Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An Excerpt from CHRYSOPTERON

My novel Chrysopteron is the story of a generation ship sent to colonize a distant planet and the mission, hundreds of years later, to learn the fate of those colonists. This small excerpt will give you just a taste of what they find.


ANDREW DAVIS PEEKED out through the window. The area immediately in front of Harold Wilkes’s house seemed clear. He eased open the door and stepped out, closing it quickly behind him. After a few quick paces to get himself away from the door, he paused, looked around and smiled. There was no one in sight.
   He’d arrived at Harold’s house in the evening. Now, in the daylight, he wasn’t sure in which direction lay the center of town—and the temple—and in which direction lay the road heading out to the cliffs where he was supposed to meet the others.
   He depressed the talk button on his radio. “John, I’m a little turned around. And the streets around here are like a maze. Even if I just head west, I don’t know that I’ll come out where I want to.”
   “We’re just on the outskirts of Warrensville, Andy. Try to find a friendly-looking local to direct you to us.”
   Davis turned the corner. Ahead of him, a street curved to the right. He followed it down until he could see an intersection. Once there, he looked in both directions but saw no one.
   He was ready to pick a direction at random when a sound reached his ears. It was the sound of a crowd, coming from the street to his left. That’ll probably be people congregating at the temple, he though. Davis knitted his brow. If he went left, he guessed he’d arrive at the center of town. The main thoroughfare through Warrensville ran right past the temple. That would be his most direct route. But he didn’t know if he wanted to expose himself to so many people. If he went right, he could get lost in the warren of streets and would be quite alone if he encountered anyone who held animosity toward the visitors.
   He decided to go left. As he neared, the sound of the crowd grew louder. There was one strident voice rising above the rest. That voice would speak for a moment, and the crowd would answer in what sounded like rage. Davis’s steps faltered. He stood in the street, unsure of what to do next. His decision was made for him. From the direction of the crowd half a dozen men rounded the corner. They spotted Davis, studied his strange clothes for a moment and let out a cry. Before Davis could understand what they were saying, they were running at him. He turned on his heels and ran in the opposite direction. He paused at the street that led to Harold’s house and looked back. A mob had joined the men and were in pursuit.
   Davis sprinted down the street, back to Harold’s house and threw open the door. He looked for a bolt or lock, but there was none. He risked a quick glance outside to see if anyone was near the door, but all he saw was a small child sitting on the steps opposite. Davis moved to the back of the room, out of sight, but where he could still see out the window.
   As the mob came into view, they slowed to a walk. One man leaned over with his hands on his knees and addressed the child. Without looking from the man’s eyes, the child raised her arm, extended her finger and pointed right at Davis, through the window.
   Davis cursed and moved into the bedroom. He began pulling on the bed and had it against the door just as the front door was slammed open. The next instant, the bedroom door handle was turning.
   Davis took up his radio. “John, I’m at Harold’s house, and there’s a mob after me.”
   “Andy? Stay calm; we’re nearly at the temple. We’ll find Harold.”
   “I don’t have time for that, John!”
   Davis reached into his shoulder bag and withdrew a handgun. He chambered a round and waited as the door began to shudder and the bed started sliding away from it.
   “I’m armed with a deadly weapon!” he called out. “Move away from the door, and we can settle this without violence. Please, we can talk about this!”
   A head poked through the gap in the door. The next thing that appeared through the gap looked like the tip of an arrow. Davis raised his weapon and fired. A spray of blood exploded against the wall next to the door and the head slumped down.
   A new frenzy of yells erupted from the people on the other side of the door. Another firm shove pushed the bed farther away from the door. Davis fired at a hand that reached around and grabbed the side of the door but missed. To his left, the bedroom window shattered. He had time enough to fire off three shots before he was overpowered by the men leaping through the window. Something struck his head, and he went down, black spots clouding his eyes.


Chrysopteron is available as an eBook at all Amazon Kindle stores:

Praise for Chrysopteron

"Chrysopteron is a 'golden-winged' gem of a novel and one that cements worlds imagined into the conscious dream of worlds yet seen. When I'd finished, I wanted more and not because the novel was lacking; I wanted more because I want to live in Rose's world longer." (Link)

"Chrysopteron is an epic book with a wide scope. In a way, it reminded me of The Mote in God's Eye by Niven and Pournelle. (But I liked Chrysopteron more.) Even though the cast of characters is huge, spanning several generations, I was never confused about who was who. The scenes are vivid, and Michael K. Rose has a keen sense of pacing. He knows just when to do a quick cut to the next scene to keep the story moving quickly. This is very, very well-written." (Link)

"This tale is woven expertly, filled with intrigue, suspense, and grips onto you to the very end. If you have not read any of this author's work, you are missing out! This is a definite must read." (Link)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Release: SULLIVAN'S WRATH, the sequel to SULLIVAN'S WAR

Hello, all! After some serious setbacks and three days of seemingly endless rewriting and revision, I have managed to get Sullivan's Wrath out on time. And astonishingly, Barnes & Noble published it overnight, when they usually take several days.

Get Sullivan's Wrath at:

and all the other international Kindle stores.

And if you don't yet have Sullivan's War, get it at:

and all the other international Kindle stores.

Please note: Sullivan's Wrath's estimated length of 180 pages is incorrect. The actual length, based on the upcoming print edition, will be around 250 pages.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Now Available: The Somnibus: The Complete Edition by Craig McGray

Michael Black struggles to master a power forced upon him after the callous murder of his mother. She left him in possession of a mysterious stone, a trace, which contains powers more volatile and dangerous than anything he’s ever imagined.

The Somnibus, vile creatures previously restricted to tormenting Michael in his dreams, have found a way to send one of their own into the physical world. Now, they search for six powerful stones that will unlock their rotting prison, releasing them to unleash hell on the living as retribution for their imprisonment. Michael's trace is the last piece of the puzzle.

Lost in a maze of death and betrayal, Michael finds himself alone and fighting not only to save his own life, and that of the woman he loves, but the last man standing in a desperate battle to preserve the fate of mankind.

Buy it on Amazon US
Buy it on Amazon UK

About the Author

Craig McGray lives on the east coast of Florida with his wife and two daughters.His newest release, The Somnibus: The Complete Edition, includes both Books I and II of the paranormal thriller, The Somnibus. His stories range from dark horror to paranormal, and he's currently working on a dystopian novel.

In addition to spending time with his family, Craig enjoys triathlon and endurance training. Many of his thoughts and story ideas come to him during those quiet times while running, biking, or swimming.

You can follow Craig on Twitter and Goodreads.You can also visit his author pages at The Independent Author Network and Amazon. Follow his blog My Adventures in Writing.

Monday, February 4, 2013

On the Other Hand... (SULLIVAN'S WRATH Update)

I posted yesterday that I would have to delay the release of Sullivan's Wrath. But after two days of incredibly exhausting rewriting and revision, I think I have saved the book. Tomorrow, I will have one final look-through of some of the troublesome parts, prepare my eBook files and submit them to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. There's even a chance it will be available for sale by the 8th, as originally intended. However, I cannot control the length of time Amazon and B&N will spend approving and publishing it, so I'm not making any promises just yet.

Watch this space!

Sunday, February 3, 2013


(Update: I was able to resolve the issues and Sullivan's Wrath is now available! See here.)

Some issues have come up with Sullivan's Wrath. Put bluntly, it is not working and does not live up to the standard set by Sullivan's War. The feedback from my Beta readers indicates that I made some serious missteps in the direction I took the story. To correct this, I am going to strip out large sections of the novel and rework several others.

Unfortunately, this means that it will not be released on February 8, as I had originally announced. It is not an easy decision to delay release, but it is preferable to putting out an inferior novel. I know that a lot of readers are looking forward to continuing the adventures of Rick Sullivan and Frank Allen, and I simply will not do anything less than my best to meet their expectations. 

The delay, however, will not be a long one. I am going to work tirelessly to get Sullivan's Wrath out later in the month. I'm now looking at a release date of February 15, but I may be able to get it out a bit sooner than that.

Thank you to all of my readers for their continuing support, and a special thanks to my Beta readers whose honesty has kept me from disappointing the rest of you. I have a lot of work to do, so you probably won't be hearing from me too much over the next week or two.

All the Best,
Michael K. Rose

Friday, February 1, 2013

101 Thoughts on Self-Publishing -- 003: Write Short Stories

I do have to admit that this "thought" is somewhat self-serving. You see, I love short stories. I love writing them, I love reading them. And I think that while a lot of writers may dabble in them (don't most of us start off with short stories, after all?) they know that what the reading public wants is novel-length fiction.

Up until recently, it looked like the short story was slowly fading from public awareness. No, I don't mean people would forget they ever existed, but when one thought about "reading," one would immediately think about a novel. I understand. Readers like to get caught up in a story, in a world that the author has created. When you've become emotionally tied to a character, you want to be with that character as long as possible. This is why series are so popular.

But there are things you can do with short stories that you cannot (or would not) do with novels. You can be highly experimental, for one. You can take risks knowing that if it doesn't work, the time lost is measured in hours, not in weeks or months. It is also a good way to develop your skills. Writing short stories allows you to write many more different characters and situations than you would if you only wrote novels; you can explore personalities, environments and occurrences. You can dabble in genres that are outside of your comfort zone.

Now, this is all from a writer's perspective. But what about from an economic/publishing perspective? ePublishing has made selling short stories much easier than it was in the past. Even if you were self-published, they are too short to justify the expense of releasing them in print. You'd have to gather a dozen of them together to put out a collection. With that much work, many writers would rather put out a novel, which would most likely be a better seller. And if you didn't self-publish, you had to submit them to fiction magazines, most of which are highly competitive. But now with eBooks, the print costs are completely optional. You can get your short stories out to the public instantly and release them as stand-alone eBooks, as you write them. Just browse Amazon and you will see many short stories, novelettes and novellas being offered up for sale. For one who loves shorter-form fiction (me), this is truly a bonanza.

As a writer, you can use short stories to introduce yourself to the public. I began my career by publishing short stories, and I think it did me a lot of good. "Who the hell is this guy?" people would ask. "I don't know if I want to spend the time and money on a novel from a nobody." They'd scroll through my titles, scowling. "Wait a second," they'd say. "Here is a short story. Ninety-nine cents? I guess I can do that." Twenty minutes later: "That was the greatest thing I've ever read! I'm going to buy all his books and tell all my friends!"

Well, maybe it doesn't happen quite like that, but you get the idea. Just as short stories let you take risks as a writer, they let readers take a risk on you. There is also the idea that the more eBooks you have available, the more channels there are for readers to find you. Half a dozen short stories in addition to your novels will give you a much larger presence in online stores like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. From there, it's very easy for readers to find your other books. It's all about exposure, and despite what that cop in Provo told me, exposure is a good thing. Yes, I know I used that joke before, but it's hilarious, so you're getting it again.

Until Next Time!
Michael K. Rose

P.S.: If you're enjoying the series so far and would like a single page to bookmark, I'll be adding each of my 101 Thoughts on Self-Publishing here

You might also be interested in my eBook, Building a Promotional Package: How to Prepare for Your Successful Book Launch. Details about it can be found here.