Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Short Stories Volume 2 by Thomas Ryan (Book Review)

These stories are great!

I remember mentioning when I reviewed the last book that the editing needed some serious work. Well, that's been greatly improved with this one. It isn't perfect, but the missing words and punctuation are mostly gone. Enough, at least, that I could focus on the stories.

Not all of these stories will be your cup of tea. That's to be expected. But I enjoyed most of them. The first one, Bedridden, is the perfect lead-in because it tells you exactly the kind of stuff you're going to expect. I had about half a dozen theories as I read it, about what the twist could be. Turns out, none of them was right.

Each one of the stories has a twist like that. At least one, but some have more.

In terms of genre, they're a mixed bag, ranging from comedy to thriller, to psychological, to paranormal murder mystery, you're sure to find some that you like.

(My review: 4 / 5 stars)

About the Book

Award winning thriller novelist, Thomas Ryan, is also a prolific writer of short stories and he brings more of his sense of fun and adventure to his new collection, Short Stories Volume 2. From the creepy ‘Gerry’ to the humour of ‘Holmes for Christmas’ and the human drama of ‘The Best of Times’, there is more than enough variety to keep readers captivated. 
Ryan believes all good short stories should have unexpected twists and turns and be entertaining to read. Applying his thriller techniques he manages to achieve this end with the suspenseful ‘Wooden Sword’ and ‘The Chest’ but it is in one of the short story’s ‘John Wayne’ Ryan displays his accomplished storytelling skills as he follows an episode in the famous actor’s life where he almost brought about an end to the Second World War and walked on a beach with Eva Peron. 
Quoting a recent reviewer of Thomas Ryan’s work, ‘these are very intriguing, original stories, all well written and enjoyable. Ryan really gets inside his characters and makes their world our world, whatever its moral code or unwritten rules. His stories are powerful and stay with you once you've finished them.’ Readers will find Ryan’s short story writing gripping and easy to read. Short Stories Volume 2 by Thomas Ryan are a must read. 

Click here to find out where you can grab a copy.

What's your favourite book of all time?

The New York Times and USA Today have their "bestseller" lists, but those are based on current sales. Goodreads have their Choice Awards, but only books published in the last twelve months are eligible. Can we please have an annual reader-driven list of the best books... of all time?

Fiction, non-fiction, genre, language don't matter. As long as it was published somewhere, it's eligible. So please tell us, what's your favourite book of all time?

All responses are anonymous. Please fill out the form below to make your nomination. Nominations will close on Friday 11 January 2019, and you'll be able to vote in the shortlist from Tuesday 15 January 2019.

Please share this post with all your friends and reading groups, book clubs, etc.

Attribution: The image above was created in part using the Book, mockup Vector image by @StarLine, on the site freepik.com. Click here to see the original image.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Remember My Colouring Books?

In case you've forgotten, my wife and I put together these beautiful colouring books.

(Click on the image above to visit the official website)

I've actually been rather amazed at how popular these books have proved to me with kids aged anywhere from three to seven years old.

If you buy them online, there may still be time to get them for your kids in time for Christmas, but if you live in or around Johannesburg, South Africa, you can always buy direct from me. I have limited stock available, but you can e-mail me to arrange.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Why Do Traditional Published Books Cost So Much?

Take a look at Amazon's Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store.

Do you think you could separate the self-published titles from the traditionally published ones?

I think you could.

With very few exceptions, you probably aren't going to find a self-published e-book with a regular (non-promotional) price of over $5. Conversely, very few traditionally published e-books will have a regular (non-promotional) price of less than $10.

Conventional wisdom tells us that's because traditional publishing companies have to pay for professional editing, cover design, and marketing... Hmm, but don't indie publishers also pay for all those things?

The truth is, traditional publishers have to pay staff and shareholders. They pay their authors too, of course: 20% royalties, twice a year.

But for the same amount of work, self-published authors earn 60% royalties, monthly. And as a reader, don't you want to see your favourite author make money? Maybe even quit his or her day job one day?

Next time you're looking for an e-book, take a look at price. Instead of paying $9.99 for your next read, is it not possible you'll get more bang for your buck, and do more good for authors, by buying two great reads for $4.99 each?

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Dungeons and Dragons Month Two: What an Epic Tournament!

Last month, I blogged about the first of our new monthly D&D sessions.

Well, the second one happened last Saturday, and it was even more fun than last time!

Continuing on our quest for the four legendary weapons, to defeat the four legendary dragons, our intrepid party stumbled upon a town holding a grand tournament. The grand prize was, coincidentally, one of the legendary weapons we were seeking. Naturally, we felt compelled to enter.

Along the way, we picked up a new party member, a half-elf rogue played by my brother, who will be joining our sessions from now on. Unfortunately, we didn't win the tournament (I think the DM had intended for us to win, but the dice went against us, and she had to improve the rest of the session).

Now, we're stuck trying to figure out a way to get the person who did win to part with his prize, so we can continue on our quest.

Nothing beats in-person, tabletop roleplaying, because absolutely anything can happen. In a video game, or even a board game, you're restricted by what the game designers intended, and you have no way of thinking out of the box. But in a tabletop RPG, you can do things that DM never imagined you would, and it's up to her to improvise and figure out if it works or not. There really is nothing like it, and now I can't wait for the next session!

Monday, 12 November 2018

Smashwords Has a New Homepage! Celebrate With $1 Off Memoirs of a Guardian Angel

In case you hadn't noticed, indie e-book retailer Smashwords launched a new homepage last week. Personally, I think it's really cool! I was worried that they might do away with the nice, clean interface I've come to appreciate from them, but they haven't. The homepage has been modernised, though, to include things like bestsellers, trending now, and featured deals.

Check it out.

How about a special offer to celebrate?

So for a limited time, you can get $1 off (that's 50%) of the list price of my Urban Fantasy novella, Memoirs of a Guardian Angel, at Smashwords.

Click here to visit the book's page at Smashwords, and then click the "Buy with coupon" button.

Here's the synopsis for the book:

Do you believe in Guardian Angels?
Have you thanked your Guardian Angel today?
I never did... now I wish I had.
Now I understand the hard work and difficult situations they face every day. That car that veered off course, the knife that slipped or even the close call when you nearly tumbled from a tree.
It wasn't good luck that saved you, it was me.
My name is Adam and I'm a guardian angel.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Free Shipping at Booktopia

Are you in Australia or New Zealand?

You may be interested to know that you can get free shipping on all my print books at Booktopia, between now and 12 November.

Click the image below to see my books there.

Here's how it works:

Place an order and spend a minimum of $17 before Midnight, Monday the 12th of November, 2018 (AEST and NZST) with the promotion code FESTIVE, and you will receive free shipping on your order. The promotion code can be used as many times as you, or your family and friends, want on any orders between now and then.

The promotion code field where you enter the word FESTIVE is on the last page of the checkout just before you complete your order (Payment and Review). Under Order Summary, click the plus symbol to expand the section so you can enter the code**.

Please note: You may need to click the word "Apply" next to the promotion code field to receive your free shipping discount if it has not automatically applied it.

Note: the above text was copied verbatim from an e-mail Booktopia sent to me. E&OE. ;-)