Animus Cover Reveal

For those that may not know, Kindra Sowder is at it again. I honestly don’t know when she has time to sleep. Maybe she doesn’t. It wouldn’t surprise me the way she’s able to find the time to work a full-time job, work on obtaining her Master’s Degree, being the President and CEO of Burning Willow Press, LLC, and publishing so many books. And she has to put up with that husband of hers Edd Sowder (just joking Edd, don’t kill me). Edd is the editor of Animus which tells you how brave he is to tell his wife what mistakes she’s made with her new book. This isn’t meant to be a wife/husband joke. Kindra is the author behind the Miss Hyde novellas. Enough said.

As a friend/employee/fan/reader/editor of Kindra’s I can inform you that if you pick up one of her books you won’t be disappointed. Without further ado, let’s kick off this reveal of Kindra’s newest Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy novel from CHBB titled Animus!

Cover Designer: Rue Volley

General Quinn Ragnarok is a lot of things. Fierce. Dedicated. Intelligent. Skilled. And one of the only women to become a General within the Sentinel of Hydra, sworn to serve the Dominion of Archer’s State as a warrior against those who would dare rise against them. Her beloved dragon, Apep, is bonded to her not only in battle, but in their existence. A bond not taken lightly, for dragons from beyond the Long Realm of the Channel are among the most intelligent, extremely powerful, and do not bond easily with humans.

Betrayal is just around the corner, with the conspirator being one of her own, and war is imminent as proof of betrayal must be presented to the Council. She must rise to the Council’s wishes to fight against the Royals of Paderborn alongside her lifelong friend, Private Victor Shroud. Not only a soldier, but her trusted ally.

Will Quinn have the ability to lead her garrison to war, ensuring victory? Or will she fall to their sword?

Animus is a new high fantasy novella from award winning author, Kindra Sowder. Delve into this new tale and immerse yourself into a realm where war is coming, Halflings are controlling the forests with swords and arrows, and the skies are filled with dragons.

Kindra Sowder

Author Bio:

Kindra Sowder was born and raised in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA until the age of 12, when her family moved to Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from high school in 2006 with full honors and as a member of her high school Literary Club and the Spanish Honor Society. In January 2014, she graduated with her second degree in Criminal NeuroPsychology. She married her husband Edd Sowder in May 2014 and still lives in Spartanburg, SC where she is basing Burning Willow Press. Her works have earned multiple award nominations.

Author Links:






Animus comes out April 10, 2018.

Thank you to Lady Amber’s PR for including me in this release.LA_Website-Banner

Five Book Promotion Tips

If you’re like me, then you’re an author without much of an income. It’s alright, even the best authors were poor at one time. Heck, H.P. Lovecraft died without much to his name. Stephen King was a teacher until he published Carrie. The best advice that I can tell you to alleviate this problem is this: advertise your work. Your publisher, if they’re benevolent publishers, will promote your work because they want your book to sell. They get money if your books sell so it’s only good business sense. However, they will only promote it so far because they have other books and limited time and resources. Without further ado, here are some tips and tricks that I’ve learned to help get the word out about your books.

nine days
This took me less than a minute to put together. It was meant to signify that my book released in nine days. Simple, but effective.

Tip #1: You don’t need to spend a lot of money to create quality promotional material. Sure, you could spend money to do this. There are a plethora of talented people and companies out there that can and will take your money for you if you let them. Doing it would save you time that you could spend writing. Or scrolling through your Facebook feed like I do on occasion. Or you could spend five or ten minutes and have five or so images that you can share on social media that could potentially revival the images that you paid someone else to do. Plus, if you have an android or iPhone, you can create the content on your mobile device and instantly share it on social media. There are various apps that can be downloaded for free that allow you to do this. Pixabay can be used to acquire free stock images while Photoshop Express and Adobe Draw can help you edit the images. Using them is quick and effortless plus it’s all free. If you’re an author that receives little or no income from your writing then don’t spend what little money you have when you could put that creative mind to work.

Tip #2: Promote your book before, during, and after its release. Build up hype for your book by having an online release party. Create a Facebook event and block off time in 30 or 60 minute slots for author take overs. Then enlist your fellow author friends to take a slot. Those authors will then promote the event and draw in their fans into your event thus opening more people to your book. During the event, give away some free eBook versions of your book. This will encourage people to come to your online event. It’s easy for people to say they’ll come, but if there’s no prizes or giveaways, then there’s only so much incentive for them to actually attend. Doing this is also free, unless you give away a few copies of your book but that’s a minor cost. Promotion doesn’t stop when the book comes out. In order to keep the sales up, you must be diligent and keep on promoting it.

Tip #3: Participate in other above mentioned Facebook online release parties. It’s called networking people. Keep an eye out for other authors looking for authors to participate. Hosting a slot will allow you access to a new group of readers. Again, this really doesn’t cost anything other than your time and effort.

Tip #4: Ramp up your social media presence. I know, I know. There are some of you that don’t like social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat. Trust me, they are a necessary evil when it comes to promoting your book in this digital age. I won’t talk about the tips that I’ve already listed because that would be wasting your and my time. What I will say is that the more followers you have on your Facebook author page or your Twitter, the more people that know your book is for sale and might potentially buy it. Also, make sure to be active on your Twitter and Facebook page. Retweet some other author’s promotional Tweet. They’ll do the same for you. If you take an hour on Sunday, or whenever you have free time, to schedule posts every day then you won’t have to worry about doing that each day.

Tip #5: Start up a YouTube channel. This one is more time consuming than all the others. This tip also assumes you have access to a reliable internet, web camera, and editing software. Most of the time a computer will come with an editing program. Most laptops come equipped with a camera. If not, then you can find reasonably priced web cams on Amazon for around $40. If you don’t have internet at your house, then record and edit the video at home then go to your local cafe and upload. Talk about your writing style, talk about your upcoming releases. You could even talk about your writing life and the struggle of being an independent author. Warning though, this tip isn’t the most lucrative and will take time to build your viewership.

These were just a few tips to help promote your work online. Hopefully they helped. They’ve helped me not only in the past but in the present. I’ve been doing these same tips to promote the release of my newest book, The Book of Mark, which comes out this Thursday.

My Year-End Review


As this year comes to a close, it’s pretty standard for people to take a look at themselves and evaluate whether or not they accomplished their goals for the year. I try not to make New Years Resolutions simply because I don’t like to be disappointed with myself when I look back and see that I haven’t completed any of them. I can’t even remember what goals I made for myself a year ago. Naturally, I went back to the column I wrote on Jan. 5, 2017 about making New Years Resolutions. I didn’t find much because I had said in the column that I wasn’t going to get into those “because I’ve also resolved this year not to over saturate my rants with lengthy and boring material.”

Boy, did I sure fail that goal.

Even though I said in that column that I wasn’t going to get into my resolutions I did say that I wanted to read 20 books and other things that included “eating healthier, exercising, and not reading books by James Patterson.”

As far as the books, I’ve read about half that number. As far as exercising, let’s just say that was a pipe dream anyway. I’ve also probably gained some weight since the beginning of the year. My health has been about the same. I even read half a James Patterson book. The intent was to read it and write a review but it’s gathering dust somewhere on a bookshelf or a window sill. It might also be in my bathroom.

Don’t judge, we all read in the bathroom. Patterson is best read while in the bathroom for a really obvious reason which I can’t say in front of you fine readers.

If you looked at my failures over the past year, it might look like I’ve failed. While I would not entirely disagree with you, I would also point out that my successes would far outweigh the failures.

Since the beginning of 2017, I have become a real life published author. Besides my first ever book, The Book of Roland which you can find here, I have had one short story published in an anthology with another story coming out in another anthology sometime next year.

In addition to being a writer for The Pilot News, this will have been my second full year, I started writing a weekly gaming article for The Buzz Kill Magazine, an online website located at I was even featured on one of their podcasts about Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi.

I didn’t read 20 books this year, but I did go and see 21 films. Most of those I wrote reviews for. I’ve grown my connection of authors and publishers to the point where I have been asked to read and provide book blurbs for three fellow authors. I’ve also become a part of the acquisitions team at Burning Willow Press LLC, the home of my book.

Man, I really failed when I said I wouldn’t over saturate my rants with lengthy and boring material. What does all this mean though? I’ve written 52 columns this year. Hopefully I’ll have written another 52 by this time next year. Over the course of one year, you (the reader) have hopefully seen me grow into an accomplished writer/author/editor. I am hopeful that is the case. Otherwise, what am I writing this for? If the object of this column is to show each week why I’m growing as an author then it becomes a stagnate storyline. Typically when that happens the character is killed off or worse, edited out of the story entirely.

Characters are supposed to grow and triumph over their obstacles. They are supposed to meet their goals and crush whatever expectations others have for them. That’s what makes characters interesting to read. That’s what makes them memorable and beloved in a readers mind. Readers don’t really want to read about how depressing the characters life is or how epic they fail at their tasks. It’s not good storytelling. Unless you’re George R.R. Martin or Robert Kirkman. The things those two write, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, have people focused on one simple question: What else can go wrong?

So hopefully, you aren’t just reading this hoping I get beheaded or castrated (Game of Thrones) or get bit by a fan foaming at the mouth (The Walking Dead). It is my hope that you are reading this and rooting for the main character to win.

Next week’s column will most likely be about what my expectations and New Years Resolutions are as a writer and as a person. I know, it’ll be boring and lengthy so if you want to skip it and read the cartoon section be my guest. The Family Circus gets me every time.

Book Review of Chasing Shadows: The Initiative Book One by Kindra Sowder

The best way to describe this book is that it is a cross between the movie “Men In Black” (1997) and the television show “Supernatural.” The book is set in a world where Abraham Van Helsing isn’t just a fictional character

Clicking the cover will take you to the book’s Amazon page. Just saying…

in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” In this book, the descendants of Van Helsing are carrying on the family tradition by hunting down supernatural forces, but now they are funded by the government and are known as The Initiative.

The story centers on Isabelle Van Helsing, a fierce warrior against all things supernatural. Everything is business as usual for her until a friend and coworker is brutally murdered by a supernatural entity. This sets her down a path that will challenge her skills as a fighter as well as test her humanity. Joining her is her lover McGrady, a Scottish version of Gerard Butler.

This book is a paranormal romance and therefore contains some ‘romantic’ scenes that surpass some other paranormal romances I’ve read.

The best part of this book isn’t the creatures, cool weapons, sex scenes, or the characters. The thing that makes this book so great is the way Kindra Sowder weaves her tale together. Anyone can throw Van Helsing and monsters together and try and make it look cool, if you don’t believe me check out the movie “Van Helsing” (2004), but Sowder delivers where others have failed.

Sowder creates such rich characters that makes the reader believe that they are real. McGrady for example talks with a heavy Scottish accent and when you read it, you’ll find yourself speaking out loud in that same accent. Sowder makes the reader care about the characters. If they live you’ll cheer, if they die you’ll most likely cry or even curse Sowder. You’ll keep reading though, because the writing hooks you from page one.

The action scenes are intense and fast paced while the ‘romantic’ scenes are steamy (I dislike this word but there’s no other way to say it) and just as intense as the action scenes.

I won’t spoil anything else with this review, but I would encourage readers of all genres, not just paranormal romance, to check out “Chasing Shadows.” It has a little bit of everything.

Purposeful Distractions

Whenever I do any kind of long term writing, I tend to want some kind of useless noise. Pandora radio is my favorite. In my current project, the Red Hot Chili Peppers radio station keeps the words flowing.

Being apart of society and having all of their gathered noises is another favorite. I made going to my local Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Coffee is also a benefit to writing at a bookstore.

The last is by watching a film or a TV series, such as Doctor Who. In my hotel the other day I was watching Sharknado, a terrible movie. I believe terrible films are fun to watch. Mainly for their ironically comedic value. Bunnyman is another such film.

What other types of distractions or places are good for writing? Comment below!