Price Drops and Review Copies (2 More Read Tuesday Opportunities)

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Xina Marie Uhl:

Heads up to look for this soon!

Originally posted on ReadTuesday:

Good News

READ TUESDAY

Read Tuesday is a Black Friday type of event just for book lovers.

In 2014, Read Tuesday falls on Tuesday, December 9.

It’s a great opportunity to gift e-books or stock up on good reading.

It’s also a great opportunity for authors to stimulate 4th quarter sales.

We’re adding two news promotions to Read Tuesday:

  • simple price drops on Kindle (as opposed to Countdown Deals)—see below for more details
  • review copies to be given away (last year, we had some traditionally published authors interested in this)

Here are ways that readers can save big on Read Tuesday:

  • Participating Kindle Countdown Deals, price drops,  and FREE e-books will make for great e-books to gift.
  • Participating Smashwords discount codes will also make for great e-books to gift.
  • Participating Kindle MatchBook offers will have FREE Kindle prices—so you can give the paperback as a gift and keep the Kindle e-book for…

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Lay Your Head Under the Tree of Awe; Two Poems by Rumi

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The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

From Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks

 

Shadow and Light Source Both

How does a part of the world leave the world?
How does wetness leave water? Don’t try to
put out fire by throwing on more fire! Don’t
wash a wound with blood. No matter how fast
you run, your shadow keeps up. Sometimes it’s
in front! Only full overhead sun diminishes
your shadow. But that shadow has been serving
you. What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is
your candle. Your boundaries are your quest.

I could explain this, but it will break the
glass cover on your heart, and there’s no
fixing that. You must have shadow and light
source both. Listen, and lay your head under
the tree of awe. When from that tree feathers
and wings sprout on you, be quieter than
a dove. Don’t even open your mouth for even a coo.

From Soul of Rumi by Coleman Barks

Whip It – WIPpet Good … and a Request!

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I always want to belt out Devo on Wednesdays, for some reason. Before I get into the work in progress snippet (WIPpet), I have a request to make. I’m trying to get a couple of my short story collections free on Amazon (US, UK, CA, etc.). In order for Amazon to do that, I need different people to report that there’s a lower price on the collections elsewhere. So what you would do is visit the link associated with your country:

The Ruling Elite and Other Stories

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NBLUWA8

http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00NBLUWA8

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NBLUWA8

http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00NBLUWA8

and scroll down to the PRODUCT DETAILS section. If you are logged in, you should see an option that says, “tell us about a lower price.” Click it and fill out the short form. You will need a link for the free copy, which is here: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/book/ruling-elite-other-stories/id909160062?mt=11 or http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ruling-elite-and-other-stories-xina-marie-uhl/1120171102?ean=2940046102932

I also have a need for the same to be done for this collection (US is already done):

A Fairy Tail and Out of the Bag

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fairy-Tail-Out-Bag-ebook/dp/B00KF4KWJK/

http://www.amazon.ca/Fairy-Tail-Out-Bag-ebook/dp/B00KF4KWJK/

http://www.amazon.com.au/Fairy-Tail-Out-Bag-ebook/dp/B00KF4KWJK/

It is FREE over here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-fairy-tail-and-out-of-the-bag-xina-marie-uhl/1119478347?ean=2940045937207 and https://itunes.apple.com/ie/book/a-fairy-tail-and-out-of-the-bag/id878181819?mt=11

Hugs, kisses, and big, giant THANKS for helping me out!

Now, to my WIPpet. It is a short 10 sentences (for the 10th day of September) of The King’s Champion. Young Lance is training to be a member of the prince’s guard.

One morning, Uffen, who had the annoying habit of bursting into cheerful song at the crack of dawn, bounded up while I lay on my cot rubbing sleep out of my eyes.

            “We’re having a war!”

            Fear squeezed my stomach. I sat straight up. “The king has declared it?”

            “No, you dolt. A practice war. Many of the city guards will join us.”

            “Not to mention the prince,” Shar commented. He was standing in front of the open door, scratching his crotch.

Come join the fun, started by K.L. Schwengel, by clicking below to read more excerpts from works in progress, or if you’re feeling REALLY daring, post your own:

Action on the Training Field

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Who’s having a good week? I am, and I hope that you are, too! I’ve been making my way through Rayne Hall’s Twitter for Writers and really enjoying myself as I dip my toes back into those fast-moving social media waters. I actually have a strategy this time around which is good because Twitter is all too easy to spend hours and hours on each day.

Today I am posting from my YA epic fantasy novel The King’s Champion. Here, bumbling young Lance, newly arrived in the city from the countryside, tries out his grandfather’s sword. In true WIPpet (work in progress snippet) fashion I have added up a bunch of numbers related to the date to figure out how many paragraphs to post: 9+3 (month and day) +1 + 4 (last two digits of the year) = 17. Don’t worry, though, most of the paragraphs are not very long at all.

As always, I am embarrassingly grateful for constructive criticism and comments.

The sounds of sword fighting wakened me early the next morning. Staggering upright, I dressed, splashed water on my face, and went outside the barrack, yawning.

Carter and the others from yesterday stood on the training field in front of the barrack, fighting each other in groups of two. Carter shouted a suggestion here, an encouragement there, in a loud voice. He glanced over and saw me.

“Boy!” he boomed. “Do you want to try out that half-wrecked twig of a sword I saw you with yesterday?”

“Yes, sir!” I cried, my heart leaping in anticipation.

I ran inside, threw on my boots, and grabbed my sword. Outside, Carter broke up the duo fighting nearest him.

“Kenton, go a round with young Lance, here,” he told one a squat, dark-skinned man nearby.

Kenton looked at me and grinned, revealing a broken front tooth filed to a point like a spike.

I took up a stance in front of Kenton. He scarcely gave me a moment to center myself before he rushed at me, howling. I let out a surprised cry as he launched a stroke designed to chop off my head. Survival instincts flaring, I ducked and elbowed him in the gut. Skittering backwards, I let fly with a wild chop that sliced clean through a hank of Kenton’s thick dark hair. The men standing around us fell abruptly silent.

Kenton froze, then put a hand to his hair in dull surprise. He turned to me with a snarl of rage.

“I will chop you up into little pieces for that, boy.”

A wild exhilaration filled me. “Try and I’ll trim your whole head!”

Kenton gave another roar and unleashed a vicious round of blows at me. I fended them off with limited success, catching a jab in the ribs, a slap on the arm and a ringing swipe to the head. I managed to get in a good swat to his right side, unbalancing him. Backing up quickly, I found myself near the barrack wall. Shaddai! I took a few steps forward, trying to reposition myself.

Kenton snorted like a mad bull and pawed the earth. Lowering his head, he ran at me, powerful legs pumping his body forward with tremendous speed. I believe he intended to hit me in the stomach and knock the wind out of me. That might have worked if I hadn’t twisted aside at the last instant. Kenton hit the barrack wall head on. He sprawled on the ground, semi-conscious.

The others surrounded me, laughing and patting me on the back. Carter came up also, grinning.

“Good job, lad.”

I looked worriedly at Kenton’s inert figure. “Is he–?”

“Oh, don’t worry about him. Marl, Uffen, haul Kenton over to the doctor. He’ll be all right. He’s strange about his hair, that’s all.”

Come join the fun, started by K.L. Schwengel, by clicking below to read more excerpts from works in progress, or if you’re feeling REALLY daring, post your own:

WIPpet Wednesday Has Come Again

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Boy, oh boy, these Wednesdays sure role around quickly, don’t they? I’m a bit off kilter today since I woke up at 2 am and couldn’t get back to sleep until 5 am… and somewhere in that insomnia I thought it was Thursday. That’s one of the problems of working from home – you tend to forget what day it is and devolve socially altogether. The remedy for that is to get a bunch of dogs. I have three of them, at latest count.

Yeah, I know it’s a bit of a non sequitur, but that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

Since the weekly work in progress snippet (thus, WIPpet) must have something to do with the date, today I’m posting eight lines (+1 for clarity’s sake) from the 27th paragraph of the epic fantasy novel I’m currently revising.

Bumbling young hero Lance has just been accosted by brigands.

            Very shortly they were shoving a bitter, dry plant down my throat. I choked and gagged, whipping my head around until they held me securely and forced the awful thing down my throat. After kicking and jerking for a while longer, I then slowed down and slumped over quite convincingly, my eyes still open, but inattentive.

            They tied my hands and threw me to the ground. I lay there perfectly still, the cool mud pressing against my cheek, while the others set about preparing their supper. We had used the kantas root at home as a poison to keep small animals from our fields, but given to a man in sufficient doses it produces a paralyzing effect for up to several days. Smaller quantities, however, produces a mild drunkenness. My friends and I had discovered this while chewing it in secret behind the smokehouse. Despite what I’d led my assailants to believe, the drug had hardly affected me, save for a slight throbbing headache.

What will befall him? Much excitement, for sure! Come join the fun, started by K.L. Schwengel by clicking below:

Let’s Try This Again … WIPpet!

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Today is Wednesday all ready! Man, the weeks go flying by these days. I spent the last week productively, however. After pondering on the comments everyone made on the beginning of my epic fantasy novel last week, I decided to rewrite it. It just lacked energy and humor and it didn’t really grab the reader. I hope you’ll all let me know what you think of this beginning instead. The connection with the date is that (mumble mumble, flails around for something) I’m posting it today, on a WIPpet day!  *grins and cringes*

Chapter 1

Take it from me. Adventuring all by yourself sounds better than it really is.

First, there’s the hunger. Just how many rutabagas and strips of dried pork can you carry? Not more than a week’s worth. Hunting and gathering may yield a straggly bunny or two and a few handfuls of cranberries shriveled and dried on the bush … nowhere near enough.

Next, there’s the confusion. I lost the trail several times despite the map father had scratched out on a deer hide back in my village.

I hardly need to mention the general discomfort of sore feet, attacking chiggers, rancid waterholes, and disturbingly close howls of wild beasts as I tried to sleep.

Last night, thunderstorms got added to the list. Specifically, crashing, freezing, hide-in-a-cave and shiver-all-night thunderstorms that leave slippery, splashing, stinking mud puddles everywhere.

Immediately after sighting the three riders heading toward me, I tripped and skidded into one of these very puddles. I leapt to my feet, not even taking time to curse over the soaking.

“Ho there, young sir!” boomed a big, dark-faced fellow a few pounds too heavy for the comfort of his horse. His teeth gleamed in the noonday sun. “Taking a bath, are you?”

“Err … ho there!” I called, grinning like an idiot and waving so energetically that water sprayed in ten foot arcs from my sodden shirt.

How I longed for companions on my lonely journey! Or, failing that, at least a shared meal.

The only other person I’d met on the road so far was an aging prostitute riding a sway-backed mule. She tried to trade for some of my rutabagas with her body. I couldn’t have run away any faster even if my hair was on fire.

All at once, I remembered the traditional greeting. “Welcome in Shaddai’s peace.” 

The riders each wore scraggly, faded leathers. Their unshaven faces and dirty, weary-looking mounts told me that they had been traveling for a while. Not that I looked much more respectable, with mud dripping off my tangled hair.

They formed a semi-circle around me. The one who had hailed me lost his smile. “Shaddai’s peace? A pox on it!”

Alarm squeezed me low in the gut…

Come join the fun, started by K.L. Schwengel by clicking below:

Also, who’s on twitter? Please leave your username in the comments and I’ll follow you.

 

 

Pariah Missouri Book 2 : The Promised Land

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Please welcome my friend Andy, who has created a guest post for us:

book 2 kickstarter profile pic 3-stafff pick-web

My name is Andres Salazar.  I’m a storyteller.  Whether it be film, plays, short stories or children’s books, I love telling stories with engaging characters.  My first love is comic books, and that’s where I’ve seen the most success.   I’ve been hunkered down working on the second graphic novel in the series, Pariah Missouri.  Part Huckleberry Finn part Twin Peaks it’s a mash-up of some of my favorite stories and ideas all set in Antebellum 1857 Missouri.  It’s Steampunk without the punk, but a good dose of religion, folk magic, bounty-hunters, slaves and demons.  It’s the A-team with Hiram Buchanan an undercover Pinkerton, Nellie a feisty courtesan, Jean Lafitte a practitioner of vodoo from New Orleans and Toro a Mexican/Comanche bounty-hunter as they ferret out evil.panel hy

Book Two introduces two new characters, Elijah Harris and Jasper Whitmer, both preachers on different sides of the Great Awakening.  Both there to save souls, or are they?

Book One was a Kickstarter last year.  We did very well and I started hitting the convention circuit.  I attended 14 comic book conventions in the last 12 months (That’s a whole another post I can write about those experiences).   I sold over 1,000 copies of Book panel - eliOne and it was selected as the Staff Pick for July’s Preview in Diamond (the national distributor of comic books).  Now we are at it again with a Kickstarter for Book Two.  The book is already 96.3% done.  I am putting some finishing touches on a couple of pages (out of the +100 page story) and re-working a few lines of dialog.  It’s interesting how I wrote the script back in September of 2013 and now re-reading it as I letter in InDesign, there’s some things I want to change and add.  The Kickstarter was selected as a Staff Pick by Kickstarter, so that must mean something, right?

I work with an amazing artist/penciler, JL Pescador, and I color every page of Pariah Missouri in watercolors.  It’s something I’ve wanted to do since the beginning.  I wanted that old-timey feel and keep the color palette down to a minimum.  Even made a Deluxe Hardcover complete with writer-commentary throughout the story, on every page as well as extra pages with additional epilogue, behind-the-scenes art, production sketches and reference pictures.  It’s the blu-ray of the book.  Because of the costs to make the deluxe hardcover, I will not be selling them at stores or through Diamond, it will be strictly a Kickstarter thing (or face to face).panel toro

I just finished the rough script for Book Three.  It should be ready for print in July 2015.  The goal is to finish the story by Book Five, which will be the end for our little town of Pariah, and the beginning of the American Civil War.

FB ad #2I got some new Stretch Goals which will include a radio drama and a card game.  It will be an exciting story for the next 30 days to see how we progress through the campaign.  I will be posting videos and updates often so backers really get a sense of the behind the scenes of what it takes to make a comic book.  Please become a part of our team!

To see the Pariah, Missouri Kickstarter campaign to go: www.pariahmissouri.com

If you go check it out, you can download a preview copy of Book One and Two to see if it’s your poison.

WIPping up a Frenzy

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Hello my friends! Today is a WIPpet day (work-in-progress snippet, to those who are new to this word). It is posted as part of a challenge hosted by K.L. Schwengel, and needs to have something to do with today’s date (8/13…8+13 = 21). Therefore, today I’m posting 21 sentences from the beginning of a fantasy novel that I’m currently revising/fretting about/screeching incoherently due to and I would REALLY appreciate your reaction to it since this selection is from the very first page. Mainly, I’m wondering if it’s something that entices you to read more or not and what questions it brings to mind.

I had just picked myself out of the mud puddle I’d stumbled into when I spotted the riders. Freezing in place, I strained to make out who they were, wondering if I should conceal myself until I got a better look at them. Under normal affairs, I’m not quite so wary. But since I had left my village and traveled alone across the wide, wild expanse of country between home and the thriving capital city of Lor, I had learned the benefit of suspicion.

The riders consisted of three men on horseback, traveling from the west across a wide, empty meadow toward me. Hiding, I decided, would profit nothing. They must have seen me already. I stood revealed at the base of a gentle hill, for once bare of thorn bushes, gnarled trees, and annoying rocks–everything but mud. If all went well I might have found companions on my lonely journey; or perhaps at least a shared meal.

As the three neared, I saw that they wore scraggly, faded leathers. Their unshaven faces and dirty, weary-looking mounts told me that they had been traveling for a while. I didn’t look all that respectable myself, with mud-covered boots and breeches and a tattered shirt.

A rusty, deep voice called out, “Ho there, young sir!”

“Ho there!” I replied, and then gave the traditional greeting, “Well met in Shaddai’s peace.”

The riders formed a semi-circle around me. The one who had hailed me, a big, dark-faced fellow a few pounds too heavy for the comfort of his horse, said, “Shaddai’s peace? A pox on it!”

I observed them. The man on the speaker’s right had orange-red hair and an explosion of freckles covering his face and arms. The third man was swarthy; likely a desert dweller, the first I had seen.

“Look, it’s one of them cowardly farmers from the Golden Hills,” Red-hair sneered. “Out picking flowers for your mother, whelp?”

Visit my fellow WIPpet participants here, or join the fun yourself:

 

Also, my WordPress account seems to have gotten disconnected from my twitter page (which was down for a while due to a hacking I experienced but is now up again at @xuwriter) and it doesn’t seem to want to be reconnected even when I refresh it. Has anyone else dealt with this?

Published Works Page

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I’ve been publishing a lot of short fiction lately, in addition to my longer stuff, so I thought I’d take a page from the book of a few other authors and add a published works page to my blog. You’ll find a mix of fantasy and humor. Please check it out:

HERE

You’ll see that quite a bit of it is FREE even. And that even includes some of the audio. Woo hoo!

 

The Color Thesaurus

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Xina Marie Uhl:

Perfect inspiration for writing about color!

Originally posted on Ingrid's Notes:

I love to collect words. Making word lists can help to find the voice of my story, dig into the emotion of a scene, or create variety.

One of my on-going word collections is of colors. I love to stop in the paint section of a hardware store and find new names for red or white or yellow.  Having a variety of color names at my fingertips helps me to create specificity in my writing. I can paint a more evocative image in my reader’s mind if I describe a character’s hair as the color of rust or carrot-squash, rather than red.

So for fun, I created this color thesaurus for your reference. Of course, there are plenty more color names  in the world, so, this is just to get you started.

Fill your stories with a rainbow of images!

white

Tan

yellow

Orange

Red

pink

Purple

Blue

Green

brown

Grey

black

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