All posts by S.W. Lothian

TIME SQUARE | UFO | Cover Reveal & Pre-order

We know there’s more to time than ticks and tocks … and there’s also more to a book than its cover. But let’s just take one step at a time. It’s time to reveal the cover of my new book TIME SQUARE | UFO, which is due for launch early October 2014.

This is book 2 of my new TIME SQUARE series and follows our heroes as they embark on their first exciting mission. It’s totally bursting with great humour, quirky characters and plenty of edge-of-your seat action.  You won’t believe the twists and turns that are in this one.

TS - UFO - Final Cover - WIP

The effects of the Shift have caused havoc at Time Square. Time itself is in danger of imploding and Operation Slingshot has been activated to save the day. Team ELMR embark on their first mission to locate and rescue the first of the missing travellers.

  • Mission: ELMR-01
  • Date: 8-July-1947
  • Location: Roswell, New Mexico, United States of America
  • Mission Brief: Readings indicate that the target traveller has possibly been captured by a brilliant, but eccentric, scientist who is investigating reports of extra-terrestrials that have crashed in the Roswell area.Due to this, it is essential that the target is located and rescued before he unwittingly reveals our secret. If the secret of time-travel is revealed to such a random mind, then it could spell disaster and have a huge impact on the world.
Great News !! TIME SQUARE | UFO is now available for pre-order from Amazon.
Just click the button to pre-order your copy now.

PreOrder_Amazon_Button

Then, jump over to my TIME SQUARE site to learn more exciting details about my popular TIME SQUARE series, which includes
TIME SQUARE | THE SHIFT and TIME SQUARE | UFO.

Retro Friday

Retro Friday | Ripples of Time

Retro Friday is all about re-living a previous post that I thought would be interesting to newer followers who may not have seen its initial run.

One particular post  from December 2012 showed how much the past can influence the present. It’s about an amazing event that occurred way back in 1923 that has had a huge impact on my life.

Click here to check it out.

yacht

 

 

 

Book Review Banner 2

Book Review | The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus #2) | Rick Riordan


The Son of NeptuneTHE SON OF NEPTUNE (HEROES OF OLYMPUS #2)
by Rick Riordan ★★★★

Kindle edition
Purchased from Amazon.com

ONE CURSED DEMIGOD.
TWO NEW HEROES.
A QUEST TO UNLEASH THE
GOD OF DEATH…..

Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, God of the Sea, has woken from a very deep sleep and come face to face with two snake-haired ladies who refuse to die.

But they’re the least of his problems. Because Percy finds himself at a camp for half-bloods, which doesn’t ring any bells for him. There’s just one name he remembers from his past. Annabeth.

Only one thing is certain–Percy’s questing days aren’t over. He and fellow demigods Frank and Hazel must face the most important quest of all: The Prophecy of Seven. If they fail, it’s not just their camp at risk. Percy’s old life, the gods and the entire world might be destroyed. [Goodreads]


My Review

I have to be honest that when I first started reading this one I thought that I’d missed a book in the series. I nearly gave up reading it. The beginning seemed to be too random and disconnected with the previous book, but as it turns out, Percy had lost his memory. Perhaps it was RR’s intention to confuse the reader so they could empathize with Percy … or maybe I’m just not that bright, and the gap from book 1 was too long … who knows?

Anyway, as the story progressed and started rolling along I started to enjoy it. I liked the new characters that teamed up with Percy and their adventures moved along in true PJ fashion.  It’s another exciting instalment in the journey to fulfil the Prophecy of Seven. All PJ books have the same underlying theme where most characters have generally been abandoned/left/forgotten/orphaned by their parents and they’re trying to discover their past and future purpose. This is also true for the newbie characters in this one. There is plenty of action as the questing teens face many challenges on their way to and from Alaska, climaxing in the biggest challenge of all.

LOL … as usual, RR also manages to throw in a storyline that includes our modern day icons. Amazon as a mythical place in Seattle full of Amazons. The guards have cards with one-click abilities that can open cells were prisoners are held. Funny idea Mr Riordan … and the Amazons read from little black tablets too. RR must’ve chuckled as he wrote it. Once I got into the book I enjoyed it and I’m keen to see the next part of the prophecy in the book 3.


In a nutshellIt’s another cool PJ tale, which was hard for me to initially get into, but once I did, I enjoyed the read.

It’s a no brainer that it will appeal to fans of Percy Jackson.

 


Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


Check out my other reviews of Rick Riordan books below:

Want to hear from the man himself?
Check out the book trailer below.


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat time-travel adventure series’  by clicking the pic below.

4 books


Retro Friday

Retro Friday | The Brady Bunch House Mystery

Retro Friday is all about re-living a previous post that I thought would be interesting to newer followers who may not have seen its initial run.

One of the most visited posts on my blog is one that I posted way back in September 2012. It’s strange how this particular post has lasted the test of time and is still constantly viewed by visitors every day. It has nothing to do with my books, or writing. It’s just one of those subjects that I think everyone can relate to.

Click here to check it out.

The Brady Bunch Stairs

 

 

Thinking monkey

101 Lessons and Thoughts About Writing

This is a post with a difference. Writing is something I do because I have stories that I want to tell. It’s something I feel compelled to do and it’s an escape from the everyday pressures of life. It’s where I can roam in a world that I alone create, where I can explore ideas and just have a bit of fun. It’s been two years and eight months since I put my first book out there in the ocean of books.

Since then I’ve written and released three more, and hope to release the next one in September or October. I’ve come to realise that overnight success only comes to those who are prepared for a long night. This journey has taught me many things, and one thing is for sure … this writing business is full of many ups and downs as we bob around in that ocean.

I’ve decided to list 101 lessons and thoughts (not in any particular order) that I’ve experienced since my first book went on sale. Some of these are relevant to me now, some have had their time and passed me by. It’s fair say that every one of these has happened, along with many others that I haven’t mentioned. I expect that some of you may relate or agree with them, but some will also disagree. That’s to be expected. Such is life.

  1. A book written isn’t a book sold.
  2. Great stories are waiting to be discovered everywhere.
  3. Giving away free books doesn’t mean they get read.
  4. Even as I write one book I have three others spinning around in my head.
  5. Other authors are a great source of inspiration and support.
  6. Buyers of children’s books prefer paperbacks.
  7. Middle Grade is an extremely tough genre to crack.
  8. Kids don’t buy books, they’re bought for them.
  9. Some book covers need a makeover.
  10. I don’t understand why Indie authors sell their work for so little.
  11. I don’t understand why people prefer to spend more on a burger than a good book.
  12. Buyers of children’s books prefer big publishers.
  13. Some authors forget how to be readers.
  14. Remember to switch off the author and turn on the reader.
  15. I read to enjoy the story, not to mentally rewrite another author’s book into my own style.
  16. Enjoy the diversity of authors and their style.
  17. Be original, don’t just follow a formula.
  18. If you’re writing fiction, write fiction, not a text-book.
  19. If you’re still reading this list … thanks for staying with me
  20. Some reviewers forget how to be readers. Remember to just sit back and enjoy the read.
  21. Each author is just another star in the sky.
  22. Each book is a grain of sand on a huge beach.
  23. It’s tough to be visible in a sandstorm.
  24. Facebook ads are a waste of time. I wonder who notices them, I don’t.
  25. Book marketing is a difficult and unpredictable beast.
  26. I have doubts about the benefits of book promo list sites.
  27. Twitter is a massive pool of useless tweets.
  28. I don’t go shopping on Twitter. I wonder who does.
  29. Most Twitter followers don’t really follow, they just follow.
  30. Always remember, reviews are just personal opinions.
  31. Facebook is totally confusing … it’s an enigma to me.
  32. Some books that rank well are dreadful.
  33. Who goes shopping on Facebook? I know I don’t.
  34. Many blog followers don’t really follow, they just subscribe.
  35. I hate being exclusive to Amazon for eBooks. Each time I decide to try KDP Select I want to get out.
  36. There is an overabundance of experts dishing out advice for authors.
  37. Keep in mind that most advice is just someone’s opinion. It may not be suitable for you.
  38. Facebook updates don’t show in enough follower feeds.
  39. Most experts give more advice than they sell books.
  40. Why aren’t the experts on the best seller lists?
  41. Russell Blake is an exception. He shares down to earth advice and he’s a real best seller.
  42. Why collect a bazillion follows from giveaway junkies? They’re only after free stuff.
  43. I rarely read my twitter feed, most of it is irrelevant to me.
  44. I’m sure most other people don’t read their Twitter feed either, so why do I tweet?
  45. I retweet followers who I know and trust and admire.
  46. Health and family are more important than selling books.
  47. It’s hard to keep motivated in such a tough genre.
  48. It’s tough to be judged.
  49. It’s great to get good feedback and ratings.
  50. KDP Matchbook is a let down.
  51. It’s unfair when Goodreads members rate books without reading them.
  52. It’s disappointing that Goodreads does nothing about mass raters that couldn’t possibly have read the 100 books they rate in a day.
  53. It’s tough when your biggest market is on the other side of the world.
  54. The secret to choosing the best Amazon keywords is a mystery.
  55. I need to write, it’s an addiction.
  56. I have a whole library of books in my head.
  57. Amazon needs to make it easier for authors to categorise their books.
  58. Self doubt always sits on a writer’s shoulder.
  59. Some genres do better than others in eBooks.
  60. Some genres smother other genres.
  61. I’m definitely not a fan of romance books.
  62. Most readers don’t leave reviews or ratings :(
  63. I’m yet to discover what benefits blog tours or interviews bring.
  64. Most book reviewers do a brilliant job. Some, not so good.
  65. Most authors do a brilliant job. Some, not so good.
  66. It’s better to have tried, than to have sat and watched.
  67. It’s disheartening that so many book reviewers refuse to even consider Indie books.
  68. I’ve become obsessed with checking KDP sales updates.
  69. I’ve become obsessed with checking Goodreads for new reviews and ratings.
  70. I’m trying to wean myself off checking so often (I just checked again … Arrrggghhh)
  71. I often wonder if I should track down an agent.
  72. I love it when my kids tell me that their friends have taken one of my books out of the library.
  73. I love it when my kid’s friends keep asking them when my next book will be ready.
  74. There’s such a long delay between writing something and getting it to readers.
  75. Writing and publishing a book is a huge achievement that I should be proud of.
  76. Each new book published is another achievement.
  77. I have a fear of failure.
  78. Becoming a best seller is like buying a lotto ticket.
  79. I wonder if publishers look beyond their slush piles for new discoveries.
  80. It’s a shame that there is negativity towards Indies, but it’s improving.
  81. KDP Algorithms change too frequently and are next to impossible to understand.
  82. Children’s books are a very small slice of the eBook pie. Maybe I should try another genre.
  83. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool.
  84. I love my books and want everyone to love them too.
  85. KDP Select Countdown Deals aren’t worth it.
  86. Kindle Unlimited sounds good, but I have my doubts.
  87. I’m still looking for the magic formula to turn my books viral.
  88. I’m not a fan of social media, it’s so anti-social.
  89. Many experts aren’t experts at all, they just love sharing their ideas.
  90. Try to write everyday.
  91. Stay inspired.
  92. KDP Select Free promo days just fill hungry Kindles with content that will probably never get read.
  93. Maybe today is the day that someone who has the power to start a wave will find my books.
  94. I still haven’t told my friends that I write.
  95. Each sale just makes me want another sale.
  96. Although I have done free promos in the past, it saddens me that it devalues all of my hard work.
  97. It’s sad that most books don’t become well-known.
  98. Teachers and Librarians do their best to promote reading for kids.
  99. It’s frustrating that Amazon reviews don’t flow across all of their sites.
  100. Some days it’s hard to justify why I keep writing
  101. Thanks for reading to the end. If you buy a copy of any of my books during August, be sure to enter my $25 Amazon gift card or Paypal cash giveaway. Click here for details.
Chimpanzee

Win a $25 Gift Card in my Seriously Awesome August Giveaway

Seriously Awesome Giveaway

Are you keen to escape the mundane and plunge into a seriously awesome adventure that’s packed with action, fun, humour and mystery?

If you answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’ then it’s time to take the plunge. Here’s the deal. As a thank you, I’m offering a great prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Voucher or $25 PayPal Cash to new readers of my Quest or Time Square series’.

All you need to do is get your own piece of time, by grabbing any of my four books from any Amazon site (click here), and then enter your details into the draw by clicking the chimp below.

Chimp click 2

This could be your lucky day.


Giveaway Details: 1 winner will receive their choice of an Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash to the value of US$25. Details on how to enter are contained within the Rafflecopter link. Ends 31st August 2014.  Open internationally only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash.

The winning entry must be verified prior to prize being awarded.  You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter, they will be contacted by email to verify their eligibility, based on the entry conditions listed in the Rafflecopter widget. They will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway authorized and organized by S.W. Lothian. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

A Rafflecopter giveaway.

Make a Wish Org

Make-A-Wish ® – Thank you

In contrast to my usual tendency for privacy, I’ve decided that this is a post that I needed to make, to spread the word about a great organisation.

This is just a quick post to pass on our sincere gratitude and thanks to the Make-A-Wish ® Foundation. We received a call a few days ago and they are going to grant my daughter a wish. This is just the boost that she needed to her confidence and will help her deal with the impact that children’s cancer has had on her. There will need to be some serious wish-thinking in the coming weeks as she ponders some ideas on what her wish could be.

It’s so brilliant that organisations such as Make-A-Wish ® exist and I think that it’s just as important for families like us to show our gratitude back to them. I’ve included a few links below for anyone who would like to learn more about the Make-A-Wish ® Foundation.

Make a Wish Australia Make a Wish America Make a Wish UK