Next Book and Preorders—Oh My!

For the first time, I have a book going up for preorder months before publication!

Here’s a blurb for you:

You think you know the stories—12 Dancing Princesses, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, The Frog, The Stonecutter, and more…

But what if they didn’t happen that way? What if they really occurred on another world and the true tales were lost in the mists of time?

From the world of Unexpected Heroes, read the true Legends of Kaiatan.

Or if you prefer something even shorter:

Retold fairy tales set on a fantasy world of mermaids, shifters, and winged people.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with them. 🙂

What if the girl in Red Riding Hood WAS the wolf? What if a mere kiss wasn’t enough to turn a frog back into a man? What if the twelve princesses (okay, I may have tweaked that a little, too) were trapped in an underwater cave—but that part is okay because they’re mermaids?

Like I said, I’ve been having a lot of fun bending the original fairy tales to fit my own ideas. 😉 Some of them are based on different versions of the same fairy tale, some are based on similarly themed stories, while some are the result of firmly mashing together completely different tales while cackling wildly. *shrug* It was fun for ME. I hope it will be just as much fun for you.

It does sound like fun, you say? Where can you get it, you say?

I’m glad you asked! Did you notice I have a new setup for my Books page? https://mcleebooks.com/my-books/ And it has allllll the info you need. Please note that the preorder is already up at Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Apple. Amazon will come later, but it will come, as will a bunch of other retailers that don’t do preorders. You can also ask your local library to stock it so you can read it for free. 😀 May 24th, 2022 is the magic day it will be available everywhere as an ebook. Print books will come out by the end of the year.

But you can’t wait that long?

Ooh, do I have a fun present for you! One of the stories is exclusively available through my website. I took Dick Whittington and Puss in Boots and smooshed them together into The Cat’s Fortune. And it’s FREE! (With a signup to my newsletter…)

On another world, so long ago that truth has faded into legend, a cat and a boy seek their fortune together. You think you know the story, but do you?

Orphaned and homeless, young Aktar travels to the city of Rapata for a better life.

But it seems the rumors of gold-paved streets are false. Can he find a home and a job before he starves? Maybe with the help of a foundling kitten.

A retelling of Puss in Boots and Dick Whittington, set on the fantasy world of Kaiatan, home of the Unexpected Heroes.

Click here to get the free story!

Okay, that’s all for today, folks! Enjoy the anticipation (and the free book).

Happy reading,
Marty C. Lee

© 2022 M. C. Lee LLC. All rights reserved.

Tales of Kaiatan

You might have noticed that this is a book post instead of the schedule writing post. Don’t worry, the writing post will be coming next time… One of the fun things about a new book release is getting to announce it. So…

Ta dah! My latest book is now out! Tales of Kaiatan is a collection of short stories connected to the Unexpected Heroes series. It has prequels, sequels, backstories, side stories, old characters, new characters, and minor characters who demanded to tell their own story… All are waiting for you to join them in their adventures, escapes, romances, challenges, joys, dangers, friendships, and secrets.

Four of the stories are the ones from Unexpected Tales, which hopefully you’ve already read. Fourteen of them are completely new.

Did you ever wonder why Ahjin’s father was so adamant he go along with his Presentation assignment in Wind of Choice? There’s a story for that, and it completely changed my mind about him. What about what happened to everyone Zefra left behind in the oasis in Spark of Intrigue? TWO stories for that! How about what happened before Seed of War started? Yep, it’s in here. There’s even a couple of pirate stories behind the scenes of Wave of Dreams. Cool stuff. 😉 Some of the stories are funny, some are sad. One of them made me cry on the last page, even though it has a happy ending. Several of them tie up strings you might have been wondering about in the series. 😉

Fun fact: all four novels in the series are just shy of 89-thousand words. Nobody’s Revenge is a novella at 17.5K. This book is almost 98 thousand words! I planned enough short stories for the book to be a matching length, but they grew… You may consider it a bonus for you. 😉

I had a lot of fun writing it, and I hope you have a lot of fun reading it.

Anyway, it’s available in a wide variety of retailers or in my direct store, or you can request your library to get it. The ebook is out now, and the paperback will come out in about six months or so.

Welcome back to Kaiatain!
Marty C. Lee

© 2021 M. C. Lee LLC. All rights reserved.

Wave of Dreams is available!

Celebrate with me!

My third book just came out in ebook! 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 third in the series, 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, and so is the the new one, Wave of Dreams.

As before, I  switch main characters to someone else in the group. This time, we spend the most time in Nia’s head. It’s kind of fun, I think, because Nia is full of drama and excitement. Even when other people think she should take life more seriously. I mean, where’s the fun in that?

This one is still fantasy, but I threw in a bit of romance and a treasure map to a cursed island. Oooooh… And if you ever wondered what happened to the Seals from book 2, at least part of the answer is in this book. 😉

It’s already listed in Goodreads, with at least a couple of nice reviews. Thank you, nice ARC readers! (If you want to BE a nice Advance Reader, you can sign up on my website and get free copies of my new books. Say it with me… Ooooohhhh…)

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

Such a fun read! The characters felt real. The adventure was gripping and a thrill to read! I loved how real their problems felt, even though they had special abilities; they still had to work together to overcome the conflict. There were plenty of surprises and twists to keep me on the edge of my seat. I loved the dynamic between the characters and their flaws and unique strengths. This story was a real page-turner and enjoyable from start to finish!
— R. L. Perez, author of the Timecaster Chronicles (coming soon)

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

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For sixteen-year-old Nia, the best part of becoming an adult is the party. Even while holding it on land for the sake of her gill-less friends, she can flirt with all the cute boys.

But her mom’s gift is unexpected— an old treasure map and the news that her long-lost dad might be alive.

With her friends and a cute suitor, Nia follows her missing dad’s trail across the ocean waves to a supposedly cursed island. Will she find adventure, answers, and even love?

Maybe. Unless the curse is real.

Romance and danger swirl with the tide, and undercurrents could sweep her away.

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

Happy reading,
Marty C. Lee

© 2020 M. C. Lee LLC. All rights reserved.

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…

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

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

© 2019 M. C. Lee LLC. All rights reserved.

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. 🙂

© 2019 M. C. Lee LLC. All rights reserved.

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

© 2019 M. C. Lee LLC. All rights reserved.

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

© 2019 M. C. Lee LLC. All rights reserved.

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

© 2019 M. C. Lee LLC. All rights reserved.

Ways to Help an Author

There are many ways you can help an author you like, whether it’s one you know personally or just one who writes wonderful books. I’ve tried to sort my suggestions into categories, so you can find one that fits your situation. You don’t have to do all of them, of course. Just pick one or more that sound like fun.

You like the genre and have a little money to spend.

Buy the e-book! (It’s pretty common for an author to get as much or more royalties on a cheaper e-book than a more expensive print book.) Pre-order the next book. Buy a copy shortly after it’s published (early sales do more for ranking). Buy a copy from the author’s website directly or from their web link (direct sales give more royalties). If you like the book, choose something from the “enjoyment” category to do.

You like the genre and have more money to spend.

Buy the book! (If you love the feel of paper books, go for it. If you don’t care, the e-book is likely to pay the author just as well or better.) Buy copies to give to friends or family. Abandon a paperback in a public place with a note saying it needs a new home. Buy a signed copy. Buy a copy from the author’s website directly or from their web link, or in person (direct sales give more royalties). Ask a local bookseller (in person, even if you know the answer) if they carry the book and where it is, then buy it if they have it. If the author has bookmarks or swag for sale, buy something you like and use it in public. If you like the book, choose something from the “enjoyment” category to do.

You don’t have any money in your book budget, but you want to read the book.

Ask a librarian if they carry the book. Request it at the library, and then check it out when it arrives. See if the book is available as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), request it, AND review it. Watch for a free (or maybe 99c) sale on the e-book. If you like the book, choose something from the “enjoyment” category to do.

You want to share your enjoyment of the book.

Review the book! Positive (honest) reviews are one of the best ways to help an author, on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, your own blog/website, or your preferred book review site. Take a selfie with the book and post it on social media. Share an excerpt in person or on social media. Turn the book face out at the bookstore. Discuss the book in public or on social media. Blog about it. Create a Wikipedia page for the author/book. Post a video review. Recommend the book to friends or a book club. Share bookmarks or other swag. Link to the author’s website/blog/sales page or bookmark it on a bookmark site. Like the book page where you bought the book. Like the author’s social media or website.

You want to help/encourage the author personally.

Tell the author you like the book! Comment on the author’s blog or social media. Send the author a review quote. Nominate the book for an award. Interview the author on your blog. Host the author for an event. Contact the author with speaking opportunities. Send the author some fan art.

You don’t read the genre, but know the author and still want to help.

Choose something from the “enjoyment” category that doesn’t require having read the book. Give the author a hug. Pray for the author. Recommend the book to a friend who DOES like the genre. (This is not a situation where buying the book helps, at least not in the first several months. Thanks to “Also Bought” recommendations, early book-buyers should be from the marketing categories that normally buy similar books.)

I hope you found something here that will suit you. 🙂 Remember, writing can be a discouraging job. If you like an author, a bit of extra encouragement might keep the books coming. 😉

Happy reading,
M.C. Lee

© 2018 M. C. Lee LLC. All rights reserved.