Sunday, April 7, 2013

self-published series that rock: giveaway!

Since I began self-publishing my books in 2011, I have had the opportunity to not only connect with a slew of talented and self-published authors, but also read some incredibly original and compelling works of art that might never have seen the light of day without self-publishing. When my husband bought me my first Kindle for Christmas 2010, I didn’t even know self-publishing was out there. The first book I downloaded was Shadow on the Sun by Richard Matheson. The reason I picked that novel over several other Matheson books I hadn’t read was because it was priced at $7.99, far cheaper than any of his other novels available on Kindle at the time.

In early 2011, however, I discovered the wonderful world of self-publishing, and I realized that I didn’t have to squander my son’s future college tuition just to fund my reading habit. More than three years later, I read almost exclusively self-published authors. Don’t get me wrong- I still read traditionally published books as well, but I take every opportunity to support a fellow self-published author. This habit has saved me money because self-published ebooks are usually cheaper than traditionally published ebooks, and it’s also enabled me to take risks with my preferred genres without worrying that I could be throwing money away. (A mediocre $2.99 ebook hurts far less than a mediocre $12.99 ebook, if you catch my drift.) I used to be a solid romance and fantasy reader. Now I’ve branched out into reading horror, mystery, and thrillers, just to name a few, and I’ve also developed a particular affinity for Jane Austen retellings.

My favorite genre, without a doubt, is paranormal/supernatural romance. On April 12th, I’m venturing into the world of vampires and werewolves with my new book Blood Lust, and to celebrate my new paranormal romance series, I’ve compiled a list of five book series that all meet specific criteria: the books must be self-published, and they must focus on paranormal or supernatural happenings.

1. The Sanctuary Series by Charlotte Abel

I received the first book in this series as a gift from the author in exchange for an honest review, and I became an immediate fan upon reading. River’s Recruit, book one in the series, throws us headfirst into a community of shape-shifting humans called New Eden. These humans “merge” with wolves at puberty in order to gain the ability to shift into that animal. River is the female lead, and the story gains traction when, despite her misgivings, she recruits an outsider (sexy former US Army soldier, Jonathan) into her community of shape-shifters. Soon she finds that her heart is at risk along with her place in New Eden, as Jonathan wants to leave- and he doesn’t want to leave her behind.

2.  Zombie Fairy Tales by Kevin Richey

I’ll admit that this series isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but I know there are lots of horror fans out there who will find this vastly appealing. Kevin Richey takes well-known fairy tales (Cinderella, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, etc) and rewrites them as short stories- with zombies. In the first book, Cinderella’s story, poor Cinderella is worked literally to death by her cruel stepmother and step-sisters, but she rises again as a zombie, and exacts her revenge in gruesome ways. Full disclosure: although I don’t know Kevin Richey, I totally feel a kinship, as he is a fellow self-published Arizonan.

3.  A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

A Shade of Vampire, the first book in Bella’s series, took the Kindle world by storm, and I’m happy to report that the series’ second installment, A Shade of Blood, is set for release tomorrow, April 8th! Bella wasted no time in initiating her readers into the Blood Shade, a secretive, mystical island occupied by vampires and their human slaves, where sorcery keeps the sun at bay and allows the vampires to move freely about the island at all times of day. Our heroine, Sophia, is kidnapped by vampires for the purpose of becoming part of a harem for the angst-ridden vampire prince, Derek, but her compassion and feisty personality catch his attention, and friendship blossoms. A Shade of Vampire was just a teaser, but it got me hooked- I can’t wait to read A Shade of Blood tomorrow!

4. Lady of Toryn trilogy by Charity Santiago

Yes, I’m putting my own series on this list. Why? Because I genuinely think it’s worth your time! The Lady of Toryn trilogy is a #1 bestseller for fantasy anthologies, and it's a genre-mashing, adventurous romp through an alternate universe filled with natural magic, ninjas, assassins and vampires, not to mention a heroine who can kick butt with the best of them. The first book, Return, opens with Ashlyn Li, Elder Heir of the kingdom of Toryn, discovering that during her three-year absence from civilized society, her kingdom has started a war, with the new Lord of Toryn, Devlyn, seeking world domination. Ashlyn must rejoin the friends who helped her save the sun three years ago to defeat Lord Devlyn and bring peace to Toryn again. Ashlyn also struggles with her conflicting feelings towards two very sexy men- a stoic vampire that she’s loved for years, and a wise-cracking assassin who is determined to win her heart.

5. Vampire for Hire by J.R. Rain

I’d be very surprised if you haven’t read these books already- but if you haven’t, be sure to pick up the first book, Moon Dance, immediately! J.R. Rain hits it right on the mark with Samantha Moon, a soccer-mom-turned-vampire who must deal with the demise of her marriage due to her vampirism, while trying to work as a Private Investigator to pay her bills. I bought the first four books as a boxed set on Kindle, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series very soon.

And if you’re still itching for more fun, supernatural reads when you’re done with these series- stop by and check out my book Blood Lust, available April 12th on Amazon Kindle. Don’t forget to click here to enter my giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card- you can buy any one of these series with that prize!


Debby said...

Self publishing is hit or miss for me. I have read some fantastic ones and some not so great.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Charity said...

I'm with you on that, Debby. Last year I embarked on a quest to find a decent self-published zombie novel, and I was horrified with the results. I found one that was passable out of the six that I read, and three of those six were just dreadful- total lack of editing and no concept of grammar, spelling or punctuation. But for me, the challenge of actually finding those quality books makes it so much more fun! Thanks for entering!