The news gets better...for the next 4 days its FREE. Go to Amazon now and get your e-copy before they sell out. For more information on DeadPixel Publications, click here.
It's a bird! It's a plane! Its a compilation of sci-fi, fantasy and horror short stories from DeadPixel Publications! FLYING TOASTERS: The DeadPixel Tales, eight short stories from eight exceptionally talented authors, debuts this weekend as an ebook on Amazon. In addition to UBR's very own Brian Braden, you'll read stories from Robert Brumm, Thomas Cardin, Robert Bevin, Hanna Elizabeth, John Gregory Hancock, C.M. Saunders, and Steve Wetherell.
The news gets better...for the next 4 days its FREE. Go to Amazon now and get your e-copy before they sell out. For more information on DeadPixel Publications, click here.
Readers, I'm so excited to share with you the project I've been working on. It's called Darkest Worlds: A Dystopian Anthology and it's just what it sounds like, a kick-butt compilation of six novellas from today's top indie dystopian authors (I know, how did I get in there, right?). The anthology rocks, but the best part of it all is being able to work with some really top-notch authors. I've carved out a special place in my heart for these five fantastic ladies and you will too. The anthology is available on Amazon, B&N and Kobo for only $2.99 and here's the best part: all proceeds go to a charity helping grow literacy in inner city youth called Girls Write Now.
Here's the blurb to get you interested.
Nessa: A Breeders Story by Katie French, author of The Breeders: Eighteen-year-old Nessa knows what it’s like to be an endangered species. Growing up in a dying world where nine out of ten babies are born male, she survives by trusting no one. When Marlin, the nineteen-year-old gunslinger, kills the man who has been keeping her enslaved, Nessa decides he might be her meal ticket. What she doesn’t realize is love is still possible, even in their decimated world.
MOON by S.K. Falls, author of World of Shell and Bone: Loyalty. Obedience. Patriotism. Moon Stewart has no doubt that the New Amanian way of life is the right way. The only way. But was there ever a time when she felt differently? In this companion novella to the dystopian bestseller World of Shell and Bone, the secrets of Moon’s past are revealed, giving readers a glimpse into the mind of their favorite antagonist.
The First Unforgivable Thing by Zoe Cannon, author of The Torturer’s Daughter: When a dissident working undercover as an interrogator finds himself in an interrogation room with the only girl he’s ever loved, he chooses to defy both the totalitarian regime and the resistance by helping her escape—but she has an agenda of her own…
The Keeper by A.G. Henley, author of The Scourge: a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award. Peree knows his duty as the new Keeper of the Water Bearer, Fennel, is to make sure his people get every drop of their share of the water she collects when the flesh-eating Scourge roam the forest. He will motivate her, distract her, do anything he can to keep her working. He knows his duty is to his people and his people alone. What he doesn’t know is that he’s falling in love with her.
Survival Lessons by Kate Avery Ellison, author of Frost: A young Farther prisoner named Eva escapes into the monster-filled wilderness of the Frost with a band of fellow inmates, all of whom are harboring secrets…but little do they know that Eva has secrets of her own. Set in the world of The Frost Chronicles.
clean slate complex by Megan Thomason, author of the daynight series: Homeless Alexa Knight agrees to help the do-gooder non-profit The Second Chance Institute in return for medical care for her sick mother. The SCI is wooing the poor and downtrodden into their Clean Slate Complexes–where “everything is provided” from jobs to food, shelter, clothing, and education. Unfortunately, as with all things that sound too good to be true, there’s a catch…
Buy Darkest Worlds on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.
Katie French is the author of The Breeders, a Young Adult dystopian adventure and Eyes Ever to the Sky, a sci fi romance. Nessa: A Breeders Story, a prequel novelette is available in a new anthology on Amazon. Sign up for notifications, follow her @KatielFrench or like her on Facebook.
I am very excited to announce my second book, a young adult sci-fi romance called Eyes Ever to the Sky, is now available on Amazon. Writing and launching a second book is an amazing experience and I do hope you like the final product. I'm also celebrating by giving away a $25 gift card on my website. Check out the book and let me know what you think. And thanks to all my Underground friends who helped make this possible.
When Hugh wakes up in a smoldering crater—no memory, no clothes—a single thought echoes in his head…trust no one. Frightened and alone, with no memory of who he is, he stumbles upon a grisly murder scene and is fatally shot. He wakes, only to find he can heal himself. He has superpowers and he’s going to need them.
Desperate and bleeding, Hugh stumbles upon fifteen-year-old Cece, who’s got enough troubles of her own. Between caring for her bipolar mother and trying not to get evicted from her run-down trailer, Cece may be the only person struggling as much as Hugh. Drawn to Hugh, Cece finds a love she’s never known. But when the real killer—a man-hunting beast—chooses another victim, Hugh and Cece realize they must unlock the clues to their past if they have any chance at a future.
Underground Book Reviews writer and assistant editor Brian L. Braden is pleased to announce the publication of BLACK SEA GODS, his first full length novel.
As a way of saying thank you to all our UBR readers and authors, BLACK SEA GODS is free today and tomorrow on Amazon as an e-book.
A fresh, new direction in historical fantasy, BLACK SEA GODS transforms recently re-discovered Black Sea legends, possibly the root of all Eurasian mythology, with ancient Chinese mythology to create an unprecedented epic fantasy series.
The fish have disappeared from the sea. The animals have vanished from the land. All humanity, and even the gods, tremble under the specter of a pending cataclysm. The demigod Fu Xi races home from the edge of the world bringing news of a looming god war, but finds his land under attack by monsters he once called his children. He discovers a terrible curse has been cast, one intended to destroy the gods and all life. To his shock, Fu Xi learns mankind’s hope rest solely on him, a simple fisherman and a banished slave girl.
Beset on all sides, Fu Xi knows he must act quickly and races west to rescue the saviors. Unaware of the real doom that awaits, Aizarg the fisherman and his party begin a perilous journey across a dangerous steppe. They seek the last of the Narim, the legendary Black Sea Gods, who hold the key to their salvation. Leading them is the rescued slave girl Sarah, the only one among them who knows the path to the land of the god-men.
Over seven days the defining struggle of gods and humans begins under the onslaught of a powerful force whose true objective and origin remain a mystery. Fu Xi knows the secret to victory resides in a fisherman and a slave girl, whose lives he must protect, even if it means the rest of the world must perish.
Keep up with the latest updates on Brian Braden’s writing projects on his blog, Facebook and Twitter . If you miss the free promo, you can still buy his books, Black Sea Gods or Carson's Love, on Amazon.
Amy R. Biddle
There are plenty of reasons why authors choose pen names. Theodor Geisel first started using his middle name (Seuss) so that he could continue to publish in a magazine that he was fired from. Benjamin Franklin used a litany of fictional characters, complete with alternate personalities, which he used to spark controversy. Stephen King created the pseudonym Richard Bachman so that he could publish more than one book a year, which was unthinkable at the time.
But the literary landscape is changing, and while the pen name still runs amok, it is a serious choice for the budding author. As a victim of the nom-de-plume, I understand both its advantages and disadvantages on a very personal level. While anonymity has a certain romantic ring to it, the truth is that pen names are more of a burden than a blessing. Let this be a warning to all up-and-coming authors: don’t fall prey to the frivolity of a pen name without a sound reason to do so.
Sorry authors, but in the modern world, social networking and online marketing are crucial. Fans want to be able to connect with authors, it’s as simple as that. The more road blocks you put between yourself and your fans, the harder marketing becomes. If you use a pen name, you’re shutting out your current fans (your friends and family, if you aren’t published yet) as well as cutting off your new, potential fans from your personal life.
That brings us to the logistics of a pen name: Maintaining separate email accounts, remembering how to sign your emails, even writing book reviews on Amazon or Goodreads and making comments on Facebook… it all becomes a convoluted mess. It sounds like small stuff now, but when you use a pen name you’re sealing up a can of worms and saving it for later.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good reasons to use a pen name: You might share a name with a well-known author, for example. But I'll be the first to admit that new authors usually find bad reasons to use a pen name. I had lots of bad reasons, but it all boiled down to one thing: I wanted to hide behind a wall so that I could be myself without fear. Instead, I found it harder to be myself while staying hidden behind said wall.
In the end, I realized that it simply wasn’t worth the email-swapping and gender-bending to maintain anonymity. So there you have it. From this day forth, A. B. Riddle is dead, and Amy R. Biddle is taking her rightful place as author of The Atheist’s Prayer and editor of Underground Book Reviews.
A pen name didn’t work for me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. What you have to decide is whether or not it’s worth it to keep up the façade. And I’m warning you now, it’s a lot more work than you might have imagined.
Amy Biddle is the Editor-and-Chief and President of Underground Book Reviews, LLC. Her debut novel, The Atheist's Prayer, will be published by Perfect Edge Books, an imprint of John Hunt Publishing. You can read a short teaser or visit her website for more info.
I'm very excited to announce that Nessa: A Breeders Story will release today, Tuesday, February 5th. The genesis of this story began when I polled readers in December and asked which character they'd like to get to know better. Surprisingly, many fans said Nessa Vandewater, Clay's mother. From there, Nessa's story grew and I am pleased with how it turned out. I hope you'll like it too. The novelette is priced at 99 cents, so it will be affordable to die hard fans and new readers alike. To celebrate, I'm also hosting a giveaway of an Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Enter here. Here's the pitch to wet your whistle.
Eighteen-year-old Nessa knows what it’s like to be an endangered species. Growing up in a dying world where nine out of ten babies are born male, she survives by trusting no one. When Marlin, the nineteen-year-old gunslinger with the sky-blue eyes, kills the man who has been keeping her enslaved, Nessa decides this handsome stranger might be her meal ticket. What she doesn’t realize is love is still possible, even in their decimated world. When Nessa discovers she’s pregnant with Marlin’s child, her difficult life now teeters on a knife’s edge. Can she bear to bring a child into their shattered world? Better yet, can Marlin keep them safe from those that hunt Nessa?
A companion story to The Breeders, this prequel novelette (34 pages or 10,000 words) explores the origins of two important characters and gives a deeper look into their background. It contains minor spoilers to the novel and is intended for mature teens and adults.
You can follow Katie French on Facebook, Twitter and on her website.
Feeling edgy? Today, Perfect Edge Books is doing a double release of The Sound of Loneliness by Craig Wallwork and Stranger Will by Caleb J. Ross. Take a peek. You're not afraid of good fiction, are you?
The Sound of Loneliness
by Craig Wallwork
Manchester in 1991 is a town suffering under the weight of high unemployment and massive government budgetary deficits that is plunging the UK into a recession. To Daniel Crabtree, a struggling writer, it is the backcloth to his first novel, one that will see him become a famous published author. Living off mostly water and flour, Daniel has embraced penury into his life under the mistaken belief that many young artists have: one needs to suffer for success in art. But Daniel is a terrible writer. In the three years since signing on the dole, of every morning chastising his Irish singing neighbour for waking him from his sleep, and scrounging food from his close friend Henry Soperton, Daniel Crabtree has produced one short story. His heart is bereft of words as much as his pockets are of money.
It is a story of love, and how a poor starving man chasing a dream came to the understanding that amidst the clamour of life, the sound of loneliness is the most deafening of all.
by Caleb J. Ross
The child he loves. The idea of a child, he's beginning to understand, is where everything will go wrong.
William works as a human remains removal specialist, removing stains left by the dead. Whether by a bloody crime scene or a quiet domestic death, William is reminded each day of the frailty of human life. As his fiancée, Julie, nears term with their first child William becomes increasingly desperate for a way to overcome his belief that to birth is to kill. But Mrs. Rose, an elementary school principal and messenger pigeon hobbyist, nurtures William’s depressive outlook and claims to have a way to prove that William’s hesitancy to accept fatherhood is not only natural but necessary.
In this novel of impending parenthood, an idealistic teacher recruits a pliant protégé to join her group of Strangers – a devout collection of kindred minds who have dedicated their lives to cultivating a unique idea of perfection.
But joining is easier than leaving.
This year, Liz D. Publicity held its first Shirley You Jest competition, highlighting self-published and indie books that "deliver the funny." Underground Book Reviews agreed to sponsor it by reviewing the first and second place winners over the month of December. We're counting on these books to keep us laughing, but will they live up to our expectations? Only time, and some honest reviews, will tell. So stay tuned! December's review schedule will look something like this:
This month Underground Book Reviews is thankful for all your love and support. If you’ve felt any UBR love, there’s a chance to support our growth even further. Every year Writer’s Digest collects nominations for their prestigious 101 Best Websites for Writers. We’ve never won such a prestigious award, but feel like this is our year.
Please send your nominations to Writers Digest (writersdigest<at>fwmedia<dot>com) with the subject line "101 Websites." Thanks for all your support!
Fans of edgy fiction, put your reading glasses on. Perfect Edge Books is here to give you flawed characters, dark comedy and darker dystopias. A new imprint of John Hunt Publishing, Perfect Edge is pushing the boundaries in fiction and re-shaping the definition of traditional publishing. If Penguin is the Hershey’s of the publishing industry, Perfect Edge is Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
So what is Perfect Edge all about? Phil Jourdan, who runs the imprint, can sum it up: “Perfect Edge publishes fiction that blurs the distinctions between “literary writing" and its evil twin, "genre." We combine the indie press attitude with the resources of a larger publisher. We look for authors who are confident, talented, tireless and entrepreneurial. We don't publish hardbacks; we don't give advances; we produce our books with more efficiency than most presses because we try to be relevant and dependable. We even enjoy the horror stories about the publishing industry we read in the magazines because we're adapting quickly. We go for smallish print runs (a few hundred) to prime the pump, print more when stocks get low, over and over. And we make friends with each other along the way.”
Sorry, folks, but according to Phil, “Perfect Edge isn't looking for new submissions right now. We want to focus on achieving the best results we can with the authors we already have onboard. We do, however, intend to open the gates again to find a new group of authors, and when that happens we'll branch out into new genres and styles.”
And now for the good news: Perfect Edge has released its first title! 100 Years of Vicissitude by Andrez Bergen follows a geisha and a corrupt millionaire in their tour of the afterlife. It is the stand-alone, not-quite-sequel to Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat, which Andrez published in 2011. While most sequels follow the heroes from the previous novel, 100 Years of Vicissitude follows the villain. I have no doubt that 100 Years of Vicissitude will be well worth your time and money, whether or not you’ve read Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat.
Sure, call me biased. When my novel comes out I will officially become a member of the Perfect Edge family, so it is not without self-interest that I promote the imprint. But I’m excited about Perfect Edge because I believe in their mission, and I still wonder how I’ve managed to become affiliated with such a forward-thinking and creative group. The authors at Perfect Edge aren’t afraid to break the rules, and they have the talent to get away with it.
In an effort to capture the spirit of Perfect Edge, I asked some of my fellow authors to let loose their feelings about the imprint. It was no surprise to me when they waxed poetic about community, change and our fearless leader, Phil Jourdan. Here’s what they said: