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In Honor of General Custer’s Birthday… A Story…

Bloody Knife & Morning Star

By David Niall Wilson

Bloody Knife watched from his pony as the Calvary trooped by. Their uniforms glistened in the sunlight, and their weapons gleamed with the promise of glory and death. They were confident, and you could feel that confidence in the air, an aura that reached out from the golden haired demon that led them to permeate the entire column.

As guide, it was the Indian’s place to lead the way, but for the moment he only sat and brooded, watching as the spirits spoke to his soul. Custer turned once, nodding in his direction, an almost imperceptible acknowledgement of his presence, his part in the grand scheme of what was to come. Bloody Knife did not even twitch in response.

They called this golden-haired one “The son of the morning star.” It was appropriate. This was the dawning of great moments, new beginnings. The twilight and the birth of dreams. As the last of them glided by, a gaudy painting of arrogance and naiveté against a backwash of blue sky and the rising sun, Bloody knife dug his knees into his mount and slid off along the side of them like a shadow, leaving them in a small cloud of dust and making his way into the ravine ahead. His mind was focused, his concentration centered on what was to come.

It had been a chance meeting, a meeting destined by stars and dreams. Bloody Knife had been leaning against the railing beside a tavern called “The Smoking Gun,” idly sipping at his private bottle of whiskey and letting his mind wander. The bottle was as much for show as anything. Although he never drank to excess, it was a good idea to let those around him believe it to be his custom. There were reasons for everything he did, patterns shifting about him that only he could grasp.

It was such a pattern that had placed him there, just so, when his destiny had marched by. Golden hair flying in the stiff breeze, shoes shined and blue uniform so brilliant in the sun that it seemed to glow with its own, inner light, General George Armstrong Custer moved with the confidence of arrogance. He barely shifted his gaze toward Bloody Knife, but the sudden narrowing of his eyes, the slight hitch in the perfection of his stride, gave him away.

In a voice calculated for the proper volume, he spoke to one of his two companions. “I have come here for a purpose, gentlemen,” he announced. “The heathen Sioux are rampant, and it seems a strong hand is in order. Of course, they shall present no real threat to a well-trained regiment, but still, they seem to be proving difficult.”

Bloody Knife turned his own face away, still listening, but not wanting them to know it.

“You don’t know them red devils, sir,” the sergeant trotting along at his side puffed. “They’re slicker than shadows in them woods.”

“Rubbish,” Custer dismissed him. “Fighting men, trained properly, are the match for any situation, especially one involving uncouth savages. I expect to have this matter resolved soon, and to be called back to more important duties in the east. Let’s get some food, then we’ll talk about those guides…I’ll be needing to get through the ‘Black Hills,’ as you call them, as swiftly as possible.”

“Yes sir,” the man replied. He said no more, but in the tone of his voice, and the stiffening of his shoulders as he moved through the tavern door in his commander’s wake, Bloody Knife read worlds of doubt. This man knew. This man had met the peoples of forest and plain, had seen the light of his own death burning in their eyes. The other was a fool, but there was something more.

Letting his senses stretch, feeling the voices of the ground beneath him and the birds that floated in the skies above blending with his consciousness, he searched. There was an aura nearby, an aura of strength and purpose, an aura of power. It emanated from the interior of the tavern, and it brought a darkness, a dulling of the sight, such as he’d never experienced.

Calling out within the great mother’s spirit, he reached for her children, the spirits gone beyond, reached for their thoughts, for their aid. He could hear them speaking, just beyond the questing tendrils of his own mind, but he could not make out their warnings. All that would surface was an image, a glowing nimbus — a face — obscured by a green fire. It was surrounded by a mane of bright, golden hair, and from within it echoed the loneliness of a shattered spirit.

Shivering, Bloody Knife brought himself back to the present. He looked about himself, re-orienting his senses. Nobody had seen him in his trance-state, but it would not have mattered. He still held the whiskey bottle tightly in one hand, and they would have assumed what they believed to be the obvious.

That had been the beginning — the trail that wound back to the mother spirit, the path to inner light. It had been the moment he’d dedicated his life to reach, suffering the abuse of his own people, the contempt of the whites, and the scarring of his soul to achieve. It had been a moment of rebirth.

Slipping around the corner of the doorway, he’d stolen a last glance at the man, Custer. He’d scanned the handsome features, the arrogant tilt of the man’s head and the polished dignity of his demeanor. He was the one, there was no doubt. Never had he felt the spirit of those who would desecrate the land so intensely.

Within “The smoking Gun,” General George Armstrong Custer felt the weight of intruding eyes on his shoulders and spun his head quickly to the door. It was empty, but he would have sworn, had he not feared being considered insane, that the lingering image of a man’s form shimmered in that space. A dark man, an Indian. A heathen. The notion that such a man might pose a threat to an officer and a gentleman was ridiculous, and yet he felt a sudden chill. Shaking it off, he returned to his drink, and his plans.

As he rode out of the town and made his way toward the outskirts of the surrounding forest, where he would meet with the soldiers and secure his position as guide, Bloody Knife let his mind slide backward, leaving the mechanics of riding to the instincts of both body and horse, freeing his senses.

As a young man, life had treated him poorly. Half Sioux, half Ree, raised in a Sioux village, the taunts and challenges had been twice those imposed on the other boys. He had been beaten, whipped, stoned, chased and mocked, all with little time for respite. If it hadn’t been for certain events in his twelfth year, he might never have survived.

The tribe he’d been a part of was guided by the wisdom of a ancient, wrinkled shaman named Speaks With Spirits. It was to this man that his mother had taken him when, cut by a hail of stones from the other young men of the village, his head had bled profusely. The man had treated him without comment. At the time, Bloody Knife had been known as Running Dog, a name neither he, nor his mother, were pleased with, but which his father had insisted upon. Bloody Knife had known that the others of the village were behind this, that his father was secretly ashamed to name his son in this way, but there had been nothing he could do.

“Leave him with me,” Speaks With Spirits had said, and his mother had left immediately. The old man’s words were the law, and his powers were feared by all.

Bloody Knife had been in too much pain to give his fear much thought, and he’d followed meekly behind as Speaks With Spirits led him into his lodge. He’d known that others watched, and that tongues would already be wagging, but he’d been beyond caring. No one would think to harm him as long as he was in the presence of the shaman. He only hoped that the old man himself was not planning anything horrible.

Turning to him solemnly, Speaks With Spirits had gestured that he should be seated. He did so, looking about himself carefully, trying not to stare at the odd array of charms, potions, and animal parts. It was impolite to be curious, but impossible not to be.

Speaks With Spirits returned a moment later with a skin filled with some sort of liquid.

“Drink,” he said simply. “Drink, then sleep. Tomorrow, we will talk.”

That was all. Bloody Knife, then known as Running Dog, turned up the skin and took a long swallow of something syrupy, sweet, and then suddenly bitter. It had taken every ounce of control he could muster not to spit the foul stuff back up, but he had managed it, handing the bag quickly back to the old man, whose eyes were crinkled in sudden mirth.

“Sleep.”

And he had. Not a normal sleep. Long, deep, but filled with dreams — a journey such as he’d never known. Animals spoke to him first, blue-black ravens and otters with sleek fur, rabbits and bears — eagles. He listened as they spoke, and they flitted about him, surreal and insubstantial, whispering things he only half-heard, messages and instructions that would not stick with him, but that had re-emerged at various moments later in his life.

There had been men and women, as well. Their features, at first blending and shifting in and out with those of the animals, were insubstantial. They would coalesce, then disperse, then return in different patterns, confusing his mind and rendering it impossible for him to place them, one voice with one face. They were all voices, all faces, joining with him and teaching, communing with his own spirit and welcoming him in.

Speaks With Spirits was there, and yet he was not. His voice came first, chanting, rhythmic and powerful. As the sound went on, a warm glow flowed in and through him, and there was a subtle shift. The faces drifted away, flitted less often over one another’s features. It was Speaks With Spirits, one face, one voice, and his message was the only one that made it through, the only one not lost in the barrage of vision and confusion.

“You are chosen,” the voice had filled him, owned him. “You have the ears that spirits can reach, the eyes that can see beyond the veil. The great mother spirit of the earth rushes strong through your veins. What is mine, is yours. My gift now joins with your own, my life and destiny and yours are bound.

“There were powers before the Sioux, powers before the peoples of plains and mountains, before the whites and their fire-sticks, before even elk and deer. Our mother is the first, the greatest. The journey must be made back into her arms, the ascension to her realms. Your feet will take that path, your spirit will share the way with mine.”

There had been more. Much more. He had learned of spirits and the wisdom they could bring. He had learned of the earth, and of those who would desecrate her, removing the visions — silencing the voices of the spirits. All of this and more, and all in one, long vision.

Then he’d awakened to madness. He was wet — cold and sticky, and rising he found that he was coated in blood. Looking wildly about himself, it had registered that he was still in the lodge of Speaks With Spirits. The old one sat, legs crossed, above the position where he had lain. His head lolled at an odd angle, and the blood had run from the jagged cut at his throat down to pool on the ground where the boy, then Running Dog, had lain.

He rose numbly. There was a knife on the ground . . . dropped from Speaks With Spirits’ hands. The blood was pooled around the knife as well, and he reached out slowly, picking it up and staring at it in disbelief. He had slept. All he had done was to drink that foul potion, whatever it might have been, and …it was the manlan.

The voice, not exactly a voice, but a thought that was not wholly his own, had snapped out to fill in the gap in his knowledge, the name of the potion. He trembled. The manlan, vision drink. His mind filled slowly with a list of ingredients, a procedure he’d never known, a knowledge beyond his years and mind.

There were voices outside the tent as well. White Elk and Bear In Woods were calling to Speaks with Spirits, and they were impatient not to be answered. They prepared for a raid, and they needed strong medicine to guide and protect them.

Without thinking, or without thinking “himself,” the boy who was then Running Dog passed through the door of the lodge into the village beyond and stood, staring at the men. He held the bloody knife in his hand, still, and he stared at them with eyes that were different than those he’d worn before. Strong eyes. Pure and old. Wise.

“It is a bad day for a raid,” he said softly. His voice carried, despite the lack of force behind the words, and his eyes did not waver. Though the questions, the anger, and the disbelief warred within their eyes, White Elk and Bear in Woods turned on their heels and walked away. Others saw him, and they saw the knife. They whispered among themselves, but they did not come forward.

Speaks With Spirits had been powerful, old and wise in the ways of spirits and demons. If he was now dead, and this boy had killed him, then there was a power in him, as well. He was Running Dog no more — his identity branded into his soul as surely as the blood stained his hands.

He had walked slowly to the tent of his family, and he had taken up his weapons and his belongings without speech. His mother only stared, but his father — unwilling to face what was to come, turned and walked from the lodge without a backward glance, refusing to acknowledge his son further. It did not matter. There were new teachers within him, voices that came and went with the winds, energies and powers that beckoned from far lands and long roads.

He’d mounted his pony and turned to leave. There had been a tug on his leg, and he’d turned, almost, but not quite, swinging the knife. It was his mother, and her eyes were clear and proud.

“You must go to the Ree. I will follow soon. You must go to the lodge of my father and tell him who you are and what has happened. You must not return here.”

He nodded. It had been a beginning. He had never belonged with the Sioux, not truly, and now he knew that Speaks With Spirits had not, either. The old man had been of ancient stock, holder of secrets that made the eldest memory of the tribe seem the prattle of children. Now he was the guardian. The spirits spoke to him, Speaks With Spirits among them, and he had a destiny.

As the line of soldiers disappeared behind him, Bloody Knife swerved his mount and headed it off at a gallop along the valley, not leading them into the battle ground, as expected. Custer had other scouts — they would assume his death, which was in any case inevitable. He had one last trial — one last part to play.

He let his finger stray to his belt and the tiny silver horseshoe pendant he wore there. It was the only ornamentation he allowed himself. He would not dress as a Sioux — there was too much hatred, too much pain. He would never truly be Ree, despite his mother’s admonitions that me must stay with her, and with that tribe. Neither was he white. Nevertheless, he knew the power of talismans, and in the work to come, he’d invested greatly in the power of this one — one truly believed in by those he would stand against.

He was of the spirit. Symbols meant little to him, except in the powers they could contain. This horseshoe was the mirror of that worn around the neck of Custer’s subordinate, Major Reno. It would form the link — it would be his bridge. Custer would never believe in anything but himself, and in that power he believed all too much. Reno was different. He had seen defeat, had stared death in the eyes and lived with the haunting echo of that image for years. The spirits knew him by sight.

There were no trumpets to fill the air this day, despite Custer’s bravado. It was a bold plan, large and far-sighted in implication and implementation. He knew the odds, even as he disclaimed that there was any possibility of defeat. He believed that he had the answers, and that belief was a strong weapon, in and of itself.

He believed in Bloody Knife, as well. That was the fatal flaw. Every great plan has its weakness, every leader his Achilles heel. Bloody Knife had led him through the fabled holy black hills of the Sioux nation untouched. He had been there, breathing secrets and twisting dreams, since that day outside “The Smoking Gun.”

The Sioux hated Bloody Knife. Custer had no idea how deeply that hatred might run, but he felt it. His mind did not allow for the chance that the hatred was not reciprocated. The world was a steady procession of straight lines and set angles for the general. A man hated, a man loved, there was no middle ground, no gray area.

It was not Custer that Bloody Knife fought. It was not the Sioux. It was what each stood for in this senseless war. Change. Desecration of the land. Ignorance of the spirit of the land that provided all they needed, and ignorance of the mutual respect that could preserve this. Custer would not stop at the Sioux. He would not be happy until he had proven himself superior in intellect and battle to every “heathen savage” in the west.

The Sioux would not bend, but they might break. There was pride in them running deeper than sanity, in many cases, honor that shamed the whites they fought at every turn, but to no avail. They did not listen to the old ones any longer, though they venerated them. They did not seek to raid, or to count coup on their enemies, then to return to home and hearth for bragging rights. They sought destruction, annihilation. They were no different in this than the whites, and that was what Bloody Knife hated.

He slipped into a small copse of trees, and he pulled his mount to a halt, sliding off and kneeling quickly. There was not much time to work. He drew a small circle in the dirt, seating himself in it and pulling free the bag he wore at his side. From this he drew several herbs, which he sprinkled onto a pile of leaves and small twigs. After lighting them with flint and stone, he took free the small silver horseshoe from his belt and held it before him, closing his eyes and waiting for the sweet smoke to waft up and about him.

He could feel them gathering, the spirits of those who had gone before, the animals who had led him to an understanding of the land, wise men and warriors, mothers, daughters, and behind them all the whispered breath of the mother herself, the ultimate dream calling to his soul.

He concentrated, breathing deeply, pulling his essence within and redirecting it. His focus was the glinting silver horseshoe, the memory of golden hair and glistening steel, the whooping, rage-filled cries of the warriors as they mounted.

He had come to Sitting Bull in his dreams. While wrapped in the warm embrace of his three current wives, the Chief had seen victory. He had ridden as a demon through the lines of his enemy, counting their dead like the flies on a buffalo carcass and screaming his name to the skies. Victory and battle were the only visions the Sioux would respect in those days of horror and hatred, and Bloody Knife had provided them. The Sioux would ride.

Custer had been different. Bloody Knife had never feigned good will toward his employer, often being openly disrespectful. It was a ploy to gain respect, one that had worked. His prophecies had helped Custer on innumerable occasions, but never had they been offered directly. Always, he had made comments from the side, suggestions to the wind that were overheard and implemented. The battle to come was based on such comments.

“I had a dream,” he’d told another scout, aware that Custer listened nearby. “In my dream, there was a hill — a hill I know. It was the Little Bighorn, you know this place?” The guide had nodded solemnly. “I saw that hill run red, and from it, many spirits rose. They wore the colors and paint of the Sioux, and above them, burning bright, was a star — the star of the Morning…”

There had been more, and he had seen the effect of his words in the other’s eyes. Custer never said a word, but it was that very evening that he gathered his subordinates and planned to take off, with his own regiment, to the hill of the Little Bighorn. He outlined his plan carefully, and his eyes were nearly fevered with thoughts of victory and glory.

The smoke carried Bloody Knife up through the trees, up to where the fields beyond were visible, up to where the touch of the sun was a caress on his soul. He could see the hill in the distance, and he could hear the sounds from where the main force of the troops, led by Major Reno, were engaged, held in position, by huge numbers of the Sioux.

He could sense those forces pulling back, and he knew it was about to come, the battle was on. Custer would soon mount the hill, and Reno would begin to close in from the flank with his cavalry. It might be enough to turn the tide. It might change the vision. It could not be so.

The image of the horseshoe grew until it was a giant, panoramic view that super-imposed itself on the sky. He looked within the silver, looked beyond it, and he saw Reno, saw the man give the order to move and saw the lines begin to form behind him.

The spirits answered Bloody Knife’s call. They slid from tree to tree around the Major and his forces, rising from the earth, dropping from the trees. Always they were just out of sight, but they caught at the peripheral of each soldier’s vision, snatched at the sensitive ears and eyes of their mounts, grabbed at the strings that bound their hearts to their courage and plucked, bringing a trembling to the very air itself. Danger. Death.

Reno’s eyes were taking on a far-away, empty glaze. He saw the land before him, and yet he saw a different place. He saw his men, but they were not the men of that moment, but the men of another place, another time. Ahead his men saw the Unkpapa village and the line of Sioux warriors descending on them. Reno saw a road. Ahead was the fleeing form of a single man, “The Grey Ghost,” John Singleton Mosby, and he felt himself drawn into the vortex of that moment, reliving the madness.

He’d confronted the fugitive in a small town, chased him out onto the road, and victory was at hand. Then the bullets had begun to fly, from the trees, the bushes, raining down upon the road like hail. All around him his men were dropping, dying, screaming, and ahead the “Grey Ghost” laughed, flying into the face of time, dragging him through the blood and bodies of the fallen.

This wavered in and out of his vision along with the village, the advancing braves, his men. There were other Indians there as well, rising from the ground to stare at him in hatred, to stare through him, then to disappear. He raised his hand, screamed for a halt, for a dismount. He could feel the charge of the enemy as they approached, and yet he halted.

Skirmish lines were quickly formed as his men, staring stupidly at him as if he were a mad man, did as he ordered. They set themselves in a defensive posture, and they waited, leaving the plan, the General, and history to sort it out.

Reno leaped from his own horse, running madly about the lines, giving orders, some that made sense, others that were gibberish. He lost his helmet in the madness and picked up a stray straw hat, wrapping a cloth about his head as though to emulate the very savages they fought. Foam flew from his lips, and still he stumbled about. They could not die. He would not let them. His men would not die at his hand again.

Bloody Knife called to him, then, seeing that they would not advance, and he stopped still, listening to the air. Without further thought, he spun and ran to his horse, leaping back to the saddle.

“If you would save yourselves,” he cried, raising his arms high above his head as his horse pranced nervously, “follow me.”

The major turned and fled, and his men, one after another, slowly at first, then in force, followed. They were in a confusion, and the Sioux warriors falling upon them like an avenging tide took full advantage. They dragged the soldiers from their mounts, impaled them one after another in the constant barrage of arrows that blurred the air with shafts and feathers, death and screaming pain.

There was no chance. There was no hope, and with that black tide at his heels, the major fled to the trees, where Bloody Knife awaited him. The scout had risen. About his neck, he’d tied a starred bandanna that Custer himself had given him. He’d donned the bear-claw and clam-shell necklace of the Sioux shaman, carried at his side all these years, carried with secret pride and open pain. He stood alone in a clearing, sending his mind out to Reno and calling him forth.

The spirits whispered of the blood. The Little Bighorn ran red, and the blood was not of the Sioux. Men died, screaming and tortured, Indian children played with the wounded, stabbing and cutting, cat-calling and hounding. To a man they would die, their blood returning to replenish the land. The battle would make no difference in the end, but for that moment, that glorious moment, the last that Bloody Knife would know on earth, there would be a cleansing. There would be a return to what was animal in man, what was natural in nature.

As he stood, Reno roared into the clearing, eyes crazed and spittle flying from his lips. Seeing Bloody Knife and recognizing him, somehow, he leaped from his saddle and ran forward, dropping the reins of his mount and nearly stumbling to his knees.

“What has happened?” he cried. “Why are you not with the General? The attack, it is over — lost. We cannot break through. Why . . .”

There were a million questions swirling in the madness of the man’s eyes. Bloody Knife would have liked the time to explain himself, to teach what he had been taught, to pass on this legacy of responsibility, but it was not possible. It was time.

Even as the echo of the gunshot rang through the forest, he felt the hand of the mother’s spirit reaching out to draw him home. He saw the earth swirling away beneath him, felt the release as he broke free — broke into the realm of those he’d shared with so often, felt their embrace as they accepted him into the one whole, the spirit of the earth mother, Gaia, the purity of essence without form.

Major Reno staggered into the trees and somehow found his mount. He’d seen the eyes behind that gun — Sioux. They had followed him, even here, and they had shot Bloody Knife before he could answer. The major reached up slowly, running a gloved hand across his face. The Indian guide’s blood had spattered his features, his uniform, imbedded itself in his hair.

One moment the man had stood before him, the next his head had just exploded. Nothing. Where there had been eyes, eyes awash in wisdom and answers lost, there was a mist of red and pain. No screams. No staggering, bloody corpse. The body had dropped, headless, and Reno had run. Again.

In the distance he could still hear guns, screams. A momentary vision blotted the sight of the forest and he saw a hill, running deepest red, overrun with feathered hair and screaming, savage faces. There were no blue-shirted warriors on that hill, no cries of victory or glory. Only the red.

Mounting up, he headed back out of the trees and back toward safety at a full gallop, already planning his explanations. There would be no mention of ghosts, there would be no mention of Bloody Knife or visions of blood-soaked hills. There would be no glory. He had made history — history and glory are not synonymous. His head hung low, he rode to destiny.

Amazon’s New Kindle Unlimited Payment Plan Explained Rationally

2012-12-23 14.51.38 (Shadeauxland's conflicted copy 2013-01-02)

NOW THAT THE BIRD HAS YOUR ATTENTION… Listen up.

First off – I wish theoretically honest, up-front bloggers and journalists who don’t use Amazon as a publishing platform or – in most cases – even write books – would quit splashing alarmist headlines all over the net ‘explaining’ how Amazon is now going to give your work away for free and it’s the end of books.  I’m going to use bullet points and make this as quick and clear as I can.

1) The new payment plan Amazon just unveiled does not affect your books that are available for “sale” on Amazon at all.  It only affects books that have been published exclusively on Amazon as part of their Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited Plans, and of those books, only the Kindle Unlimited books.  Any book that is just “bought” on Amazon is being paid exactly as it always was.

2) An upfront note.  It is a bad idea for most books to publish them exclusively on Amazon, and the Kindle Select program is only a good idea if you have a title that has proven itself to sell very well on Amazon and not so well anywhere else.  Out of the 1200 titles we currently have at Crossroad Press – we have maybe 8 in those programs.  Even those that ARE part of the program still generate a lot of sales each month, and those sales are paid at the same royalty rate they have always been.  Only when someone who has paid for a Kindle Unlimited Subscription “borrows” the book does the new plan come into affect.

3) The plan itself: If someone borrows your book, they have a particular amount of time to read it.  Amazon will monitor whether they actually read all of it, or part of it, and pay you for the number of pages (determined by a pretty generous algorithm, I can add, because I know that a book we published that was 500 pages in print has figured to 815 pages in their formula) that are read.  There is a pot of money – just like there has always been for Kindle Unlimited – but instead of paying you each time someone borrows your book, they are paying you for the number of pages read each time someone borrows your book.

4) The purpose is to stop scammers who have been gaming this system.  Everyone is upset that they think their share will drop, but honestly, a huge number of the borrows up to now have been people cheating you out of your money.  They upload a ten page pamphlet – or ten of them – and then have 100 friends borrow it – while they do the same for those 100 friends.  Every time that ten page pamphlet is borrowed, it gets the same share as a 500 page book by a talented author.  Also, there are tons of very short stories of questionable quality being uploaded just because numbers count in this game.  If you – instead of an 80-100k word book – write ten 1500 word stories – you can get an equal share every time one of those stories is borrowed – or you could. Now, you can still write them, but your share will be proportionate to the words and effort invested.

5) Quality of the offerings being borrowed is going to improve.  Good writers aren’t worried about people borrowing their books and quitting on page five.  People paying a subscription price are going to READ the books they borrow to get their money’s worth.  This system is better in every way than the previous system. It is not Amazon trying to cheat authors, it’s Amazon protecting authors from people trying to cheat the system.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Amazon is out for Amazon, but they aren’t – in this case anyway – doing it at your expense.

6) Most important thing.  The Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited programs are not right for most books.  As I stated above, only about 8 of our 1200 titles are in these programs.  They are there because they have consistently sold above average numbers on Amazon, whlie selling next to nothing anywhere else.  MOST books do not benefit from losing Barnes & Noble, Apple, Google, Kobo and all the other possible outlets.  IF YOUR BOOK IS NOT REGISTERED IN THE PROGRAMS THIS CHANGE MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO YOU.  NOTHING.  ZILCH.  That is the most important thing.  I’ve seen articles all over the net in theoretically trusted outlets and found that – without really checking their sources, they’ve cut a few lines from Amazons announcement and not applied them to the bigger picture – then splashed click-bait headlines all over about how Amazon is now only going to pay you a tiny amount per page – as if that was all of Amazon and not a single, exclusive program that you have to opt into to even be involved in.

I hope this helps clear some of the clouds from this issue… and I hope that – if you read this – you will think twice before sharing or retweeting one of the misleading and misinformed articles prophesizing the end of books because of this policy.  No one has even been paid under the new policy and already everyone is depressed, giving up writing, etc… I suggest you spend less time on blogs and FB and more time writing – it’s easier on your heart and mind.

-DNW

 

Heart of a Dragon – Book 1 of The DeChance Chronicles – FREE on Wattpad

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Meet my series character Donovan Dechance in the first of his adventures.  Motorcycles, leather jackets, a young artist with an amazing ability – voodoo – and of course…  DRAGONS. Pass this link on.  Spend some time reading… This is a chance to try this new series at no cost…

This is My Blood – .99 from Now until the 11th.

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This Is My Bloodweb

This is My Blood was the first novel I ever sold.  In the end, my Star Trek Voyager novel, Chrysalis, came out before this one, but that was only due to the failure of the original publisher to actually – well – publish the book.  The journey to publication would make a story unto itself, but I’m not going to cover it at this point.

One day, in the middle of the ocean, a group of us were sitting around, playing music, drinking coffee, and working on the various creative endeavors that kept us sane.  Out of the blue, someone said: “What if Jesus was a vampire?”  There are a lot of flaws in such a story – though others have tried to write it – and I was quick to point them out.  I was, after all, not that far past the period of my life where Christianity and I parted ways.  I had studied with an eye toward the ministry at one point, and I’d read the book – several times.

What I proposed, eventually, was that it made much more sense if someone close to Jesus was a vampire.  Someone he trusted.  Someone who could account for the rising of the dead in three days, without it actually being the man himself behind it all.  I didn’t write about it then, I thought about it, and I filed it away with a lot of other ideas.  Eventually I wrote a novelette – A Candle in the Sun – that was published in Starshore Magazine, then reprinted in Year’s Best Horror XIX, edited by Karl Edward Wagner, and has since been reprinted nearly a half dozen more times.  It was good – everyone agreed that it was good, but I knew that it wasn’t complete.  I just wasn’t ready to do the thing justice.

Then, on a completely different cruise, locked in a transmitter room with a 386 computer, a Deskjet 500 inkjet printer, and a CD Player loaded with Concrete Blonde & Depeche Mode, I realized it was time.  I had a marked up, four inch tall copy of the New Testament that the Gideon Society had presented the ship with, and I had notes.  I started out, jumping from gospel to gospel when some part of the story either had a hole, or was missing something important.  As I went, I crafted large chunks of The Gospel According to Judas Iscariot, because I’d always thought he got a raw deal in the original mix, and I wanted him for a hero.

This is My Blood is a different telling of a very old story.  I changed none of the order of things, nor did I change the outcome – only the road to reach that outcome.  Mary Magdalene, raised by Lucifer in the desert to tempt Jesus in the guise of a woman, instead refused – wanting to return to Heaven.  Lucifer cursed her to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, feeding on the faithful, and claimed she would become his undoing.

That is where my story starts.  You will find the king’s daughter, raised from the dead, Lazarus, all the apostles in their flawed faith, and a narrator – in Mary – who does not depend on faith, but sees with the eyes of one who KNOWS what is truth, and is not impressed with the spirituality of men.  Lilith also plays a sizeable part in this book.

All that I learned, figured out on my own, and wanted to repeat of The Bible, Christianity, faith, and – I suppose – of shadows – was tied up in this early work of mine.  I have since come to believe that ancient myths should be left to the ancient societies who created them, and that we should worry more over our own self-worth than that of others.  I don’t believe there are any spiritual rules laid down in the words of long dead men that I should follow, but I do believe that men know, inherently, the difference between right, and wrong, and that all choices made in that area are their own.  No free ticket out for asking forgiveness, and no pit of fire for failures.

You’ll find that, I think, in the pages of This is My Blood. You’ll also find fantasy, vampires, and a lot more.  I hope you’ll read it, and that you’ll like it as much as others have.  Below are some links to reviews the book has received in the past – I include them here because I believe they are proof I have reached people with this book.  I love reading the reviews of this book in particular because, for one thing, it was my first – and for another, it has affected so many people in so many ways.  Here is the very first – from Publisher’s Weekly:

“Religious ecstasy and vampiric bloodlust blend to potent effect in this horror-oriented alternate history of early Christianity. Debut novelist Wilson casts Mary Magdelene as a spirit created by the Devil to tempt Christ. When Mary refuses the mission, Satan rebukes Jesus and curses her to become a vampire: “She will hunger for that which You fight to preserve. She will thirst for the blood of manAthe lives, the very souls You seek to save will be her bread.” Mary follows Christ, hoping for a miracle that will allow her to gain eternal salvation even as her vampiric nature forces her to kill to survive. Through her inhuman eyes, and through the writings of Judas’s own gospel, The Book of Judas, Wilson shows Christ and his disciples at work, lending a decidedly different perspective to miracles such as feeding the multitudes with a few loaves and fishes or raising Lazarus from the dead. Here, Judas is steady and loyal, while Peter, possessed by the Devil, betrays Christ to the soldiers at Gethsemane, forcing both Judas and Mary to sacrifice what they love most in order to ensure Christ’s resurrection and the Church’s future. Wilson’s prose is smooth and powerful, carrying its allegorical weight with grace. His first novel is one of the most unique vampire stories to appear in recent years, balancing themes of damnation and prophesy against those of faith and redemption.” – Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Michelle Prendergast’s Reveiw

The Flames Rising Review

The Goodreads Reviews

BUY THIS IS MY BLOOD at BARNES & NOBLE – DRM FREE

BUY THIS IS MY BLOOD FOR YOUR KINDLE OR E-READER AT AMAZON.COM – DRM FREE

 

eBook & Publishing Predictions for 2014 10 + 2 Bonus

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***Bonus prediction one from the Crossroad Press Organic Shredder – Gizzy Momo – pictured left … Thunder & Lightning All Day long…***

I’ve seen some other folks making predictions about publishing and eBooks.  Some of them seem pretty obvious, others show some insight, and still others seem kind of self-serving and more wishful than anything else.  Crossroad Press has been in business for going on five years now (seriously, and a bit longer as a hobby).  We’ve grown, made some mistakes, had some huge successes, expanded, and paid attention, and I thought, just for fun, I would make some predictions of my own for 2014.  Some will be in direct disagreement with those of others…but all will be just me, talking about what I’ve seen, and what I know…

***BONUS PREDICTION FOR 2014: Neil Gaiman will continue to be wildly popular because he is an incredible storyteller ***

1) Print book sales are actually up.  I see Barnes and Noble pointed out as about to flounder time and again, but here’s my prediction.  Come next year, though people will probably still be predicting their demise, they’ll be right here.  Nook book sales are steady for those who don’t spend as much time bashing Barnes & Noble as they do promoting books there, and working on sales.  They lost the tablet war, but that was a war that no one should have started.  Nooks are fine, and ePub books work on many devices.  So, prediction #1, B&N will be in at least as good a shape this time next year as it is now.  Probably better.

2) Audiobooks are going to start playing a bigger part in total sales, as systems like Audible’s ACX continue to make more titles accessible.  With Amazon’s Whispersync for Voice program – something other eBook retailers can’t match – more readers will be able to pick up audiobooks at very reasonable prices, and more audiobook listeners will be picking up eBooks in order to get the bargain price on the audiobooks.  The percentage of titles that make it to audio is already much higher than it was five years ago, and will continue to grow.

3) Content in eBooks that is video, enhanced, full of programmed features, will not do any better this year than in previous years, because they simply require people to read on tablets, not readers, and the trend (currently) seems to be (among serious readers) back toward simpler devices that are mostly good just for eBooks.  If people want to watch a movie, they will download one – but books are not going to evolve into some new meta-entertainment system.  At least not in 2014.

4) Libraries will continue to grow their downloadable content, and will embrace the new technologies and systems put in place to assist them.  Overdrive will start to lose its market share because of simple greed – if it’s as expensive, or more expensive, to provide eBooks to readers, it isn’t going to help already suffering library budgets evolve and sustain.  From personal contact with many librarians and buyers for libraries, I can state that there are a number of independent systems buying now directly from publishers, and more coming in the future.  While I have seen people saying libraries will be buying directly from authors, don’t fool yourself.  There will be an aggregator, and whoever that is is going to take a cut.  Libraries don’t have the manpower or overhead to sift through hundreds of thousands of solicitations from authors to carry their individual books.  In 2014, libraries will buy a lot more eBooks, but they will buy directly from publishers, or distribution systems.

5) Promotion of eBooks will continue to evolve.  What works today will probably be on the wane by 2015 because it will become bloated, too many people will copy it, and the effectiveness will be diluted.  Companies who succeed in weathering the storm will be those that keep their prices reasonable, pre-screen their titles to keep the quality as steady as possible, and change with the market.  I expect that at least one of the big promoting machines will pick up on my earlier comment about Whispersync and audiobooks.  I know from our own statistics that during really successful eBook promotions, we sell a ton of audiobooks on titles that are part of the Whispersync program.

6) It will not be any easier for a new author to promote or sell their books in 2014 than it was in 2013.  Famous authors will continue to sell crazy numbers of books.  Retailers like Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble will continue to announce books as best-sellers before they even go into pre-order.  NYC will pump in the money that ensures millions of sales for books by tried-and-true authors.  Most of the “Best of the Year” lists will ignore about 95 percent of the best of the year in favor of the Best of the Year published in high profile.  The game, in other words, is just a modified version of the old game.  The Catch-22 is that if you haven’t got a lot of money and aren’t fairly famous, the odds are stacked against you.  Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buck those odds, just stating a fact. A new cover, better description – .99 bargain price?  They just don’t matter unless something causes readers to SEE YOUR BOOK.  That is the key.  The people who see it should not be your family, friends, and a thousand other authors…they should be people who don’t know you from Adam, but like to read.

7) Gurus will continue to tell you they know all the answers.  I will continue to say – if that was really true, they wouldn’t spend so much time trying to do things other than write, they would be using their secrets and making millions.  What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another.  Pay attention to what successful authors say, watch what they do, but don’t try to be them, and try to find ways to use what you learn in your own way.  “The next…” anyone will never be more than a dim shadow of the original, so why strive to be that?

8) Smaller print publishers will continue to be treated by bookstores as if they are big publishers, and many of both will fail because of this.  Unless independent bookstores find ways to embrace Print on Demand publishers and distance themselves from the big distributors, they will continue to disappear and by 2015 there will be considerably fewer of them, shifting most print book sales to Amazon and B&N online.  The old model of buying a bunch of books and then returning half of them will disintegrate as independent publishers flourish, and NYC slowly decays.

9) The age-old practice of looking at what’s hot and trying to copy it really fast will proliferate in 2014, continuing the spiral into that nonsense generated by successes in 2013, such as every variation of a shade of gray that can be applied to any sort of title being used to bump sales.  You will continue to see people go on and on about thousands of “sales” that were free giveaways, best-seller lists that are meaningless, and piles of five-star reviews that don’t actually equate in any way to quality or sales.  This is why – as stated above – the very popular authors will continue to be popular, and it will be hard to break in.  For every book someone spent time and effort on, there are fifty crap titles with nothing in mind but ‘cranking them out’.  This makes people gunshy about buying from new authors, and is also why the legit, careful promotional services will continue to draw actual readers.

10) The traditional author / agent / editor / publisher role will continue to morph.  Agents are now admittedly scraping new clients off the self-published best-seller lists (probably from a lot of people they ignored when the books were originally submitted) and all this can do is lengthen the already ridiculous lag time between submitting a manuscript and hearing back.  As more and more successful authors begin to see the huge profit margin shift of more independent publishing, more of their peers will begin to experiment and follow suit.  Agents have a tiny number of slots they can fill these days, and the advances against royalties that almost never sell-through, according to statements, have grown so small that no one could possibly live off of them without selling five to ten novels a year.  A steady income earned through solid, quality output and direct royalties back on a regular basis will win the day.  Companies paying a fair amount to the authors and taking over responsibilities authors should NOT have to learn to do (despite what gurus tell them) will do well in 2014 will flourish, as will rip-off groups charging authors an arm and a leg for scanning, formatting, promotion, etc. and keeping huge percentages – something that sadly a number of literary agents seem to have indulged in.  New models will emerge.  Subscription based reading services like ScribD and NokBoks will test new waters.

I know a lot of this is kind of vague, and in several of these single predictions, I predict a bunch of things, and even offer possible alternative outcomes.  The thing is, it’s fluid.  No one knows everything, and new technology, players, and talent emerge every day.  Keep an open mind, write… always be writing… and pay attention.

And from all of us at Crossroad Press, have a great New Year…

 

-DNW

Thanksgiving Note to All Who Have Supported Crossroad Press

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LAUNCHED A COMPANY LIKE A ROCKET…

Several years back i got the crazy idea to start getting my old books and stories digitized, and I started a very long, very involved learning curve that led me through the creation of Macabre Ink, and then the expanded Crossroad Press Digital, and finally – to what we have now – Crossroad Press Publications – print, audio, and eBooks from more than 130 authors.

First and foremost I want to thank David Dodd, who came on board early on and has been a lifesaver to the company.  He is the master of spreadsheets, formatting scanned documents, and keeping me organized through years that have not grown simpler, but crazier – mostly in good ways.  He is also responsible for a HUGE number of book covers, a talent he took up from scratch and has brought to an artform.

Many don’t understand how little of what we make, we keep.  If we invest any money at all up front in a book, it can take hundreds of sales for us to even break even.  Why?  Because we have stood by our guns, and will continue to stand by our guns.  This is an author’s first company, and most of the money goes to them.  This means some books never make us any money, and others make us a lot – we share the risk, and the profit.  We do what we can to promote and build readership, and I can tell you that the number of hours spent doing this is incredible – for myself, Dave Dodd, the love of my life Patricia Lee Macomber who has edited HUNDREDS of books in recent months – Kurt Criscione, Daz Pulsford, Anita Smith and an entire small army of proof readers have helped us present clean products, and as we’ve always said – the beauty of digital is you can fix things.  We have been quick (and will remain quick) when it comes to remedying any mistakes we make or problems found by others.

I could go on and on with the thanks but instead, I’ll just end this with some pretty impressive numbers, and let it go at that:

Here is a short growth curve (rounded slightly in some cases) to show how our company has grown since 2010.

…………………Net Sales…………………………………Royalties to authors
2010………… 3094…………………………………………$4,324.39
2011……….. 27,971……………………………………..$56,268.51
2012……….135,410……………………………………..$88,064.25
2013……….170,523…………………………………….$197,600.00 (so far)

We are looking forward to great things ahead.  We are making inroads in promotion, and have completely redesigned our website, and our presence, breaking into imprints for the various age groups and genres.  You can see the beginnings of this at OUR NEW WEBSITE – once we get all of the author pages populated on all the various imprint sites, it will be much simpler to find our books, and our authors, without digging through more than 700 digital titles at the old online store.  We have also published more than 350 unabridged audiobook titles, and have an impressive number of books available in print.   Right now we are hard at work on the Official Book of the Winter Olympics – 2014 edition – which should be huge for us.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and to all of you  – readers, listeners, authors, copy-editors, partners, and family.  Thank you…  I can honestly say, I never saw this coming.

-David Niall Wilson

The Blog Tour Continues – even though I'm in Florida at a Con

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blindWe are at a convention in Pensacola, trying to sell books and hunt ghosts…so today I’ll just post about the great review I got over at “Brook Blogs” and to tell you about my guest post there about Cletus J. Diggs, and about memorable characters that aren’t your average, run-of-the-mill heroes…Read the guest post and the review here. She liked it!

 

THE TOUR SO FAR:

Read my post about romance in books over at Fierce Dolan’s Blog..

My post about why I’m glad Nevermore was not published traditionally – read it at the What Readers Want blog!

How personal and North Carolina history affect the novel – read at the FLYING HIGH blog!

Read about mining history for your fiction at Christine’s Words!

Read about the cover art by Lisa Snellings at Workaday Reads

Read the review of the book, and the guest post on keeping your series new

Read the interview at One More Chapter

Read my post about writers – and reading – at Janna Shay’s blog!

Read My post – Everybody Loves a Mystery – here in this blog!

Read my post “Let There be Magic” at the main Buy the Book Tour Site!

Read my post about “The Dark South” at The Open Book Society Blog…;

Read about Genres & Why I hate them : ==> AT THE AUTHOR’S CAFE

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

READ THE Guest Post about History in fiction at MELISSA’S BLOG!

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

Interview with me at the Blog of author Hywela Lin

Interview with Donovan DeChance at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Interview with Edgar Allan Poe at MJ Schiller’s Blog (join the discussion)

Get the details of the book tour – and the giveaways – at Buy the Book Tours…

BUY NEVERMORE! AT AMAZON.COM or BARNES & NOBLE or CROSSROAD PRESS

DOWNLOAD THE AUDIOBOOK FROM AUDIBLE.COM – NARRATED BY GIGI SHANE!

The Blog Tour Day Four – Guest Post – Genres & Why I Hate Them

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cockerToday, I am being hosted on Blog Tour Day Four – at The Author’s Cafe.  I particularly enjoyed writing this guest post because it’s something I probably would have written here anyway.  Today’s post is about not allowing agents, editors, publishers, or – really – anyone tell you what you should write, or what you can’t.  It’s one of the biggest shames of the publishing industry, in my mind, that authors have become convinced they have to emulate the “big thing” to get ahead, that they have to write just one thing so as not to confuse fans, and that they have to do what their agent tells them.  Newsflash.  The agent works for the writer, and if that’s not true, it’s not really agenting – if your agent isn’t enthusiastic about what YOU DO and how you do it, you have the wrong agent.  Anyway, here’s a short excerpt from today’s guest post:

Genres and Why I Hate Them
By David Niall Wilson

All through my career I’ve been plagued by a couple of misconceptions and a string of bad advisors. The misconceptions are:

A: You should write what’s hot.

B: You should choose a genre and stick with it so fans don’t get confused.

I won’t get into the long string of bad advisors, except to say that at least two of my agents turned out to be crooks (one went to jail for it), one told me things were being submitted and I later found out – not so much. Still another advised me to pick a bestselling book and try to do something “like that” – which led to a string of outlines, with three chapters each, that said agent could not “get behind.” I had her get behind me, and it worked out better. I sold all of those books….”  ==> READ THE REST OF THE POST AT THE AUTHOR’S CAFE.

THE TOUR SO FAR:

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

READ THE Guest Post about History in fiction at  MELISSA’S BLOG!

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

Interview with me at the Blog of author Hywela Lin

Interview with Donovan DeChance at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Interview with Edgar Allan Poe at MJ Schiller’s Blog (join the discussion)

Get the details of the book tour – and the giveaways – at Buy the Book Tours…

BUY NEVERMORE!  AT AMAZON.COM  or BARNES & NOBLE or CROSSROAD PRESS

DOWNLOAD THE AUDIOBOOK FROM AUDIBLE.COM – NARRATED BY GIGI SHANE!

The Blog Tour Day Four – An Interview & a Post About History

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Today – day four of the blog tour – there are two sites to visit.  That’s just how it works sometimes, I supposed.  To keep it “shaken up” however, one is a guest post about how I work with history in my fiction – the other is an interview with me over at HSIB where I am the featured author / book of the day.

I hope you are all following these links…reading what I wrote.  I put a lot of time into this.  If you don’t believe that coming up with something interesting 27 times in a row without a break is hard, give it a try …

Sales are slightly up on Nevermore – A Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe – but I hope you’ll give it a try.  If you are reading this, you (at least in theory) are interested in my work.  If reviews and reactions are to be believed, this is one of the best things I’ve ever done.  If you are a long time fan, you’ll find some familiar faces in the pages of the book, and you’ll want to know what happened before I finish Book V of the The DeChance Chronicles.

Anyway… today’s fare:

Today’s Guest Post is at Romance Author Melissa Keir’s Site – Sexy Between the Covers – titled “History is in the Point of View.”

“History is in the Point of View

One of my favorite things to do as an author is to take a story, legend, bit of history, or something else very familiar to people, and look for the holes in it.  Most history is reported by survivors, for instance, and nearly all of what we think we know of the past is skewed, just like the evening news, in one direction or another.  In broad strokes, we can see the outcomes of things that have happened, but the reality of how they happened, well, that’s always up for debate.” ==> READ THE ENTIRE POST AT MELISSA’S BLOG!

Today’s interview is the HBS Author’s Spotlight:

Congratulations on your new novel: Nevermore. What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

I never have just one thing in progress these days. I am working on Book V of the DeChance Chronicles, which I can only say continues on both from Book IV, Kali’s Tale, but also from Nevermore, a Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe. Nevermore really should be marked book 4.5 – even though Donovan DeChance only appears very shortly, because it is the lead-in to all that happens in book V – working title – A Midnight Dreary. Originally, the story that is Nevermore was intended as a flashback. It just grew beyond expectations.

At the same time, I am working on a Young Adult novel titled HOODS that I expect to become a series as well. It involves a group of teenagers in an inner city environment who have unique abilities. Sort of like “Alphas” or “Heroes” but gritty.

Along with this, I’m working on a long-term project titled Tattered Remnants that is a serial killer novel, of sorts…nothing I write is easily classified, but I think I like it that way. It helps me (over time) reach a wider readership, and keeps me from getting pigeonholed as this or that sort of author. I’m a storyteller. I have a lot of stories to tell, and not all of them are the same kind…

You have a good following on twitter. Since you started before the social media buzz, what impact has social media relationships had on your current success? How much has it changed your book launch process?

I find that Social Media is a very frustrating marketing environment…” ==> READ THE INTERVIEW AT THE HBS SITE

THE TOUR SO FAR:

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

Interview with me at the Blog of author Hywela Lin

Interview with Donovan DeChance at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Interview with Edgar Allan Poe at MJ Schiller’s Blog (join the discussion)

Get the details of the book tour – and the giveaways – at Buy the Book Tours…

BUY NEVERMORE!  AT AMAZON.COM  or BARNES & NOBLE or CROSSROAD PRESS

DOWNLOAD THE AUDIOBOOK FROM AUDIBLE.COM – NARRATED BY GIGI SHANE!

In Case You Wondered Why I Was So Quiet

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In my continuing quest to try every means possible to find and reach new readers, I will be starting an extensive Blog Tour on July 22.  It will run on through September 2nd, and you can see the schedule below.  I have been busy answering questions, writing guest posts, and writing interviews with my own characters.  I now have invested almost as many words in this promotion as I have in the book (well, that’s a slight exaggeration, but only slight).

During the course of the tour, the price of the eBook editions of Nevermore will be dropped from $4.99 to $2.99 on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.  You will have chances along the way to win copies of the print editions, the unabridged audiobook (narrated by Gigi Shane) – and the eBooks.  You will learn about why I wrote this book, how it was researched, what influences me – now, then, tomorrow – music I listen to, books I read – more, in other words, than anyone should have to know JUST TO BUY THIS BOOK.  If you have already read and enjoyed this, PLEASE take the time to drop by Amazon & / or Barnes & Noble and leave me a review.  I’ll be saying more about this as the day approaches.  I’ll be interacting with any comments at all of the below sites on the appropriate dates (and beyond).

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below for your chance to win a copy of Nevermore – A Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe and a $15 Amazon Gift Card!

July 22, 2013
Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews {Character Interview with Giveaway}
M.J. Schiller, Author {Character Interview with Giveaway (Paperback)}

July 23, 2013
Hywela Lyn – Romance That’s ‘Out Of This World’ {Author Interview with Giveaway}

July 24, 2013
Nancy’s Novels – Welcome to she said, he said {Guest Post / Review with Giveaway}

July 25, 2013
Melissa Keir- Sexy Between the Covers {Guest Post with Giveaway}
HBS Author’s Spotlight {Author Interview}

July 26, 2013
Authors’ Cafe {Guest Post with BTB Giveaway}

July 27, 2013
Open Book Society {Guest Post with Giveaway (Paperback)}

July 29, 2013
Jenna’s Journal {Guest Post with Giveaway}

July 30, 2013
Slave’s Erotic Reviews {Guest Post / Review}

August 1, 2013
Janna Shay’s Fair Play {Guest Post with Giveaway}

August 2, 2013
Just One More Chapter {Author Interview with Giveaway (Paperback)}

August 5, 2013
The Realm of Fantasy and Fiction {Guest Post / Review with BTB Giveaway}

August 6, 2013
Workaday Reads {Guest Post with Giveaway (Paperback)}

August 7, 2013
Christine’s Words {Guest Post with Giveaway}

August 8, 2013
FLY HIGH {Guest Post}

August 12, 2013
What Readers Want {Guest Post with BTB Giveaway}

August 14, 2013
Fierce Dolan – Words Without Limits {Guest Post with Giveaway}

August 17, 2013
Brooke Blogs {Guest Post / Review with Giveaway}

August 19, 2013
Paranormal Realms {Author Interview with BTB Giveaway}

August 22, 2013
Paranormal Book Club {Guest Post with Giveaway (Paperback)}

August 26, 2013
Rinn Reads {Guest Post with Giveaway}

August 27, 2013
Overflowing Bookshelves {Character Interview / Review}

August 30, 2013
Paranormal Dimensions {Guest Post with BTB Giveaway}

August 31, 2013
Deal Sharing Aunt {Author Interview with Giveaway (Paperback)}

September 2, 2013
A Chick Who Reads {Guest Post / Review with Giveaway}
Sun Mountain Reviews {Guest Post with Giveaway}

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