B2CyCon might be over, but the fun doesn’t stop!

I just got done with a huge online event (#b2bcycon2017), which I use for networking with readers and authors every year. I’m a three year veteran at The Brain to Books Cyber Convention, and I’m always trying new things.

Trying New Things

My latest experiment was a Fantasy themed scavenger hunt, where I challenge participants to match the first lines of books to their covers. It uses the Amazon “Look Inside” feature to encourage people to actually look at the books featured, and explore the first few pages.

What Were The Results?

It’s proved to be an interesting experiment, because a lot of the participants have agreed to sign up for author mailing lists, and indicated they would do similar quizzes in future.

The event can be found here, for those interested in having a look, and will be available until Saturday 15th April, when I draw the winners

3rd Annual Brain To Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo

I’m Timothy Bateson, and this is my third time doing the Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo. Every year, this event has just got bigger and better organized, and I’ve gone from a participating author to Fantasy Genre Manager. What makes this year different is that I’m more excited than ever, because there are so many great authors coming on board this year, as well as some old friends returning from previous years.

Over the last few weeks I’ve had the honor of helping over 70 fantasy authors prepare themselves for the CyCon, as well as getting ready myself.

So, what have we got going one?

  • Fantasy Blog Hop – Your chance to take a tour of some of the authors websites and learn more about them. Discover additional materials, uncover great books, sign-up for exclusive offers/news. The blog hop is separated into three groups, and will go live on April 6th at 9pm EST:
    • Tour #1starts here – featuring: Aaron-Michael Hall, Alexandra Carey, Alexis Kennedy, Amanda Mabry, Andy Peloquin, Angel M., Angela B. Chrysler
    • Tour #2starts here – featuring: Angela J. Ford, Assaph Mehr, C.T. Callahan, D. Thourson Palmer, Ilana Maletz, Jack Massa, Jodie Pierce
    • Tour #3starts here – featuring: Logan Miehl, Mackenzie Flohr, Sarah Kennedy, Stephen Morris, Toi Thomas, Zachary Chopchinski, Mary R. Woldering
  • Fantasy Genre Tour – This is where we give the authors the spotlight, and let them take the floor. You’ll find book expos, articles, and giveaways inside:
    • Tour #1“Showcase & Giveaways” – A showcase of books, series, and giveaways. Follow it all the way through for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card
    • Tour #2“Behind The Scenes” – See what goes on in the minds of fantasy authors,
  • First Lines Scavenger Hunt – Match the first lines of the stories to the books they came from, and be entered for a chance to win some amazing prizes. The participating authors have offered up everything from books to gift cards.
  • Fantasy Author Showcase – Drop in on the authors over at Goodreads, where you can find out more about over 30 great fantasy authors. We’re the largest group in the expo, with some of the most diverse readers. Come find out why!

What I’ll Be Doing

I’m taking part in many of the events that are listed above, as well as overseeing several  things happening on Facebook, running some discussion panels, and much more.

So head over to the Brain to Books website, and save the dates for this amazing event, and discover some fantastic books and writers.

Book Spotlight – “Child Of The Night Guild” (Releasing January 17th) by Andy Peloquin

Overview

“They killed my parents. They took my name. They imprisoned me in darkness. I would not be broken.”

Viola, a child sold to pay her father’s debts, has lost everything: her mother, her home, and her identity. Thrown into a life among criminals, she has no time for grief as she endures the brutal training of an apprentice thief. The Night Guild molds an innocent waif into a cunning, agile outlaw skilled in the thieves’ trade. She has only one choice: steal enough to pay her debts.

The cutthroat streets of Praamis will test her mettle, and she must learn to dodge the City Guards or swing from a hangman’s rope. But a more dangerous foe lurks within the guild walls. A sadistic rival apprentice, threatened by her strength, is out for blood.

What hope does one girl have in a world of ruthless men?

Buy Now : Goodreads, Amazon (Kindle), Amazon (Canada)

From the Author

I am, first and foremost, a storyteller and an artist–words are my palette. Fantasy is my genre of choice, and I love to explore the darker side of human nature through the filter of fantasy heroes, villains, and everything in between. I’m also a freelance writer, a book lover, and a guy who just loves to meet new people and spend hours talking about my fascination for the worlds I encounter in the pages of fantasy novels.

Fantasy provides us with an escape, a way to forget about our mundane problems and step into worlds where anything is possible. It transcends age, gender, religion, race, or lifestyle–it is our way of believing what cannot be, delving into the unknowable, and discovering hidden truths about ourselves and our world in a brand new way. Fiction at its very best!

Links

Website, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Amazon, YouTube

My Year In Books (2016) – According to Goodreads

Last year, Goodreads pulled together a page of statistics based on my reading habits for 2016. According to my Goodreads profile I read less books than I did last year, and failed in my goal to read 35 books this year.
Given that some of the books I read were sent to be as advanced reader copies I know there are a handful of books missing from the list, but I’m not sure they can make up the difference.
One thing that has improved is the percentage of books that I’ve reviewed after reading. So, onto the stats:

Enter To Win A $100 Amazon Gift Card – Check Out This Cyber Convention Sampler

brain-to-books-holiday-banner

So You’ve Seen My Post About The 2017 Brain To Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo – Confused?

Well, here’s your chance to get an sample of what you can expect from the main event.

Angela has collected together authors from a number of genres, to bring you some amazing books and events.

I’d love to list all the events and giveaways, but the nice thing about how this is all set up, is that you can go from one event to another, just as you would in a regular convention. So… Here’s how to get everything!

Get Access To All The Events & Giveaways

Enjoy three days of fun, games, and prizes

Click Here!

Book Spotlight – “Salt In The Water: A Lesser Dark #1” (Releasing October 27th) by J. Ray & S. Cushaway

Overview

There are a thousand ways to die in the desert—desperate outlaws, deadly predators, murderous elements, and betrayal. . .

Kaitar Besh, a veteran scout as legendary for his cynicism as his skills, is ordered to brave the deadly Shy’war-Anquai desert one last time. Escorting Leigh Enderi—a greenhorn Enforcer with a reputation as shady as his own—he soon realizes the ghosts of his past have come to haunt more than his nightmares.

When the mission breaks down in the wake of bitter hatred and mistrust, even Kaitar’s fabled skills may not be enough to bring them home again. Stranded in the red wasteland without contact, food, or water, they uncover a betrayal that could bring all they hold dear crumbling to the dust. . . and tear down the wall of lies surrounding them.

From the Authors

Sarah Cushaway

Sarah Cushaway lives in the snowy wastes of northwest lower Michigan with her husband (co-author Jeremy Ray) and their young daughter. She has a passion for historical fiction, but enjoy reading and writing many genres, including fantasy, science fiction, literary fiction, and speculative fiction.  Sarah began writing at a very early age, inspired by such books as the Little House series, Watership Down, the Hobbit, and Animal Farm.

When not busy working on writing the next books in the “A Lesser Dark” series, she enjoys spending time with her family and two grumpy cats, dabbling in art and music, and trying to hide from the snow eight months out of the year.

Jeremy Ray

jeremyauthorpicJeremy Ray and his co-author wife, Sarah Cushaway, live in a small town in northern lower Michigan. Jeremy grew up enjoying graphic novels, comic books, and classic pen-and-paper RPG games, which have inspired him to imagine diverse worlds and adventurous storylines. Science Fiction has always been Jeremy’s favorite genre, with Dune being his all-time favorite book. Jeremy’s background in computer technology has been the backbone for coming up with fictional technology with real-world origins. He is also a narrator and musician, and will be recording the audiobook version of the “A Lesser Dark” series after the books are published.

Links

S. Cushaway : Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook

Author Spotlight – S. Cushaway

S. Cushaway is an author who likes to stretch the boundaries of genre fiction. She came to my attention through the Brain To Books Blog Tour request service, and initially described “Salt In The Water” as a sci-fi/western/adventure book. Now this intrigued me enough to inquire further, because I remembered how Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series was considered cross-genre by many.

When I asked Sarah to describe the book further, she said:

Salt in the Water crosses a few genres (it has elements of light cyberpunk, weird west, adventure, and – while I hesitate to call it post-apocalyptic, perhaps post-post apocalyptic might be a better term). Primarily, however, it is a science-fiction fantasy with a heavy western theme. I’ve had a few beta readers and ARC readers compare it to Deadwood with a sci-fi/fantasy backdrop, or more recently – the HBO remake of Westworld. It’s a very gritty, dark story – not for YA audiences. However, I’ve also gotten consistent feedback from readers across multiple genres that the story, while a sci-fi western, was not intimidating or difficult to delve into – I tried to make it accessible to readers of any sci-fi or fantasy genre (a bit how like the Dark Tower draws fans from across the board – the story isn’t similar, but “ease of use to reader” could be compared to that).

So with a description like that, how could I not hand over to Sarah, to tell you a little more about herself?

Introducing S. Cushaway

Sarah Cushaway lives in the snowy wastes of northwest lower Michigan with her husband (co-author Jeremy Ray) and their young daughter. She has a passion for historical fiction, but enjoy reading and writing many genres, including fantasy, science fiction, literary fiction, and speculative fiction.  Sarah began writing at a very early age, inspired by such books as the Little House series, Watership Down, the Hobbit, and Animal Farm.

When not busy working on writing the next books in the “A Lesser Dark” series, she enjoys spending time with her family and two grumpy cats, dabbling in art and music, and trying to hide from the snow eight months out of the year.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I’d like to begin by thanking Timothy Bateson for the opportunity at an author spotlight- getting the word out as an indie-author is always an uphill battle, so spotlights like these are invaluable! As for a bit about – myself I’m a straight-up nerd. I was always penning little stories or narrating stories in my head as a kid, and later got into online play-by-post roleplaying and story-telling through MMORPGs.

Music plays a big role in my creative process – I wrote Salt in the Water, my debut novel, on a steady diet of obscure Gothic Americana/Dark Folk music and coffee. I think coffee makes up at least 50% of any author’s food pyramid.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Salt in the Water – A Lesser Dark: Book I–  is our (my co-author and myself) debut novel, and a mish-mash of several different genres. When the initial idea for the main character, Kaitar Besh, came to me years ago – the setting was definitely high fantasy. However, as I sat down to do the outlining (yes, I’m an outliner) and initial drafts, I found the idea of a strange genre mashup incorporating science fiction, fantasy, and – of all things- a western, to really fit the tone we wanted for the book. It’s a story that takes place far from the bastion of civilized society, where technology means the difference between life and death, and where mysterious dangers lurk through a red, arid desert called the Shy’war-Anquai. The book is multi-POV, but centers around a veteran scout named Kaitar Besh, who is battling the demons of his past as well as all the threat surrounding him and his companions as they brave the wastelands on a rescue mission.

Who is your intended readership?

Anyone who enjoys a good story – particularly fans of dark fantasy, weird westerns, science fiction, and “grimdark”. While my story is (of course) vastly different than, say, The Dark Tower, Westworld, even Firefly, we’ve worked very diligently to ensure it’s as accessible to all readers as those books/shows.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I think it’s always been with me. As a kid, I’d be narrating my day in my head as if I were telling a story or writing it for someone. I was (and, time allowing) a voracious reader. I tackled some pretty hefty books at a young age, and while I didn’t always understand the subtext of some of those stories then, it definitely made me -want- to write great stories that would make a person feel and think differently about the world.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

There are so many “favorites”, it’s hard for me to choose just one. However, I think the book that really struck me as a kid was Watership Down (and yes, the crazy cartoon-movie that terrified pretty much everyone, too). Recently, I’d have to say The Stars Look Down, by A.J. Cronin. I know those are some oddball favorites for an author writing a sci-fi/fantasy western, but any great book teaches me something, and helps me be a better writer, no matter the genre.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Read, first and foremost. Stray outside your comfort zone and read all kinds of books, because the art of great storytelling isn’t limited by a specific theme.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

Nothing too hilarious or specific, but two supporting non-POVs, Eli Vorensi and Kira Bolgarv, got their start some years ago as characters my co-author/husband and I casually roleplayed in World of Warcraft. Yes, we are really that geeky.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

I do like to scribble (some of those sketches can be seen on my Facebook author page), and I also dabble in music. Admittedly, I don’t have much time to do either these days, so my drawing tablet and bass guitar are sitting in a corner, collecting dust.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

The next project is getting the sequel book, Ghosts in the Glass, to an editor. The manuscript is finished and needs one final pass before it’s ready for a professional nitpick.

As for book secrets – I won’t give spoilers, but I will say that colors and certain objects/symbols are a large part of foreshadowing. Motifs are fun.

Sarah is has an ARC campaign for “Salt in the Water”

Get Your Copy Before October 13th

After that date, it will be unavailable until October 27th, when it officially releases (for purchase) on Amazon. So, be sure to request your Advanced Reader Copy, before it’s too late.

A Lesser Dark:

#1 : Salt In The Water

There are a thousand ways to die in the desert—desperate outlaws, deadly predators, murderous elements, and betrayal. . .

Kaitar Besh, a veteran scout as legendary for his cynicism as his skills, is ordered to brave the deadly Shy’war-Anquai desert one last time. Escorting Leigh Enderi—a greenhorn Enforcer with a reputation as shady as his own—he soon realizes the ghosts of his past have come to haunt more than his nightmares.

When the mission breaks down in the wake of bitter hatred and mistrust, even Kaitar’s fabled skills may not be enough to bring them home again. Stranded in the red wasteland without contact, food, or water, they uncover a betrayal that could bring all they hold dear crumbling to the dust. . . and tear down the wall of lies surrounding them.

Where to find S. Cushaway:

Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook