Monday, February 27, 2012

Final Tally

Well the final tally of free downloads for Running into the Darkness is in.

The free period for my novel ended at midnight Saturday night with a final download number of 727.  RITD was as high as #20 on the suspense/thriller genre free list.  If I must be honest, I was crossing my fingers to try and make the top ten list, but considering where we started, I'd say the top twenty wasn't too bad.

It was so much fun to be a part of this little ongoing experiment in the Kindle universe.  Running into the Darkness will be free a couple more days during the ninety day window as part of the Kindle Select program, but you can still pick it up for a bargain price in the meantime.  However, I'll be sure and let you know what the next free period on Amazon will be, that is as soon as I decide for certain when that will be.

Those of you who downloaded during this window - thank you so much for taking a chance on my work.  I look forward to sharing my short story, The Study, with you soon.  I'm also hard at work on the sequel, Piercing the Darkness.

Loving where it's going thus far and can hardly wait to share it with you. 

Happy reading!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Running into the Darkness February Freebie

Well I'm following in a couple of footsteps today. 

I signed Running into the Darkness up for the Kindle Select Program.  So that means, this Friday and Saturday RITD will be available for free.

Yes, you read that right - FREE!

So if you haven't had a chance to buy and read it yet, take advantage of the free download on the 24th or 25th - again, that's this Friday and Saturday.  Click here for your shopping convenience:

And, if you've a mind to do so, let all of your family and friends know of this February Freebie event.  I'll keep you posted on the numbers.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Welcome Heidi Ruby Miller!

Today I have the pleasure of hosting Heidi Ruby Miller, author of the science fiction romance thriller AMBASADORA.  She's presently on her blog tour and here to discuss her newest novel, GREENSHIFT.  Heidi's also got a great giveaway offer so stay tuned to find out the details.

DAB:   Welcome, Heidi!  So tell us a bit about GREENSHIFT.

HRM:  GREENSHIFT is an upcoming novel set in the Ambasadora-verse one month before AMBASADORA begins.  It's a stand-alone novel that doesn't follow the arc in the main series.  Your typical virgin scientist/ex-military man/space hydroponics/human trafficking story.

David Anlow, a fleet captain forced into early retirement and jaded by an ex-lover, now spends his lonely days shuttling around a group of scientists for hire.

Boston Maribu, Mari to her friends, is one of his passengers, a young botanist who is as beautiful as she is naive and innocent.

When Mari asks David to teach her about more than just piloting the BARD, nights on their ship heat up and their feelings for each other mature into a relationship neither expects.  But a suspicious new client shows up with wicked plans for Mari, and the soldier inside David comes alive, ready to fight for the young woman who stole his heart.

DAB:  What prompted the novel's premise?

HRM:  I always wanted to tell David and Mari's love story, so I had this idea about a novella that could be a bit more sensual in nature and focus just on their storyline instead of the multiple plots and epic arc that run through AMBASADORA and will continue on in the second book, FRAGGER.  I found out from several readers that they also wanted to see more Mari and David, so I decided to make the novella a full-fledged novel.

DAB:  Which character in GREENSHIFT do you most identify with, if any, and why?

HRM:  I'm a little bit of both David and Mari, though I bring something of myself to every character I write - there's no way to avoid my personal schema when I write.  I'm like David in the respect that I'm always trying to be the responsible one, but am willing to break the rules for someone I care about.  I'm like Mari because I love sweets and use my brain more than my muscle.

DAB:  Were there any characters you found difficult to write?

HRM:  No, I knew what their roles had to be from the start, so I was prepared even when writing the abusive scenes.  Now, on the flipside of that, I was surprised how much I enjoyed writing from Mari's Point of View (POV).  She is nothing like Sara from AMBASADORA, but she fit in well with David's and Sean's POVs.

DAB:  How long did it take to craft this novel?

HRM:  Roughly four months.

DAB:  There's always debate over whether or not to outline when starting to write a novel.  What typically works best for you?

HRM:  I outline down to individual scenes.  It's the only way I can keep so many characters and plotlines in check.  When I begin a project, it's common for me to write an 80-page outline, which is basically a skeleton first draft.

DAB:  Do you ever write to music or do you prefer silence?

HRM:  Spotify is my new writing buddy.  I've always liked listening to music, especially as I associate certain songs with some of my characters and scenes.  And with Spotify I can put songs on repeat for as many times as I want, which helps me get into the writing zone immediately.  It's like a trigger for me to jump into my story - I can't help but to think about it when I hear particular songs.

DAB:  What other writing pointers do you have for our audience?

HRM:  This goes back to the outlining.  I believe outlining is why I never get writer's block.  As soon as I come up against a challenge in my plot, I start listing questions for myself to answer.  The answers shape (outline) the scene so I can keep moving forward.

DAB:  What's next on your writing horizon?

HRM:  I'm revising a short story for a Philip Jose Farmer anthology and working on two more books in the Ambasadora-verse.  STARRIE is another stand-alone, well sort of.  It picks up where GREENSHIFT leaves off and we follow David's brother Ben and his love interest Naela.  FRAGGER is the second book in the main arc - it's another epic, multiple POVs, intertwining plots type of read.  More of a thriller style like AMBASADORA has.  And, speaking of thrillers, I'm revising a thriller titled ATOMIC ZION, which I wrote just out of graduate school.  It still has Science Fiction Romance (SFR) elements, but takes place in modern times here on Earth.  I will probably always include SFR in my writing.

DAB:  Thanks so much for stopping by.  Please give us the final plug for GREENSHIFT.

HRM:  Here's one of the more light-hearted excerpts from GREENSHIFT.  It's how David thinks of Mari:

When David started on this path of regret at having given up his fleet commission, he just remembered the placid, stony look on Lyra's face when she put a gun to his head and challenged his control of the Argo Protector.  It had been the single most heart-breaking moment of his life.

"Don't you think so?" Mari asked.

David hadn't been paying attention.  Taking a fifty/fifty chance, he said, "Yes."

Apparently it was his lucky night because she seemed pleased with his response. 

Once again she brought him back to the present and grounded him.  She would never know how grateful he was for those times when just the cadence of her voice coaxed him out of that dark place in his head.  Just like her beautiful, shining eyes, Mari had become his light.

"Do you remember how you started ordering everyone around your first day on the Bard?" she asked.

"And how they all just snickered and walked away?  Yeah, I do."  David could laugh about it now, but at the time he'd been pissed.

"Except for me," Mari said. 

"Except for you," David agreed.  "You were always there to help, even when I didn't need it."  He smiled to let her know he was joking.

"If you're talking about that time I accidentally sent all your clothes to the cleaners and you had to borrow Geir's stuff for two days...."

"That's exactly what I was thinking about."

"At least you didn't have to wear any of Sean's clothes.  Besides, you looked good in those tight t-shirts," she said.

The blush that crept into her cheeks made David want to touch her, to see if her skin felt as flushed as it looked.

She got a little shy then and worried her bottom lip between her teeth.

I can do that for you.  He was mesmerized by that plump, wet lip.

She stared at him like she knew his thoughts.  The blush grew a little deeper.  This time she lowered her eyes and moved the food around on her plate with her fork, but she couldn't hide her smile.

She did this often, being bold and forward as though coming on to him, then pulling back demurely at the last second.  It drove him an absolutely wonderful way.

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To be in the drawing to win your choice of an e-bundle of AMBASADORA/GREENSHIFT or just GREENSHIFT, please leave a comment letting us know what you're reading now or have read recently and if you'd like the single book or the bundle, along with your email address disguised something like this - heidirubymiller AT gmail.  The contest ends on Thursday, March 1, 2012.  Winner will be notified on Friday, March 2, 2012.

There you have it, folks!  Thanks again to Heidi Ruby Miller for stopping by on her whirlwind blog tour to discuss what sounds like a fascinating novel.  I can hardly wait to read ATOMIC ZION after revision.  Please feel free to visit us again on your next published novel.  You'll always have a home here.  Happy reading.