*This is Sarah.  It’s my fault this is late.  I need to get Peter set up to put his posts up directly.  It’s not like he needs editing, it’s more both of us are being technologically declined.  As I prepare to move, though, I have maybe one thought a day not related to writing books and packing, and he shouldn’t be hostage to my strangeness.*


By Peter Grant



First of all, I hope you’ll celebrate with me the publication of my latest book, ‘War to the Knife’.


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00006]



It’s the first volume in what I hope will be the Laredo War trilogy. Oleg Volk put together the cover, based on an image selected by my wife Dorothy and I, and as usual he did a superb job. Here’s the blurb Dorothy and I worked out together.


Laredo’s defenders were ground down and its people ruthlessly slaughtered when the Bactrians invaded the planet. Overwhelmed, its Army switched to guerrilla warfare and went underground. For three years they’ve fought like demons to resist the occupiers. They’ve bled the enemy, but at fearful cost. The survivors are running out of weapons, supplies, and places to hide.

Then a young officer, Dave Carson, uncovers news that may change everything. An opportunity is coming to smash the foe harder than they’ve ever done before, both on and off the planet. Success may bring the interplanetary community to their aid – but it’ll take everything they’ve got. Win or lose, many of them will die. Failure will mean that Bactria will at last rule unopposed.

That risk won’t stop them. When you’re fighting a war to the knife, in the end you bet on the blade.


I think it’s my best work yet, and initial reviews from alpha and beta readers and from initial readers on bear out that sentiment. Here’s hoping for sales success!


Next, Cedar Sanderson made a very thought-provoking remark in her blog review of Dave Freer’s new book ‘Stardogs’.





Congratulations to Dave on a great launch. On the very first day of publication he rose into the top 1,000 books in the Kindle Store, which is an outstanding performance! Cedar wrote of his book:


Grab it, review it, and let’s all meet back here later to talk about it!


You know, I almost wish that would work. Book club for great new science fiction and fantasy…


That got me thinking. Why don’t we, as a group of independent authors and their closest relatives and fans, consider setting up something like that right here on Mad Genius Club?


We could put up one in-depth review of a book each week – preferably a book by a member of the author circle here. That might be linked to a low-cost special offer to buy the book, or even a link to a free copy (partial or full) that could be posted for one or two days only, with access restricted to MGC readers. It could also tie in to other book promotions going on through channels such as Amazon’s Kindle Countdown Deals, or BookBub, or something like that.


In the comments to that review, those who’ve read the book could share their insights about and reactions to it, and ask questions of the author, who could respond in comments of his or her own (or in a follow-up article on MGC if interest was sufficiently great). It might develop into an interesting back-and-forth discussion each week, possibly going on for several days even as other articles take over the main page. We could bookmark the week’s review in the sidebar, so that those wanting to keep track of the discussion could click on it whenever they navigated to the Mad Genius Club main page.


What do you think, fellow authors and readers? Would this be a good start?




25 thoughts on “TWO NEW BOOKS, AND A GOOD IDEA By Peter Grant

  1. It does sound like a good idea. If ever I could be reading the same thing as everyone else…ok. I do scarf up Dresdencrack on the day it drops. But most everything else, I’m in my own little world. 😛 Though if the Evil Princess tells me something is good, as a loyal minion, I should check…

  2. When I was part of the Book Club at the library (my boss handed me a list of books one day and said ‘you’re in charge of the book club, have fun!) I didn’t know what to expect. I’d never done it before. It stretched me out of my comfort zone into reading books I never would have otherwise. I think it would be fun to do inside ‘my’ genres, I just don’t have the time to organize it, which is why that was a throwaway comment in my post. It would be a great way to do cross-promotion, though.

    1. I hadn’t gotten involved as I find goodreads an annoying interface, and I am not sure what they are doing as a result. That might be the answer already.

  3. I’d love to, except I can’t. I don’t have a Kindle, just a Nook, and so I can’t get the book. I have the same problem with Amanda’s shapeshifter books: wanted to read them, kept finding they were only on Amazon. 😦 But I think the idea is very good, and I’d love doing it with books I can read.

      1. First, they’d need to download the free Kindle for PC program. That’s needed to get the Kindle eBook to their PC. (I suspect there’s Kindle for the Mac).

        1. There is Kindle for the Mac, but the OS sort of hides where the books go. I’d have to check my machine back home to see where it is for sure, but it’s in one of the “Library” folders, IIRC.

      2. Note to self – write up how-to post on porting ebooks between readers.

        Also, continue working on getting books up elsewhere, to make it easier for readers!

    1. Let me second everyone else’s recommendation for Calibre, available at

      But I’ll admit that it might be a touch intimidating. You’ll need to download the Kindle book from Amazon after you’ve bought it, and that can be a little opaque. Installing the Kindle app on a windows machine should create a folder in My Documents labeled “My Kindle Content”, which makes it easy to see where the books go when you download them.

      The downloaded book will be labeled something crazy making like E0123kljKJAK.azw. It’s the azw file that you want to drag and drop into your Calibre window. Calibre SHOULD then identify the book by title/author/etc. From there, highlight the book in Calibre, and right click to get a pop-up menu. Select “Convert books”. That opens a new window.

      On the top right corner, select “EPUB” as the output format, then click “OK” at the bottom. Calibre does its technomagical thing, and now you have a book in both azw and epub format. When you tell Calibre to put it on your e-reader, (Right click the book, select “Send to Device”, then “Send to main memory”), it will pick the most appropriate format for your device and send it over.

      It’s a lot of steps, but after a couple of conversions, it gets second nature.

    2. Is there a web browser on your nook? You might be able to use the Kindle Cloud Reader. Just to go, search for kindle cloud reader, and then click on kindle cloud reader. Then you can enjoy kindle books, too.

        1. Well, I assumed maybe Ellyll liked the nook as it is. Reworking it into an android system is rather a bigger challenge than using the web kindle cloud reader, I think. But yes, that would work.

  4. Sigh. Between you guys, Hoyt and Correia I’ve run up a pretty impressive credit-card bill even at Kindle prices. (“Kindle One-Touch Shopping: the road to perdition. 😉 )

    Bought – and finished – “War to the Knife” a couple of days ago. A solid story and good read; I’d give it four out of five stars. I’m now wanting the “Maxwell” trilogy as well, but it and Freer’s “Stardogs” will have to wait ’til I’ve sent Citibank their monthly payment…

    1. Thanks, Wes – so how about leaving a review on Amazon, as well as here? They’re very helpful to other readers wanting to know more about it. Thanks!

  5. OK, I’ve got it on my to buy list. Now. Why you wanna go all Ringo on us and start new series before you’ve finished old ones? Dern you.

    1. Hey, at least it’s in the same universe! I promise he’s working on Maxwell IV next. By the end of next week, he’ll probably be tired of the honey-do list and impatient to get back to writing.

      (I’m a cruel wife, I know. After each hard push to finish a book, I schedule a week of errands, projects long put off, and road trips in order to let his eyes have a break from the computer. )

  6. I know indie and Amazon and all that, and I don’t disagree, but personally a good bit of my reading budget goes towards the monthly webscriptions at Baen. Upon release (the month before dead tree, how cool is that!) you get that month’s entire release in just about any format you could ask for. Except pdf, Jim hated pdf with a passion and Toni apparently still respects that philosophy. And should your computer crash and backup fail Baen remembers what you bought and lets you download it again and again in any of the available formats.

    1. There’s a small mental disconnect in my budget. It goes like this:
      1.) Hmm, ebook on Amazon, looks good, sounds good, sample is really interesting, price is $2.99, okay, I’ll bite.
      2.) Um. Ebook on Amazon by author I like, next in a series I like, but the publisher is asking $11.99 for it. Bah! I’ll wait for the price to drop, or the mass market paperback to come out.
      3.) BAEN EARC! EARC! $15? TAKE MY MONEY!

  7. I like the idea very much. I’m heading over to get Peter’s new one now. If it does come together I’ll write up a post about it on my blog to publicize it more.

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