Help Needy Writers

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Life is expensive. Most authors don’t make a living wage at writing and struggle to pay their bills just like everyone else. Writing is also one of the few professions open to people with serious health issues. If someone is an independent (“indie”) author, he or she is paying for special software, book covers, editing, and advertising, plus everyday expenses. The goal of this event is to offer small scholarship packages to needy writers that would cover the cost of a book cover or an important software license. Total donated amount at the end of the month will determine the number of packages funded by this event.

Please consider donating a little bit. It’s not a charity organization, so it’s not tax deductible. The lady running it is an established author with an excellent reputation who is known for her (sometimes brutal) honesty. Plus, she picked out that awesome crazed Christmas koala graphic. Don’t you wonder what was in his eucalyptus eggnog? Pretty sweet!

If you’re looking for an ebook, consider one of the books listed on the page. All of the authors listed donated and will not be beneficiaries other than their usual profits from a book purchase. All books are $2.99 and up.

Thank you.

Help Needy Writers

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What Happens in Vegas… Tourists

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On December 2, 2016, I released the new Arca short story, Tourists. It’s approximately 10,500 words long, and, as usual, includes immoderate language and comic book violence. The events within occur after Human (scheduled for release May 2017), but do not provide major spoilers.

Description

Tourists - An Arca Short Story - Karen DiemLas Vegas welcomes and flamboyantly entertains millions of tourists annually. It’s famous for it. However, the latest visitors may be more than even Sin City can handle.

To avoid endangering others or revealing their real identities, Zita Garcia and her friends, Andy and Wyn, planned to practice their respective superpowers in an abandoned section of the desert. Visit Las Vegas, a crowded city filled with people with cameras? No way, no matter what Zita’s heard about the buffets.

But when possible aliens invade the infamous Las Vegas Strip, what can Zita and her friends do but rescue the city (and all that food)?

No Elvis impersonators were harmed in the writing of this story.

Availability

This free short story is only available to newsletter subscribers, both new and existing. December 2016 subscribers also receive the other newsletter-exclusive short story, Washout.

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Halloween’s Over, But This eBook Sale is Monster!

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As a treat before the holiday madness begins in earnest, how about a massive ebook sale?

All books — over 180 of them — are 99 cents at all of the major retailers, not just Amazon, for the weekend. Genres include science fiction, fantasy, horror, dystopian, science fiction/fantasy romance, and post-apocalyptic books, separated by retailer and genre. As an added bonus, the same 99 cent price applies to multiple anthologies and box sets.

Super is one of the books on sale, so if you haven’t picked up your copy, go for it! If you have, books also make excellent holiday gifts. 😉

Science Fiction and Fantasy 99 cent eBook Sale - November 5-6, 2016
Monster eBook Sale. Rawr. Click image to view books.
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Surprise Octopus (No Hentai)

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Octopus - An Arca Short Story - By Karen DiemDo you need a little octopus in your life?

Zita did. All she wanted was dinner, but what she got was trouble.

Bite-Sized Stories: Flash Flood 1Octopus is a “flash fiction” (extremely short) story, set after the events of Super. It is not hentai. If you don’t know what hentai is, don’t look it up. Seriously.

What’s more, Octopus is free as part of a flash fiction anthology, Bite-Sized Stories: A Multi-Genre Flash Fiction Anthology (Flash Flood #1)! Since the story collection is multi-genre, it hangs out with everything but erotica in eeny, weeny, polka-dot stories. While weighted heavily toward sci fi, fantasy, and horror, the collection has a couple other genres as well. You can find Bite-Sized Stories at major ebook retailers:

Amazon      iBooks       Kobo      Barnes & Noble     Google Play      Smashwords

NOTE: I am an Amazon affiliate, so if you buy anything from them using the link above, I may someday receive a tiny commission.

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Super Version 2.Oh

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Super version 2.0 is now available. It’s now stronger than a locomotive–or Super version 1.0, anyway.

What changed?

Super Version 2.0 - Arca Book 1 by Karen Diem
The cover image is unchanged, too.

Superficial things, if you’ll pardon the pun. In response to review comments, Super went to a new editor to tighten grammar, exterminate typos (hopefully), and clarify a couple points to make it easier to follow the action and transitions. Plot, characters, fandom references, pacing, and general irreverence remain the same. To accomplish this, length has increased by a thousand words.

Do I need an update?

If you do not yet own the book or purchased it after the update, you will automatically receive the new version after you buy it. Most sites had the new file as of August 13, 2016. Smashwords and 24 Symbols had it as of August 14, 2016.

If you purchased Super version 1.0, I encourage you to update to the new version of the book. It is optional, but the edits were done to improve the reader experience…

How do I update my book?

That depends. Who did you buy it from and what’s your ereader? Here’s brief instructions on how to update:

  • For most retailers, remove (Kobo, Smashwords, etc.) or archive (Nook) the old copy on your ereader, then download a new one from your retailer.
  • Amazon – If you have the auto update option turned on, it will update for you. Otherwise, log on Amazon. Go to Manage your Content and Devices, scroll down to Super, and click Update Available. Click Update. If you don’t see this option, you can try the deletion and re-download method.
  • iBooks (Apple) – Asks you when you open the book or app if you want to update. Go, Apple!

If I missed a retailer, let me know in the comments or via email and I’ll add them to the list.

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Now is the winter of our maintenance

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This is apparently the time for my provider to do website server maintenance, since they updated email last month. Sorry for the inconvenience, all. While they say the site may be down for “up to twenty minutes,” we can assume it could be longer. I certainly hope not.

Mangled Shakespeare talking about server maintenance
Mangled Shakespearian quote, at least one required for any authorial website

In case people are terrible at time zone conversions (like me), the possible outage window is listed in a few different time zones below:

  • PDT (Los Angeles) August 10 from 11 PM to August 11, 1 AM
  • EDT (New York) 2-4 AM August 11
  • CEST (Berlin) 8-10 AM August 11
  • AEST (Sydney) 4-6 PM August 11

Just in August 2016. 😉 I’d prefer outages not be an annual event.

On the bright side, hopefully the maintenance will decrease the chances of the site crashing or people coming here to find malware, hate text, and/or bot spawn.

My next post will announce some actual writing news.

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Universal Truth and Email Servers

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It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a server in need of a good update, must be in want of some downtime.

On July 19 through July 20, 2016, my website provider will be doing server maintenance. Said work “may” create a “temporary inability” to send or receive email from 7 PM  to 2 AM EST. This means newsletter signups, emails, and the contact form may not work within that time period. Additionally, email may be wonky afterwards until I fix it.

Yay, Technology picture

 

Should you fail to receive a reply to any of the listed methods within a day or two, consider trying again, or leaving a comment on any page of my site. All comments require my approval to appear on the site, so nobody will see your note and email but me. Normally, this is how I weed out spam, but it’s one way to get a note to me. Social media works too. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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Sale on Superhero Books, Including Super

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Karen Diem at a book saleA bunch of superhero authors (and a book recommendation site) are having a big sale to promote the genre and reward our readers! And you get to benefit from it. Not only is my Super 99 cents USD, but several others are also on 99 cents or free from May 18 to 20. You can see all the books on sale here (https://genrereader.com/2016/05/18/superhero-fiction-sale/) after 3 am EST.

If you’ve already purchased Super, thank you, and I hope you enjoy it! Perhaps another book in the sale will appeal to you? I may do some shopping myself.

Future Sales

This is the only price drop I have planned until Human (Arca Book 2) comes out or closer to Christmas. Maybe not even at Christmas. I have stockings to fill, after all. The price break should last until Sunday afternoon or evening (US time zone).

Then again, Amazon will do what Amazon will do. Who knows? Super wasn’t meant to be 99 cents until May 18, but Amazon decided to drop the price a bit faster than anticipated. They may drag their feet on increasing the price again.

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Super Release! Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

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Super by Karen Diem - Arca Book 1In case you missed the obnoxious shilling on Twitter, the Facebook post, or the newsletter announcement, today we celebrate the Super release as well as the famous win of Mexican underdogs against overwhelming forces. For those contemplating following me on Twitter, on May 6 I will return to my usual tweet habits.

About Super

Adrenaline junkie and almost-respectable accountant Zita Garcia wouldn’t know a superhero from some dude in his pajamas. As a result, the second-to-last thing she expected was to wake from a spontaneous coma, quarantined, and with super powers she has to hide from everyone, including her family. Now Zita must master her new abilities while dodging kidnappers, evading government inquiries, and finding her missing brother.

The only thing weirder would have been if the blind date preceding the coma had gone well.

Super is the first in the Arca superhero urban fantasy series, and as a movie, would be rated “R” for immoderate language, lame sexual innuendo, and comic book violence. It is approximately 110,700 words, which comes out to about 450 pages in a standard paperback book.

Super Release Availability

Super is currently available on AmazonKoboiTunes, and  Barnes & Noble. Other retailers carrying ebooks may have them too in the next few days. To avoid boring people to tears, I’ve only listed the most popular places. If you’d prefer, you can read the first chapter before purchasing.

 

 

 

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Cutting Room Floor: Super 2

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Pants have proven to be a hot button for some of my beta reviewers, and this Super cut scene got dropped as a result. Two different beta readers informed me that no one as fashionable as Wyn would consider tights or pantyhose a necessity. One even held an informal polling of his female coworkers to support his position. So, the following got cut.

Super Cut Scene 2

“I’ve only one mask and there are three of us, so I need to go alone unless you know a place selling masks at one am,” Zita said, figuring it would end the debate. Pulling the mask from her pocket, she spun it on a finger by the elastic. The small, black plastic mask only covered eyes and maybe cheekbones, but it would work well enough, especially if she used the same face she had used earlier.

Pinning her hair back up with a pencil, Wyn speared her with her gaze. “You’re not going alone. If we have to, I’ll wear the mask and you can go in animal form. We can talk mentally or Andy can go. He’s bulletproof and only needs a way to escape. If you hide nearby, you can teleport the two of you here, and all you need is pantyhose on your head to hide your face. ”

Andy looked between them, and then back at the computer. The sounds of his tapping gained speed and strength. He shook his head.

A woman in tights“I hate not doing anything! And, umm, I don’t have any pantyhose,” Zita admitted. She gathered up leftover food and put it away, the wash of cold from the fridge a welcome respite from the sticky air of her apartment.

When she turned around, the other woman was staring at her, as if she had switched to another language. “How can you not have pantyhose? What do you wear to work?” Wyn said.

“Pants.” Filling a water bottle from the sink, she sipped the lukewarm liquid and planned, checking hydration off the lists of needs to fill.

Wyn made a derisive sound. “All of your pants are sweatpants or cargo pants. How can you not have any pantyhose?” she asked, as if Zita had not just explained.

Remembering their search for clothing to fit her earlier, Zita countered with, “I have exercise pants too! How can you live when only one or two pairs of your pants have pockets?”


What do you think? I’m not a fan personally of them, but I had thought them more of a necessity.

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