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December 21, 2019

"Loved all of them. These books are the very best kind of escape." - Charlie B.

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On the Homefront

Sadly, we had to say goodbye this week to our cat, Mya. She suffered from a myriad of health issues, including being diabetic, and her body finally reached the point where nothing further could be done.

It is always hard to lose a beloved pet, and she was no exception. We shall miss her, especially Tilly who so recently decided to befriend her.

2 FREE stories for the Holiday Season!

I'm still in the spirit of giving, so I have another new story just for you, featuring the investigative skills of Brother Cyric. Also, if you missed it, there is last week's FREE story as well!

All you need to do is click on the buttons below, and download the stories in the format that is best for you: ePub, Mobi or .PDF.

A Midwinter Murder - A Chronicles of Cyric Story

Where there's murder, there's a mystery to be solved!

With a dead noble and a manor house full of suspects, it falls to Brother Cyric to unravel this medieval fantasy whodunit!

It's murder, my lord!

Download A Midwinter Murder

Into the Maelstrom - A Chronicles Of Cyric Prequel

How can one man succeed when an entire army has failed?

Amarantis is a powerful Fire Mage running rampant on the battlefield, but has he met his match when he crosses the path of Brother Cyric?

Read the origin story of Brother Cyric, Temple Knight of Saint Mathew, and champion of the poor and helpless.

Download Into the Maelstrom
The Petty Kingdoms - The Duchy of Krieghoff

To the west of Holstead, nestled into the arms of the Grey Spire Mountains, lies the Duchy of Krieghoff, a Petty Kingdom steeped in history. It is ruled by Lord Freidrich Hartman, a descendant of the first duke who founded the kingdom more than four hundred and fifty years ago, after the defeat of the Therengian Kingdom. It is said that the last battle of that great nation was in Krieghoff, some fifty miles west of its capital of Caerhaven.

Like its neighbour, Holstead, Krieghoff has a small ruling family, with only the duke holding any title. Other members of his family are addressed as lords and ladies as a courtesy but hold no power. The law of the realm is enforced by the duke's advisors, carried out  with a strong hand.

In 1102 SR, Duke Hartman invited the Temple of Saint Cunar to take up residence in the capital, providing a ready force of Temple Knights to augment his army. This move was to counter growing tension with his eastern neighbour, the Duchy of Holstead. With the Petty Kingdoms heading inexorably toward war, the duke has chosen to divert a large portion of his wealth toward expanding his army, an act that has antagonized his old rival.

Many believe that outright war is now only a few years away.

Win a FREE eBook! To enter, all you need to do is answer Daisy & Tilly's question below.

Congrats to Sean O. who won last week's Giveaway!

Mercerian Tales: The Making of a Man

Lady Edith turned to Richard, “Harold tells me you spent some time in Wincaster.”

“I did,” Richard responded.

“And what did you make of it?” she asked.

He thought hard before replying, “It was an experience I’m not likely to forget.”

She laughed, and he found himself cheered by the sound.

“You’re becoming quite diplomatic,” she said, “but what did you REALLY think?”

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Printing a Physical Book

As an author, you will typically make more money from selling ebooks, but there is nothing quite like holding a physical copy in your hands. If you’ve published through a traditional publisher, then this is already done for you, but as an independent author, there are choices of where to print.

There are two leading players in the area of self-publishing, Amazon and IngramSpark. Both can provide you with physical copies of your book and print-on-demand services. If you are exclusive to Amazon, the choice is easy, you should use Amazon’s publishing arm, called Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP for short). If, however, you wish to make your physical books available through other retailers, you might consider IngramSpark. Their books will be made available through a myriad of retailers (such as Barnes & Noble and Chapters, a Canadian chain of bookstores). Nothing says you have to limit yourself, however, for you are free to publish using both, which is what we do.

The choice does not end there, for with both of these platforms, you’ll have to decide on a host of other details. What font size and style will you use and, perhaps more importantly, what book dimensions. Both of these companies offer a variety of sizes but the one you pick will determine the most important thing, the page count. Since they both calculate the cost to the consumer by the page, you have to consider the ramifications of these choices when determining the final product. If your page count is high, you will have to charge a higher price to make a profit.

To be clear, there is no charge to set this up, since both Amazon and Ingram Micro are Print On Demand (POD) services (Ingram does charge a one-time setup fee per book). That means that the final purchaser pays for the book, and it is printed upon ordering. The only expense you might occur will be some cover art and an ISBN number. I’ll talk more about those in a future article.

Every other Monday at 5:30 PM EST (-4UTC)
Next Session - December 30
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Work in Progress Update

I have chosen to slow down on a bit on the writing of my draft of Defender of the Crown as my original outline was no longer working after I added some extra plot elements to the storyline. As a result, I’ve had to rewrite the outline to take these into account. This is not an altogether unexpected event, as I’ve occasionally had to do this in the past, especially on Shadow, rewriting from chapter 22 on!

On several of these occasions, it led me to remove a sub-plot altogether, introducing it in a later book, something I shall probably repeat with this latest book. It does mean, however, that my word count has slowed at approximately two thirds the way through the book. With the holiday season upon us, I doubt I’ll get much work done next week, but I’m looking forward to completing Defender early in the New Year.

In the meantime, the first few chapters of Embers are already with to the BETA readers and we are excited to see the official release of The Making of a Man on December 30th. The story deals with Baron Richard Fitzwilliam and how he became the epitome of nobility as he struggled to live in the shadow of his father's presence.

Until next time, happy reading!

Author Spotlight!

Check out these featured books that are free, discounted, or new releases. The authors are returning the favour by sharing my books with their readers.

The Seeds of Disolution: Space opera with music-based magic. It's like "Bards in Space!" Escaping certain death on Earth, Sam is accidentally transported to the Nether, a semi-sentient crystal as big as a planet. He needs to find a way home, but none of the ten alien species who live there have heard of Earth... 

Clara: Join an amazing adventure about love, loss, and the fate of kingdoms. As a slave, Clara's life extends no further than the castle kitchens and their garden. However, she carries within herself a precious gift: the ability to see the future. When a vision prompts her to prevent a murder, Clara is shoved... 

Foundling Wizard: Magic is just one more thing to be stolen... For over a hundred years, the Temple of Ran has been sacrificing young wizards in order to steal their power. When Lorit discovers that he holds the rare ability to use magic, he becomes their next target. At first, he runs, working to master his abilities on...

The Venatrix Chronicles: Forbidden love, breathtaking action, and terrifying magic, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo!
A huntress with no past. A rival with a secret. A kingdom’s fate hangs in the balance . . . Ayleth and her shade move as one, ever hungry for the hunt. Under her mentor’s tight control, she fears her memories are being stolen...

The Three Nations: A boy possessed by terrible magic.
A warrior burdened with guilt. A young woman on a quest to save her mother. Three books—the beginnings of three epic trilogies.
Grab this Christmas special now and discover the Three Nations, a world of Gods, dragons, and magic!

Book Deals & Giveaways

While you wait for the release of my next book, here are some great stories for your TBR pile!

Did you miss any past Giveaways & Deals?

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Paul J Bennett


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