Books

Free and signed Halloween reads

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October 23, 2014

So that most awesome of festivals, Halloween, is fast approaching. I plan to start a new tradition this year, that I picked up from author Willie Miekle. Willie posted on Facebook how he always writes a ghost story by hand in a notebook every Halloween. Brilliant! I’ll be doing that from now on too. But it’s also the time for All Hallow’s Read, which is something Neil Gaiman started a few years ago.

Suspended In Dusk NEW 187x300 Free and signed Halloween reads

Suspended In Dusk

So what is All Hallow’s Read? Well, it’s a new Halloween tradition where during the week of Halloween, or on the night itself, you give someone a scary book. So here I’ll be giving you a scary book. A new anthology has just come out, called Suspended In Dusk. It contains 19 excellent horror stories, including one by myself, with an introduction by Jack Ketchum, all superbly edited together by Simon Dewar. The print edition should be coming out any time now, but the ebook is out already. And until October 31st, you can get it for free from Smashwords. Here’s the page to get it, and then use the coupon code DA68M at the checkout to change the price to $0.00. Happy Halloween!

And talking about scary books, you know the first Alex Caine book, Bound, is pretty scary, right? You can buy that in all bookstores, free shipping from fishpond.com.au, it’s still only $20 on booktopia.com.au. Lots of city stores have signed copies in stock. It’s also only $1.99 in ebook, from all the usual outlets.

However, if you want a signed copy directly from me, that’s no problem. They’re only $20 plus postage. Email me at alan [at] warriorscribe.com and tell me where you are and I’ll let you know the postage. I can send those signed copies anywhere in the world, even though the books are currently only officially available in Australia and New Zealand. A signed copy of Bound? What a great gift for Halloween, or Christmas, or just because you’re a great person and you buy books as gifts. You rock.

Meanwhile, grab that free anthology while you can. It really is a good collection of scary stories.

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I’m going to be doing a signing and Q&A at Kiama Library

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October 14, 2014

The ongoing Bound train continues to roll and next month I’ve got a hometown appearance. I’ll be at Kiama Library talking about the Alex Caine Series and answering questions and all that stuff. Here are the relevant details:

6pm Tuesday 18th November

Bookings essential – call (02) 4233 1133

7 Railway Parade,
Kiama NSW 2533

Email: library@kiama.nsw.gov.au

Copies of Bound will be available for purchase and signing, or if you already have a copy, bring it along if you’d like it signed.

So if you’re a local like me, or near enough to get to the lovely harbour town of Kiama, do come along. Might I suggest you arrive early and have some fantastic fish and chips for dinner down at the harbour, before walking around the library for 6pm. You know, I might even do it that way myself. Look forward to seeing you there.

Click the image below for a bigger version:

Caine flyer small 212x300 Im going to be doing a signing and Q&A at Kiama Library

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Goodreads Giveaway – a signed copy of BOUND

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September 18, 2014

I’m having a giveaway over at Goodreads. I’m such a fan of everything that site does – it’s a great community for readers. If you’re not on Goodreads, I suggest you check it out – you can catalogue your own book collection, rate and review stuff you read, see what other people think of the stuff you love and hate and so on. There are discussion forums, bookclubs and all kinds of other stuff. And, regularly, people give books away, like I’m doing now. All you have to do to be in the running for a signed paperback copy of BOUND is click this link and then click the Enter To Win button. That’s it. If you’re anywhere in Australia or New Zealand, you’re eligible to enter.

While you’re there, feel free to add BOUND, OBSIDIAN and ABDUCTION to your library by clicking the big green Want To Read button. If you click on the book titles in this post, you’ll get taken directly to each book’s Goodreads page. Have and go and please share this giveaway. Good luck!

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Sci-fi six pack for only 99c, including me

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September 10, 2014

scifi box set 300x300 Sci fi six pack for only 99c, including me So this is exciting: The publisher of my Balance novels, Gryphonwood Press, has put together a book bundle featuring six great sci-fi stories from six top-notch authors, for only 99 cents.

Humans fight off an alien invasion. A race of super-soldiers turn on their creators. A specialist undergoes a dangerous procedure in order to access a secret locked in his mind. Futuristic submarine warfare on alien worlds! A telepath and spice dealer battle gangs and madmen. A futuristic bounty hunter pursues a madman across the galaxy.

A dirty half-dozen science fiction thrills, three novels, two novellas, and a short story, by William Meikle, Justin Macumber, Terry W Ervin II, Terry Mixon, Ryan A Span and that one about the futuristic bounty hunter? That’s my novella, Ghost of the Black: A ‘Verse Full of Scum. So much sci-fi for under a dollar.

This box set will only be available for a short while. Get it now!

BUY YOUR COPY OF SCI-FI SIX-PACK

Kindle | Kindle UK | Kindle AU | Kindle CA | Nook | Kobo | Smashwords

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Alex Caine trilogy all out now and still only $12 total for all three

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August 25, 2014

Today sees the ebook publication of Abduction, Alex Caine #3, in Australia and New Zealand. So now the entire trilogy is out there in ebook (only for Australia and NZ readers at the moment, but as I’ve mentioned before, my agent and editor are working hard to secure US and UK deals for the books too.)

And you can still get the entire trilogy for less than twelve dollars. That’s barely the same as a single movie ticket. For three entire novels. Crazy! Book 1, Bound, is currently still $1.99 – for how long, I’m not sure, so get in quick. Book 2, Obsidian, is out now and only $4.99. Book 3, Abduction, is out today and also only $4.99. That’s all three books for $11.97. That won’t last, so get it while you can. Go to Amazon AUS, iBooks, Google Play or Kobo and search my name. Or start here and select the store of your choice for Bound.

And if you have read these books, or you plan to, and you enjoy them, please talk about them. Tell friends and family, tell colleagues at work, mention them on Twitter or Facebook, Goodreads and so on. Nothing works better than word of mouth, so if you love a book, talk about it and share the love. Authors will love you for it. Your voice is just as important as anyone else’s when you recommend a book to someone. And thanks for reading!

Caine three covers spread web 300x150 Alex Caine trilogy all out now and still only $12 total for all three

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The entire Alex Caine trilogy in ebook for less than $12!

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August 18, 2014

It’s only one week until Abduction, Alex Caine #3, comes out in ebook in Australia and New Zealand. That’s very exciting, as it means the entire trilogy will be out there. Sadly, this is only for Australia and NZ readers at the moment, but as I’ve mentioned before, my agent and editor are working hard to secure US and UK deals for the books too. (Feel free to lobby (politely!) Harper Voyager in the US or UK if you’re really keen to read them and don’t live Down Under!)

However, for you lucky ANZ readers, you can get the entire trilogy for less than twelve dollars at the moment. I know, that’s just mental! Book 1, Bound, is currently still $1.99 – for how long, I’m not sure, so get in quick. Book 2, Obsidian, is out now and only $4.99. Book 3, Abduction, is out next week and is available for pre-order now and also only $4.99 – so click to buy it now and it’ll download next week. That’s all three books for $11.97. That won’t last, so get it while you can. Go to Amazon AUS, iBooks, Google Play or Kobo and search my name. Or start here and select the store of your choice for Bound.

And if you have read Bound and Obsidian, or you plan to, and you enjoy them, please talk about them. Tell friends and family, tell colleagues at work, mention them on Twitter or Facebook, Goodreads and so on. Nothing works better than word of mouth, so if you love a book, talk about it and share the love. Authors will love you for it. Your voice is just as important as anyone else’s when you recommend a book to someone. And thanks for reading!

Caine three covers spread web 300x150 The entire Alex Caine trilogy in ebook for less than $12!

How do you e-read?

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August 5, 2014

This has come up a couple of times in various conversations recently, so I thought I’d talk about it here. Ebooks are here to stay, obviously. While there will always be print books too, even if that does eventually reduce to Print-on-Demand and collector’s folio editions, ebooks will only continue to gain strength. There’s the whole format and DRM thing to still sort out – Amazon aren’t about to give up the mobi format any time soon, and a lot of places are struggling with where they stand on DRM – but these are all ongoing teething problems. I’d like to imagine a utopia where ePub is the standard across all vendors and publishers (which it already is if you don’t include Amazon) and where DRM is a thing of the past. But regardless of how it all shakes down, ebooks are mainstream now.

I love ebooks. I dig that I can carry hundreds of books around on my phone. Honestly, how living-in-the-future is that shit? And I do read on my phone. But primarily I read from an iPad Mini. I love my Mini – it’s the perfect size and does all the things I want. Plus, I have this sweet leather cover for it that makes it look like a cool old hardback book. Here it is:

photo 300x298 How do you e read?

Pretty sweet, huh? I use it for internet, email, videos, TV, games and loads of other stuff as well as reading. It’s just the best thing ever, technology-wise.

But I didn’t always read ebooks on the Mini and I use several apps even now. Other people I’ve spoken to use a variety of devices and all swear by them. Some people consider dedicated ereaders a cul-de-sac technology that’ll die down to almost nothing because tablets are so much more versatile, while others love their dedicated ereader precisely because it’s just for reading and has no other distracting functions.

I got onto the whole ebook bandwagon pretty early on. For example, when I originally self-published RealmShift back in the day, it was the 376th book to be uploaded to Smashwords, as evidenced by its URL there. There are now over 300,000 books on Smashwords. I would read ebooks on my PC from very early on too. I guess I knew right off the bat that this technology was going to quickly become the norm and it most certainly did. Interestingly, that massive rush into the mainstream that ebooks made was largely encouraged along by Amazon and their Kindle device. They really saw an opportunity and exploited it with expert (some might say evil) skill.

Amazon Kindle 3 203x300 How do you e read?After reading on my laptop and phone for a while, my first dedicated ereader was an old generation Kindle 3, like the one pictured on the left, and I got hooked fully into the Amazon ecosystem. I was already there really, using the Kindle app – I even converted ePub files to mobi to use on the Kindle. I didn’t mind at all at the time – Amazon always had the most content, you could buy with one click and it would roll straight onto your reader. And the battery life of the Kindle is awesome. The reading experience is great too, with no backlight and all that jazz. Apparently, the new Paperwhite is even better, but I’ve yet to see one of those in the flesh… plastic… whatever. But I don’t use my Kindle any more. My wife uses it a bit and I do actually miss it in some ways, but it became superfluous to my needs.

I used the Kindle app on my phone while I used my Kindle 3 and that was awesome. If I was out and had ten minutes to spare, I could dial up whatever book I was reading and the app would automatically sync it to the last place I’d read. But I began to get more and more disillusioned with Amazon and at the same time, more or less, got my iPad Mini. The Kindle was no good for comics and I read a lot of those, so an iPad was a great choice. I got the Kindle app for it and discovered that the backlit screen really doesn’t bother me at all. So the Kindle 3 became unnecessary luggage.

Now my phone and iPad are all I carry, and they do all I need. But I’m not all about Kindle any more. There are so many reading apps out there. Rather than buy in to the Amazon ecosystem entirely, I started looking at other options. I found that a lot of publishers sell direct from their own websites, a lot of small press use places like Smashwords as well as Amazon, and I recently discovered that the Kobo store is great. All of these use ePub, and don’t tie you to Amazon. And I particularly like ePub because I discovered a couple of years ago an app called Marvin. It’s only for iDevices at the moment, but apparently an Andriod version is in the works. It’s my favourite ereader now and I’ll always look for an ePub file that I can sideload to Marvin as my first port of call when I want a new book. If I can’t find that, I’ll shop at Kobo and use the Kobo app. As a last resort, I’ll go back to Amazon and read with the Kindle. I also still use the Kindle app to read PDFs and Word documents that I send myself  using my Kindle email thing. It’s really a case of what’s best for any given situation, but always looking for ePub first.

So while I almost exclusively read ebooks on the iPad Mini now (with occasional forays on my phone), I do it with a variety of apps and stores. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to a dedicated ereader. And I read about 50/50 ebook/print, so I’ll certainly never abandon paper books. I’m an utter bibliophile and love my bookshelves. I love to get beautiful editions, especially hardbacks, of my favourite books, though income doesn’t allow me to indulge that as much as I’d like. And if I read an ebook that I really enjoy, I’ll get the paper edition for my shelves. Most recently that happened with Nathan Ballingrud’s amazing debut collection of short stories called “North American Lake Monsters”. I bought the ebook, absolutely loved it and, as soon as I’d finished reading, I flipped from the reading app to the browser on my iPad and bought the last signed hardcover from the Small Beer Press website. All without leaving my couch. There’s that living-in-the-future shit again. So brilliant.

So what about you? What’s your ereader of choice? How do you shop for ebooks? Let me know in the comments and let me know too about any great apps or readers I might have missed out on.

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What can $7 buy you?

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August 5, 2014

It’s a fair question, right? What can $7 buy you? Maybe a coffee and a cookie. That’s nothing to be sneezed at (who wants a sneezed on cookie anyway?) but it’s some short term pleasure that’ll be over before you know it. And all those cookie calories… Or $7 can buy you half a movie ticket. But you can’t even see half a movie – you have to buy the other half of the ticket even if you only stay for half the film and that’s just stupid. And you’re not stupid, obviously. It’ll buy you about 5-10% of a pair of jeans, but you’ll just get arrested going around with only 10% pants on. Or it can buy you two full length, awesomely exciting novels. Come on, you know where this was going. At the moment (only in Australia and NZ, sorry*) you can get BOUND for $1.99 and the sequel, OBSIDIAN, for $4.99 in any ebook format of your choice. That’s just $6.98 for two entire books. Amazing, I know. And the third book of the trilogy, ABDUCTION, will be out in less than a month, and that’s only another $4.99.

Such a ridiculous amount of entertainment for such an incredible price. And way better than a movie, even if you went for the exciting second half. You can go to iBooks, Amazon.com.au, Kobo or Google Play and get those books right now (any of those links will take you directly to the book). I guarantee you’ll enjoy them. And if you do, please tell your friends and family about it – hell, tell your enemies too.

$7. Two books. How can you not?

(* Sorry to everyone elsewhere in the world – we’re working hard to secure a deal to get the Alex Caine books available everywhere outside the A/NZ region. )

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Talking up the good stuff

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July 30, 2014

I’ve been going on a lot lately about Bound. It’s no surprise, really. I have a book out from a major publisher and it’s on shelves in bookstores and everything! I’m still finding it hard to believe, but I’m certainly enjoying it. However, now I want to spread the love – I’ve been going on so much lately about myself, it’s time I talked about other people a bit. Below are the books and stories I’ve been really enjoying lately and I highly recommend you check them out. Let’s go:

The Hunt for Pierre Jnr By David M. Henley (the sequel, Manifestations, is out now too.) As the blurb says, “He can make you forget, he can control you and he is only eight years old. Three months after his birth he escaped. An hour later he was lost to surveillance. No one knows where he has been for the last eight years … Now Pierre Jnr is about to return.” Sounds good, right? It is.

Home & Hearth by Angela Slatter. All you need to know about this one is covered perfectly in Andrew McKiernan’s review here. I agree with him completely.

Last Year, When We Were Young by Andrew McKiernan. I had the pleasure of MCing the launch of this excellent debut collection of short stories. It’s fantastic and Greg Chapman sums it up nicely in this review here.

Exile by Peter M Ball. Okay, I haven’t read this one yet as I’ve only just bought it, but Peter Ball’s stuff is always good and I expect this novella to be up there as well. So I’m including it here.

Perfections by Kirstyn McDermott. This is a great novel and I reviewed it myself at Thirteen O’Clock, so head over here to learn more.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I mean, really, it’s enough that it’s by Gaiman, right? But this is a wonderful book and very British in style and setting. As an ex-pat Brit, that appealed to me a lot. But whether you’re British or not, it’s well worth your time.

SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror edited by Geoff Brown and A J Spedding. I had the honour of writing a foreword for this collection of military horror short stories. There’s fantastic variety here and it’s a tremendous collection. You’ll be surprised at the scope.

Trucksong by Andrew Macrae. A post-apocalyptic Australia with sentient trucks fighting and fucking and stuff. I know, right? It’s written in an incredibly well-developed Australian voice and is something quite different.

Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto. This is the guy who wrote True Detective, which is some of the best television I’ve seen in recent years. This is a southern crime noir kinda thing, fantasically written. I loved it.

North American Lake Monsters by Nathan Ballingrud. Possibly the best short story collection I’ve read in recent years. Again, I reviewed it for Thirteen O’Clock, so go here to read me gushing about it.

Lexicon by Max Barry. My book of the year last year and it won an Aurealis Award. A fantastic story about the power of words and language and modern magic rolled up with science and it’s a thriller and… and… Just read it.

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. A superb supernatural serial killer, crime thriller thing. This book has had loads of attention and all of it well-deserved. A must read.

And next up on my list are Guardian by Jo Anderton (which will be great because it’s book three after Debris and Suited, which were great), Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes (after the awesomeness of The Shining Girls, I can’t wait for this one) and Dreaming of Zhou Gong by Traci Harding (which I only got yesterday, signed no less, and I’m looking forward to a lot). Very exciting reading ahead, I think.

A quick web search will reveal any of these to you, so off you go and get some good stuff. Let me know what you think. And if you’ve read something simply brilliant lately, drop a mention in the comments and we can keep this sharing of good stuff going.

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The Bound train is staying in the station for a while now

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July 28, 2014

Well, it’s been a truly glorious ride so far. Bound came out on July 1st and we’ve been pimping it all over the place. The Sydney launch at Kinokuniya was fantastic, we’ve been to Adelaide and Brisbane, also excellent. I’ve been up and down the south coast of NSW visiting stores. For now, the Bound train is rolling into the station and taking a break. We’re hoping to get down to Melbourne for an event there, but probably not until September when all three books will be out in ebook (and hopefully print won’t be far behind.) I’m doing a signing and author event at Nowra Library on Thursday August 28th at 11am, but nothing in particular between now and then. Other things may come up, of course, so watch the blog here and Facebook and Twitter. Links in the righthand sidebar.

I’ll still visit shops wherever I can, but thank you to everyone who’s got behind me and the book so far. It’s really been an absolute trip. I’ll list below all the places that have some signed stock, in case you’re keen for a signed copy Bound. Meanwhile, if you have been kind enough to pick up a copy, either print or ebook, and if you enjoyed it, please do talk about it. Regardless of all the touring and everything else, nothing is as effective as word of mouth. If you love a book, talk about it. Tell your colleagues at work if the opportunity comes up in conversation. Tell your family and friends about it, buy it for someone as a gift – I honestly think one of the best gifts you can give a person is a copy of a book you yourself have recently enjoyed. If you can be bothered to rate and/or review it on Goodreads, Amazon, iBook Store, Kobo, etc., then that’s also of fantastic value to authors.

The bottom line is simply to talk about the things you enjoy and other people will likely give them a go. My next post, as I’ve been crapping on about the Alex Caine books so much lately, will be all about the other books I’ve recently enjoyed. Meanwhile, Alex Caine #2, Obsidian, is out now in ebook. Alex Caine #3, Abduction, will be out in ebook soon. If you’re keen to see those in print, hassle your bookstore and ask them to hassle their rep about getting the print editions in. Meanwhile, you can get a signed copy of Bound (for you or as a gift!) from:

Kinokinuya Bookshop, Sydney

Galaxy Books, Sydney

Dymocks, Rundle Mall, Adelaide

Collins Booksellers, Edwardstown, Adelaide

Avid Reader, Brisbane

Pulp Fiction, Brisbane

Dymocks, Brisbane City

Dymocks, Indooroopilly

Riverbend, Brisbane

Bowral Books, Bowral

Dymocks, Nowra

Dymocks, Wollongong

QBD Bookshop, Shellharbour

… I think that’s it. There may be that are eluding me now as my brain is a bit mushy. If you want a signed copy, but cant find one or aren’t near any of those stores, give me a shout and we’ll figure something out.

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Welcome

The website of author Alan Baxter

Alan Baxter, Author

Author of horror, dark fantasy & sci-fi. Kung Fu instructor. Personal Trainer. Motorcyclist. Dog lover. Gamer. Heavy metal fan. Britstralian. Zetetic.

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