Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Favorable Review for Shadow Sanctuary

Part romance, part mystery, part mythic journey - four stars
As always, do not let my star count override your judgement of content. More on the stars, counting, and my rating challenges later. On to Borg’s story.

Monika Lenz is a successful, fifty, woman with an unsuccessful love life. (If you’ve read other Borg stories, you’ll enjoy the cameo appearance of Edward, the advice-giving Laura, and the recollections of other unsavoury men.)  Suffering from both career frustration and career envy, she decides to spend months in a lonely cabin, translating German into English to finance herself. She begins to go downhill almost at once. The story is of her near-death experiences, of which there are several of different kinds.
The writing is full of sparkling lines like this: Monika followed the pleasant sound and found a lively rivulet skipping over moss-covered boulders, unmindful of the passing of time; like a happy child.

Again, you will find passages like this: She glanced at the heat-ravaged slopes flying by, robbed of their soft groundcover by voracious fires, polished by flash floods. These barren hillsides stood fast only for themselves, harsh and unforgiving. Just like city people, she thought.
There is personal insight as well, as in this: An uncomfortable sense of being out of place swept over Monika. She shrank into her overstated clothes and hid her manicured nails in her pockets.
This is writing for adults: All-powerful, avaricious, and secretly horny they— just as Scarpia deceived Puccini’s loyal heroine— had pushed her against the wall or, in her case, against the glass ceiling. Except in her early days, it had been the filing cabinets. There is sex in this story, and as usual with Borg, it is well done and not overly graphic.
 Again, Borg’s research and/or background knowledge are impeccable; pretty much everything is exactly correct. On a second reading you will see there was foreshadowing here and there, which set up later actions of Borg’s chief protagonist. This is good writing.

The story is deceptively straightforward. There are unanswered questions. There are relationships of all kinds, some of them strained as Monika travels on her own journey toward the final discovery of self. There is a cabin farther up the road which does or does not exist. There is a pilot who does or does not like Monika. There is a wild animal whose danger level is uncertain; there is a wild-ish man of similar attributes.  Again, this is writing for adults, and a fun read.

Back to the stars. My personal guidelines, when doing an ‘official’ KBR review, are as follows: five stars means, roughly equal to best in genre. Rarely given. Four stars means, extremely good. Three stars means, definitely recommendable. I am a tough reviewer. In my opinion, Borg just keeps on getting better. Four stars this book easily rates. 

Definitely recommended.

Jim Bennett, Kindle Book Review Team member.
(Note: this reviewer received a free copy of this book for an independent review. He is not associated with the author or Amazon.)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Authors Sharing Tips

Author Christoph Fischer’s blog http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/
has become a daily must-check for me. Not only does he bring an amazing array of wonderful new Indie writers and their books to his fans’ attention, but he selflessly shares tips and contacts for what we Indie writers yearn most: New ways of getting our books out to potential readers.

Here is Christoph’s Interview with Charlie Bray,  founder of the Indie Tribe, a promotional website for Indie authors.
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The Indie Tribe

Many of you have asked me recently about the Indie Tribe and how I made it into their charts. I don’t know about the charts, but I can explain a little about the Tribe.
I joined the Indie Tribe back in January. It is simply an online group of independent writers to promote our books. This website features books published by the members on a regular basis and offers links to blogs and websites, a news flash service and other promotional tools for free. It is also a great source of information for readers and writers and features writers tips and guest blogs regularly.
On top of that is a range of commercially available options. I have taken out the Gold Membership for £45, which gives me an independent review of the book an author interview, guest blog and a review of my website.
Book showcases, a book store and a full editing service are also offered.
For any author who has a number of books to promote, the Indietribe’s Multi Book Promotion offers extreme value for money at a one-off £45 fee. Every book is showcased, including future ones, and every book is included in Indietribe’s Book Store. The writer also enjoys an enhanced link to his website or blog.
I have been looking online for good publicity tools ever since I published my book in November and I have to say that this seems a very reasonable offer, given the amount of time the man behind the scenes puts into it. So apologies for advertising but here is the man, Charlie Bray, himself, to talk about how the tribe came to be and how he is doing thus far.
Hello Charlie, thanks for joining me on my blog. So first things first: When did you have the idea for the Indietribe and how did you bring it to life? Were there many other people involved or is it a complete one man operation?
Having joined the ever-growing tribe of wannabe authors who write a book, upload it themselves to Amazon as an eBook, I suffered the pain of realising that sales don’t necessarily follow. I quickly realised that thousands of others share that pain, and decided to do something about it. I launched http://www.theindietribe.com myself, and operate it alone. Having said that, it would be nothing without members and their contributions keep the plate spinning.

How much of your time does your work for the tribe take up?
Around ten hours a day, seven days a week. Retirement from the day job enables me to do this, but my own writing and, of course, my wife suffer.It is quite a commitment you put in there for others. How do you motivate yourself to keep going?
It’s very much a labour of love. I love books, I love fellow authors, well, the vast majority anyway.
Most of all I feel passionate about the indie movement and will always do all I can to support it.
How large is your audience and where are your main followers?
Indietribe currently has over 1,000 members and we have around 1,500 Twitter followers and a loyal following on Facebook, Goodreads and Linkedin, which is great since I only launched in September.
Members tend to pass the word around to other indie authors and our membership is on an upward spiral.
What is your background in publishing/ writing?
I’ve been writing short stories and magazine features since the 70s and published and contributed to my own art and frame trade magazine, Art & Frame Buyer for many years.
What do you enjoy most about the work for the tribe?
The feeling of satisfaction from seeing members’ sell more books by being part of the tribe. Our weekly Top 10 is a result of hundreds of click-throughs to Amazon each month.
What is the least enjoyable part?
Struggling to meet self-inflicted deadlines and occasional abuse from the odd member who is getting everything for free anyway.
Where can you be contacted?
Through the contact page on http://www.theindietribe.com

Can readers follow the tribe?
Yes, quite easily. They can join for free on this link:http://www.theindietribe.com/contact-2/They can follow the tribe by clicking the RSS button on the home page of my site, or by subscribing to our email newsletter on the same page. I am keen to attract as many readers as possible to the Indietribe. They are our life-blood. They can use this link: http://www.theindietribe.com

How often do you publish the features / interviews and reviews?
Normally a new post appears around three or four times per week so there is always something fresh to see.
Where do you post the reviews?
Everything is posted on http://www.theindietribe.com, but each post is also reproduced in full on Facebook, Goodreads and Linkedin and Twitter

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Again, thank you Christoph, for sharing your insightful interview with us.

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Christoph Fischer is the author of two amazing novels:
The Luck of the Weissensteiners, and Sebastian.

Friday, June 7, 2013

A 5-Star Review for Shadow Sanctuary

Maybe all that pain of rewriting and renaming this novella did pay off (see my prior post on "pandering").
SHADOW SANCTUARY received the following 5-Star Review.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely story, May 30, 2013
This review is from: Shadow Sanctuary (Kindle Edition)
This is a great story about a woman burnt too many times by love, retreating to the mountains of Sierra Nevada to escape the troubles of life, her disappointment with men and maybe find herself new. What she does find however is that neither human kind nor your troubles can be escaped completely wherever you go
The author has written a lovely little novel with a convincing and interesting main character - who of us has never thought of doing just that, get away from it all and just look out for ourselves? Set in a beautiful surrounding this is a lovely and heart warming read with some surprising twists and events that make this short story very entertaining and worth reading.

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I couldn't be more pleased, and only hope that other readers will enjoy the book as well.