Pimpin’ Your Friends

[Today, we have something special for you. And by “we” I don’t mean just my wife, the cats, and myself. Today we have a guest post from Author Starla Huchton, as part of her Blog Tour to promote her newly released book Maven. Starla has been all over the place with this blog tour, doing interviews, giving character interviews, sharing pre-release blurbs and talking a lot about the book. Well, I had to be different. I didn’t want to bring my readers the same kind of material that you could find at other blogs. So I asked Starla to write a guest post about what it took to bring Maven to print. All too often in the writing world, people focus on that first draft. Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg  As you’ll see below, Starla put a lot of work in just to get her story ready to publish, and then she had to do all the publishing parts, too. It’s a little longer than your typical blog post, but I think Starla paints a fascinating picture of the process of self-publishing. Enjoy! – Doc]

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Today, I have the opportunity to do a very special post in the Pimpin’ Your Friends category. The friend in question is the lovely and talented Starla Huchton. Starla is not only a friend, she’s my cover artist. She did the cover for the e-book of my short story “Welcome to Paradox” and she will be doing the cover for my steampunk novel The Perils of Prague. She’s got a very nice business as a freelance graphic designer over at Designed by Starla, doing book covers for independent authors and publishers. Today, Starla is releasing a very special cover, and I have the privilege of bringing that cover to you.

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Do you long for those lazy Sunday afternoons where every channel on the TV was either a Western or a Samurai movie? When the ultimate showdown of the story was two men standing in the middle of the street, their weapons at hand, staring each other down and knowing that the first one to reach for his weapon was most likely the one who was going to die? Did you ever wish you could combine those two together and see gunfighters facing off under the honorable code of Bushido? We do. And now, you can make it possible!

Read on to find out how…

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Fastens your seat belts, folks, this one is one hell of a ride.

If you read last year’s review of Phoenix Rising, you probably either already know what I’m about to say, or you’re already nose deep into the book and not reading this review. For those of you who are coming late into the game, or just enjoy reading my reviews, Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris are at it again! On May 29th, 2012, Harper Voyager released their second Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, The Janus Affair.  Once again, Wellington Thornhill Books, and Eliza D. Braun have emerged from the Archives of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences to uncover a dastardly plot that endangers Queen Victoria’s England, and possibly the rest of the world.

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All right. I admit it. I should have written this post earlier. My only excuse is the timing, seeing as this news came out just as I was getting into the swing of things for NaNoWriMo this year. It took this article from Tee Morris to remind me that I had been remiss in supporting my friends in their good fortune. So let me repair that now.

My friends Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris have had their first joint project, Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, land on the official ballot of the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards in the Best Science Fiction category! And they are in among fierce competition, with names like Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Stephen King, John Scalzi, and China Mieville also in the running. Phoenix Rising also happens to be the only Steampunk work in this category. Tee and Pip are my friends, but they have also written a really spectacular book (as you can see from my review here). If you have a Goodreads account, you should vote! And if you choose to vote for Phoenix Rising, I’m sure that would make Tee and Pip happy.

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Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel is the first novel from Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris writing together. They take us back to the age of Queen Victoria, and give us a view of a secret organization in Her Majesty’s government. This clandestine organization, the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, deals with the strange, the bizarre, and those things best not talked about in polite society. Agents of the Ministry travel the world investigating these strange and unusual events, and returning dangerous artifacts to Mother England where they can be safely stored away from dangerous hands.

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For those who have waited and wondered and hoped, the fateful day has arrived at last! Flying Island PressPirates Cove has set forth on a new literary journey, Treasure Island. Those ready to set sail on this journey can begin with the first chapter, to be found here. Those who wish to follow the entire tale had best set their course for the Podcast Feed.

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Have you subscribed to Flying Island Press’ Pirates Cove latest audio production, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. No? Well why not? all you have to do is go to your favorite RSS catcher and enter the URL http://feeds.feedburner.com/MidSummerNightsDream. They’ve just released Act 2 Scene 1, and this is where it gets interesting, as mortal intrigues get mixed up with the power struggles of the fairy kingdom. Can Titania unravel the plottings of Oberon? Will Lysander and Hermia’s love win out? Will Demetrius steal Hermia away, or will Helena turn his false love for her to true? And how is Puck mixed up in all this? And what of the players and their play?

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Do you like Shakespeare? Do you like Audio Drama? Are you looking for a little of both? Then this is your lucky day! The Pirates over at Flying Island Press’ Pirates Cove have started a new audio production, and this time they’re doing their own version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And part of what makes this version special is that I am a member of the cast!

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And so it begins! Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris have released the first of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences: Tales from the Archives – OneThe Evil that befell Sampson…

It is revealed just how Miss Braun ended up being exiled from her native country, New Zealand, and working for the Ministry in its London Offices. It’s a tale of nefarious doings, stalwart ladies, and the sound of clockwork.

Theme music for the Ministry composed and created by Alex White.

Don’t forget to pre-order the upcoming Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novel, coming April 26th from all good online and bricks and mortar stores.

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