am falbbergasted that more people aren't taking advantage of this fantasy deal.

BAD SPELLING: A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family.
Audio Book $1.99 at Audible.com

MIDNIGHT OIL: Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?
Audio Book $1.99 at Audible.com

Here's a SoundCloud excerpt from Midnight Oil featuring the Loch Ness monster.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

#FREE Audio Books!

Free Audio Book and you don't even have to join Audible.com.


How do you get a free audio book? Good question. Matter of fact, tell me the answer and I'll give you the audio book of your choice.

Write your answer to this burning question in the comments. Everybody who answers gets a freebie. Here's a list with the Audible.com links so you can check them out. I can now get coupons for audible.UK for my Brit friends.

Tales of a Texas Boy http://www.audible.com/pd/B00HJCF7BY/
How do you handle a crazy jackass? Eddie knows. If you ask Eddie, he'll tell you pigs can fly and show you where to find real mammoth bones. 

Missing, Assumed Dead http://www.audible.com/pd/B00HZSMTI6/
When Kameron McBride receives notice she's the last living relative of a missing man she's never even heard of, the last thing she wants to do is head Oregon to settle his affairs.

Books in the Witches of Galdorheim Series:
Spellslinger at http://www.audible.com/pd/B00LOSHXB6/
What does a teenage half-warlock, half-vampire do to have fun?
Ebook 99 cents

Bad Spelling http://www.audible.com/pd/B00L2GUSWG/
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?
Ebook 99 cents

Midnight Oil at http://www.audible.com/pd/B00MNHVX8Q/
Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can't even phone home?
Ebook 99 cents



Friday, August 15, 2014

Just in Case You Didn't Know

Here are my audio books with all the links. I know that often RSS feeds and blog reading apps don't get those sidebars. I've got all these on the sidebar, but it occurred to me people can't see them. I mean, they must not be able to or they'd be running over to Audible and Amazon to pick up the $1.99 bargain audio books. They'd be fools not to, right?

And one other little factoid people might not be aware of. You can get any of these books free by simply signing up for a month trial of Audible.com. The BEST part, in my humble opinion, is that if you select one of my books as one of the first three you take, I get a dandy bonus. That makes up for the fact you're not paying for them.

Yeah, you get hit with $14.95 to get ALL THE AUDIBLE BOOKS YOU CAN LISTEN TO each month. Now, that's a bargain. I get nothing for when you select one of my books as your freebie (be sure to grab the most expensive one), but I will get a bonus payment. So, here's what I've got and where you can get them. Forget iTunes. They don't even discount, the jerks.

NOTE: Midnight Oil is on ebook special for 99 cents this month.





Midnight Oil - Book 2 of Witches of Galdorheim
Audible Only $3.47 on Special!
Amazon Ebook only 99 cents!

Bad Spelling - Book 1 of Witches of Galdorheim
Listen to free snips on SoundCloud
Amazon Only $1.99 on Special!

Audible Only $1.99 on Special!
iTunes $14.95

Spellslinger on audio
Audible $6.08
iTunes $4.95

Tales of a Texas Boy
Amazon Only $1.99 on Special!
Audible Only $1.99 on Special!

iTunes $6.95

Missing, Assumed Dead
Audible Only $1.99 on Special!
Amazon Only $1.99 on Special!
iTunes $14.95

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Midnight Oil Now in #Audio!

To celebrate the release of the 2nd audio book in the Witches of Galdorheim series, I've reduced the price for the Kindle ebook to only 99 cents. I'd make it $0.00, but Amazon won't let me do it.

The price for this book is also reduced to 99 cents on Nook.

I can, however, send you a free ebook if you contact me by email. Send a message with the subject: FREE EBOOK to mgdasef (at) gmail.com. In the email, tell me what file format you'd like (MOBI, EPUB, PDF).


From those people who request the ebook, I'll select one or two to also receive a free audio book. You'll have your choice from any of my available audio books:

Tales of a Texas Boy http://www.audible.com/pd/B00HJCF7BY/
Missing, Assumed Dead http://www.audible.com/pd/B00HZSMTI6/
Bad Spelling http://www.audible.com/pd/B00L2GUSWG/
Spellslinger at http://www.audible.com/pd/B00LOSHXB6/
Midnight Oil at http://www.audible.com/pd/B00MNHVX8Q/

MIDNIGHT OIL
Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home? 

Kat is a nervous wreck waiting for her boyfriend's first visit to her Arctic island home. He doesn't show up, so she's sure he’s given her the brushoff. 

When she learns he’s disappeared, she sets out on a mission to find him. Things go wrong from the start. Kat is thrown overboard during a violent storm, while her brother and his girlfriend are captured by a mutant island tribe. The mutants hold the girlfriend hostage, demanding the teens recover the only thing that can make the mutants human again–the magical Midnight Oil. 

Mustering every bit of her Wiccan magic, Kat rises to the challenge. She invokes her magical skills, learns to fly an ultralight, meets a legendary sea serpent, rescues her boyfriend, and helps a friendly air spirit win the battle against her spiteful sibling. On top of it all, she’s able to recover the Midnight Oil and help the hapless mutants in the nick of time.

Visual Slideshows with Audio Excerpts

I thought it would be fun to create little mini-movies from the audio samples posted on the pages where an audio book is sold. Like the Search Inside feature, the audio sample gives you a short passage from the book to decide whether you might enjoy listening to the whole book.

The first talking slideshow I made was for "Spellslinger." As a short story, its action is more compressed than in a novel, so it was not too difficult to find some pictures fitting the narrative. You can watch the Spellslinger excerpt on YouTube here.

"Midnight Oil" is so close to retail audio release, I keep expecting it to appear any second. It might even be released by the time you read this post. It's also posted on YouTube, but I'll put it here so all you need do is click the play button. Remember, there is sound so you might want to put on your headphones.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Listen to an Audio Excerpt from Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil is coming to Audible, Amazon, and iTunes any time now. Enjoy the excerpt featuring Ceto (aka Nessie). Click on the play button at the top of the embedded player, or click on the SoundCloud logo to visit SoundCloud to listen.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

SFR Presents: What is the Ultimate Duty?

Click this logo to get the complete list of SFRB Snippets this week.


ULTIMATE DUTY Snippets
A military officer must choose between her sworn duty or her rebellious blood ties. 

Facing a life of drudgery on a repressive factory planet, Remy Belieux longs to escape. Her only option for release is to enlist in the Space Service, becoming a soldier for her own world’s oppressors.

She receives her first assignment:  guarding a charismatic rebel leader being transported to a prison planet.  When rebel troops surprise them, Remy fails to thwart the ambush. Despite a commendation from her Captain, she feels she must redeem herself by recapturing the handsome fugitive.

Shocked by what she learns during the pursuit–her own family’s past involvement in the rebellion–Remy faces a dilemma: remain loyal to the oath she swore as a soldier or join the rebel cause and condemn herself to a death sentence for treason. What is her ULTIMATE DUTY?

In ebook and print at Amazon.  Temporarily reduced price to only 99 cents for the ebook.

Excerpt:


The Starbird reached Syrtia and entered stationary orbit. The prison did not allow ships of any type to land, so Captain Herrick radioed the prison to send a shuttle for the prisoner. He included all of the preplanned codes to ensure security, and the prison answered as required.

When the shuttle arrived, it docked in the ship’s small transfer port. Once the connection was secured, Borinsky opened the port bay door. The guards handed transfers to Captain Herrick. He examined them briefly, then placed his mark on the electronic copy. Remy had already shackled Phillip for the move to the prison shuttle. She considered adding leg shackles, but thought she might leave him a little dignity.

“You know,” he said, “you made this trip almost pleasant, Remy. Thank you for your company. Maybe we will meet again.” Phillip held out his right hand, trailing his cuffed left hand below.

Remy began to raise her hand to shake his, but thought better of it. She’d be opening herself to a potential attack. “I doubt it, but I...it was a pleasure to meet you as well. You’re not quite the monster they’ve made you out to be.”
“I hope not, my dear lady.” He smiled at her and walked the few steps across the Con to join the guards. Remy felt her cheeks flush at the endearment. Then, she shook off her feeling of sadness. No matter how charming he might be, he was still a traitor. The courts decided his punishment, so it must be fair.

Still, she felt a twinge when the guards secured Phillip’s legs with a chain and ankle cuffs. They moved in a single file toward the narrow hatch, when Herrick called out. “Wait!”

The rear guard turned to Herrick. “What is it, Captain?”

Herrick stepped over and thrust out the transfer manifest. “The warden’s approval. I know him, and this is not his imprint.”

The guard took the transfer and examined it. “No, I guess it isn’t,” he said, then swung his weapon upward, smashing the barrel into Herrick’s temple. Herrick stumbled and fell to the deck. The guard raised his weapon again.

Remy leaped forward and slashed down on the guard’s arm, knocking his weapon out of his hands. With a swinging kick, she hit his face, knocking him aside. Another stepped forward raising his gun. Remy grabbed the barrel and swung him around, flinging him away. She kicked his downed weapon to Borinsky. “Grab it,” she yelled, but Borinsky had knelt next to the captain and didn’t try to capture the blaster.

Remy swore and whipped her body around, giving the second guard a roundhouse kick in the face. With both guards down, she glanced at Phillip, but he just stood still, a slight smile curving his lips. She saw movement from the airlock. “Now what?” she muttered and took two long strides forward.

She grabbed Phillip’s cuffs and twisted the chain around her own wrist. If she could take him hostage again, she’d have a chance. Another guard rushed in through the lock and pointed his weapon at Remy. She wrapped an arm around Phillip’s neck. “Stop or I’ll break his neck!”

Phillip let out a strangled groan. “Believe her,” he gasped.

The guard nodded and strode toward Captain Herrick. The man kicked Borinsky in the chest, knocking him backward. Swinging the barrel of his blaster downward, he pressed the end against Herrick’s bleeding temple. “Let go of him, or I will kill your captain. Believe me.”

Remy hesitated, then loosened her grip on Phillip’s neck. He unwrapped the chain from her wrist as she raised her arms in surrender. Phillip stepped away from her. “I’m sorry, Remy. I hoped this would go smoothly and no one would be hurt. Unfortunately, your captain seems to be a stickler for details.”

She glanced at Herrick and the guard, gauging her chances of reaching him before he could pull the trigger. She was fast, but not that fast. A second man came through the airlock and took position next to the guard who had the drop on them. He pointed his own weapon toward her.

The captain lay groaning on the deck. Borinsky had gotten up from the floor, but stayed crouched by Herrick’s side.

Phillip stepped into the open airlock. “Come with us, Remy.”

Remy shook her head. She knew Phillip believed in what he was fighting for, but now he’d injured her superior officer. Her duty to her captain came first.

“Too bad,” Phillip said, then he turned back to the airlock. The guards stepped backward toward the lock, holding their weapons pointed at Remy.

“You can’t leave unless we close the hatch,” she said, trying to stall them.

“Then, please do so.” Phillip nodded toward the control panel.

Remy folded her arms and glared at Phillip. “I can’t do that.”

One of the guards shifted his weapon toward Borinsky, who looked up from his place by the captain. He rose with his hands up and pressed the cycle button. As the hatch closed, Phillip raised his bound hands again and saluted Remy.

“I hope we’ll meet again.”

When the hatch closed, Remy lowered her hands. Yes, maybe we will, but next time I won’t let down my guard. Phillip Vincente wouldn’t live through their next encounter, if there was one. She hurried to get the medi-kit from the lounge.



Friday, August 08, 2014

FREE Ebook and Setara Visits Sue Perkins

While my heroine, Setara, visits Sue Perkins, you can take advantage of a FREE ebook on Amazon for three days: August 8th-10th.

THE TALES OF ABU NUWAS (Setara's Genie)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004HW6AWY/

Abu Nuwas sits in the bazaar on his threadbare rug; a cup and sign proclaim him a teller of tales. For one small coin, he bids passers by to listen. A poor girl, Najda, sells spices from a tray. Would he, she asks, trade a tale for a packet of spice? Abu Nuwas agrees and begins the epic adventures of a girl and her genie.

As did Scheherazade before him, Abu leaves Najda hanging in the middle of each yarn to keep her coming back. Between stories, he questions the girl about her life.

He discovers that she has been promised in marriage to an old man whom she hates, but she must wed him to save her sick mother. The rich bridegroom will pay for the doctors the mother needs.

Meanwhile, Najda sells spices in the market to earn enough money to keep her mother alive. While relating the fantastical accounts, the old man grows to admire the spice girl, and vows to find a way to help her. Listening to the stories of evil genies, demons, flying horses, dragons, viziers, princes, pirates, and nomadic raiders, young Najda finds her salvation with the help of Abu Nuwas, the TELLER OF TALES.

****
Sneaky little secret just for you: This book was later published as "Setara's Genie." I can't give that one away from Amazon because it doesn't qualify for Kindle Select. But, this older book can. There is essentially no difference between the two books except the title.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

New(ish) Covers for Old Books

A couple of books published eons ago needed a bit of freshening up. I also thought it was a good idea to put the title of those books as published after the release just so people would know that if they're thinking of buying "Tales of Abu Nuwas," but they already had a copy of "Setara's Genie." Same plot, characters, etc. I don't want people to get upset if they believe they're two different books. The same is true of "Quest for the Simurgh." If you already bought "Faizah's Destiny," you don't want to get essentially the same book. Here are the new covers. What do you think? Is having the title of the other book clarifying or confusing. Oh, and I will be dropping Setara and Faizah as individual books soon. I love those covers by Charlotte Volnek, but books are not the original versions.



Another advantage to re-issuing these books is that they are in the KDP Select program. Amazon Prime members can borrow them for free. People who sign up for the #KindleUnlimited program can take these books for their very own and not pay a penny.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Free EBook on Kobo + BONUS AUDIO BOOK

August 4th (Happy Birthday, Chris!) through August 7th, SPELLSLINGER will be free exclusively on Kobo.

Here's an added bonus. Download the ebook from Kobo, then let me know (either standalone or with a PC or Droid ereader). Your prize is a free audio book of ANY of my audio books currently offered on Audible.com.

Here's the list of your choice of audio books. You can click over to their respective audible.com pages to decide which one you'd like to have.

Tales of a Texas Boy http://www.audible.com/pd/B00HJCF7BY/
Missing, Assumed Dead http://www.audible.com/pd/B00HZSMTI6/
Bad Spelling http://www.audible.com/pd/B00L2GUSWG/
Spellslinger at http://www.audible.com/pd/B00LOSHXB6/

Instructions

How will I know you've downloaded "Spellslinger" from Kobo? Why, you'll write me a message to my email mgdasef (AT) gmail.com and include the last sentence of the Spellslinger short story. If you had previously obtained a copy of Spellslinger from some other source such as a giveaway or (heaven forbid) you actually paid 99 cents for it, you can get your freebie in the same way. Just email me with that last sentence of the short story section of the Spellslinger ebook (the first chapters of the three books in the Witches of Galdorheim series are included in the ebook).

Be sure to tell me which of the audio books you'd like to have. I'll send you your choice as a gift book from audible.

Hey, this is way easier than Rafflecopter AND you are guaranteed to win. If you have any questions, leave a comment or write to me at mgdasef (AT) gmail.com.

Note: (AT) in an email address means replace with @. Helps to keep spammers away.




Friday, August 01, 2014

Heroes and Free Book Weekend

Check out Sue Perkins' blog today to read about one of my heroes, Salmon the Orca from the Witches of Galdorheim series. Salmon appears in two of the books. In honor of Salmon's appearance, I have a fantastic deal for you.