NINE PLANETS by Greg Byrne: a great review by Publishers Weekly

Check out this review from our Australian debut author Greg Byrne, with his exciting science fiction thriller NINE PLANETS, upcoming on November 30. Publishers Weekly says:

“Byrne’s allegorical debut boasts a premise that’s simultaneously dark and playful, lovely synesthetic imagery, and world-building that jumps delightfully between moments of fairy tale fantasy and high-tech dystopia. Peter Blackwell awakens from a coma into a cursed world where suicidal despair is common, mitigated only by the anticipation of perfect gifts that appear miraculously in everyone’s homes one day each year. Though Peter’s memory for new material is perfect, he retains only eight simple images from his pre-coma days, plus a cryptic ninth one behind which is locked a tremendous secret. That secret is sought by both the agents of the gift-giving Brotherhood and the Cabal that wants humankind to self-destruct, and both are desperate to extract it before a comet collides with Earth. Byrne barrels toward the climax of a centuries-long battle between misery and hope at an intense but not overly frenzied pace. Strong attention to the timing of revelations makes the conclusion inevitable but not obvious, allowing this riff on one of the world’s oldest stories to stay strong all the way to the end.”

NINE PLANETS is now available for pre-order at Amazon:

NinePlanets-COVER

You can also reserve a print or e-copy at Dragonwell Publishing bookstore.

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New release: SORROW by John Lawson

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A child of joy. A victim of Sorrow.

As a ward of the powerful Viscount and his wife, Faina whiles away her days exploring the palace and its grounds, dancing in the halls, hiding from her tutors, and spending time with the common folk she has grown to love.

And then comes Sorrow. An assassin of brutal efficiency, who weeps black tears over the corpses of the fallen, Sorrow has claimed the life of a beloved clergyman within the confines of the Viscount’s own palace, and the infamous Lord Ash has come to investigate the crime. Faina is key to both their quests.

Sorrow cares only for destruction. Lord Ash cares only for the hunt. Whoever wins, whatever the cost, Faina will pay.

___________________

“Sorrow’s backdrop is a rich, complex other world that contains more than its fair share of magic, mythical creatures and monsters.”

— SFSite.com (featured review)

 

“The author has created a very real, dark fantasy world and I was able to picture the setting vividly in my mind. The descriptions, mood, and dialogue all help bring Lawson’s detailed world to life. The characters are deftly drawn and come across as genuine people. The prose sparkles with beautifully crafted language. So I would say that this author’s strength lies in characterization and his skill in creating his imaginative, dark world.”

— The Dark Phantom Review

 

“A very satisfying murder mystery that is also a sort of coming-of-age story set in a detailed dark fantasy world”

— Things Mean a Lot

 

“This story, a fully fleshed and tightly plotted thriller dances between the questions of church, faith, magic, human relationships and darker desires. Just like any good ‘detective’ novel, just when you think you know who the killer is, the plot twists and you are presented with another possibility. The back stories of the lead characters are intriguing enough to pique your interest, allowing these folks to mingle and interact in a most realistic way. The writing is superb, enhancing the story, adding dialect and distinct flavour to characters voices.”

— SF Crowsnest

 

“This was a book that I truly didn’t want to end. I could listen to tales of Faina for days…that’s the same way that I thought of Esmeree of Witch Ember. He writes such wonderful characters and comes up with some of the most amazing story lines. An assassin that cries black tears wrapped in gray gauze?! I mean come on! It’s like a book that was written just for me!”

—Stuff as Dreams are Made On

_____________

From John Lawson, the author of THE LOATHLY LADY comes this moving, thrilling, bittersweet story set in a magical, eerily realistic other world.

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NINE PLANETS by Greg Byrne: now available for pre-order

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In the world of despair, Father Nick’s Day is the only hope…

Peter Blackwell wakes from a coma into a world he doesn’t recognize. Without memory or identity, all he has are nine random images. Nine planets. Eight he can see, although he does not understand them, but the impenetrable ninth is the secret that two opposing and hidden brotherhoods have been seeking for nearly two millennia. Pursued, betrayed, Blackwell has twelve days to unlock his Ninth Planet and prevent terminal worldwide suicide. And his only ally is a manic assassin sent to extract the secret and kill him.

Click on the cover above to download this debut science fiction thriller in advance of its publication on November 30, 2014.

About the author:

Greg Byrne author photo

Greg Byrne is an English teacher, grammar consultant, and lecturer. He enjoys exploring places, ideas, history, languages and science, dinners with friends, watching his family grow, and living life’s great adventure. His next projects are a young adult thriller with a twist, developing a grammar teaching system for schools, and writing a grammar text for ESL students. He lives in Perth, Western Australia, with his beloved wife and family and an overweight British Blue.

 

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MISTRESS OF THE SOLSTICE: top ten bestseller on Amazon

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The promotion ends tonight! Hurry to download a FREE copy of this award-winning fantasy based on Russian folklore.

 

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Get books by Anna Kashina and Cindy Lynn Speer FREE

For the next three days, Anna Kashina’s award-winning novel MISTRESS OF THE SOLSTICE is available for free on Amazon:

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GU0T262/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00GU0T262&linkCode=as2&tag=dragopubliblo-20&linkId=2DQZT2XMXAXFAKFE

Hurry to download your own copy today. The promotion ends at midnight EST on September 19.

For reviewers, Cindy Lynn Speer’s upcoming collection WISHES AND SORROWS is now available on NetGalley in advance of its upcoming publication on October 30, 2o14. To request a copy follow this link:

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https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/53561

Cindy Lynn Speer is the bestselling author of THE CHOCOLATIER’S WIFE, released by Dragonwell in 2012. Publishers Weekly is calling WISHES AND SORROWS “intriguing” and “richly ambitious” in their recent review.

If you would like to receive a review copy directly from us, email us at dragonwellpublishing(at)gmail(dot)com (replacing (at) with @ and (dot) with .)

Or, preorder a copy on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MW6F49W/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00MW6F49W&linkCode=as2&tag=dragopubliblo-20&linkId=EZYPJXRYV276FKGX) or from our web site (http://publishing.dragonwell.org/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65&products_id=10018)

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SORROW by John Lawson: last chance to get it off NetGalley

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A child of joy. A victim of Sorrow.

As a ward of the powerful Viscount and his wife, Faina whiles away her days exploring the palace and its grounds, dancing in the halls, hiding from her tutors, and spending time with the common folk she has grown to love.

And then comes Sorrow. An assassin of brutal efficiency, who weeps black tears over the corpses of the fallen, Sorrow has claimed the life of a beloved clergyman within the confines of the Viscount’s own palace, and the infamous Lord Ash has come to investigate the crime. Faina is key to both their quests.

Sorrow cares only for destruction. Lord Ash cares only for the hunt. Whoever wins, whatever the cost, Faina will pay.

_____________________

If you are a reviewer or blogger and you would like an advance review copy of “Sorrow” by John Lawson, now is the last chance to request a copy from NetGalley at:

https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/51661

We will be taking it down in the next few days in advance of its publication on September 30.

For those of you who would like to own a brand new copy, preordering is now available at:

http://www.amazon.com/Sorrow-John-Lawson-ebook/dp/B00MR86BQK/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-13&keywords=dragonwell+publishing

We appreciate your support!

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Tips for the authors: How to make a query letter work in your favor.

Despite some popular beliefs, the only purpose of the query letter is to convey information. Query letters are not writing samples (even though any typos of errors in the query letter can speak volumes against you). They are not a place to be witty, or tell your life story and your world views. They are designed for only one purpose, to tell the publisher the following important things:

(1) the basic information about your novel (name, genre/subgenre, and word count), as well as, hopefully, the assurance that it has been completed and available.

(2) a concise summary of the plot, or enough information to give a basic idea on what this book is about. One paragraph is better than two, “concise” is the key word.

(3) your publishing credentials, if any.

(4) the reason you are querying this particular publisher, if any.

(5) the assurance that this submission is exclusive to this publisher — or, if the guidelines permit it, the information that it may be simultaneously considered by someone else.

Within these parameters, the shorter you can make it, the better. Literally.

Clearly, a good query letter will not sell your novel. But it will gain you the benefit of the doubt and will probably make the editor approach your submission much more favorably than they would otherwise.

Here are the five most common elements of the query letter that were definitely held against the authors during our consideration process:

1. “As a child, I have always wondered if…” — Yawn. We don’t have time to learn anyone’s childhood story, not unless we are publishing the book and this information is highly relevant to our marketing plan. At this point the submissions editor will skim to the end of the letter to look for credentials, and then to the sample chapter, briefly, with the expectation that the writing will be bad.

2. “My book is not about…” –yes, seriously. Some people do start their query this way. Usually this is followed by a rant that could be several paragraphs long. The query letter is the place where one should focus on the specifics of the book, ignoring the temptation of making the letter long just because there are no visible page breaks in the e-mail window.

3. “Have you ever thought of…” — No. Well, maybe we have thought of that, but we don’t want to think about it while reading query letters.

4. “The reason I am not published is…” — Being unpublished is nothing to be ashamed of. There could be many reasons, and in case of very good authors out there all these reasons are heart-breaking. The truth is, this has nothing to do with our consideration of this particular novel and thus has no place in the query letter.

5. “Imagine yourself on a spaceship/in a jungle/on a boat, etc.” — We do, usually when we read something we enjoy that is relevant to any of these places. Query letters don’t fall into this category.

Well, this list can go on, really. But each of these examples invariably has to do with information that has no place in the query letter, simply because it is not directly relevant to your submission. If you are not sure what to write, stick to the bare basics and let your novel speak for itself.

Chances are, these basic rules apply to querying most publishers, even if some individual submissions editors may have preferences not covered in our list of bare essentials. Chances are, if they do have such preferences, these preferences will be covered in their submission guidelines. Barring that, we suggest you stick to the basics and avoid the temptation to elaborate.

Happy querying!

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