Kaladimus Dor, Yax’Kaqix, and the rest of Finders Keepers return this summer in the epic third novel in the Cycle of Ages Saga. Delve Deep picks up in the months following the events at the end of Sands of Sorrow, and takes the characters on an exciting trek from Fraustmauth through a Free Dwarf city, a subterranean port located in Faltyr’s Underworld, on their way to restore hope to a world torn by war and strife.
Amazon Kindle versions of Cycle of Ages Saga: Delve Deep should be ready for pre-sale by 6/14/2017. Paperback and e-book release should follow within a matter of weeks, depending on our final edits and approvals through Createspace.
For this installment of Brief Book Reviews, I’ve chosen my most recent read, Changa’s Safari, written by the prolific and imaginative Milton J. Davis. Without spoiling too much of this rollicking, swashbuckling adventure, I will say that it was an insta-buy once I saw the cover art and read the back cover blurb at JordanCon 2017. With several books in this series and continuing collections of Changa stories, Davis has combined the fast-paced action-packed sea sagas of Sinbad with the well-researched–but clearly alternative history–versions of 15th century Africa, Arabia, and Asia to create a fun, immersive environment for endless storytelling. In these stories, magic and myth walk the world alongside the medieval and mundane, so there is plenty of sword-and-sorcery action to keep any fan of fantasy and/or alternative history happy.
In this first collection, we are presented with three different kibatu (books), which are novelettes or novellas tied together by the common thread of Changa Diop, merchant captain and adventurer, and his crew of bahari (sailors and adventurers). Each book builds on the other, ratcheting up the suspense and tension as the stakes climb ever higher for Changa as he seeks the means to take revenge against the powerful magician who slayed his father and made wives of his mother and sisters. First, we sail with Changa against evil forces who would undo the world with powerful talismans. Then we fight alongside him as he defends the honor of Panya, his female crewmember, whose hand is promised to one of the most powerful of the Swahili. Finally, we are setting sail once again, for China’s distant Middle Kingdom and beyond.
Frankly, everything about this book appeals to me. Milton J. Davis has vividly reconstructed a world where myth and history mix to paint a richer portrait of Africa and Arabia and the Orient than most Western writers ever manage to accomplish. I look forward to reading more of Changa’s safaris in the future, and I recommend them to anyone who likes stories of high adventure.
Think about that. Really think about it. How long is two seconds? What do you think you can do in two seconds? Not much, really. But, if you are an author, two seconds is a huge amount of time for you.
That’s because studies have shown that you have that long to catch a reader’s eye with the cover of your book. We live in a society of instant gratification and short attention spans, and in this modern world if you want to catch the attention of a potential reader you need to have something that they are going to remember.
The success of your novel might be based on the one thing that we’ve all heard before: judging a book by its cover. The design of your cover has to target and carry the appeal needed to pull in your reader before they’ve had a chance to even read a single word of text.
For this reason above all others, you have to take the time and put the energy into creating your cover that is nearly equal to what you’ve done for the interior. Any writer worth their salt takes time to research their subject matter and make sure that it won’t send the wrong message. Do that same thing with your cover. Look at novels in the same field as yours. Take time to find artists who have the skills to produce professional work. Show it to others who have experience in the field. Get feedback. Make changes.
Don’t rush anything. Take your time.
You have two seconds.
Brett Brooks is the author of the Pussy Katnip series, including Red is the Darkest Color and The Devil Was Green. He also wrote the critically acclaimed horror-comedy novel Edible Complex, as well as the fantasy series The Champions of Elan. Learn more about his works at the following links: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KVK5WRU or www.publishing.pandahead.com
I’m turning 40 this month, but I may have a gift for you instead. Enter our Goodreads giveaway before month’s end for a CHANCE to win a FREE AUTOGRAPHED paperback of the new edition of the Cycle of Ages Saga: Finders Keepers!
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