Indie Spotlight: Progress Report by Roman Lando #sciencefiction #scifi #writingcommunity #booktwitter #readingcommunity

*not a book review.

Indie Spotlight is my effort to help share Indie/Self-published books to a wider audience. Below is a description, buy links, and author information for Progress Report, a sci-fi novel by Roman Lando. Please check it out and share it with all your sci-fi-loving friends.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

AN ALIEN ARTIFACT. AN ACCIDENTAL DISCOVERY. A LOOMING NUCLEAR APOCALYPSE.

Art is a computer geek and retro electronics aficionado who just wants to be left alone. When he stumbles upon an alien artifact, he can’t help but try and find out its purpose. Instead, he finds himself in over his head, in the midst of what might just turn out to be the end of the world, and nobody except him knows the truth. A truth that certain factions don’t want to get out – at any cost.

It’s not paranoia when self-driving cars are out to get you. Can Art survive the hunt, and maybe save the world in the process?

Progress Report is a near-future technothriller for fans of Ready Player One, Daemon, and Bobiverse. It’s packed with action, humor, and a sense of the profound that will linger long after you’ve turned the last page.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Roman, the author of Progress Report, is a composer, musician, web and new media designer, and positively has too many passions, interests, and hobbies in his life.

When he’s not writing books or music, he can be found sailing, playing keys in a prog rock band, flying his drones, building crazy flight simulation rigs, and LARPing. His lifelong love and passion for hard Sci-Fi takes a special place in his heart. Reading was never enough. The only way to satisfy this obsession was to write his debut novel. He hopes to share his love for true Science Fiction, along with his interest in history, science, philosophy, and technology, with his readers.

After living in three countries on three continents and speaking three languages, Roman has finally settled in Toronto where he lives with his wife and two daughters. No dogs or cats are involved – his drones are his pets. He is now working on his second novel.

You can get in touch with Roman and subscribe to his mailing list at the Progress Report Website:

BUY LINKS

AMAZON | AMAZON UK

*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read this book for free.

New Indie Book Release: Your Words Your Heart by Louise Bélanger. #Indie Weekend #ChristianPoetry #Poetry #Photography #flowers

Indie Weekend starts a little early with a reminder that Your Words Your Heart, a book of Christian poetry and photographs by Louise Bélanger, is out now. My review of this wonderful book is here.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON | AMAZON UK| AMAZON CANADA

BEFORE YOU GO

*If you buy the book, please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Indie Weekend: #Bookreview and Q&A: The Necromancer’s Daughter: #authorinterview

Indie Weekend is my effort to help Indie/Self-Published authors with the daunting task of marketing. Indie authors have so much on their plate. If I can help even a little bit, I’m happy to do so. I would ask for your help as well. Please share this book review with your followers so we can introduce it to as many people as possible. Be sure and check out my Q&A with the author below!

BOOK DESCRIPTION

A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she, too, learns to heal death.

Denied a living heir, the widowed king spies from a distance. But he heeds the claims of the fiery Vicar of the Red Order—in the eyes of the Blessed One, Aster is an abomination, and to embrace the evil of resurrection will doom his rule.

As the king’s life nears its end, he defies the vicar’s warning and summons the necromancer’s daughter. For his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade. Armed with righteousness and iron-clad conviction, the Order’s brothers ride into the leas to cleanse the land of evil.

To save her father’s life, Aster leads them beyond Verdane’s wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a wilderness of dragons and barbarian tribes. Unprepared for a world rife with danger and unchecked power, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

From best-selling fantasy author D. Wallace Peach comes a retelling of the legend of Kwan-yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. Set in a winter world of dragons, intrigue, and magic, The Necromancer’s Daughter is a story about duty, defiance, cruelty, and sacrifice— an epic tale of compassion and deep abiding love where good and evil aren’t what they seem.

BOOK REVIEW

What an amazing saga of a young girl who is brought back from death and learns to do the same for others. Raised by her Necromancer father, Aster learns to bring others back to life, but her own life is constantly threatened by men who seek power and control. As she flees assassins, her journey through her icy world has only one ultimate goal–peace and safety for her father and herself.

The descriptive ability of this author is impressive. I don’t recall an author ever doing such an amazing job of bringing their characters’ surroundings to life in such an immersive way. I could almost feel the icy wind in my face as I slid down frozen cliffs with Aster. Each character was so fully developed I could see and hear them as I read. I felt more like a part of the story than I ever have. I was captivated by every facet of Aster’s journey. The inclusion of dragons was a joyful addition for me, and I love the way they were portrayed and the way Aster connected to them. This is a remarkable, immersive journey through a frozen and warring land full of fascinating creatures and sometimes treacherous peoples. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, magical stories, and legends.

About The Author

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Q&A with D. Wallace Peach

Question: Let’s go beyond the bio.  Tell us something about yourself that we might not know after reading your bio.

Thanks so much for inviting me over to your place for a Q&A, Bonnie. I never get tired of talking about books and it’s an honor to join you today. Probably most people don’t know that when I was a kid, I wanted to be a Shakesperean actor. I’d read more than half of his plays by the time I was twelve and got to live out my dream for a few years in college.

Question: Is The Necromancer’s Daughter a stand-alone or the beginning of a series? 

It’s a stand-alone. For about seven years, I binged on writing series. But they take a long time to craft, and they’re a commitment for readers. I decided to give everyone a breather and write some stand-alone novels. Eventually another series will wheedle its way into my imagination.

Question:  This is a re-telling of the legend of Kwan-yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. At the end of the book, you included a short version of the legend. What is the most important concern you have when you are writing a retelling?

Most of all, I wanted the retelling to be completely fresh to readers. The original story provided the inspiration and theme, and I pulled some characters, plot elements, and story details (like dragons) from the narrative. But the rest was up to me, and I was happy to add my own twists to the tale.

Question:  The description of the icy world Aster lives in is so realistic that I felt immersed in it immediately.  What did you use as inspiration?

I grew up in northern Vermont. The winters were so cold that when the thermostat rose to freezing it felt downright balmy. My family did a lot of snow-shoeing and winter camping, so sleeping on pine boughs in the snowy woods is familiar to me.

**Comment from Bonnie:  That makes sense!  You lived in a beautiful, icy world yourself.   

Question:  Although this is the first book of yours that I’ve read, I noticed that some of your other books also include dragons.  What is it about the dragon legend that inspires you to write about them?

In addition to The Necromancer’s Daughter, I have one series that includes dragons, The Dragon Soul Quartet. In that 4-book story, dragons represent spirit, and merging with a dragon is the equivalent to connecting with one’s soul. In The Necromancer’s Daughter they’re simply semi-psychic, wild beasts. If I were looking for a common thread, in both cases, they represent immense power, something within our control if we dare to connect.

**Comment from Bonnie:  I’m looking forward to checking out The Dragon Soul Quartet!

Question: If we were to take away only one message from this book, what would you like it to be?

Ah, that’s an easy one, Bonnie. That what is good and evil isn’t defined by political power or doctrine or wealth, or by the rules we’re taught or the biases we all navigate on a daily basis. All people are individuals, and “goodness” is a matter of heart, kind intentions, and a desire to do no harm.

**Comment from Bonnie:  I love that!

Question: The cover and other artwork for this book are absolutely beautiful.  I was looking for the artist’s name, and it appears you created these yourself. They are gorgeous!   Do you always do your own artwork for your book covers?

Thank you!  About half of my covers are professionally done. The other half, I created myself, along with my extraneous artwork for trailers and promotions. You’re not going to believe it, but I do it all on plain old MS Word, using free and purchased images that I blend and modify. When my brain is tired from writing and needs a break, I play with visuals.

**Comment from Bonnie:  MS Word!  I’m obviously not using MS Word correctly because that cover is gorgeous and I’d never guess it was made on Word.

Question: You have been an indie author for a long time and have written several series.  Tell us a little about your journey as an indie author:  Is marketing the hardest part?  Do you feel you can be more creative as an indie author?  Is there anything about indie publishing that you didn’t expect?  Is there something you have learned about indie publishing along the way that you can pass on to new authors?

I started out as a traditionally published author and found the lack of control over my work frustrating. I had plenty of creative freedom, but everything took forever, and my naïve hope that my publisher would handle the hard task of marketing was a pipedream. Eight years ago, I canceled my contracts and republished as an indie. I’ve been an indie author ever since and never regretted the switch. My advice to new indie authors? Follow your creative dream, never stop studying your craft, and seek honest critiques of your work because that’s the fastest way to improve.  Love what you do, because it’s not for the weak of heart.

**Comment from Bonnie:  One of the things I love about the Indie community is the willingness of authors to help one another.

Bonnie: Thanks so much for answering my questions today, Diana! I appreciate it.

Diana: That was great fun, Bonnie. Thanks again for the feature and review and for the fun discussion. Happy Reading!

BUY LINKS

Amazon | Amazon UK | Google

ADDITIONAL ARTWORK

BEFORE YOU GO

*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way

Indie Weekend: Distant Flickers #shortstorycollections #choices #crossroads

Indie Weekend is my effort help Indie authors and publishers with marketing. Marketing can be a daunting task, and if I can help even a little bit, I’m happy to do it. Be sure and share this post with all your followers in order to give this book as large an audience as possible.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

The emotive stories in this anthology take readers to the streets of New York and San Francisco, to warm east coast beaches, rural Idaho, and Italy, from the early 1900s, through the 1970s, and into present day.

A sinister woman accustomed to getting everything she wants. A down-on-his luck cook who stumbles on goodness. A young mother who hides $10 she received from a stranger. The boy who collects secrets. A young woman stuck between youth and adulthood. Children who can’t understand why their mother disappears.

The distinct and varied characters in Distant Flickers stand at a juncture. The loss of a spouse, a parent, a child, oneself. Whether they arrived at this place through self-reflection, unexpected change, or new revelations—each one has a choice to make.

BOOK REVIEW

This is a fascinating collection of what I consider to all be five-star stories.  They all involve loss, identity, or characters at a crossroads, but are delightfully varied in plot and location.  For those of us who write or try to write, it’s a master class in storytelling from eight talented and accomplished authors.  I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites below, but they are all wonderful.  At the end of each story in the book is a biography of the author and spotlights of their other written works.

In Norfolk, Virginia, 1975 by Elizabeth Gauffreau, BethAnn is coming to terms with being a young military wife, trying to scrape by with little pay and realizing things aren’t going the way she dreamed.  It evoked a lot of feelings in me, as I was also a young military wife.  It is a realization that actual love is different than dreams, that marriage can be tough, and that “happily ever after” in a marriage includes hard times and many shades of gray.  It is a moving story that depicts a young girl who is faced with the reality of her choices. I am already a fan of Elizabeth Gauffreau, and I highly recommend her book Telling Sonny, set mostly during a Vaudeville tour in the 1920s. 

The Coveting by Carol LaHines blew me away.  It is about a woman who takes what she wants, no matter the cost.  Despite the fact that it has an unlikable main character, I found this story riveting.  This woman knew exactly who she was, and the loss incurred was always the loss of others. It evoked powerful emotion in me, and although it wasn’t always good emotion, the feelings I came away with were very strong.   It was the standout story for me in an amazing collection.  This and LaHines’ other story in this collection, “Two Boys,” are the first works of hers that I’ve read, but I will definitely seek out her other work.

Idaho Dreams by Joyce Yarrow is a fascinating tale of a woman who begins to realize that the life she is living is quickly turning into something else, something she is not sure she wants.  Then she learns that her husband, who has been unexpectedly changing before her eyes, has been keeping a major secret.  It is a fascinating tale of preppers in Idaho, but it becomes so much more.  In the end, she has to try and separate fact from fiction and make a choice.  What would we choose?

A Spoonful of Soup by Rita Baker is such a heartfelt and compelling story.  It is about the life of a homeless man and a reminder that anyone can fall into bad circumstances or make mistakes.  It is a reminder that the person you pass on the street has had a life full of rich and varied experiences, no matter where they may be now.  It is a call to say we all matter, whether we’re sitting in a warm house or panhandling on the street. It is a call to make a choice. Do we ignore this man or invite him in and get to know him? I absolutely loved it, and it warmed my heart more than a cup of soup on a cold day. 

Every work in this ten-story collection is expertly written and will stir up emotions and sometimes nostalgia in the reader.  I highly recommend everyone read these stories, get to know the authors in their accompanying bios, and check out their other work.  It was a rewarding experience for me.

Universal Purchase Link

All Your Favorite Book-Buying Sites Right Here.

Book Trailer

Contributors’ Bios

Excerpt

“The Coveting”

by Carol LaHines

She wanted always what was not hers. When she was eight years old, she pushed her sister down the stairwell and took her doll—the image of a tortured saint, with a sack for a body and a face carved from a gourd—for her own, claiming divine right. Maria Grazia recovered but was forever feeble, contenting herself with the tiny Magi, the tiny Jesus and donkeys in the crèche, hoping they were too small to arouse her sister’s sense of liturgical drama.

My Amazon Review (“Helpful” Votes Appreciated)

BEFORE YOU GO

*If you buy the book, please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Indie Weekend: Deuce by Gail Meath #cozymysteries #bookreviews #germanshepherds #indiebooks

Indie weekend is my effort to help Indie authors market their books. Indie authors have to do it all, including marketing, so if I can help even a little bit, I’m happy to do so. Below is my review of Deuce by Gail Meath, the third book in her wonderful Jax Diamond Mysteries series. Disclosure: I am also the editor.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

One for sorrow, two for spice triggers a game of three blind mice.

While vacationing in New England, PI Jax Diamond and his courageous canine partner, Ace, bite off more than they can chew when two small town deaths reveal two big time killers, and the locals don’t take too kindly to strangers.

Laura Graystone, Broadway star, auto expert, and Jax’s heartthrob, is once again front and center digging for clues while trying to ditch an old boyfriend. That is, until her brother becomes Jax’s prime suspect. Then all hell breaks loose, and Ace is left in the lurch, tracking down leads with his new sidekick, Susie.

A crazy duet of crimes sends Jax, Laura and Ace into a tailspin in small-town USA during the Roaring Twenties. Where no one is above the law, everyone is a suspect, and time is running out before the clock strikes one.

BOOK REVIEW

Deuce is the third book in the Jax Diamond Mysteries series. In this series, private detective Jax, his wily German Shepherd partner, Ace, and Jax’s girlfriend, Broadway singer Laura Graystone, solve crimes in New York City. In Book three, Jax, Laura, and Ace head to Laura’s hometown of Millbury, MA in order to investigate the death of Laura’s father several years before. As soon as they arrive, Jax finds a body, but when he attempts to show it to the police, it is gone! Laura’s old “boyfriend” who was never a boyfriend, Pete, is also a deputy sheriff who tries to throw a wrench into Jax’s investigation.

I just adore these characters. Jax, Laura, and Ace are a wonderful team, and they are soon joined by a familiar face from New York. The small town setting in Millbury is a fun escape, and we learn a bit of history about the town. While the investigation involves the murder of Laura’s father and others, we also get a peek into Jax’s own history. The characters are just fantastic, as always. Jax is a sharp investigator and a great romantic partner for Laura. Laura’s expertise goes beyond singing because she knows everything about cars, as her late father was a racecar driver who worked on cars. Ace, of course, steals the show, and is always there to assist Jax and Laura.

The mystery is complex, and I could not figure out who the “culprit” was until the end. The story moves along well and I was entertained throughout. The book ends with a promise of a return to New York and Broadway, so I can’t wait! I highly recommend this mystery series to fans of cozy mysteries and dog lovers.

I received a free copy of this book but also purchased a copy. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Readers can look forward to books four and five: Book 4, Two of a Kind: The Beginning is a Christmas novella about how Jax and Ace met. It is coming out in December. Book 5, Blackjack, is set back in New York City as Jax looks for his own family. It will be out June of 2023.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gail Meath is the author of the multi-award-winning Jax Diamond Mysteries series, the story of a wise-cracking ex-cop turned PI, his sweet German Shepherd partner, and Broadway singing heartthrob as they solve crazy crimes during the Roaring Twenties. “Think Sam Spade meets Judy Garland.”

Gail has always been a dreamer and lover of romance and history, and she finally picked up the pen to write plot-twisting mysteries, heart-wrenching westerns, and powerful biographies of fascinating yet unknown heroines of the past. She lives with her fabulous husband and beloved Boston Terrier on their own golden pond in a small village in Upstate New York. Connect with Gail on her website at GailMeath.com, on her Facebook page, or on Instagram. .

BUY LINKS

Buy the whole series by clicking on the image above.

BEFORE YOU GO

*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

New Look for Self-Published Saturday #Indie Weekend

Hi everyone. I am reimagining the Self-Published Saturday feature. It is not going away by any means, but it’s getting a new name: Indie Weekend! As always, I will highlight, promote, and review Self-Published/Indie books, but the name is more inclusive, and the posts will not just be on Saturday. They will be posted anywhere from Friday to Sunday. That frees up my schedule a bit. The Self-Published Spotlight, which does not include a review, will now be called Indie Spotlight, and can still go up any day of the week.

Please let me know below what you think of the change.