What’s new in my world

Well, it’s that time to update my status.  Not that much has happened to me over the past month.  My biggest surprise was being awarded 2015 Best Reviewer by Epilogues Book Club.  I didn’t have a clue until they presented me with the award.  Thank you so much.  This means a lot to me as I am a reader first and foremost.  I became a writer by default, then turned into a book reviewer when I was trying to find content for my blog.

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When I look back over my first book reviews, I shake my head.  Did I really write that tripe?  I had a tendency to be a bit judgmental. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, I can show a little more leniency with proofreading errors.   But, it won’t get you my 5 feather rating.

On other news, my 99c promo for We Journey No More did pretty well.  It didn’t hit #1 in it’s category, but It did get #8, much better than the previous promotion.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,496 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
· #8 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Time Travel
· #15 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Time Travel
· #21 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Time Travel

My narrator is still working on another book, so I’m not sure when it will be released on audio book format.  To be honest, after seeing how royalties are being paid for The Secret of Excalibur, I’m not in a hurry.  When we do cost sharing for the production fees, we don’t really make that much.
And speaking of The Secret of Excalibur, it will be on sale again from 2-20-16 to 2-26-16.  So, if  you haven’t picked up your copy yet, mark your calendars.  Of course, you can buy it now if you want.  *wink, wink*

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What about the sequel?  I’m glad you asked.  I’m making good progress, and started chapter 14 today.  I’ve joined a few Facebook groups to help me stay focused on my goal of getting all the revisions done and into beta readers hands by the end of February.  I want it published by the end of March.
As for my publisher, Creativia, we just signed a contract for them to republish It Lives in the Basement.  Why in the world would you do that?  You’re a self-published writer.

My answer: I never wanted to be a self-published author.  Oh, I started off as one just to get my first books out there, but when it came to The Secret of Excalibur, I knew I wanted a publisher.  Of course, I had my eyes set on traditional ones, but I’d already gone that route.  I knew it would be near impossible.  After doing a lot of research, I found they don’t much for their authors anyway.  You do have to pay back your advances, with interest.  NO WAY!  Not to mention all the horror stories about the smaller, indie presses.  Most of them are rip-offs.
But I found Creativia, and they have been just AWESOME.  They pay for our promotions, which most publishers don’t.  With my full-time job, I barely have time to write, read books/leave reviews, and my own marketing.  So it’s nice to leave them with the scheduling of my book promos.  That leaves me money to apply toward other types of marketing, like FB ads, or paying an event planner for special events.
I have several friends who don’t understand my decision.  When they put their books on sale, they can only afford the free sites for promotion, thus their sales are less than stellar.  They want that #1 Amazon Bestseller title, but they can’t afford to pay for it.
I look at this way.  I’d rather share my money with a publisher that can generate more sales than I can on my own.  More sales, more money.  It’s a no brainer.
Anyway, speaking of Amazon Bestseller titles, I’ve read several posts from other authors that claim placing the Readers’ Favorite or the Amazon #1 Bestseller badges on a book cover doesn’t influence a reader. They don’t care about awards.  They only care about how well the book is written.  Well, to me, getting a Readers’ Favorite badge means the book has to have some merit to earn the 5 star review.  Though, I have to admit, I’ve read some books that earned the 5 star badge, but I didn’t think they were well-written.
What are your thoughts?  I’d really like to know.

As a teaser, I’m posting the first chapter of The Revenge of Excalibur.  Bear in mind, this is a first draft and unedited.

CHAPTER ONE

Army boots: stomping, smashing the daisy with the blue center.
Arthur Merlin jerked his head back. He’d been so entranced with the fathomless, turquoise eyes of the breathtaking female before him; he’d lost all track of time. He blinked his eyes several times, shaking his head, trying to clear his mind. As he became aware of his surroundings, he heard the dripping of water into the small, inner cavern lake, the shuffling of equipment being set-up, and the echoing of voices off the distant walls.
The image flashed through his mind again, more forcefully. Army boots: squashing, grinding the daisy with the blue center, into the cavern floor, until there wasn’t anything left but small, unidentifiable pieces.
Oh, shit. Major Breckenridge and Alpha Team. He’d forgotten all about them. Arthur had a lot of respect for the Major, especially after everything they’d gone through at Heathrow Airport and Lake George, but he couldn’t let Daisy fall into their hands. If she did, who knew what would happen to the evil entity trapped in the legendary Excalibur? Daisy was the only one who could control it. Just thinking about the Shalit escaping its prison, made Arthur break out in a cold sweat. He’d already had his confrontation with the alien being, and lost. If it hadn’t been for Daisy, he’d be dead. Arthur had to find a way to save Daisy, and keep the Shalit contained.
He glanced at the tunnel entrance, where Major Breckenridge and Dr. Tober were striding purposefully toward him. He peered back down at Daisy. She was looking up at him with such love and trust. His breath caught, as he found himself falling under her spell. He shook his head. No, he couldn’t let himself get mesmerized again. She was in danger, he had to save her.
Grey eyes over daisy with blue center, and then they disappeared.
*Yes, baby, I’m getting you out of here,* he mentally reassured her.
But to where? Daisy still needed medical attention. Who could he trust? Ruth. Ruth would help them. She knew about the Shalit, and the need to keep it contained. Thinking about Ruth, made Arthur’s heart tear apart, he knew he had hurt her. After Viet Nam, he couldn’t get close to anyone anymore. Too much senseless death had scarred his heart. Then he met Ruth, and all that changed. He’d felt love again.
Looking down at the woman in his arms, he wondered, if he hadn’t met Ruth, would his heart be as open as it was now to Daisy? He shook his head. There was no way to know, but he was starting to feel like a pawn in a game of kismet. With a sad sigh, he knew that didn’t matter right now. He had to get Daisy to safety. He’d deal with the emotional side of this later. He gathered Daisy into his arms, focusing on Ruth’s home in Waite Water, and the beautiful garden behind the house. Locating the bench, where Arthur had stolen his first kiss from Ruth, he BLIPPED!
Arthur stumbled back a few steps, falling on his butt, clutching Daisy tightly to his chest. A second later, there was a loud clattering, as a large, ornate, silver sword dropped from Daisy’s hand. What the hell? he thought in confusion, as he found himself sitting on a cold, metal floor, instead of the stone bench. How did Excalibur get here? He had no reason to bring the sword with them. He was terrified of the damn thing. Where the hell were they? How did they get here? He peered down at Daisy, with concern. She seemed to be unconscious and barely breathing. What happened to her? She was just fine a few moments ago.
Hearing loud gasps above him, he looked up, seeing three women, with matching silver uniforms and black piping, holding weapons that reminded him of ray guns from science fiction films he’d seen before. If he didn’t know better, he would’ve thought he was on a movie set.
“So, who are you with?” Arthur asked jokingly, “Hans Solo, or Darth Vader?”
The pale women didn’t seem amused, as the tallest one demanded in accented English, “Earthman, you hold our leader. Place her on the floor and back away, or we will fire, and end your human existence.” Her weapon was pointed unwaveringly at Arthur’s forehead.
Even though the ray guns looked like toys to him, he had no idea what they might do to his force-field.  Just my luck, he thought, I jumped from the frying pan into the fire. He carefully laid Daisy on the floor, then stood, arms raised, and reluctantly backed up a few steps, glaring, with narrowed eyes, at the space woman. As he glanced over the round, metal room, he realized he must be in one of the ships that escaped from the cavern.
Loud alarms started blaring, and orange lights were flashing from the domed ceiling. A women sitting at a console, swiveled around in her chair, yelling, “Attack! Seven Calen ship are attacking us. They demand our surrender, and the release of Emeara and the Earthmen to them, or they will open fire. What shall we do, Commander Tigget?”
The tall space woman’s pale lips tightened, as she peered down at her leader, lying helplessly on the floor.
Daisy’s eyelids fluttered as she slowly opened them to regard her best friend. She had used most of her energy to redirect Arthur’s teleportation to this Calen ship. She could not allow the humans to capture her, or the Excalibur-Shalit would’ve endangered the whole universe. She looked up at her Grey Eyes, the only man powerful enough to save them from the seven Calen ships. *Tig, you must trust this human,* she said, in a weak mental voice, reaching out to Tigget and Arthur with her mind. “He is the one foretold by our ancestors.*
Commander Tigget glanced back and forth from her leader, and friend, to the human male, but never lowered her weapon.
*Tig, if we wish to survive, you must turn the battle over to him,* said Daisy, telepathically. *Arthur, we cannot allow ourselves to be taken. We will die before we surrender. You two must join forces, to protect, and save us.*
With a slight nod to her leader, Tig holstered her gun, as Arthur lowered his arms, and knelt next to Daisy. Tig strode to a row of screens, nit a button, and all of them turned on, displaying seven ships. So, these are the aliens that have been watching Earth, Arthur thought, as he stared open mouthed at the classic style of UFO’s, seen for centuries all over his planet.
Tig looked at the other two space woman holding ray guns. “Holster your weapons. Upon our leader’s request, we must trust this human.” As they holstered their guns, she spoke to another woman at a different console, “Inform the Commander of the Calen ships that we will never surrender. If they wish to die in battle, we shall accommodate them.” While her message was being relayed to the Commander of the opposing fleet, Tig turned to Arthur, looking him up and down with a cold eye. *I know not what you can do, if anything, to save us, but you must act fast. If they fire upon us, we are dead.”
How is a poor Earth kid from St. Mary’s Orphanage supposed to destroy a Calen ship, let alone seven? Arthur wondered. Even with all his powers, he knows he’s not strong enough. Hell, nobody would be. He rubbed his forehead, feeling overwhelmed. Everything’s happening too fast for him to keep up. He’s supposed to be in Ruth’s garden, not in the middle of a stupid space battle. Arthur knelt there, unmoving, not knowing what to do.
Daisy weakly raised her arm, pointing toward the silver sword. “Arthur, all you need do is touch the tip of Excalibur, and you shall destroy the ships. You must hurry.”
Arthur recoiled back in fear. Touch Excalibur? Is she crazy? He still hadn’t fully recovered from the mental contact he’d had with the Shalit in the cavern. Heaven knows what would happen if he actually touched the damn thing. No way. In his mind came an image of a white daisy, with a blue center, and over the center of the flower a pair of grey eyes floated down. He was infused with such warmth and joy; it brought tears of happiness to his eyes. A white beam flashed out, touching the daisy, leaving it burnt and wilted. Okay. Okay. He got the picture. If he didn’t try, Daisy would die. They all would.
Peering down at Daisy, he said, “I have no idea what’s going on, or how we got here, but I trust you, baby. I’ll destroy those ships for you.” He took a deep breath, preparing himself for the worst kind of pain imaginable. Focusing hard on the seven Calen ships, with creases around his mouth, and on his forehead, he reached out and grabbed the tip of the sword. His eyes widened in surprise, as all he felt was cold, silver steel.
“Cigsbah,” Tigget yelled, pointing at the screens. “They have fired upon us, my leader.”
The room became deathly silent as all eyes followed the white beam heading toward their ship. Abruptly, all screens lit up as the seven ships exploded into bright, white balls of fire. Arthur threw up his arm to shield his eyes from the sudden glare. Cheering and yelling broke out in the small, round room, as the crew celebrated their victory. Arthur wasn’t cheering, as he watched that thin, white line advance toward them. He had no idea what it was, but he knew it meant trouble. How had he destroyed those ships? He wasn’t powerful enough. At least, he didn’t think he was.
Arthur watched the screen, as the menacing white line crept closer and closer, until it couldn’t be seen on the screens anymore, as it was too close to their ship. Bracing for he knew not what, he watched the beam breach the hull and enter the room. Arthur stared, speechless, as the beam traveled soundlessly across the room, hitting his hand where it was still gripping the tip of Excalibur, causing a flash of light to shoot out from the sword. As Arthur looked in astonishment at the deep gouge on the back of his hand, the light passed through the opposite wall, breaching that hull.  What the hell was that? Arthur wondered, terrified. It had penetrated his force-field. His stomach clenched in fear, and his hand throbbed in pain, as he realized he was no longer invincible, at least not out here in space.
Daisy’s voice screamed into his mind, *Remove all of us from here, Arthur, before we implode.*
Arthur didn’t need to be told twice. Once again, he focused on Ruth’s garden, wanting to get back home where he knew he was safe. Concentrating on everyone in the room, he BLIPPED!

About Sahara Foley

Bio: Until my husband died on Christmas 2012, I never thought about becoming a writer. In fact, the act of writing a story terrified me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved reading, just never had the knack for writing. The thought of writing dialogue scared the bejeebers out of me. See, Bob was the writer. He wrote stories for years but could never get a traditional publisher interested enough to publish even one. Now I understand why, as they were unpolished outlines. Then, after 30 years together, Bob passed away and my life was turned upside down. About a month later, I was sitting around my apartment, trying to adjust to the worst event in my life, when a little voice spoke to me. Why not publish Bob’s stories? To be truthful, ever since the advent of self-publishing, I always wanted too, that’s how much I believed in his stories. But I knew I would have to fight him for every little change I made to his outlines. Sorry, honey, but they had to be done. So, I pulled out the box of stories, dusted them off, and started on a new adventure: The World of Self-Publishing. Boy, did I have a lot to learn. I finally published several short stories early in 2014, then my horror novella, It Lives in the Basement. While I was working on them, I was slowly learning the craft of writing, and getting The Secret of Excalibur ready for publication. Excalibur was my favorite story of them all, and in the back of my mind, I knew I wanted a publisher. One day on Twitter, I ran across a tweet from Creativia Publishing, and that was another game changer for me. I signed up with them in December of 2014, and it was the best decision I’ve made. One thing I’ve discovered on my new adventure, are all the really awesome and talented Indie Authors. If you find the right community of Indie Authors, all they want to do is help each other. I found that I love promoting them and their books, so that’s how I setup my blog. For readers to meet Indie Authors. Anyway, enough about me. Here’s all my contact information: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/booksbysaharafoley Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaharaFoley Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/saharafoley/ Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SaharaFoley/posts Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sahara-Foley/e/B00J9ST32U/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
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