A Quick Update for my Readers

 

Image by Jcrakow

Image by Jcrakow

Hello Readers,

My blog has been a little quiet lately, I know. I’ve been focussing on running a promo for Easy Prey and testing some AMS ads out for both The Crimson Guild and Blood Rage. The promo went quite well with 50 downloads over 3 days. This isn’t bad considering I only used free advertising on a few newsletters. I also feel like I am making some progress with my ads. People are clicking on them, that’s a start. The next step in the process is converting the clicks to sales. So I have been revisiting my book blurb for Blood Rage. Reviews also help out with converting clicks to sales and thankfully I have had a few come through recently. They act kind of like a recommendation from a friend, so thank you to every one of you who have left a review so far.

This has been taking up a lot of my time, but in the midst of it all I have been trying to write. I haven’t made much progress here, but I have been creeping forward with a fantasy story I have been working on. I have also been fleshing out another fantasy/sci fi idea that I have knocking about in my head. I really want to get a few more stories out this year, so at some point I may have to lock myself in a room with no internet access and get stuck into my writing.

As for reading, I have made some headway this year. I think I have read 5 books to date (though a goodreads glitch says I have read 2 of them twice on my reading challenge) and I’m over half way through a beta read I’m doing for another author. I’m also 25% through another book, but I’m struggling with this one. The story is original and quite good, but the writing style is not working for me and I think it is going to be a DNF (Did Not Finish). I’ll see how I go, I really don’t like not finishing a book as I like to post a review when I’m done, and polite, constructive criticism can help an author to improve.

Anyway, that’s about it from me, take care and happy reading!

 

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What Is Your Favourite Fantasy Novel?

picture-by-shannon-hauser

Picture by Shannon Hauser

Hello Readers,

I was having a look to see if I could find any good fantasy novels/authors to read and while trawling through lots of blogs and webpages I thought to myself “I wonder what my readers really enjoyed reading?” That gave me an idea. Why don’t I ask? So I put this quick blog post together just for that reason. I’ll share some of my favourites with you first.

  1. Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercombie.
  2. Best Served Cold by Joe Abercombie.
  3. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.
  4. The Lascars Dagger by Glenda Larke

Okay so there are four of my favourites. Now it’s over to you… What are your favourite fantasy novels?

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Visit the ‘Hall of Whispers’ for updates, special offers, etc…

Book Review – Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker

Smashwords Book Marketing GuideSmashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Review – Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker
Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker is a non-fiction that covers off of marketing techniques.

The Cover: The cover is basic but professional and clearly fits the non-fiction title.

The Bad Stuff: This is an obvious Smashwords promotional tool and the tips provided really shouldn’t be anything new to the average author who has been publishing for a while.

The Good Stuff: The book is well produced and all the basic marketing tips are here in one place (along with a few things that some authors may not know or have considered). This would certainly be a very useful resource for a new writer and will help them set themselves up as an author, giving them the best shot at making their writing a successful business.

Overall, this is more a marketing tool for Smashwords and I really don’t have an issue with that. In my opinion this book does not contain much in the way of new information for a writer that has been self-publishing for a while (though I appreciate there are differing levels of experience out there). It is however a treasure trove of good ideas and advice for the novice. For this reason I’m giving this one a profile lifting 3 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

View all my reviews

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Visit the ‘Hall of Whispers’ for updates, special offers, etc…

Book Review – Never: Prequel to The Amber Isle by Ashley Capes

Never: Prequel to The Amber Isle (Book of Never, #0)Never: Prequel to The Amber Isle by Ashley Capes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Review – Never: Prequel to The Amber Isle by Ashley Capes

Never: Prequel to The Amber Isle by Ashley Capes is a short fantasy story about a thief with bad blood (hmmm… why does that sound familiar to me). We follow the story of Never as he steals he way towards a cure.

The Cover: Okay, I’m adding a new section for cover design in my reviews as I feel they need to be spoken about. I love the cover on this book and probably would not have bothered to pick this title up if not the beautiful artwork. It screams fantasy to me, provoking a mood of gritty action and danger. Just my kind of book.

The Bad Stuff: The name of our protagonist threw me off. Every time I read his name I was confused by the actual meaning of the word, expecting a sentence to form somewhat differently. The writing style didn’t grip me and pull me in either, I found it a bit passive.

The Good Stuff: I must say that once I got over the character’s name and the writing style, I actually enjoyed this story and the world building that was developed over this short story. It is certainly a fantasy set in a world I enjoy to read. The characters were also quite well rounded for a short story. The storyline isn’t bad at all, but as with any new author you read, it may take a few pages to get into the swing of things. I’d say give it a chance and see what you think, I found it free on amazon and if the end matter in the book is up to date, you can get the following book free if you sign up to My Capes Newsletter.

Overall the story was interesting and well-paced, I wasn’t fully invested in the characters, but feel if I were given a little more time with them, I would form a stronger bond. If you are looking for something quick to read with a fantasy setting, I’d say give it a go. I’m giving this one a shadow hugging 3 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Visit the ‘Hall of Whispers’ for updates, special offers, etc…

The Crimson Guild Book Promo.

the-crimson-guild-3d-render

Hello Readers,

Good news! I’m currently running a promo on ‘The Crimson Guild’ and for one week only, I’ve dropped the price by 50%. This fantasy novella follows the story of Conall O’Lorcan, a boy with a rage inside of him, a rage he doesn’t know how to control. Cast out of his village, he seeks a new life where nobody knows his secrets. But when he is recruited into a guild of thieves, his secrets become hard to hide.

The book is available from multiple retailers, including: Apple, Kobo and Amazon. So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy while it is going cheap.

If you love fantasy then this is a book for you. Don’t believe me? Check out the reviews on Goodreads.

Please share this post with anyone you think may be interested in this special offer, and of course, if you do grab yourself a copy and you enjoy the read, the best thank you any author can wish for is a review from a happy reader.

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Visit the ‘Hall of Whispers’ for updates, special offers, etc…

Easy Prey – Free for Three.

Easy Prey 3d render

Hello Readers,

I am writing this post to give you all a heads up on my latest book promo. I have my short horror story ‘Easy Prey’ on Kindle Unlimited (KU). Under the terms of KU the book is exclusive to Amazon. But don’t worry… if you don’t own a kindle, you can download the free app from your store. For those that do not subscribe to KU, I am making ‘Easy Prey’ free for 3 days commencing today, 1st of February 2018 (Pacific time).

Because it is only a short story it usually retails for under a dollar, so it isn’t a huge saving, but hey… free is free after all. And it gives you a chance to trial my writing without spending any cash. So why not grab yourself a copy and give me a go.

Still not convinced? Maybe this blurb will sway you:

Something sinister lurks around Shady Ridge. It’s places like this you can find easy prey. Mack Conway is a creep with an eye for the ladies. Life hasn’t exactly been kind to him. It could be better if he just played nice, but he ain’t nice… and he’s looking for trouble.

Please share this post with anyone you think may be interested in a copy, and of course, if you do grab yourself a copy and you enjoy the read, the best thank you any author can wish for is a review from a happy reader.

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Visit the ‘Hall of Whispers’ for updates, special offers, etc…

Book Review – Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz, #1)Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Review – Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson is a YA fantasy novel about a boy called Alcatraz, given up by his parents at an early age, only to be shifted from one home to the next because of his talent for breaking things. But there is more to this boy than meets the eye and the librarians’ know it.

The Bad Stuff: I’m sorry, but I have to say it. This book was riddled with typos, missing letters, word double ups, etc… and could do with a thorough edit. But honestly, I can’t say anything else bad against this book.

The Good Stuff: I really enjoyed this book. No I mean it, I really enjoyed this book. Even with all the typos. They just didn’t bother me because I was enjoying it so much. It is witty and fun from the very beginning. It even has some good tips for budding writers as Alcatraz tells his story through a first person POV – And the most surprising thing of all, is that I hate first person POV. The way Sanderson handled this was pure style.

Overall this book is creative, well-paced, light hearted and fun. If you are looking for something a little quirky that will make you smile, I strongly recommend it. I’m giving this one a gadget breaking 5 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

View all my reviews

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Visit the ‘Hall of Whispers’ for updates, special offers, etc…

Book Review – The Idiots Guide to Writing a Novel by Tom Monteleone

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing a NovelThe Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing a Novel by Thomas F. Monteleone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Review – The Complete Idiots Guide to Writing a Novel by Tom Monteleone
The Complete Idiots Guide to Writing a Novel by Tom Monteleone runs through the basics of what it takes to write a novel, including writing techniques, marketing and publishing tips and much more.

The Bad Stuff: Firstly, let me say that the version I read was the 2004 edition and there is a revised version of this book that was produced in 2010. So, it is no surprize that some of the content seemed dated to me. I have not seen the 2010 edition, so I am not sure if the issues I found have been updated at all. I would suggest they have, as the problems were really around genre, publishing and marketing section of the book and these areas have changed dramatically since 2004. However, I’d still suggest that a lot more has changed since 2010 and it is probably due for another revision.

The Good Stuff: This book is full of good advice on writing and will open the eyes of the naïve novice coming in thinking it will be an easy way to make a fast buck. The techniques and advice given on writing and managing your time still apply today.

Overall this book is for the beginner. It may provide some new tips to the intermediate writer, but the value of the information within will diminish with the more experience you have. Isn’t that the case with all non-fiction though? This book is well worth the money if you are just starting out and because of this, I’m giving it a flourishing 4 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

View all my reviews

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Visit the ‘Hall of Whispers’ for updates, special offers, etc…

Book Review – Blood Rage by Allan Walsh

Blood Rage (#3)Blood Rage by Allan Walsh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Review – Blood Rage by Allan Walsh (Author Review)

Blood Rage by Allan Walsh is a fantasy novel about a thief, Conall O’Lorcan, who begrudgingly takes on a job that seems too good to be true. It is… and everything starts to go wrong. His world spirals into chaos as a power hungry Baron plots to take over the realm. With so much more than just his reputation at stake, Conall is determined to set things right.

The Bad Stuff: Blood Rage was the first story I ever wrote. Some parts of this novel were very easy for me; action scenes conjured themselves up in my mind and just seemed to flow onto the paper. But other parts I struggled with. Tough parts I did not want to write and spent hours slogging through, trying to piece the scenes together. As I was new to writing, the result was terrible, but blinded by ignorance, I thought it was fantastic! Fortunately, when I was researching how to publish, I took on advice to get my work critiqued and have it professionally edited. I joined a writers’ group and spent the next year reworking the story, then sent it to an editor I met through the group. These were some of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The crux of it is that I did not plan this novel when I wrote it, I did not consider the story arc or the character arcs, writing styles, etc… these things came after in the re-writing. Therefore you may find this story a little rough around the edges.

The Good Stuff: I have mentioned above that I spent a long while gaining critiques and rewriting Blood Rage. Then after my editor went through it, I rewrote it some more. In the end this has become one of those stories where, as the author, there are some parts I’ll read and think ‘did I really write that?’ It blows me away when I get that feeling from my own writing and makes me feel like I am doing what I should be doing – not for me, but for my readers. I’m not saying that I’m the next Joe Abercombie or Brandon Sanderson, I’m saying that sometimes I surprise myself. I just hope I can surprise my readers in the same way and give you stories you really enjoy. Blood Rage has action and tension, an array of creatures – some not commonly seen in the fantasy genre, and others that are more familiar. It has underlying Celtic and pagan themes that I think give the story an originality of its own. And it turned out better than I could have expected, I hope you too enjoy ‘Blood Rage’.

Overall this fantasy is fast paced and action packed. I may be a little biased, but I like this story and it gets a solid blood rushing 4 out of 5 golden bookmarks from me.

View all my reviews

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Visit the ‘Hall of Whispers’ for updates, special offers, etc…

Checking Out My Books? Here’s a Tip.

Picture by wackystuff

Picture by wackystuff

Hello Readers,

I have previously blogged to let you know my books are available in my local libraries, but I was recently reviewing the distribution channels for my books, and I realized that I have not yet told you they are available on Overdrive. Why am I telling you this now? Because Overdrive is a service used by many libraries for e-books and audio books. It means that if your local library uses Overdrive, my books will be listed on their catalogue. And more importantly, if they do not currently have a copy in stock, you can recommend that they go ahead and order one in. Once they receive a stock copy of a book it becomes available for library members to check out.

So, if you get your books from your local library and want to (literally) check out my books, why not jump online and see if they have them in stock. If they do not, I’d suggest recommending that they order a copy and put it on hold for you when they receive it. If they like your recommendation, they will order a copy in (this usually only takes a couple of weeks). Once it arrives you’ll be notified via email and you can log in to check it out.

That’s my tip on checking out my books from your local library. On that note, I’d just like to say that our libraries do a great service for the community and can do with all the support they can get. So if you do not currently make use of their facilities, why not give them a go.