Category Archives: Book News

Seed of War is out!

I try to write one book-related post each month, and one writing post. This one is supposed to be a book post, and I was struggling to come up with a topic (feel free to suggest some in the comments for the future) until I realized it’s a good time to make an announcement. I hope you’ll forgive me for making this post about a book I wrote instead of a regular book review. 🙂 I know I mentioned this last time, but this is the *official announcement!*

My second book just came out in ebook a couple of weeks ago! It’s available in many online retailers and at libraries (if you get the librarian to order it through Overdrive, Bibliotheca, or Baker & Taylor).

It’s the sequel to my first book (not so oddly), though it’s more “the further adventures of” than “the continuation of the story.” It does continue the story in a way, but Wind of Choice is a complete story with no cliffhanger ending, and so is Seed of War.

I also switch main characters to someone else in the group instead of Ahjin. Yes, we still get his POV (point of view) in a few chapters, but most of the time, we’re in Ludik’s head.

And I mash up genres just a little. It’s still definitely fantasy, but I throw in a bit of mystery. If you liked the bits and pieces of shapeshifting in book one, you should read book two, because we spend the entire book in Darrendra and meet a lot of shapeshifters!

It’s already listed in Goodreads, with at least a couple of nice reviews. (Thank you, nice ARC readers!)

And speaking of nice reviews, here’s an endorsement for you:

If you want an adventure with lots of fun banter and laugh-out-loud situations, or if you want a journey that will make you cry and think deeply about forgiveness, read Seed of War.
– M. L. Farb, author of The King’s Trial

If you want to read some of the book before you buy, you can do that with Amazon’s peek inside, or you can get a free sample at MyBookCave, StoryOrigin, or ProlificWorks. (The same applies to Wind of Choice.)

So, what’s the book about?? I’m so glad you asked…

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Saving the world from feuding gods made eighteen-year-old Ludik miss his wedding. Now his second chance is here, and nothing will stop him from marrying his sweetheart this time.

Except maybe a dead body.

In a mad race to hunt a misguided witness, Ludik must confront a fierce wolf, follow the trail through hostile territory, and escape his own execution.

Even with the help of his outkindred friends–-a gilled translator, a fire mage, and the winged messenger of the Gods–- Ludik might not be able to prevent war from igniting between the shapeshifting kindreds.

Danger lurks among the trees, and if he can’t solve the clues, more than his marriage is on the line.

***************************************************

Happy reading,
Marty C. Lee

Writing Process, Book 2 (Part 3)

So I ran book 2 through two separate writing groups, trying to make sure I fixed all the problems. And it got a lot better! I mean, so much better. I love my writing groups. When I thought I had the book polished all shiny, I rounded up a few beta readers and turned them loose on it. Some pointed out a few little problems. Some loved everything except the cliffhangers and mean-author moments (which I promise I used for very specific reasons and not because I’m sadistic).

Then, after I thought all I had left was a little editing for grammar and so forth, my last, lagging beta reader turned in a blistering critique. Okay, I’m exaggerating. She was actually extremely polite, but she did point out what she thought were two *major* problems throughout the story. After licking my wounds, I asked a couple of trusted people which parts were true and which I could ignore. After some discussion, I decided that one problem could basically be ignored. She was judging it by a different ruler than I use. I did add a sprinkle of “fix it” for that problem, but mostly I crossed it off my list. The second one–well, unfortunately for me, she was mostly right. Sigh. I hate finding out that I did things wrong, especially when I think I’m done.

Anyway, I made a plan for fixing the problem that didn’t require me to rewrite the entire book (though it did stick its grubby fingers into almost every chapter and several chapter headings, and some chapters did get bigger rewrites). It took me two weeks to do the edits, and when I ran them by people, one of them pointed out another problem that my fixes had created. *bang head on desk* So I fixed that one next.

Then, as I’m running through “one last edit” to make sure I didn’t create more problems while I was fixing everything else, I ran into a couple more things that could be improved. Lucky me, they were pretty minor, but all this meant that I had to do another round, so I finished “final edits” a month later than I anticipated, and ending up working a lot of extra hours for weeks and getting to bed very, very late on the last day I had available. *no, don’t bother me, it can’t be morning yet*

Blech. There are some days I wonder why I write. Then my characters start talking in my head again and telling me how cool this next scene would be. (Come on! Shapeshifting spies! Pirates! Ooh, and…) And my small batch of fans ask for their next fix and tell me how my first book made it into their small collection of owned books. And I hover my fingers over the keyboard and take a deep breath.

Anyway, by the time this article posts, SEED OF WAR should be live in e-retailers all over the world, and available to e-libraries, too. As for me, I will be sitting at home steadfastly eating ice cream and telling myself that it will be fine. Really, it will be fine. I need another spoon…

Be kind to my baby,
Marty C. Lee

P.S. I don’t have an eating disorder. Really. But ice cream makes an excellent *occasional* stress reliever, and it tastes yummy. And I eat it out of a bowl, not the carton. With only one spoon, because I only have one mouth. 🙂

Paperbacks

My first book, Wind of Choice, finally came out in paperback as well as ebook. It’s been a surprising experience, so I thought I’d talk about it.

The first surprise was how much more REAL the paperback felt than the ebook. It has the same cover and the same contents. I have a copy of the ebook on my phone. People have bought the ebook, but the paperback is so new it hasn’t sold anything. So why did holding the proof copy make me feel like I might finally be a “real” author? I still haven’t figured out the answer to that one.

Second, while there wasn’t much wrong with the proof, it surprised me how strongly I reacted to imperfections. Oh, it needs a higher quality picture there. Oh, what happened to the border line on the map. Tsk, tsk, the Author page should all fit on one page. Now, mind you, my publisher had checked all these things before the proof was released, and I didn’t mind them in the ebook (why not??), but somehow, it looked different on paper. Thank you, all you people who told me I should really read the proof! So I got my publisher to make the changes (honestly, they were little ones) so it would be as perfect as possible.

Third, I was surprised at the reactions of those around me. “Oh, you published a book.” “Well, the ebook came out months ago.” “Yeah, but… I don’t read ebooks and I can hold this in my hands. This is real.” So I guess Surprise #1 shouldn’t have been a shock, since other people apparently feel the same way. Of course, I didn’t know they would!

Go ahead and explain it to me in the comments? Why does a paper copy make a difference?

Happy reading,
M. C. Lee

Great News!

It’s been a long time getting here, but I’m pleased to announce the publication of my first book! You can find more information on Goodreads, Amazon, Kobo, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, Google Play, and more. You can find links for the ebook at many of the stores here.

The ebook is available for libraries on OverDrive, if you’d like to encourage one to stock it. 🙂

Print copies will be available in a couple of months. If you want a signed copy, contact me in person for now. (Later, I’ll figure out another way to get signed copies on a broader basis.) You can also buy an unsigned copy directly through me, if you like. (Same price for you, more profit for me.)

Should you buy the ebook or wait for the print version? And how soon? That depends– do you want an ebook or a paperback? Buy the one you want (ebooks give better royalties, so don’t let the cheaper price bother you). If you love reading YA fantasy, buy it as soon as you’d like. If you’re just trying to help me, please wait 2-3 months until fantasy readers have created appropriate other-people-liked-this connections. If you really want the marketing lecture, let me know. 😉 Another way to help me, if that’s your goal, is to ask your library to order it, and then check it out.

I dream of having an audio version someday, but my publisher says that will have to wait. I’ll let you know when it happens. 🙂

So what’s the bad news? Well, the ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) are no longer available, although you can still sign up on my list for an ARC to the next book. And the print copies aren’t quite ready. I think the balance is definitely on the side of the good news.

And if you like the book, please give it a nice review and refer it to a friend. 😀

Happy reading!

M. C. Lee

Do You Want a Free Book?

Want to Join my ARC Team?

ARC means Advance Reader Copy. That means getting your hands on my book before it is actually published… For free! Mostly (I do ask for your email address in exchange, but there’s no monetary cost).

Why would I do something like that? Well, I’m hoping you’ll like the book and give it a nice review when it IS published. BUT you aren’t required to give a review, and you aren’t required to like the book, either. (I can only hope you do.)

Is this an absolutely finished copy? Not necessarily. It might not have made it 100% through proof-reading yet. It might be missing a few finishing touches, like chapter-break images or the map. But it will be the same story and pretty close to the finished product. (And if you are the kind of person who likes finding typos, you can tell me about them, and I’ll get proofreading to fix them!)

What kind of review do I want? Do you have to write a book report? Do I want you to lie?!? No, not at all. A short review is perfectly fine. Please, please do not lie. If you did like the book, just mention one or two reasons why, in your own words. (You aren’t limited, if you really feel like writing more.) Or click as many stars as you think the book deserves. Or don’t say anything, if you hate writing reviews that badly. If you don’t like the book, you can say that, too.

Are there any rules? You probably shouldn’t ask for a copy if you don’t THINK you’ll like it. And you should admit that you got an ARC from the author. (But not “in exchange for a review.” *whisper* That’s not allowed.) You should probably say that your opinions are your own, because, remember, I’m not requiring that you write a review in exchange for the free copy. (You can just take the book and run.)

How do you get your hands on this free ARC?! I have a sign-up list in the sidebar. All I ask for is your name and email for now. When the ARC is ready, I’ll ask if you want mobi or epub. I will keep your name and email for future ARC announcements, unless you unsubscribe, so consider if you’re okay with that. (I don’t sell your info, and you can unsubscribe anytime.) I will also be posting ARCs in a few places online, and I’ll update this post when I have them up.

Will I let everyone have a free copy? Well, no. If you wait too long, you’ll have to buy a copy to read, or ask your library to get one for you. This is a limited-time offer, so act quickly. 🙂

Are you ready for a free book?

M.C. Lee