Join an Author’s Launch team!

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Photo courtesy of xedos4/Freedigitalphotos.net

Over the last two years there has been an increase in authors establishing teams of readers, or a Launch Team, to assist in the launch process.

I’m a big fan of these as they are such a practical way a reader can support an author. I’ve been a member of a few such teams for authors in both the fiction and non-fiction worlds. Some teams have ended with the launch and others have continued on to include further book releases. The first one I joined two years ago, is still running, and has evolved across a further two or three content launches.

I wrote a post on establishing a Launch Team from an author’s perspective for ACFW. You can read that here if you like. I thought I’d use my blog to encourage readers to join one.

What is a Launch Team?

Simply put, it’s a group of people who actively support the release of a new book. It generally involves the author inviting people via FB posts, Tweets, and/or emails, and offering to provide them with some “exclusives”. In return, the team members will promote the release with reviews, social media postings and such like. Think of the team as an author’s inner tribe and/or cheer squad.

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Tosca Lee & Ted Dekker on the release of “Sovereign” plus a giveaway

jacket_lgThis week marks the release of “Sovereign’, the conclusion to the “The Books of Mortals” series by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee.

I’ve been a fan of Ted’s work since being blown away by “Blink” (before it’s title was changed) and “Three”  which I read 10 years ago in 2003. (a little aside and piece of Acheson trivia, Three was the very first book I reviewed on Amazon on 9/9/03). I haven’t read all of his novels simply because he has been so prolific, it’s been hard keeping up. The first of Tosca’s standalone novels I read was her most recent “Iscariot”, which was extraordinary. I have to catch up with her earlier work.

It’s a special treat for me they were kind enough to answer some questions I posed them, especially in light of their very busy schedules. Before I share our virtual chat I thought I’d provide a brief background to the series.

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Introducing Erin Healy, her latest release Afloat plus a special giveaway

erinhealybooks_1367526975_600I discovered Erin Healy a few years back when I learnt she edited twelve of Ted Dekker’s novels. Erin has edited many other well-known authors including Frank Peretti. For a crazy moment, I think I contemplated contacting Erin to see if I could engage her editing services on Angelguard. Common sense soon prevailed.

Soon after I discovered this, Ted and Erin collaborated on a couple of novels: Kiss and Burn. The editor became the novelist. During this time, Erin published her first standalone novel: Never Let You Go where she explores the “thin places between heaven and earth.” Since then Erin has produced a further 4 novels, including her latest Afloat which was released earlier this month.

I’ve found Erin loves connecting with readers. We’ve had an ongoing dialogue now with the launch plus Erin has written some beautifully penned blog posts that are both revealing a little of what’s in her heart whilst also relating to the themes of Afloat.

Erin’s exploration of the “thin places” plus her remarkable story telling and word crafting abilities continue to inspire and intrigue me.

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“Talon, Combat Tracking Team”, Ronie Kendig

Talon-cover_FINAL-197x300Having read Trinity, the first in the series, a few months ago, I was eagerly awaiting Talon, the second. It exceeded my expectations. It took me a little while to get into Trinity, but I was hooked on this story from the first pages.

Kendig has created a great character in Dane ‘Cardinal’ Markoski. Cardinal has a troubled past which is intriguing and it simmers below the surface for the entire novel until it crashes into the present in it’s climactic ending. Great, great writing

I hope Kendig builds a series around Cardinal. She has developed a character with wonderful apparent complexity (or is it just male aloofness?) that drives both the action and much of the dialogue.

Aspen, his romantic interest, didn’t really grab me. There was too much reference to flicking curls away but more significantly I didn’t see the underlying strength of character that her colleagues in the book saw.

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Introducing Mike Dellosso, his latest thriller “Fearless” plus a Giveaway

mike3_1This week Mike Dellosso who has just launched his latest novel, Fearless, joins us to share a little about his writing and how he manages to juggle all life’s passions and priorities.

I’ve admired Mike and his writing for a number of years now. When I was looking around for endorsers for Angelguard, I was very fortunate that Mike, amongst his very busy schedule, didn’t hesitate to accept my request.

Enough of that, let’s hand over to Mike as he responds to a bunch of questions I threw his way recently.

Many of my readers don’t know much about you, so perhaps if you could share a little about yourself.

Sure, I’m soon-to-be 41 years old, been married for 16 years, have four daughters (ages 14, 12, 10, and 2). I was born in Baltimore, MD and now live in a small town in Pennsylvania. I started writing in 1998 as a way of dealing with a tragedy that occurred in our family. Writing became my therapy, my way of making sense of what had happened. Also, having been a severe stutterer my entire life, writing became a way for me to share myself, my thought, my words, without stuttering. My first novel was picked up and published in 2008 and I’ve published six novels and one novella since then. Fearless is my most recent.

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Introducing Trinity & Talon, their creator, Ronie Kendig, and a Giveaway.

roniepicI was fortunate to meet Ronie Kendig at the ACFW Conference in Dallas last year. Ronie is great mates with a certain Melbournian friend, Rel Mollet of RelzReviewz. Rel was kind enough to connect the two of us.

Soon after I read my first Ronie Kendig novel: “Trinity: Military War Dog”, the first in the “A Breed Apart” series. Trinity is the name of a sixty-pound Belgian Malinois (she’s on the book cover below) I was amazed that a relationship between a man and his dog would feature so prominently in a novel series. Having become a dog lover late in life, I was curious how Ronie would manage to share the depth of relationship between the two.

Now this is no ordinary man/dog relationship. This is one between a soldier and his Military War Dog (MWD). I’ve since come to learn that MWDs have a vital role to play in combat situations.

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May Giveaway Madness …

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Image courtesy of “Stuart Miles”/freedigitalphotos.net

May’s a busy month for new releases from three of my favourite authors: Ronie Kendig’s “Talon”, Mike Dellosso’s “Fearless” and Erin Healy’s “Afloat”. All three authors have kindly accepted my invitation to appear on my wee corner of the e-world. Besides getting to know them a little more and their new novel, we’ll also be giving away their latest and others from their catalogues.

So here’s the plan:

Wednesday 8 May (yes, tomorrow)   Ronie Kendig

Wednesday 15 May                                Mike Dellosso

Wednesday 22 May                                Erin Healy

So lock the dates in your diaries and spread the news.

And to coincide with the Australian release of Angelguard, I’ll be giving away some copies of my wee novel as well.

My Review of “Iscariot” by Tosca Lee

Iscariot Cover FinalI was lost for words when I finished this beautifully written novel. And I’m still struggling to find the best words to describe the power of this story.

But the incredible thing about this story is it’s part biographical, part fiction and I’m left wondering how much of it was fiction.

Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, the one that Luke described “Satan entered” moments before he committed his betrayal. The gospels never tell us exactly what the discussion between Judas and the Chief Priests amounted to, but Ms Lee, having completed extensive research, provides an insight. And boy, was I shocked. I can’t say any more without revealing too much, so will leave it there.

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“Fearless” Release – Mike Dellosso’s new novel

fearlesscoverOne of my favourite authors, Mike Dellosso, releases his new novel, Fearless, in May.

Mike is a fabulous author of supernatural suspense, taking his readers on a wild adventure ride with gripping, very fast, and sometimes frightening, action. He typically explores how evil manifests itself in our hearts in terrible ways and demonstrates the power of God’s love to overcome it.

I’m also a big fan of Mike, the person. He is married with four young kiddies, works a full time job, plus churns out a new novel every six months or so. Besides having a wonderful heart for the Lord, he’s stared colon cancer in the face and defeated it.

Here’s a little snapshot of Fearless:

When a nine-year-old Louisa mysteriously appears in the middle of a house fire with no memory of how she got there or where she came from, Jim and Amy Spencer agree to take her in. Wrestling with the recent loss of their own child, they soon discover Louisa has a special gift. But when the same gift unknowingly puts her in contact with a serial killer, the grieving couple must unite to face all odds and save themselves and Louisa before it’s too late.

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Setting a Reading Goal for the Year

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Photo courtesy of “adamr”/Freedigitalphotos.net

I thought I read a lot of books. Well, I thought I did. Judging by the many I people I see over various internet sites who read 100s of books every year, my number pales into insignificance.

Oh well, I’m not really fussed by that. I’ll keep working my list and good on those who can read more.

Over the past 4 years I’ve tracked what I’ve read. I’m old school by simply recording them on a running tally I keep at the back of my moleskin. When I start a new moleskin, I simply transfer the list.

This year I’m committed to using some form of technology. It may be a simple blog post that I keep updating. Or maybe I’ll use Goodreads. No doubt there’s a groovy app I can download onto my iphone or ipad. I’d be grateful for any suggestions.

In 2009, I read 40, 2010:52, 2011:64 and 2012:75.

So some good year on year growth I reckon, but declining in percentage terms each year.

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