Monthly Archives: October 2013

Forsaken Dreamscape Cover Art Revealed!

I’ve been promising this for a while, and it’s finally here!

A very important moment in the life of any book is when the cover is assigned, giving that first impression of what might be inside, setting the tone, presenting the genre and catching the eye.

I’ve been very particular about my cover art, and at least feel that I have a decent eye for it. So, when I once again got together with Omri Koresh, the artist I hired to do all three covers, I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like. I was pretty specific, and of course he added his own touches, and voila! The Forsaken Dreamscape cover was born!

I’m very pleased with it and think it gives the perfect impression of Book 2 in the Nevermor Trilogy! So what do you think of it?

Nevermor2Ebook(1)

This cover depicts Wren, of course. You can post it around if you’d like, share it on your blog – whatever. 🙂

Now that I have shared the cover image, I’m going to work on setting up the first few chapters for a Wattpad preview, which should appear within the next few weeks. The new version is going to take the place of the old version of Forsaken Dreamscape, and if you are following that story you should get notifications. I’m going to post a chapter every couple of weeks until I decide to stop (Probably around 5 chaps), and then after that there should be a couple of months left before the release of the book, but it will hopefully be available for preorder after that. (More about that when it happens), but I want it up for preorder before Christmas if I can.

In related news, I’m also pleased to announce that Nevermor book 1 has gotten a makeover, not on the front but on it’s back cover and spine. It now shows the volume number on the spine, the back cover layout is better looking, the description is shorter, and there is also a preview of the other book covers laid out across the back. I think it looks much better, and I have Omri Koresh to thank for that as well! Forsaken Dreamscape will have this same layout with the volume number on the spine.

Nevermor1

I also added a sneak peek at Forsaken Dreamscape in this printed version – an excerpt that I have not yet revealed! (Adding a few more pages also made the spine line up better.)

So! All that said and done, I hope you like it, and Happy Halloween!!

Nevermor – more retailers, more worldwide options

***Scroll down for a list of sites where you can purchase the books in the Nevermor trilogy***

A few days ago, I decided to run a Google search for Nevermor just to see what came up. I know it seems like something I might have done before now, but I haven’t. I’m always afraid of what might pop up if I do. Anywho, I was looking for any blog reviews that I might not know about, but what I found instead was a surprise. Nevermor is actually being sold through more online retailers than I thought, and in more countries than I thought!

It might seem a bit odd for me not to know this stuff, but once I publish it through CreateSpace (which is what has happened, because most of the instances I found were for the print book) I don’t exactly get informed of where it will be available or who the partners are. Some of these might not be major retailers, but these are some of the listings I found. I might be able to look into it to find more, but for now, this is what I have.

This page will be updated as I find more, and I may link it back to the home page.

***Listings for online purchase of Nevermor books***

My Preference: I’ve had a few people ask me ‘where would you rather me buy the books from?‘ or in other words, in which case do I (Lani, me) get the most profit without the middle man taking it?

For the ebooks, I still get decent royalties no matter where you buy them from, but if I had to choose, I would say buy them from either Amazon, Smashwords, or Gumroad. Why? Because I am in direct control of these sites. Though I know readers have to purchase them based on whatever device they have/where they have an account, these sites allow me to keep the largest amount of money without another party taking it. I reach other sites (like Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, etc) through Smashwords. So while that is quick and easy, those other retailers also take a cut when you buy from them, and by the time it gets back to me, it’s a smaller amount.

Smashwords and Gumroad allow a host of different file types, and since I am in control and get a bigger percentage, sometimes I can charge less and still make more! (For example, if you know to LOOK for me on Gumroad, the prices there are actually much cheaper, and in some cases you can even choose what to pay!) Still, there is something to be said for buying them from larger retailers. I’m willing to take a cut to get some good reviews and encourage more people to find me.

Also, international sales cut me out as well, but that can’t be helped. But I’m pretty sure Smashwords and Gumroad don’t care where you’re from (who you are or what you did). It works the same way. 🙂 (But the prices are listed in USD)

For the print books: I don’t know if this works for sales outside the US, but if you want most of the money to come to ME, you’ll have to buy from the CreateSpace store.  The thing about that is, I actually have to give you the link. You can’t just go on there and find it. You have to know it’s there first. So….I’m telling you. Here are the links.

Nevermor

Forsaken Dreamscape

Roses and Black Glass

The People in the Rickety House

I get the biggest cut from the print book if you buy it through CreateSpace, however, buying from larger sites helps to improve my sales ranks there, which makes me more likely to be seen by new readers… all of it is very sticky. Would I rather have the money or the exposure. Hm… Well, it’s not really up to me.

Alternatively, if you just have to have the print book, I would tell you to PLEASE buy it from Amazon if possible.

Let me give it to you straight. I’ve always been willing to be honest about it: I make more off the ebook than the print version – but oddly, I get more excited about a sale when it’s in print. To think that someone was willing to pay the higher price to have the printed version on their shelf makes me happy. 🙂 Even though it costs a lot more, I actually get paid less for the print version. So, if you buy Nevermor (for example)through the CreateSpace store, you’ll pay 14.99, and I’ll get half of that price, all just for me! If you buy it from Amazon, you’ll pay 14.99 (Or I think it’s discounted at 13.49) and I get a modest 3.58. Not terrible. If you buy it through Barnes and Noble (which counts as extended distribution), you’ll pay 14.99. Guess how much I get…0.58. … *crickets* I’m dead serious. It hurts me. Some new readers might stumble upon the book and want to buy, but for those of you in the know, please don’t buy from anywhere other than Amazon or CreateSpace!

So those are my preferences, but to each his own.

Amazon listings in all countries should be carrying this book. I have only been throwing the links around for the US order page, but you should be able to find it on any Amazon page, however it is only available in English! If you wish to find it, try seeking ‘Lani Lenore’ instead of Nevermor. That tends to work better.

US

UK

Canada

Australia

France

India

Mexico

Spain

Italy

Japan

China

Germany

Brazil

Other places:

Australia

http://www.fishpond.com.au/Books/Nevermor-Lani-Lenore/9781482638400

http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/book/nevermor/41443224/

Book World – http://www.bookworld.com.au/book/nevermor/41443224/

Croatia

http://www.superbookshop.net/index.php?page=book&ean=9781482638400

South Africa

http://www.loot.co.za/product/lani-lenore-nevermor/fpln-2609-g000

http://www.wantitall.co.za/Lani-Lenore/Books/Author/Filter/p1

India

Book Adda – http://www.bookadda.com/books/nevermor-volume-1-lani-lenore-1482638401-9781482638400

New Zealand

The Nile – http://www.thenile.co.nz/books/Lani-Lenore/Nevermor/9781482638400/

***Helpful Hint – If you run your own search through your favorite retailer to see if they carry Nevermor, it helps to add my name to it. You’ll get a lot of weird results, and the search always wants to change ‘Nevermor’ to ‘Nevermore’. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there! Just search ‘Lani Lenore’ or ‘Nevermor Lani Lenore‘ to find it.***

NaNoWriMo 2013

2013-Participant-Facebook-ProfileIt’ll be National Novel Writing Month again soon (November) and I don’t miss it if I can help it! The first time I tried it, I was unsure about the ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ approach, and my first attempt failed, but after discovering that I could plan ahead of time and pace myself in writing, I am now able to love NaNoWriMo, and I try to do it every year. After planning, I enjoy pushing myself to hit the wordcount everyday and finishing off with a good chunk of story!  (I rarely finish any novel during NaNo) Last year, I was working on Nevermor during NaNo. This year, I believe I’ll be adjusting Forsaken Dreamscape and starting Book 3 in the Nevermor trilogy!

I’m going to try not to let NaNo interfere too much with what I need to do for Nevermor and Forsaken Dreamscape, but it does mean I’ll be extra busy. I still intend to be active with the blog and keep you updated with news as I go along, but at the same time I need to get at least 50,000 words written during the month! It’s going to get a little hectic, but I’m up for it.

For those who are also doing NaNo this year, I welcome you to join me (L.C. Lenore), friend me, get some writing done, and even work to keep ahead of me if you want to. 🙂

In Nevermor news, I’m still trucking along with Forsaken Dreamscape and preparing it for publication! Even though I’ve already released a few of my books, it’s still exciting to have another book out for sale (and especially in print, which is my favorite thing!!). I’ve been more focused on the Nevermor series than any of my other works, but after this year I plan to focus on bringing a few of my other stories to the world, and maybe even write something new!

I have also been promising that Roses and Black Glass will be out in print, and I have a lot of that set up as well, but I haven’t managed to get the cover put together, which I find is the most difficult part. It’s great when I hire someone to do it for me, but when I’m preparing the file myself (with my crappy graphics programs) it never fails to annoy me seriously! But I’ll get there before too long I hope.

The World of Forsaken Dreamscape

Since I’ve already posted the official book description, I feel that it’s not too far off base for me to post this. Personally, I like my readers to be completely surprised, but I know people like information about projects. So! I wrote this out.

If you don’t want anything to be spoiled, then don’t read, but I don’t feel like I’ve spoiled anything major. The book is meant to portray the mystery. 🙂

The World of Forsaken Dreamscape310847

Years have passed, the seasons fade

A sacred world bleeds; dark decay…

I like to use foreshadowing and leads, and so you may have noticed that the end of Nevermor left things a bit incomplete.  I introduced a new element at the end: a strange, shadowy darkness coming toward the island over the sea of dreams.  What exactly is this ominous shadow? No one seemed to know at the time.  Maybe they still don’t, but that darkness didn’t go away, and now, four years later, it lingers in Nevermor.

Though Nevermor was never a particularly safe place to those who are weak and inexperienced, it is even more dangerous now.  It is certainly not what Wren is expecting when she is able to return 4 years later.

The island has been given to chaos. The sea is black, washing up bones and ship wreckage from the depths onto the gravel-like sand.  But it is not the beach alone. The different realms have been tainted by an unusual darkness, much like when the Scourge steps across the land, only on a world-wide scale. But does the Scourge have something to do with it? Many believe so, but others are unsure, believing that a different sort of evil has come upon them.

There are no more dreams in Nevermor. Only nightmares.

The whereabouts of the Rifter are unknown. Once the guardian of the realm, he has not been seen in years, and many think he is dead. Likewise, however, the Scourge has also failed to reemerge. The wolf pack has been disbanded, and those boys who were once linked to Rifter through the Vow are on their own. They have gone their own way and are living their own lives.  Time has taken over them, and they have begun to age. Only they know the truth about what happened, but their memories are fading by the day.  The world seems to be aware of the disruption, leading the other inhabitants of the world to lose hope that Nevermor will ever be what it was.

There is a prophecy in 4 verses that have been etched onto several large rocks on a cliff-face, and the people of Nevermor know those words. Many have given the words their own interpretations, but one thing seems clear: there is a demon in their midst, and soon events will lead to a war unlike the world has ever seen.

After waiting for years, Wren is able to return to Nevermor in order to face what it has become, to bring the pack together again and discover the source of the darkness so that it might be reversed.

—–

*Image above is not officially associated with the Nevermor trilogy*

Gothic Book Challenge – The Blackwood Cult

Now for my next book in the Gothic Book Challenge!

blackwoodcultThe Blackwood Cult – T.A. Waters

158 pgs

Published 1968

Come Home to Evil

Blackwood was Wendy Markham’s too-well-remembered upstate home town. A town of suspicions, squabbles, hatred and fear. A town, she recalled, that had even cast out poor Katy Campbell as a witch and forced her to live in a deserted church…

Yet Wendy went home again, called for by her family — into a nightmare more terrifying than her blackest memories.

For she finds a weird witchcult has taken over Blackwood. But is Katy Campbell really its leader? Wendy doubts this, but the grave words of a mysterious Dr. Nine increases her dread. SOMEONE is trying to kill her. Can it be either, both…or Todd Raymond, the one man she is forced to trust? At the bizarre church, horror closes in on Wendy when, tracked by a faceless killer, she knows she has no place to hide!

Overview:

Wendy Markham gets a mysterious letter from her aunt, urging her to come home from school in London for the sake of her uncle, but it is not entirely clear why. Wendy does as she is asked, hopping on a boat to travel back to New York. On the ship, she meets a somewhat eccentric young man named Todd, and as the ship gets closer to docking, she finds herself falling in love with him. But there are still truths to face.

Todd works for a mysterious man named Doctor Nine, who is highly educated but it seems his specialty is studying murder. Dr. Nine also seemed to know something of Blackwood and even of Wendy herself. He knows of her, and he knows her uncle.  He doesn’t know why she has been summoned to Blackwood, but he does give her an interesting bit of information:

Her father’s death may not have been an accident, and Katy Campbell might have been involved.

Wendy, orphaned as a young girl, found a kindred spirit in Katy Campbell, who had also lost both of her parents, but there were always whispers about Katy.  Many said she was a witch.  In fact, Wendy originally left Blackwood because of such whispers.  Now they say that Blackwood has been taken over by an unusual group called the Blackwood cult, and Katy may well be the leader of it.

Wendy doesn’t believe any of it. Katy may be strange, but she’s not a dangerous person. But when she arrives, she begins to wonder if her reason for being summoned home is more sinister than she thinks.

Review:

Out of the 27 Gothic books currently in my cache, I chose this one on a whim. I had meant to lay them all out, face down, read over the descriptions and then pick the ones that sounded the most appealing to read first without letting the covers influence me.  Well, after I finished Dark Over Acadia, I was getting ready for work one day, running late, and I realized that I didn’t have anything to read! So I sorted through a couple of books that were at the top of the box and wound up grabbing this one.

Completely random choice. And judging by the description, it was not one I would have chosen by that alone.

But that said, I enjoyed this book – mostly.

Plot: This book was short, so there was not really a lot of building. The introduction of the mystery was immediate. Wendy wonders why she has been called back home, and there is some worrying over her old friend, Katy, who others always claimed to be a witch. It is rumored that there is an entire witchcult in Blackwood now and that Katy is the leader of it, but after all that buildup and some hints of the reasons that Wendy fled from Blackwood in the first place, those things never actually came to light! I was very interested in knowing the events that happened in the past that drove Wendy away, and what exactly her friendship/relationship with Katy was like in the past, but they were only hinted to. That, to me, was a major letdown. I felt like the writer started off really well and then bailed on the story just to finish the book. OR maybe some of that information was cut in the original draft. No way to know, but I felt the story suffered for it.

In the end, this book – like the last – played out like a murder mystery once again instead of what I’d hoped. Though there was a lot of mystery about past events, the main plot centered around a ‘locked room’ murder, which could presumably only be done by someone who could walk through walls.

The book description was not quite accurate either. There was no witchcult, and no one was actually trying to kill Wendy until the end when she found some evidence that would mark the killer.  Her instance of fleeing for her life was very brief.

Setting: There are actually 2 houses and a small chapel in this story. Both houses are large and sprawling, and both seem to have a history – though briefly explored. One is the house Wendy grew up in; the other is Katy Campbell’s mysterious mansion. There were a few creepy instances within the houses, but I had to wait until nearly the end of the book before I really got what I wanted from the dark, ominous setting.

Writing: This book was written in third person. The writing was pretty good, had good pacing and I felt that the writer had control over the words. The characters were brought out well.  Once again, typos (did they not have editors in the 60s???) As the book went on, I think it had more and more mistakes.

Characters: Wendy Markham, the main character, was likeable. She certainly had more of a personality than the female lead in the last book I read. She seemed to have a past instead of being plopped down in the middle of the story for the sake of the plot. She had fears and concerns, relevant suspicions – except with Todd. At the beginning, she meets Todd, and he comes off as a bit strange. I was suspicious of him, but Wendy wasn’t at first. Then, suddenly a few days later, they’re in love! (Go figure) But as the story went on, these characters did have some chemistry and after a while I was on board. Wendy was not a bad character (the others were not quite mind-blowing, but they served their purpose) but her story was not explored as it could have been.

If this was a story that someone had asked me to read for them, I would have told them that they needed to edit, and they should have explored the past a bit more.

Rating: 3

—————————

Hope you enjoyed the review. 🙂 If you want to check out my own rickety house smallerGothic horror story, have a look at The People in the Rickety House, which is available as an ebook and in print!

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

General Nevermor Update – October 2013

As a general update, I just finished reading through Forsaken Dreamscape and am preparing to do so again. Currently, it rests at a little over 143K – a bit shorter than Nevermor, but longer than it was in it’s first form. I’m getting together a few more sneak peeks and info, which will include revealing the cover, so get ready for that!!

It is currently my aim to release Forsaken Dreamscape on February 11, 2014. That’s a Tuesday, and is exactly 4 months away! Before that, however, I intend to offer Forsaken Dreamscape up for preorder, but that’s sort of a new thing and I haven’t read into it yet. I just know it’s possible. I’ll give more info on that when I get ready for it, but I have to finish it first. :p

I’m still preparing to submit Nevermor to Indie book contests. I’m currently waiting for some info, but it would be sooo nice to be able to say it won an award! It might get me some of the attention I need for this series (or at least would look great on the cover). So, I’m still busy. Very busy. But that said, a big thanks to those of you who have given me donations through the site!! I’ll be using that money to help with the costs for entering the contests.

In addition to all that, I’m gearing up for NaNoWriMo this year, during which I plan to start work on Book 3. It feels a bit strange to be starting book 3 when the second hasn’t even been released yet, but I feel the need to get going and get my thoughts together so I can make sure the books go together properly. Then I can continue working on it next year and rewrite if necessary. So, even though I’m going to be working on that, I won’t be posting information about book 3 until much later, after Forsaken Dreamscape has been released.

Oh, and if you’ve recently been looking to purchase the print version of Nevermor, you might have noticed that it is not available at this time through booksellers. That’s because I’m currently updating the files, but know that it will return soon, better than ever!

Gothic Book Challenge – Dark Over Acadia

For my first old Gothic book, I present to you…

Dark Over Acadia – Anne TalmageDark Over Acadia

Published 1971 – Read October 2013

239 pgs.

Description from book:

House of False Love…  Diana Latham came more than a thousand miles to Devereau House…to find her friend Lucy Devereau struck down by a terrible accident, imprisoned in her bed by paralysis that denied her movement, or even speech.  But was it an accident?  Or was it a horrible plot?  Lucy’s family seemed to accept the first, and when Diana questioned other possibilities, they refused to listen.  But the Devareau family carried a dark curse, one that they could not keep hidden; someone…or something…seemed determined to strike them down.  Soon Diana was drawn into the maelstrom of building terror…and it seemed as though her only escape would be through death!

Overview:

Diana Latham meets Lucy Devereau overseas while working with the Peace Corps, and they become best friends. A year ahead of time, Diana makes a plan to visit her friend Lucy for a summer at her family home – a rustic, plantation house in Louisiana – and is surprised on her arrival to find that Lucy has suffered a horrible accident in their time apart.  It seems that a statue fell over on her, crushed her spine and left her paralyzed except for a small bit of movement in her right hand. The family – Lucy’s seemingly decrepit father, the crow-like governess who raised her, an overly protective nurse, a handsome cousin and his secretary/lover – don’t seem to think anything is amiss, but after seeing her friend as a prisoner in a large iron bed and witnessing the look in her eyes, Diana is suddenly suspicious.

At her friend’s side, Diana and Lucy work out a secret code that allows them to communicate, based on the tapping of one finger, and Diana gets her first messages of warning and danger. She should leave the house. But she can’t bear to leave her friend – not before she knows exactly what happened to her.

With the aid of Lucy’s attractive but volatile brother Tony, Diana finds out that Lucy was in a small chapel behind the house when the incident occurred, kneeling before a statue when it fell over on her.  The event has never quite set well with Tony either, it seems, and Diana also learns that there seems to be some kind of curse on the Devareau family.  So many of the women die young, including Lucy and Tony’s mother.  Is Lucy subject to some curse?  What secrets does this family have to hide?  And most importantly, will Diana survive all the attempts that are made on her life – or did she simply imagine them?

Review:

I chose to read this one first because I had seen it mentioned previously on another blog, and that reviewer had thought favorably of it – or at least that’s what I had perceived until I looked again, and found they only liked the cover…

In the beginning, I was very excited about it.  It started out well, jumping right into the action with the main character driving toward her destination, meeting the reality of her friend’s condition. It certainly had me going for a bit, but as it went on, it was less and less impressive to me.

Plot: The overall plot was interesting in the beginning, but in the end, played out more like a murder mystery.  Even though there was introduction of a few supernatural elements – a curse and a seer – those things didn’t have as much impact as I might have liked. The main events mostly consisted of  the main character trying to see her friend but being thwarted by an overprotective nurse, her interacting with two potential love interests who were pretty boring, a not-so-creepy swamp rat, and a few boring attempts on her life.

The book was clean: There was no sex, no bad language,  not really much drama. Nah, there really wasn’t much flavor at all.

The peril consisted mostly of warnings, a bit of trouble from an unusual hermit, and a rather lame murder attempt with a pitchfork falling from a hayloft.

Writing:  The writing was not terrible. The story jumped right into the action and the setting was described well. Oddly, there were a few typos! But they weren’t so bad that I couldn’t read over them. It was written in third person, but really lacked the skill to make me feel close to the characters, which is really important even when writing in third.

Setting: In this type of story, the setting is as important as any other element. The ‘house’ is as much of a character as the female lead. In this story, the house was not so important. There was really very little emphasis on the house and more attention to the small chapel in the woods, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t very creepy.

Characters: The main character, Diana, was just sort of there – an instrument in solving the mystery of what happened to her friend as an outsider, but I couldn’t help but feel like she just didn’t have a personality. The author wrote her with a bit of snarky dialogue, there was a hint at an unfortunate childhood, but there wasn’t enough of here there for me to know her or like her.  She was also faced with a love triangle of sorts between two very different guys who she has only known for, oh, a day.  She had romantic interludes with both, but I really didn’t feel that she was into either of them that much.

All in all, it was just a little too tame for me. I was hoping for a haunting story full of twists, drama, memorable characters but I wasn’t really feeling it. Still, to say that I finished it says something.  I felt it was written more like a mystery than the dark, dangerous story I was looking for.

Rating: Ultimately, I give it 2.5 Stars

—————————

Hope you enjoyed the review. 🙂 If you want to check out my own rickety house smallerGothic horror story, have a look at The People in the Rickety House, which is available as an ebook and in print!

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo