Wandering On Wednesday

The Delight of Unexpected Reviews

I was thrilled to discover that two of my books were reviewed and given 5 stars! Shade of Evil and Evil Under The Circle, Parts 1 and 2 of G1: The Guardians, were reviewed by Chris The Story Reading Ape and the reviews can be found on Goodreads, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.  You can find all of Chris’ reviews on Goodreads.  Of course, you can also find Chris’ reviews on his own blog.  I would like to express my sincere thanks to Chris for his kindness and honesty.  Having friends who understand fully that you only wish to receive absolutely genuine reviews of your works is beyond valuable.

I was further delighted to find a 5 star review of Intruder from the Thief series of free short stories!  The review, posted on Barnes & Noble is so heartening!  I quote it below:

This book kept me on the edge of my seat until the last word was read.

There is a serious threat that exudes evil and wants to claim the land in this sci-fi fantasy.  Mages, which this author describes as magicians of a sort, are sought to help go up against the evil.

Characters are richly described and likable and fascinating.  This is a novella which is a quick read but this reader did not want the story to end.  The author is a very talented and creative storyteller. I will be reading many more of his stories. This is an excellent choice of reading for YA.

Review by jesNH, 6th August, 2013.  5 stars awarded.

I would like to thank jesNH for such a glowing review!

Going for a New Look – Again!

Yes, I’m afraid I’m going to be tinkering again!  The main page of posts can be rather overwhelming, especially when the posts are long!  I’ve decided to try to improve things by making use of a WordPress post facility.  This will involve adding the codeword More to all long posts, which will mean that only part of the post will appear on the main page and you will need to click on the More… link in the post to read all of it.  One advantage of this is that it will give easier access to other facilities, such as commenting, sharing, rating and liking.  In respect of special days (Book Promo Day and Blog Browser Day), I will endeavour to place the codeword in such a place that the link has to be clicked or some of the detail information will be lost to the reader.  Obviously, this will be subject to any feedback – positive or negative – as to whether I continue to use the codeword.  Also, I will not be going back to posts already displayed.  I simply don’t have the time to edit all those posts (around 270 of them)!

If you wish to provide any feedback on this change, at any time, please  contact me using the contact form on the blog, or via email if you have my address.  I would suggest not using Facebook or Twitter, as messages are too easily lost unless the direct message system is used.

Uncovered: The Naked Manuscript

If by any remote chance you’re waiting for Part 4 of G1: The Guardians, which will also be the first novel I will have released, I’m afraid the waiting must continue.  It still lacks a cover.  My son is extraordinarily busy now, with negligible time for such extra projects.  My own attempts have been woeful, to say the least, and I simply can’t afford to pay anybody to provide a more professional cover.  I can assure you all that I am more frustrated than anybody else.  I even considered abandoning my original vision for the cover, even if only for the first edition, and going with an extremely simple cover.  So desperate have I become!  There has been a consequence to this situation, too, in that the work on Part 5 is crawling along.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

No – they dream of having more storage space  built into their main circuitry!  How do I know?  Well, I have a Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830i and it is forever complaining that its built-in memory is almost or actually full!  The kind folk of Samsung allow the use of micro SD cards to obtain more space.  Unfortunately, that really doesn’t help because they have been so miserly as far as the built-in space is concerned!  Don’t misunderstand me.  This isn’t a problem unique to Samsung,  I had, for a short while, an Android tablet, and that suffered from exactly the same problem!  Sure, most apps are installed to the SD card, along with things that they handle – such as the Kindle app and the ebooks that you download for it.   I was amazed, having watched TV adverts talking about the vast number of available apps, that this ‘phone has so very little actual capacity.  Every app installed contributes to the space consumed in the ‘phone itself, regardless of where the app itself is installed to!  And even more annoying is the fact that there are pre-installed apps which you can’t uninstall!  Some of these are massive (‘bloatware’) and I know that I’ll never use them, but Samsung have decided that they should be locked in, untouchable.  I find it increasingly difficult to understand how Samsung, and most other Android device manufacturers, expect to compete with Apple’s devices!  For example, the internal, built-in storage of the iPod Touch is impressive.  Sure, you can’t expand it, but at least most of the storage is available without all the nonsense problems of the Android competition.  Yes, there are locked apps with Apple too, and yes, it would be hugely beneficial if we could remove them, but even then I can get loads more apps on the standard, basic iPod Touch than I can on the Android smartphone!

(Apologies to Philip K Dick, author of the book whose title I have stolen for this section!)

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A Miscellanea Of Topics

Reviews Received and an Interview Posted

Shade of Evil

"Thief" by Steve K SmyI’ve received two very kind reviews.  One is for my novelette Shade of Evil (G1: The Guardians, #1), and appears on Julie’s Book Review, written by Wende Sheets.  Wende awards it 4 stars!  This review has also been posted to Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  The second is for Thief (The Thief Series, #1), and appears on Tracey Wickham’s blog.  Tracey gives the short story a glowing 4 stars!  The ebooks are available from most major online book stores in ebook form, though Thief isn’t available from Amazon.  There’s also a new interview that features myself on Book Goodies.

I would be very grateful if you could leave feedback on these on the appropriate sites.

New Tale Progressing

The third tale in the G1: The Guardians series is progressing nicely.  More, the cover is doing even better and has me very excited!  It is being created by my son, Reuben, who is a gifted artist.  In fact, the concept drawing is so incredibly impressive, I’ve decided to hold back on showing it!  I can’t wait to see the finished artwork.  I also decided that there will be a reduced copy of the image inside the book, in black and white.  I haven’t yet established whether this tale will be a novelette or a novella, though.

A Little Ditty

Yesterday, I was inexplicably moved to write a little ditty on Twitter.  It’s a tribute to my favourite beverage: Tea!

Is there anything better than tea?
A taste of heaven, don’t you see?
Dark leaves of exotic lands,
A little bit of India in your hands.

(Copyright © Steve K Smy, May 2013)

It’s just a little bit of fun, of course.

Book Cover Artists and Book Illustrators

I would like to add a new occasional feature to Imagineer-ing.  Are you a book cover artist or a book illustrator?  Do you use, or know, either of these?  I would really like to include interviews of these very important people to the blog!  The interview wouldn’t be arduous.  It would only involve responding to an interview questionnaire, and including some examples of some book artwork.  It is my hope that this would benefit the artist, by providing links to their sites.  Also, if any artist would like a special feature done on them, and they have the copy prepared, I’d be very interested in that too.  Finally, if you’re a client of an artist you cannot live without (as an author) and you want to brag about them on their behalf, please feel free to submit an article, remembering to include links to the artist’s presence online, and images of book covers or internal illustrations they’ve done for you.

So, artists, please contact me direct!  Authors, help spread the word – send them a link to this post!

~ Steve

The Guild (Thief, #5) by Steve K Smy – New ebook released

I don’t normally post more than once in a day but I hope that you’ll think this is justified:

The Guild - ImagineerAnd here it is, the fifth short story in the Thief series.  I still don’t know for certain how far this is all going!  I am thinking about bringing them all together in a single volume at some time.  Of course, to do that I’ll have to be fairly sure that the end has been reached…

Anyway, back to The Guild.  To quote the blurb:

The Guild: a criminal organisation that lurks in every corner of Ur’gavan. The Guildmaster: chief of that organisation. And caught between old oaths and new: Tirnam.

The prince and his friends are confronted by the Guild’s brutal methods. His power challenged by the demands of the Guildmaster, they must prove that Tirnam is the only ruler of the city.

Will Tirnam and his friends be free of problems now?  Well, if they’re human, then the answer is probably that they won’t.  The question then becomes whether or not the problems they will face in the future will be enough to justify writing about them.  It’s a puzzle… sort of.  In  fact, I must confess that I have the germ of an idea for another tale in the series, but is there another after that?  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what comes along.

The Guild is available in multiple formats from Smashwords (just click the cover picture), in ePub format from Goodreads and in ePub and mobi (Kindle) format from the shop on the main Imagineer web site.

~ Steve