Review of City of Masks

I was delighted to find this review of City of Masks by Ben Rovik, whose Mechanized Wizardry books I've been enjoying. He says in part:

This book has all the twists and revelations you’d expect from a story of courtly intrigue, and all the mistaken identities you’d expect from a story where everyone wears masks. There are thoughtful themes about identity woven throughout.

Always nice when someone spots the theme. Thanks, Ben!

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New novel announcement

I've started a new novel, The Gryphon Clerks. Heroic steampunk-fantasy civil servants. Where City of Masks was "no-magic" fantasy, The Gryphon Clerks will be packed with magic. And sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from mad science.

Go now and subscribe to updates!

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City of Masks reviewed

Silentrequiem writes:

I love epistolary stories, and I love political intrigue, and I love masks. This book was all three wrapped into one delicious package. Reeves-McMillan has created a fascinating society with Bonvidaeo where all the citizenry wear masks and take on the persona of the character - and are legally their mask. Bass, by virtue of being the brother-in-law of Calaria's Undersecretary to the Foreign Minister, is assigned to be envoy to Bonvidaeo. Not only is he thrown into a confusing new culture but he soon stumbles into the middle of a serial murderer's killings and political machinations to disrupt the current political order. This was a fascinating story, and I only wish that there had be[en more?]. Reeves-McMillan nicely captured the different voices of the characters, and did a great job telling the store through Bonvidaeo's journal entries. I loved the twist ending. Part of it I was expecting; the other parts, not at all. 4/5

Thanks, silentrequiem. My pleasure.

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New all-in-one subscription feed for C-Side Media

I've created feeds for all the various bits of C-Side Media: Gu, City of Masks, The Y People and the Works section (for assorted bits of poetry and visual art, mostly). I've mashed them all together and linked them to this mailing list:

http://eepurl.com/buN8v

Please subscribe, so that you can get all the updates to C-Side Media in one convenient place. Later on, there will be special stuff that only goes out on the mailing list, too.

That link again:

http://eepurl.com/buN8v

Thanks.

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Stadt der Masken? Possible German publication of City of Masks

Now, this is at a very early stage, so my excitement is probably not well justified.

But I've just heard that an Italian agent wants to present City of Masks to some German publishers. Germans are huge readers, apparently, and there's a big demand for slightly unusual works from non-German authors.

So anyway. Wanted to let you know. Further bulletins as events warrant.

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The Gift of Lit

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Here's a little joint project by some Podiobooks authors, including me. In the lead-up to Christmas 2009, we'd like to suggest that you consider buying our books as gifts, or asking others to do so for you.

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NIGHT’S KNIGHTS by Emerian Rich

Buy it here at << Amazon >> (starts as low as $13.00)

Vampires on a quest for knowledge attempt to create the perfect offspring, but from the shadows an even more demonic evil threatens their immortality. Markham is a simple Irish immigrant striving for the American dream in 1860 when coach robbers cause his untimely death. Severina is an exotic beauty from the jungles of Brazil whose family is brutally murdered by the same man she later calls lover. Julien is a knight who serves as guardian angel to his family but has no clue about his predestined fate. Will a powerful mortal named Jespa be the one to save them all?

FANTASY

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BRAVE MEN RUN by Matthew Wayne Selznick

Buy it here at << Amazon>> (starts as low as $8.98 new)

April 18, 1985 - Into a world already wound tight with the desperate tensions of the Cold War comes Dr. William Donner with a startling declaration: superhumans exist, they demand autonomy, and he has the reality-bending power to enforce their status. The traditional balance of power is thrown askew by the addition of not one super-powered human, but six thousand. Before the Donner Declaration, high school sophomore Nate Charters was just an outsider and self-proclaimed freak. His unusual appearance, hair-trigger reflexes, and overactive metabolism should have made him something special, but his differences and low self-esteem have long since marked him as a target for the jocks and popular kids. Now, just as his unique nature brings him the attention of a self-assured older girl, Nate must find his place in the world. Why is he the way he is? What really happened to his long-dead father? Why is his biggest rival suddenly interested in a private meeting? Is he part of a remarkable, powerful new minority… or just a misfit among misfits? Nate must discover the answers to these questions quickly, because those in power know more about him than he could ever imagine. And they’re closing in…

Mike's Endorsement: I have just finished listening to this in podiobook format, and it's really good. If, like me, you like superhero fiction (and don't mind it being a bit more realistic than the usual capes and tights), definitely check this out.

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LOST GODS by Drew Beatty

Buy it here at << Lulu >> (starts at $15.50 new)

Kweku Anansi is just another member of the African diaspora, trying to make a place for himself in his adopted home of Toronto, Canada. He dreams of better days, of a time when he could stop running small-time cons just to make the rent. He dreams of the life he used to live, centuries ago when he was revered as a god. A chance encounter with a fellow con man with a dark and secretive past of his own plunges them both into the dark world of the lost gods, gods who would do anything to be worshipped again. Including destroying the world, if necessary. How far will Anansi go to reclaim his godhood? What will he give up to have true power again?

Mike's Endorsement: Another very good book which I highly recommend, well-written, well-plotted, amusing and exciting.

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THE FOX by Arlene Radasky

Buy it here at << Amazon >> (starts as low as $20.99 new)

The Fox by Arlene Radasky is a historical romance and fantasy novel that looks at true courage and truly selfless acts. In this epic fiction that crosses centuries, Druid healers at the beginning of recorded time will be rescued from obscurity by an archeologist of the twenty-first century. Jahna’s clan lay in the path of destruction exacted by the Romans. Her fate is sealed unless a bargain is made with the Gods, which without a doubt means a human sacrifice. Two thousand years later, Aine MacRae is on their trail. A struggling archaeologist, she is on the verge of uncovering the village where they once lived. Encouraged by a ghostly visit, she will do whatever it takes to unearth time’s mystery. Greed almost triumphs leaving the truth and ancient stories buried forever, but an undying love is rekindled.

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CHASING THE BARD by Philippa Ballantine

Buy it here at << Amazon >> (starts as low as $12.69 new)

Born into the human world with a gift; a gift that brings him to the attention of powers both dark and light from the World of the Fey, it is his burden to defend all the world. Sive, the goddess of battle, hopes that he may be able to change the fate of her people.The Fey are dying, killed by something beyond the boundaries of worlds, and Sive will do anything to save them. So she enlists the help of her trickster cousin Puck to guard the child, and watch him grow into his gift. But a dark power imprisoned by human and Fey, plots to destroy both worlds, and unmake all that they have created. Can one boy stop the destruction, even if he is William Shakespeare?

Mike's Endorsement: A fellow Kiwi author, and she writes extremely well. I was riveted to this. Get hold of it!

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THE DAWNING OF POWER by Brian Rathbone

Buy it here at << Amazon >> (starts as low as $17.98)

The Dawning of Power is the debut trilogy in Brian Rathbone’s fantasy series: The World of Godsland. Echoes of the ancients power are distant memories, tattered and faded by the passage of eons, but that is about to change. A new dawn has arrived. Latent abilities, harbored in mankind s deepest fibers, wait to be unleashed. Ancient evils awaken, and old fears ignite the fires of war. In times such as these, ordinary people have the power to save the world . . . or destroy it.

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THE WHITE SHADOW SAGA: THE STOLEN MOON OF LONDOR by A.P. Stephens

Buy it here at << Amazon >> (starts as low as $8.60)

The era of peace among the elves, men, and dwarves comes to an end when one of Londor’s twin moons disappears from the heavens. Without the moon’s balancing effect, evil forces grow bold, and warfare, sickness, and chaos threaten life itself.

Hearing the prayers of desperation that ride on the violent winds, the ancient wizard Randor Miithra, servant to the elf-gods, takes it upon himself to mend the world he has sworn to protect. The task will not be an easy one, though, for the wizard, too, has begun to feel the effects of the world’s imbalance. As Randor struggles to maintain some semblance of his powers, he meets a secretive band of colorful characters from all walks of life, drawn together by a common goal: to find the stolen moon, whatever the cost. It does not take Randor and his motley company long to see that someone or something does not want the moon returned to the heavens.

The road is perilous…the stakes have never been greater…will they find victory…or will they only find their deaths?

SCIENCE FICTION

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THE VATICAN ASSASSIN TRILOGY by Mike Luoma

Buy it here at << Lulu >> (starts as low as $35.99)

This three in one omnibus edition collects all three novels in the “Vatican Assassin” Trilogy under one cover. “Vatican Assassin”, “Vatican Ambassador” and “Vatican Abdicator” are joined in this volume by an extensive appendix of previously unreleased background material. There are some early concept sketches by Mike Luoma, as well as “The History of The Future”: a timeline developed to extrapolate from today into the future setting for the story; “The Original Story Outline”; “The Story of The Project”; “The Alien Timeline” and more.

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THE PIRATES OF SUFIRO by David Lee Summers

Buy it here at << Amazon >> (starts as low as $14.95)

The Pirates of Sufiro is the story of a planet and its people — of Ellison Firebrandt the pirate captain living in exile; of Espedie Raton, the con-man looking to make a fresh start for himself and his wife on a new world; of Peter Stone, the ruthless bank executive who discovers a fortune and will do anything to keep it; and of the lawman, Edmund Ray Swan who travels to Sufiro seeking the quiet life but finds a dark secret. It is the story of privateers, farmers, miners, entrepreneurs, and soldiers — all caught up in dramatic events and violent conflicts that will shape the destiny of our galaxy.

CRIME DRAMA

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JACK WAKES UP by Seth Harwood

Buy it here at << Amazon >> (starts as low as $7.68)

In JACK WAKES UP, we are introduced to Jack Palms, a movie star turned drug addict, turned has-been who has been living off of the residual checks from Shake ‘Em Down, his one–and-only action movie. The money is drying up though, and this new clean, uneventful life is starting to become too much for Jack to bear. So when an old friend comes calling and asks Jack to use his former celebrity to show some out-of-town high rollers around San Francisco’s club scene, he’s happy to oblige. What Jack doesn’t know, however, is these “guests” are a pack of former KGB agents turned coke dealers out to make a big deal with Jack as their tour guide. Soon people are turning up dead, and Jack’s got too many gunmen after him to count—including a South American drug cartel, a mountain-sized Samoan enforcer, and a mobbed-up strip club owner with an army of thugs. That’s not to mention a gorgeous new girlfriend who may be planning on shooting him in the back and the homicide cop who’s just given Jack twenty-four hours to bring down the Bay Area’s biggest drug dealer.

But the thing that scares Jack the most? He’s starting to have fun.

FICTION

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CITY OF MASKS by Mike Reeves-McMillan

Buy it here at << Lulu >> (starts as low as $9.97)

In the city-state of Bonvidaeo, by custom and law everyone must wear a mask and act in character with it, or face civil, social and religious penalties. Gregorius Bass is sent to Bonvidaeo as the Envoy of Calaria (primarily to get him out from underfoot). Masked as the Innocent Man, and in the company of his radical young Bonvidaoan servant, Bass stumbles into mystery, intrigue, heresy and murder.

Mike's Endorsement: What can I say? This one's mine. People keep telling me they like it. If you haven't checked it out, please do.

TECHNO THRILLER

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7TH SON: DESCENT by J.C. Hutchins

Buy it here at << Amazon >> (starts as low as $9.21)

As America reels from the bizarre presidential assassination committed by a child, seven men are abducted from their normal lives and delivered to a secret government facility. Each man has his own career, his own specialty. All are identical in appearance. The seven strangers were not born, but grown — unwitting human clones — as part of a project called 7th Son.

The government now wants something from these “John Michael Smiths.” They share the flesh as well as the implanted memories of the psychopath responsible for the president’s murder. The killer has bigger plans, and only these seven have the unique qualifications to track and stop him. But when their progenitor makes the battle personal, it becomes clear John Alpha may know the seven better than they know themselves…

SPECULATIVE FICTION

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DREAMING OF DELIVERANCE by R.E. Chambliss

Buy it here at << Amazon >> (starts as low as $19.99)

Five years ago when Lindsay Paulson, a naive college student and talented distance runner, was 18, she was convicted of drug smuggling. Now, halfway through a 10-year prison sentence, she begins having what seem to be dreams, in which she leaves her cell in the night and visits another reality called Trae. Dreaming of Deliverance tells of Lindsay’s experiences both in Trae, where she finds herself among people enslaved by terrifying creatures, and in prison where she tries to make sense of what’s happening in her sleep: Is she actually escaping from prison somehow or is she losing her mind?

FANTASY FICTION HISTORICAL

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THE MARK OF A DRUID by Rhonda R. Carpenter

Buy it here at << Amazon >> (starts as low as $16.55 new)

Have you ever had a dream so real that when you awoke, it didn’t leave the recesses of your mind for days? Eve McCormick just did, and this experience will change her life and the lives of those around her permanently. A twenty-six year old hypnotherapist who oversees a research project based on discovering the answer to an age-old question, “Is reincarnation fact or fiction?” must learn to trust a Welsh stranger. An ancient Celtic prophecy and long sought-after revenge entangles the past with the present in the struggle for existence that threatens to destroy her project. A druidess and a shape-shifter must join as one to save the Druid way of life, while a Queen conspires to kill Erin’s only High King. Will the oaths and agendas of the past reach across the centuries to strengthen or destroy?

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City of Masks review

Just found (via Google blog search, which I have fed into my feed reader) a nice review of the podcast version of City of Masks on Livejournal. The reviewer initially wasn't sold on my reading, until s/he (I think she) realized that I was "doing the voices" of the characters.

I don't have (and don't intend to get) a Livejournal account in order to comment directly on the post, but thanks, krazysidhe, for your kind words. I'm complimented that you thought of doing fanfiction, though I'm also glad you decided not to. And (if you find this), have a look at The Y People and see if you like that too.

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City of Masks on Smashwords

City of Masks is now available on Smashwords as an ebook. This means you can download it and read it in multiple formats, including Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, Palm and iPhone (using Stanza).

I've set it to have the first half freely available and the second half available at a price you set (I think 99c US is the minimum). I'm reasonably confident that anyone who read the first half would pay at least a dollar to read the second half.

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Authonomy again

If you've been putting off backing City of Masks on Authonomy, please, delay no longer. After an initial rapid rise up the rankings, it's starting to slowly slip back as activity around it dies. I'm appealing to you, who are already presumably fans, to show your support for it and help to give me a chance for commercial publication.

Thanks in advance.

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City of Masks on Authonomy

I mentioned in a previous post that I've been thinking about submitting City of Masks to a traditional publisher. I've discovered a way of doing this that is quite clever (of the publisher, not me). Harper-Collins has a site called Authonomy where unpublished or self-published authors like me can submit their books for the community of readers there to review, and the ones that are highest-rated get looked at for publication.

Why is this clever? Because it shows that Harper-Collins want to learn from the market rather than just guess what it wants (which is traditionally what publishers do), and they are invoking the "wisdom of crowds" in order to do so. Web 2.0, if you want to use a buzzword.

So I have put City of Masks on Authonomy. (Not the whole of it, about a third.)

Now, this next bit is important. If you've enjoyed City of Masks and would like to give something back at no cost to yourself, please go to the City of Masks page on Authonomy, get a login (it's quick and easy), and click the "Back the Book" link for City of Masks. This adds it to your "bookshelf" on the site. The more people add it to their bookshelf, the higher its rank. Every month, the highest-ranked books get considered for publication.

Other ways you can help it rise in the rankings:

  1. Link to the City of Masks Authonomy page from your own blog or website.
  2. Become more active on Authonomy and become known as someone who is good at spotting quality books (preferably before too many other people have spotted them). This gives your recommendation more weight.
  3. Comment insightfully on City of Masks and other Authonomy books.

If all of that sounds too much, please, at a minimum, just sign up for Authonomy and add City of Masks to your bookshelf. That link again.

Thanks.

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