Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Book Launch: The Banished Lands by Benjamin Mester

THE BANISHED LANDS by Benjamin Mester, Fantasy, 384 pp., $9.99 (Paperback) $2.99 (Kindle)

Author: Benjamin Mester
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 384
Genre: Fantasy

A kingdom in danger. A prophecy that will change everything. But will they understand it in time? The old world is gone, and barely even histories remain. But something from that time is returning. The closing lines of a farewell poem, written centuries ago by the last great king of the age to his slain wife, might be more than just a poem:

The world and all its light shall fade,
I’ll stay with her beneath the shade
And wait until the world’s remade…

Join us in this epic fantasy adventure as three friends plunge into the great mystery of their age, twelve centuries in the making. A mysterious fog blankets the forest just outside the sleepy town of Suriya. A dark plot unfolds as Durian and his friends discover ties between a strange wanderer and the warlike barbarian kingdom far to the north. Are the mysterious things happening in the forest a prelude to invasion? What happens next will propel Durian and his curious friends into the middle of the oldest riddle in the history of their kingdom, a dozen centuries old.
Amazon Link:

Other Books in The Banished Lands Series

The Banished Lands series

Dismissing hours as they pass
Soft upon the windswept grass.
The hopes of men have come to naught.
Nothing fair for eyes or thought.

For Sheyla lies on golden plain,
Of Cavanah, the fairest slain;
Who met her last and final day
When all was brought to disarray.

Of gladful things now nevermore –
Now bitter wind, now salty shore.
The peaceful world bound to unrest
And darkness looming in the west.

The world and all its light shall fade.
I'll stay with her beneath the shade
And wait until the world's remade...

Benjamin Mester is native of San Diego but can often be found wandering the woods of northern Minnesota.  He fell in love with language at an early age – the eloquence of poetry or the grandeur of an epic story.  Fantasy is his favorite genre, crafting new and magical places of heroism and adventure.  When he isn’t writing, he’s often taking long walks through nature or wondering about his place in the wide world.

Benjamin is the author of The Banished Lands series.

You can visit him on Goodreads.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Book Launch Q&A: Larry D. Thompson Author of 'White Witch' @ldtauthor

After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law, Larry spent the first half of his professional life as a trial lawyer. He tried well over 300 cases and won more than 95% of them. Although he had not taken a writing class since freshman English (back when they wrote on stone tablets), he figured that he had read enough novels and knew enough about trials, lawyers, judges, and courtrooms that he could do it. Besides, his late, older brother, Thomas Thompson, was one of the best true crime writers to ever set a pen to paper; so, just maybe, there was something in the Thompson gene pool that would be guide him into this new career.  He started writing his first novel about a dozen years ago and published it a couple of years thereafter. He has now written five highly acclaimed legal thrillers. White Witch is number six with many more to come.
Larry is married to his wife, Vicki. He has three children scattered from Colorado to Austin to Boca Raton, and four grandchildren. He has been trying to retire from the law practice to devote full time to writing. Hopefully, that will occur by the end of 2018. He still lives in Houston, but spends his summers in Vail CO, high on a mountain where he is inspired by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
His latest book is the captivating thriller, WHITE WITCH.



About the Book:

Jamaica is a place where the surreal is simply everyday reality. When a ruthless American aluminum company plans to strip mine the Jamaican rainforest, they send former Navy SEAL Will Taylor to Montego Bay to deal with local resistance on their behalf. But he’s unaware that the British had signed a treaty deeding the rainforest to the Jamaican Maroons, descendants of escaped slaves, over 300 years ago. The Maroons fought and died for their land then, and are more than willing to do so now, whether it’s the British or the Americans who threaten them this time around.

Upon Will’s arrival, a series of inexplicable murders begin, some carried out with deadly snake daggers that were owned and used by Annie Palmer, a voodoo priestess better known as the White Witch. She was killed 200 years prior, but is said to still haunt the island at night, and the local Jamaicans are certain she’s responsible for the gruesome murders, her form of retaliation against the new turmoil taking place in the rainforest.

And Will has been forced directly into the middle of it. After a few close calls, he’s finally convinced to leave his company and join forces with the Maroons, headed by Vertise Broderick, a Maroon who resigned from her position at the New York Times to return to Jamaica to stop the mining. Together they hire a Jamaican attorney to prove that the Maroon/British treaty is still valid to stop the mining, and they take it upon themselves to solve the White Witch murders, because the legend of the White Witch can’t possibly be true…


After your book was released, what was the first thing you did when getting ready for your book launch?

I contacted my son, owner of America’s Production Company and arranged for him to run the marketing campaign.

After that, what was your next step?

I contacted Dorothy Thompson and Cheryl Mash, the two best in the business.

Did you do anything different to spice up your website in lieu of your upcoming book release?

Yes. My son also does web design. He completely re-did it (www.larrydthompson.com)

Did you ever consider using a PR agency to help you promote your book or did you prefer the DIY route?

American’s Production Company also acts as a PR company

Were finding reviews a top priority for you and, if yes, how did you approach that?

Reviews are always a top priority. I had about 25 ARCs sent to friends, family and some strangers who I thought would find the book interesting. I asked them to post the reviews in the first week after publication. As of this writing I have 50 reviews on Amazon with 4.9 stars.

What are your views on social media for marketing your book?

Very important if you have a big enough presence on Facebook or Twitter, to name two. If a writer has to pay for ads on social media, it’s not worth the money.

What social media has worked best for you?

Facebook and Twitter

Did you write a press release and do you think it worked for you?

I did write a press release. America’s Production Company arranged for the distribution. If definitely worked.

Did you revamp your author’s page at Amazon in any way to prepare for the launch (https://authorcentral.amazon.com/)?


Did you have other books you offered for free in order to help sell your present book?

I have not yet but may consider it at a later time.

Did you set up booksignings and, if so, how did that work for you?

Yes. If the sponsor can draw a crowd, they are always good.

Did you create a book trailer?

Yes. Please go to my website to view it.

Did you time your book launch around a certain holiday?


What was the best money you ever spent on your book launch?

Book tours like this one.

Any tips for those authors wanting to set up a successful book launch?

Become active on Facebook and establish a large group of friends long before the launch.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Review: FROZEN, by Christine Amsden

Review: FROZEN, by Christine Amsden
Release date: April 11th, 2018
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Mystery
Series: Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective, Book 7

Get your copy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Fans of the Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective urban fantasy series will enjoy this the 7th instalment. This time, Cassie is married…but if you think life ends when you’re married, think again, especially in the small paranormal town of Eagle Rock, where everyone seems to have a magical ancestry and magic keeps popping up in unexpected places. In fact, the magic seems to be getting greater every year, with sorcerers growing stronger and mothers like Cassie channelling more magic while pregnant. The Magical Underground tries to keep things at bay, but sometimes it can get out of control, like now…

Two people are found frozen to death, a pack of hellhounds has appeared out of nowhere, and there appears to be a sudden outset of suicides. Who or what is causing all these happenings? It is up to Cassie to find out—only, this time, while nursing her baby and managing her new marriage and family life. 

Being a fan of the series and having read all of the previous books, I was happy to find out that the series didn’t end with Cassie getting married in the last book.  It’s not easy solving mysteries and facing dangerous situations in between diapers or arguments with a husband, that’s for sure! I found the story fresh and entertaining, with Cassie’s unpretentious, honest voice shining through the pages. She is both strong and vulnerable, which I love. The writing is engaging, smoothly flowing from chapter to chapter with the “quiet” tone of a cozy mystery. Though the book can be read as a standalone, without the intrusion of too much backstory, I highly recommend reading the books in order for a more satisfying experience.

Reviewed by Mayra Calvani
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my review.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Book Launch Q&A: S.K. Derban, Author of 'Circumvent' @skderban

Author: S.K. Derban
Publisher: Touchpoint Press
Genre: Mystery


Imagine living in a quaint, beach front cottage on the Hawaiian island of Maui. You have an amazing job, combined with the pleasure of working from home. Lunch breaks become a daily picnic on the sand. Dessert is always included because of your marriage to a famous pastry chef. Life could not be any better. Or so it seems… When French born, Nikki Sabine Moueix travels to Hawaii for a special work assignment, her job of writing an article about a famous Swiss pastry chef generates more than a magazine piece. They fall in love, get married, and Nikki becomes Mrs. Ruggiero DelĂ©mont.
When another assignment calls for Nikki to spend three weeks in France, Ruggiero’s schedule prevents him from joining her. She travels alone, advancing straight into danger. After a threatening confrontation, Nikki wakes up in a French hospital with no knowledge of her past. When she fails to check in, Ruggiero panics and pushes for an immediate investigation. But as he closes in, Nikki’s new found friend moves her to another city. It becomes a game of hide and seek with Nikki as the prize.
CIRCUMVENT allows readers to form a bond with Nikki as they yearn for her to remember. They will cheer for Ruggiero and his relentless determination to locate his beloved wife. This is a story about two people who never lose their faith in God, and find amazing friends to help them along the way.



Hi S.K.! After your book was released, what was the first thing you did when getting ready for your book launch?

Made certain my book was properly listed on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads, and then shared the wonderful news throughout social media. Most of the preparation takes place before the release date.

Did you do anything different to spice up your website in lieu of your upcoming book release?

Yes! Once my cover was completed I scheduled an online Cover Reveal. Then, the cover and cover copy was added to my website along with the scheduled release date.

Did you ever consider using a PR agency to help you promote your book or did you prefer the DIY route?

Fortunately my publisher sends out Press Releases and Social Media Advertisements. I follow up their amazing work with social media blasts of my own.

Were finding reviews a top priority for you and, if yes, how did you approach that?

Reviews are extremely important. I always sign up for a Review Tour. Often times I also post my latest title on NetGalley.

Did you write a press release and do you think it worked for you?

My publisher wrote the press releases, and yes they worked. I also included them on my website, and on all of my social media sites.

Did you revamp your author’s page at Amazon in any way to prepare for the launch (https://authorcentral.amazon.com/)?

It is extremely important to keep your Author Page updated. This is a free and valuable service.

Did you have other books you offered for free in order to help sell your present book?

Yes, I did. Prior to the release of each book I run a special on my previous books. Sometimes the books are free and sometimes offered for just 99 cents.

Did you set up book signings and, if so, how did that work for you?

Book signings are a must, but should be done right. Unless you are a best-selling author it is important to remember to give potential fans a reason for attending your signing. I teamed up with a famous photographer and had the book signing at his gallery. More than 200 personal invitations were sent, and over 125 people showed up. It was amazing! The attendees purchased a book, and then enjoyed the gallery. It was a win-win for both me as the author, and for the photographer. We were thrilled.

Any tips for those authors wanting to set up a successful book launch?

Yes, get it right. Your book is only launched once, so take the time to make your launch successful. Each author should begin with a professional looking website with links to all the author’s social media sites. This includes an Author Page on Amazon, and Amazon Author Central. Have a Cover Reveal, and use all social media sites to count down the days until Release Day.

It is a great idea to have 4 x 6 marketing cards printed. The front can be the book cover, with your website and all social media links on the reverse side. I distribute these cards in person, by mail, and also use them for book markers at my books signings.

Book Launch parties are a fun way to get the word out. A Book Launch Party can also be combined with a Book Signing. Marketing takes time but it is worth every second.

Born in the United States, S.K. Derban moved to London within the first three months, and remained in England until the age of five. Her mother was involved with the London Royal Ballet Company, and a great fan of the arts. Even after returning to the United States, S.K. Derban’s life was filled with a love of the theatre and a passion for British murder mysteries.

Her personal travel and missionary adventures also help to transport readers virtually across the globe. S.K. Derban has smuggled Bibles into China, and has been to Israel on seven missionary trips. When writing, she relies on all aspects of her life, from a strong faith in the Lord, to her unique combination of professional experience. The many personal adventures of S.K. Derban are readily apparent as they shine through into her characters. Circumvent is the third mystery novel for writer S.K. Derban.