New Book Launch – Cover Reveal – Video Trailer

Yes, this is IT!  Today, I am very proud to launch my first self-published novel, A Darkness in Amazonia.  This is Part 4 of G1: The Guardians.  I owe a massive debt of gratitude to Chris Graham for his excellent artworks, Janice Spina for helping with the editing phase and to my son, Damien Smy, for his narration on the video trailer for the book.  I would also like to express my public thanks to Keith Plunkett at skoobebooks.co.uk for his unstinting helping the bringing to print this novel, in both paperback and hardback.  I should have included a proper acknowledgements page in the novel, of course, but I hope that this goes some way towards rectifying that oversight.  Please note that I haven’t included contact information for either Chris or Damien, at their behest!

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Released on 10th September, 2013, through various online sources. Available as ebook, paperback and hardback.

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A Darkness in Amazonia

by

Steve K Smy

Being Part 4 of G1: The Guardians

In the depths of the Amazonian jungle, lost for millennia, its location hidden by the local peoples from every explorer, lies a city – a city that shouldn’t exist.

Discovered by an archaeologist, Professor Hiram Leibowitz, despite every attempt to conceal its existence, the first revelations prove that this is a perilous site that the archaeologist and his dig crew are not equipped to handle. Fortunately, Leibowitz knows who is the right person to investigate this great mystery. At a safe distance from the city, Leibowitz contacts his old friend – Siribahta Dhal, Director of the Guardians.

A sequence of events is set in motion as Siribahta sends in his elite team: G1. It takes very little time to discover that the city is one of the most dangerous relics of a lost Age ever found. Protected by the slaves of an unknown power, hiding truths that prove that not all Evil is alien in origin, the nameless city will test G1 to the utmost. This will not be a battle – it will be a war…

The first novel and fourth tale in the series.

Follow G1’s adventures in the three previous volumes: the novelettes Shade of Evil and Evil Under The Circle, and the novella The Sigil of Ahriman, all available as ebooks and paperbacks.

Purchase details:

ebook from:
Smashwords
Amazon stores worldwide
The ebook will become available from other online bookstores over time!

Paperback from:
skoobebooks.co.uk  (n.b. you may order the paperback edition but please be aware that the normal delivery time may be slightly extended during the first week or two from the launch date).

Hardback from:
skoobebooks.co.uk (n.b. you may order the hardback edition but please be aware that the normal delivery time may be slightly extended during the first week or two from the launch date).

More information:

Author’s website/blog

Video Trailer:

More Information about the background of the G1: The Guardians series can be found here.

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Are You A Lucky Buyer?

If anybody chooses to purchase a copy of the hardback edition of this book, and they are the first to do so, then I will provide them with the whole set of four ebooks, in whatever format (ePub or Kindle) they desire, free of charge!  Any such order must, however, be made before the end of September 2013!

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Comments:

If you have any comments, observations or questions about this book or the series, which you prefer to keep private, please contact me on the special, temporary email address!

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“Perfection Challenged” Cover Reveal – Guest Post by Jade Kerrion

Perfection Challenged, the thrilling conclusion to Jade Kerrion’s multiple award-winning, bestselling DOUBLE HELIX series, will be released on September 17th and will be available in paperback and all electronic formats. Beta readers have declared Perfection Challenged “the best of the four books…the perfect ending to an amazing series.”

If you’ve never picked up the DOUBLE HELIX series, keep on reading for a special offer on Perfection Unleashed, the book that launched the DOUBLE HELIX series.

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perfection-challenged-600x800PERFECTION CHALLENGED

An alpha empath, Danyael Sabre has survived abominations and super soldiers, terrorists and assassins, but he cannot survive his failing body. He wants only to live out his final days in peace, but life and the woman he loves, the assassin Zara Itani, have other plans for him.

Galahad, the perfect human being created by Pioneer Labs, is branded an international threat, and Danyael is appointed his jury, judge, and executioner. Danyael alone believes that Galahad can be the salvation that the world needs, but is the empath blinded by the fact that Galahad shares his genes, and the hope that there is something of him in Galahad?

In a desperate race against time and his own dying body, Danyael struggles to find fragments of good in the perfect human being, and comes to the wrenching realization that his greatest battle will be a battle for the heart of the man who hates him.

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Perfection UnleashedPERFECTION UNLEASHED

Recipient of six literary awards, including first place in Science Fiction, Reader Views Literary Awards 2012 and Gold medal winner in Science Fiction, Readers Favorites 2013.

“Higher octane than Heroes. More heart than X-Men.”

Danyael Sabre spent sixteen years clawing out of the ruins of his childhood and finally has everything he wanted – a career, a home, and a trusted friend. To hold on to them, he keeps his head down and plays by the rules. An alpha empath, he is powerful in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, yet his experience has taught him to avoid attention.

When the perfect human being, Galahad, escapes from Pioneer Laboratories, the illusory peace between humans and their derivatives – the in vitros, clones, and mutants – collapses into social upheaval. The abominations, deformed and distorted mirrors of humanity, created unintentionally in Pioneer Lab’s search for perfection, descend upon Washington D.C. The first era of the Genetic Revolution was peaceful. The second is headed for open war.

Although the genetic future of the human race pivots on Galahad, Danyael does not feel compelled to get involved and risk his cover of anonymity, until he finds out that the perfect human being looks just like him.

FOR A LIMITED TIME, THE E-BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE FOR JUST $0.99 (Discounted from $2.99):
E-books available at Amazon.com / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords
Paperbacks available at Amazon.com / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

To be the first to receive news of Jade Kerrion’s latest book releases, sign up for her New Release Mailing List. If Perfection Challenged makes it to the bookstores before September 17th, you’ll be among the first to know.

Connect with Jade Kerrion:

Website / Facebook / Twitter

Slightly Excited: Saturday Supplemental Post

TheSigilofAhriman.jpgPaperback Launch!

Yes!  It’s for real!  There’s a new paperback in town and am I excited?  You bet!  The Sigil of Ahriman has been released in paperback and it looks so good!

I confess to a certain special delight in this particular paperback release.  With my son Reuben’s artwork on the cover, in full colour, and inside, in black and white, and being a novella rather than a novelette, this is my proudest achievement to date.  If you think the ebook looks good, it’s nothing compared to the print version!  I can honestly say that it is far ahead of any cover of any of my other books, with a real sense of style!  I can say with all honesty that, if you buy books based on their covers, I seriously believe that this would be one that would definitely attract you.

This release also excites me for other reasons.  If my novel, the fourth story in the G1: The Guardians series, looks anywhere near as good, I’ll be in Seventh Heaven!  With the upcoming rerelease of the first in the series, Shade of Evil, with a new cover by Reuben, I think that the series is looking really good as a collection.  I honestly believe that most people would be happy to have the books on their shelf.

I hope you forgive my wildly enthusiastic blathering!

G1: The Guardians and Beyond

Against All Evils

The Sigil of AhrimanThe Sigil of Ahriman is now available as a paperback!  So you have the option of reading the Amazon Kindle ebook version, which is available from all Amazon stores, or a very smart paperback.  I admit that the paperback version is the more expensive, but I’m afraid there’s no way around that.   I wish there were!

The novella is the third in the G1: The Guardians series.  There is a sense, I hope,  of the backgrounds of the members of G1, and certain essential other characters, being revealed, in a kind of jigsaw form.  I think that this reflects how things work in real life – you learn about new friends, colleagues or whatever a little at a time, you don’t sit down and exchange detailed life histories!  And so it should, I believe, work in fiction that is spread over a series.   Even in single volume works, I believe the characters should be given backgrounds over time, not all at once.  Bur I begin to digress!  Suffice to say, the histories of main characters will continue to grow over the course of the series.  The lives of the Guardians in a more general sense will be uncovered over time, too.  This novella begins that process, as well as being a great adventure for G1.

I’m also pleased to announce that I have finished part four in the series.  This new part is a full novel!  It takes G1 to an exotic location and into an unusual situation.  I won’t say too much.  I think it’s enough to state that it is an adventure unlike those which have already been related, with an exotic location, things that challenge scientific knowledge and more.

A Restructuring

I have encountered a problem when asked for links to information about my books.  Quite simply, there’s no simple answer to the question.  I have pages with more information, but which don’t give all the primary links for buyers.  So, to get around this problem, I’ll be changing how the Published Works page functions.  It will be a gateway for more detailed information, but the purchase links will be removed from it.  Each book will have its own page, some of those grouped under a ‘series header page’ or link (I haven’t decided yet).  I hope that this will be an improvement all around.

Cover Reveal & Book Launch

Mystery Book Cover Well, it’s here!  The latest tale in the G1: The Guardians series, and my first novella.  After a considerable amount more work than the two novelettes, and the editing and proofreading consequent to having written the story, the new child is born.

It is my pleasure to announce the birth of The Sigil of Ahriman (Being Part 3 of G1: The Guardians).  The ebook is available (or will be in the next few hours) to buy from all Amazon stores.  The paperback will be available soon.  Part 1 (Shade of Evil) and Part 2 (Evil Under The Circle) are both available from most major online book stores.  The first is also available as a paperback from FeedARead.com and the second will be available as a paperback very soon, from skoobebooks.

The Blurb:

An artefact of evil from antiquity is in the hands of a madman, and only the Guardians can oppose his insane schemes!

Against all precedent, a stranger is allowed into the inner sanctum of the Guardians.  This man brings news of something that threatens the human race with eternal slavery.  An artefact has been stolen, the Sigil of Ahriman.  Now, it is in the possession of an unknown person, and there can few reasons for that – to tap its power, risking freeing Ahriman, or to deliberately bring the ancient god of Darkness into the world again.

G1, devastated by their last mission, must face this new challenge and win.  Defeat is unthinkable.

The Sigil of Ahriman cover - small The Cover:

As I have mentioned in previous posts, the image used on this cover was created by my son, Reuben.  The cover in its entirety is a combination of his artistic talent and my own efforts.  I had a vague notion of what I wanted, in terms of the image, but, in all honesty, the brief I gave Reuben was very imprecise.  It’s all the more amazing, therefore, that he somehow succeeded in capturing exactly what I wanted.  I hope it doesn’t sound wrong but I am very proud of the result!  I am particularly looking forward to seeing it in paperback.

The Future:

I have started work on the fourth tale in this series.  I have the concept for what may be involved in the challenges meeting G1, but exactly where the story will take them is yet to be seen.  Rest assured, though, that they will be facing considerable danger and survival is never guaranteed in their business.

Reviewing The Adventure So Far

DSCN7533 I thought I’d share a photo’ or two.  These are the first two paperbacks of my novelettes.  I was finally able to get some batteries for my camera.  Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to get them into good light so there’s some flash flare on the photo’.  Still, I think it’s better than a simple scan!  I still can’t begin to describe just how it felt, after waiting 43 years, what it’s like to hold them in my hand.  Don’t get me wrong!  I doubt very much that I would have them now, if I hadn’t first discovered the miracle of ebooks.  Seeing my ebooks receiving interest gave me the courage to go for the ‘real thing’!

Perhaps that’s the true importance of ebooks and self-publishing.  Without ebooks, I would have continued to write, but what I wrote would have remained forever a curious pile of paper or collection of computer files, gathering dust, getting damaged or lost.  I’ve never had the resources to mail agent after agent, publisher after publisher – well, not since my youth, anyway.  As many manuscripts I produced were either written longhand or typed in non-manuscript format (MS format took far too much paper), I couldn’t even afford to have them typed professionally, ready in case somebody actually showed interest.  But ebooks!  Oh what a revolution!

DSCN7525 Early experiments with PDFs had not convinced me.  I don’t like them.  It’s as simple as that.  SO a handful of half-hearted attempts at writing on the computer simply sat there, doing nothing.  discovering Kindle ebooks and ePubs transformed everything!  A good number of short story ebooks yielded the fact that I could get readers – judging by the number of downloads.  It was this that led to the novelettes.  Naturally, like the vast majority of Indie writers, translating hundreds of downloads of free stories into sales of longer tales has not been quite so impressive.  In fact, I still get excited by a sale.  That gives you some idea of how quick sales are going!  Despite that, I know that there are millions of people who don’t like ebooks, so I decided to issue the novelettes as paperbacks, at the absolute minimum price.  I’m not sorry I did, even if I’m yet to get any sales!

And that’s the thing.  I have made a discovery.  I now know that the dream on its own is enough!  Yes, some sales would be very nice, and no, they’ll never make me rich – or even financially ‘comfortable’, but, I have realised the most cherished dream of my life!  Yes, I would feel immensely honoured to have readers, especially ones who come back for more, but that would be icing on the cake, and icing without a cake is rather pointless.  After all these years, I now know that it is simply the sense of having moved from a manuscript to a finished, honest-to-goodness, book is incomparable in terms of satisfaction.

Does that al sound egocentric?  It probably does, but I’m honest enough to acknowledge the truth, now that I understand it.  This realisation of a simple fact caused me to consider something.  Is my ambition now fulfilled?  Do I now move to something new?  Well, you may be unhappy to learn that I intend to continue writing.  I have another ambition, and it may even be the one that has driven everything else this far.  I want to see one of my novels not in ebook format, nor even in paperback.  I really wish to see one in hardback!  More, it should be a stylish hardback, such as anybody would be proud to display on their most publicly visible bookshelf.  Sure, it can have a slip cover, but the bare book, without that paper wrapping, however ‘pretty’ is very much secondary.  And here, I will make a confession.  I came very close to having that a very long time ago.  I contacted a company I thought were legitimate publishers.  In fact, I discovered that they were ‘Vanity publishers’.  Still, if I had had more money and less sense, I would have leapt at the opportunity to see my book published.  I had a clear impression of how it would look, and I so wanted it!  Yet, with the good sense instilled in me by excellent parents, I recognised that it would be an expensive way to massage my ego.  As a result, and not without a few twinges of regret, I rejected the deal and returned meekly to the realms of the author dreaming but not succeeding.  Today, I am very glad that I didn’t take that route.

The other two of my novelettes are on the brink of appearing as paperbacks.  My recently completed novella will follow as swiftly as possible.  I’ve now begun writing another book, which will be the fourth of the G1: The Guardians series, and I don’t yet know what length it will be.  It is my hope that it will be the longest tale yet, but that could mean that it will still be of novella length.  My production rate has declined, but that’s natural given the increased length of each book.  I’m not really writing less, it’s just more concentrated.

So far, this adventure has been fascinating and fun.  With any luck, it will continue in the same vein!

~ Steve

Book Collectors

As the owner of several antiquarian standard books, including a very early copy of The Virginian by Owen Wister, I began to wonder what impact ebook publishing would have on First Edition volumes.  There are two types of First Edition owners: the true bibliophile and the investor.  The former may be less concerned about the fact that a book may have originally been published as an ebook, but what about the latter?  Of course, we may not particularly care about the investor’s attitude, if that’s all they are.  I know that I would rather that all First Editions were owned by true bibliophiles, and especially those who loved the books for their content first and foremost.  Even so, will we see a shift away from just ‘First Edition’ to ‘First Print Edition’?  One thing is patently obvious: there will never be a trade in First Edition ebooks!  There’s a better chance of eReaders becoming valuable collectibles.  Does that leave a gap in the book trade?

I know that many authors enjoy owning every First Edition of their own works, and giving copies to family and friends.  This obviously can’t happen in the same sense with ebooks.  Is it something we should mourn?  Are we going to be happy with the ‘First Print Edition’ alternative?  Or are we resigned to waiting until we publish (ourselves or through publishers) printed books?  And there’s another question springing from that.  Many self-published authors opt for paperback editions (I know I have), because the cost of hardbacks would be exorbitant.  But paperbacks, notoriously, don’t stand the test of time well (though I’ve bought hardbacks that have actually been even worse!).  Are we, by the combination of producing our first editions as ebooks and self-publishing as paperbacks, devaluing our own collections of our own works?

I’m a great proponent of ebook publishing, especially as it gives genuinely able authors opportunities which might never otherwise occur.  At a personal level, I’m perfectly happy to accept the ‘loss’ of a pure First Edition of any of my works.  I’m also happy to accept the fact that any First Print Edition will be in paperback.  To me, the value of a book must be, above all else, in its content.  My ownership of antiquarian books has less to do with their age than those other qualities of printed books: the look, feel and smell!  You may think me odd, but one or two of the old books I own that I cherish most are not antiquarian standard.  In fact, they’re not even a high standard.  They were printed during the two World Wars, when paper was not to be wasted on such things.  The paper they’re made from is coarse, thick and very badly trimmed.  All of which gives them  a curious quality.  More, they were obviously considered to be works of such importance that they were published!  I wonder how many modern books would be so honoured in the same circumstances?  I suspect that we would see just about all books being hastily converted to digital formats.  Publishers are, after all, in existence to make money.  Being prevented from publishing hundreds of books because of restrictions imposed by governments because of war would not sit well with them.  What then for the First Edition aficionados?

In parting, let me make one thing quite clear!  The issue of First Edition values has nothing to do with whether a book is self-published or not.  Many famous authors would never have achieved their renown without self-publishing, and their First Editions are extremely valuable.  It is only a question of the nature of the first edition of a work that is involved.

It will be interesting to see how the trade in First Editions develops in coming years.

~ Steve