My Books

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Monday, August 29, 2011

New Blood (Melrose) – Progress #5

Every day the Earth turns and every day the hours tick by, whether we are paying any attention or not. The last few weeks have been a little crazy for me as I’ve tried to balance work, having my kids in town and continuing my Indie writing, editing and marketing tasks. Of course something has had to suffer and it’s been the writing and editing side of things. Oh well.

The good news is that during the last few weeks several people have read the early manuscripts for my latest novel, New Blood (Melrose Part One). The feedback has been more than encouraging. During the next couple of weeks I need to sit down and make a few edits and finalize the book, ready for its launch to the public. I’m contemplating doing something a little different with this book, paying to have the cover done and even paying a PR company to help get the word out. I’m not sure if this is the right thing to do, but you have to dip your toe into the water from time to time and experiment a little. And who knows, this may turn out to be a great thing. And if not then I’ve only added something else to my experience pool.

New Blood is certainly a page turner. That’s one consistent remark I’ve heard about my book. Apparently my characters are also strong, the suspense is at a high level and the book hits home with several target markets. There’s just a couple of things that need tidying up (and that's what early readers are for). I’m nearly there with the final ideas and I’m sure the first week of September will see an extra 3,000 words or so knocked out to add those finishing touches. I’m very excited! Hopefully this will be the book that gives me my breakthrough. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Anyway, that’s about it for today, other issues are calling me away. But if you’re anxious to read more, maybe even learn a little about becoming a successful author, why not pick up a copy of my book opposite. Thousands of words of advice for a few bucks! Take a look - How To Write & Self-Publish Your First Novel - Only $2.99

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer Vacation with the Kids from England

It's a working vacation this year as my two youngest kids come to visit for four weeks. This means that I'm taking opportunities to go places in the evenings and at weekends and trying to burn the candle at both ends. I'm tired and falling behind with the writing and editing jobs I want to do. But - you never get your time back with your kids - so I cannot complain too loudly. It just means that in two weeks time it's going to be heads down again and back to the grind. In the meantime, here's a few pictures of the vacation so far. Enjoy your week...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Penguins Are Killers

Most people think that little black and white penguins are cute, friendly, fish-eating mammals. You are wrong! We have underestimated the evilness of these ferocious creatures.

Did you know you are 68% likely to die from a bite of a penguin? You are also 27% likely to die from a slap from a penguin’s flipper. Finally, you are 46% likely to die from being belly-flopped by a waddle of penguins. In total, that’s a 137% chance of being killed by a penguin – pretty nasty odds.

The only way to protect yourself is to tell everybody of these terrible statistics so that they stay away from penguins. If you see a penguin crawling on its belly – don’t be deceived. It’s a trap. The waddle will overwhelm you.

Please pass on this message to all your Facebook and Twitter friends. The only way to survive a potential penguin attack is to be prepared. Are you?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Am I Doing Today? (#1) - Re-Editing Xannu - The Prophecy

Today I am editing Xannu - The Prophecy. It's been nearly ten years since I first wrote the book and it's time for a little overhaul. Fundamentally the book is great; I just want to tighten it up a little and improve on some of the dialog.

Re-editing a book is a long process - especially in small chunks of time. So far I'm only 25% in. There's probably another couple of weeks' worth of work to go. Then it's onto book two - Xannu - The Healing.

Once the re-editing is done it will be time to publish the second edition. I'm looking forward to that. So, those of you that have bought the paperback of the first edition now have something valuable to hold onto!

More next week.

Book 1: Xannu - The Prophecy

“Listen to the teachings of a wise man. You may not understand all he says but you will surely have nourishment for the future. Be positive and plan for success. Failure to plan is to plan for failure. Worry not at what came before but only prepare yourselves for that which is ahead.”
(Pika’Al 10:1-5, The Scriptures of Al’Zaneed)
Living out a mundane school life is not the norm for 12 year old Terry West. After digging up some rune coins near an old roman road two years ago, he has been living another life. This parallel existence in another world, is very different from his home. There he is Teern Truthbringer, an 18 year old soldier, who is tasked with finding the Xannu - 'he who will lead the people into deliverance.'

Journeying far and wide to fulfill his destiny, Teern will meet many others. Some who will help him and some who will want him dead. Visiting strange lands, battling un-earthly creatures and witnessing powerful magic are all in a day’s work.

But remaining an integral part of his circle of friends back home leads to many dilemmas. How will he balance the two lives he leads, solve two sets of problems, and understand the lessons he receives from both? Only time will tell. But time is something Terry doesn't have too much of, as everything is unfolding in ways he could never have imagined!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Where Is Your Plot Going? Incorporating A Wonderful New Idea

I thought I'd write a short post today about plot and where it wanders to during the writing of your manuscript. If you're anything like me you have a great idea for a book, you make a few notes and then you start writing. Then, somewhere in the writing of the manuscript you get this wonderful new idea...

It's what you do with that wonderful new idea that will determine exactly how your book turns out. If you run with it at a hundred miles per hour then the chances are your manuscript has just taken a huge left turn, never to return to its original story line. If you ignore it then you'll be writing the rest of your novel regretting never having explored the possibilities. So that just leaves some kind of middle path. The secret to exploiting this wonderful idea is to work out exactly how it fits into your current story. You mustn't shove it in; you can't just branch a little away and touch on the edges; no, somehow you have to use the best of the idea and encourage it to fit into your existing story. That can be tough but one way is to let the new idea percolate a little. Over a couple of days. Explore some different plot twists involving the new idea and then see how they each play out. After a few of these exercises you'll know just what to do with it.

Now all you need to do now is incorporate the new idea into the existing plot. Don't force it. Take your time. Weave it into the existing story. You may even need to go back and rewrite a few pieces to set it all up. Like I said, take your time. The reason for this is it probably is a really wonderful idea; it just needs full integration. If you don't do this part correctly it will show and there's nothing worse than a forced plot change that sticks out like a bruised thumb on a delicate hand. So chill, sip a glass of wine and smile. New ideas are wonderful things. They're what make the essence of an author into a great author.

Have a great day...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Picture of the Week (#11) - London Riots

Today I am continuing my weekly series that shows my picture of the week. It's just something that struck a chord with me for whatever reason. This week it's a picture from the London riots. I grew up in England and seeing pictures like this make me so sad and depressed. Centuries of history destroyed in mindless seconds. I'm praying for a swift and positive resolution.

Take a close look at these pictures. Don't let it happen here... Have a great weekend!

(Click picture for original size)
Picture from Boston.Com

Friday, August 12, 2011

Do I Really Have To Edit My Novel? Seriously?

If there's one thing that lets down Indie authors time and time again, it's their attention to editing. And by editing, I don't just mean running a spell checker through your manuscript. Editing is a little more than that!

Let me give you an example:
Steve came into the room and cashed into the crouch. "Hi, he said, "What have you been doing today? I heard your going our with my sister".
Seriously? Oh, you have no idea. I have read too many books that read like this. And guess what, my fellow Indies, it gives us ALL a bad name.

Editing your manuscript needn't be that hard of a task if you actually let go of it for a while and allow someone else to have at it. Other people coming fresh to your manuscript will spot things much easier than you, especially if you actually ask them to 'edit your manuscript.' It's not that you're a bad writer, it's just that when you read things you've written yourself, you quite often overlook things. You read it as you intended it to be read and not actually how it was written.

I love a good book. I love to get lost in the pages of adventures. But what I hate is to be jerked from a story when I have to try and work out what the author actually meant to write.

Lecture over... Give your book to an editor and publish this instead:
Steve came into the room and crashed into the crouch. "Hi," he said, "what have you been doing today? I heard you're going out with my sister."
Yes, SEVEN errors in total. Did you spot them all?

So, please - and I am seriously begging you here, Indie authors - get some proper editing done before you publish your book on the Kindle. An extra three or four weeks delay in getting your manuscript published is nothing in comparison to the forever that your published book will remain on its virtual shelf in Amazon's library. Take the time, please. Seriously!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Project Management Day: 'The 10 Hour Project Manager'

Back in April I launched my first reference book - 'The 10 Hour Project Manager.' I had no idea how many I would sell - even if I would sell a single one. To date this book has completely surprised me with its strong sales and earnings! I haven't plugged it for a while, so I thought today would be a good time to do so.

Do you manage projects? Do you want to be a Project Manager? Are you working too many hours every week? I'm sure you answered 'yes' to at least one of those questions. And if you did then I'm confident my book is going to help you. So, what's it about? It's broken up into the following chapters:


  1. Concepts / A brief introduction to Project Management
  2. Who's Who? - Know the project players
  3. Risks Management - Ignore this at your own peril
  4. Chess Playing - You don't get to be the king or the queen
  5. Project Lifecycle - From dawn 'til dusk
  6. Communications & Reporting - Too little or too much?
  7. How to become an accomplished PM - Taking control of the ingredients
  8. Tips & Tricks - You have to have a tips & tricks chapter!
  9. In Conclusion
  10. Real life examples

And as one of the reviewers writes:
"If you are looking to do a great job as a PM and still have a life, get this book. It is written by a very practical project manager for individuals who would like to be more effective and practical in their role as PM. How do I know this? I worked with him for several years on long term international projects with large multinational team. This book accurately reflects what he preached and practiced on the projects and hence my recommendation. I did not decide to write this recommendation as a favor to the author but as a favor to individuals, who can use a really practical guide to managing project and have a life. This author with his approach made it possible for all the team members to have a real work-life balance even on the road. Under him, our team excelled in every area imaginable on a project. I am glad that he decided to put his thoughts into writing so others can benefit from his approach. This would also be a great book for someone starting out as a Project Manager, as well."
So, why not head on over to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple's bookstore or Smashwords and pick up a copy today. It's $5.99 (also available as a paperback - use code SINK to save an extra 20%). Reading is the gateway to learning. Take it from a professional.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Books To Buy - Xannu, 10 Hr PM, Write & Self-Publish You Own Novel

It's been a busy few weeks and summer is firmly upon us. My kids are here for four weeks from England and it seems like 2011 has already nearly flown by. So I thought I'd take a break today (before I go back to editing some more manuscript) to market a few of my existing books. I'd also like to thank the many visitors to my blog (83,000 and rising)

Xannu - The Prophecy
Book 1 of 'The Southern Lands' saga ($0.99)

For fans of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Narnia Chronicles, the first installment in a thrilling epic fantasy series…

Would you wake up in a hot sweat if you lived your night’s dreams as a soldier battling un-earthly creatures, witnessing powerful magic and fighting to save your own life on a daily basis?

English schoolboy Terry West does. Frequently. After digging up some rune coins near a roman road, he has been living in another world inhabited by warlocks, seductresses, priests and prophecy. There Terry is a soldier, Teern Truthbringer, who has been tasked with finding the Xannu - 'he who will lead the people into deliverance.'

If only it wasn’t real; but it is. Very real. When it all began it was even enjoyable, but now Terry’s life is getting very complicated. Somehow he involved his best friend Joe and although it had seemed a good idea at the time, the consequences had been dire. Then there is Susan, the leggy sister of klutzy school-friend Brian. Why does she keep sending him messages?

Terry is struggling to balance the two lives he leads and every day he is losing his grip on reality just a little bit more. He’s been forced to kill enemies; his companion, the magical woman Maria, is scaring him half to death with her abilities; and his parents are on his back about his school work.

How will he balance the two lives he leads, solve two sets of problems, and understand the lessons he receives from both? Only time will tell. But time is something Terry doesn't have too much of, as everything is unfolding in ways he could never have imagined!

“Listen to the teachings of a wise man. You may not understand all he says but you will surely have nourishment for the future. Be positive and plan for success. Failure to plan is to plan for failure. Worry not at what came before but only prepare yourselves for that which is ahead.” (Pika’Al 10:1-5, The Scriptures of Al’Zaneed)

The 10 Hour Project Manager ($5.99)

"Clear, concise and valuable Project Management advice for the price of a beer (Two if you want the paperback)!"

It has long been a desire of mine to write a book on project management and I have spent most of the last fifteen years practicing the art worldwide. During that time many people have asked me for some written guidance but until now there just hasn’t been the right opportunity to do so. So here we have it.

I’ve tried to write something straightforward, told in the way I speak. I’m not a teacher and this isn’t a classroom book. It’s a series of guidelines told through stories and real life experiences that have been etched into my head over the years as I’ve traveled the world managing all sorts of projects, large and small.

I want to say a big thank you to all of you that have encouraged me with your kind words while working with me. I also want to thank all those that took time out in their careers many years ago to help me on the road to successful project management. Now it’s my turn to pass on the baton. I hope you each find a little something
that makes the purchase of this book worth the price of a beer. Cheers!

Who is this book for? Most likely you are someone who has been managing projects for a few years, in a variety of different situations. Maybe you're a consultant that wanders from project to project, or an employee that gets passed from pillar to post depending on the hot topic of the month. Either way, you're not fresh out of school and you've seen a scary thing or two happen during project implementations. What you're really looking for are some words of wisdom, or maybe a guide you can refer to as necessary, that will enable you to manage your projects more efficiently and cut down your work weeks to something more sustainable. You would ideally like to spend some quality time somewhere outside the confines of your office.

The objective of this book is to enable the reader to successfully manage most every project you will ever be given in less than ten hours a week. That’s only two hours a day! Okay, when you've stopped laughing read on. This is actually the premise of the book. I have managed successful projects in many companies, in many countries, in many cultures and in many situations. Nearly without fail I have only paid very close attention to the management of that project for about ten hours a week, over the majority of the project lifecycle. In some cases, it was even less!

What will I learn from it? This book is about the meta-rules associated with running a project. It’s about the management skills that will not only help you decide what you need to pay close attention to but also what you can safely de-prioritize. This will allow you to focus on the relevant and important items in a project. Every project is a little different, but the meta-rules are the same. By the end of this book you should have all the tools necessary to be able to successfully manage most projects in only ten hours a week (during the majority of the lifecycle). Just think what you will be able to do with all that spare time. Maybe you'll even be able to start that little money-earning side project you've always intended to get underway!

How To Write & Self-Publish Your First Novel ($2.99)

Writing and publishing your first novel is tough. It usually takes a long time. Years for most people. It can be soul destroying too. You finally complete your manuscript; you send off samples to agents and publishers, and anxiously watch the mail for the responses. Then they come in, one at a time, rejection after rejection.

How do I know this? I’ve been there. Does this mean I was a bad writer? No, but I could have used some help in those early days. Sure, I had purchased a few books on writing and I had tried to pay attention to the advice they gave, but there were so many of them and sometimes advice seemed to conflict other advice. It was way too much to take in.

But I persevered with my writing and now I have been writing for several years and I have completed several novels and other books, and my writing is a lot better. My early novels could still do with some major re-editing (which they will be finally getting this summer), but my later works, oh wow I can spot the differences!

So, a few months ago I decided I would go the self-publishing route to getting my books out there in the big world. Things are changing in the book markets and so many people now have Kindles and Nooks and iPads and other electronic book readers. I thought to myself, why not do it myself? I know I can write; I have that confidence. Enough complete strangers have told me they like what I write, so why shouldn’t I join that list of published authors? And why should I have to wait for some agent or publisher to take a chance on an unknown author before I get published? So I did it, and now I have the story to tell and the method you can use to generate your own success.

This ebook is a series of essays solely concerned with improving your writing skills and getting your first novel successfully self-published. It is written in a way that you can keep dipping into it, and keep coming back to parts of it, time and time again. It is concise and to the point and it is written from experience; thousands of hours of experience. Every essay in this book is relevant and has a purpose. Every essay will give you pause for thought.

Can I turn you into a bestselling author? No – only you can do that. But I can set you on a path to success. I can give you clear guidelines about what not to do, and how to do things better. And I can tell you exactly how to self-publish that novel. This ebook takes your novel from the beginning and leads you along a path of self-discovery. When you have finished reading you will be Writing for Success and be someone who has a better chance than most every other wannabe author out there of becoming the next Tom Clancy, JK Rowling, Stephen King, or whoever else is your writing hero.

Good luck!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Picture of the Week (#10) - Seattle Skyline and the Blue Angels

Today I am continuing my weekly series that shows my picture of the week. It's just something that struck a chord with me for whatever reason. This week it's a picture I took while watching the Seattle skyline.

I was on a trip to Blake Island, at Tillicum Village. The Seattle skyline looked particularly resplendent against the blue sky and I lined up my photo. Imagine my disappointment to discover my photo ruined by some group of planes that burst across the picture! Seriously, it was just a case of being in the right place at the right time... Have a great week!

(Click pictures for original size)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sigi Schmid - Time to Leave the Sounders (Seattle Sounders v Sporting Kansas City)

Now I know that Seattle actually won yesterday's game, but let's examine recent results in a little more detail:

Manchester Utd 7-0 Seattle Sounders
San Francisco (Panama) 1-0 Seattle Sounders
Houston 3-1 Seattle Sounders
San Francisco (Panama)  0-2 Seattle Sounders
Kansas 1-2 Seattle Sounders

So, why am I complaining? After all it seems like Seattle has won the last two games, right? Yes, they were the technical results. However, both games required last gasp goals (in one case against a team with only 10 men), after completely lackluster performances. The bottom line is that Sigi Schmid has forgotten how to coach both the defense and the offnse. His game is a midfield one - it's just not good enough anymore, Sigi!

Sigi, Sigi, what does it take? Seriously. Be grateful you are not coaching in England. If you were you would currently be out of a job. Week after week I watch you play the same old tired tactics against teams that quite honestly Seattle should blow away with the depth of playing skill they have (technically we have one of the most talented teams in the league). Let's examine your tactics:

Defense: Sorry - do we actually have a defense that supports Kasey Keller - I think if you ask him that, he'd agree
Midlfield: Maybe the best part of our game - Perhaps that's all you know, Sigi. CHANGE IT UP!
Offense: I guess we missed out here, too. Do you actually teach any of our strikers where the goal is? And why do you insist on playing has been, no idea strikers? (Think Levesque). And Montero currently couldn't hit the goal from two yards away. Time for some striker training camps, Sigi.

I am a real Sounders supporter but I am fed up of the tired tactics you play week after week. Enough said.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS management - please recruit a new manager. One that can actually coach the players we have to play real soccer...

Goodbye - Mister Fat Controller (please see Thomas The Tank Engine), have a nice trip...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

New Blood - Melrose (Progress #4)

The first post of the weekend is an update on how my writing of New Blood - Melrose is coming along.

The main news? The draft manuscript is complete! At 83,000 words it was put to bed last night and left to cook a while. Woo Hoo! As always, the end of the book totally tied me up with non-stop writing - 18,000 words in the last 3 days, with 9,000 of them alone coming on the last day. When a book needs to come out, it comes out!

So, now there are a couple of people I'm going to send the draft manuscript to. As I've mentioned before, this is a little of a departure for me and I want to get a gut feel reaction from a couple of readers. I'm pretty sure I've hit the nail spot on the head, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

There will obviously be a lot more posts on New Blood over the next few weeks, and I'm planning for a release (as big a release as possible) in the fall. I'm excited.

The other good news is that for the first time this year I don't have to write anything (novel-wise that is). It's a wonderful feeling. To date this year I've written well over 250,000 words of new books. I think that's enough for anybody!

So, what's the book about? As I've said before, New Blood is something a little different from my usual genre of YA Fantasy. New Blood is aimed at older Young Adults - 16+. The book has adult themes and younger adult characters (22 -25 years of age). It's also set in contemporary times and touches on the paranormal. But, it's no vampire story (or if it is, then it's vampires like you've never seen them before!). The story revolves around a dark and powerful antagonist and his target, the beautiful and innocent protagonist. It's a love story with a very different twist. As my hook says:
A single kiss can get a girl killed. But what if he's the most handsome man you've ever met? What would you do?
It's been a different experience writing a book based on places I know (as opposed to the land of fantasy in which I usually stay) and using characters that you may even meet on your next trip down the street (although there are certain characters I would hope you never meet - for your own sake). I'm excited to publish this first Melrose novel. I definitely think this is my best novel yet...

Back to the plot... I'll give you more background next week. Until then, try a little of my fantasy stuff - buy a copy of Xannu - The Prophecy. It's only $0.99 for a full 125,000 word novel - that's a pretty good deal. It's available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Think Harry Potter meets The Chronicles of Narnia, during The Lord of the Rings!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Creating A Book - The Condensed Version

Is writing a book like following a recipe?

It depends. Of course it does. It depends on many factors. It also depends on what kind of a cook you are. If you’re the kind of cook that never follows a recipe and just adds things as you go, then the chances are that’s just how you’ll write your book too. Good luck!

Me? I’m a little more organized than that. In my work life I’m a project manager, and project managers have to be well organized and structured. They also have to be able to react to change and manage risks and things that may (and do) go wrong. I think it’s pretty good training for writing a book!

So how exactly do I write a book? Let’s start at the beginning (and I want to add a comment here that due to the fact this is a blog post, the following process has been summarized). First off I have an idea for a story. It’s usually something really simple, and there are a few characters involved; the protagonist and the antagonist. Oh, and some kind of setting and back-story too. I usually write this down – a few bullet points – and then I let it sit and bake for a while. I come back to it from time to time and then add a few more notes. Eventually there comes a time when I’m ready to structure the story properly. I decide on the length I want it to be (80k – 120k depending on audience, genre, etc.), and I also decide on the number of chapters I want to write. This is where my project management experience kicks in. I know from personal experience that for every plot point I create, I will write somewhere between 400 and 600 words of story. This means that if I want to write an 80k word book, I’m going to need about 160 plot points. That’s a lot of things happening in a story! My first job – before I write a single word – is to create at least half (preferably two thirds) of those plot points. This gives me a firm basis and direction for my book and also allows me to add other storylines as the book develops and gets ‘its own life.’ Then I write the book.

Okay, easy part done! Next I like to let my newly written manuscript sit for a while (just like letting bread prove). I don’t touch it for at least a month – preferably two – so that I can mostly forget about it. Then I come back to it anew and re-read it, editing as I read. It’s easy this time through to spot parts that don’t work or need changing somehow. After this is done the manuscript is ready to send out to a team of pre-readers (as I call them). These are people who are prepared to read through my manuscript at least three times, looking for different things including plot and character inconsistencies, grammar, spelling, parts of the story that don’t work, and all sorts of other things. I require my pre-readers to give me written reports that follow a strict template.

Next comes the final edit. I take all the feedback I have received and decide which I want to take and which I don’t (it’s still my story after all), and then I make my edits. One final reread and the manuscript is probably good to go. This just leaves covers, book blurb, pricing, marketing, press releases, advanced reader copies (ARCs) – for reviews - and all that great stuff to organize.

End to end timing? Wow, that’s a tough question. It depends on the actual writing part. I try and allow a month to let the story grow inside me, then a further week or so to flesh it out before I write. Then I write it. This usually seems to take about 3 months. Then a month to let it sit, a week to make edits, another month to get feedback from pre-readers, a week to make final edits and another couple of weeks to finalize all the other details. All in all, it’s about a 7 month process, end to end for an 80k novel. I’m sure some people can do it quicker and some people take longer. Just remember, you get one shot at your reader, so don’t rush the process – it will show through in the final product. We all want to start earning money off the book tomorrow, but a book is on sale forever and can generate revenue for years. Think about that when you come to the editing process. Spending quality time before the book goes on sale in order to create a better book is well worth it. Good luck!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Two New Four Star Reviews for: Xannu - The Prophecy

Two new Four Star reviews were posted by readers during the last couple of days. The original posts can be found at:
  1. Books and Things
  2. C.C.Cole's Blog
The reviews are posted in their entirety below. Many thanks for the continued positive feedback. Please jump over to Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords and pick up your copy for only $0.99

Books & Things
This book was actually first released back in 2003, however the author decided to release it in ebook format this year and it is due to this that I received a copy to review for my blog. The book itself has an interesting premise with a story that is spread across two very different realities. One of these realities is set in the typical epic fantasy world where Teern, an immortal warrior searches for the fabled Xannu and then there is our own reality, where a schoolboy called Terry is trying to live a normal life in England whilst receiving visions of Teern's life in the other reality.

After finishing the story I can happily state that this book is an excellent fast paced fantasy adventure story that both young adults & those of us who are a bit older will enjoy. The world created by the author is full of intrigue, thrills and excitement that I think should appeal to most. The differing realities do throw a little bit of complication into the storyline but the author has managed to write the novel in a manner that enables the story to flow very well between the two distinct worlds in an understandable way.
There is quite a large cast of interesting and different characters in the novel, but they are introduced in a well structured manner so that readers shouldn't get lost or confused. The various feelings and motivations of the characters were also well developed so that I found most of them to be believable. In addition I felt that most young adult readers should be able to relate well to the two main characters in our own reality, which hopefully will help any readers new to the fantasy genre relate more to the overall story as well.

In summary, this book was an enjoyable and well paced manner that didn't get bogged down by technicalities or unnecessary waffle. I think it will make a superb book for any families trying to introduce their younger members to the wider world of fantasy as the book covers both our own world and the more fantastical one. I know it is something that I would have recommended to my own children if they were old enough to actually read! Either way, I am going to make sure I pick up the sequel at some point soon as I can't wait to find out what happens next in the stories of Teern, Terry & all their companions.

“Xannu: the Prophecy” by Paul Dorset is the beginning of an epic tale geared to young readers. A group of school-age kids finds themselves transported into another world, assuming new identities with new abilities they gradually grow in to. As the story moves forward, the seemingly benign adventure becomes more dangerous, challenging the kids to face their fears. All around, it delivers in entertainment as well as the messages of friendship and bravery. Four stars!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Trending: How To Write & Self-Publish Your First Novel

Buy this book while you can. I recently raised the price to $2.99 on this best selling ebook, but currently Amazon is selling it at a discounted price of $0.99.

Buy yours while you can! It's a great read...

1. Don't Start the Story at the Beginning
2. Become a Successful Writer in 2,000 Hours
3. Poems and Short Stories
4. Creating a Good Plot
5. How Long Should a First Novel Be?
6. Writing in the First Person
7. Writing in the Third Person
8. Dialog Versus Narrative – Show Versus Tell
9. Writing Your First Novel: Words & Routine
10. Conflict and Its Importance
11. Plot Pace
12. Creating Believable and Well Rounded Characters
13. Writing Dialog – Or ‘He Said, She Said’
14. Creating a Page Turner
15. Letting the Book 'Cook'
16. Self-Editing Your Novel
17. The Process of Pre-Reads
18. Creating a World of Fantasy
19. How to Write & Self-Publish a Novel: The End-To-End Process Checklist
20. Creating a Writing Environment without Interruptions
21. Reading to Write
22. Encouraging All Would Be Authors
23. The Self-Publishing Process - The COMPLETE A-Z Instructions
24. Marketing Your Novel - The Relevance of Social Media, ARCs and Book Bloggers