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Black Friday Promo Thread

I hope everyone is sufficiently recovered from all the food and football yesterday to do a bit of online shopping. So why not pick up some books for your early holiday shopping? Here are a few titles from some of the Mad Ones for your reading pleasure.

All the Plagues of Hell

by Dave Freer

Orkise is loose. The snake-god of plague has been awakened by Lucia del Maino, the bastard daughter of the recently overthrown duke of Milan, Phillipo Visconti. With the venomous magic of Orkise at her command, Lucia plots to marry and then murder the usurper who now rules Milan, the condottiere Carlo Sforza—known to friend and foe alike as the Wolf the North.

Other trouble is brewing as well. Sforza has his own bastard, Benito Valdosta, who is returning to Venice after having conquered the Byzantine empire. Benito has a score to settle with his father, and he will have the help of his half-brother Marco, who is the embodiment of ancient Etruria’s mighty Winged Lion of St. Mark.

Adding further to Sforza’s predicament, yet another power has entered the fray. The terrifying sorcerer Count Mindaug has decided to settle in Milan. Will he ally with Sforza, or oppose him? Either will bring trouble, for if Mindaug aids the usurper he will arouse the fury of the Holy Roman Empire and the Knights of the Holy Trinity. Both of those great forces have sworn to destroy Mindaug and anyone who shelters him.

On his side, Sforza has only the skill and cunning of his physician, Francisco Turner—who is on good terms with the Valdosta brothers and may be able to neutralize Venetian hostility. But even if he can, will that be enough to save the Wolf of the North? For out there in the countryside of northern Italy, Orkise is uncoiling all the plagues of hell.


Vengeance from Ashes

Sam Schall (Amanda S. Green)

First, they took away her command. Then they took away her freedom. But they couldn’t take away her duty and honor. Now they want her back.

Captain Ashlyn Shaw has survived two years in a brutal military prison. Now those who betrayed her are offering the chance for freedom. All she has to do is trust them not to betray her and her people again. If she can do that, and if she can survive the war that looms on the horizon, she can reclaim her life and get the vengeance she’s dreamed of for so long.

But only if she can forget the betrayal and do her duty.

This new edition contains new material not included in the original release of this book. Also, each entry into the series has received new covers and new print editions (VfA print coming later today or tomorrow) as well as new editing.


Witchfinder

Sarah A. Hoyt

In Avalon, where the world runs on magic, the king of Britannia appoints a witchfinder to rescue unfortunates with magical power from lands where magic is a capital crime. Or he did. But after the royal princess was kidnapped from her cradle twenty years ago, all travel to other universes has been forbidden, and the position of witchfinder abolished. Seraphim Ainsling, Duke of Darkwater, son of the last witchfinder, breaks the edict. He can’t simply let people die for lack of rescue. His stubborn compassion will bring him trouble and disgrace, turmoil and danger — and maybe, just maybe, the greatest reward of all.


The Secret of Seavale

Blake Smith

A cottage by the sea, nestled in a respectable neighborhood. It should be a safe haven…

Elizabeth Markham has run away from school and seeks the house of her godmother, six miles outside of Portsmouth. Seavale Cottage is a place of peace, and Elizabeth will be safe under Mrs. Brownhurst’s care.

But she arrives at Seavale only to discover that Mrs. Brownhurst has gone away, leaving Elizabeth to fend for herself. She finds assistance in her servants and in her very obliging neighbor, Captain Randall, and all is well until Seavale is beset by strange nighttime happenings. Elizabeth is about to discover that her place of refuge holds more danger than she ever dreamed, and she must gather all of her courage and resources if she and her friends are to survive the secret of Seavale.


A Child of Magic

Margaret Ball

An old enemy, a new threat… When their son Aleksi is kidnapped, Thalia and Lensky are left wondering if the reason is ransom (bad) or revenge (worse). It’ll take all Thalia’s genius for applied topology (aka magic) to retrieve their baby – and meanwhile, the other topologists are turning into cats, getting jailed in the eighteenth century, and otherwise keeping life interesting.


The Directorate Omnibus

Pam Uphoff

The adventures of Ra’d, Paer, and Ebsa begins here . . .A collection of the first six stories in the series:Directorate SchoolA Tale of Three InternsTrouble in ParadiseFirst PostingSurveillanceFort DinosaurGenetic engineering lifted psychic powers above the random background of coincidence. Backlash and prejudice against ‘Magic’ and ‘Satanism’ resulted in the exile of all genetically engineered people to dangerous worlds; not-quite-parallel earths they weren’t expected to survive.Fourteen centuries of turbulent Earth history later the exiled magicians have been forgotten, rediscovered, clashed with . . .The Empire of the One grew from the accidental stranding of an early cross dimensional exploration party of the genetically engineered, two years before the Exile. They arrived in the middle of a war, where the three great powers, China, the Islamic Union, and Greater Argentina vied for possession of the no-longer-radioactive ruins of Europe and North America. The marooned explorers used their special talents, and a lot of flimflam and fast talk to place themselves on the top of the Islamic Union as the New Prophets of the One True God.Fourteen hundred years later, their descendants are still the elite of a united world with twelve cross-dimensional colonies. After several deadly clashes between Dimension Age civilizations, the newly fledged Department of Interdimensional Security and Cooperation is attempting, with fair success, to keep the peace among the growing number of worlds exploring the Multiverse. So a group of youngsters in the Empire of the One can concentrate on college, and training for the teams who explore new worlds. A bright future . . . if they survive the politics swirling around them.


Taghri’s Prize

Peter Grant

Taghri has left the Sultan’s army to seek his fortune – and he seizes opportunity when it knocks. In the confusion of a pirate raid on a trading caravan, he kills their leader and captures their ship. The vessel is now his prize of war… but some prizes may be more trouble than they’re worth!

Nestled among the gold coins in the captain’s cabin is a stolen Temple sacrificial knife, whose Goddess is now paying close attention – too close! – to its new owner. Among the slaves he’s freed is a princess, formerly being held for ransom, who comes with political and personal intrigues all her own. Even if he survives the attention of both, there’s also a pirate lord out there, hell-bent on avenging the death of his son.

It’s going to take all of Taghri’s skill, experience and cunning to survive winning this prize!


Possum Creek Massacre

Cedar Sanderson

Renowned for her witch hunting skills, Detective Amaya Lombard knew that being summoned from the coastal rainforest of Oregon to the backwoods hollers of Kentucky meant the case was something special. From the moment she arrived at the magic soaked scene in an abandoned farmhouse she knew how bad it was going to be. She had no idea just how complicated it was going to get, professionally and personally. Now she must catch a killer before they catch her. The roots of evil plunge deeply into the past, and the blood soaked history of Kentucky’s witch warded houses and barns may hold the key to keeping her alive in the present.


Scaling the Rim

Dorothy Grant

Never underestimate the power of a competent tech.

When Annika Danilova arrived at the edge of the colony’s crater to install a weather station, she knew the mission had been sabotaged from the start. The powers that be sent the wrong people, underequipped, and antagonized their supporting sometimes-allies. The mission was already slated for unmarked graves and an excuse for war…

But they hadn’t counted on Annika allying with the support staff, or the sheer determination of their leader, Captain Restin, to accomplish the mission. Together, they will overcome killing weather above and traitors within to fight for the control of the planet itself!


Eerily Familiar

Alma T. C. Boykin

Something hunts the hunters . . .

Something waits in the shadows, watching. Lelia Chan and her Familiar, Tay, hear vague rumors of trouble among the shadow mages. Everyone’s heard rumors before, and keeping her boss happy is more important. Then a painting tries to capture her friend. When her mentor and good friend André and his Familiar Rodney both go missing, Lelia has to take charge.

She’s not ready. No shadow mage ever is. But she’ll find a way or die trying.

Things worse than than death hide in the shadows. And they LIKE meeting over-confident young mages

Formatting for Print (Pt. 2)

When formatting your book for print, there is no one right way to do it. The goal is to make your book look not only as good as possible but to make it look “professional” or, in other words, to make it look as close to a traditionally published book as possible. Why? Because that is what the readers expect.

It isn’t difficult to do. Some methods take longer, or cost more, than others. How you get to your end product is up to you. Before we get to some of the options available, let’s go over some basics.

As authors, many of us have been programmed to write in Times New Roman or Courier or a similar font. Usually using 12 pt for type size. Standard manuscript format for submissions has usually included 1 inch margins and double-spaced lines. First line indents can be up to half an inch. We often default back to this without even thinking.

Don’t. At least not when it comes to converting your work for either e-books or print. For print you have to think about thinks like page bleeds, page size, interior margins vs exterior margins, section breaks vs. page breaks, alternating headers and footers and so much more.

Depending on which service you use as your print-on-demand source, you can choose to release your book as a mass market paperback, a trade paperback or even a hard cover. Most of those sources have basic templates you can use — and adapt — which will help you decide your margins and how to place your headers and footers, etc. If you haven’t ever put together a print file before, or if you aren’t comfortable doing so, I recommend you download one of the templates and use it. After you have your manuscript in the basic format offered by the template, you can go back and add what flourishes and changes you want. But it is a good way to start getting used to setting up a print file.

This is especially helpful if you are setting your print file up using Word or a similar word processing program.

This first shot shows basic margin information. (Click on the images and they will open in a new window in a larger format) You can see from the tabs at the top of the screenshot that I found this information in the layout tab (using Word). For a manuscript using 6 x 9 pages and coming in at approximately 270 pages total, the margins are set as shown in the image. Note also that the document has been set to mirror the margins.

The one caveat I will put here when it comes to margins, especially the inside margins is to never trust templates or what anyone tells you. You need to see what it looks like for yourself. The more pages a book has, the wider that interior margin needs to be. This is why I always recommend using a POD supplier that lets you have a physical copy of the proof before you send it to “press”. What looks good as a PDF file on your screen or even off your printer might not look the same once it has been bound. So do yourself a favor, at least until you’ve done enough print books to trust your instincts, and order a physical proof before hitting the print button.

In the same dialog box open to set the margins, click the “paper” tab. This is where you choose the size of your page. You’ll note that in Word, the 6 x 9 size is a “custom” size. This might vary depending on what word processing program you’re using.

The rest of the information in this dialog box seems like it doesn’t have much to do with what you are setting up but go ahead and make sure you have paper selection set to your default tray. This will come in handy later if you decide to print out your mss to check it yourself.

Using the “layout” tab in the same dialog box, you should get something that looks like this. I’ll be honest, this is one of the most important things you can do in setting up your print file in a word processing program. This controls the way your headers and footers will look as well as where your section breaks begin.

This is important because, if you look at traditionally published books, you may see a couple of things. First, there usually are no headers or footers on the first page of a new chapter. Second, the author’s name usually appears at the top of the even numbered pages and the book title appears at the top of odd numbered pages. (To make sure you’re setting this up right, you need to do one other thing. At the end of a chapter in an e-book file, you would have a page break. That gives the digital file the appearance of a page ending and the new chapter beginning on a different “page”. In you print file, you will replace the page break with a section break. In Word, “breaks” are found under the Layout tab. If you click on “Breaks”, a dialog box will open up. At the bottom of the box, you’ll find the alternatives for the different types of section breaks you can insert. Choose “odd page” if you want your chapters to all start on the next odd numbered page. The value of doing it this way, you chapters will all begin on the right hand side of the book and feel more traditional to your reader. However, there is a downside to this in that it can add physical pages to your book and, as the author, the amount of money you get per sale of your POD book depends on how many pages it has. The higher the number of pages, the higher the print cost. I tend to go with the more traditional approach because it is what readers expect and the pricing differential of 20 or so pages isn’t enough to worry about.)

This screenshot shows what you get when you click in either the header or footer areas of your manuscript. I wanted to show this because you can see how I’ve made sure “different first page” as well as “different odd and even pages” have been clicked. Since I’d already set them in the dialog box above, there shouldn’t have been a problem but no computer program is perfect and sometimes Word does weird things — as does any other word processing program. So it is always good to check elsewhere when possible to make sure the coding is in place.

But there is another reason I wanted you to see this screenshot. If you look at the column of options immediately to the left of the “different first page” bit, you should see as the last option “link to previous”. You want to make sure this is NOT clicked prior to your first chapter, or where you want your first page numbers and headers to appear. Otherwise, you will wind up up page numbers on your cover page, etc. If you aren’t sure where to start your headers and footers, look at print books in your genre. See what they have done.

Now, once you’ve done all this and you’ve made sure you have all the flourishes, etc., you want in place, it’s time to save your file. You’re going to do this in two steps. One, as your DOC or DOCX file. Always do this. The second will be as your PDF file. Most, if not all, POD places want a print ready PDF file for both your interior and exterior files. If you want to print your book to read through it one last time before submitting it to your POD provider, print the PDF file because it will keep not only your page size, even if you are printing on standard paper, but it will print the blank pages added in between chapters if you have your new sections always beginning on either the even or odd page.

From there, it is simply a matter of deciding if you are ready to upload the file and move on to your cover file.

Now, a couple of quick notes. If you use Word or a word processing program to create your PDF file, you need to set your margins to justify. (Of course, you can choose not to. As I mentioned above, check to see what the traditional publishers do in your genre and copy it.) If you do this, you may wind up with some odd sentence breaks. You can adjust the character spacing by highlighting the line in question, opening your font dialog box, clicking the advanced tab and then adjusting the character spacing.

One other thing you need to do is make sure you have turned off widow and orphan control. Doing this will insure your pages all end at the same place unless, of course, we’re talking the last page of a chapter where you have only a few lines or paragraphs. It’s a little thing but it makes the book look more professional.

I’ll admit there are easier ways of doing this. There are programs out there that make this a snap. Some have a very small learning curve and others have a much larger learning curve. The industry standard for years has been InDesign by Adobe. I love InDesign. I also love Quarkxpress. Both are anything but cheap and have learning curves most of us don’t want or have time for. Neither are great, at least in my experience, for designing e-books. If I’m going to put in a lot of time — and money — into a publishing program, I want it to do both. For Mac users, I’ve found one that does just that. Unfortunately, it isn’t cheap but it seems to be well worth it. The program I’m talking about is Vellum. I’m going to be buying it later this week. I’ll have a review of it next week for you guys. We’ll also talk about some of the other programs available to help streamline the process. Some of those programs include InDesign, Jutoh and Scrivener.

And now, for a bit of promo.

It’s here!

Nocturnal Rebellion is live on Amazon.

All she wanted was a simple murder case, one uncomplicated by shapeshifters or interfering IAB investigators. What she got instead was much, much more.

Now three cops are dead and Mac’s world will never be the same again. It is up to her to find the culprits and bring them to justice. But what justice? That of cops and attorneys and criminal courts or that of the shapeshifters where there would be no record and a quick execution of punishment, whatever that might be?

As she walks that fine line, Mac walks another tightrope as well. Shapeshifter politics are new to her and, as she has learned, more complicated than anything she ever encountered as a cop. One misstep can lead to not only her death but the deaths of those she cares for. Like it or not, she has no choice because she has learned there are other things just as inevitable as death and taxes. Sooner or later, the world will learn that shapeshifters aren’t just things of legend and bad Hollywood movies. If that happens before they are ready, Mac and those like her will learn the hard way what happens when humanity learns monsters are real and living next door.

2nd Annual Indie Author Labor Day Sale

Indie Author Sale Banner

A curated list of authors selected works and put them on sale, just for readers like you. If you’ve been waiting for the next fun read, or for a reason to Read Indie, this is that time. All the books are priced between $2.99 and $0.99, affordable ways to explore new worlds.

You will find this a list spanning genres from Fantasy and Science Fiction to Thrillers and Romance. Something for every reader in your life, if you are looking for back-to-school gifts.

Enjoy!

take the star road

Take the Star Road

By Peter Grant

Sale Price: $0.99

Blurb:

By facing down Lotus Tong thugs, Steve Maxwell earns an opportunity to escape orbit and become a spacer apprentice on a merchant spaceship. Sure, he needs to prove himself to an older, tight-knit crew, but how bad can it be if he keeps his head down and the decks clean?

The interstellar trade routes are anything but trouble-free, with local wars and plagues of pirates. Also, the jade in his luggage is hotter than a neutron star. Steve’s left a world of troubles behind, only to find a galaxy of them ahead…

Amazon Author Page

long way homeThe Long Way Home (Sequoyah book 1)

By Sabrina Chase

Promo price: $.99
Blurb:
Moire Cameron ran to protect her secrets — ran to the heart of an interstellar alien war. Her fellow mercenaries care only about her fighting skills, not where — or when — she got them. You’d think that would be good enough…

But a false name and fake ID can’t conceal her dangerous lack of contemporary knowledge, and they won’t help fulfill her last order, given by a dying man eighty years ago. To do that she must find a reason to live again. A cause worth fighting for, comrades to trust, and a ship to sail the stars.

Amazon Author Page
vengeance from ashesVengeance from Ashes

By Sam Schall

Price: 99 cents for the Labor Day Weekend, down from $2.99

Blurb:

First, they took away her command. Then they took away her freedom. But they couldn’t take away her duty and honor. Now they want her back.
Captain Ashlyn Shaw has survived two years in a brutal military prison. Now those who betrayed her are offering the chance for freedom. All she has to do is trust them not to betray her and her people again. If she can do that, and if she can survive the war that looms on the horizon, she can reclaim her life and get the vengeance she’s dreamed of for so long.

But only if she can forget the betrayal and do her duty.

Amazon Author Page

grey man changesGrey Man: Changes

By JL Curtis

Sale price $2.99

Blurb-

When Texas Deputy Sheriff John Cronin thwarts the Cartel’s plan to get paid to smuggle Muslims across the border, he becomes the target of the Cartel once again. One try fails, but the cartel isn’t about to give up. With his granddaughter, Jesse, still recovering from her last run-in with the Cartel and now far away with her Marine husband on a military base, Cronin only has to worry about the innocents around him.

One way or another, this old school law man plans to end this cat and mouse game for good. But, this time, the Cartel is playing for keeps; ending this war might just cost the old man his life.

Either way Cronin plans to go out on his feet, fighting tooth and nail.

Amazon Author Page

survival testSurvival Test

By David Burkhead

Sale Price: $2.99

Blurb:
War!
A series of diplomatic crises precipitate a limited nuclear war on Earth. Missile defenses block access to space. Nothing goes up and nothing comes down.
The people of the various space stations, the moon base, and a space colony whose construction had just begun must find a way to survive until the war is over.
The ultimate survival test.
Amazon Author page

 

 

outcasts and godsPam Uphoff’s Wine of the Gods Universe 

99 cent Labor Day Sale!

Genetic engineering enabled psychic abilities in the test children. And the ability to control the machinery to open portals between parallel Earths. But prejudice turned into exile across the dimensions, and the escape of the most powerfully “magical” to a world of their own.

It all starts with the stand-alone Outcasts and Gods and continues with twenty (so far) loosely connected stories in the same Multiverse.

Amazon Author Page

Zoey Iver’s YA Adventures

By Pam Uphoff

99 cent Labor Day Sale!

The AI war was deadly—and invisible. Until two teenagers found themselves in the middle of it.

Amazon Author Page

Eyes of OsirisEyes of Osiris

By Anita Young

Price: $2.99

Blurb:

Thanks to the curse of foresight, Dr. Kayara Ingham has had a vision of her husband’s death. While she desperately tries to avert the grim future, she meets a mysterious Osiris Corporation man who gives her an impossible ultimatum. When Kay is forced to choose, she learns that Osiris Corporation is not what it seems. The company is made up of a people that call themselves the Architects of Lore and, like many powerful organisations, their reach is extensive—one might say inescapable.

Amazon Author Page

 

 

acts of warActs of War

By James Young

Price: $2.99

Blurb:

August 1942.  Adolf Hitler is dead, Great Britain is surrendering, and the Royal Family is fleeing to Canada.  In this critically acclaimed alternative history novel, James Young details a World War II that is far different and much worse than the terrible conflict we all know.  Follow the Cobb family as they, and the nation they love, are confronted with horrible events while being swept away by war’s chaos.  If you are a fan of historical fiction, or just like a good yarn with mortal heroes, Acts of War is for you.

Amazon Author Page 

 

 

Pixie NoirPixie Noir

By Cedar Sanderson

Price: $0.99

Blurb:

Lom is a bounty hunter, paid to bring magical creatures of all descriptions back Underhill, to prevent war with humans should they discover the strangers amongst them. Bella is about to find out she’s a real life fairy princess, but all she wants to do is live peacefully in Alaska, where the biggest problems are hungry grizzly bears. He has to bring her in. It’s nothing personal, it’s his job…

Amazon Author Page

 

 

FarmhandFarmhand

By Lilania Begley

Price: $0.99

Blurb:

Wounded veteran Dev Macquire needs some farm help until he recovers. When his father, Gray, brings home a new hand, he’s dismayed to meet Irina. How can a woman do the rough, heavy work they need? As she works her way into their life, and into his heart, he’s faced with a new dilemma. Can he persuade her to stay, and to accept a new role in his life?

 

 

 

cunning bloodThe Cunning Blood

By Jeff Duntemann

Price: $2.99

Blurb:

Caught violating Earth’s Zero Tolerance for Violence laws, Peter Novilio is sentenced to a one-way trip to Hell, Earth’s prison planet in the Zeta Tucanae system. Hell is forever: Two centuries earlier its ecosphere had been infected with microscopic nanomachines that destroy electrical conductors, condemning its inmates to a neo-Victorian steam-and-gaslight society without computers, spaceflight, or any hope of escape.

Amazon Author Page

 

 

Ninth Euclid’s Prince

By Dan Hoyt

Price: $3.99 (dropping to $2.99 some time this weekend, so check the price when buying.)

Blurb:

Welcome to New Rome!

The far-flung heirs of the empire have been called home to the capital of worlds. In these mean streets, no wife is above suspicion, and no man above assassination. With the Emperor poisoned and prince Oswald in jail, Ninth Euclid, a mathematically gifted secretary from a rural backwater, must solve the knottiest problem of all: How will he keep his liege lord safe from daggers in the back and politically scheming trollops in the night?

Here Be Dragons: A collection of short stories

By: Sarah A. Hoyt

Price:  $2.99

Blurb:

A collection of short stories by Award Winning Author Sarah A. Hoyt. From dark worlds ruled by vampires, to magical high schools, to future worlds where super-men have as many problems as mere mortals, this collection shows humans embattled, imperiled, in trouble, but never giving up. Angel in Flight is set in Sarah Hoyt’s popular Darkship series.

The collection contains the stories: It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
First Blood, Created He Them, A Grain Of Salt, Shepherds and Wolves,
Blood Ransom,The Price Of Gold,Around the Bend,An Answer From The North,
Heart’s Fire,Whom The Gods Love,Angel In Flight,Dragons as well as an introduction by fantasy writer Cedar Sanderson.