Sunday, December 13, 2015

Allies and Enemies: Fallen Paperback Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Allies and Enemies by Amy J. Murphy

Allies and Enemies

by Amy J. Murphy

Giveaway ends January 13, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Monday, November 16, 2015

The road to hell is paved with adverbs

Yesterday, I saw a quote attributed to Stephen King.

It was one of those helpful-not-helpful “writer” memes on Pinterest. It goes like this:

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”

What the what?

How can you just deny the usefulness of an entire category of word? These are those colorful little word friends that hobble about with “-ly” at the end and are used to describe verbs or adjectives. They even have their own special little place on sentence diagrams. (Yes, I was/am a HUGE grammar nerd and LOVED diagramming sentences.)

It’s like that trick: Quick: Don’t think of an elephant!

The only thing you can think of is a bloody elephant.

All I could see were the adverbs buried in my manuscript like evil little ninjas. It’s discouraging. I’ve already got a really sinister “inner editor”. It’s not like that bitch needs any help.

There had to be more to it, so researched this a bit. And, like any corrupted quote, it is misrepresented. The full sentence goes like this:
“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops.” 
It’s part of a passage from Stephen King’s book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. He goes on to explain that adverbs start to spring up like dandelions on a yard. The first one or two may be a pass, but before you know it, you can have a yard full of them. The context was starting to make a bit more sense. And he introduced a more intriguing point: adverbs shouldn’t be attached to dialogue attribution. (You know the little things that are supposed to be seamless after quotes.)

I can get behind that thought. It is a lot more powerful to see something like:

“I won!” she shouted.
Instead of:
“I won!” she said loudly
One’s emotional and the other is well… lame.

So what I learn from this? There’s a context for all these “writing rules” out there. Have the brains to question them, especially the absolute ones. And I should really spend less time on Pinterest. The road to hell is paved with Pins.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Book Review Monday's

So, I'm off from my "day" job on Mondays. I like to read other people's books when I've done having one sided conversations with my laptop about the quality of the prose I'm turning out for the Allies and Enemies series. Also, I feel compelled to help out other members of the indie author community. (I'm getting better at keeping a straight face while referring to myself as an author.)

Anyway, what do these things have in common?

Reviews, I say. Book reviews. So, here's the deal: 

Every Monday I'll write a book review and post it here to my (*cough*) well-visited blog as well as Goodreads and Amazon. I'll have 1) done my good deed for the week and 2) continued to support the fantasy that people actually look at my blog. Yay!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Another Fine Idea: Print on Demand

Here's an exciting bit of news: I've decided to give print on demand a try for Allies and Enemies. Only a few days ago, I contracted a designer to finish up the cover art and I've pushed the "go" button to have the formatting done for the book interior for Amazon's Create Space. By the end of the month, I should be dangerously close to having an actual physical book of my book. (One of the actual instances in which the over-used term "literally" would be well... literal.) I'm very excited about this, considering that I'll have actual access to the sales info instead of the unfair and inexplicably frustrating situation with BookTango who has YET to deliver any sales data to me, even though its well past the 4 week mark.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Seeing stars: Amazon Reviews

I admit it. I was the kid in class that reminded teacher that he or she had forgotten we were supposed to have a quiz that day. This made me wildly unpopular. It was just part of who I was/am.

Besides, my main motivation was to get those wonderful little “A”s sketched across the top of my page of loose leaf. If I were to look at them now, I’d recognize them as the scrawl of an exhausted teacher and ultimately useless. But at the time, those precious “A”s looked like tiny Rembrandts, my personal masterpiece and evidence that someone approved of something I had done.

So I find myself reminded of those times when it comes to the reviews of my book on Amazon. There are even stars, just like 4th grade. A means of arbitrary categorization. It’s very cool to get 5 stars, mind you. It means someone had a great time reading your story. A very flattering experience. For a while, I was getting a mess of those.

Then it happened, as it was bound to, a two star rating with a review that was a little on the vicious side. Contextually, I saw this two star review just as I was still internally snoopy-dancing about the fact that Allies and Enemies: Fallen had received the top 50 for military scifi onAmazon. (Totally cool seeing my book cover on the same screen as some of the “rock gods” of the same genre.) So, to see this was a bit of a let down.

My gut tells me this one bad review is exactly what it was: my book just wasn’t their cup of tea. It’s going to happen. Even Stephen King gets bad reviews and I have been his “number one fan” forever.

But it begs the question: Do I address it? Ignore it? How do other authors deal with negative reviews? I’ve become a big fan of Lindsay Buroker, having encountered her steampunk books. She’s got some nice advice about dealing with this:

Ultimately, I choose to have faith in the readers out there browsing for a new adventure. They’re intelligent folks that can make their own decisions, weighing the good against the bad. I accept the fact I can’t change everyone’s mind and it reminds me that with each word or agonized-over passage I grow as a writer.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Lookie! I'm in the Top 50 for Kindle ebooks for Military scifi

A nice surprise to wake up to, Allies and Enemies is in the top 50 (barely) for ebooks in Military SciFi.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Allies and Enemies: Fallen on Friend Face... er... the Facebook

Sharing the new of my little science fiction action adventure ebook with the realm of Facebook via The Books Machine. Check it out here:

Or view it on the Books Machine Daily Deals page:

Vroom. Vroom.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Temporary Achievement Unlocked!

Lookie! Allies and Enemies: Fallen is eeeeking closer to the top 100 in ebooks for its category in Military Sci Fi. 
Hey... I know this stuff changes by the minute, but considering the fact BookTango won't release sales numbers to me, I'll take it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Books Machine

There's a chance Allies and Enemies: Fallen will be featured as a blog post on the The Books Machine, a website about ebooks. Membership for readers is free and will give you access to free Kindle books and quality deals, specially selected for you. Click this link to visit: The Books Machine.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Digital Book Today

Check it out! Allies and Enemies: Fallen was listed on Digital Book Today... er... today.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Totally Awesome

Allies and Enemies: Fallen has joined the ranks of some other featured bargain buys on the Awesomegang website. Check it out here. My thanks to Vinny for the shout out.

Show Hard Luck Hank Some Love

I've mentioned this guy's work before: Steven Campbell. He's the author of the Hard Luck Hand series, which BTW is amazingly hilarious and fun to read. With book titles like Screw the Galaxy and Prince of Suck (featuring the aforementioned "Hank"), how can you not want to just read them out of pure curiosity?

Anyway, I was very pleased to see that the latest installment in the Hard Luck Hank series, Suck My Cosmos is now available on Audible. Check it out here

eBookLister - featured promotion

Allies and Enemies: Fallen has been listed as a feature promotion with eBookLister. I've decided to keep the price at 99cents permanently. (I'm super cool like that.)
Check it out by clicking here.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Book Tangle

So recently I launched my ebook, Allies and Enemies: Fallen to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple via a service called Book Tango. I used them because I was fearful that the format for my ebook would not work correctly across all the various platforms and they could do it for me for a modest fee. It seemed like an easy one stop shop for getting everything done. 

Well, it ain't that easy. It's over two weeks now and I have no idea of how my book is doing in terms of sales. Therefore I have no idea if how I'm promoting the book is having an impact. 

So, I'm getting rather frustrated. And I'm pretty sure I'll be off-roading things when it comes to book 2 in the series. I'll have to cowboy up and figure out formatting on my own if I want control of the sales info! I'm really disappointed with my Book Tango experience so far.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Book Review: Break Away by Jeff Favreau

So, this week I'm trying something new. I'm going to start posting book reviews for my fellow indie authors. My first victim, Jeff Favreau's Break Away. It's the first of a two parter, horror/thriller with Darryl Dixon's favorite cross bow playpal, zombies...

If the zombie apocalypse were to arrive tomorrow, any Walking Dead fan probably has mused how they would react. Some may envision themselves as heroes, rising to the challenge of fending off the hordes of living dead. Others might fantasize about taking shelter in a deserted shopping mall until the affair blows over. (Anyone that's seen the movie how well that goes.)

I’m fairly certain that, although I’d like to think I’d become Sarah Connor and kick undead butt, I’d just end up a delicious snack. (Honestly, in the height of panic at a fun house attraction, I once shoved my mother in law, a tiny 4 ft nothing woman, directly into the path of a man in a xenomorph suit in a bid at escape. Not my best moment. In my defense, the alien suit was very convincing.)

As it so happens, “zombies” featured in Break Away, the first book of the Jordan Rose Duology by By Jeff Favreau are not exactly reanimated corpses, but living hapless victims of an insidious viral infection that’s stumped the CDC. These baddies are more like the Quarantine or 28 Days Later variety of “zombie” and about as cuddly.

Thankfully, there some well-developed protagonists in a small town in Maine to help steer the reader through the story with consistent use of point of view. The style is very descriptive in terms of visualization and engaging the reader’s senses.

Elements of the narrative did seem to slow in pacing to accommodate some essential exposition. However, I tend to read space opera where exposition can really lag a story if it intrudes into the narrative. So, no problems there!

Horror stories do not usually require a great deal of exposition/world building so it’s easy for the pacing to unfold quickly. And, at just south of 160 pages, Break Away is a quick read that keeps the action running.

As suggested by the title the action promises to continue with the second in the line-up in this thrilling two-parter. I look forward to enjoying the second installment in this series.

Check it out on Amazon. Part two of the series, Homecoming, is available as well. And I'll have a review for that up soon. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My book is now on Amazon, peeps!

So after much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth, looks like the tiny invisible internet fairies got off their pixie dust coated butts and trundled Allies and Enemies: Fallen over the the happy-go-lucky Amazon magic ebook factory! Check it out:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

BookTango and SFF Marketing Podcast

I did it! Back on the 25th, I submitted my file to BookTango. Tiny internet genies are turning Allies and Enemies: Fallen into a real book as I type this. If you're not familiar with BookTango, it's a service that helps folks like me sort through the whole getting your book formatted and distributed. I'm not confident I'd be able to properly format a book for use on multiple platforms (Amazon's Kindle apparently uses something different than iBooks like ground up unicorn horn or something) so I sprang for the fee to have the doc converted.

I'm STILL waiting on the finished result (very patient person, can't you tell?).

And in other news, I've been listening to the SFF Marketing Podcast which is awesome! I can't even recall how I found it, but I'm downloading back issues and gleaning tons of useful information about how independent authors navigate the waters of self-publishing. Totally recommend it. Check them out. You won't be disappointed: 

Monday, July 20, 2015

So THAT Happened...

Because of the interesting world of instant access to info, you, dear reader, were more likely to have learned about the decision of Kindle Press to pass over Allies and Enemies: Fallen for the Kindle Scout program before I. Good thing it wasn't something life-threatening and/or embarrassing. Right? (That's OK. I know you've got my back and would have found a way to send carrier pigeon or fleet-footed messenger to get me the news.)

I have learned a great deal through this experience with Kindle Scout. Here are a few things that I've learned or have happened during this experience:

  • I'm not cut out for this whole begging to be published by some other entity and forfeit a substantial amount of control over my book thing. I should have followed my gut and continued down the path of self-publishing as an ebook. 
  • I met some pretty nice professional writers that have offered some useful advice and support. Who knows? Maybe some of them will even stick around.
  • I've been in two musicals (with NO singing talent), given presentations in front of entire corporations, delivered two commencement addresses and do battle with the angel of death on occasion in the course of my "real" job. BUT, I am a nervous gibbering wreck about reading from my work in public.
  • I have WAY more people in my corner than I'd ever thought possible.
  • Vermont has a fairly respectable contingent of fellow geeks.
  • I signed my first autograph. (Hopefully, it won't be my last.)
So, what's next? Next, I publish this book myself. Then finish writing the second one, find a way to pay my editor. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Well... you get the idea.

But all of this would not have been possible without you! Thank you so much for your support in the temporary insanity of the Kindle Scout campaign. Keep on checking out those listings on Amazon. There are some great writers in there and they deserve your support. Continue to vote for them.

And, if you're ever in the mood to do a review of my books, I'm happy to set you up with an advance reader copy.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Get a free kindle book.

Nominate my book.
It's a pretty easy deal. Nominate my book, Allies and Enemies: Fallen, during the Kindle Scout campaign at If my book gets enough nominations from readers like you and it's selected for publication as an ebook by Kindle Press, you'll receive a copy for your kindle free. All just for being awesome you and voting for my book! You can vote for other writers looking for a shot at publication as well. Who knows? You can be looking at a bunch of free kindle ebooks just for throwing in your support today.

Hurry. The end of the campaign is quickly approaching: July 18th. Vote today!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A post within a post! Trippy!

Remember that reading I did for the VT Speculative Fiction Writer's series last Saturday? (Well, I do. That's burned into my brain for ever!) Anyway, that's where I met Michael J. Martinez, author of the thrilling and inventive Daedalus series. He very graciously offered me a guest blog to help get the word out on the Kindle Scout campaign for Allies and Enemies. Check out my guest post here:

Plus, don't forget to nominate my book. Click here. Already voted? Great! Tell a friend or three. You'll have done your good deed for the day. Nothing like putting some good karma in the bank.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Geek Mountain State Shout Out

Got a very nice mention from Geek Mountain State regarding my Kindle Scout campaign for Allies and Enemies.  Check it out here:

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Achievement Level Unlocked: Survived Public Reading

Yesterday, I survived my first (and I say that with equal parts optimism and fear) public reading from  Allies and Enemies: Fallen. (It's still up for nomination with KindleScout... so go vote for it & then come back to this page and finish reading this.)
Great turn out at the VT Speculative Fiction Writers Series
Photo courtesy of Michael J. Martinez

The very lovely AmyBeth Inverness &
Michael J Martinez
Photo courtesy of AmyBeth Inverness

I read last (yay) in the group of five other very talented writers. Although I look rather put upon in the picture here, I did have a fantastic time. It was very nice just to be included in the group. 

Chatting with other writers (who were very much established compared to me) was highly educational and I made a new friend or three. The line up of readers included: Michael J Martinez, Alice Eckles, Toby MacNutt, Asher Ellis, and AmyBeth Inverness

Again, I'm grateful to Andrew Liptak of Geek Mountain for the invite to perform the reading and look forward to attending more events by the group in the future. Even if nothing more comes of my efforts to seeking publication, it was nice to at least be part of this special day. And, two very sweet young ladies asked me for my autograph, a first! How awesome is that? 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Nominate Allies and Enemies: Fallen for Kindle Scout

It's go time!

Allies and Enemies: Fallen is up for nomination with Amazon's Kindle Scout page. It's your chance to show your support for my little endeavor. Each book featured has 30 days to collect nominations by you, the reader. Books that have the most nominations are considered for publication by Kindle Press. And the best part, if the book you nominate is selected for publication, you get a free ebook.

It's a win-win for everyone!

Click on this link & nominate Allies and Enemies today!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Got my promo cards from the printers today. I'm so excited!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

KindleScout Campaign for Allies and Enemies: Fallen - Launches June 18th!

So, I've gotten all my rejection emails back from the various literary agents out there. And so, ends that grand little experiment/adventure. I don't know what I was thinking. My luck doesn't tend to work like that. With a last name like Murphy? Come on.

And now, it is time for Plan B, subsection 9, paragraph 12: Kindle Scout!

Got the log line, the description and my bio all set up nice and proper and the book excerpt even shows up looking pretty nice on the preview screen. And now for the rest of my devious plan: I'll just sit here and avoid prepping for the reading I'm doing on June 27th with Geek Mountain. That way, the reading will be a surprise for everyone... including me! :)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Geek Mountain State

So I'm doing a reading! Like a "real" writer. A lovely gent at Geek Mountain State has invited me to read from Fallen in front of, like, people. Excited! Never done this before & I hope I don't make too much of an ass out of myself. LOL

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Second revision completed! Yay! Now the sucky part starts.

I am very pleased to share with you the happy news that I have just completed the second round of edits to the manuscript. I'm now ready for some beta readers to give the story a whirl. Since you have last heard from me, there have been some very interesting developments (and not just within the story). 

First of all, to avoid confusion with other novels out there with a similar name, the first book of the series will be called Allies and Enemies: Fallen, instead of book one. The second little bit of news it this: my editor has convinced me to try the "traditional route" of submitting query letters to a few dozen or so literary agents to see if there is any interest in having a publisher pick up the series. 

As you might imagine, I was conflicted about this initially. A major motive I had in starting the Kickstarter was to get my act together to publish the series as ebooks in an independent endeavor. The literary agent route would be filled with rejection and grief-- a little walk through the dark side (like when Luke had to go in that creepy cave on Dagobah in Empire Strikes Back... but worse and with less snakes).

The literary agent-to-publisher system is purposefully set up to deter new writers and break their will. So, knowing this, why do I still want to subject myself to that? Because, quite simply, a) I can be quite stubborn, and, b) I would kick myself if I did not at least try.

What does that mean really to anyone who cares? A delay of perhaps two months in receiving your ebook and perhaps a colorful story or two about regret on my end. So everyone wins, right? Yay.

Fingers crossed.

Monday, April 6, 2015

I'm in love!

Got the chance to work on my sunburn a few weeks ago in sunny FL. While relaxing, I read (more like inhaled) the Paradox trilogy by Rachel Bach. It's a wonderful sci fi adventure series with a kickass heroine and lots of fighting and blowing up of things. You know, the good  stuff. I highly recommend checking this series out on Amazon.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A little zombie action to pass the time

As I await the learned insights from my editor currently making her way through the second draft of Allies and Enemies, I'm passing some time catching up on reading something other than red-line word doc drafts.

I downloaded "The Girl with All the Gifts" by Mike Carey after reading some glowing reviews about it on Good Reads. This is so well written, I'm totally jels. The voice and style are well-conceived and the story unfolds in a non-conspicuous way. Loving it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Red Rising

As I mentioned before, I'm taking a little R&R while I'm waiting for my second draft to get back from my editor. So I've read the second in the Red Rising series from Pierce Brown, entitled Golden Son. Loved it! This stuff is like Dune meets Hunger Games with the death toll from Game of Thrones mixed in. Cannot wait to read the next one.

Ugh. I feel so dirty...

So, I did it. I did what I vowed I'd never do. *sigh*
I made a Facebook page.
Why? I had to.

As I'm eagerly awaiting the return of my second draft from my tireless editor, Pat Dobie, I am researching the "next steps" in this little learning experience of epublishing. Although Skynet knows way too much about us as it stands, all the sages say you need "social media" to grease the wheels of self-publishing. In order to be able to promote anything from ebooks to Etsy, you need to have a Facebook page.

The 21st century sucked me in, kicking and screaming.

So, there you have it.

I have a Facebook page.  *shudder*

But I don't have to like it.