Tell Me About Your Favorite INDIE Book!!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/c35/39839388/files/2014/12/img_1882-0.jpg

Okay! In order for me to better help the writing community, I’m asking you for suggestions. I want to know what Indie books I should put on my list to read in 2015! If you are an author, no doubt you have read other books by small time authors to improve your own writing skills. Readers, I’m trusting your input here…we authors like to toot our own horns sometimes and I want your unbiased opinions!

I have read a lot of books in my time. Many of which I did not care for. There is so much garbage out there that I have noticed that I won’t read as much as I used to. I do have my favorite authors, those who really shaped me into the writer I am today. I just want suggestions of those superhero authors that rocked your world with their tales. I don’t care about genre so much as quality.

I also decided to cave and starting tomorrow, every one of my books, with the unfortunate exception of Noble Courage will be free until Friday the 2nd of January in the new year: 2015!

So please share with your circles, I need some awesome books to read this year!

And the Winner is…

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/c35/39839388/files/2014/12/img_1527-0.jpg
So I ran a promo and here’s what I learned: Not one single person cared to read a full 400 page book for a buck and leave their thoughts for a brand new Kindle this time around.

But that’s okay. While it made me pretty sad, I have realized that in taking some time to myself this year, I have shot myself in my foot.

There is truly nothing more frustrating that a lack of support from people I know personally and love with all my heart. Their silence has made me strongly evaluate my presence in the world.

As an author who takes her work VERY seriously, it angers me that ten years of blood, sweat and tears is not worth a lousy $2.99, never mind that it was just on sale for .99. This is how the market becomes over ridden with garbage. The literary world has been hijacked by readers who have been burned by paying for an unknown author’s work that was totally transparent and badly written. It seems that unless a book is FREE, it isn’t worth reading. Well, until that mentality changes, I fear that today’s aspiring writers are doomed to failure. It’s a sad prospect, in my opinion.

The only way to change this issue is to make a point to read an unknown author’s work. Once you read it, leave your thoughts…good or bad. Sharing that book with others you know helps even more.

I found first hand that Amazon will not allow a person to leave a review if they feel you know each other. I feel that if a person is a customer and pays for the work, they should be allowed to leave a review. After all, they allow cyber bullies to destroy your carefully built reputation… Why can’t your customers, also their customers, build you up?

If you find you have been a victim to these practices, I can guarantee you that the author would be so happy to hear what you had to say. So email them. Message them on Facebook. Comment on their blog somewhere. Just let them know!

We are all fish fighting to swim upstream in a rushing river of competition. I challenge you readers to set a goal to read an unknown author’s work. Read it yourself, take it to a book club…I don’t care! Just do it!

So without further ado… The winner is: No One. I will keep the Kindle. Perhaps one day I will run another promo. Perhaps I will use it to read unknown works and do my part to keep the system running properly and honestly.

I do feel I must thank those people who have taken the time to read my books, my beloved Aspen Series, and have left their thoughts. I love every one of you from the bottom of my heart…even if I’ve never met you before. You make it all worth it to me!

What’s Better Than Releasing Your First Book?

resizedNC2.jpg

 

 

 

The answer: Releasing your new and improved first book!

When I wrote Noble Courage almost ten years ago, I was a very green writer with the dreams of being a bestselling author. I fantasized about my series becoming a movie series  or some blockbuster television series. I had my cast lined up and I could see the whole book in motion picture within my mind. I did have high hopes.

The problem was that I chose badly when I submitted my work to a publisher. This company did not care about my book, me as a writer, or my aspirations. They just wanted my money. I haven’t sold a single copy in many years because they didn’t care enough about anything to do it all right the first time around. Luckily, I never signed my digital or movie rights to them and I am free to publish ebooks as I wish. I’m wiping my brow…that was close!

Long story short, I finally had an editor look through my manuscript and make some suggestions and some changes to Noble Courage. These have been a long time in coming! Her efforts in cleaning up my baby do not go unappreciated!

And so after waiting and waiting, I am finally able re-release Noble Courage and feel proud. Holding my head up high, I am preparing for a great promotion! A Kindle giveaway! I have the machine, still in its original packaging, not even opened (Although I am dying to look at it!).

As soon as Noble Courage is made “live” with the new manuscript and cover, I will be putting it on sale…this is supposed to happen tomorrow, 12-15-14!

So what’s this promo all about? Well, if you do me a HUGE favor, I will do one for you! I’m looking for reviews, guys. There are some pretty scary ones on Amazon that have to do with typo errors and such. I’m offering you a copy of my book next to nothing and I’m asking you for a review in return. When you leave your thoughts on Amazon, I will enter your name into a drawing for the Kindle on December 21st!

Please note that there is only one entry per person. Amazon does have to approve your thoughts before it will post. If you have issues with that, please email me: darktowerfamily@yahoo.com. If you have already left a review for Noble Courage, feel free to review any of the other books and it will still count! I do not want to feel like I’m punishing anyone for being a great fan!

Let’s have a great time with this…help me make it a GREAT event! Please share me, reblog me, and talk about me all you want! I will smile!

The Christmas Spirits is LIVE!!

IMG_1588.JPG

I had a goal to get this Christmas story up on Amazon before I went to bed last night. Well, I was up until midnight just jumping through the Kindle hoops…and this morning I received the email that my story was live!

So I am most pleased to tell you that this sweet and magical read is LIVE and ready for download! Get it here!

And I must also say that this would be such a treat to read on the Kindle I will be giving away later this month! Stay tuned for that!

Okay… Now go read!

Christmas Traditions from Another Time in History!

IMG_1588-1.JPG

For those of you who might follow my Aspen Series, you know that Thorne and Aspen are very relatable people! Well, they have been haunting my mind as of late. So several weeks ago, I decided to bring them out in a Christmas story.

In preparing to create the plot and characters to bring in, I researched the medieval Christmas traditions. Here’s is a few things that stood out to me and how certain ones had spoken to me even before I knew about them!

* Christmas carols were frowned upon by the church. People were not allowed to sing them in churches and were in trouble if caught singing them in their own homes.

* Holly was used in decoration, usually on the front doors of homes. The green leaves that are thorny symbolize eternal life and the crown of thorns Christ wore. The berries start out white and turn red symbolizing the blood shed by the crown of thorns.

* Christmas Eve was called Adam and Eve Day. This was a day that everyone would hang apples in the trees outdoors. There were no indoor Christmas trees.

* Christmas Day was a somber day, not really a fun day. Mass concentrated on the death and resurrection of Christ, not His birth.

* The day after Christmas was Boxing Day, a day that nobility would give clay jars called “piggies” to peasants. We get the term piggy bank from that tradition.

* The 28th of December was a day where children would be beaten. This symbolized the murder of all the children killed under King Herod’s orders after Jesus was born. Bad day to be a kid!!

* The Twelve Days of Christmas was celebrated after Christmas Day.

* The song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was actually a game played at celebrations. It was a memory game. People would sit around and say a gift that could be given and repeat the gifts from everyone before them. So every time you played, it was different.

There are many, many more traditions! These were just some that I hadn’t known much, if at all.

The Christmas Spirits will be available on Amazon for download this week! Keep watching for it!

Today is the day! Brand new COVER REVEALS!

cover reveal

Some of you may know that I am a 41 year old student earning a bachelor degree in natural medicine. It is a very aggressive program that has taken 99% of my time this last year! Alas, my writing has suffered so much and my brain is now overflowing with conversations between characters. This obviously gets me down when I can’t just get it all out! So I finished my last assignment, my editor finished helping me revamp Noble Courage, and I decided it was time to make new covers for the Aspen Series books!

My goal was to make them representative of the series while still making them match and look cohesive. One day, I happened to be watching “The Deathly Hallows 1 & 2” and the animated story of The Three Brothers came on. It was a concept that really spoke to me! The back silhouetted figures against rich backgrounds told the story and I fell in love.

So while my last book of the series is still under construction, I managed to deck my other books in these amazing cloaks of story telling. And it seems, as of late, that Aspen has been screaming at me daily to create a Christmas story indicative of the Medieval times. And so, I am working feverishly on the creation of “The Christmas Spirits”. I think it has a very cool storyline that you will all love…even if you don’t read Medieval fiction.

And so, without further ado, I am revealing to you the new and improved Aspen Series!

resizedNC2.jpgpopcover-page0001TOPrawcover-page0001SOFcover-page0001TBL raw cover-page0001The Christmas Spirits-page0001

I am still working on covers for Tales of Elgolan No. 1-5. I will show you those when I get them finished! So how great are these?!? My plan is to have the new covers uploaded every where by the 10th of December so they will be ready for Christmas! The Christmas Spirits should be on Kindle before then if all goes well!

On December 15th, I plan to launch a huge promo where I’m giving away a Kindle! Stay tuned for that!

Currently, all my books are available on Amazon.com and can be downloaded from the Kindle store immediately. Please remember that it takes time to get covers changed and Noble Courage will get a makeover on the inside too as my editor just finished sprucing up the story.

I’m thankful for so many things in my  life! Aspen is one of those. Her voice has helped me in so many ways! Thank you for being a fan and a reader! I appreciate your support more than you know!

Bully

I spent my entire teenage existence being bullied. I fell into the trap of eating disorders and depression. I tried to take my own life several times. And it was all because of how I was treated by other people’s children.
I’ve watched as my children have become the prey for those same kinds of bullies, one even threatening my oldest son’s life if he stepped foot on school grounds. This was done in text message to my child while he was at home. What did the school do about it? Nothing. It was not on school grounds, it was after hours, and no one could prove this other boy actually sent it. Are you kidding me? We lived in a sweet little town and this kid was also the same skin color as my son. What did they expect me to do? I asked them that question and they told me to bring him to school and pick him back up. I simply asked them, “in a body bag?”
They had no reply for me.
It’s passed time for us to teach our children tolerance and kindness. This ever evolving cycle of hate, discrimination, and condemnation needs to stop.
This post that I’m reblogging does a super job at getting inside the head of the abused. Please read and bring this issue to light. I loved it! Thanks for being in my corner!

Holy Cow! Technology is awesome when it works!

pizap.com10.44940554723143581353642184296

So I have been MIA for quite a while due to a problem with my computer! Yes, I need to go buy a new one…so go buy all my books a hundred times, please. I’m just kidding. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to write a little post.

Life has been crazy. I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about. This girl is happy that school has started and all the pressures of the summer are over. Now, I can concentrate on some of the important things…like writing. Oh yeah, and that school thing.

I miss interacting with all of you each day. I’m so sorry to have been gone so long.

The positive side is that Noble Courage has been re-edited so I’m excited to bring you the new version! We are still working our way through the rest of the series, but I felt Noble Courage needed it the very most.

You know, it has been nice to connect with my characters again as I slowly forge forward with the last book of The Aspen Series, Key of the Kingdom. Often times, I think we have our eyes set on the goal line, finishing that long labored project and we lost contact with the characters we loved enough to start the first book.

My advice? If you are writing a series, return to that first work often. If you have a favorite part, read it again and again. Stay close with the people of your imagination and don’t rush that final installment of a series. Show the reader you love them as much in the last book as you did in the first.

Carry on.

Feel free to pick up my works at Amazon in the Kindle section!

The Pros and Cons of Beta Readers

I use beta readers and I choose them very carefully. I’ve found that it’s great for both sides. They love your writing and get a sneak peek and you get feedback. I do try to have more than one and rarely are any if them in the same age group. I want a variety of perspectives. Do you use beta readers? If not, why?

Shannon A Thompson

Announcements:

My short story, The Pink Scarf, was published in the second volume of an adult anthology collection, Ashtrays to Jawbreakers. It is completely free on Smashwords, so feel free to check it out by clicking here.

Take Me Tomorrow was reviewed by A Literary Mind recently, and you can read the entire review by clicking here, but check out this small excerpt: “I can’t say how refreshing it was to have a protagonist that felt real. Knife-throwing abilities aside, Sophia is like the rest of us; she’s stubborn, flawed, and simply cannot control her curly hair (I feel your pain!).”

The Pros and Cons of Beta Readers:

I love beta readers. In fact, I consider my beta readers some of my closest friends (and secret keepers.) But they are close to me because we were equally careful in deciding whether or not we were…

View original post 770 more words