Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review of The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review**

The people of Shapinsay have long told stories of the Selkies who crawl out of the sea and assume human form in order take advantage of unsuspecting villagers. Kait scoffs at these tales. That is, until the day her closest friend births a half selkie babe. When the babe is drowned in the sea for its mixed heritage, Katie is shocked and appalled, but it is the fierce anger at the death of an innocent life that really fuels this story. 

Eamon, a selkie man, witnesses Kait’s arrival and, assuming that she is the one to blame for the babe’s death, sets out to punish her for the deed. But neither Eamon nor Kait are ready for the fire that sparks between them. Entranced by The Lure, a tool used by the selkies to lure victims into their web of deceit, Kait cannot refuse her pressing need to be with Eamon, insisting that she loves him beyond all things. Eamon is no less affected by Katie’s allure, loathing his need for the “land loper” yet powerless to resist her. 

I have read a lot of things involving myths and legends, but I have never come across a Selkie story. This was new for me, so I had no idea what to expect when I sat down to read. I was pleasantly surprised at the magical tale that unfolded before my eyes. This was a sweet and enticing tale with incredible characters that came to life with Holle’s vivid details and honest, historically accurate depictions. Each time I picked the book up I was transported back in time to an island of legend. A simple place of beauty where time goes by at a slower pace, love is true and steadfast, and friendship can be found in the least likely of places. I found Kait and Eamon’s connection to be heartfelt and romantic, yet innocent and na├»ve. They were plagued with many sorrows stemming from youth and inexperience to mistrust due to their differences. Many times I felt myself smiling at their playfulness, saddened by their grief, and hopeful that they would find their way through the storm. This was really an incredible read that I think crosses all age barriers. I for one, am putting this author on my must read all list. 

This book is available for purchase on Amazon for a mere $2.99. Pick up your copy today! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Helping Hand

It's hard out there for an indie...

I think most of us know well how frustrating it can be to get a jump on selling books to the general public. It's a matter of making connections, and that can be difficult when you don't know what you are doing or what you are looking or even where to start. Well, here at Fictitious Chronicles we would like to lend a helping hand by telling you what we do.

Let's begin with the common search for a reviewer...or twenty. Much research needs to go into this, and it can be a very time consuming process. First, you have to locate bloggers who are willing to accept reviews. Then you have to ensure that they take your genre. If all checks out, like a school girl/boy hoping to be picked in gym class so you aren't left twiddling your thumbs like a reject, you then have to create a lovely letter to the blogger asking if they will accept you. Then you wait....and wait...and wait for them to respond, or not, as many cases turn out. Assuming all has gone according to planned and you do get that review, pat yourself on the back for a job well done. But wait! Don't get too cozy just yet. There is more work to be done. You must send out more requests. To ease your pain, here are a couple blogs to get you started: The Kindle Book Review and The Book Lover's Realm.  And don't forget to offer yourself for author interviews and giveaways!

Now, it's time to advertize! 

A good place to begin is with Goodkindles who will advertize your book for free. Next, we like Technorati because it is a good place to advertize your blog, which brings us to the next thing:

Create and maintain a personal blog!

You may be saying, "But, Brandi, I don't have time for a blog." Nonsense. I am just as busy as the next person trying to maintain a home, raise children, further my education, all while trying to write great novels for my public to read and enjoy. If you want it, you have to do it. A blog can be as simple as a once a month commitment that takes you ten minutes to complete. It can be anything, but hopefully it is about you and your books or something else creative that you can come up with. It's not hard, just try it.

Next, join Goodreads. It is a great place to feature your books and create a following of like-minded individuals. You can schedule events surrounding your books and even join other events to get noticed. A few other things you can do: join groups, ask for reviews, and promote, promote, promote.

When you list your book on Amazon, be sure to sign up on Author Central so people who read your books can learn more about you. It has great features to offer, including a  feature that links to Shelfari where you can add your books and nifty little details, like who your characters are and what they are like so your readers can get a feel for what they are getting into before they crack open that book.

Finally, never stop writing. No matter your level of success, remember, it doesn't happen overnight. You will have highs and lows throughout this process, but you started it for a reason and you can't quite now. Do as much as you can, as often as you can. It's not a race, you'll get there. Just be patient. Do your research. Pay it Forward - Share with friends. And most importantly, have a good time.

If you have any tips or suggestions to share to help your fellow indie, post them in the comment section below.