Monday, September 10, 2012
Mythical: Heart of Stone
Author: C.E. Martin
Genre: YA Fantasy (?)
How long it's been on sale: June 4, 2012
Current price: $.99
Marketing: I have been sending out review requests and participating in Author Interviews. I have a blog. I am participating in a number of author websites/forums, and have done the introduction of the book at several forums also.
Total sold so far: 6
Link to book on Amazon: Mythical: Heart of Stone
In a world of magic and monsters, where the superheroes have all retired, the United States depends on the men and women of Detachment 1039 to protect America from the paranormal. Unfortunately, the Detachment’s entire squad of Stone Soldiers, and their leader, have been killed.
Colonel Mark Kenslir wakes up in the Arizona desert, his mortal wounds healed, but with no memory of who killed him. With the help of the teens who found him, Kenslir eventually remembers his last mission: stop a shapeshifter that has been ripping out and consuming the hearts of victims.
Without any weapons, without any support, Kenslir sets out to avenge his men and stop the shapeshifter.
First 300 Words:
Somewhere in the Arizona desert, miles from any road or water, there was a boat.
This boat was charred and cracked, melted, burned- a black blight on the pristine sands, the ash from the fire that had consumed it spreading out to form a black circle, thirty feet in diameter. The boat sat in silence, undiscovered, for days.
Until a group of motorcycle riders stumbled across it.
Five riders, racing through the desert, weaving in and out, jumping slight rises. Ahead of the riders, the desert sands stretched out for miles for their enjoyment. Behind them, the riders left behind not only their camp, but twelve years of education. This was their summer vacation, before they would all go out into the world, to college, to jobs, to begin their new lives.
The leader of the pack, Carlos, topped a rise at full speed. Beneath his helmet he grinned, wondering if any of the others would catch him.
Carlos suddenly lost his grin. He let off the throttle and slammed on his brakes. A great black spot lay in the desert ahead of him. Charred remnants of something large.
Behind Carlos, the other riders approached. They all saw the same great stain on the desert and slid to a stop beside their friend.
Carlos looked around at his friends. None of them were doing anything more than looking at the burnt remains down the slope from them. He would have to be the first.
Carlos nodded to his friends then took off for the wreckage.
The bikers rolled cautiously down the slope toward the burnt wreckage. As they got closer they could make out the shape of whatever it had been. It looked vaguely boat-like and it had been consumed in a great fire.
The bikers stopped a dozen feet from the edge of the burnt wreckage.
Comments: I like the cover. It looks well designed. It does give me more of a high fantasy vibe, but I don't know how detrimental that is. It makes me think of rings and quests, elves and kingdoms. That might be a problem. Also, usually young adult novels have a young person on the cover, so it shows the target age. This does seem to be geared toward an "older" audience. However, I do like the cover and if the book were selling I wouldn't think of changing it at all. Since it's not selling, I might get more opinions on the first impression of the cover. Show it to strangers and ask what they think the book is about. That first impression is very important, and if you're giving the wrong impression, I'd try to fix it.
The description needs work, but I don't think it's horrible. Don't start with the Don LaFontaine cliche, "In a world..." I also don't like the contradiction. All the stone soldiers have been killed. But one wakes up. If he's killed, he wouldn't be waking up. That's confusing. I'd get some help to tighten this up.
I think the writing needs to be tightened up also. For instance, the beginning of the book doesn't have any emotion to it. I'm not in anyone's point of view, so I'm not seeing the charred boat from anyone's perspective. It's omniscient point of view, which frankly, is difficult to write well and out of date enough to put most readers off to the book. I would suggest joining a critique group, or finding a content editor with experience editing genre fiction.
What do you guys think?