“Sorrows of Adoration” Released as Free Backlist

I’ve just re-released my old traditionally published backlist for free on Smashwords in all major ebook formats, including for Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, PDF, HTML, and plain text.

This is a full-length novel that has been through the publishing gatekeeper. It is professionally edited, and my editor and I just went over it again for extra brushing-up (although if you’ve read it before, nothing substantial has changed). It is a love story in a fantasy setting (no magic), told in first-person. More information can be found here. I’ve also added it on Goodreads and by tomorrow it will hopefully be downloadable there as well.

Hopefully over the next several weeks it’ll propagate out from Smashwords to other stores, although probably not Amazon. Amazon does not allow free ebooks other than for a few days per year if a book is otherwise enrolled in their KDP Select program, which requires exclusivity.

The Blurb:

Unwilling to remain just another poor, country barmaid, Aenna leaves her life behind to save the life of a Prince she’s never seen. But she finds more adventure than she bargained for as forbidden love pits her against powerful adversaries and exposes her to intrigues and dangers. Will love be enough to conquer the demons of jealousy, addiction, temptation, prejudice, and violence? Or will Aenna succumb to the increasing spiral of depression that threatens to steal her sanity?

This is one woman’s honest portrayal of the sweetest and the darkest times of her life. Aenna reveals her deepest emotions, most private thoughts, and bold confessions as she tells the story of how she learns that romance isn’t a fairy tale, but a heart-rending lesson of the sorrows of adoration.

If you like it and wish you could have paid me for it, feel free to buy a copy of “Finding Gaia”. Multiple stores including Smashwords, Amazon, B&N, and more listed at http://findinggaia.com.

If you want a print version, speak up. With “Finding Gaia” there are hassles to a print version because of the lyrics permissions. With this, I’d just have to have enough folks who want to buy it to make it worth my time to pay my editor to format it for CreateSpace or Lulu or something. But if a few people say they’re definitely interested, I’ll do it.

Finding Gaia Now Available!

The website is up and the book is available on Smashwords for $4.99!

You want a coupon?

You got it! Save $1 at Smashwords with the code KC75A until July 17.

You want character bios?

You got it! Character dossiers are up for Jason, Anna, Trish, and Don. Warning that they may contain minor spoilers. Also a warning that Trish appears to have hacked hers, so expect some sass and swearing in that one.

You want to read a blog by a character, commented on by other characters?

You got it! Trish has been rather unprofessionally blogging from work for some time. Comments are locked to those characters for now, but I’m open to the idea of letting some mega-fans in there to interact in the future…

You want a soundtrack of songs that fit different scenes in the book?

You got it! I made a huge list of songs and where available, linked to official videos and purchase links. Support those artists!

You want to be able to virtually walk through a 3D rendering of the Truitt mansion, the main location for most of the story?

Well that’s a tall order but…you got it! The Truitt Mansion page has a rough Sketchup file of the house and some of the surrounding features, so download that into Google Sketchup and wander on through. If you don’t want to fuss with the large file or Sketchup, there are also tons of screencaps showing the house and rooms from different angles.

You want to sample before you buy?

You got it! The entire first chapter is on the website, or you can go to the Smashwords page to download 10% samples in your preferred format. They go to about Chapter 5, I think, which is huge!

You want a place to review and discuss it?

You got it! I just posted it to Goodreads and I’d be thrilled if folks reviewed and discussed it there.

You want something else?

Tell me! Comment below or talk to me via the Requests page on this blog. If enough folks ask for a print edition, I’ll consider a Kickstarter.

Status Update

There have been some delays getting things back from the editor, plus some technical issues, so the original intent to launch on July 2 is almost impossible at this point. Given that it’s a holiday week in the US anyway, perhaps it’s best to bump it.

Just to play on the safe side, I don’t want to promise for the second week of July. I have an actual-paid cake decorating order for early in the third week, but it’s a basic thing so hopefully I’ll be able to launch “Finding Gaia” that week as well. I definitely want it up before the fourth week!

So stay tuned. As always, you can subscribe to the notification circle on G+ to be told about updates (and I’m considering offering some kind of Smashwords coupon to folks in that circle), or you can subscribe to this blog with the link to the right.

The goal will be to have it available on Amazon, plus Smashwords in multiple platforms, which will then distribute to secondary sites like the iBookstore, Barnes and Noble, and the Sony Reader Store. I’ll also probably list it directly via Gumroad, which will pay me the largest percentage. I will be listing it without DRM where I can, but some sites will add their own DRM, so if that concerns you, you’ll want either the Smashwords or Gumroad options.

The price will be $4.99. I’m hoping that is low enough to entice people to buy, but high enough to not look cheap, and to help me pay my editing, cover art, and ISBN bills.

I’ll be counting on you early adopters to help me spread the word! Thanks for your ongoing support.

Things to Do and Jubilee

I’ve got the first edit draft back from the editor for Finding Gaia and I’m about 1/4 through.  The way it works (at least between Karen Babcock and I) is that she makes edits/marks/suggestions/comments throughout the piece I give her, all highlighted as her edits, then I go through and finalize them, clarify, fix, or whatever’s needed.

Other things to do this week include upgrading the main website, including posting the cover art I just got on the weekend from Charles Dowd:

Finding Gaia cover

Isn’t it awesome? I already posted it on G+ here. If you want to be informed of stuff early (including some seeeeekrit super special pre-release info), go tell me you want to be in the notification circle for that.

I also need to set up a Facebook page for the book (yes, I personally loathe the site and won’t ever be on there as me, but I’d be a fool not to market the book there, at least).

So there’s a bunch of online and offline stuff going on this week for the novel, all aimed at an early July release. Still waiting for final confirmation from the second music company for the permission for the John Denver lyrics (they’ve already given permission and taken payment but I need the final contract with the specified Acknowledgements information), but that should arrive any day now, so if all goes well, I’ll plan to release on Monday, July 2. Maybe it’ll be good post-Canada-Day, pre-Fourth-of-July reading material for some!

Other thoughts for today:

I was just at the gym on the treadmill (there’s something about a looming 40th birthday coupled with writing about immortal people that makes one take stock and decide to get some exercise), and the TV in front of me was covering the last day of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.

Since the fake people who live in my head my characters are omnipresent, I found myself wondering how Jason would react to the Jubilee. How would a man born in 1620, who fought his first war under Cromwell’s wing, served as a Redcoat for many generations, but then became dedicated to peace and environmentalism and moved to the New York area in the early 1900s feel about the British monarchy today? I had conflicting thoughts about it for some time and realized that, in and of itself is the answer: he’d be conflicted.

One one hand, he has no love for authority taken by force. He came to despise both Cromwell and the monarchy equally, seeing them as puffed-up blowhards casually sending “lesser” men to their deaths. And his addiction to killing Frenchmen was less about service to the British King and much more about his own personal nefarious needs. But even the most begrudging soldier, over time, can come to see his colours as an important symbol, even with dying for. That’s part of the psychology of war. He never would have even contemplated turning sides to fight for the French.

After his despicable downfall, he rebuilt himself under Victoria’s reign and became a proper gentleman in that context. That would have included all due deference to Queen and country, and he most certainly appreciated – and still does – the finer qualities of Victorian culture. When he left England, it was not out of any disregard for his mother nation, but to advance his causes and avoid the temptation of the massive war on the horizon. He will always consider himself an Englishman at heart, even when he worked to adopt the accents and mannerisms of those around him in New York to better blend in.

Given all that, how would he regard the Jubilee? Going by the timeline, Trish and Don are around now, and Trish would consider it a gigantic waste of money for a bunch of rich, spoiled, living anachronisms. Don wouldn’t care, as there’s not a great deal of interest in royal watching for a man consumed by the harder sciences. It wouldn’t specifically be on Jason’s radar to pay attention, but what if he, like me today, happened across a television showing the Queen on a balcony, flanked by Charles and William, with WWII planes going overhead and the crowd singing, “God Save The Queen”?

That much I know: he’d stop and look, compelled to. He’d feel a tugging in his heart at every scene showing portions of London, the city where he was born. He’d sigh once again at how much it’s all changed in nearly 400 years. He’d want to look away and tell himself that it’s a bunch of useless posturing, and possibly even use Trish’s sneering to bolster that, but then the flags would wave and the anthem would ring in his ears, forcing him to stand there, transfixed, likely with his arms crossed defensively against his chest. He’d ache for his old estate and remember how the cold, rough stone of the outside corner felt on his hand when last he touched it and the servant behind him had said the words that echo in his mind every time he feels perpetually alone and adrift: “We none of us can live in the past, sir.” A lump would come to his throat, and he’d want to hide that, especially from Trish, lest she notice and tease him. It would be too painful to be teased about. If she was in the room, he’d turn to keep his face unseen, but not so much as to make her notice him hiding.

But at the same time, he’d feel pride in the people of his homeland. He’d see the crowd on television and wish to be anonymously among them. He’d smile at the ladies dabbing their eyes, and ache to be one of the stalwart men doing likewise. He’d likely tell himself that his bevy of emotions were about the people, the land, and the history, not about Elizabeth and most certainly not about Charles. His brow would furrow when Charles next came on the screen, and that, coupled with the coverage turning to an ad break, would break the spell. He’d take a deep breath, walk away, and try to forget about the whole rotten business.

Only later that night, as he stared at his white ceiling in his bedroom, would it occur to him that it might have been worth scanning the crowd for Gaia’s face. At this point in the timeline, he’s reasonably sure she’s in North America, but it would occur to him that it’s not unthinkable that she too may have felt the pull of an historic event and gone back to England. Only by contemplating the enormity of the cost and hassle for her would he be able to shake the feeling that he ought to have at least looked. Then he’d fall into a troubled sleep, replete with nightmares of ancient battles.

Fortunately for him, Gaia is nowhere near the Jubilee, and doesn’t even know it’s happening. But it’s quite unfortunate for her, because she knows little of anything happening up on the surface…