Darke Blood is FREE today only!

It’s 3 years since my 2nd book got published so to celebrate and the fact I actually have a decent following, it is FREE to download for 24 hours.

This is a one time deal (most probably) and I have done nearly zero promotion for it just to see how much of a following I do have!

So if you’re interested click here , if you need a little more persuasion this post is dedicated to convincing you why the story of true darkness should be your next read…. And remember above all, leave a review!

Recent Reviews:

I’ve made it my mission this year for ‘DB’ to get read and reviewed. Quite recently I’ve had 3 reviews from fellow bloggers.

Blair Leftly of the ‘Feed the Crime’ blog had these words to say about Darke Blood and main character Blake Malone… 

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4 cups of coffee ain’t bad, in fact it’s great, you can read Blair’s full review here and why don’t you give her awesome book review blog a follow also! 

Next up came a review from Nicole of ‘Mullen Crafts’ who had these great words to say not only about main character Blake Malone, but the female Han Solo equivalent of the book ‘Caitlyn’…

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Another epic review came from Jaycee Lynch of the ‘Thinking Moon Blog’, she had these words to say: 

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So as you can probably tell, Darke Blood is a vampire story but its also about so much more. Whilst drafting this book I dug deep and had to find myself as an author. It still is the hardest project I’ve ever faced and the resultant of that is a pretty epic and rewarding story full of twists and turns.

Above all its about identity and that’s translated as I found my identity as a writer which is then reflected to the characters and you’re probably thinking holy cheese, that’s deep and artsy; but it’s also true. 

Like all of my works they remain relatively undiscovered and so I need your help to show the world they do exist. Vampire stories tend to get a bad rep these days (guess we can thank Twilight) but my book has a certain sophistication and is about so much more than blood sucking creatures of the night!

If you are still not convinced here are some more reasons why you should read Darke Blood

Thank you for reading and go grab yourself a copy of Darke Blood right now! Remember to leave a review!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Indie Book Sequels: Are they worth it?

The title of this post presents itself as a question I have tried to find an answer to from experience. There are still many pros and cons to it floating around in my head; so in my divine wisdom I have decided to explore this question via a blog post and because my experience from releasing an indie book sequel wasn’t the best…

Background

When I write a story my mind is forever in expansion mode. I am always looking for an opportunity to tell a back story or plant something for later on; this even goes as far as planting stuff for books later on in a series. This may sound visionary and I suppose it is BUT it’s also a curse because while I’m standing over in book three, people haven’t even picked up book one yet! – that’s not a unique problem in indie publishing, our biggest challenge is product distribution…

I very much enjoy the thinking ‘fourth dimensionally’ writing style in fact there isn’t a better satisfaction in writing than seeing a long term plan pull together and that’s what I like to do. But to evolve or even edit the title of this post let me ask this:

Are indies just better off writing stand alone stories? 

Beginners luck

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I present the question above with an intention to answer it with logic as opposed to experience because if we look at it on simple terms, and this doesn’t just extend to indies but books in general, who is going to buy book 3 of a series if nobody really read or knows about 1 and 2…

My writing faced that answer very early on and in 2016 I was set to release my first book ‘Open Evening’ which is now part of the wider ‘Order of the Following’ series (this is the first time I have named that series publicly, consider it an exclusive, thank me in the comments). Due to my writing style the latter stages of Open Evening was set up and left open (no pun intended) so that a sequel could be explored some time in the near future.

The expectation I had in selling this book wasn’t particularly high but it did relatively well and shifted a bunch of paperbacks, did the rounds on social media and in all left me felling pretty darn good. There wasn’t any profits but I had made my official arrival as an author known.

Move on to the next one

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After finishing a book; the best thing an author can do, if they really are an author is to move on and write something else. Enter my vampire caper ‘Darke Blood’ which before Open Evening found it’s final edit became linked to this book by way of some (clever) back story.

So to put this into context, these books are separate but sit in the same universe; so it’s Iron Man and Captain America. If you read both you will see where they are linked, it’s fairly obvious.

Listen to the heart

Unfortunately this is where my thinking fourth dimensionally curse struck. I really wanted to do an Open Evening sequel, there was more story to tell and explain, there was even opportunity to link back to Darke Blood. So I did it, and ‘Cemetery House’ was born.

I knew from the offset that my readership would in fact be very limited, but I did that thing where the urge to tell a story took over everything else, and now I still don’t regret that decision.

It kicked my ass

By the time I had finally got ‘Cemetery House’ released in late October of last year (2018) I was facing being ‘done’ with writing, possibly forever. It hit me that hard. Not the writing process, not the editing process, or even Amazon being fail because their stupid KDP software didn’t like the format of the book for ages so didn’t accept it. All of it hit me hard, to a point where I pretty much faced a level of depression I have never seen or experienced ever.

This sequel ended up being a bad day that just got worse. And so then came the icing of the three tiered cake of shit; pretty much nobody bought the damn thing…

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Facing reality

There are a huge amount of factors as to why ‘Cemetery House’ went the way it did. Mostly because I put my expectation on a pedestal and didn’t accept reality where Open Evening had only been out 2 years when the sequel arrived. My following was nowhere near the amount I have now. The promotional efforts, well they were okay actually but without the following, well there’s the problem.

It hurt. Big time, and I probably did it to myself more than anything. 2018 was a huge year for me. I released The Teleporter half a year previous to ‘CH’ and only now is it getting any type of traction.

This stuff takes time. It takes thought and above all it takes a suit of armour to protect yourself sometimes from yourself. Most of this stuff is on your head. I have always said as an author success is in the eye of the beholder.

But the beauty of this is simple, I can happily talk about it and accept it for what it is. I have 4 books published. I did that in 2 years. Cemetery House has 0 reviews and not a lot of sales but it stands shoulder to shoulder with 3 other books that make up the 4. And they are mine

The drive home

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There was an album I listened to religiously while creating ‘Cemetery House’. In fact its by one of my favorite bands. For near enough half a year after publication of that book I couldn’t face listening to any of those great songs. That was until last night, when I took in the whole album at level 18 volume.

The conclusion I have is simple. If you have more story to tell and your heart is telling you to write it, then write it. We do this because above all it makes us feel something in this rather cold world. We’ve all had bad reviews and good reviews. Sales and no sales. Just do what you wanna do to feel happy in writing and fu** everything else.

Thanks for reading my story about my stories and a little insight to how I got here. It means a bunch to have your support, have you got any sequel gripes? Let me know in the comments. 

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Endgame Review

Last night I had the pleasure of spending an evening in the company of what is probably one of the most stacked casts in cinema, of course I am referring to Avengers: Endgame.

Of course I enjoy a good comic book caper but I consider myself a casual Marvel fan but I will also admit like Iron Man I show up for the big ones.

This won’t be a concise review but more of a love letter of sorts to the culmination of 10 years work for what has turned out to be an incredible universe and this film is part 2 of a great capping of said world.

The story opens as the last Avengers closed, we finally see absentee Hawkeye who is drawn into the wrath of purple Homer… I mean Thanos. Those who didnt turn to dust must work together and convince Tony Stark to come back yet again and fight.

What ensues is a different sort of film. More of a journey into other genres as opposed to aliens taking over a city and battling for the free world. This film takes a new route and refreshingly does not feel like an Avengers film and although long it wont feel that way.

The mainstays of this assembly of heroes take centre stage such as Thor, Hulk, Captain America and Iron Man. This is their journey and they carry it with such finesse but because this is such a wide universe compliments go to Ant Man, Racoon, Captain Marvel et all. Their objective turns into delving back in time to get the infinity stones and changing the course of time.

As I said this isnt just a hero film but a time travel caper that maybe the crowning piece to an incredible series. The best Marvel movie? A resounding yes! Its emotional in many places, many of the RIGHT places and takes the audience on one hell of a ride and culmination.

Full salute to the Avengers!

5 Stars

Jack Thorn: A story of the Future: Chapter 3, Part 1

Chapter 3: Hell on X43

 

Jack Thorn found himself heading back to the front line and the reality of war on X43. In complete darkness he stood in an open-air carriage and reached out. His hand gripped the nearby cold metal rail as the vessel bounced over uneven ground. The grinding of brakes screeched and wheels below did their best to follow the rails. This fully populated ‘troop train’ banked to one side of a narrow tunnel it crawled through.

“They’re sayin’ Pluto pulled their funding. Something about lack of profits in fighting robots,” a growly soldier said from behind.

Jack tuned into the conversation to overcome the motion sickness sensation which started to overcome him.

“Probably something to do with approval ratings and crap like that,” growly added.

“Well I aint in this shit for free. Why else would any of us be here?” Another soldier said, presumably she stood next to growly.

“Business these days is no longer supply and demand. It’s all about fashionable causes. A company like Pluto only go where the popular opinion is. My brother in law’s funeral had a picket line outside the crem’. He died in battle and people are protesting. The people back home really don’t like this damn war,” the growly soldier added.

Up ahead Jack could see the dull light of outside. He listened to the woman behind talking some more.

“Either way you look at it. No matter how much you fight and how many stars they award you, you’ll either die on this soggy rock or go home to some serious heat. Makes you wonder if it’s worth sticking your neck out.”

The train rattled out into the grey skies of X43 and Jack turned to the pair.

“I’ve never cared about what the man thinks, but maybe it’s up to us to give this war a rep that’s worth having with the people back home,” he said.

“Sounds like you’re new here kid. Tell me how does it feel to still have an actual spirit about this war?” The growly soldier asked as Jack looked up to his dirty face. The woman beside him then chimed in,

“Spirit? I think they took that from everyone the minute they gave us this second-hand battle armour. You know somebody probably died in this right? Rip the name badge off and paste a new one on. If you want my advice, just point and shoot until payday. Things are pretty terrible on the front right about now. Ever since the robots changed tactics.”

“Tactics?” Jack asked looking to her equally dirt covered face.

“Yeah, the robots drew back their offensive and have dug in lines of trenches. They go all the way back to their base.” The woman braced and the whole train rattled. She continued whilst the distant sound of shell fire and explosions gradually carried towards them.

“The Mercenaries pulled out as soon as Pluto dropped their funding and left the Army of Earth to handle the war. It’s trench warfare from now on and right now we’re in standoff mode.”

“Regiments have been dropped making this whole deal a free for all. Rookies with more experienced soldiers mixing all in. Multiple deaths and casualties by the hour. Welcome to X43 kid,” the man said

Jack faced the landscape before him.

He could see plastic looking hut type buildings strewn either side of the track which ended abruptly. Mud seemed to be everywhere along with the puddles. Soldiers looked  like scores of ants crawling everywhere, much of them nearby were walking wounded. Others huddled around barrels of fire to keep warm.

“End of the line cannon fodder,” a commanding voice shouted from the front. A partially armoured woman clambered up onto the open-air carriage and gave out a short brief,

“All you newbies, just follow the ones who should be dead by now. Make your way through the wounded city and over the ridge. You’ll see your home away from death right there. The big freeze is setting in so stay warm. Move out!”

She slid open the cattle sized door and Jack followed the soldiers out. They stepped straight onto the mud.

“Good thing about the freeze is there will be no mud,” another soldier said as Jack followed the two he just spoke with. He kept close to them and headed for the make shift town of plastic huts.

“What are these buildings for?” He asked.

A screaming solider was stretchered past and ushered into a hut.

“Mostly the wounded,” the woman said.

Like the others Jack did his best to dodge the deep puddles. Unfortunately he had to commit at least once. His boot stepped on something solid. Reaching down he realised it to be a discarded battle helmet.

“Hey, you wanna hand that this way?” A voice said from across the arrangement of puddles. This soldier stood with a hose next to a pile of armouring. Much of it was covered in brown mud, Jack also noticed some inked in red.

“Yeah. There you go,” Jack said and handed over the mud-soaked helmet.

“Told you about the second-hand armour,” the woman soldier added.

What happened to this place?

No longer did the war have this glorious edge. It no longer represented doing your planet a service. All around were the signs of suffering and death. Soldiers were coming off that train to never return home. Their families would never see them again. Futures shattered in an instant. Their armour stripped off a mangled bullet ridden body. Hosed down and given to the next poor soul.

There was no glory in this war, this was hell on X43.

The town of huts continued for a sizable distance until the horizon ahead turned from a plain brown ridge to clouds of smoke and clusters of explosions. Wounded were carried along the same path Jack walked, some would be dead before reaching help, others hobbled with a brother or sister in arms. One person even lay face down in the mud and that’s where this unknown soldier would stay.

An auto rifle got shoved Jack’s way at the very pinnacle of this ridge. Either side in equal distances were weapon hand out check points like the one he stood at. Then out front he saw it. The expansive front line lay ahead stretching the width of the horizon.

“Thorn?” Shouted a familiar voice. Jack continued to walk down the ridge and try to take in everything.

“Hey Jack,” Steve Franco shouted and headed towards him with Rob Connolly and another soldier, she hung back as they approached.

Both Franco’s and Connolly’s armour had been strewn with mud, and their rugged unshaven faces told the story of what this war had become.

“I’m actually smiling Thorn. First time this week. Good to see you bud,” Connolly said and gripped Jack’s hand.

He then looked to his best friend in the eyes, two eyes that had seen so much trauma of war and not much sleep.

“I can see why, this place is in the toilet,” he said

“This is the toilet. Good to see you man, so where have you been?” Franco asked.

Jack pulled them both in closer and tried to half whisper,

“The S.E.S offered me a job after the war. Looks like it could be good paying work, for all of us.”

“That sounds great and all but were taking it one hour at a time right now.” Connolly pulled away and looked to the front.

“Yeah come on man, we better move down to the front or they’ll just shoot us out,” Franco said and pointed up to the weapon check point.

“Even loitering is a cause of death on this front,” said the woman who had approached with the other two.

Jack saw two symbols printed on her upper arm; one of a spanner and the other a medical cross. Her tanned face was also covered in dirt and specs of what looked like dried blood. She carried a rucksack and hooked to her armouring hung a range of engineering tools and items.

“Thorn meet Nicks, Nicks meet Thorn,” Connolly said, and Jack nodded to the her.

“A medic and an engineer?” Jack asked.

“Yeah we’ve been hiding behind her talents since you were gone man. I’ve figured that’s what we do, just hide behind the real heroes,” Franco said.

“They’ve told me all about your apparent talents Thorn. With you being gone it was like you had died or something. Guess that’s kinda morbid but take a look around. Any medic around here who isn’t warped is probably more insane,” Nicks said.

“Insanity is just a state of mind here, so what’s the deal?” Jack asked. The group moved down and into a larger flock of soldiers.

“We drop into the trench and wait for the next incoming. If the commanding officer is feeling real brave, he may send us in first. There hasn’t been a robot wave for hours so something’s up,” Connolly explained.

Jack could see the upcoming deep trench lined with what appeared to be muddy plastic supports and footings. Cabling ran along the wall with lights and a speaker system. Every so often wide ladders were placed to allow entrance and exits.

“Come on fella’s there’s an empty spot up here,” Nicks said and led the group out of the flock. They lowered themselves down into the trench.

“Is trench warfare even in the Army of Earth’s battle plans?” Jack asked while being unable to avoid the mud.

“Nope but it all boils down to my gun being bigger than their gun. Don’t matter how you deliver that theory, the trench is just the vessel,” Connolly said.

“Or in this case our budget is bigger than your budget,” Jack added and put his foot onto the first ladder rung. He looked out into the battlefield, it seemed pretty quiet all around. Every so often there came a distant blast or patter of gun fire.

“You can’t see it from here but that’s craterville out here man. Good for hiding and covering, especially when an air strike is called. That’s what the speakers are for. Even out there you should hear the warning,” Franco said and joined Thorn on the ladder.

“So tell me man, what happened with the S.E.S? They take your shoes, right?” He asked.

“Turns out they do, and I met a guy called Sarge. He has some connections with the past and my parents. He offered me a job back home after the war. It’s for something called the World Force, could be a good gig,” Jack said.

“I’m all for good gigs man…”

As they stood looking out onto the desolate battlefield the speaker beside them crackled to life.

“Enemy airstrike inbound. Take cover!”

Franco jumped off the ladder and lowered like everyone else around him.

“I repeat, enemy airstrike inbound. Take cover!”

“Jack come on man, get down.”

“The battlefield is empty why would they send in an airstrike.” Jack asked and looked up into the dense grey clouds.

“What is that?” He asked seeing a brightness emerge, there were two fireball type shapes descending.

“That aint no airstrike,” Nicks said and jumped up onto the ladder.

“Then what is it?” Franco asked.

The two shapes burst from the clouds, both of them encased in smoke and burning. A piercing whine came from what sounded like jet engines. They disappeared below the horizon and the ground rumbled violently with a cloud of mud and dust rising up.

“Shit that sounded close,” Connolly said and tried to get a better view.

“Can you see anything?” Jack asked. The dust began to settle and from the explosive cloud came a single neon red strip that stood high above the ground. Thumping resonated along the ground towards the trench.

THUMP.

THUMP.

THUMP.

“What is that?” Franco peered over the trench and squinted out.

“Shit. That isn’t what I think it is right?” Connolly asked.

At that moment all of them realised this wasn’t a bomb, it was huge, and it trudged their way.

THUMP.

“Shiftmasters inbound! All soldiers over the top and attack!” The speaker very near to Jack said.

“Wait what? Shiftmasters?” He asked.

Soldiers either side of the group clambered out of the trenches. They charged with auto rifles primed and battle cries which would instantly turn to screams of pain and death.

After what seemed like a hydraulic whine there came the bright firing of bullets.

THUD. THUD. THUD.

Chunks of mud flew up from the floor. Jack tried to look past the mist and then he saw it. A pair of red neon stripes side by side moving into clearer air.

“Oh shit. We aint got a holy chance in hell against them,” Connolly cried and ducked just before more heavy fire coursed towards them.

Mud rained down into the trench which showed signs of collapse.

“What do we do? Bullets alone aint gonna work,” Franco said.

He was right. The auto rifles barely took down robots, and that was when they didn’t jam or get caked in mud shorting the internal electronics.

“Running would be a sensible choice,” the medic engineer Nicks said.

Jack watched two huge legs steadily trudge forward. He followed the yellow and black safety striped metal struts as they formed into an axel and then into a large extrusive metal body. Two long fork lift style arms moved around in all directions and lashed to them were huge guns. This walking forklift had been modified for battle including a caged head where presumably the remote controls were housed. The sinister neon red bar stared Thorn out whilst he tried to think of a plan….

End of Part 8

Tune in Next week for another edition of Jack Thorn. Same Jack time, same Jack place… Remember if you enjoyed reading, tell a friend, leave a comment and share it around on social media…

Copyright 2004 – 2019 ‘Jack Thorn’ and ‘The Thorn Legacy’ Written By Lee Hall 2019 All rights reserved.  

 

A thank you to everyone!

I don’t normally post something on here unless I have the material but guys the follows and overall support I have got this month as an author is incredible!

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU ALL. Like publishing a book in general I took a plunge or leap this month while already riding the coat tails of some already epic numbers this blog has seen in 2019. Just look where we stand now….

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I mean those figures speak for themselves alone just for this month, but 2019 so far has been huge compared to before and there’s another incredible result…

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Last year I dove into the unknown of publishing a super hero comedy novella. Upon release the sales figures were insulting, my ego diminished and all belief in book stuff pretty much gone. We all want instant results but they don’t happen and so after some serious time spent making a name for myself in the literary world of indie publishing/ reviewing, The Teleporter finally arrived!

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As you can see The Teleporter shifted some big time numbers and even had a stint as #1 in it’s particular ‘genetic engineering’ chart…

And that isn’t all because there are some genuine results from the Teleporter’s arrival!

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I had to put together a fricking slide show to display the amount of new reviews we got!

But wait there’s more, I’ve even had fellow bloggers write reviews which I then re blogged here so Thanks to Mullen Crafts and  also thanks to Elysia Lumen Strife. Both of your reviews were probably better than the damn book itself, and they made it all the way to Amazon.com! the holy grail of places for reviews! 

There was also a 1 Star review which I won’t dwell too much on, but I think some people came out to read the Teleporter in response and support of me, so thanks folks. You can read my reaction to it here via weekly ramble numero 30…. 

For those looking for book promo tips I recommend this little results post I put together earlier in April

And to everyone else, writer, blogger, tweeter or reader, a tip of the cap to you all. Peace out! That’s April folks… my best month ever in writing!  

April 7th… 

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April 30th

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Amazon US 

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Book Review of The Teleporter by Mullen Crafts

Mullen Crafts

Book: The Teleporter available on Amazon*

Author:  Lee Hall

The Teleporter by [Hall, Lee]Kurt Wiseman is good at one thing – being a drunken layabout. He has a dead end job, no love life, few friends, a mess of an apartment, and in general, life is going nowhere for him. But he has his booze and he seems quite ok with that. Until one day in work he has to actually do some, you know, work. Then things take a turn for the weird. His job is for a mega rich American businessman, who may sound a tad familiar as you read. You may question is he reminding you of one person, or is the entire company a symbol of the corporate, money grabbing epidemic that is slowly destroying our world? But I digress…or do I? Kurt never gave his employers much thought until things got odd. Until a lady got involved. Until…

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Book Review of The Teleporter By Elysia Lumen Strife

A huge tip of the cap to fellow wordsmith Elysia Lumen Strife for such an epic review if The Teleporter!

Elysia Lumen Strife

Book Review: The Teleporter By Lee Hall (4 Stars)

A humorously crass story of a drunkard turned superhero.

Hall has created a realistic world in which corporations hold the power and the common man has little control over his own life, until fate elects a portion and hands it over in the form of teleportation karma. The transformation of our main character, Kurt, is depicted with a perfect amount of stumbles, physical and emotional, and leaves us rooting for him as he finds his new place in society.

The voice isn’t hindered by formalities; it is free and true to character and, yes, littered with curses. But it fits so perfectly with Kurt’s sarcastic/apathetic personality that it is hard to be bothered by it.

The story picks up quickly and doesn’t linger too long in any one scene. Hall has done a great job at keeping a smooth pace and…

View original post 820 more words

Pet Sematary – Review

For the first time this year I have been to the cinema! Time flies when your busy, really busy, but finally I was able to go out with my significant other and we chose to see the latest Stephen King film adaptation Pet Sematary….

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Before we start, you must know Pet Semetary (which I read a few years ago) is in fact my favorite Stephen King novel, so as you expect there’s a lot riding on my expectations, this is a home game for me and I’m looking for a win. I have also seen the early 90’s adaptation which felt more like a TV film than anything remotely near cinema, so here we go…

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of reading my once in a blue moon movie reviews, I don’t give away major spoilers, I want readers to be persuaded to see a film that I came away liking, and I liked this a lot.

Pet Semetary does a fantastic job in probably being more of a remake than adaptation of the actual book although this time around we see more detail in some areas. Overall you’re never going to get the detail of the book, which is quite an extensive read and screenwriters can only cram in so much in a few hours.

Main character Louis Creed and his young family (all of which were perfectly cast) are moving into their new home in rural Maine. Both Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz fit perfectly as the Creeds and look like a real couple (no Hollywood glamour here) alongside their likeable and curious daughter Ellie (Jeté Laurence, who may have stolen the show), of course there is the younger sibling and son Gage, who considering his young age did an awesome job. They have a cat, that’s not a major plot point or anything…

The story differs a little compared to both the earlier film and book, something which made for an unexpected turn of twists later on. The neighbor across the road Jud Crandall played by John Lithgow may have been the most perfect of castings since Robbie Coltrane became Hagrid and his relationship is a little different for the film but makes for events to happen quicker than they do in the book.

What I liked the most about Pet Semetary; book and this film is the level of darkness the story goes to, and there are a few moments in this film that capture the essence of what the book achieved. Death, no matter the circumstances, is a dark thing and those concepts in this film will make the characters spiral into madness. There is also a huge psychological element that preys on some character’s minds, making it as creepy as ‘IT’ in places, of course there are a few jump scares but I found in this film to be less action stuff and more of the deeper darker mind stuff.  It’s the ultimate ‘what if’ scenarios that play in the back of our deep conscience and this film was done very well.

Pet Semetary is probably never going to win any awards but the performances are strong, the cinematography is great and the overall production does the book justice. The locations and sets were awesome. I even loved the fact they have re made the Pet Semetary song which played after a different but good solid ending.

4 Stars

 

A guide to Book Promotion in 2019

Finding the right advice for Authors to promote their work takes more than consulting ‘the Google’ these days. I also know by putting the year in the title of this post will make it pretty much instantly out dated, but for the same reasons scholars recorded stuff back in the day, I aim to do the same, pass on my knowledge and findings to simply learn for the future (where there will be robots…) and I’m not a scholar but a proud Indie Author…

So here is my guide to Book Promotion in 2019.

First of all, much of the stuff in this post is taken from a very recent book promotion I did for my 3rd novel ‘The Teleporter’ which I made free to download via Kindle Direct Publishing. Many author folks will know that having a book for free does help, but there are so many factors as to why I got the results I did.

These results were as follows: 

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Over the 4 days I set ‘The Teleporter’ free to download 817 people grabbed a copy! It even went to #1 in one of it’s amazon charts! 

Now let’s explore ‘the factors’ which drove this book to so many downloads…

Factor 1: Book Promotion Sites. 

Book Promotion sites are essential for spreading the word about your words existing; in fact, I would argue that telling people your stuff actually is out there may indeed be the biggest challenge any smaller time author faces and product awareness/distribution is what we are trying to achieve here! 

So as well as setting my book to be free on the dates I decided (about a month previous) I then set out to find some book promo sites who will list my book and send the info about it out to mailing lists. Many of them have certain criteria and some even charge but most don’t ask for a lot in terms of what the results could potentially be.

Here is the list of promo sites, I used this time around. Some I paid for promotions, and some I didn’t. I also staggered the promos to run on most of the days my book was free.

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A few years ago I compiled this list from a Goodreads group called ‘Support for Indie Authors’ a 14,000 strong collective of Indie minds who band together and share results from all sorts of indie related book stuff. I don’t contribute much to the group, I kind of just lurk… but there is a great amount of info on promo sites.

As you can see I only spent $10 this time around, and it also included an interview with Itswritenow which you can read here and yes on my spreadsheet document the heading of anniversary is in french (I can be pretentious like that, being published gives someone such licence to be…)

Factor 2: Established Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads

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This is relatively simple, and there is no real sure fire way to get reviews unless the reader wants to leave one. But the 5 reviews ‘The Teleporter’ had at the time of it being free is a huge factor that drove downloads. People seem to trust something that’s been out a while and has a few reviews. Upon release I put this book up for free and only 35 or so people downloaded it. Sometimes a book just needs to be out there for a while. So if you were one of the people who read and reviewed it before last week, you helped sell it!

Factor 3: An established following

At this current time my following has never been bigger, and that should always be the case for anyone who is an active blogger and writer on social media (and sort of obvious). I have also picked up a bunch of new followers whom are yet to read any of my novels. So with that and combined with the book being free, many of the followers I have had recent interaction with came out in force.

How I got that following is complex and simple all at once. Firstly it takes some time to gather a good following of genuine people. Secondly you have to invest by interacting, leaving constructive comments by being genuine and supportive to others in the writing and blogging community. Be there for others in the same boat on the same voyage as you. I have met some incredible writers and bloggers by just being present on the writing community scene.

My following continues to rise as I review indie books, all books I have read this year have been indie books. Many authors will feel inclined to return the favor but that is something I never aimed for, I’m reviewing books from indies because I am one and I have to support them, plus it’s reading and I love reading.

Factor 4: Chancer’s luck #indieapril

For those who are advocates of my stuff, they will know many of my characters are kind of chancer’s and tend to luck out. They look like they are better than they actually are; why do I say that? Because I am a chancer myself and I always have been.

I thought it would be nice to put ‘The Teleporter’ up for free because its a year since publication and the last promo I did was way back in September for Open Evening. This just so happened to coincide with April and then a trending hashtag started spreading around called #indieapril

#indieapril was some genius idea by some literal genius because people started tweeting about it and their support for indies. Then they started asking for indie book links whilst my book was free! Now I normally have the luck of the three blind basta**’s but holy sh** this was an open goal. For a very long while my tactics to sharing my own book link had changed to not talking sharing it at all. So I had a field day! And ‘The Teleporter’ kicked nearly every other book’s ass, and it went up against some pretty big competition…

This is an example of what I dropped in many folks comments of the Tweet machine…

tweet example

When you are really selling something, people just need to know the important details. As you can see it’s snappy and to the point and also the truth. ‘The Teleporter’ is all of those things, apart from being free right now. Boozy undertones; it’s not all serious folks.

Factor 5: Other smaller things I did…

As well as doing all the promo things above I also put up a big ‘ol Teleporter themed blog post, saying it was free and other stuff. It drove some traffic to the blog and many of the followers of the blogging persuasion are relatively new, plus it was free so people take notice.

I don’t like to mention Facebook because I personally think they are assholes mostly, they are one of those Robocop level corporations who are probably reading this while sharpening Zuckerbergs terminator liquid metal style axe for a hand, hey Mark (waves slowly). I did put up a less than £10 boosted post. It may have helped sell a few copies and definitely a paperback which was someone I personally know so the results are inconclusive. My following is pretty good on my page, you are more than welcome to like it, link to the side somewhere over there >>>>>

Bonus factor: A back Catalogue

I currently have 4 books available which I got published in 2 years, that’s some high revolutions, foot down on the gas type of sh**. I’ve worked my ass off to get those out there and now I have, people take it seriously. It’s true when they say the more books you release the better chance you have, trust me, you got to churn out them stories!

cropped-4.jpg

Results:

The main result is the amount of times the book got downloaded, but there are also longer term results which are still coming in. Kindle Direct Publishing also track page reads (a bit creepy I know) and these are the most recent figures of people reading:

PAGES READ

You can also see somebody has taken on ‘Darke Blood’ also, good on ya, I’m liking that book more and more these days…

There has also been a new review of ‘The Teleporter’ via Goodreads!

tp goodreads rev

Conclusion:

If you’re an indie looking to get more reads, I recommend going free to download for a little while, the first thing I will say is that you are not whoring your stuff out, you are giving it to the world to enjoy and discover. I don’t do this for a living, maybe some day I will, but until then people can read my stuff for free.

Prepare and take your time, spend a few pennies and do the research in finding promo sites and creative ways to get the word out. Take a leap and you’ll never know unless you try.

Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone who downloaded ‘The Teleporter’. Rock and roll man!

 

Reviewing Darke Blood

Feed The Crime

So, today i’m reviewing Darke Blood by Lee Hall, now I know what you’re thinking, this is a crime fiction blog Blair, why are you reviewing a supernatural book? Well this is actually my first vampire novel, and boy am I glad I read this!

Let’s get started…

“There are more than shadows lurking in the darkness of those trees.”
Blake Malone is in search of a new start and arrives in the remote forest town of Darke Heath. The memory of his past mysteriously becomes a blur as he discovers this place isn’t what it seems.
Malone shares a romantic encounter with a woman named Caitlyn and she reveals herself to be a ‘creature of the night’.

He learns of her story which intertwines with the history of the ‘Heath’. Together they must face the evil forces of vampirism and witchcraft that await them in the Darke forest.
But…

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