Free Reading, what?

All you have to do is join my mailing list. Every other month, I’ll be continuing The Matriarch Saga in small, chronicled pieces. If you sign up for my mailing list, you get it free. Otherwise, you’re welcome to visit Amazon when it is finally placed up there and purchase it!


THE MATRIARCH SAGA
Eve and the Apple

By Lisa Vasquez

(All rights reserved, copyright 2017)

 

 

The best thing about being a vampire?
Everything.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

Men have ruled the world since the beginning of time. Funny, narcissistic creatures they are; prancing around like peacocks with their feathers in a fan of displayed pride. From the shadows, I was the first witness to all the atrocities man has committed. From its ability to slaughter their own kind for no other reason than to gain power or to exact revenge. To wars waged in the names of the Gods only to curse them in the next breath. When the world had been scourged by the Old Gods a new dawn came, and with it the birth of a new creature, called “human”.

The New God had fathered a child in his image from the dirt, calling him “Adam”. Little did the New God know, his human child would become spoiled fruit, withering on the vine. The primogen carried inside of him the seed of the original sin and with it he would infect his entire race.  Laying claim to the garden, Adam exalted his existence in the eyes of every beast below him. Even his wife, Eve.

I reveled in knowing soon … the tides would change.


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Snippets 001 (pt 1)

In Stitched Smile Publications, we practice our craft often. This is our way of exercising the part of our brain that translates other worlds into “ink”. I call them “snippets” because my time is limited for my own writing so you may get a few words here and there as I take a break from major projects and works in progress. Please keep in mind, these are not edited. They are off-the-cuff and raw.

Enjoy
~L

 

chud-photography-by-tina-enosThey were all sitting around the kitchen table for Corey’s birthday dinner. The scratching from under the door made it all the more awkward as did their best pretending not to hear it.  The boy, who’d been working on a piece of tough steak for nearly five minutes, would stop chewing when the scratching started, then start again when it’d stop.

scratch, scratch, scratch…

Letting out a sigh, he hung his head down in defeat. Ground up meat still stuffed in one cheek, the boy stared down at his plate. Mashed potatoes stared back at him. Pushing his fork into them, he watched as the starchy vegetable oozed through the tines.

“Don’t play with your food, boy,” his father said. The pasty faced man never looked up from his plate to chastise his son.

“Yes, Pa.”

It was his birthday today. He thought, if he was obedient enough Ma would let him listen to the old record player in the living room of their rickety home. Once in awhile, he’d be allowed to go out back to swing for a few minutes on the rusted swing. His mother, watching from the picture windows would whisper, “Don’t go too high, boy.”

Cory would nod respectfully, but once he started to pump his legs, the excitement of being out in the air coupled with the sensation of flying, it’d get away from him. Swinging as hard and as high as he could, he was free. The memory of the wind on his cheeks and the smell of the outside air pulled him in and swept him away … until it started again.

Scratch, scratch, scratch…

Still holding the bite of tough steak in his mouth, his throat constricted making it any attempt to swallow useless. Reaching for his glass, Corey took a big gulp of water to help wash it down.

Ma was watching him like a mother bird in silence, the lines of worry creasing her porcelain features. Leaning in toward him, Pa’s hand smacked down on the brittle wooden table sending a jolt through the both of them. Leaning back in her seat, Ma wiped her mouth with a napkin without a word.

Scratch, Scratch, Scratch!

Waiting until Pa finished the last bite of food on his plate, they all sat around the table in in painful silence. Whether they were finished or not, when Pa was done, they were done. It was just the way it was. Fixing her eyes on Pa’s hands, she waited for the cue. As soon as Pa rested his eating utensils on his napkin, Ma jumped out of her seat and collected them with his plate.

Tonight was different.

When Pa was done with his dinner, he lifted his bloodshot eyes and gazed at Cory’s mother. Using the tip of his knife, he used it to pick at his teeth, and sucking at them.

“G’on,” he said, “Get the boy his desert.”

Pa had a funny smile on his face that made Cory’s spine go soft. Ma tried to smile but Cory could see she was scared.


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Happy Dance

hwa_unfleshedI always feel like a newb whenever I see my book cover somewhere and I squeal. The sound is somewhere between a dolphin call and a monkey  screech. But here it is, up on the Horror Writers Association page. That’s is probably the closest I’ll get to #VinDiesel, too! (I’ll take it.)

If you would like to know more about me, please sign up for my newsletter at http://www.unsaintly.com

Every month I’ll have a new chapter to my “newsletter only novella” and some other cool things! maybe even some free flash fiction from guest authors? Who knows! Gotta sign up and see!


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Hard Knocks

I was lying in bed this morning going through Facebook.  OK, so I’m still lying in bed but now I’m writing.  I’m sort of working now! 

What I was seeing, though, made me a little sad.  You see, I’m a writer but I’m also an independent publisher. Which means I help other authors get their stories into your hands.  

This is a very tough business.  I’ll tell you why.  

Author sits at his/her desk and plots story.  This takes anywhere from hours to days and sometimes months.  From there, the author begins the task of making the outline stretch into a story.  

Characters become personalities, places become your hometown,  words become voices you hear spoken aloud in your head.  

Let’s say on average a novel is 70k words.  Then let’s say the average independent author, who still works a full time day job, squeezes out 1k words per day. We’re up to 70 days of writing.  Maybe they have 1 hour of uninterrupted writing time.  So that’s 70 hous of writing. 

Next step is editing.  The editor takes approximately 2 weeks to finish first pass.  One hour a day for two more weeks.  This is the hardest part of the procean because someone else is now tearing apart your work.  The work you labored over for 70 days.  The work you thought was perfect the way it was. The may be 1-2 more passes like this. ..3 more weeks of hell. 

This doesn’t include beta readers and proofers. 

Now comes the cover. 1 week of watching someone give life to the people in your book.  

And then it’s finally here!  

Launch day!  

You are so excited you can hardly contain yourself.  You sit and watch, willing the numbers to rise. It’s not about the fame. It’s about the story.  It’s always been about the story.  

Days and months of toiling.  Dollars invested in an editor, cover art and/or artist.  

You see the sales trickle in.  It’s slow like molasses.  It drains you emotionally asking people every day to read your work. And when they do, you must continue the cycle of asking them to review. 

All this for a portion of what your book is really worry.  Amazon takes a piece,  if you have a publisher we take our cut.  Who’s really making the money off our work? 

Publishers take considerable risks.  (The percentage of punlishers that go out of business is depressing). We pay for stock for the covers … they get industry standard pay.  We pay for Amazon to distribute … they also get industry standard. 

So watching readers who’ve become accustomed to getting a book for free or before industry standard pricing, only to turn around and not review, or sPreah the word, can be disheartening.  

Writers don’t go into this to get rich.  We do it for the craft,  for the love,  they do it for a place to exorcise demons.  

If you love what you’re reading, and you love the author, support them the best way you can.  Tell someone you loved the book, share the book with a friend or donate it,  leave a review so the next person will read about how amazing the story was. 

70 hours × 3.00 = 120$   now take out 20% and that’s what your author made.  (Average) 

Women in Horror: Donelle Pardee Whiting (Pt 1)

I’m not going to do an interview for this. I already know Donelle. Not only is she my Editor-in-Chief (so I’m probably going to get slapped around for doing this post without her final “OK”), she’s one of my best friends.

I started Stitched Smile Publications in January of 2016. I’m proud to say that in a genre-world dominated by men, this company is mostly women. It was not intentionally created that way. I was merely blessed with finding that many talented women who wanted to help me. I put out a call, the women answered. (By the way, men. There’s always a call for help out there if you’d like to even the playing field!)

Donelle is not only a fantastic editor. She’s an awesome writer. She co-authored Strigoi: The First Family and Strychnine, with Michael S. Freeman. She also has a short story in Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies, and will have more coming up this year. I’m excited and honored to have her, and her works as part of the Stitched Smile Publications catalog.

One of Donelle’s strongest points is how good she makes the rest of us look. Indie publishing is filled with editing snafus and with Donelle’s help, we ensure that all of our books get combed through for all the nits and bugs. No one’s perfect … but bestie comes damn close.

Donelle has worked as a investigative journalist in the past and it gives her that curious edge that I love about her. She’s constantly poking for the “Why” and the “Who” of our work. She analyzes it down to the basic word structure, but also loves it from the reader’s point of view. She listens to the author’s voice and helps them fine tune it until the voice is strong and polished.

At SSP, we call Donelle, “The Gate Keeper” (better looking than Zuul, by a landslide) because nothing passes until she’s got every nook and cranny shined up, cleaned up and ready for print. That amount of pride and respect, not only for the author, but for me and SSP as a whole, is hard to come by. It is one of the million reasons I love her.

Editors don’t get enough credit. So I’m beginning this February’s Women in Horror with an homage to the amazing Donelle Pardee Whiting. Keep tuning in and find out more and if you can’t wait here’s a link to keep you tied over.

DONELLE PARDEE WHITING

See you Feburary 1st! Keep it scary.

 

NEW RELEASE! “The Unfleshed: Tale of the Autopsic Bride”

This is LIVE, NOW! Paperback is coming in a few days but it is live for ebook from these two links.

The first link will have universal carriers as they are added (but may take a little while)
http://www.books2read.com/unfleshed

The second is your typical Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MR8L757

paperbackunfleshed

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: Amazon We Have A Problem!

Image result for pink floyd the wall

In the pursuit of the American Dream, authors of the Indie persuasion are being held back and consumers are being censored.

Listen, I get it OK? One rotten apple ruins the bunch and people are going to do stupid things to get ahead. Like have fake reviews on their books, for a start.

Thank you Amazon.com but I think we got this!  We don’t need you to police our words or our readers. We’re quite certain that we’re capable of reading reviews and using your “Look Inside” feature. We don’t need you to put a bubble of protection around us and ensure we don’t get “hurt” by reading a book with 300, 5 star reviews we didn’t dig deeper on. It is on our own shoulders if we don’t use your features, already put into place, to see if this really is a book we’d enjoy.

Oh! And guess what else you’re doing? You’re effin’ up the algorithm! How? Well, it’s quite obvious (to a mind with an IQ over 25) – if you read a book that has 300, 5 stars and you come to realize it’s a sham you can (gasp) review it or return it.

I know, right? What is that all about! It’s ingenious!

Adults, adulting is amazing!

(rolling eyes)

OK. I think I’m breathing normally again. The point is this. All the readers who complain about getting a bad book should be reviewing it, and/or returning it. Amazon needs to keep their assumptions in a neat little locked box and stop messing with the algorithm of economy. They take down reviews of people who have the same address?? As if people can’t live in the same building (college dorm? shared house? roommates?) and review a product separately. I’d like to see this kind of behavior happening on a Harry Potter book. Four siblings and two parents and only one can review? Opinions aren’t “hive minded”.

How about the algorithm involved in the struggling small business?

You’re promoting monopolies. You’re adding a censor on what the public wants to read because we aren’t making you millions (yet) individually … but I’m afraid you’re missing out on the millions we make collectively for you (even the bad books). And because of that, I’ll be encouraging all my authors who self publish, all the Indie publishers who are ethical with their business and editing practices, and all my readers who truly love the authors they’ve discovered … to go someplace else. Heed my words. Readers are loyal. Very, very loyal.

Today it may only be five books. Tomorrow it’ll be 10. Eventually, the movement will catch on and you’ll be feeling the dent in your deep, Big Brother pockets.

I hear Google knocking and perhaps Barnes & Noble. I’m sure they’d be happy to pick up where you guys are lacking.

Sort your sh!t out, Amazon. Until then, my business will go elsewhere. I prefer to support small businesses and communities, not corporate monsters.

#smallbusiness #indiewriters #indiepublishers #amreading #amwriting #GoogleBooks #writers