Thursday, 31 March 2016

Spread Some Indie Love

Spread Some Indie Love Blog Hop

Welcome along to The Northern Witch's Book Blog; if this is your first time visiting, I hope you'll take the time to look around. If you've been here before - you know the drill.
!!Win books and an Amazon giftcard!!

I'll be your host for however-long-it-takes-to-read-this-post, which makes me the Northern Witch.  A nickname that, surprisingly, has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I have written the Witch-Hunter series.
Honestly, my friend and colleague Anna used to call me it all the time, when we were working at a horse-riding centre in London: I was the Northern Witch, and she was the Polish Bi- anyway, where was I?

Ah yes, books and love and all that.
This is the second year that I've partaken in Debdatta's annual blog hop - and you can see last year's effort here.
This year I will be sharing one of my favourite authors, and giving away a $5 Amazon Giftcard, and a couple of books & prizes.
Also, don't forget to check out the list of participating blogs at the bottom for a chance to win more goodies & find more awesome indie authors!

I love the Indie author scene.
I remember how daunting it was, a newly-published author, and you're suddenly thrown into this sea of marketing and promotions and you don't know what the hell you're doing, and you just hope you don't drown.
Eventually, you start to feel - if not in control - at least regaining your balance.
I quickly got annoyed (and started to block) with the people that contacted me on various social media sites with the constant "BUY MY BOOK", and nothing else.
Those people really give the rest of the Indie authors a bad name.  The deluge of repeat posts - for crying out loud, if the first post/tweet/message demanding that I pick up your 5-star-can't-live-without didn't work, why would the next 500 spammy posts/tweets/messages do the job?
I'm a reasonably smart person, if I like what I see, I can find the bloody thing. There's this amazing thing called Google.

Anyways, luckily, before I got too sour (*cough*), I crossed paths with a group of authors who started the #IndieBooksBeSeen and #Awethors movements, which are more about promoting indie
authors as a whole, and they have offered a wealth of support and advice, without which I would be a much poorer writer (that's right lovely people, I could be worse!).
And I've decided to share with you one of my favourite writers from those groups: C.L. Schneider.

C.L. Schneider is the author of the fantastic fantasy Crown of Stones trilogy.  And if she sounds familiar to followers of my blog, that is because I am a huge fan of the series; I have a slight obsession with the fact that the main character is called Ian; and as C.L. Schneider has not yet issued a restraining order, here we go.

If you have already read Magic Price, you might want to get the inside scoop with the Spoilers interview - seriously, the clue is in the name, only click if you don't mind spoilers.

C.L. Schneider's website
Amazon author page

Magic Price ~REVIEW~5/5~
Ian Troy is one of the Shinree, a fallen people with an inherent addiction to magic. Scorned and reviled for the deadly side of their spells, the Shinree are bred as slaves. Their magic is suppressed by drugs and used only as it serves the purposes of the other races. Descended from a long line of soldiers, Ian is conscripted into the Rellan army and made to fight in their longstanding conflict against the ruthless Langorian invaders. The downfall of Rella imminent, Ian goes against orders and turns to the Crown of Stones, an ancient Shinree relic of untold power. Ignorant of its true purpose, Ian uses the crown to end the war, and pays a terrible price. A decade later, still tortured by the aftermath of that day, Ian lives as a bounty hunter in self-imposed exile. Having renounced his magical heritage, he curbs his obsession with a steady stream of wine and regret. He struggles to put it all behind him, until a fateful encounter with a pretty assassin brings Ian’s past crashing into the present. Targeted by a rogue Shinree, and a ruthless old enemy, Ian is forced to use magic again. His deadly addiction is rekindled and his life of isolation is brought to a swift end. With the land he gave up everything to protect once more in jeopardy, and his people’s future at stake, Ian becomes embroiled in a violent race for control of the Crown of Stones. To save the realms and those he cares for, Ian must embrace the thing he fears most: his own power.

Magic Scars ~REVIEW~5/5~
They took it all: his will, his memories, his freedom, his magic.

Imprisoned by his enemies, tortured and drugged to keep his magic suppressed, Ian Troy returns to a world as marred and broken as he is. Ravaged by the reign of her new High King, Draken of Langor, Mirra’kelan’s citizens live in fear. The Shinree, misled by Jem Reth’s promises, are no longer slaves, but they are far from free. Thrust together by necessity, refugees from all realms have banded together and formed alliances never before thought possible. They share a common goal: freedom from oppression. And a common, fragile hope: Ian Troy.

But as Ian struggles to put the pieces of his life back together, he finds he is not the same man as before. Afflicted by an unsettling, personal transformation, he strives to discover the truth behind his connection to The Crown of Stones. He searches for answers among the ruins of the past and uncovers ancient secrets that may have altered the course of his entire race.

The Price of Ian’s magic and his addiction have never been higher.

Magic Borne - Goodreads Link
He’s paid for his addiction. He’s been scarred by his spells.
He’s borne magic’s weight, its pleasure, and its guilt.
But will he surrender to it when the realm needs him most?

In one fell swoop, the resistance was shattered. Lives were taken. Hope was lost. Peace slipped like grains of sand through his fingers. So did the Crown of Stones. Now, forced into hiding, Ian Troy grapples for a way to save the realm—and free its people—from the sadistic clutches of Jem Reth; Mirra’kelan’s new self-appointed emperor. Plagued with the knowledge of a tragic future, he strives to influence events and save those he cares for. But his magic has betrayed him, and Fate has other plans.

Marked by the crown, hindered by the transformation spell contained within, each cast brings Ian one step closer to becoming more beast than man. Each move brings the death and destruction foretold in his vision inexplicably nearer. With Langor on the brink of war, and King Malaq’s plan for peace hanging in the balance, Ian returns to the ancient past; seeking an end to the eldring spell and a means to thwart Jem’s growing domination. What he finds there sets off a chain of revelations that leads Ian places he never thought to go.

Entrusted with the future of his race, Ian becomes the linchpin for lasting change. But how much weight can one man carry? And how much is he willing to sacrifice in the name of peace?

So, eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed that there are reviews for the first two books, but not the third.
The finale "Magic Borne" was released last month.  How dare I call myself a fan, and a half-arsed reviewer, if I haven't a review of it yet?

I will let you all into a little secret:
I have bought the book, it is primed and ready to go on my Kindle. And just like the carrot in front of
the donkey, I am holding this hostage as incentive to finish the draft that I am working on.
(In case anyone is curious, I have tried the carrot technique with my horse when he's being stubborn - very mixed results)

This worked in 2014 when I was finishing The Shadow Falls, and I used The Staff & The Sword series to give me the kick up the arse I needed.

Right people, prize time!
Enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win:

  • A $5 Amazon Giftcard (or regional equivalent)
  • Kindle copy of "Crown of Stones: Magic Price"
  • Crown of Stones swag pack from the author (US only)
  • Paperback copy of "The Shadow Rises" by little old me.
Entries close April 7th.

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