Read an E-book week at Smashwords

Yes, dear reader,


It’s happening again. Over at Smashwords the ‘read an e-book week’ promotion is off again, and I am participating. If you felt reluctant to read some of my titles, here’s your chance to get one or more of them with a 50% discount.

The books that are up for that this week are Green HavenThe Story of the MimosaCharisma the young witchBactine, and The Devil’s Diary. Just enter the coupon code “REW50” as you check out and the discount is applied. Note that this is a Smashwords-only promotion, it won’t work for Barnes&Noble, Amazon, Apple iTunes or the other usual suspects.

Smashwords offers e-books for any platform you can think of. Epub for Sony, Nook and Apple-devices, MOBI for Amazon Kindle devices and apps, and more.

Hilda 12 goes live.

Dear Reader
hilda extreme

Yes, it is with great pleasure that I can let you know that the latest Hilda the Wicked Witch book is now available online.

You can find it at Smashwords (for all formats and all e-readers), on Amazon (for your Kindle device or app), and will gladly supply you with a paperback version. It’s also up at Apple’s iTunes already!

Please keep an eye on the page with published books for other sources of the book if you’re more comfortable with the Sony e-reader store or Barnes&Noble.


Dear Reader,


Do you know Libiro? Probably not. Libiro ( is a new e-book store, started by a British independent writer named Ben Galley. His approach to independent works is one I like very much: only independent authors are allowed to publish their books via Libiro. Large, established companies have no reason to go there, they won’t be accepted.

That, for me, is a good reason to start selling my books via Libiro as well. Some titles are there already, like The Devil’s Diary, Green Haven and Hilda the Wicked Witch book 1. Also my new title, The Story of the Mimosa, is available through Libiro.

If you feel warmly towards indie writers, have a look at the selection at Libiro. You may find your next book there!

Smashwords teams up with Oyster

Dear Reader,
This is an excerpt from the Smashwords Blog from September 6th:

“Smashwords today announced a distribution agreement with Oyster, a new and innovative ebook subscription service. Oyster offers consumers unlimited access to more than 100,000 ebooks for $9.95 per month.

I’ve been following the ebook subscription space for some time. As an ebook distributor, our job is to search out the most compelling opportunities to help our authors connect with reader eyeballs. Oyster is one such opportunity.

The closest analog to Oyster in the music business is Spotify, and in the video rental business it’s our Los Gatos neighbor NetFlix. The closest, most familiar analog to Oyster on the ebook market today is Amazon’s Kindle Owners Lending Library, where subscribers to Amazon’s Prime service who own a Kindle can download and read one ebook for free per month. The author or publisher, who must enroll their book in Amazon’s KDP Select program to benefit from KOLL, earns about $2.00 for each download.

I expect Smashwords titles to begin shipping to Oyster in about three weeks. At least 72 hours before we begin shipping to Oyster, I’ll send out an email alert to all Smashwords authors and publishers. The email will contain complete financial details, including royalty rates and sampling thresholds, so you can make an informed decision about your participation. It’s an author friendly deal so I expect you’ll be pleased.”

I definitely am pleased with that. This is a way to reach even more readers, and paint even more smiled on the faces of people. What could be better?


“Initiate” – A book by Tara Maya

Dear Reader,

It is my great pleasure to introduce a wonderful Young Adult fantasy title to you. It is:
The Unfinished Song (Book 1): Initiate, by Tara Maya




Dindi can’t do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi’s clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.


Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn’t commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don’t kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father’s wars and his mother’s curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her… assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.

If you are interested in more, here is an excerpt of the book:

Blue-skinned rusalki grappled Dindi under the churning surface of the river. She could feel their claws dig into her arms. Their riverweed-like hair entangled her legs when she tried to kick back to the surface. She only managed to gulp a few breaths of air before they pulled her under again.

She hadn’t appreciated how fast and deep the river was. On her second gasp for air, she saw that the current was already dragging her out of sight of the screaming girls on the bank. A whirlpool of froth and fae roiled between two large rocks in the middle of the river. The rusalka and her sisters tugged Dindi toward it. Other water fae joined the rusalki. Long snouted pookas, turtle-like kappas and hairy-armed gwyllions all swam around her, leading her to the whirlpool, where even more fae swirled in the whitewater.

“Join our circle, Dindi!” the fae voices gurgled under the water. “Dance with us forever!”

“No!” She kicked and swam and stole another gasp for air before they snagged her again. There were so many of them now, all pulling her down, all singing to the tune of the rushing river. She tried to shout, “Dispel!” but swallowed water instead. Her head hit a rock, disorienting her. She sank, this time sure she wouldn’t be coming up again.

“Dispel!” It was a man’s voice.

Strong arms encircled her and lifted her until her arms and head broke the surface. Her rescuer swam with her toward the shore. He overpowered the current, he shrugged aside the hands of the water faeries stroking his hair and arms. When he reached the shallows, he scooped Dindi into his arms and carried her the rest of the way to the grassy bank. He set her down gently.

She coughed out some water while he supported her back.

“Better?” he asked.

She nodded. He was young–only a few years older than she. The aura of confidence and competence he radiated made him seem older. Without knowing quite why, she was certain he was a Tavaedi.

“Good.” He had a gorgeous smile. A wisp of his dark bangs dangled over one eye. He brushed his dripping hair back over his head.

Dindi’s hand touched skin–he was not wearing any shirt. Both of them were sopping wet. On him, that meant trickles of water coursed over a bedrock of muscle. As for her, the thin white wrap clung transparently to her body like a wet leaf. She blushed.

“It might have been easier to swim if you had let go of that,” he teased. He touched her hand, which was closed around something. “What were you holding onto so tightly that it mattered more than drowning?”

Are you intrigued? If so, here are some links for you to peruse:

Tara’s blog
Tara’s Twitter
The Unfinished Song on Facebook
Barnes and Noble

Initiate is free everywhere except on Barnes and Noble (where it’s $0.99). You can download a free .epub version via Smashwords.

Have your ever bound magic?

Dear reader,

Our valued writer from the Alexandria Publishing Group, Valerie Douglas, has released her latest work, “Magic Bound”.


Congratulations, Valerie, for bringing out another book for our readers to enjoy!

About the book: Homicide Detectives Sasha Gutierrez and Rafaela (Rafi) Stratford (Blood Bound) find themselves investigating a series of murders that seem to have been committed by paranormals. As a werewolf himself, Sasha knows that neither his people nor vampires were the killers, despite the evidence. Desperate for clues they turn to Rhian Lewis, the proprietor of an occult bookstore…and a witch. What she finds turns them all into targets…

You can find the book on, and of course all the other Amazon subsidiaries, so get your copy from Japan if you like!

A quick guide to getting and managing books on Samsung Galaxy Tab

Dear reader,

I present you this post courtesy of Ebook Friendly:

If you want to start reading books on Samsung Galaxy Tab, this post should speed things up and make it easier to pick up the best possible way.

Samsung Galaxy Tab devices come pre-loaded with Readers Hub, a set of three default applications that will let you read books, newspapers, and magazines.

The hub may well be the only thing you need to enjoy reading on your Galaxy Tab. Look no further to find out how convenient reading on a tablet is.

What’s more, the possibilities for reading ebooks are practically endless as you can download lots of other book reading & management applications from Google Play or Samsung App Store.


Since late 2010 the Readers Hub ebook reading application for Galaxy Tab is Kobo. Just like you have to open an account for Netflix, you’ll need to sign up to Kobo – and it’s worth it. Kobo is a Canada-based ebook platform, one of the largest in the world, where you can browse and shop over 3 million ebooks, including free ones.

Once you register an account at Kobo, you will be able to sync your ebook library across all devices that are at hand, no matter if it’s a computer, Android-based tablet or smartphone or a Kobo e-reader, if you’ll decide to buy it in the future.

A unique feature Kobo offers is Reading Life, which tracks your reading habits over time and lets you earn fun and surprising awards just for reading.

Kobo app may remain a primary source of ebooks for your Samsung Galaxy Tab and the main ebook management tool. However, the beauty of tablets is that you can pack them with any app you like to get all the titles you wish in any possible configuration.

For example, if you are an Amazon customer, and have a Prime membership, you don’t only have a free access to movies, but also can  borrow for free one book per month from Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. That’s doable on Samsung Galaxy Tab. The only thing to do is to download Kindle applicationfrom Google Play.

Being a loyal customer of Barnes & Noble? No problem, try ebooks from B&N’s Nook Store by downloading a Nook app. There is also Google’s own e-reading app, Google Play Books.

With Kobo and/or Kindle app you can buy books from outside US. The content of Nook and Google ebookstores is limited to few countries, so please have it in mind before making a final decision on what should be your default e-reading application.

There are many other great book reading applications in Google Play. You can browse them in Book & Reference category. Most popular independent apps (not connected with any particular ebookstore) are Moon+ ReaderAldikoand FBReader.

Aldiko Samsung Galaxy Tab

Aldiko is one of the most popular apps in Google Play

No matter which book app you use, you can add your own titles to it. There are several ways to do it, usually via browser, mail or Dropbox account.


Most of book reading applications support modern ebook format called epub(Kobo, Google Play Books, Aldiko, FBReader).

Kindle comes with a separate format, and even if you’ve got an epub file that is not protected, you won’t be able to open it in Kindle app. For Kindle you’ll need mobi format.

The only Android application that supports both epub and mobi is Moon+ Reader.

Moon Reader Samsung Galaxy Tab

Moon+ Reader offers a lot of customization options

File protection, called DRM (Digital Rights Management) is another thing to keep in mind. Most ebookstores use DRM, and that means the book purchased in one ecosystem can’t be easily read in the other one.

Luckily, Kobo and Nook ebookstores use the same DRM system, that requires toregister an Adobe ID. Once you do it and once you authorize your Samsung Galaxy Tab with the ID you got, you should be able to cross-read books from both ebookstores. You can also collect all your epub books, including the ones from Adobe DRM-supported stores in a variety of other apps, naming only Aldiko, Mantano, or txtr.

Obviously, you can add pdf files to the e-reading app of your choice. While it’s fine on a big screen of 10.1 Galaxy Tab, you may find it hard to read pdf files on the 7-inch tablet. That’s why it’s good to make a decision to start collecting books in one of the modern formats, like epub or mobi, that let adjust font size and reflow text for maximum reading convenience.


The content for Kobo, Kindle or Nook app you’ll get from respective ebookstores. Apart from geographical and format restrictions, you may expect differences in prices.

Amazon puts an extra fee on Kindle books bought from outside US. Also, some publishers set different prices for different regions/countries. Before making a decision on the primary ebookstore to buy books from, you can make a research using ebook price comparison tools. I recommend Luzme or Inkmesh for that.

Apart from ebookstores, there are a couple of great sites, where you can get ebooks for free. I’ve listed them in a separate post, so below there is just a short summary.

A first place to visit is Project Gutenberg. It’s a collection of almost 43 thousand free ebooks that entered public domain. You can download each title in epub or mobi format, so it’s doesn’t really matter which app you use to open the books from PG. Other sources of free ebooks are Internet ArchiveOpen Library, andSmashwords. The last service is the leading platform where contemporary authors offer a lot of their books for free.


A tablet is a more flexible device for e-reading than dedicated e-reader. On your Samsung Galaxy Tab you can buy/download books to different applications (and ebook platforms associated with them).

An app that requires registration usually offers synchronization of your ebook library. It’s one of the most wonderful benefits ebooks have. You can end reading a book on your smartphone in a subway, and open it on a tablet in the evening – exactly at the same page. What’s more, you can get synced not only the furthest read location, but also bookmarks, notes, and highlights.

Some applications limit full sync only to books purchased in their own ebookstores. That’s the case of Nook or Kobo. On the other hand, Kindle can also sync the side-loaded books.