Sunday, September 30, 2012

Update from my book signing event!

I thought I had sent this post yesterday from my iPad, but Google and Apple don't play nicely together. See the note at the end of the post.

Here are my two lovely assistants at my book signing event: my boys, Nicolas and Evan. This is my second post today from Gaia Java in Stittsville, so I'm going to use a different approach this time.
How is the signing going, you ask? (Yes, I can hear you — there's an App for that). There's a little lull now, but I had a small crowd up to about a half-hour ago. Some friends dropped in, had some coffee, talked about books and kids and cars. I spoke to a couple of readers and gave away some copies of my short story, Sam, the Strawb Part

It's thrilling to be autographing copies of your book — I have never felt like that before. Now, the crowds have died away; I'm waiting for the next rush to come, the people who need their afternoon coffee. Maybe I'll meet some more readers. I won't hope for more sales — I've had more than most authors get in one day at this kind of event. But I won't turn them down, either.

The technological side 

The last post, I wrote the text in a word processor, then copied and pasted it into Google's Blogger app. I could also add a picture or two, taken with my iPad2. That part worked fairly well, although the resolution is not great because of the iPad2's (the "old" iPad, now) rudimentary camera.

The Blogger app is not very good. It's designed for use on a phone, and the iPad version does not use the whole screen — just a little rectangle in the middle. There isn't enough room to see much of what you write. The onscreen keyboard — well, let's just say that it's a good thing I have the Kensington Bluetooth keyboard synced to the iPad.

This time, I'm using the old-fashioned approach of emailing the post to my Blogger account. It takes more planning, because you cannot attach a picture to the email from within the iPad. If you want a picture, you have to open it in Photos, select Email Picture, and add the post as a caption.

 Enough for now. I'll be here for another hour, so as the celebs on all the talk shows say, if you're in town, come and see me.

One last technological note:

 Live blogging from the iPad has a number of holes in it. I tried, twice, to send this post from my iPad. Doing that requires a double work-around.

First, for remomte blogging, Blogger requires that you set up a special email account in Blogger; type your text into the email, put the title as the Subject line, and email it to this special address, and the content goes to your Drafts folder. Then you can edit it.

However, on Safari on the iPad, you cannot select a photo from the camera roll or anywhere else in the iPad. So if you want to put a picture, you have to use the second work-around, this one imposed by Apple: select the photo in the Photos app, select E-mail Photo, address it to your Blogger account and add your text in the body of the email below the picture. This does not give you the option to format the picture in any way, however. I suppose if you had a Picasa account, you could include the photo in your blog by selecting its URL, but you can't do that with Photostream, because Apple likes to keep those URLs secret.

So there, two work arounds, but in this case, they didn't work. I thought I had updated the blog yesterday afternoon, but no — all I got, instead of a new post, was a single photo in the Drafts folder. I have had to edit it in HTML mode in Safari on my iPad, because for some reason, I cannot add text in the Compose mode.

Here's a recommendation to Google and Apple: play nicely together.

Sent from my iPad, then finalized on my desktop.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Live blogging from my book signing!

I'm here at Gaia Java in Stittsville, in the west end of Ottawa, at my first book signing event.

I thought I'd take the opportunity to explore live blogging again, using my trusty dusty iPad2. I've managed to make a couple of entries on Facebook, and even added a picture on Twitter, using this technology. Updating the blog is a little more challenging using the iPad, so I'll describe the details on how I'm doing this at the bottom of this post.

The event is going much better than I expected. There's a lull in the traffic right now, so I have some time to write this blog, but I sold my first copy within my first 10 minutes here, so a lady who had seen the publicity from Gaia Java's web page. Within the first 90 minutes, I sold two more copies.

While this may not seem like huge numbers, from the research I've done on book signings, it is excellent results — some veteran authors have reported sales of two or three copies in a day.

I have to say "thanks" to Paul Melsness and Paul Jay, co-owners of Gaia Java, for this opportunity. They've allowed me not only space, but let me move tables and chairs around and put up posters on their walls. And, they have excellent coffee. Even if I were not flogging books, I love coming here to have some really great coffee and enjoy the art on the walls.

By the way, the art is for sale, and it's very good, so take a look.

Not only did Paul and Paul give me the space and chance to do this, they also did more effective publicity than I did. I put up posters and sent media advisories all over the region, but the reporter who came to cover this (so far) from the local paper got the notification through Gaia Java's publicity.

How I did it
For this post, I'm trying Google's Blogger App for the iPad. But here come some customers!

I'll blog again at the next chance.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Getting ready for my first book signing

Stressed-out image courtesy the Canadian Bald

On Saturday, September 29, I will have my first book signing event, and I’m now starting to stress about making sure I’m ready.
Map and Directions
As regular readers of this blog (and I know there are a few of you) know, it’s going to be at Gaia Java — Ottawa’s newest and best chain of cafés — at 1300 Stittsville Main Street in Stittsville, in the far west end of the city.
I’ve done everything I can to try to publicize the event in advance:
  • sent notices to all the local newspapers, radio and TV stations
  • posted the announcement on local “event” websites
  • put up posters at libraries, cafés, bookstores and other places where people interested in books and book signings might see them
  • sent emails to everyone I know (well, almost everyone), even though they may be living in a different continent
  • created an “Event” on my Facebook page
  • announced it in a variety of Facebook and LinkedIn groups
  • announced it to my Google Plus circles
  • Tweeted
  • and of course, announced it here on my blog.
Short of hiring a publicist or sky-writers, I don’t know what else I can do for very little, or no, money.
So now, I’m trying to think of all the things I need on Saturday. A good friend, actor Van Brown, reminded me to bring “something to write with.” Obvious as that may seem, I had not put “pens” on my list of Things to Bring to the Book Signing.
I’ve made up a couple of other posters, including one with an enlargement of my book’s cover (at the suggestion of Melissa Bourbon’s and Tonya Kappe’s The Tricked Out Toolbox). I’ll bring a couple of pads of paper where people can write down their email addresses in case they want to subscribe to the blog or notices about the book or other books. Maybe some kind of raffle tickets for a free copy of Bones or one of the other books. Tape for putting up the posters. Pins, maybe. Pencils in case the pens run out. Bookmarks that promote The Bones of the Earth. Cards with my contact information.
Money for coffee: if you come out and mention this post, I’ll buy you a coffee!
What else do I need? Oh yes, copies of my book. The Bones of the Earth.
And I’ll have some copies of books by other members of Independent Authors International.
There. Is that everything? What have I forgotten? If you can think of something, PLEASE leave a Comment.
Finally: if you’re nearby, please drop in on Saturday! I’d love to meet readers!

Friday, September 21, 2012

I’m having a book signing!

I’m excited to be having my first real book signing with real, physical books next weekend.

Paul Melsness and Paul Jay, co-owners of Ottawa’s newest and best coffee chain, have graciously allowed me to invade their Stittsville, Ontario store.

Not only will I have copies of my novel, The Bones of the Earth, ready to autograph and personalize for anyone who wants to buy them, I’ll also have copies of other Independent Authors International titles:

 • Dragonfriend: Leonard the Great, Book 1, by Roger Eschbacher
If you think it was all good deeds and fancy ideals back in the days of Camelot, think again. For a time things went seriously bad: Arthur was imprisoned, Merlin had vanished, and a vile demon had taken over the throne.

Young Leonard is page to Sir Ronald, a poor but kind knight. When Sir Ronald is arrested for "bravery without a license" and dragged off to Camelot's dungeons, Leonard must do whatever it takes to free his master even if that means doing battle with dangerous monsters, trying to outwit Camelot's dark overlord, or taking a bath!

Dark Prairies/Blood Land, by RS Guthrie (this book was retitled and re-covered)
Crime's an ugly constant in the big city. L.A. Chicago. New York. But when a savage murder brutalizes a small town and neighbor turns on neighbor, a tough-as-nails cop is essential to restoring order. Blood Land is a gritty, emotional saga set in the Wyoming badlands with both greed and vengeance at its core.

When billions of dollars in natural gas rights hang in the balance and the town's top law officer's wife is slain by her own blood, a reluctant hero is forced to battle his own demons and ultimately choose between justice, revenge, and duty.

Two months after being infected with a strange retrovirus, Cassidy Jones continues to live a double life while she struggles to master her newly gained superpowers. High school has become the only normal thing left in her life--except for tall, dark, and handsome Emery Phillips, who shadows her every move, making sure she doesn't reveal her secret. Then an overnight sleepover at Catamount Mountain Zoo takes a menacing turn, putting everything at risk.  

I also plan to have paper copies of my first published fiction (since high school, anyway), Sam, the Strawb Part. As always, all the proceed from sales of that title go directly to Children at Risk, an Ottawa charity that supports families of children with autism spectrum disorders.

Now, if you live in the Ottawa or Stittsville areas, you have no excuse! I look forward to seeing you all at Gaia Java on Saturday, September 29, between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Where: Gaia Java
1300 Stittsville Main StreetStittsville, ON

When: Saturday, September 2911:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Uncover the cover! Blood of the King

Bruce Blake’s newest book, Blood of the King, is coming out in just a couple of weeks, and it looks exciting and a good read.

Bruce is author of the Icarus Fell series of fantasy novels, founder of the Guild of Dreams fantasy authors’ cooperative and a fellow Canadian. I’m proud to present the cover of his upcoming opus, and all I can say about it is: wow.

I have to apologize: I was supposed to post this a couple of days ago, but life got in the way. Sorry, Bruce, but best of luck with the new book!

Blood of the King

(Khirro's Journey Book 1)

A kingdom torn by war. A curse whispered by dying lips. A hero born against his will.

Khirro never wanted to be anything more than the farmer he was born to be, but a Shaman's curse binds him to the fallen king and his life changes forever.

Driven by the Shaman's dying words, Khirro's journey pits him against an army of the dead, sends him through haunted lands, and thrusts him into the jaws of beasts he wouldn't have believed existed. In one hand he carries the Shaman's enchanted sword, a weapon he can barely use; in the other he holds a vial of the king's blood, the hope of the kingdom. His destination: the Necromancer's keep in the cursed land of Lakesh. Only the mysterious outlaw magician can raise the king from the dead to save them all from the undead invasion, but can Khirro live long enough to deliver the vial?

Can a coward save a kingdom?

Who is Bruce Blake?

Bruce Blake lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don't take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest coffee shop to work on his short stories and novels.

Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Since snow isn't really a pressing issue, Bruce spends more time trying to remember to leave the "u" out of words like "colour" and "neighbour" then he does shovelling. The father of two, Bruce is also the trophy husband of burlesque diva Miss Rosie Bitts.

Bruce has been writing since grade school but it wasn't until six years ago he set his sights on becoming a full-time writer. Since then, his first short story, "Another Man's Shoes" was published in the Winter 2008 edition of Cemetery Moon, another short, "Yardwork", was made into a podcast in Oct., 2011 by Pseudopod and his first Icarus Fell novel, "On Unfaithful Wings", was published to Kindle in Dec., 2011. The second Icarus Fell novel, “All Who Wander Are Lost”, was released in July, 2012, with the first book in the two-part “Khirro's Journey” epic fantasy coming Sept. 30. He has plans for at least three more Icarus novels, several stand alones, and a possible YA fantasy co-written with his eleven-year-old daughter.

See more about Bruce and his writings at his blog,

Find Bruce Blake on Facebook at

Follow him on Twitter as @BruceABake

Visit Bruce's Author page on
Visit the Guild of Dreams fantasy authors' blog at

Contact Bruce by email at

Sign up for Bruce's mailing list

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The infinite fall: Six Sentences for Sunday

It's been a long time since I participated in Six Sentence Sunday, so I thought I'd enter again.
Javor screamed as fearsomely as he could and sprang forward, slashing the knife downward. He aimed at the monster’s back, but with agility surprising in such a large creature it twisted out of the way, and the knife bit into its arm. The monster roared again, a sound that froze Javor’s heart, and then with awful strength flung Javor across the cave. He rolled to the edge of the chasm. For a second, he felt as if he was going to tip over and plunge in; below was only a dull red light in a deeper blackness and a foul odour. He knew there was no bottom, only an endless drop that called to him; something in Javor’s mind yearned to lean over and fly into the chasm, to give himself to the infinite fall.
That six-sentence excerpt is from Part One of The Bones of the Earth. For more, you can click the tab above, or download a long, free sample from Smashwords.

You can also buy all of Part One: Initiation Rites for just 99 cents from Amazon, Smashwords, iBooks or B&N.

Or, you could buy the whole book from Amazon.

But don't forget to read some more great excerpts on Six Sentence Sunday.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What makes fiction good?

Creative Commons: Woman with books

Writing fiction is different from writing non-fiction. It’s harder.

With non-fiction, you may answer a need: “How to hammer nails straight,” or “How to deceive yourself into believing that this diet will actually work next week.”

In fiction, however, it’s completely up to the writer to make the reader need to read the content. And as I read fiction lately, I find myself trying to deconstruct the appeal some writers hold for me.

First, I want a story that pulls me along. I have to want to find out what happens next. While this strikes me as obvious, some writers apparently need to be told: don’t bore me.

I also appreciate originality. Many writers, particularly of cop or spy stories, seem to be trying to write an episode of their favourite TV show, rather than making up their own stories. Another tip: don’t make everyone beautiful. I’ve said it before: if you look around you, you won’t see a lot of beautiful people. A few, sure. But most humans are tolerable-looking, maybe attractive.

There’s also the depth of characterization, the writer’s ability to make a character or a situation real. Dialogue has a lot to do with this, but writing believable dialogue is very tricky. If you were to write down exactly what people actually say, it would make for very boring and incomprehensible prose — people make up what they say as they go along, and there are a lot of false starts and changes in tense and tone in ordinary speech. And then there’s all the information conveyed by tone of voice and body language. It takes an extraordinarily skilled writer to capture all of that.

How a writer writes

Writing style has a lot of impact on my enjoyment. There’s word choice, and sentence structure, but I don’t have patience for writers who are trying to impress me with their vocabulary. TELL THE STORY.

Many have said: “Show me, don’t tell me.” The writers I like best are those who, simply and clearly, bring me right into the situation.

Here’s a great example from the independent and best-selling Martin Crosbie. In the opening of My Temporary Life, he brings you intimately into the character’s life — and you don’t even notice his style:

I think I first smelled booze on Gerald when we were eleven, and as far as I know he’s been drinking ever since. We’re thirteen now, almost fourteen, and he still carries a mickey to school a couple of times a week. I know how he does it. He told me once. He raids his parents’ liquor cabinet and takes a little from every bottle, making up a toxic mixture of alcohol. He’s small and wiry, almost invisible really, so it’s probably quite easy for him to sneak around in his house, stealing things, unnoticed.
Another great Canadian independent author is Montrealer Beverly Akerman. This is the opening of the first story in her collection, The Meaning of Children:

When the arguing started, their voices would get louder and louder, till they broke into my dreams. That night, I woke and listened in the dark for what felt like a very long time. Perhaps I should have been afraid, but I wasn’t. For one thing, they never yelled at Lisa or me, and for another, they argued so often I was used to it. Besides, I learned a lot when they fought. But that night, the uproar was exceptional. Even Lisa woke up after a while, and she stood there in the crib in her fuzzy footed pyjamas, fingers in mouth, he eyes shiny and round as marbles. I finally got out of bed and padded down the hallway to see what it was about this time.

Both examples give you a lot of information, but not too much. They tell you about a character and make you want to read more, without overwhelming you with the dreaded “information dump.”

What not to do:

Here’s an example of an information dump (details altered to protect the guilty):
Michael Chapman stood wearily in line at the ferry’s bar. It had been a long trip, but he was nearing its end. Four years ago Michael was a twenty-eight-year-old investment counselor with a corner office in one of the gleaming glass towers of Atlanta. He thought he had it all — until his marriage disintegrated in a messy divorce in which his wife got the house, the kids, and everything else important to him. After eight more months of pointless activity, he walked away from his job, cashed in what remained of his investments, and bought a ticket to England.
Not only does that use a lot of clichés (“gleaming glass towers,” “marriage disintegrated,” “messy divorce,” “walked away from his job”), there’s no reason to dump all this here. Get on with the story: he’s in line at the bar — does he get his drink? Or does something get in the way? Where is the ferry going? How long has the journey been?

As the writer, you can build the back-story in as it's needed. Show me the pain of the divorce when Michael meets another potential romantic partner, or some other situation that calls for it. And he's 28, with kids and a corner office? In what universe, other than EL James's?

In On Unfaithful Wings, fantasy author Bruce Blake is a little more descriptive. But he doesn’t overwhelm you while making you feel for this character:

I stood with my back to the church, much the way I’d lived my life.

Rain poured down the eaves, splashing my shoes. Each drop pattering against the leather felt as though it landed directly on my mood. I tugged my suit jacket tighter and glanced at my watch — almost eleven p.m. If the rain didn’t let up soon, Trevor would be in bed, his belated birthday present another day late. After letting him down again, Rae probably wouldn’t let me give him the gift, anyway. A heavy sigh drew the taste of rain on dry soil into my lungs as I suppressed the desire to call her names in my head, to blame her for everything. It wasn’t her fault.

One more example to stress the points I’m trying to make: make it a close-up. It’s been said before: we find the universal in the particular. In A Birthday to Remember, Thomas L. Scott uses simple, clear language to take us all back to our own fifth birthdays:

Once, on a Saturday morning when I was just five years old, our house burned to the ground. Just before it happened, I was alone in the family room right off the kitchen, probably doing something I shouldn’t have been doing, like jumping on the furniture or bouncing a ball against the wall. You know, kid stuff. Well anyhow, the fire turned out to be one of those things which really wasn’t anybody’s fault, no matter how badly you wanted it to be. Circumstances came together and it just happened. Nobody likes to think stuff like that goes on but it does. It was my fifth birthday.
All these good examples put the reader right into the situation. They’re personal. Readers can identify with the character. If it were a movie, the director would be starting with a very close focus. Context comes later, naturally as the story rolls out.

In the next post, I’ll give you some more examples of the kind of writing I don’t like. Because you’re all writing for me, right?

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

What do free giveaways on Amazon lead to? Lots of people getting your book for free.

Through the Labour Day long weekend, I used three of the five days out of ninety in which Amazon lets me set my book’s price to zero as a promotion. As best as I can figure it, over 1,400 people downloaded a full e-book copy of The Bones of the Earth gratis.

Of course, it’s done very little for my bank account.

Downloads versus rankings

As a member of Independent Authors International, a writers’ cooperative group, I participated in the group’s first Labor Day Free Reads event. Seven of us (see last week’s post) all set September 1 to 3 as “free days” on our Amazon Kindle Select accounts. We joined and/or notified I don’t know how many bloggers, portals, reviewers and Facebook groups to publicize it; we wrote and shared updates for our own Facebook pages and scheduled hundreds of tweets.

The giveaway began at midnight on September 1. While some participants thought progress was slow, for my own part, I was happy. I had over 300 downloads by Saturday evening, and when I got up the next morning, some 30 hours or so into the program, Amazon US was showing over 600 downloads. The UK site showed 39 downloads, plus one sale of The Bones of the Earth, Part One: Initiation Rites.

Some of the other participants noted that there were no downloads from the UK site after sometime on Saturday afternoon, September 1. It turned out there was some kind of glitch in’s tallying system. I experienced it, too: while downloads from the US site climbed fairly steadily all weekend, the UK site was stuck at 39.

More exciting to watch were the rankings. By the end of Saturday, The Bones of the Earth had advanced to no. 1,300 or so in the Free lists, and by Sunday afternoon, September 2, it was number 2 in Historical Fantasy in’s US Free lists, and number 5 in Epic Fantasy; in the UK, despite only showing 39 downloads, it reached number 1 in Historical Fantasy!

After that, it started falling in the rankings, to number 3 and finally settling at number 5 in historical fantasy, and number 451 overall, by the end of the event, even though total downloads kept advancing.

Image: Creative Commons

Why did I give my book away for free after trying to sell it for so many months?

Good question. I’m glad I asked it.

Many other indie authors who have tried the Kindle Select giveaway program since it became available at the beginning of this year reported a sales spike immediately following the end of the giveaway period. For example, Russell Blake made his Geronimo Breach free for three days in January and saw about 12,000 downloads. “Then, when it went back to paid, a funny thing happened. After languishing for the first day, it shot like a rocket, finally hitting #165 in the paid Kindle store,” he reported in his blog.

Russell wasn’t the only one. I read similar stories from several other indie authors. But as time went on and more and more independent writers used the program, the results were less and less striking.

Still, I was hopeful. Writers I respected for both their writing and marketing ability kept using the program. In the summer, I participated as a supporter of the Book Pushalooza for Derek Blass, Elise Stokes, Robert Guthrie, Shannon Mayer and a few others. The planning and organization in that group effort was amazing.

Lessons learned

How did iAi Labor Day Free Reads go? For me, 1,400 downloads is great — it’s many times more copies than I have sold in the past 8 months, even if it was a small number compared to Russell Blake’s results.

Still, I have to keep that in perspective. Russell was already selling thousands of copies of his book before he had the giveaway.

Another lesson: maybe next time, I won’t do this over a long weekend. People, and readers are people, often go away from their computers during holidays.

Yet another lesson: I will participate for a longer period in the Facebook and other groups that I want to promote my book before asking them to do that.

And there are still more bloggers and reviewers to contact.

As far as sales go: strangely enough, I have sold 12 copies of The Bones of the Earth, Part 1: Initiation Rites at 99 cents through the weekend. I don’t understand this, because Part 1 is, as the title implies, the first part of the full novel. Part 1 came with parts 2 and 3 for free last weekend. I’m not complaining — four bucks is enough for two cups of good coffee. But it seems strange to me. I guess the fact that Part 1 is the first part of the full book is not that clear to some people. Anyway, I’m glad people bought the story, and I hope it makes them want to read the rest of it.

As for the hoped-for sales spike: I’m writing this during that first day after the end of the event, during which Russell Blake reported “languishing” sales. So I’ll watch my reports from Amazon. And I’ll let you know how it’s going.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Progress report: Amazon promotional giveaway event

It’s one day into the first promotional giveaway of my book, The Bones of the Earth, and I’m thrilled with the results. The numbers may not seem huge to some people, but for me, they’re great.

As I mentioned in the post last week, I’m participating in Independent Authors International’s first multi-author, multi-book giveaway through Amazon. Throughout this Labour Day long weekend, seven of us have used our Amazon Kindle Select program free days to give away copies of our e-books.

In total, there have been over 700 downloads of my book in the first 34 hours of the multi-author giveaway event. As I’m writing this, The Bones of the Earth is ranked the number two historical fantasy in Amazon’s Free lists, and number 1 in Amazon UK’s lists!

Strangely, traffic on my blog is not much heavier than normal. Other participants and friends like Cinta Garcia (who guest posted here a few months back) have noticed heavier blog traffic.

So, great results? Compared to my book’s sales since the beginning of the year, this is great! Compared to the big sellers, fair to middling.

Reasons? Perhaps the last long weekend of the summer was not a great choice: there are a lot of other things for people to do, like go to the beach one last time, or get the kids ready for school. Or maybe there are a lot of other giveaways to compete with.

Those are the results so far. I promise to publish further updates for anyone who is thinking of trying this strategy.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

ON NOW! The first Independent Authors International Labor Day Free Reads Giveaway!

September 1 – 3:
3 days
7 free authors
7 great books


Independent Authors International’s Labor Day Free Reads giveaway is on NOW.

Don't miss your chance to end your summer with spectacular reading!

From September 1 to 3, anyone can download up to seven great titles from seven great, free-thinking independent authors — all for free!

I’m proud to be included in this group. Take a look at what will be available for you this coming weekend:

The Five Fortunes of Fulano — one of the Sketches from the Spanish Mustang, by Benjamin X. Wretlind. From a reviewer: “Mr. Wretlind has penned a tale of such emotional and literary depth that it will haunt the reader long after the last page is turned.”

Cassidy Jones and Vulcan’s Gift — described by a reviewer as “both the Superman 2 and Wrath of Khan to the first book,” Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula. Both are great, esteem-building reads for the middle-grade and young adult set.

At Road’s End — the first in Zoe Saadia’s literary adventure series set in pre-Columbian America, this book has been reviewed as “a book to have on your MUST READ list.”

American Goddesses — Gary Henry’s paranormal/science-fiction yarn that makes you think, and think again.

Gray Justice — the first in Alan McDermott’s series about ex-commando Tom Gray, a man who doesn’t so much take justice into his own hands and thrust it into all of ours.

Lost — the second installment in Rob Guthrie’s thriller-horror crossover featuring one of the most interesting cops of all, Bobby Mac, and the book that established Guthrie as a truly talented and visionary writer.

And of course, my own offering: The Bones of the Earth — a tale that combines epic fantasy and historical research with a story about a young man who is trying to find his own place in a confusing and often chaotic world.

Don’t miss out. If you’re looking for some great reading material for your e-reader this fall, you could not do better than this mix from thought-provoking, truly independent authors.

To download them for free, simply type the titles into the search field in Amazon. Or watch this space and my Twitter feed for the link to the iAi Labor Day Free Reads landing page.

As if you needed another reason to celebrate a long weekend:
3 days
7 free-thinking writers
7 free books.