Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BLACK FRIDAY SALE!

Sorry for the delay in updating this blog. I was in the process of moving and getting all settled in. It's nice to be in a house (rather than a condo). Lewis is more free to run around like the crazy person he is, and Eliza now has a room of her own. Both are important. :)

I am striving to get into a regular writing schedule. There was another delay caused by a broken laptop, but now I have a shiny new one. I'm still planning on having this book done by next spring, and I'll let you all know as soon as I have a release date.

Here's the point of this post, though:

I've set up a Black Friday sale! The day after Thanksgiving both of my books will be on sale for $0.99 each. I would appreciate everybody's help in spreading the word. Tell all of your book-loving friends and family to download a copy!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Alyssa Harper Art Show

For any of my readers that live in Utah (or plan on being in Utah at some point over the next handful of weeks), I have a treat for you!

Alyssa Harper, the amazing artist that did my cover art, is having an art show at the Provo Covey Center Gallery! She has been working hard on this show, and I've seen a few of the pieces. It's a beautiful collection, and I can't wait to see the whole of it. And, unless I'm mistaken, it's free! So take some time and go enjoy the paintings of a true artist.

Where: Provo Covey Center Gallery 
When: October 3rd to November 30th
Hours: M-F; 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM




Sunday, September 14, 2014

Editing

I keep seeing comments made in the reviews posted on Amazon about errors (spelling and otherwise) in my books. I thought I'd take a quick moment to address that. 

While my books are self-published, I do pay to have them edited (by actual professionals, not some random family member). That being said, mistakes can easily be overlooked--even when reviewed by editors hired by publishing companies. I'm sure we've all read books that had a word wrong. I've even read a book where the wrong character name was used.

The point is that I don't doubt that errors have been overlooked in my book, even though I've had them edited. Furthermore, it is within my ability to correct any mistakes that have been made. So, I would be greatly appreciative if my readers would take the time to send me a quick email (kanno.callie@gmail.com) if they come across any such errors. I would be happy to make the corrections and upload a newer version of my book to Amazon.

You don't need to give me page numbers or anything like that. Just say, "When such-and-such was happening I noticed this mistake." I'm sure I can find it. If you can be more detailed than that, that's good, too.

I know it's not your job to correct my spelling and grammar, but it would help to improve the reading experience of future owners of my book. Plus, I'd be really grateful.

Thanks!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Writing Schedule & Comic Con

Well, the past several weeks have been quite busy. I'm in the process of moving, and so that has thrown my life into even more chaos. First there was all of the stress that goes into selling a home, and that culminated in our decision to move out early so we didn't have to keep cleaning up everytime there was a showing. Our new home isn't ready yet (we're building a house), so we're staying with my Mom and Step-Dad temporarily. We finally sold our condo (hurray!), but now there's all the stress that goes with buying a home. Sigh...

Needless to say, for a while I wasn't doing much writing. I felt guilty about that, because I did promise to have the last book of my trilogy out in a timely manner. However, I have set myself a writing schedule and I've been pretty good about sticking to it. I've gotten a good amount of writing done over the past couple of weeks, and it's looking like it's a pace that I can maintain. As long as Lewis and Eliza cooperate, I'm pretty sure I can have the book finished by next spring.

I did take a small break from writing in order to go to Salt Lake City's Comic Con. Yes, I'm THAT kind of nerd. I attended an amazing panel about credible magic systems while I was there. The panel consisted of Brandon Sanderson, David Farland, Larry Correia, Brandon Mull, Tracy Hickman, and Margaret Weis. It was awesome to hear the thoughts of such wonderful fantasy writers, and they gave some really good insights. It filled me with enthusiasm and ideas, and so I'm doing my best to infuse that into my writing.

In the meantime, I'd like to have another little contest for my readers. I'm going to put together a little trivia quiz and then post it. For the first person to get 100% I will let them name a character in the new book. Is that a fun idea? I hope so...

Anyway, I'll let you know when the quiz is posted. It should be ready by this weekend. 

Thanks again for your support, and don't forget to let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Amazon Ratings

The position of my books on Amazon's Best Seller lists fluctuates throughout each day. Still, it's a good way to gauge how I'm doing with readers. There have been times when I haven't been on the list at all (it's only the top 100), but lately I've been doing fairly well! Over the past couple of months I've been #25 or better in children's fantasy. Then, last night I noticed that "The Threshold Child" was #8 on that list! I should mention that the first 7 books on that list were Harry Potter. That means that right now (because I've maintained that position) the only books selling better than mine on Amazon's Kindle is Harry Potter! I'm really excited about this, and I wanted to share. I never imagined that my books would do so well. My husband only convinced me to publish through KDP because he said that I had nothing to lose. The worst that could happen was that no one would buy it. I figured he was right, but I thought I would probably only sell a thousand copies before interest faded to nothing. There have been more than 10 times that number in downloads for "The Threshold Child" alone, and I am so amazed and grateful for the support of so many wonderful readers. Thank you all for making my dream of being a writer possible!

Here is a screen shot from Amazon:


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Update and ANNOUNCEMENT!

Things around my home have been pretty busy. We are trying to sell our condo and are building a house in a different city about a half hour's drive away. Also, I have a two-year-old and a seven-month-old. That alone makes for lots to do. Haha! I also recently had a birthday. I imagine that each of you is silently wishing me a belated happy birthday, so thank you for that! I haven't had a whole lot of time for writing until recently, but my husband and I are coming up with a few ideas to fix that. Because of his help in the matter, I have had a few days this last week to get some writing done! Hurray for my husband! I am now more than halfway done writing chapter four, and I'm feeling good about how this story is taking shape. I know that may not seem like much, but considering that I originally planned on taking a six month break after my daughter was born, I'm doing pretty good!

I've also settled on the title for book 3, and I've decided to announce it now rather than waiting. It will be...(drum roll, please)

THE LABYRINTH OF DESTINY

This title references a comment made by Ravi in the first book. He said, "Destiny is like a labyrinth. One is given the choice of paths, but once on that path one is required to follow it until a new choice is presented." In this upcoming book, Adesina will be faced with the choices that will decide the path that she takes--the path of the Threshold Child. I look forward to seeing where Adesina's path leads (even I don't know everything that's going to happen yet!) and I hope that you will, too. 

I'll try to keep updates posted as I go (and excerpts once it's nearer to being finished), both here and on my facebook page. Please let me know if you have any questions or if there's any random trivia about Adesina's world that you'd be interested in knowing more about. I'd be happy to share! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Review: "The Unfinished Song (Book 1): Initiate" by Tara Maya

I did a brief spotlight for this book a while ago, but I finally got around to reading it. Here is my full review.


Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Unfinished-Song-Initiate-Young-Fantasy-ebook/dp/B004H4XE5I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403142400&sr=8-1&keywords=tara+maya

Amazon description:
DEADLY INITIATION

A DETERMINED GIRL...
Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi's clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.


AN EXILED WARRIOR...
Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn't commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don't kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father's wars and his mother's curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her... assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.


 My review:
1 out of 5 stars--I was able to finish it, but I would not read it again.

I feel my rating needs an explanation, so bear with me while I give a brief synopsis before I go on to give my reasons for only giving this book one star.

The story follows a number of characters, and eventually all of the various stories bring the characters into Dindi's life. She is a youth from a very rudimentary village--as in, the people live in huts made of dirt and their lives are focused on survival. Dindi dreams of becoming a Tavaedi (a magic-user whose powers are invokes through dance), and she will get the opportunity to try for a position in the secret society during her initiation into adulthood. However, Dindi's world is one of strife, and the journey to the place of initiation is more dangerous than she could have imagined.

First let me focus on what I liked about the book. The author is quite a talented writer, and she paints a world that is immediately engaging. The dialogue is natural and convincing, and there are bountiful details that make the world seem more real. The author has given thought to what the people would eat, what they would wear, what tasks would be necessary each day, etc. I love such practical details. It makes a story more rich for me. And even though Dindi (and the other characters involved in this story) belonged to a world vastly different from my own, I could still relate to what they were feeling and how they handled various situations. I remembered being fourteen years old (as Dindi is) and feeling like a misfit, wanting to be so much more. The author made that connection with me as a reader, and I really cared what happened to each of the characters. I would have loved to see where the story took them.

However, I will not read future books in this series, nor will I read this one again.

The world in which this story takes place is a dark one. That is understandable. After all, there has to be some sort of conflict, otherwise there would be no story. Unfortunately, the author was quite detailed in the forms of darkness found in this story. It describes several instances of rape, cannibalism, infanticide, torture, and battle (not just fighting, but descriptions of the blood and gore). Not to mention a brief scene that contained some nudity (mild, I suppose, compared to some other books, but still there), and some abrasive language. There were several times I almost stopped reading because of how sickened I felt inside. In my opinion, this book should not be classified as YA fantasy. I would not want the teenagers of my family reading this kind of content.

Now, I understand that these are (unfortunately) very real situations. I don't mean to act like things such as rape and murder do not happen. That being said, I want to read books that leave me feeling better for having read them. This book did not do that for me. The author has slated the series to be 12 books long, and she has said that it has a happy ending. Personally, I do not wish to trudge through figurative mud in order to arrive at a destination that could have been reached by other means.

I acknowledge that I have rather conservative standards, and I know that the things that bothered me may not bother others. Still, I felt it important to write a review so that those who share my conservative standards are aware of what this book entails.

On a purely technical note, I didn't care for how often the story jumped characters. It was more than halfway through the book before any of the separate stories came together. It gave it a slightly disjointed feel, which I didn't like. As I read I assumed that eventually all of the different people would be relevant to the main story (Dindi's), but it took a while for that to happen. There was also one instance where modern slang was thrown into the dialogue (which is a pet peeve of mine), but it only happened the once. 

These are relatively minor things, though. My main reason for the poor rating is the content. If you are not bothered by such things, then you may like this book. If you are more sensitive (as I am), then I would advise against reading it.

For more details on my rating system, click here.