Author: Lizbeth Page 2 of 6

Ebook Giveaway

 

I am running a giveaway on my Facebok page. Winner gets a free copy of my ebook the Theater of Dusk! To participate, please go to my Facebook page here. The rules are simple, and you get a free copy of my book if you are the winner. Giveaway runs until the 31st of January.

Please be aware that the book contains material some readers may find shocking or offensive. Also, there are strong emotional triggers. Themes include BDSM, suicide, murder, violence, blood, scarification, non-consensual sex, M/M sex. If any of these offend you or could act as triggers, please refrain from participating. Also, please be aware that some stories contain material suitable only for adults. (+18)  

Thank you, please share this post, and good luck!

Jordan L.Hawk-Widdershins book cover

The end of the world… or not.

Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk

(2.5 out of 5 stars)*

Hm.

I really enjoyed the Magpie lord series. I figured the series Whyborne & Griffin would be similar, and picked Widdershins, the first book. I was quite wrong. Here is a list of reasons I disliked it.

1) Percival, the protagonist of the story, has abysmal self-esteem. Page after page I kept reading his “oh, poor me” inner dialogue and wanted to slap him back to his senses, or just slap him. Poor Percival who can speak 13 languages, grew up in a rich family and yet he’s as socially adept as a mute blindfolded crippled orangutan. It didn’t make sense and quickly grew tiring and started grating on my nerves.

2) The handsome stranger (in this case, a detective) who enters his life has issues too, underneath the flair, swagger and bravado. I found it predictable and honestly, boring.

3) Percival’s only friend is a strong female character who quickly becomes insufferable. She is the voice of reason, yet she is overbearing and irritating in her own special way. I don’t mean she ought to be more lady-like and fragile. She barges into Percival’s office whenever she needs to unwind by ranting or use his services as a translator, and won’t take no for an answer. I would have politely told her to get stuffed and shut the door in her face, but maybe that’s just me.

4) The other thing I didn’t like was the mixture of romance and cosmic horror elements. I enjoy romance and adore H.P. Lovecraft. A good combination can make the romance hotter and the horror colder. In this book they have a detrimental effect on each other. More often than not, the two genres get in each other’s way, toning down the horror element and making the romance feel out of place. I felt I was reading two separate books that somehow got mixed together, and it did not get better. I had the mental image of a hearse driver and a can-can dancer playing basketball in a tiny room stuffed with furniture. Whenever one of them was about to score a point, they tripped on each other or the furniture.

5) Oh, by the way. The “world is about to end” thing… ugh. Generally speaking, the end of the world is not something easy to happen, otherwise it would have happened every Saturday night. Do you have any idea how many weirdos exist out there, and I mean in real life? If a team of occultists could bring about the end of the world just because the stars are are aligned in whichever way, we would all be screwed. If the stars were indeed at an unusual and rare position, I for one would have expected more ‘warnings’, in the form of natural phenomena taking place all over Percival’s world, i.e. earthquakes, volcanoes, strange plagues, rains of animals etc. It’s not an event like an outsider winning the badminton championship, that can pass unnoticed if you’re not into badminton. On a clusterfuck scale of one to ten this is a solid eleven, so let’s just treat it with some respect, OK?

To sum up, Widdershins  is not a bad book. I’ve read books that can open holes in reality by how bad they were. I sometimes think Necronomicon was in reality a YA abomination later to be turned into a fully-fledged franchise, and that’s why it drove occultists mad. Well, Widdershins definitely isn’t one of those. It’s well-written and it has its moments. I guess it just didn’t work for me.

*My star rating and what it means: 
 
Zero stars: Why me?!?  I do come across books that aren’t really books, but brain damage in disguise. For reasons you can all understand, I won’t be publishing reviews on them. I tend to become enraged and say things I later on regret.
One star: Meh… I didn’t like it and won’t be keeping it. It might be the book, or it might be me. I’ll try to clarify in my review.
Two stars: Average/ Okay. Either the kind of light/ undemanding book you read and don’t remember in a month, or suffering from flaws that prevented it from realising its potential.
Three stars: Better than average. Good moments, memorable characters and/ or plot, maybe good sense of humour… Not to die for, but not feeling like you wasted your time and money either.
Four stars: Wow, that was good! Definitely keeping it and checking to see what else I can buy from the same writer.
Five stars: Oh. My. Goodness. The kind of book you buy as a gift to all your friends, praise to random strangers on the bus, and re-read until the pages fall out and the corners are no longer corners, but round.

Reviewers needed for my wee monster!

I am desperately looking for reviewers. I am particularly interested in reviewers who can publish on both Goodreads and Amazon. PLEASE be warned, my book contains strong triggers: BDSM, suicide, murder, violence, blood, non-con sex etc. If you have 10+ reviews on Goodreads and you’re interested, please message me for an ebook. In order to confirm your Goodreads account, you will need to message me from Goodreads. If you want a physical book, due to my very tight budget (unemployed at the moment) I can send out one book per month. PLEASE share!

My Goodreads profile:

 

All reviews of my work, positive, neutral or negative, are welcome. Reading a book is a completely personal experience, so an honest review is a blessing. Even a negative review is better than no review. It shows that people read my work and validates the positive reviews. So please contact me if you are interested. Thank you!

Giveaway happening now!

I hope you had a wonderful Halloween! I’ll keep this short and sweet. The giveaway has started and the book is available to all countries. Enter now for a chance to win. All you have to do is be a member of Goodreads. If you have written reviews, your chances of winning improve a lot. Don’t hesitate, you may be one of the two winners!

You can enter the giveaway here:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/261536 

If you like dark fantasy and twisted tales that don’t always have a good or moral ending, then you’ll probably love my little monster. Good luck!

Brain soup

The title is what happened to my grey matter while considering ways to override Goodreads’s system of giveaways. Their system doesn’t work for me. I give away books to possible reviewers only to discover that once they win my book, they abandon their accounts. Or fall sick. Or they habitually enter giveaways and have won hundreds of books they are supposed to review, but since their winnings are a three digit number, it might take them a couple of years (or ten). Or that they just won’t write a review, full stop. If everyone fell sick or abandoned their accounts after winning my book, I would be worried my writing is somehow responsible. You know, they read the book and suffered a stroke. Or were abducted by librarian demons. Or something.

So I am thinking about organising a giveaway through my blog. I am working out the details in my head. It’s a bit more complex than it seems, because I want to make sure participants have written a lot of reviews in Goodreads before entering my giveaway. Other than that, I am organising a new giveaway on Goodreads, too. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Wish me luck. The link is on the right upper corner of the blog and the giveaway will start on the 31st of October. Oh, and before I forget, happy Halloween!

It’s time for darkness!

Summer is here. For goths, misanthropes and dark souls, this is the worst time of the year. Sun, sweat, people. So many people. Yikes! So I decided to help you. I’ll run a promotion for the Theater of Dusk. Just 99c for the ebook and $4.99 for the physical book. Wowsers! Promotion will run from the 18st of June till the 30th. If you’ve always wondered what my writing is like, this is the perfect chance to discover it! And hey, visiting the darkest corners of my mind for just 99c… that’s a bargain, isn’t it? So grab your copy now!

You can find the book here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HV4584Q 

I’ll be more than grateful if you could share this information for any dark fantasy fans out there; forums, Facebook groups, anything. Sharing is caring and it costs nothing, but makes a world of difference to a self-published writer.

I hope you’ll enjoy the darkness (and the shade). All reviews, positive, neutral or negative, are very welcome. Thank you!

fifty shades of grey book

Fifty Shades of (Mental) Pain

I know, I know, it is an old book. It is also one that belongs to the Did-Not-Finish (And- Would- Rather- Eat- Sauteed- Pickled- Moths- Topped- With-Lanolin- Cream- Than- Continue) Category. So.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James.  
(0 out of 5 stars)*

 

I gave the Fifty shades of Grey a go though I was certain I would not like it. And I didn’t. It is badly written and extremely repetitive. The male protagonist is repulsive and needs psychiatric help. The female protagonist is a two-dimensional Mary Sue straight out of a 50s movie who can’t tell abuse from interest. The way BDSM is presented is extremely wrong and dangerous. The only person of colour is portrayed as a potential rapist. The plot is pretty much the same as that of any other insipid romance novel, only worse. The only explanation I have for its success is that people enjoy reading easy books that do not challenge them. Women in particular love the idea of saving the bad boy from his own self, because we have been taught that this is what we are born to do. Unfortunately, no-one can be saved, and books like this one glorify abusive relationships, psycho stalkers, and female passivity and victimisation. If you want to read a BDSM fantasy, there is much better erotica free on the net.

 

*My star rating and what it means: 
 
Zero stars: Why me?!?  I do come across books that aren’t really books, but brain damage in disguise. For reasons you can all understand, I won’t be publishing reviews on them. I tend to become enraged and say things I later on regret.
One star: Meh… I didn’t like it and won’t be keeping it. It might be the book, or it might be me. I’ll try to clarify in my review.
Two stars: Average/ Okay. Either the kind of light/ undemanding book you read and don’t remember in a month, or suffering from flaws that prevented it from realising its potential.
Three stars: Better than average. Good moments, memorable characters and/ or plot, maybe good sense of humour… Not to die for, but not feeling like you wasted your time and money either.
Four stars: Wow, that was good! Definitely keeping it and checking to see what else I can buy from the same writer.
Five stars: Oh. My. Goodness. The kind of book you buy as a gift to all your friends, praise to random strangers on the bus, and re-read until the pages fall out and the corners are no longer corners, but round.

Brutally honest

Ladies and gentlemen and non-binary sweethearts, good evening to you. I trust you are all good?

I haven’t been here in a while. Truth is, I have nothing noteworthy to write. I got news from the Binge Watching Cure, and though they enjoyed my short story, they won’t be publishing it. I was really disappointed, because it brought me back to square one. The problem is simple. I can’t promote my published book, the Theater of Dusk. Or rather, no matter how much I try, I see no results whatsoever. There are some logical reasons I know and can refer to. 

  • The  book is a collection of short stories. Readers prefer novels.
  • The short stories don’t belong to one genre but many. This makes it even more difficult to pitch it to an audience.
  • There are tens of thousands of new books published in Amazon every month, so mine is buried under the sheer bulk.
  • I don’t have money for advertisement.
  • I am self-published, so I don’t have a publishing house to take care of promotion and advertisement.

As a result of the above factors, I was hoping to publish my second book in order to help the first one too. But I don’t have the necessary money for editing, so that isn’t going to happen. The Binge Watching Cure collection would have helped me reach a wider audience, but they don’t want my story after all. And every other method I’ve tried so far has failed. Here are some examples:

  • I’ve contacted dozens of reviewing blogs. I haven’t heard back from any of them. Two blog owners who contacted me and said they were interested, were probably abducted by aliens because after that they vanished.
  • I have organised three giveaways in Goodreads, in which I gave away a total of ten books. Three were lost in the post and I had to post them to winners a second time. In the end, all I got was one review and two ratings. Oh wow.
  • I’ve paid for Facebook advertisements. As I said in my previous blog entry, when I do that I get sales before the advertisement, which renders the whole endeavour surreal and pretty much useless.

As you can guess from the above, I got sick of struggling. I’ve been trying and pushing and racking my brains for three years now and haven’t achieved anything, so I will no longer bother. I’ll go back to writing and try to save money in order to publish my novel. If anyone needs to contact me, please use my Facebook page. I will update this blog when I have something book-related to say, which I hope will be sooner rather than later. Other than that, I really should devote my free time to writing rather than rambling.

I hope to have good news for you soon and thanks for reading this blog. I do appreciate every pageview I got. 

Magician

Art is a cruel mistress

Art is a cruel mistress… Source: http://brilandsurrounding.tumblr.com/image/153124857372

I don’t have the necessary money for editing my novel. So for the time being, it will be shelved, or rather, stored in my hard drive until further notice. I was hoping I’d be able to publish it in 2016. The editing costs are waaaay above my paycheck. This saddens me but there is nothing I can do. I need to accept it and move on with my life.

I have discovered a unique time/ space disturbance in relation to my published book. Every time I attempt to advertise it, I get sales before the advertisement runs. Not during, not after. Before. If the same thing happened to me with the lottery numbers before the draw, I would have solved my editing issues, together with most of my problems. It wouldn’t have made my heroes real so that I can have hot experimental sex with them (did I write that? Oh dear) meet them, but pretty much everything else would be covered.

Other than that, I submitted a story from my published book the Theater of Dusk to the Binge Watching Cure. If you read their very interesting disclaimer, they want to cure your Netflix (or Amazon, Google movie, or Hulu) addiction and help you return to your first love, reading books. The editor told me he liked my story and he is considering it for publication. I will know for certain around the beginning of next year. If someone keeps in mind they receive 20-30 stories per day, I am immensely proud for the fact they are even considering it. It means I am doing something right (hopefully).

I am no longer sure what I’m doing right. At least I haven’t given up. I want to write books and publish them, though it seems harder than ever. It reminds me of something I read in the book Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. The book is the correspondence Rilke kept with a young poet. In one letter, Rilke asks the poet to try and imagine his life without writing. Let me quote:

“Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.”

Well, I’ll go insane if I don’t write, so it is not a matter of choice. We do what we must, regardless of how difficult it may be.

Uriel Serafini

Perfect Halloween companion

Picture source: https://www.facebook.com/Uriel.Serafini/

Darkness. The smell of blood in the chill wind. Footsteps behind you. A sharp breath that never becomes a scream.

Thirteen dark stories that will haunt you this Halloween…

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