Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review: Raider!! (Solar Wind 4)

Thank you for a lovely Christmas present, Nikki Mason:  A sweet, sweet review for "Raider".

Being the only self-published author in the whole of P'kaboo, sometimes I lose hope for my own novels.  I have my set fan base which is (as yet) not all that big; and I try to make sure that each gets a paperback copy of my books.  But there are many, many places that sneeze at self-published authors, no matter how well-edited, how well-polished, and in fact, regardless the actual book.

I'm a bit of an idealist, I had always hoped my stories could speak for themselves, they are the actual thing for sale here, not the name of a brand or the ... you get where I fell short in my logic.  It's not enough to have written a great read; you need Coca-Cola's name on it to sell it.  

Well, the point is, Federi and crew came through for me again, Nikki Mason, thanks for this gorgeous review.  

The Solar Wind IV: Raider! – Lyz Russo

 December 5, 2014    Book Reviews  0
Solar Wind IVWhat they say:
Alien Touchdown! If the crew of the Solar Wind thought the Unicate and the Rebellion were tough cookies, they haven’t yet met the Danaan – from Planet New Dome. Coming to take over Earth – or destroy the planet. Or alternatively, for a mango daiquiri in the subtropical paradise of Southern Free. And then destroy the planet.
And why is Captain Lascek acting so strangely?
Raider is the fourth in the series of Solar Wind novels.
What we say – review by Nikki Mason:
Things are getting even darker aboard the Solar Wind in this fourth novel in the series.
When the beautiful but psychopathic alien, Dana, arrives for a visit, all hell breaks loose. Captain and the stunning, ass-kicking Perdita break up as Captain is once more captivated by his previous flame – Rushka’s mother, horrific mutants are threatening the crew and, indeed, the world and it looks as though the ship is going to have to be taken into space to escape. Everyone has their secrets, and it is only by pulling together and trusting each other that the whole crew can survive. At least Paean and Federi are back together…surely nothing more can touch them, right?
Russo once again surprises and delights with her depth of imagination and conviction for this surreal, piratical world. The characters continue on exceedingly realistic journeys as they blunder through very choppy waters indeed. As ever, it is the excruciatingly complex relationship between the ever developing Paean and her near schizophrenic soul mate Federi that had me hooked. And, whereas sometimes small plot details evaded my understanding from time to time, the adventure and the fascinating characters guaranteed a scintillating addition to the series.
What more can this crew of beautiful pirates cope with? I can’t wait to find out.

... and of course you can

Click here to buy this book from P'kaboo or pre-order your P'kaboo paperback.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review, sweet review

So Nikki Mason reviewed the third Solar Wind. Here is her review (in case this precious piece ever gets accidentally deleted, here's the backup:)

Freedom Fighter: Solar Wind III – Lyz Russo

 October 20, 2014    Book Reviews  0
Freedom fighterWhat they say:
“Keep an eye on them, Federi!” Captain Rushka Donegal on the bridge! But the young girl doesn’t feel up to running a ship full of unruly young crew. And then they come across disaster… So it falls to Federi to pick up the pieces while his Captain is not aboard. And while he rolls his dramatic eyes and gets things done, Paean Donegal arms up and signs on for the Fight for Freedom.
What we say – review by Nikki Mason:
Ready for another complex, piratical adventure? Good! Because Freedom Fighter is just as delicious as Lyz Russo’s two previous novels in The Solar Wind Series.
This is the third Solar Wind book I’ve read and I’ve loved each one more and more to the point where now I’m desperate to have questions answered and I’m missing the characters not being part of my life…Oh, alright, I’m missing not being on board a pirate ship in my imagination!
But this series is becoming progressively darker and more mysterious and suddenly The Solar Wind doesn’t seem quite as much fun as a traditional Jolly Roger. The captain and his senior crew members are all involved in peace talks, leaving his daughter as stand in captain. When she becomes sick everyone turns to Federi, the assassin, to be in charge. But doesn’t he have enough on his plate fighting terrorists, saving lives and fending off over-sized marine life? And things are becoming unbearably strained between him and Paean. Maybe being soulmates just isn’t enough sometimes? Especially when she’s tinkering with her own secret weapons and vowing to be the captain’s little Freedom Fighter.
This swashbuckling book is more than just an adventure story. It’s a young adult book that treats hormones, emotions and relationship with care and attention as well as exploring biology, politics and doing the right thing, whatever the risks. I found it heart breaking to see the strain my favourite characters were put under and I can’t wait to see if things are resolved in the next installment.

That's an open invitation for sending her "Raider".  Oh man I'm so going to!!
Sometimes I forget over being so busy being P'kaboo that I'm actually also one of my authors.  I don't always take care of me the way I do of the rest of us.  That is quite natural, for a mom and a teacher, and then for a publisher looking after others' interests...   
It's so nice to get acknowledgement!  SO nice!  And Nikki Mason shoots those arrows straight...  she reads the story the way it really was...  and she gives just enough to make people listen up and get curious, but not so much that it's a spoiler.
I LOVE all three reviews she's so far written for the Solar Winds, and I'm so happy she posted the other two on Goodreads, hope she does it for this one too.
On another note we got a new author, writes YA, very compelling style.  Yay!  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Story post from Shooting Star

I don't know why this passage appeals to me so much.  They've come through a massive storm during which their windshield is broken by a forceful wave, and they have no generator, no desalinator, no drives, no controls - nothing, until Federi finds a manual helm hidden under the console.  It's a night straight out of the seafarer's hell.


“Let me go and see what I can do with the power generator,” said
Federi stopped him.
“We have drives now,” he said. “Wolf, the rest I’ll manage.
Thanks a stack.”
“You sure?”
“You’re the Captain,” smiled Wolf and teleported out.
That’s right, thought Federi, staring through the porthole at the
dark waves. He moved back to the bridge, to relieve Virian and send
her back to sleep.
Come what may, he had to stay awake. Battling the helm did it
for him.
How on Earth had Adamson got hold of a crew of were folk from
Shrn to hunt the Solar Wind? And what favours and money could be
of interest to a fisher person?
Glenn Wilson was tied up in the gun lounge. Federi had put S.I.
Lucy in charge of him, loading her poison compartment with one of
the vilest assassin poisons in his possession. The last thing he
needed was the creature freeing itself and going around eating the
crew. The crew – the familia!
It occurred to him that he’d split the little cyborg, given her
double orders. She was to supervise both the fisherman and the open
flame of the distiller. He wondered how she processed this. He
hoped she’d check on both at regular intervals, rather than simply
dropping one order in favour of the other. And if she dropped one
order – he hoped it was the distiller. He trusted the open flame more
than the hostage. Hell, and he couldn’t even let go to check...
couldn’t wake up Virian another time... he hadn’t known that
Morrigan needed sleep at all...
Paean was suddenly by his side. He shook himself out of his
dream-like state. He must have sat down at some point; and he must
in fact have dropped off, because the ship was bouncing around on
the choppy waves like a rabbit. But Paean’s hands were on the helm
now, and she was wrestling the control for the ship back from the
And over the sea was the most welcome sight of them all – the
pale grey glow of first dawn.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

One of the sweetest things

Arcana, by "gipsika", on the first page of 2 search options of Epub Bud!

Arcana on Epub Bud, on the first pages of both "fiction" and "recently added" in the browse screens.

This is amazing! What a feeling! Meanwhile "Arcana" was a small, fast NaNoWriMo project, challenging myself whether I could write a novel in a month.

 I wrote it in 9 days. By the time Les and I had finished the final polish and editing, it was around the 25th of November. So not only did I write a novel within a month, I got it print-ready, and uploaded to Amazon and Honeymeadbooks, all in a month.

 When Afrihost (the server for Honeymead) wobbled, I also posted it on Epub and Scribd in order to have working copies to refer to.

 Let's see where this will take us :-)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reinventing the wheel

Blooming 'ell.  No sooner have we put our books at that place in Hwood (that I even advertised on Facebook - free publicity for them) and we add in a CD, and the "other" lady calls me and tells me we must pick up the CDs again - they don't want to sell CDs because of risk of theft.  But... they have other people's CDs there.

In the same breath she tells me that she'll give our books one more month and then we must pick them up because no copy has sold yet.  But I've seen clearly that there's one copy less of our small book than I left there on consignment.  What about that copy?  Was it stolen...?  

This right after the primary lady there and I were talking about launching something there next year.  

Well, who cares?  It's a cute place, I'm sure a launch would have been nice, but I'm sure there are hundreds of cute coffee places that would welcome the patronage of a launch, first and foremost Karoo Cafe who already hosted two of ours.  

It strikes me that I'm trying to reinvent the wheel.  By now I have a few pet hates where it comes to sales words:

  • "consignment"
  • "SOR"
  • "90 days" (both ways:  90 days for them to pay me, and 90 days for the books to be displayed before they are returned.)
"Them thar's fighting words!"

There are large book chains that pay cash upfront.  Time to talk to them.
I'm sorely tempted.... but never mind, all it means is that P'kaboo will have to look for sales avenues other than SOR, consignment and all that other rubbish.