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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR & #GIVEAWAY - The Alastair Stone Chronicles series by R. L. King

The Alastair Stone Chronicles series

by R. L. King



Dr. Alastair Stone, Occult Studies professor, powerful mage, and snarky British expat now based in Palo Alto, California, does his best to keep his academic and social lives separate from his increasingly frequent brushes with various malevolent forces from the supernatural side of the street. A little horror, a little humor, but mostly straight-up urban fantasy.

Stone and a Hard Place

Dr. Alastair Stone, Occult Studies professor and powerful mage, has his hands full trying to keep the two sides of his life separate as he trains a new apprentice, deals with a malevolent entity trapped in the basement of a wealthy old woman's massive home, and battles dark mages intent on enslaving it for their own ends.

Debut novel of the Alastair Stone Chronicles.

The Forgotten

Dr. Alastair Stone is back, this time teaming up with Jason Thayer, a young man hunting for his missing sister. Embroiled in a web of odd homeless people, a growing conspiracy, and deadly danger, they soon realize that even if they find Jason's sister, they might not be able to help her.

What do you do when you discover an extradimensional plot that threatens the safety of the entire world, but you can't tell anyone about it because literally anyone on Earth could be part of it?

Book Two of the Alastair Stone Chronicles.


Jason let out a loud sigh, his natural tendency to want to move nearly overwhelming now. “How do we know if it doesn’t work? Do we have to stand in here forever?”

Stone was about to answer when he stiffened, startled. “It’s back,” he said, pointing at the mirror.

Jason spun around. Sure enough, the reddish figure had reappeared behind them in the mirror, looking as angry as ever. It said something to Stone in its bones-and-parchment voice, punctuated by many growls and other sounds of displeasure. The mage nodded. “She’s there now, then?” he asked.

The figure snarled and glared at Stone. It appeared to be contemplating another lunge out into the real world, but eyed the mage warily and decided against it. Instead, it spat at him. The spittle flew out, contacted its own side of the mirror, and ran down toward the table with a sizzle. Then it reached out with a ropy, muscular arm and attempted to sweep all the objects off the table on its side of the mirror. The candles, knife, and chalice went, careening silently over the edge and out of sight. The book remained, and the creature screamed in agony as its arm contacted it.

“It’s fighting me—” Stone said under his breath. “I’m going to release it now.” He reached up with both hands and put them on the mirror again. Loudly and clearly, he uttered a long sentence in the strange Latin-like language, then pulled his hands back abruptly and clapped them together in a sudden, sharp sound that made Jason jump. He stumbled, reeling back, realizing with horror even as he did so that he had no way of stopping himself. He was going to fall over backwards, taking out a good chunk of the circle when he landed.

As he went over, he got a last look at the creature’s face. Instead of looking angry, it looked suddenly surprised and triumphant. That lasted about two seconds. It flung itself forward again, clawed hands eagerly reaching in front of it, reaching for Stone, for Jason—

Five Mistakes New Self Publishing Authors Make

Self publishing is easier than ever these days—there are many resources out there, both in the form of helpful information on the internet, and the many professional services available to self-published authors. However, there are also a lot of places all along the way where an inexperienced indie author can sabotage her sales because she’s not familiar with common pitfalls. Here are a few that I’ve encountered in my journey:

I wish I could put this on a banner and wave it in front of every new self publisher: Your book cover is not for you. The purpose of your book cover is not to make you happy or to show off your book’s wonderful plot. Sure, those are great too, but the primary purpose of a book cover is to sell your book. That means it needs to be good. The cover is one area where you don’t want to skimp. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a good cover—there are sites out there that do pre-made, very nice looking covers if you’re on a budget. But it needs to look professional, it needs to look good in thumbnail size (to grab those browsing eyeballs and make them take a second look) and it needs to be appropriate for your genre. Would you read a romance with a bloody, non-sexy monster on the front, or a horror book with a pink cover? Readers look for certain cues, and your cover should have them.

Editor/Beta Readers
Whether you’re the best writer in the world, or you’re a beginner who hasn’t quite grasped where to put a semicolon—you still need an editor if you want to produce quality work. If you can’t afford a pro, at least make sure you line up some beta readers who aren’t afraid to hurt your feelings. Remember, every problem your editor or beta readers find is one that your readers won’t. And believe me: editors and betas will be much kinder to your feelings than readers will.

After your cover, your blurb (the thing that would be the back-cover text on a hardcopy book, and that appears in your description on the sites like Amazon and Smashwords) is the most important thing to convince readers to check out your book. It should be punchy, compelling, and not too long. Divide it up into multiple paragraphs rather than a single wall of text, and don’t make it longer than about 200 words. Tease at the reasons why your book is interesting, keeping your genre in mind. A good thing to do is go to your local bookstore, find some bestsellers in your genre, and read their back-cover copy. Find the blurbs that make you want to read the book, then write something similar for your own book. Run it by your friends, editor, and beta readers. Polish it till it shines.

Bottom line: if you want to sell books as a self publisher, you have to promote them. Nobody else is going to do it for you (unless you pay them, or unless you’re lucky enough to have well-connected friends willing to throw a little love your way). If you don’t believe in your book enough to talk it up, then why would anyone buy it? Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can promote yourself, many of which are free. Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, blogs (your own or guest posting on others’), joining communities of self-published authors, posting on message boards like Absolute Write and KBoards…all of these are free. And if you want to put some money into promotions, you can buy social media ads, sign up for blog tours, have swag like bookmarks printed up…the possibilities are endless. You don’t have to be an extrovert to do it, either. I’m an introvert, and I’m not only learning how to promote, but I’m finding that it’s fun and rewarding!

Finally, and very importantly: You will probably get at least one bad review. That’s okay. Everybody gets bad reviews. You can’t please all readers. But whatever you do—do not respond to them. Don’t engage the reviewer. Don’t leave a comment. Don’t argue. In the words of that Disney movie: let it go. If it has anything useful in it, learn from it for next time. If it doesn’t, just forget it and move on. But arguing with reviewers is the quickest way to get you into trouble and ruin your reputation as an author before you even know you have one. To be safe, it’s best not to respond to any reviews, good or bad. They’re for readers, not for you. Yes, this is hard. No, you still shouldn’t do it. 

The author will be awarding a $40 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour - ends 21st August

Click HERE to enter

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

R. L. King is an award-winning author and game freelancer for Catalyst Game Labs, publisher of the popular roleplaying game Shadowrun. She has contributed fiction and game material to numerous sourcebooks, as well as one full-length adventure, "On the Run," included as part of the 2012 Origins-Award-winning "Runners' Toolkit."

Her first novel in the Shadowrun universe, Borrowed Time, was published in May 2015.

When not doing her best to make life difficult for her characters, King is a software technical writer for a large Silicon Valley database company. In her spare time (hah!) she enjoys hanging out with her very understanding spouse and her small herd of cats, watching way too much Doctor Who, and attending conventions when she can. She is an Active member of the Horror Writers' Association and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and a member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers.


Publisher Website:
Twitter: @Dragonwriter11

Buy link for Stone and a Hard Place (Book 1): 

Tour Organised By: 

Goddess Fish Promotions


  1. It's good advice!

    Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(dot)com

  2. Great post! Thanks for sharing..I love the covers of these books :)

  3. I enjoyed the advice for New Self Publishing Authors. Thank you for the post and the giveaway!

  4. I enjoyed the advice for New Self Publishing Authors. Thank you for the post and the giveaway!