domingo, 23 de julio de 2017

Should I feel thrilled with bootlegs of my book?

An author friend sent me the suggestion a few days ago to try out this new (currently free) add on called Blasty that locates bootleg pdf copies of your books. I assumed nobody would want to bootleg my books but curiously enough, there are people out there that have been offer unauthorized copies of my books on the net.

Now, if something is too good to be true, it probably is. You don't know if the bootleg files are the real book or just a nasty computer virus to screw up your computer. My books don't cost a lot of money and An Ominous Book is free on Smashwords. Is losing your computer really worth the risk?

I have sent requests to block google searches of most of the bootleg content. However, I was mightily perplexed by this little jewel.

Apparently this website offers a bootleg of the Spanish translation of An Ominous Book (not too unsurprising given everyone bootlegs Spanish language ebooks).

The really strange thing is that my book has a really high rating, a whopping 4.5/5 from 564 votes!!!!!

I don't know if I should feel insulted or flattered. If you downloaded a bootleg copy of one of my books for free, could you at LEAST do one kind thing and review it on a legit site? Goodreads doesn't even require you to write a review or have a credit card, you can simply put your star rating. I mean, if you enjoyed my hard work for free without giving me my due credit, at least put the stars where they will actually carry some weight.

Review the book HERE.

I have to say this website called Blasty is rather interesting and the dire truth that bootlegs of my books that may or may not have viruses is a harsh reality. Even if you're a scrambling author, why not try the website while it's still free?

Check out Blasty HERE.


A new horror short story

I'm testing my skills at writing short horror. I sort of like to read horror fiction even though I'm more into fantasy and given so many people enjoy reading this genre, why not try it out?

The things I like about this new experimental project is that the story is short which gives me more chances to write it as an ongoing task. It's completely different to what I have previously written and directed at a more mature audience than An Ominous Book.

I hope you consider giving it a chance and place your comments on the work. Whenever I finish writing it, I plan on publishing it on Amazon. Enjoy!

A gruesome stream of murders has ravaged the dilapitated  town of Twin's Peak for the past few months. Jeremy is desperate to find his daughter's missing cat Tiffy and suspects he's fallen victim to illegal dog baiters. Little does he know that he is about to discover something even more heinious...

Can you solve the mystery? Read it HERE!

martes, 18 de julio de 2017

Leilandy Aethinford, a recurring villain

Full name: Leilandy Aethinford
Race: Human
Occupation: Head of the Aethinford family in Ayrtain, usurper queen of Ayrtain, warlord's wife
Amgic afifnity element: Earth
Phantom Beast: Urga (resembles a large golem)

If you have reached the end of the first novel of An Ominous Book Series, you realize Richard bumps into a blonde girl that he never met before. Leilandy doesn't play any importance in the first novel, but her strange stone collar probably saved her life.

The third surviving member of the Ayrtainian royal family, she starts to have friction with the Earlrose siblings because she believes she deserves to become the queen due to her age even though Richard has a stronger blood claim. Forced to endure a grueling ordeal due to Ayrtain's strange customs when a king dies, her initial disdain for Richard's immaturity grows stronger with each passing day.

Initially cordial to Trevilin, she requests the jolly elf to train her in sorcery who agrees to the condition once the mourning period ends. With an acute talent for sorcery, she awakens her mana and soon summons her Urga for the first time.

Little did everyone know, her phantom beast hasn't grown in size absurdly quickly because of her innate talent. Vincent notices something strange happens when he uses sorcery near her presernce when she wears her prized stone collar. He soon suspects something is amiss when he quickly runs out of mana everytime she is nearby.

The sweet yet mature girl eventually returns to her family estate and discovers something amazing in a locked room in the basement: her deceased mother Sarahi had a small lab that was filled with chemical ingredients. It didn't take long for her to locate her mother's most deepest secret: Sarahi had scattered papers all over the lab with the recipe to create söma, the mysterious potion that can awaken sorcery.

Armed with a powerful bargaining tool, she allies herself with a loyal knight of her family named Ralph who agrees to help her claim the throne in the condition that she teaches him how to use sorcery.

Her plan comes into action when Nelida confesses that she purposely murdered her family. Leilandy attempts to attack Nelida with her Urga, but her beast is easily defeated and Nelida escapes to the Haraaldi wastelands.

Armed with a viable excuse to arrest Richard for alleged conspiracy, she forces her cousin to live in house arrest in his old family estate while she slowly obtains the loyalty of Ayrtainians. Meanwhile, she begins a plan to murder her cousin and claim the throne as her own but things don't turn out as she planned and becomes forced to request her arch-nemesis King Salman's help to invade the Haraaldi lands and defeat Nelida.

Things don't exactly go as planned and she is forced to leave Nelida alone and ponders what became of Richard who managed to flee Ayrtain with Vincent's help. During the entire one year voyage that Richard lives in exile, she is arranging for her coronation on her birthday. However Richard isn't going to allow her to get away with it...

Leilandy is rather interesting even though I personally dislike her. She miraculously survives the crash with only two surviving cousins that she never met before. Forced to endure a grueling ordeal during Ayrtain's national mourning, her initial disdain for Richard turns into hatred. She seems to act cordial with Trevilin and Siri during theirbrief visits, but it's in reality just for convinience in the hopes Trevilin teaches her how to use sorcery.

Leilandy grows up and becomes a cruel woman in the 5th novel A Calamity. Forced into exile from Richard, she ends up in Hataraji and marries a warlord named Kumar out of mutual convinience. When Trevilin foolishly enters Hataraj to spy on her, she takes advantage of her fully developed sorcery and imprisons her in Kumar's palace. She always had a huge hatred of elves and she lashes her revenge on poor Trevilin that began the whole series of events of the novels when he brought the Earlrose siblings to Spaulding's castle instead of locating another Ayrtainian noble family to adopt them.

She's evil, wicked and cruel, but deep down she's a person that suffered great pain when her family cruelly died. The events that she triggers continue to have lingering efefcts even in the 6th novel...

sábado, 15 de julio de 2017

Click farm scams on Kindle Unlimited is wrong!

I am indeed very disgruntled and wanted to write a quick post. I just read via twitter today that a handful of unscrupulous authors are hiring click farm services which according to Amazon isn't even against the rules to artificially jump the rankings to get their name out there when the books aren't up to par.

Look at this example, Dragonsoul by Kayl Karadijan. The book was released in October 2016, around the time I published An Ominous Book and the book "magically" jumped to rank #1 of Sword and Sorcery in Fantasy and #28 all-around Amazon in 24 hours!!!

The book was hovering around the 300,000-500,000 range, better than my books but this doesn't make any sense.

This isn't butt-hurt envy, the guy obviously hired a company where 200 bogus Amazon accounts rented KU copies of the book at the exact same time and artificially inflated his ranking to top seller status in a really short amount of time. Seems like he isn't alone.

Tim I Guring's rankings for The broken people from god's land magically boosted to the top 2000 in Amazon USA.

Looking at the blurb and preview of both books, while neither book is atrocious, neither reached this mark on their own merits. Do a search and neither book launched huge publicity or author newsletter swaps. No awards from writing contests either.

It's authors like these that make readers think all indie authors suck and are con artists. I know a few authors and have made online friendships with them. They don't seem like this sort of ilk, just ordinary people that love to write stories and share them with the world. While there are people out there that stoop down to these bad practices to place their name out there, I would never do such a thing.

If people give bad reviews to An Ominous Book because they hate the ending or how I write, I will accept the criticism with a smile and thank them. Will my books ever reach bestseller status someday from their own merits? I don't know the answer, but you are free to read my books and see for yourself.

If you read my books, write an honest review and suggest your friends to read them.

As for these authors, please don't imitate them giving all indie writers a bad name. Tell people about buyers beware and discourage this practice.

Making readers connect with a book's character

I love writing even if it's just a hobby for now. I also love writing complicated characters that evolve over the course of the story. Everyone changes even if it's just a little. Apparently doing that is a really difficult writing art although I just recall what I like the most of a popular 80's anime Saint Seiya and the ever dramatic Gundam and these kinds of things come easy for me.

One thing that strikes me a lot when I read reviews of my books is that people seem to love Spaulding's character. I can agree, he's awesome and multifaceted. His ignorance of human customs and spelling mistakes is a running gag in the series. He's fiercely loyal to those few that earn his trust but he's indifferent and blatantly rude to those that he doesn't deem to be worthy. The problem is that the characters he riles up the most for no explained reason just happen to be the Elf King himself and his second in command Lord Froylan.

Spaulding constantly gets into trouble with Salman and Froylan although the reasons are slowly revealed during the course of the story. Salman equally dislikes him because of his rudeness and Froylan tries to gaslight him to force Spaulding to punch him in the face and obtain the excuse he's always been looking for to arrest him.

Froylan's dream of arresting Spaulding becomes a reality in the second novel Separation and he ensures that Spaulding is psychologically tortured for as long as possible for Salman's ulterior purposes. Spaulding soon discovers his behavior won't get him anywhere during his incarceration under Lord Eufurel's watch and with the well intentioned suggestions of an old friend of his named Nahar that just happens to be one of his prison guards, he starts to feign compliance if only to earn the loosening of his restrictive new life.

Spaulding over time seems to become used to this new sense of normalcy and has memorized the names, faces and personalities of the 100 immortal male guards that constantly watch over him. Nahar and Hirmirel are the guards that treat him with the most utter kindness, others like Eufurel are only harsh with him when he's disobedient and some are cruel sadists such as Gerasha that love to belittle and humilliate him whenever they have the chance. It soon grows obvious that in just a few scenes that Spaulding grows to utterly detest Gerasha perhaps even more than he hates Salman.

Gerasha is an interesting character to write. He's horrible and demeaning to those that are weaker than him but he once again appears in the 7th novel as a completely changed character. After surviving the bloody siege fully unharmed by remaining on an undesirable rural post, word began to spread among the guard that Eufurel wrote an edict ordering Gerasha to be immediately transferred after he viciously tortured Spaulding for no reason for hours. Gerasha becomes ridiculed, ostracized even by his own friends and imprisoned on several occasions because he fought against guards that mocked him. After 100 years of being constantly transferred across undesirable rural posts and unable to see Spaulding, Gerasha has fully changed and becomes a completely different person. Humbled to a despairing degree, he strives to gain Lord Damantin's trust in the hopes that he will be transferred to the palace and serve under Spaulding.

I personally like how Gerasha changes even though he is just a supporting character that appears in just a few scenes in the second novel. We don't get to see his transformation, but his character is fully humbled from the dire treatment he suffered between the 2nd and 7th novels. He becomes absolutely devoted to Spaulding to a degree that might seem ridiculous and wants to become his most loyal guard.

Spaulding on the other hand transforms a lot during the novels as the secrets of his dark past are slowly revealed. He seems cold and distant to the children at first wishing to simply remain in the comforts of his castle or killing criminals during his incursions of a ranger without any incentive to have a family of his own. After some quarrels with the children, he starts to enjoy their company and becomes truly fond of Richard. At the end of the first novel, he has opened up to the children who got to know his kindness. He accepts the punishment Salman gave to him for his rudeness but he still harbors hatred for Salman and the Äimite guard.

His persona changes in the second novel albeit in a very cruel manner. Isolated and tortured relentlessly in Eufurel's prison, he tries to feign forced politeness to the guards but his hatred for them never wavers for unknown reasons. He becomes jaded from the experience which is something that causes resentment in Richard in the third novel. Spaulding has formed a shell over him due to the difficult circunstances he lived in for almost 5 years and barely says a word or smiles. Spaulding has a mission that Richard doesn't seem to understand at first.

I won't spoil what happens to Spaulding halfway into the 3rd novel, you will have to read it for yourself. However, I like it how Spaulding suddenly becomes fully different at the end of the 3rd novel. Suffering from severe amnesia, his personality has been locked with the character we meet at the end of the 1st novel, still with a huge appreciation for Richard but somewhat distant yet affable to the guards.

The 4th novel reveals Spaulding getting used to his new and challenging life. Frustrated that he cannot remember almost 7 years of his life, Froylan takes advantage of his situation and tries to shelter him from any bad experience that could trigger him to remember everything with disastrous results. Froylan tries to initially tolerate him and perhaps even like the elf that he used to belittle so much. The two of them start to form a professional relationship dynamic that continues in the following novels.

However Spaulding is getting tired of this life. Forced to remain locked inside of the king's palace for 11 years under the excuse that there aren't sufficient guards to properly protect him, he feels like something is missing but the medics can't find anything physically wrong with him. It is at the end of the novel that he remembers the tragic events of the 2nd and 3rd novels and he tries to come to peace with that harsh reality. Due to Garain's intervention, Spaulding in a mad fit grudgingly pardons Froylan's life but forces him to be imprisoned. After coming to terms with the harsh reality of everything that he did, he entrusts Garain with the enviable position as the new commander of the guard and embarks on a journey to unite the exiled clan.

Spaulding changes a lot during the novels. He becomes more patient, amicable and open towards meeting new people. He starts to harbor feelings of respect for a select few Äimite guards but still remains somewhat distant and cautious. Damantin continues to trigger a positive change in him as he finds a kindred spirit that also endured a difficult life. His relationship with Froylan continues to be a nonstop battle of wills where each party hides things from the other that causes multiple events in the story. Damantin continues where Garain left off and tries to prove to Spaulding that the guard is noble and fully loyal to him. The 7th novel continues this slow voyage with Gerasha's strive to serve under Spaulding.

Sincerely I love deep and complex characters and I hope people enjoy the novels as well.

Haven't read the first novel yet? Check it out via Amazon.

miércoles, 12 de julio de 2017

A 5 star review for An Ominous Book from Readers Favorite

This is really exciting. I love reading reviews and this is the first exhaustive 5 star review for my novel. Here it is!

Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite
An Ominous Book by Nancy Foster is the first book in the young adult epic fantasy series titled An Ominous Book Series. This is a book and series that would appeal most to an audience made up of primarily young adults who enjoy fantasy fiction with elves, and who do not mind a bit of violence and mild swearing. Lord Spaulding had the absolutely perfect life as an elusive mortal elf who ruled the Kasimma Clan, but his life was quickly turned to chaos when his best friend, Trevilin, delivered two orphaned children to him that were his blood relatives. Richard and Nelida Earlrose's appearance on Lord Spaulding’s doorstep drive him to go on a quest to deliver the two human children back to their kind. Will Lord Spaulding succeed in returning the children or will dangerous magic waylay his mission?

An Ominous Book by Nancy Foster has a cute cover that showed four of the main characters. I personally liked the fact that the cover was kept simple as it allowed me to gain a clear picture of the characters without being distracted by too many visual elements. The story line itself was well chosen and it reminded me a bit of The Hobbit with how both Bilbo and Lord Spaulding end up pulled into a quest based on the contents of their doorstep. I found myself greatly enjoying Lord Spaulding's character, especially in relation to how he interacted with the two children. Overall, I greatly enjoyed reading this book and I am excited for the sequel! 
 Visit the review URL HERE.
As an extra tidbit due to the 5 star review, I now have the bragging right to place this nifty sticker on my novel. I love it!

Curious to see if the review is warranted or not, check it out via Amazon.

Cheers and happy reading!

domingo, 9 de julio de 2017

Let's give it a hoot for yet another fantasy/horror book giveaway

I'm not participating in this specific event, but I'm just writing a quikie post to inform you that there's another giveaway going on during July. You might find a book that could fancy your interest.

Click HERE and enjoy!

viernes, 7 de julio de 2017

I need your help!

While it's true that the 7th novel Harlequins is still incomplete and I'm up to my usual strange antics and writing chapters of other novels, but I do have a hunch chunk of it written, a whopping 19 chapters!

Okay, in reality I've written more than that, but the 19th chapter ends in a really good point of the novel and it becomes the ending of the first half of the story which focuses on Hama's voyage from meandering peasant to the nation's highly revered princess.

The draft is available for free on Wattpad (in case something bad happens to me and I croak, it's officially out there!).


To increase interest and publicity, I'm starting  headtalker campaign. The bad news is that this is the first time I do one of these things and I accidentally placed 200 people instead of a smaller amount of people. I have very few so I need your help to spread the word!

How? that is simple! Just click on the link that you will support via facebook, twitter, tumbler or linkedin. If I get the minimum supporters, the message becomes sent to everyone that agreed to lend a hand. If I unfortunately don't reach that minimum, well, nothing gets sent.

Your account won't get hacked or anything and in the very least, I could gain a huge fan following that will finally convince me to finish the novel. Tell your friends!!

Click HERE and thank you!

miércoles, 5 de julio de 2017

What's the big hooplah with Fate/Stay?

I don't know if it's because of my age or that I grew up with 80's and 90's anime and the things that I expect in an anime are simply different from the stuff being bombarded these days, but I simply can't get myself into this specific anime.

At first sight, the first Fate/Stay series had everything I would want for a popcorn action fest: good animation, great character designs, magic and an interesting story that is loosely based on Christianity. I'll even forgive the overt moe-ness surrounding some of the female characters because they strive to aim this show at more mature audiences that don't settle with just some other dumb fanservice slapstick comedy.

I truly believed I was going to like this series and so, I watched the first two episodes of the original series. I was bored out of my mind.

A secret religious society where the characters posess magic, it initially gave me a vibe that reminded me of Trinity Blood (without the emo vampires in priestly garb). I don't mind some talking because I'm a hardcore fan of Gundam which prides itself on character development. However, this anime was so boring, I just had to give up. Maybe if I had seen this show back in 2012 when I worked in a village without internet, tv and pretty much nothing better to do over growing corn in the backyard, I would have continued watching it out of despairing boredom, but unfortunately I had other shows to keep me happy and never gave it a second chance.

Fast forward two months ago, and some people at my job were watching the new Saber series (is it a sequel?) on Netflix claiming it's the best show ever and I truly made an attempt to watch an episode out of politeness. Damn, they just stand there talking about the Holy Grail is super important and some dude is a mage whatever and they are just standing there talking, talking, talking. It's so profound, isn't it?

Maybe I'm just being cruelly unfair to a series that has a lot more to offer other than characters in elaborate costumes just talking to eachother for 20 minutes about some super important future event that never seems to happen, but I have been unable to find this series to be interesting. The animation for today's standards seems to be pretty good, they obviously put their money into this work. However, given everyone is talking nonstop doesn't seem to be hard to animate. Just use the good old tricks of older cell animation anime and recycle cells over and over again.

There is probably something about this show that I have been completely incapable to appreciate given it has a huge fan following. But again, I don't like that One Piece has been running for 700 episodes and Luffy has still been unable to locate the mystical treasure either. Maybe I should cut down on the anime running these days because clearly I can't appreciate it (I did love Yuri on Ice and Fafner never let's me down) and stick to reading fantasy novels.

lunes, 3 de julio de 2017

A July 2017 fantasy book giveaway!

It's been a while since my book has last been in a giveaway. I love participating in them because not only my newslatter gets tons of new subscribers that could possibly become new fans of my work, I get to nab free copies of interesting books for my huge TBR pile.

Grab a free fantasy book today!

From July 1st-31st 2017. Click HERE!!!

On an unrelated note, I am officially on vacations. They will sadly be very brief but I'm feeling very eager to continue writing the missing scenes of the unfinished 7th novel Harlequins. I also wish to draw a little bit so if you haven't subscribed to my newslatter to be among the selected few that get free ARC copies and other freebies, click HERE!

My paperback giveaway was a success and congrats to Becky Roe that won the super rare autographed copy of An Ominous Book. I'm thinking of doing autographed poster art that will be exclusive to my newsletter members. Be sure to subscribe here!