Friday, August 26, 2016

How Did the Giveaway Do?

Well, I’m not going to complain. I'll post my results hoping they will help others in their quests, and perhaps, a question or two of mine get answered.

Don’t laugh at the small numbers, please.

As a refresher:
August 8, Sandfall went free, 12 copies d/l;
August 11, Allure, 14 copies;
August 14, Freedom Does Matter, 36 copies;
August 17, Connections, 17 copies;
August 20, Coda?, 15 copies, and
August 23, Discoveries, 38 copies.

Total free books given away: 132.

The blog views are for the page posted that date, and mark when each book went on free. But I didn’t track the page views back to the day they occurred. The downloads, on the other hand, are by day as reported by Amazon.

I’m not surprised by the numbers; I only made one tweet for each of the posts with no other notice. That seems to be borne out by the correlation between the post dates and the higher downloads.

The numbers for Freedom Does Matter and Discoveries are surprising, both more than twice the average of the other four books. Really unsure just why that should be. I also was amused that even though the description for Discoveries recommends—pretty strongly, I thought—that Coda? be read first… Well, you can see the disparity.

Another interesting result is the mismatch between page views and downloads. The tweets pointed to the blog post, not to the Amazon page directly, so if they didn’t click via the blog post, how did they see it? While Amazon advertises Kindle Countdown deals, I didn’t think they did that for Free days. Anyone care to comment on that?

Finally, I’m not sure what pushed the page views of the Allure announcement so high. It’s all interesting; I hope a couple of the downloads actually get read, and that some choose to leave a review.

I apologize for my inability to entice Blogger to fit the chart across the available space.

Any thoughts or insights you'd like to share would be welcome.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Time for the Current Story, Discoveries, to be Available For Free

With this one, the promotion has run its course. Grab Discoveries at Amazon for free, and get ready for the next story (when the characters let me know how it’s supposed to turn out!)

The description:
Beginning as Coda? ends, Beckie Jamse has signed a contract providing protection for an archeological dig in Baluchistan, Pakistan, but even with her experience, it leads her places she never expects. And provides a reward she hadn’t negotiated.

A quiet winter and spring at The Nest allows Beckie to prepare for her baby; monitor the several jobs Ian Jamse, LLC, had already undertaken; provision the new protection contract, and plan an appropriate response to Ian and Kevin’s murders. The calm evaporates like early morning dew when Ralf Jamse arrives, full of sound and fury and other baby specific needs.
Events in Pakistan only seem calm. Unbeknownst to her, the protection contract in Pakistan develops a complication neither she nor the scientists expected: the terrorists of Daesh (Islamic State) are targeting the region.
Even before Beckie’s doctor allows her to leave the hospital, a letter arrives that changes everything.

Discoveries is a thriller with romance, set in an approximation to the real world, intended for readers 15 up. It contains real language. For the most enjoyment, readers should be familiar with Coda?.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these stories. A comment to say what you liked or disliked would be welcome; speak your piece.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Now, Coda? Is Free for Three Days

It’s time for the penultimate (so far) Mercenaries story to be free at Amazon.

The description:
Coda: noun (Music) The concluding passage of a piece or movement
• a concluding event […]

Two and a half years following Connections, death happens. Fighting back, Beckie chooses to go her own way, and it costs her her love. With little to live for, happily ever after now seems like an impossible dream, but she still has family and the team, and San Diego requires saving. Hidden information coupled with her own obstinacy make all her tasks more difficult, but friends help, some by staying, some by leaving. Hurt, confused and grieving, Beckie must push those emotions aside to grow into a role she’s only observed til now.

Coda?, the fourth book in the Mercenaries series, is a thriller set in an approximation to the real world. Real language is used. While it stands alone, readers unfamiliar with previous books may find the history preceding Coda? of interest. It is recommended for 15+.

Note: Due to licensing restrictions (New Directions does not hold British rights to Dylan Thomas' work.) Coda? is not available in Great Britain or other British aligned sales locales. Contact me through email if this applies to you and you're interested.

However, for the rest of us, please enjoy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Time to Get Connections

The third book and my first political thriller, Connections, is available at Amazon for free beginning today for three days.

The description:

The week began most pleasurably. Young Amy believed a letter with a passport would connect her with Abby, her lover. But Abby has a history no one knows of; even Abby’s put it out of her mind.
The man she put in prison has not forgotten; he wants out, and Abby’s the key. The key to Abby is Amy. Connections between Abby and Amy are broken and remade to connect Amy and five men with hate in their hearts.
Can Amy be rescued before a hurricane eliminates her?
The man in prison has another connection: to a South American politician. Though in prison, he holds documents to impeach and imprison her. The connection between Abby, Amy and the documents is as unexpected as an insult on St. Valentine’s day.
These connections define four months of intrigue, love and terror. Will Amy and her friends survive?

Connections, book three of the Mercenaries Series, overlaps the action at the end of Freedom Does Matter; while the story does stand alone, readers may prefer the additional understanding the previous book provides.


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Starting Today, Freedom Does Matter, Free for Three Days

The second in the Beckie and Ian stories, Freedom Does Matter, is available for free at Amazon beginning today. If you have downloaded either Sandfall or Allure--or hopefully both--thank you!

The description:
Mid-summer before her sophomore year at college, Beckie Sverdupe is grooming her horse when she receives horrifying news: her fiancé Ian Jamse has been shot.
Leader of a successful mercenary team, Ian’s not only Beckie’s fiancé; he’s her mentor, training her as a team member after she made it clear that, having fallen in love with him, she would make their group more than just soldiers for hire; they’d be more ‘socially conscious’ mercenaries, with concomitant longer life expectancies. The current job, an Egyptian land dispute negotiation, supposedly filled that requirement to a tee. Except it hadn’t: Ian was dying!
Instead of returning to campus for Engineering classes, Beckie kisses Ian’s insensate lips and heads to Cairo to complete the negotiations. It’s her first solo assignment, and she’s determined to finish despite her fears for Ian. Tracking the gunman will be an added challenge spurred by renewed assassination attempts targeting the new mediator: her!
Her quest to gain justice⁠—or revenge⁠—for Ian reveals a conspiracy to incite the final Mideast war by killing thousands at iconic Wembley Stadium in London. As she unravels the plot, she comes head-to-head with one man’s bitter, intransigent attempts to redefine freedom. Will Ian love her again? Can Beckie thwart the terrorist honcho before the attack and eliminate one hateful voice of irrationality?

While Freedom Does Matter is set in the Mercenaries world, it may be enjoyed on its own.

As always, enjoy!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Allure Free on Amazon for Three Days

If you took advantage of Sandfall’s free days, you know Allure is next. Go to Amazon.

The description:
Beckie Sverdupe is ready for April vacation at her church’s Spring Week Camp until Ian Jamse, the only man who had ever depended on her, asks for her help. She still had nightmares about digging out of the sand, but she’d succeeded.
Should she listen to his plea? Of course. Or was it more of a pitch than plea? He had a job, so yes, probably it was. Could she help him? Maybe. Would she?
Beckie’s answer launches her on a three-month journey to save children she’d never met. Along the way, she poses as an exotic dancer in London, a cowgirl in Arizona and an ingénue in Thailand. Each stop brings her closer to her family, her friends and to Ian Jamse, the man who’d believed in her. Each stop brings her closer also to a personal meeting with the man who could end it all, with death.

A romantic thriller set in an approximation to the real world, Allure is the lead book in the Mercenaries series. The events portrayed in Sandfall precede Allure by eighteen months, and introduce Beckie and Ian.

Allure is recommended for Adult, older Young Adult (16+) and New Adult readers for language and mature situations. Real language is used, as are fictional depictions of child abuse.

Bonus: An excerpt from Freedom Does Matter, the second book in the Mercenaries series, is included.

Publishing history: Allure was originally titled Mercenaries: A Love Story and included what is now Sandfall. This edition has a new cover, and is retitled and heavily edited from that version.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Sandfall Free for Three days Starting Today.

On Amazon's Kindle Select, assuming I got the scheduling thing for both Amazon and the blog correct.

Here’s the description:
Beckie Sverdupe, typical high-school student and accomplished equestrienne, has a best friend, an annoying younger brother, and no plans beyond homework and the upcoming pep rally. Then, she is kidnapped to be buried alive. Her strength and resourcefulness impresses the enigmatic young mercenary, Ian Jamse, but she was just a job.

Sandfall is a Young Adult thriller, and part of the Mercenaries series. It includes real language.

Bonus: An excerpt from Allure, the first book in the Mercenaries series, is included.

Publishing history: Sandfall was originally titled “Black Sky, Dry Rain,” and part of Mercenaries: A Love Story. This edition is retitled, and heavily edited from that version.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Review of Dragon's Egg

Don’t forget, my series of books, beginning with Sandfall, go free for three days each, beginning Monday the eighth. In the meantime, here’s a review of a really fun kid’s story.

Dragon’s Egg, by Emily Martha Sorensen, cover art by Eva Urbaníková.

Dragon’s Egg is an enchanting, clean short story that I suspect is targeted for a middle grade and somewhat older audience, even though the protagonists are older than that age group.

Rose is a college student, living at home with an oppressive, though loving, father, an enduring mother, and two younger sisters. She is determined to become a paleontologist over the wishes of Dad, who believes a women’s place is teaching if not in the home.

Henry, also a college student, has far fewer restrictions hanging over his head.

But Virgil James is the interesting one of the three, since his existence should be an impossibility. He may be impossible, but he also has atypical abilities and a definite sense of what he wants and needs. Others' wants or needs? Not so much.

The title should give you the biggest clue about the story you need. I’m not going to spoil it except to say that I dropped my rating to three stars because for me, Ms Sorensen ended the story too soon and then I gave one star back because I liked what she’s done with it. It’s fun, and twisty and begins to develop some complex family problems and solutions, and I liked the heck out of it.

Clearly, I must add more of these books to my budget. And I’m happy to do so.

Disclosure: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review, which you are reading here. In similar form, it will appear at Amazon and Goodreads.

I read Dragon’s Egg on my MacBook Pro using the Kindle for Mac app and (for the epub), iBooks. I noticed no typos or other errors of that sort. Based on my experience, I believe there should be no problem using a Kindle. As you can see, the bright and cheerful cover deserves a color display.

I recommend Dragon’s Egg to anyone looking for a clean, fun—especially fun!—beginning to what I hope is a long-lived series with three characters you’ll want to take home.