Hunger Games Trilogy Bargain

Looking for a good weekend read, or re-read? The Hunger Games trilogy is available in the Amazon Kindle Store for only $5.00. Yes, that’s $5.00 for all three books. Remember, if you don’t have a Kindle, the app is available for computers, tablets and smartphones.

This dealio probably won’t last long, so grab it now!

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
The extraordinary, ground breaking New York Times bestsellers The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, along with the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay, are available for the first time ever in e-book. Stunning, gripping, and powerful. The trilogy is now complete!

Description provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found this book via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

This bargain book is a limited time offer and there is no guarantee it will still be a bargain when you click on the link. Grab it sooner rather than later.

Camp NaNoWriMo

You probably know about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month,) an annual event that takes place every November. It’s a competition, a challenge to write 50K words in 30 days. You may not know about Camp NaNoWriMo. Think of NaNoWriMo in a low-key setting where you set your goals. To quote a message from Chris Angotti of the Office of Letters and Light, the good folks who bring us NaNoWriMo:

We want to invite you to a writing retreat—a serene, supportive place you don’t have to move a muscle to get to… Okay, well, maybe your link-clicking muscle:

Camp NaNoWriMo, now in April and July 2013!

We just reopened the gate for next month’s session, and whether you’re a canoe kingpin or tenting tenderfoot, we’ve got a few new things to show you:

Flexible word-count goals. Your choice, from 10,000 to 999,999.

Rebel- and script-friendliness. Write a memoir, blog series, frenzied script, or anything your creative heart desires.

Looking for that push to start your novel or finish it? Have you always wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo, but were put off by the 50K challenge? This could be for you. You can sign up for the April session on the Camp NaNoWriMo website.

Whether you’re planning to join a cabin at the camp or are saving up energy for the November frenzy, I found a couple of free-for-now writing guides that could help with both events.

  30 Daily Tips for NaNoWriMo: No Fail Formulas To Finish Your Novel by Tara Maya
NaNoWriMo is National Writer’s Month, when writers from around the world sit down and try to finish a novel (at least 50,000 words) in a month. There are many books and blogs with Daily Prompts for NaNoWriMo, and they’re good books, but they contain a high percentage of Cheerleading to Content. I’m not bashing a good cheer (Go, Team Writer!), but these prompts include a higher ration of Grit to Goodwill. These are my best No Fail Formulas, most of which I’ve shamelessly stolen from all the best authors I love.

  2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron
Expanding on her highly successful process for doubling daily word counts, this book, a combination of reworked blog posts and new material, offers practical writing advice for anyone who’s ever longed to increase their daily writing output. In addition to updated information for Rachel’s popular 2k to 10k writing efficiency process, 5 step plotting method, and easy editing tips, this new book includes chapters on creating characters that write their own stories, practical plot structure, and learning to love your daily writing. Full of easy to follow, practical advice from a commercial author who doesn’t eat if she doesn’t produce good books on a regular basis, 2k to 10k focuses not just on writing faster, but writing better, and having more fun while you do it.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Sword and Sorcery

Sword and Sorcery is a genre of action, adventure and magic. Readers expect heroes and villains who can accomplish feats of amazing physical and supernatural abilities.

For a novel to be considered Sword and Sorcery, it requires conflict that will be resolved by the use of blades and magic. Therefore the setting must be in an actual or alternate time period before the use of gunpowder, unless gunpowder is being used as a sort of combustible magic potion rather than in guns.

There are obvious similarities between Sword and Sorcery and Epic Fantasy. So, what’s the difference? Epic Fantasy usually involves a high stake quest that will either save or destroy the world. Sword and Sorcery involves smaller quests, such as rescuing a kidnapped prince or retrieving a lost treasure. A kingdom can be at stake, and sometimes a whole world, but the protagonist is primarily concerned with her personal quest.

A common trope for the genre is bulky, heroic swordsman versus slinky, devious sorceress. While there are books along those lines, there are many others that deviate from that tired stereotype. Even Robert E. Howard, creator of the Conan series, liked strong, heroic swordswomen, such as his characters Red Sonya and Agnes de Chastillon.

Sword and Sorcery books featuring strong female protagonists include the Tiger and Del series and many of the books by Tamora Pierce.

The antihero is a common protagonist in this genre, which makes sense since the stakes are personal rather than universal. This type of character may do good despite himself, but will also walk away after causing a lot of harm. Sword and Sorcery antiheroes include Elric of Melniboné, Corwin of Amber, and Magiere of the Noble Dead Saga.

Interested in reading Sword and Sorcery? I don’t blame you. It’s fun stuff! Popular authors include Lynn Flewelling, Terry Goodkind, Poul Anderson, C. L. Moore and R. A. Salvatore.

Genre fans may also want to check out these websites:

Below you’ll find a few free-for-now Kindle books to give you a taste for the genre. Among these includes “Stone of Tears,” the second in Terry Goodkind’s Sword of the Truth series. I checked and the first book isn’t free.

  Stone of Tears (The Sword of Truth #2) by Terry Goodkind
With Darken Rahl defeated, Richard and Kahlan head back to the Mud People to be married. As they wait for their wedding day to approach, they discover three Sisters of Light are pursuing Richard, intending to take him back to the Old World to be trained as a Wizard. Additionally, unbeknownst to Richard and Kahlan, the veil has been torn and the Stone of Tears has entered the world. According to prophecy, the only person who has a chance at closing the veil is the one bonded to the blade, the one born true.

  Dralin by John H. Carroll
There are many cities in the world of Ryallon that know the touch of despair and evil, but none like Dralin. Towers of wizards rise high into the air, shrouded in the mists of magical smog. Poor sleep in the alleyways, becoming deformed by pollution. Life is short for many. Throughout all of it, the cunning and dangerous members of the City Guard do their best to keep evil and crime from destroying the citizens of Dralin. Trained to fight in streets that make no sense, they keep wickedness from taking over completely. A young woman fleeing her past makes Dralin her destination. A young Guardsman with his own dark history hopes to make a difference in a city that is without hope. Are sorrow and despair their only destiny, or can love redeem them? Two young girls raised in this city learn life’s hard lessons early. Will they be defeated by its evil?

  Demonsouled by Jonathan Moeller
Banished for fifteen years, the wandering knight Mazael Cravenlock returns home at last to the Grim Marches, only to find war and chaos. His brother plans a foolish and doomed rebellion. His sister hopes to wed a brutal and cruel knight. The whispers speak of living corpses that stalk the night, of demons that lurk in darkness, and a sinister snake-cult that waits in the shadows. Yet Mazael’s darkest enemy waits elsewhere. Within his own tainted soul…

Product Details  Pale Queen’s Courtyard by Marcin Wrona
Kamvar, a soldier, has lost his way. Leonine, a thief and sorcerer, has forgotten that he had one to lose. When the daughter of a High Priest finds herself exiled and hunted across the entirety of conquered Ekka, both men will remember who they are, and the country’s invaders will learn that memories, unlike temples, are not so easily torn down.

  The Darkslayer: Wrath of the Royals by Craig Halloran
When recklessness provokes a Royal household, Venir and his friend Melegal the thief are forced to flee the city. In pursuit, the Royals soon unleash some unusual powers against them and start to close in. Can Venir and Melegal survive the impending doom that is about to befall them? Only Bish knows, but Venir has been secretly keeping evil forces at bay for years. He is the Darkslayer, a man possessed by a mantle of power he cannot let go.

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Middle Grade Fiction

After my last post on Young Adult (YA) fiction, I decided Middle Grade (MG) should come next in my series of genre articles. I’ll start by posing a common question, what is the difference between Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction?

The easy answer: MG is for tweens, older elementary and middle school students, while YA is for high school students.

You may notice there’s a fuzzy spot in the middle of this answer. A given person doesn’t suddenly turn into a more sophisticated reader upon graduating middle school. Older tweens may want to read YA and younger teens may still be reading MG. This middle ground also gives some wiggle room for the age of the protagonist. While typically no younger than eight or older than twelve, a MG protagonist can be as old as fourteen.

So, what defines a Middle Grade book? The protagonist should be the same age as the target readership. The voice should be that of a young person going through the awkward  stages of puberty and adolescence. A MG protagonist is a child becoming a teen, not a teen becoming an adult. This involves a protagonist finding his place in the world while his body is growing and changing. Family and friendship have more emphasis than romance. There will be little to no sexual references and what there is will not be explicit. The books also tend to be shorter in length.

MG books can be about serious, controversial subjects that are of issue to that age group. “Choke” is about an eighth grade girl drawn into the Choking Game, a recent phenomenon where kids choke each other to get high.

Like YA, MG is a wide umbrella with many subgenres such as literary, horror, science fiction, mystery and humor. Examples, in order of genre, include “Wonder,” “A Tale Dark & Grimm,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” “Liar & Spy,” and “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.”

Certain MG novels appeal to tweens, teens and adults, such as “Harry Potter,” “Artemis Fowl” and “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.” It’s interesting to note that these are all series where the protagonist ages from tween to teen. As they grow older, their issues and self-identity change as well. Does this mean the later books become YA fiction? No. They become that magical word, “crossover” and the series will probably be placed in more than one section in a library, bookstore or online store.

I recently had a conversation with a library worker. She told me that the Harry Potter books fly off the shelf in the teen section. However, in the middle grade section, the earlier books in the series are always checked out, while the later books remain on the shelf. While this is hardly a scientific study, it is an interesting indication that younger readers prefer a younger protagonist.

Interested in learning more about MG or finding good books to read? Check out these websites.

HarperCollins Children’s is offering a free sampler of Middle Grade fiction. It’s available for download in a variety of formats.

  Awesome Adventures for Kids Middle Grade Sampler
Embark on a totally awesome adventure with excerpts from six extraordinary stories in one comprehensive ebook sampler! Experience magic and mix-ups with Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver; enter the enchanting wilderness of Wildwood by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis; meet an unlikely hero in The Otherworld Chronicles: The Invisible Tower by Nils Johnson-Shelton; learn recipes with a twist in Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood; prepare to save the world with Cold Cereal by Adam Rex; and go on a wild family road trip with The Genius Files #2: Never Say Genius by Dan Gutman.