So, because you can’t have your pudding until you eat your meat, let’s start with BLATHER FIRST! (If you really don’t want to read The Blather page down to Book Promo)
Some Blather From Sarah
A lot of you are furious at Amazon for joining the unconscionable censorship of Parler, which btw is still relatively small and all innocuous, other than, you know, allowing Trump a platform (Because as invaders, the left can’t let the president of the US address the nation, of course.) Look, so am I. I’m even more furious because I have no way out of the trap.
Yes, a lot of you — yes, I’m looking at you — have raged at Amazon for years and told us it would come for us and that we should get out now. This was not only misguided (I’ll explain why) but also it’s kind of the equivalent of poking a chained prisoner and saying “run.” He really wants to, but all you’re actually doing is torturing and wounding him.
However, since last night, this has TRULY become an emergency, not because of what Amazon will do or won’t do to ebook fiction (more on that) but because a core of my readers will now refuse to buy from Amazon under any circumstances, which means that I’m going to lose a lot of my income (and Amazon won’t give a flying fig. But I get your outrage, I understand, and yet you’ll only hurt the writers, UNTIL WE HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE.)
In the mean time I really need one or more of you to find a Newsletter Subscription service (I sign up for it, people subscribe for $ and it gets mailed out, so I can implement my very own “pay for Sarah’s writing by the week” system to try to stem the bleeding that’s about to hit.
Some people turn their nose up at substack, because they say it’s lefty (is it? I do very little on line that doesn’t relate to blogs or writing. It hosts a bunch of right writers, but…) most of the others I’ve found are either video oriented or brain damaged (no formatting is an immediate no for me) and I don’t know what to do. So, if you have suggestions PLEASE email them to me or put it in interesting links page (tab at top.) Comments are annoyingly non-searchable, okay? Because WPDE.
Okay, so below I explain the bind we’re in. (And as a side note, yes, I remain wordpress hosted. Yes, plans of mirror/escape are being made, but we’re hampered by fact I’m technically declined, and the tech in the house is working 12/7 at his main job, and has a second one. Should I disappear, which I consider more likely — but not likely — than Amazon removing my fiction, give it a week, I’ll be back.)
For the record a few things:
1- Amazon data service is much bigger and not at all like ebook sales. I know, yes, Amazon as a whole is touched by evil, or at least Bezos is a political idiot and we shouldn’t feed the beast. But objectively the ebook business is maybe 2% of its income, if that much. It’s vital for us, but it doesn’t do that much for them or against them to stop it or curtail it. DATA OTOH is YUGE. I mean vast companies rent their data storage service, okay? It’s probably 50% of their money making. Which is why they can afford to ban relatively small players like Parler.
2- I don’t expect them to go after ebooks for a long while. Not because they don’t WANT to – they do – but because it’s too involved. They’re using Chinese and such censors, like everyone else, and nuance in fiction is hard. Consider someone read Darkship Thieves and thought it was communist feminist literature and gave me a good review along those lines. Even the more pedestrian level of “has a name of someone on the right on the cover” (and some of us have secret names)…. as those trying to find me on MeWe know, there are Sarah Hoyts everywhere. And, well, if they haven’t taken Glenn Reynolds down, I’m at NO risk.
3- All that, plus the fact that where we live with the lockdowns and stupid masks and how dangerous the streets are getting, we MUST buy stuff like…. Vacuums from Amazon means I agree with your outrage, but I can only hurt myself by giving in to it.
Do not tell me to go to the other ebook sales services, because going wide costs me KLL money, which is 90% of my pay (people are broke, so they’re borrowing, not buying.) And the other services, besides having almost no reach are part of the same tech-left all of us have problems with. (And Smashwords is more left than you can imagine. Also sucks at accounting/paying.)
If you can and know how to get around the obstacles and create an ebook service that doesn’t preclude those signing up for it from doing any business with Amazon — where most readers still are — I’ll be behind you 100% .
But right now, quoting from memory from The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress and probably wrong: “Everyone does business with Authority for the same reason everyone does business with air.”
Which is where we are.
Otherwise I’m going to ask you NOT to carry on this boycott. We right-leaning-indies are going to lose half our sales. That’ll hurt Amazon, sure. Kind of. PROBABLY honestly at the rounding error level. But it will KILL us indie writers who have a contingent of conservative fans.
So, until people come up with the solution, I beg you not to kill us indies on the right by boycotting Amazon on their least profitable service. It’s bad enough I feel the need to wash with Lye and a wire brush for not being able to get away. Doing it while also starving will really piss me off.
And meanwhile, to prevent other indies from starving, see promo below. – SAH
*Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog. Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so. As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste. If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months (unless you’re me or my relative. Deal.) One book per author per week. Amazon links only. Oh, yeah, by clicking through and buying (anything, actually) through one of the links below, you will at no cost to you be giving a portion of your purchase to support ATH through our associates number. I ALSO WISH TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT IF THEY WANT TO TIP THE BLOGGER WITHOUT SPENDING EXTRA MONEY, CLICKING TO AMAZON THROUGH ONE OF THE BOOK LINKS ON THE RIGHT, WILL GIVE US SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR PURCHASES MADE IN THE NEXT 24HOURS, OR UNTIL YOU CLICK ANOTHER ASSOCIATE’S LINK. PLEASE CONSIDER CLICKING THROUGH ONE OF THOSE LINKS BEFORE SEARCHING FOR THAT SHED, BIG SCREEN TV, GAMING COMPUTER OR CONSERVATORY YOU WISH TO BUY. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*
FROM KAL SPRIGGS: In Death’s Shadow (Angel of Death Book 1),
Ari lives in the shadow of death.
Ari is a combat veteran who has chosen to leave the military behind and live a quiet, normal life. He’s got a few problems though. For one thing, the cops think he’s a serial killer. For another, a vengeful politician has put Ari in his crosshairs. To make matters worse, Ari has a guardian angel… and not just any angel, Ari’s protector is the Angel of Death. When his life is in danger, people start to die, and Ari’s guardian can sometimes be indiscriminate whose life he takes when protecting him.
That’s not even the worst problem. Death wasn’t assigned to him by mistake. An ancient werewolf wants Ari dead and even with death on his side, Ari might not survive.
Ari needs to find a way to stay alive, to clear his name, and most importantly to get out from under the shadow of death and live a normal life… even if it kills him.
FROM DAVID BURKHEAD: The Unmasking (Dhampyre the Hunter Book 1).
No sane person believes in vampires.
And that’s exactly the way the vampires want it. For centuries vampires have existed among us, hiding solitary in the shadows, preying on an unsuspecting humanity. Secrecy is their weapon and their security. In times past when humanity discovered them, vampires relied on their other weapon–fear–keeping humans too terrified to use their superior numbers and ability to walk the day to exterminate the vampires.
Dani Herzeg is a dhampyre, born to a vampire mother for the express purpose of serving as an aid and daytime guard. Instead, she hunts vampires. Only now some vampires are no longer hunting alone. Combining into gangs and going on bloody killing sprees, almost uncaring of keeping the secret of their existence from the larger world.
With Indianapolis police detective James Ware her only ally, Dani must try to stop the bloodshed before humanity learns the Secret and vampires launch a campaign of terror against the human world.
Or is it already too late?
FROM MARY CATELLI: Sorcery and Kings.
Tales of wonder and magic.A fire master must find a magical starter of fires.A mysterious queen holds a ball in a city filled with magic.Magic of roses and gold are needed to fight a dreadful war.An oath keeps a ghost captive.
FROM MICHAEL HOOTEN: We Are All Enlisted (Enlisted Book 1)
Peter Wright joined the Navy thinking that he could do his time in a nice, quiet billet somewhere on Earth. The Navy had other ideas. When the asteroid miners claimed their independence, Peter finds himself getting sent to space on a warship headed straight into the combat zone. He has to get used to everything: zero gravity, standing watch, and being the only Earth-born in his crew. And he has to be ready for the biggest battle the solar system has ever seen.
FROM PAM UPHOFF: Double Dragon
Lieutenant Scarlet Magana was trained as ship’s crew, but it’s a good thing she also had dirt-side scouting training . . .
A distant planet. A damaged hyperspace colony ship. Lieutenant Magana and the rest of the crew discover that not only are they not the first arrivals . . . they may well be the third.
And then there are the dragons . . . and a serial killer.
FROM NATHAN C. BRINDLE: The Lion of God (Timelines Book 1)
John Wolff has been handed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Again.
He’s already saved the love of his life from an early death – thirty years after she died.
Now, a beautiful young woman, who is clearly his daughter, has appeared from the timeline branch where that same love of his life survived and married his counterpart.
She says they need his help fighting off invaders from the far future. Who, by the way, are looking for him. Why? Because they want the starship drive he and a friend invented, the precursor to their time machine. Problem is, in her timeline, it hasn’t been invented yet.
What man can resist a cry for help from his own daughter?
Particularly when the invaders think she’s a saint. Or possibly, a devil wearing saint’s clothing. And they’re looking for her, too.
Thus begins the Timelines Saga, and the story of the Lion of God.
FROM SAM SCHALL: Vengeance from Ashes (Honor and Duty Book 1)
First, they took away her command. Then they took away her freedom. But they couldn’t take away her duty and honor. Now they want her back.
Captain Ashlyn Shaw has survived two years in a brutal military prison. Now those who betrayed her are offering the chance for freedom. All she has to do is trust them not to betray her and her people again. If she can do that, and if she can survive the war that looms on the horizon, she can reclaim her life and get the vengeance she’s dreamed of for so long.
But only if she can forget the betrayal and do her duty.
This new edition contains new material not included in the original release of this book.
FROM ANNA FERREIRA: A Summer in Scarborough: A Pride & Prejudice Sequel
Miss Anne de Bourgh was delighted to receive a letter from her cousin Georgiana, explaining that she would be spending the summer by the sea, and requesting the pleasure of her company. A glorious few months of balls, shopping, and walking by the sea awaits- a wonderfully diverting holiday for Anne, who has rarely left Rosings before.
But Anne is a de Bourgh, and life is never simple. Before long, she finds herself caught between the attentions of two very different men, and must choose if she will follow her heart or disoblige her family. One must be disappointed, and Anne has never been very practiced in the art of disobedience. Must she give up everything she has ever known, will she find the strength to search for happiness elsewhere?
Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.
So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.
We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.
If you have questions, feel free to ask.
Your writing prompt this week is: Outgoing.