Tell Me When I’m Dead—Time for the Free Stuff!

TMWID Cover eBook Quote (Small)

I’ll make this short and sweet. I am giving away five paperback copies of Tell Me When I’m Dead (Second Edition). And all you have to do is visit my Facebook page. While you’re there, could you also give it a Like?

Enter now for a chance to win a copy of what Self-Publishing Review said is “a gritty, pulse-pounding read” and “an original and well-rounded work of zombie fiction.”

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Multi-Genre Mega Giveaway—October 2017

Wow, check out this offer! Enter the giveaway and win free eBooks in multiple genres! Offer ends Monday, October 9th, 2017.

Enter here: https://AuthorsXP.com/mega

Win up to 45+ Series eBooks!

(2) Grand Prize “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks!
(45+) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)

Kicking an Opportunity Till It’s Dead

[Atomic Blonde]
Photo courtesy of MovieWeb

Several months ago, I entered a contest that offered as the first prize the opportunity for my latest novel to be taken on by a reputable publishing company. Of course, at the time, I was pretty excited. Who wouldn’t be? A chance to have your book published professionally with everything that entails—great editing, eye-popping cover, and a brilliant marketing campaign? So, now imagine reading an email that just hit your inbox saying you are a finalist! Wow, am I dreaming?

Before I go any further, this isn’t one of those stories that go from fairy tale to nightmare. Everything was on the up-and-up. Along with the email, I received a well-written critique and was given a short timeframe to produce a new version for consideration. Presumably, they would read the draft, and if they felt the changes were what they were looking for, I would continue on in the process. And after reading the critique, I have to say I really thought I had a shot. Anyway, soon, a winner will be chosen…but I can say with certainty it won’t be me. Why?

Because I dropped out.

The Dilemma
Look, there was nothing wrong with the critique. In fact, the editor made lots of good points about things I might want to address. But in reading the comments, I got the sense that somehow my book hadn’t fully resonated with them. They just weren’t on board with what I was doing. The things I had intentionally chosen to do—the tone, the protagonist, and all the rest—was somehow not right for them. To be fair to the publisher, my story doesn’t fall neatly into a single genre. It’s what they’re calling these days a genre-bender. Also, I’ve mixed first-person narration with third-person—not unheard of in today’s fiction. Finally, the way I have written the fourteen-year-old protagonist makes her seem impossibly wise for her age. But that was the point! She is, in fact, incredibly precocious.

So, I was left with two choices: Make the appropriate changes and hope I won. Or walk away. Obviously, I’ve chosen the latter path.

But, dude, this was your shot! you’re probably thinking. You could have had a publishing contract! What are you, nuts?

Well, I probably am. But hear me out. In looking at the terms of the contract, I realized that I don’t want someone else owning my book’s copyright. Yeah, I know. This is standard for publishing. But I’m new to the game, okay? And another thing. I imagined myself watching as another company took control of my book and basically did what they thought was best regarding promotion. Okay, so they are probably way better at marketing than I am, I will admit. But I would be losing the one thing I have come to love about being an indie author these past few years—control.

A Silver Lining
Even after what may yet prove to be a bone-headed move on my part, there is one bright spot. The combination of the critique and the fact that I was a finalist in a reputable contest, for me, add up to a huge validation of my work. I am immensely proud of what I wrote, and apparently, there are others out there who feel it has value.

Now, it’s back to my world. The novel is going through a final edit, and my cover designer is hard at work creating something magical—I hope! I plan to publish in the spring. Stay tuned.

Here’s to opportunity!

Come As You Are—Goodreads Book Giveaway

Exciting news! The publication date is nearing for my new horror collection Come As You Are. To celebrate, I am giving away ten signed copies of my book. The giveaway starts tomorrow, August 22nd, and runs through September 20th.

All you need to do is click the link below to enter. Winners will be selected by the folks at Goodreads at the end of the contest. Note that you must be a US resident. Best of luck!

Enter the Contest

[Come As You Are Cover]Come As You Are
by Steven Ramirez
Release date: Sep 07, 2017

Enter for a chance to win one of ten signed copies of Come As You Are by Steven Ramirez.

“Ivan’s innocent and unwitting flirtation with the demonic is first-rate supernatural horror. Ramirez’s characters are beautifully defined, particularly Ivan and Hershey, the school janitor, who turns out to be much more than that. His plot is beautifully scripted and the suspense and supernatural dread emanating throughout this story make it impossible to put down until the last page is read.” —Readers’ Favorite

Opens for entries on August 22, 2017
Format: Print book
Availability: 10 copies available
Giveaway dates: Aug 22 – Sep 20, 2017
Countries available: US

Enter the Contest

Multi-Genre Mega Giveaway—May 2017

Wow, check out this offer! Enter the giveaway and win free eBooks in multiple genres! Offer ends Wednesday, May 31st, 2017.

Enter here: https://AuthorsXP.com/mega

Win up to 180+ eBooks!

(1) Grand Prize “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks!
(1) Gift Basket for each major genre!
(180+) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)

Horror eBook Giveaway—One Week Only!

Check out this offer. Enter the giveaway and win free eBooks! Offer ends Monday, April 17, 2017.

Enter here: https://authorsxp.com/giveaway

Win up to 10+ Horror eBooks!

(2) Grand Prize “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks!
(10+) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)

Cover Reveal and a Chance to Win a Free Book

Photo Courtesy of David Yu via Creative Commons
[Flickr 5.25 Party]We’re getting close, folks. Book Three of my horror thriller series will be published this month. Whoo-hoo! Okay, you couldn’t see that, but I just gave myself a high-five. Ouch …

To kick things off, you can find the cover and book blurb below. Also, I’m excited to tell you that my friend Kevin Asmus has created new covers for the whole series. If you get a chance, check out Book One and Book Two on Amazon.

Those who have signed up for my newsletter will be notified first when Book Three is available for purchase. For those who have not signed up for my newsletter, what are you waiting for? You can do so by visiting stevenramirez.com/newsletter.

And don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post to enter the Rafflecopter contest, which runs from October 8th through the 14th. I’ll be giving away five copies of Book Two, Dead Is All You Get. Good luck!

And now, here it is. The cover of Even The Dead Will Bleed, Book Three of TELL ME WHEN I’M DEAD.

Cover and Book Blurb

[Even The Dead Will Bleed Cover]

Dave Pulaski is headed to Los Angeles to kill Walt Freeman, the person responsible for devastating Tres Marias. But everything changes when he rescues Sasha, a Russian girl who escaped the facility where Walt was holding her. Pursued by a relentless ex-military sociopath working for Walt and by scientifically engineered humans who flay their victims alive, chances are that Dave will die before he can save Sasha.

Even The Dead Will Bleed (Book Three of TELL ME WHEN I’M DEAD) is a dark fantasy, sci-fi thriller—a nonstop horror train—that will deliver Dave to the brink of Hell. Revenge is a powerful drug that can drive a man to do unspeakable things. But as he will learn, Faith can give him the courage to face death without fear. If you like your thrillers dark and fast-paced, then don’t miss the heart-pounding conclusion to this trilogy. “Faith and bravery band together to fight a horrific world turned upside down and inside out” (S.R. Mallery).

The Iron Writer Challenge

By B.Y. Rogers

[TIW Logo]The Iron Writer Challenge was created in February 2013 as a way to have fun while improving one’s writing skills. The concept is simple yet can be confounding. Every Thursday four authors are invited to compete in a writing challenge. Each author writes a five hundred word story utilizing four elements. The elements are not announced until the challenge begins. Their stories are due four days later. The following Thursday, the same day the next challenge is posted, the stories for the previous challenge are posted on the website and available for voting. Voting remains open for one week.

The winners of each challenge are invited to compete in a quarterly tournament; Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. There are sixteen writers per tournaments, comprising the challenge winners and second place finishers to round out the field.

The sixteen writers are ranked and placed into four brackets. The challenge rules apply: five hundred words, four elements, four-day deadline.

The winners of the four brackets then compete in a final round, where one champion is declared.

Every May, the quarterly winners are invited to compete in an annual tournament where a champion is crowned.

Additionally, The Iron Writer offers two other non-competitive ‘challenges’. The Weekend Quickie is meant to be a practice challenge. Every Saturday a Weekend Quickie is posted, comprising of an image prompt, an object and an emotion. Submissions are posted in the comment section. The Iron Writer Rely is a collaborative effort, where a short story is written by several authors, with a single theme.

Other programs are in the works, particularly an Apprentice program for high school and college age writers.

The objective is this. When an author writes a scene for their novel, every word in every sentence, in every paragraph, in every scene, in every chapter is important. As Faulkner said, we must be willing to kill the little babies. When you have to write a five hundred word story, utilizing four elements, every word must be carefully chosen. Taking an Iron Writer challenge focuses on achieving and making concise writing a habit. Your writing will get better, but only if you are serious.

A Feedback area is available on the website. If a writer desires and craves feedback, take the challenge (weekly or the weekend quickie) and add it to the comments in that section. But expect harsh, honest, objective criticism.

The Iron Writer is not for the faint hearted. We take writing seriously.

You can find B.Y. Rogers on Twitter, and you can learn more about the Iron Writers Challenge on his website at theironwriter.com.