Scourge of the Fallen by W.M. Martin

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Fallen

TITLE: Scourge of the Fallen
AUTHOR: W.M. Martin

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4)

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:
Following the events of Shadow of Okeaous, the Fallen have been scattered. Whispers of the Hordes searching for something, around many of the Havens on Earth, has reached the ears of the Guardians. Meanwhile, the students of the Kindred Academy have been striving to further their knowledge of the incredible power lying dormant within themselves. With the aid of their Clan Leaders and an odd, new instructor, the dubious young Guardians-in-training will learn to harness exciting and dangerous new abilities. The worlds of the Kindred, no longer separated by the Veil, are equally unaware of an ancient darkness which has been steadily rising to drown out the light of the living; both Guardian and Fallen, alike.

Buy the book HERE!

MY 2 CENTS / THE CRITICAL POINTS:
WRITING (★★★★): Scourge of the Fallen is a self-published fantasy novel. I’ve said it before; fantasy isn’t my favorite genre and probably isn’t even in my top three favorite genres’. However, I read the first book in this series, Shadow of Okeaous and was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I really enjoyed it. That meant I was destined to read book two.

Martin has a very energetic writing style. His books are filled with action, adventure, and leave you almost longing for a few peaceful quiet moments. That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy this book, I did. It is a page turner with a lot going on and a lot of character arcs to follow.

One thing I really like about Martin’s writing is that he isn’t afraid to kill off his characters. Yes, some of the main characters die. I won’t tell you who, I think you need to read the book to find out, but prepare yourself.

I’m not sure how this book is marketing, but after reading it I would say it is good for Middle Grade – Young Adult readers. However, there are a number of times when Martin uses words in very obscure ways. Once example would be the word ‘purchase’ in the example below:

“Maggie could not get her swards out in front of herself enough to slice or to stab the large and imposing Fallen, so she kicked at him as hard as she could, but like her sward strike, her attack failed to find purchase.”

There were a number of references like that that I think some of the younger readers may not understand. The meanings are evident in the context of the story, but not always clear just by the typical meaning of the words being used.

STORY (★★★★): Scourge of the Fallen is the second book in Martin’s series and follows pretty closely behind where the first book left off. In book one, our main characters were 1st year students in the academy. In book two, they are second year student. They have already gone through a lot and have many battles and trials to face throughout book 2.

Martin gives us battle after battle and just when the reader is given a little hope that something good might happen, he throws another wrench in the story line.

CHARACTERS (★★★★): The reader is given numerous characters to follow in Scourge of the Fallen, maybe too many. There are so many storylines to follow and different characters to keep up with that I found myself loosing track at times. Not to mention the fact that many of the character (and location) names are difficult to pronounce, which makes it a bit harder to relate to and remember. I have the same issue when reading large epics like lord of the rings and Game of Thrones.

I only had two character-related issues with this story. The first was with Henry (human) who is introduced in Chapter 9. There was a lack of character development and nothing that really allowed the reader to connect with him much less care for him. Thus, when he died, we were left with an uneasy feeling of not really caring. It didn’t seem, to me, that Henry served much of a purpose or propelled the story along in any way. I think he could have been edited out of the story without a negative impact on the final storyline.

The second was Martin’s need to weaken our lead character, Maggie. Instead of Maggie being the hero at the end, which is what the series seems to be guiding us toward, another character (one we love to hate and love all at the same time) steps up and ends up being the hero. I like Lucy, I do, but it didn’t feel natural that she would be in the position she was in at the end, instead of Maggie. Just my opinion – I’d love to know yours after you read it. So, make sure you click on that link above to get your copy and then come back and tell me what you thought after you read it.

APPEARANCE (★★★★): The cover is great. Very eye catchy and inviting. It was designed by Anca Gabriela at BROSEDESIGNZ who I believe did a beautiful job of creating a cover that would inspire fantasy lovers to pick up the book.

FAVORITE QUOTES:
“That’s it! We’re all going to die. I knew it, we’re going to die. Thank you, Kylie, for delivering me to my death. Would anyone else like to say thanks to Kylie before we die?” ~ Klause

AUTHOR BIO: 

familyW. M. Martin is a writer of fantasy novels and a lover of his black lab, Willow. He’s also quite fond of his wife, Stephanie, and their four daughters. The stories he writes are inspired by his children. They are the first and last line of defense in regards to ensuring that his readers are certain to enjoy his works. He enjoys writing about female heroes, because his daughters are his.

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

ALSO BY W.M. Martin:

Shadow

Shadow of Okeaous
hen a teenage runaway named Maggie Bennett is drawn to the small but odd town of Thieves, she is unaware of what adventure awaits her. Maggie must journey to a world beyond the one she knows to undertake the trials and train to became a Guardian, all while an ancient and malefic presence is secretly haunting her every step, and it desires, more than anything, that which it once held. Journey along with Maggie as she learns about the world of the Veil, her place within it, and the Fallen hordes who want to watch it burn.

Picking the right editor!

editorAs a self-published author, the idea of finding an editor can be very daunting. Everywhere you look, there are a thousand people, with a wide range of experience, offering editing services that vary in price and level of detail. To say that making a decision on which editor is right for your project is easy would be stating a blatant lie. With so many choice… to many choices… you may be tempted to just hire the first editor you meet, but that could turn out to be the biggest mistake you could make for your manuscript. 

I consider myself lucky, in that I was able to find and connect with an editor early on who I feel really “gets” my writing style and author voice. Does that mean I would never hire a different editor? No, but it means that while things are working… we’ll keep working. Writing is a very personal experience. You spend days… weeks… months… and often years planning and writing your manuscript. It is important to find an editor who not only values your project but also your individual voice and style as an author. 

Considering I only published my first novel, Awaken (book 1 ~ The Blood Angel Series) back in 2012, I still think of myself as fairly new to the publishing game… publishing world. However, in that short time and with 7 novels (and a few author assistance guides) under my belt now, I have come up with a list of things that I believe are important to do/think about when picking the right editor for you. 

#1. Decide what type of editing help you’re looking for

  • Beta-Readers
  • Developmental/Substantive Editor
  • Content Editor
  • Copyeditor
  • Proofreader

Keep in mind that you will more than likely need more than one editor/edit pass on your book. I usually do a series of beta-reader edits and then a minimum of 3 professional rounds of edits. For more detail on the different types of edits, check out Shayla Raquel’s blog post, What Kind of Editor Do You Need?

#2. Determine your budget
It is important, before choosing an editor, to know exactly how much you have available to spend on editing. Be realistic, spend what you can afford right now, not what you think you can cover with book sales. Editing is important. In fact, it is essential to the success of your book. However, it DOES NOT SELL YOUR BOOK ON IT’S OWN!!! The book cover and the story you’ve written are what sells the book… the editing plays a huge part in the readers decision to continue reading, what kind of review (if any) they give your book, and whether or not they buy your next book. 

Once you’ve decided on a budget, don’t deviate. I recommend having an editing price range… What I want to spend and what I’m willing to spend if I find an editor that I just love!

#3: Do your research and make a list
Do your research and create a list of editors to include contact information, experience, offered services, pricing, client reviews/ratings, and what genres the editor works in (if applicable). An editor whose only experience is in technical manuals might not be the right editor for your Sci-Fi novel.

There are a thousand ways to get this information, but I recommend doing a Google search; request recommendations from fellow authors; Search LinkedIn and upwork.com; search online author forums on NaNoWriMo, Goodreads, and any other author chat boards you can find!

Once you have a complete list of editors you should be able to find those that stand out above the rest.

#4: Narrow down your options
Start by deleting editors off the list.

  • Delete anyone that is absolutely out of your price range
  • Delete anyone who doesn’t offer the editing services you need
  • Delete anyone with less than adequate education or experience
  • Delete them if they just seem like they won’t be a good fit
  • Delete them if they don’t have experience in your genre
  • Delete them if their turnaround time wont meet your deadline
  • Delete them if they have negative client reviews/ratings

Don’t feel bad about being picky – you should be picky when picking your editor! What you should have left is a list editors whose price range, turnaround time, service offerings, education and experience, meet your expectations.

#5: Request a sample edit and complete reviews
Now is the time to make sure you select an editor you can work with. This person is someone you have to be able to trust… trust to help you mold and shape your manuscript… your creative baby! You can’t just pick an editor because they offer the services you need at a price you can afford. You want to be confident in your choice and the fact that their assistance is going to help move your story forward, and not backward.

The best way to do that is to review sample edits. Most good editors will offer a free sample edit or consultation on a few pages of your manuscript. If the editor isn’t willing to do this, delete them off your list and move on.

Take advantage of this opportunity for a sample edit, but don’t expect to send a different chapter of your manuscript to twenty different editors and call that a round of edits.  This is your chance to really get a feel for what it would be like to work with a particular editor. Send the same 2-3 page sample to all your prospective editors so you can compare their work – apples to apples. The more samples you get the easier it will be to choose the right editor for you.

Once you have as many sample edits as you can get, compare them! Look to see if the editor did a good job marking errors in punctuation, grammar, syntax, and work usage. (Tip: I like to include some specific errors when I send my sample… It allows me to test the editors and see who catches the errors and who doesn’t.) If the editor made suggestions/comments on sentence structure or dialogue, or how was their tone? Did they seem constructive or condescending? Did the editor keep their text suggestions within the same voice and style that you prefer? 

You are looking for an editor who not only has the technical abilities to edit your manuscript but also the skills to work with one on one with you and respect your creative process and writing style. This isn’t just about one book… on manuscript. If you can find an editor you work well with, an editor who understands your style and is willing and able to work within it, then you can build a wonderful working relationship with them. Like I said before, I’ve been working with the same editor now for 7 novels and I know exactly what I will get from her every time… LOTS OF AWESOME SUGGESTIONS AND CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM!  

#6: Hire your editor
Hopefully you were able to find an editor that gave you a great sample edits, with lots of awesome suggestions, who also respected your creative voice that seems like they would be easy to work with. If so, HIRE THEM! Hire them A.S.A.P. before someone else scoops them up and they are no longer available. There are a thousand editors ready to offer you their services, but finding a good one can be hard. When you find that good one… the needle in the haystack you grab them fast!

On the other hand, if you weren’t able to find the perfect editor – try again. Hiring an editor can be expensive, don’t settle for someone you aren’t excited about. Wait until you are sure you’ve found the right editor before putting out the money.

I have one last piece of advice and I say this not to scare you but to prepare you – The editing process sucks! You’ve worked long and hard to write your story… It isn’t easy to get it back from an editor who has had it a couple of weeks, maybe a month, and see it covered in bright red markings. Each edits poking at your soul like a personal insult.

With that said, as hard as it is to see your marked up manuscript, you don’t want an editor who will just tell you everything is great. That isn’t what you pay an editor for and in the end it would be a waste of your money. You want someone who will be completely honest with you, no matter how bad it hurts. 

When I got my first manuscript back from my editor, I cried. I took one look at it, flipped through the pages and cried. I didn’t pick it back up for a month. Then, when I finally took the time to read her edits, consider her suggestions, and really think about my story I knew she was right. In the end, my story is so much better because of the care and time she and I spent working through the issues the original manuscript had. It doesn’t matter how good of a writer you are, in the end your editor will – if they are good – find things that MUST BE CHANGED in order to make your story the best it can be.  

Don’t pick an editor who makes you feel great about yourself, pick the editor that cares more about making your story great than coddling your feelings.  

Author Interview – Marie Lavender

Marie Lavendar an established self-published Indie author with 16 published books to her name (including pen names) recently went the route of traditional publishing when she released Upon Your Return. Learn all about her experience in this intimate one-on-one interview.

Mariepic2Marie Lavendar ~ Author of Upon Your Return

UponYourReturn_E-bookCover

  • What is your name and where do you call home? My name is Marie Lavender and I am a small town girl from Indiana.
  • What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say? Upon Your Return is my latest release.  It came out in February through Solstice Publishing.  Upon Your Return is a historical romance about a girl who dreams big and gets into a lot of trouble for it.
  • Is the above book part of a series?Yes, it is the first book in the Heiresses in Love series.
  • What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing? I’ve always been an avid reader ever since I was a kid.  I suppose that was part of the onset of my writing obsession.  But, mainly, it was that I had these scenes go through my head of characters and dialogue and I had no choice but to write them down.
  • How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)? I had a few ideas for it, but the credit goes to Kayden McLeod, the cover designer, and Jimmy Thomas, one of the cover models.
  • Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)? Yes, sometimes I listen to different artists.  Sometimes, if I am writing historical stories, it helps to listen to Celtic music or love songs.  It really depends on the book I’m working on.  I like a lot of different music.  Some of my favorite artists are Owl City, Paramore, Fireflight, OneRepublic, Switchfoot and Sarah MacLachlan.  I have others, but there are really too many to count.
  • How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? It came from part of the dialogue in the book.  It is something the heroine says to the man she later falls for.
  • Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books? In some ways, I am traditional.  I still love to have a paperback or hard copy in my hands.
  • Are you a self-published/Indie author? Yes.  I have self-published fifteen books.  Upon Your Return is the first one that is traditionally published.
  • If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route? I had a lot of works I wanted people to see.  And it was fun to self-publish!
  • Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it? I’ve definitely read some of Catherine Coulter’s books over again.  And I’ve read J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood more than once.
  • What is your opinion of novellas? There is nothing wrong with a novella.  It is a short read, but it still tells a good story.
  • Have you ever read a book just based on its cover? The cover is appealing a lot of the time, but mostly I have read a book because of the blurb or because I already follow that author’s work.
  • What is your favorite film based on a book? Jurassic Park is a great movie based on a book.  I have read the book and even though it is entirely different from the movie, both were equally appealing.
  • What is your favorite book genre at the moment? I am really into paranormal romance right now.
  • What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why? Word of mouth is a great marketing tool.  Someone recommended Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series to me recently.  And I had to add another series because I kept seeing tweets about it on Twitter.  I added  Ally Shield’s Guardian Witch series to the list.  I have also made a lot of author friends on Facebook and through my writer’s blog Writing in the Modern Age.  So, I added Linda Lee Williiam’s Elsewhere and C.J. Heck’s Anatomy of a Poet to my wish list on Amazon.
  • What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format? Truthfully, it is silly but I am reading Upon Your Return for the first time in paperback.  It was sitting around so I thought…what the heck?
  • If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why? Ooh…can I invite Gerard Butler?  God, I love that man’s accent!  Oh, and Jimmy Thomas, the man who blessed my cover with his beautiful…um, face!  I would also like to bring Catherine Coulter to the table simply because she was the woman who woke me up to the historical romance genre.  And J.R. Ward…simply because I can’t get enough of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  The brothers rule!
  • What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? Never give up.  Never, ever, ever give up no matter what.  Perseverance is the key to making it in this industry.  If you don’t have that, you can’t weather the storm to get noticed.
  • Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing? Shopping!  Is that related?  Well, I guess it is somewhat related because I can’t ever buy enough books!  But, I love shopping of any kind.  I really need someone to take my credit cards away.  My fiancé knows what a problem I have with that, but that’s a discussion for another day. 

Where can your readers follow you?

I want to thank Marie Lavendar for taking the time to participate in this interview and for allowing us a glimpse into her wonderful world of writing.

As a writer myself I always learn something new from every writer I meet and I hope that all of my readers are able to enjoy and learn from Marie’s experiences.

Praise for Awaken!

So, a few weeks back I was a little down about a bad review, a two (2) star review to be exact. Okay, it wasn’t all bad the author did say he/she would be reading my next novel, but still the words “…easy to put down.” and “…lacks the professional touches with structure, hooks and cliffhangers” kept running through my head. I told myself over and over, “DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO REVIEWS!” but I’m a writer… of course I pay attention to reviews.

So, today as I was surfing the web I once again glanced at my book on Amazon.com and low and behold… a four (4) star review had been bestowed to Awaken. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to the reviewer for making my day just a little brighter. What did the review say? Well, let me show you…

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Okay, yes this reviewer did point out that there are a few grammatical errors in the book, but also said that you get past them because you are too immersed in the story… IMMERSED IN THE STORY!!! WooHoo… What a wonderful complement. That anyone is immersed in my story and my characters is beyond amazing and wonderful to me. I am so thankful for this reader and hope that others can read and enjoy my story as much as she has.

Well what are you waiting for? Go download your copy, and while you’re at it go ahead and pick up ‘BEGINNINGS’ too.

Get them both HERE!

Blood Angel Series Cover Poster

Awaken ~ the Trailer

Okay, film editing is not my thing. But, computers make it so easy these days for crazy non-techy people like me to play around. So, I spent the weekend working with the easy-to-use Microsoft Word editing software and came up with the following trailer for my first novel Awaken. It isn’t crazy award-winning great, but for a first timer I’m pretty happy with it. I hope you will be too. Please post your thoughts and let me know what you like, what you don’t like, and what I can do to make it better…. or at least make the next one better.

http://youtu.be/OwdOSPi3jaY

Have a beautiful day, and if you like the video go to YouTube and click like… if you really like it go to Amazon and pick-up your copy of the book today! You might as well pick-up a copy of Beginnings, the second book in the series, while your there.

Blood Angel Series Cover Poster

BEGINNINGS is finally here!

 

Beginnings ~ a Blood Angel novel (BOOK 2) by Nina Soden NOW AVAILABLE on e-readers everywhere!

Beginnings ~ a Blood Angel novel (BOOK 2) by Nina Soden
NOW AVAILABLE on e-readers everywhere!

That’s right – you read the title correctly. Beginnings ~ a Blood Angel novel is finally here!

CLICK HERE to download your copy today!

BEGINNINGS ~ a Blood Angel novel

by Nina Soden

Surrounded by a new world where the horror films she grew up watching have become reality Alee finds that the most unlikely characters have become her lifeline. If she thought hunting in the wild and drinking blood was bad, what will she think when she becomes the hunted? Newly armed with the knowledge of being half witch and half vampire Alee, the only surviving Dhampir in history, is forced to learn to control a lifetime of magic and vampire powers if she wants to survive.

Part horror thriller – part tender romance, Beginnings will leave readers wanting more!

E-BOOK AVAILABLE NOW!

Rewrites… Week Six In Review!

Okay, week six is over and I know I promised to send the book to the publisher by the end of week six but… I just can’t. You see I recently read a review of my first book on Amazon… I know, you should never read reviews, but I did! It was a 2 star review called ‘An Interesting Idea’ and this is what it said:

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Okay, so it wasn’t entirely bad. I mean the writer is still planning to read my next book, but still…
So, I have made the decision to hold off just a little while longer – one more week to have yet again one more set of eyes read, review, and edit the book and then the short time it takes to review and adjust for the changes.

I’m a self published author – I don’t promise not to have any grammar or spelling errors, but I don’t want so many that it takes away from the book and is distracting.

Personally I like my story line and character development, and I hope I don’t disappoint my readers with a lack of structure, hooks and cliffhangers again in book two.

So, for you… My readers, I am going to go through one more round of edits. And, I hope to deliver an end product that makes you all want to come back for more!

Thanks for understanding.