Kaunis Clan Saga at a Discount

One young woman challenges the shibboleths that threaten her particular bright dream. Two others follow in her daring footsteps…

Edited to add: The sale is over now. I hope those of you who purchased books enjoy reading them! 😀

I’m running a quick sale on my Kaunis Clan trilogy this weekend. If you’ve been toying with the notion of giving the books a read, you can pick up your copies at a lower-than-usual price today and tomorrow.

Sarvet’s Wanderyar is marked down from $3.99 to $0.99, and Livli’s Gift is down from $4.99 to $2.99.

Winter Glory is free on Kobo, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble. Amazon won’t let me make it free on their site (and has declined to price-match the other sites), but it is only $0.99.

I hope you’ll take advantage of the deal and dive into the Hammarleeding saga with its remote mountain people, tribal magic, and determined protagonists.

The links below will guide you to your preferred e-tailer.
Sarvet’s Wanderyar
Livli’s Gift
Winter Glory

 

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Here Be Monsters

The Here Be Monsters bundle is appropriately of a monstrous size—that is, it possesses 19 titles, which is huge for a bundle. Bundles usually have 10 – 12, at most.

I’m looking forward to Here Be Monsters myself, because I checked Amazon’s Look Inside for every story that had one, and nearly every title seems to be one I want to read! It will be a wonderful cornucopia for my summer.

Of course, one of the Monsters titles is my own, A Knot of Trolls. In previous posts about bundles, I’ve included a little bit about my own contribution, but I think I won’t this time. There are too many choices that aren’t mine that I want to feature, for me to spend space on Knot. If you want to learn more about Knot, check it out here. I will just mention that it’s a collection, with 7 shorts/novellas.

I did say that Monsters has a lot of reading, didn’t I? 😉 With 19 titles, one of which collects 7 titles together (mine), that’s 25 total, consisting of a mix of shorts, novellas, and novels. Perfect for a lazy day on the beach or lounging in a hammock in the shade or staying up too late of a summer night.

Edited to Add: No, I was wrong. A Murder of Crows is also a collection. Since it contains 16 tales, that makes 40 total in Here Be Monsters. Good grief! What are we waiting for?! Go click that buy button!

Check out the 8 titles below (of 40), and then go snap up your copy of Monsters. Links follow.

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A young woman discovers her own brand of magic in a pre-World War II Budapest teeming with monsters, vampires, and demons…

Eva Farkas has managed to survive in fascist Budapest despite her heritage and her congenital lack of magic. But after seeking the help of the Vampire Lord of Budapest, Eva comes to realize that mere survival isn’t enough. She must find the magic hidden inside of her, and not just survive, but fly.

The Magic of Fabulous is a novella set in the world of the Lady Lazarus historical fantasy series, and contains both an afterword by the author and excerpts from the other books in the series.

When the deck is stacked against you, how will you play the game?

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A collection of short horror, ghost, and dark fantasy stories for adults, woven together by a flock of crows, telling stories to entertain a girl trying to survive a tragedy…

“It was we crows who took your daughter, in case you were wondering. She didn’t run away. We had—I had—been watching her for some time, listening to her tell stories in the grass behind the house. She would sit near the chicken coop and watch the white chickens pick at the dirt, pulling up fat worms and clipping grasshoppers out of the air as they jumped toward the fields.

“Some of them were good stories. Some of them were bad. But that’s what decided it, even more than any issue of mercy or salvation or anything else. Crows are, for one, possessive of stories.”

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Reaper Hawk—mightiest warrior in all Lysandria—tells the true tale of the minotaur in this gripping adventure of sword and sorcery, monsters and mayhem. Questing for adventure in the far east, Reaper meets the minotaur and becomes embroiled in his quest to recover his stolen humanity and reunite with his lost love. Before they are done, they’ll have to fight wizards and wyrms and overcome their own greatest fears, but if they’re successful, they’ll turn back the tide of chaos and restore order to the world.
 
 
 

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Monsters hide among the suburbs. Roland McReedy knows because he works for one, under duress. “The Rajah.” Roland and his partner Nelson hunt down occult oddities under threat of death for themselves, and worse for their families. Roland and Nelson face the night with only their knives, billy clubs, and wits to protect them.

But the Rajah’s latest demand pits Roland and Nelson against the foulest creatures in the San Francisco Bay Area, including a horror older than time itself.

In a world full of monsters how can mere humans survive?

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Magic has a cost. Sarah Beauhall, blacksmith and dragon slayer doesn’t know just how high. Her lover, Katie Cornett, has finally been overwhelmed by this spiraling cost and her spirit is blasted from her body and flung into a world of nightmares and monsters.

As Katie’s coma deepens and her chances of survival fade, Sarah’s spirit must make a journey of its own through a world of crystalline eaters and malevolent spirits who exist only to hunt and to consume.

Night after night Sarah delves beyond the hidden paths, going from crystalline landscapes into the wild lands and lost worlds far beyond the great sea of dreams.

When the spirit of a long dead murderer—known only as the Bowler Hat man—begins gathering an army in the forgotten lands, Sarah discovers that more than eaters and feeders pursue her.

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Dani’s family is unusual. She’s the youngest—and only girl—of seven. Being the lone female, her family would like her to be all girly and sweet like her best friend Allie. But Dani is a tomboy born and bred, and on her fourteenth birthday she discovers why.

Life is about to get decidedly strange!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Scylla is caught by surprise when her mother, the river nymph Crataeis, shows up unexpectedly. Mother’s infrequent visits are welcome, but also serve as a painful reminder of what Scylla’s life had been like before the evil witch Circe turned her into a hideous, people-eating monster.

The cliff Scylla lives on juts out into a narrow straight of water; an arrow-shot away lives the monster Charybdis, who sucks water – and any ships unfortunate enough to be close by – down a whirlpool and into her great maw several times a day. Mother asks Scylla to allow a ship that belongs to a young man named Odysseus to pass by unharmed a few days hence; that way his boat won’t have to venture too close to the whirlpool. Scylla agrees, on the condition that her mother go to Circe and plead with her to return Scylla to her normal human form.

But when Odysseus’ ship appears, Scylla realizes that perhaps things are not as they seem…

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Private eye Nick Beasley lives in a world where fairy tales ended a long time ago—where zeppelins now soar the skies instead of dragons, and where the first automobiles have taken the place of flying carpets. He’s made a name for himself across the Afterlands by debunking fake magicians and exposing fraudulent monsters. This is the modern age, after all. Magic and monsters are long gone.

At least, that’s what Nick believes. Until he gets magically transformed into a monster, that is.

The only person who may be able to help Nick is Lady Cordelia Beaumont, one of the last enchantresses in the Afterlands. But in order for her to cure him, they’ll have to retrieve a powerful artifact from a ruthless crime lord—who is also Cordelia’s father.

The fate of the Afterlands lies in the hands of a runaway enchantress and a monstrous ex-detective. What could possibly go wrong?

Perfect for fans of Doctor Who, Once Upon A Time, Indiana Jones, or The Dresden Files, the Beaumont and Beasley series features high adventure in a world where fairy tales are history.

We love to fear them and fight them. Monsters come in many forms, from the monsters within to the monsters outside and under the bed. Dare you venture into the caverns and the castles? Dare you enter the darkness of an accursed soul?

An eclectic collection of dark creatures and those who confront them. You have been warned.

Here Be Monsters features 19 tales (really 40) of myths, monsters, and mayhem.

The Here Be Monsters bundle is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

 

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New Design for My Landing Page

I’ve felt a growing unease about the content of the landing page for my website. Something just wasn’t right.

What is a landing page?

It’s the page where weary wanderers of the web arrive after a search yields up jmney-grimm.com as the answer to their question. 😀

And my landing page felt static, maybe even dull. It seemed to conceal, rather than reveal, all the riches I’ve gathered here over the years.

What to do?

For a while, I was really enamored of putting a slider on my landing page.

What is a slider? It’s a slideshow that plays automatically.

I love the slider on the BundleRabbit site. It’s so clean, so big, and features some eye-catching images. I went so far as to ask Chuck Heintzelman, the proprietor of BundleRabbit, if his slider was generated by a plug-in, and if so which one. He answered me most kindly, and if I were to use a slider, I’d use that one (the Revolution Slider).

But in my search to identify the best slider, I encountered several articles about the pros and cons of using them at all.

Some situations are clearly tailor-made for a slider. I think the BundleRabbit site is one of them. It’s got a ton of great bundles available for purchase, and the slider gives the browsing reader a fun taste of what’s on offer.

You can check out the BundleRabbit slider here.

But many people use sliders because they lack a sense of the priorities for the content on their site. They just can’t decide, so they throw a little bit of everything into a slider, and then they don’t have to decide.

I suspected my desire for a slider might well be due to my own confusion. Not good.

Even more pertinent: there’s a fair bit of data indicating that visitors to a site rarely click on any of the images served up by a slider.

That decided me. My idea for a slider on my landing page was that visitors would be intrigued by the images and want to go check them out. If that was unlikely to happen, there was no point in having a slider.

So I did some thinking about what I really wanted for my landing page.

1I’m in a lot of bundles, and some of them are pretty cool. I’d like my visitors to know that these bundles are available.

2When I release a new book, I definitely want to shout from the rooftops about it. That’s an exciting moment for me, and I want to tell everyone. 😀

3But I have a lot of books out at this stage in my career, and I think my backlist tends to get buried on my website. Few people go digging through all 20 book pages. So I’d like to draw attention to my backlist.

4Speaking of backlist, I also have a lot of “backlist” posts on my blog, and most of them are of the evergreen variety. They’re not news posts that go stale. They’re maps and lore from my book worlds. They’re book recs. They’re health tips, design tips, and favorite recipes.

But there are 346 of them as I write this post, which will be number 347. How would a visitor ever find any one post among so many?

My landing page felt like an opportunity to address all of that.

Nor did I have to devise how I would go about it from scratch. In my own browsing of the web, I’ve seen plenty of landing pages. And amongst them all, there was one design that consistently pleased me. It featured four images arranged in a foursquare.

That was just enough to give a good sense of what was on the site, just enough to intrigue me, but not so much that I felt overwhelmed. I tended to then happily explore. Perfect!

So I’ve adopted the foursquare presentation for my own website, and I’ll change its individual components every week or so, showcasing different elements from my site over time.

Go check out what I’ve got there now! Here’s the link.

I’ll show you what is there (below) as I write this post. But by next week, the array will already have changed! (Plus the images on my landing page are clickable, while the copy below isn’t.)

I’m happy and excited about this ever-changing array. I think I’m going to have some fun with it. And I hope that my visitors will find it fun, too. 😀

For more about websites and blogging, see:
Slow Blogging and Other Variations
Why Create a Site Map?
SPAM Deluge
Copyright Statement for My Website
Your Data Is Protected

 

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Free Ebook

Featured

THE ADVENTURES BEGIN
“The bridge was old, the leached stones worn by weather and time, a structure of ancient Silmaren.”
For a limited time,
you can get a free copy of

Crossing the Naiad
Accompany young Sarvet as she confronts
the first perils of her wanderyar.

 

 

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Summer Shimmer

The latest seasonal story bundle curated by A. L. Butcher is out!

I’ve not had a chance to read it yet—super busy with design work on the paperback of my upcoming novella Blood Silver—but there are several titles that especially catch my eye.

I’ll list them below, along with my own novella, Skies of Navarys, also included in the collection.

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IT HAPPENED in early September, the time of year when the city does its damndest to remember what heat was, just one more time before winter rocks on in…

This is a story of horror and haunting regret.

A group of homeless men—fishing for a little fun and folly—latch onto something that MIGHT be a mermaid.

Regret lives on and lingers—long after the last tear drop has fallen.

“If Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson and Robert Bloch had a three-way sex romp in a hot tub and then a team of scientists came in and filtered out the water and mixed the leftover DNA into a test tube, the resulting genetic experiment would most likely grow up into Steve Vernon.” —BOOKGASM

“Steve Vernon was born to write. He’s the real deal and we are lucky to have him.” —Richard Chizmar, CEMETERY DANCE

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SAN FRANCISCO. Haight-Ashbury. It is midnight in the Summer of Love. Thomas Brock and Evelyn Love are attorneys who crusade for the rights of OTs—Other-Than-Humans. Their clients include ghosts, gargoyles, vampires, and things that have not yet been given names. The city’s OT element is sometimes malevolent, sometimes misunderstood, and often discriminated against. Brock and Love represent them, whatever the case, whatever the species.

Magic hangs heavy in San Francisco, and danger and intrigue is as thick as the fog around the Golden Gate Bridge.

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WHEN ETHAN RILEY earned a summer internship in Yellowstone National Park, he thought he’d won the world’s best lottery, but that was before he met the girl of his dreams, Jenny Leigh.

Jenny’s family had lived and worked in Yellowstone for generations, and the beautiful and fascinating young woman knew all its secrets.

Including a few that might just be the death of Ethan!
 
 

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QUITE HOW Ashley Mason made the journey from rural Kansas to working atop a lookout tower in the Montana wilderness eludes her. This summer’s challenge: coping with isolation.

Brent Tucker dedicates every summer to learning something new. In the past he pursued competitive swimming and ballroom dancing. This summer’s goal: to master hang gliding.

This year they both will learn more than they bargained for during the Summer of Fire and Heart.

~a Firehawks Lookouts romance story~

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WHEN THE KING’S GEOMANCER announces that a tidal wave threatens Navarys—the Atlantis of the North-lands—every citizen on the island springs to action. Amidst the uproar, the aeromancer Palujon steals unique and magical lodestones.

Mago, son of the lodestones’ creator, vows to retrieve his father’s precious artifacts. But Mago’s friend Liliyah questions Palujon’s motives.

Why would a man of his stature break the law? Is he truly a dastard?

Life and death hang on her answers.

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Hot lazy days, cracking thunderstorms, paddling a canoe upriver, long twilights filled with chasing fireflies, picnics under shady oak trees, overnights with friends and ghost stories. The days of summer carry us back to memories of the delights from childhood.

But summertime offers abundance even when we leave the realm of innocence—perhaps especially then. It’s a season of warmth, growth, and strength, embodying the powerful move from inspirations and ideas into reality: action, decision, and works we can touch and use.

This mixed-genre bundle of summery sensations features romance in the wilds of Montana, an alien invasion, revelation in a tropical and buggy third-world country, paranormal adventures during the Summer of Love, a serial killer who targets telepaths, and more.

Available for 3 months only—June, July, and August.

The Summer Shimmer bundle (with 11 titles) is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

 

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A Bundle of Fairies

My story The Troll’s Belt is in the Here Be Fairies bundle along with 12 other titles.

I’m excited about it, because some of the other participating authors are amazing. I’ve enjoyed the works of Leah Cutter, Anthea Sharp, and Kristine Kathryn Rush for several years now. But this bundle also features two of my newest favorites: Alexandra Brandt and Leslie Claire Walker.

Here’s a little bit about the bundle:

Fairies, fair folk, imps, trolls, and pixies—they haunt our myths from Ireland to Iceland and everywhere else. Join in the fairy fun, or fairy fear, as good, bad, and mischievous they show themselves. Dare you take the trip to Fairyland? No one who returns is ever quite the same.

And here’s a quick rundown of the titles that especially caught my interest:

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FUNERAL DIRECTORS DEAL with everything at a funeral, but only a few must handle an influx of flower fairies. Or worse: the arrival of a flower fairy child, alone and unsupervised.

Flower fairies are unpredictable…except when they get angry. And then they become terrifying.

So, what will they do if they think one of their children faces danger?

 

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~ USA Today Bestselling Urban Fantasy ~

WHAT IF A HIGH-TECH computer game was a gateway to the dangerous Realm of Faerie?

Feyland is the most immersive computer game ever designed, and Jennet Carter is the first to play the prototype. But she doesn’t suspect the virtual world is close enough to touch—or that she’ll be battling for her life against the Dark Queen of the faeries.

Tam Linn is the perfect hero, in-game. Too bad the rest of his life is seriously flawed. The last thing he needs is rich-girl Jennet prying into his secrets, insisting he’s the only one who can help her.

Together, Jennet and Tam enter the Dark Realm of Feyland, only to discover that the entire human world is in danger. Pushed to the limit of their abilities, they must defeat the Dark Queen… before it’s too late.

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ON GULL ISLAND in the cold North, Eithni awaits Winter Solstice with pride, resentment, and fear. All signs point to a Taking year. And Eithni, chosen to enter the chamber of the gods, prepares to leave her human community forever.

On the other side of the Stone Door, Sable stands guard in anticipation of a successful solstice, when the veil between worlds will lift…and when her liege, a lightlord of the fae, will claim the human woman who willingly steps across into the Summer realm.

But everything changes when Eithni breaks the rules.

Everything changes when Sable hears a voice from the stone.

A fantasy love story set among the Picts in Iron Age Scotland.

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A faery sword — A haunted mermaid — A fallen angel

WHEN THE FAE SWORD named War transports Amy to the scene of a magical crime, she finds more than a dead man. The oldest Watcher, Shadow, newly reborn, saw the murder. The victim isn’t innocent, and the killer remains on the loose.

Haunted by the past, Amy wields a powerful weapon. But the source of her mermaid magic—her wild, untamed feelings—frightens her. She’s no hero, and yet the fight comes down to her.

She must learn to trust her her magic, her emotions . . . everything, or she and Shadow have no chance of stopping the killer.

If they fail, enchantment—and with it, all the worlds—will never be the same.

A story about awakening magic and lighting the fires of hope.

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THE GREATER OREGON Fairy Kingdom hides beneath the Pacific Ocean cliffs. Between their own lost dreams, battles with the dwarves, and the encroaching humans, the kingdom continues to diminish. Only two young humans can save them now.

Will Dale, the young human Tinker, answer their dreams? Can he repair the malfunctioning clockwork of the kingdom? Help them finish their great machine? Can they make him care enough?

Or will Nora, his twin sister and a human Maker, align herself with the hated dwarves and destroy the fairies instead?

The Clockwork Fairy Kingdom—the first novel in this exciting New Adult trilogy—combines fast-paced action with magic and modern day clockwork. A delightful read for all ages!

Be sure to read the other two books in the trilogy, The Maker, the Teacher, and the Monster and The Dwarven Wars.

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And here’s a little about my own contribution to the bundle, along with some kind words by reviewer James J. Parson.

YOUNG DECEIT sprouts timeless trouble.

Motherless Brys Arnsson digs himself into trouble. Bad trouble. Tricked by a troll in J.M. Ney-Grimm’s richly imagined North-lands, Brys must dig himself and his best friend back out of danger. But that requires courage … and self-honesty. Traits Brys lacks at depth.

A twist on a classic, The Troll’s Belt builds from humor-threaded conflict to white-knuckle suspense.
 
 

The writing style is fantastic. It’s somehow youthful (as it’s through the eyes of a twelve year old) and mature at the same time. Normally, it would be a challenge to discuss…responsibility, loyalty and forgiveness with such a young ‘voice,’ but Ney-Grimm does so easily. The result is a thought provoking tale…” —James J. Parsons

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The Here Be Fairies bundle (including The Troll’s Belt and 12 other titles) is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

For more about other bundles, see:
Here Be Dragons
Spring Surprise
Immortals
Remembering Warriors
Winter Warmer
Mythic Tales
More than Human

 

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A Boatload of Covers

My participation in more than half a dozen story bundles brought a lot of cover design my way.

The More than Human bundle in August 2017 kicked off my journey, which wended through seven bundles (and counting) and on to a few covers for individual stories, some within bundles and some entirely independent of them.

I thought it would be fun to see the round dozen all in one place, so I’ve collected them into a sort of bulletin board below. Check it out!

Kinda cool, don’t ya think? 😀

Remembering Warriors I Immortals I Spring Surprise
Here Be Dragons I The Kitchen Imps I The Warrior’s Curse
Early Spaceports I Of Blood and Scales I Tales of Erana

 

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Fantastic Fairytales

I don’t offer reduced sale prices on my books very often.

But I’ve just been invited into a group promotion with the theme of fairytales and fairytale retellings. It’s a perfect fit for my novel Troll-magic, which is a retelling of East of the Sun and West of the Moon.

And when I saw that Anthea Sharp (who I admire) has two of her books in the promotion…well it became irresistible!

For 3 days—April 27, April 28, and April 29Troll-magic will be on sale for 99 cents. Even better, it keeps company with 28 other fairytale retellings that are also on sale.

After scoping out the Look Insides, I realized that I want to purchase a few of the titles for my own reading pleasure. 😀

Here’s the link for the page showing all 29 books: Fantastic Fairytales.

But before you click over, here’s a quick preview of some of the titles that especially caught my eye.

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From USA Today bestselling author Anthea Sharp, a richly-imagined fantasy romance uniting an adventurous young woman and a fearsome Dark Elf warrior, in a magical tale reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast. Deep in the Darkwood, a mystic portal awaits…

Mara Geary faces a bleak future in the village of Little Hazel until, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, strange glowing lights beckon her into the mysterious shadows under the trees. She follows, hoping for adventure. What she finds is her destiny…

Prince of the Hawthorne Court, Brannon Luthinor has spent his life becoming a powerful warrior in order to save his people. Now, on the eve of war, his fate is rapidly approaching.

Brought together by fate, Bran and Mara forge an unlikely alliance. But in the face of evil, will they be able to trust their lives—and their hearts—to one another?

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Modern-day Kat is shy and bookish until an earth-shattering event forces her to come out of her shell.

Cursed to remain in the world of Cinderella, the only way back home is to see Cinderella happily married to the prince. But everything seems to work against her favor.

The other stepsister is drop-dead gorgeous and determined to be queen. The fairy godmother doesn’t seem to exist. To complicate things further, Kat’s unconventional behavior attracts the prince’s attention.

Can she ever return to her own world?

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Who’s afraid of the big, bad werewolf?

When London’s brightest tinkers and alchemists come up missing, Red Cape Society Agent Clemeny Louvel is on the case.

To help Clemeny get the problem in hand, Queen Victoria assigns her a temporary partner—a werewolf with a knightly history and a tendency to be far too flirtatious for either of their good. Can she trust him to help her chase down the monsters they’re hunting?

It’s Penny Dreadful meets Supernatural in this exciting new gaslamp urban fantasy. Wolves and Daggers retells the classic Red Riding Hood fairy tale with hefty doses of badassery and steampunk.

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Red Ryder has been going to Wonderland Guardian Academy since middle school, but she still doesn’t belong. At 16 years old, she doesn’t have any magical talents to speak of, and the rest of her peers know it. She may as well be a typical, mundane human, and the witch sisters make her school life miserable. How is she supposed to help humanity as a guardian when she may as well be one of them?

But Red is a wolf tracker. Though she doesn’t come into her powers until the death of the current wolf tracker in her family, her grandmother, her blood carries the wolfsbane gene…

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Hotaru is in need of a wife and an alliance to stop a war.

Yuki dreams of freedom and has no intention of marrying, ever.

To get the alliance he desperately needs, Hotaru must woo Yuki. But Yuki has other plans.

Can these two opposites ever find love?

A retelling of Snow White.
 

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From USA Today bestselling author Anthea Sharp, a new collection of enchanting, mystical tales! Delight in the award-winning story “The Sea King’s Daughter” (inspired by The Little Mermaid), follow the ill-fated adventures of a goblin who falls in love, and take heart in the hope that unlikely heroes can—with a bit of faerie magic—change their own destinies

Includes “The Faerie Girl,” “The Sea King’s Daughter,” “Brea’s Tale,” “The Faerie Invasion,” “Goblin in Love,” and “The Tree of Fate and Wishes.”

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The Golden Boy, Once Upon a Quest (with an Annie Bellet story!), Beauty and Beastly, Alone and a few others also attract me.

And, of course, the promo includes my own Troll-magic.

Prince Kellor, cursed by the troll-witch Mandine to live as a north-bear, wrestles with the challenges of his beast form. Pain wracks his body. Unpredictable rages blur his mind. And straight thinking proves elusive, confusing his search for the loopholes that every curse possesses.

His childhood friend Elle holds the key to his escape, but should he endanger her by seeking her help?

A lyrical Beauty and the Beast tale, rife with moments of shining glory, dark magnificence, and unexpected significance. The fate of an empire, a people, and a world hangs on Kellor’s struggle.

Amazon I B&N I iTunes I Kobo I Smashwords

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With 29 books in this promotion…if I tried to catalog them all, this blog post would grow unmercifully long! So I’ll let you click over to the hosting page: Fantastic Fairytales.

I’ve loved fairytales since I was a little girl, so this promotion promises to be a treat for me! I hope you’ll find some good reads there, too. 😀

Edited to Add: The Fantastic Fairytales promotion is over, but if some of the titles featured above appeal to you, I urge you to check them out.

All are available on Amazon, so I’ve connected the book covers to their Amazon pages. A number are available on Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords as well.

 

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Blood Silver: The Title

I loved hearing what everyone had to say about the prospective cover for my novella Blood Silver.

You all helped me see some details that needed adjusting, as well as confirming the choice of the Sunburst version as the right art to use.

Thank you!

In the course of all our discussion, an important question was raised.

Is the title right? The mood of the words does not quite match the light, bright mood of the art. Should it?

I didn’t even begin to know how to answer that question correctly. As I’ve said before, I am no expert on marketing. I’m learning. As an indie, I must learn about marketing, if I want my audience to find my books. But there is far more that I don’t know than there is that I do.

But a lovely bit of good luck came my way.

One of the people weighing on the cover for Blood Silver just happens to be an indie whose marketing knowledge I respect a great deal. So I asked her about my title. And she was most generous in sharing her thoughts with me.

The first thing she explained is that a book cover possesses three “channels.”
1 • The art
2 • The typography (what font is chosen and how the type is placed)
3 • The title (the meaning the words convey)

You could convey the same message with each channel, but if you do you severely limit what you communicate about the book. Generally it’s best to use each channel to communicate different elements of your story.

My kind adviser then proceeded to analyze the message communicated by the Sunburst cover for Blood Silver.

The Art

First we have the art, which is a bright fantasy illustration showing a knight and a lady. The subject matter tells us that the story focuses on two people. The bright, glowing treatment of the surrounding leaves indicates that magic is likely involved.

The image is appropriate for either urban fantasy, straight-up fantasy, or fairy-inflected fantasy.

So far, so good. Blood Silver involves the faie and follows the fortunes of a knight and a mortal woman.

The Typography

Next we have the choice of font and how the title is placed.

The font is Trajan, which indicates epic fantasy. Apparently Trajan is the font to use, if you’re making an epic fantasy film. I did not know this. (See, I told you I was not a marketing expert!) But it’s also the right choice when kingdoms or other big things lie at stake in a book.

Since the events in Blood Silver turn on the conflict between battling kingdoms, Trajan is definitely a good choice.

Regarding placement…this happens to be something that I actually do know something about.

Most thrillers have the author’s name in big—no huge—letters at the top of the cover and the title in slightly smaller letters at the bottom.

Fantasy is usually the reverse: the title sits at the top, while the author byline rests at the bottom.

If the story is urban fantasy or horror, the title may be slanted or vertical or have some other unusual orientation. But for epic fantasy, it will be sedately positioned on the horizontal, centered.

(YA fantasy might have a small title or a flush left or flush right alignment, especially if it needs to convey edginess.)

Now that we have art and typography together, we need to consider not only what they convey separately, but what they communicate together.

In this case, we might guess that the story involves two lovers caught up in a conflict between kingdoms. Blood Silver is not going to be a quiet tale. Quite right.

The Title

When I chose Blood Silver as my title, I was thinking of the phrase “blood red,” because there is definitely blood involved in my story.

That’s a fine reference point, but my astute advisor pointed out that it’s also a play on the words “blood money.” And “blood money” makes us think of treachery, cunning, and deception. Which is perfect, because Blood Silver is all about trickery and treachery.

When you put all three channels together, you have the story of two people caught between the violent forces of large events, featuring trickery and great deeds.

If that’s what Blood Silver is about—and it is!—then I’ve got the right art, the right typography, and the right title.

The result?

Blood Silver will keep its title, Blood Silver. 😀

For more about Blood Silver, see:
Plate Armor, How It Works
Cross Strike, Squinting Strike, and Scalp Strike
The Crooked Strike
The Joust
Which Cover to Choose?
The Strike of Wrath
Rope Climbing and a Cliff
What If the Sword is Wrong?
A Song of Peace
Wielding a Long Sword
Origin of the Story (The State of This Writer)

 

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Here Be Dragons

The Here Be Dragons bundle has three of my titles in it!

They stalk our myths and hunt our past—dragons—humankind’s greatest and oldest foe. Good, bad, legendary and deadly. Dare you enter the dragon’s lair?

Thirteen tales of dragons, their friends and their foes.

The Crown and the Dragon
        by John D. Payne
Dragon Writers (an anthology)
        edited by Lisa Mangum
Of Blood and Scales
        by A. L. Butcher
Devouring Light
        by J.M. Ney-Grimm
Ascension of the Whyte
        by Karen Wrighton
Of Dragons and Centaurs
        by Deb Logan
Night of the Clockwork Dragon
        by Louisa Swann
The Legend of G and the Dragonettes
        by Russ Crossley
The Dreamweaver’s Journey
        by Diana L. Wicker
Graybill by Rita Schulz
Star-drake by J.M. Ney-Grimm
Like At Loch Ness by Karen L. Abrahamson
Winter Glory by J.M. Ney-Grimm

The Here Be Dragons bundle (with 13 titles) is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

For more about other bundles, see:
Spring Surprise
Immortals
Remembering Warriors
Winter Warmer bundle
Mythic Tales
More than Human

 

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