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Two days for free

For two days The Immortal Druid will be free. Take that chance and get started with this epic saga.

free-december

 

The Immortal King available for pre-order now

announcment

THE IMMORTAL KING – Book two of the Utopian Saga NOW AVAILABE FOR PRE-ORDER https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M0KUSAK

The first part of the prophecy fulfilled, Alastair and Lisa should be happy upon their return to Scotland. Yet too soon reality catches up with them.
While Lisa struggles with the sudden gain of power and the possibility of being pregnant. As if that wasn’t enough the man who raped and brutalized her is still out there and worse even, he knows she is back.
While helping Lisa to adjust to her new power, Alastair has to deal with the fact that they need to find and resurrect Arthur, his half-brother. Most would think a reunion like that a joyous occasion, but not for Alastair who deeply believes Arthur to be a rapist and a traitor.
Yet there is no way around it, only Arthur can bring forth Excalibur, and they need the Sword of Light to fulfill the prophecy.

One day only deal… The Immortal Druid for free today

freeby sunday

Get The Immortal Druid for free, toady only….

I’m not doing this often, so don’t waste time thinking, just get your copy and add it to your reading list. Embark on an epic journey as Lisa takes her first step down the road of destiny. Don’t wait any longer to acompany the young, fated couple as they explore love, friendship and danger along the way, with only one goal, to save mankind. https://www.amazon.com/Nicole-Kiefer/e/B00MCZZ1M8/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Icebreaker review

You wrote and published a book, spend weeks, months, maybe even years on it, so you get it right and it’s the best book you can create. But you have a hard time selling it. Sure once in a while you sell one, you get many downloaded when you offer it for free, but the moment your reader has to pay, it stagnates. It’s frustrating, annoying and sadly part of being an independent author.

One strong point in selling are reviews, and not just because they let other readers know what to think of your book. Amazon won’t promote you until you have some reviews, and it takes at least 50 reviews before they will help you promote.

The thing is, nobody leaves one. You have a few hundred books out, most of them during a free download campaign, but still, why is nobody saying anything? It makes you wonder.

Am I that bad? Does my writing suck that much? Do I do bad marketing? Can’t they even find my book? Did I put it in the wrong category, or maybe the whole thing isn’t working right?

I know, it’s not different for me. However, back in the day when I with a publisher back in Germany, my publisher hired people to write so called ice breaker reviews. Ice breaker reviews are not always good or bad, often they are neutral just pointing out some pro and cons for a book. Quite frankly I don’t think the people my publisher hire, ever read the books.  Still, once there was one review, others followed.

I know that big publishing houses do the same, or at least I know they hire reviewers, so their books quickly have a few reviews, making it easier and more comfortable for the reader to say their own piece.

The thing is, big publishing houses have big budgets to buy those reviews, or at least the time of a reviewer. We as indie authors often don’t have that budget. We try to ask friends, other authors, and family even. However, most people either don’t feel like what they write sounds fair, or right and others don’t have the time to actually read your book. I had it more than once, that I handed a free copy over with the promise that they would write a review, and never heard of them again. I did swaps with other authors, finished mine within a few days and never got the review I was promised while I had posted mine already on Amazon.

So, yeah… been there, done that and it’s frustrating like hell. (To all of you who still owe me a review, hurry the hell up. I didn’t write War and Peace, my books aren’t that long, it does not take half a year or more to read them.)

Now, the thing with new indie authors is, and I belong it that category more than others, our books are rarely perfect. It’s called a learning curve, yet without reviews and response to what we wrote, we can’t get better. We need the response in order to grow and evolve, to make us better authors.

So, that brings me to what I am offering.

If you need an ice breaker review, I will help you by writing one.

How it works.

You send me a copy of your book in pdf (certain genres only) and I will read it. Why pdf? Two reasons, I can attach sticky notes, and unless I want to be mean, evil and destroy any reputation I have, can’t meddle with your text. While I read your book I will attach sticky notes, but not only for myself to help me write the review, if I find spelling mistakes, or typos I will point those out as well. When I’m done, I will write my review, even when I think your book sucked, I will find something that is good about it. My review will concentrate on those good points. Then I send you back your file, with the sticky notes and what I intend on writing in the review. It’s your call if I post it on Amazon and Goodreads or not, however I will post it on my own review blog.

If your book makes it in the three star and more category I will also add it to my own online bookstore.

Now, we all know thing are rarely free in these times. However, I am cheap (pun intended). When I send you back your file, I will attach a donation link to PayPal, you decide what my help is worth to you.  In addition I will send you a collection of links to my website, blogs and bookstore to choose from. Please place one link to any of those sides on your website, blog or storefront.

I think that is a fair offer, and as I said if you think my help isn’t worth anything, you just don’t donate anything. I will still post the review on Amazon and Goodreads, unless you don’t want me to.

If you are interested feel free to contact me either by email at author@nicolekiefer.com or via Facebook messenger.

Genres I take on are:

Romance, erotica, fantasy, history, paranormal in any combination of those and their subgenres. Young adult is fine too, as long as it is within those combinations.

The Immortal Druid, book 1 in the Utopian Saga coming soon

Promotion publishing dateThousands of years ago events were set in motion to save the human race from extinction and lead them into the future. Fate wove and entwined bloodlines, so in the end there would one powerful woman and one powerful man, leading her children to Utopia.
Lisa Longshire is the last in a long line of courageous and powerful woman, and when her unusual dreams lead her to Toronto, she takes the first steps towards a destiny that will either make her the most powerful woman alive, or destroy her.
Alastair McScath has long given up hope of finding his fated mate, and stopped looking centuries ago. If not for his brother Condan and his endless meddling, Lisa would have never crossed his path.
A net of intrigue, romance and danger is set in motion, the only guidance a prophecy promising them dark times and horror before they can reach their goal. If they survive that long.

Embark on an epic journey on April 27th, and keep Alastair and Lisa company as they discover love and what it takes to survive destiny. Pre-Order Available here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CN8QLWM

Update Utopian Saga

The Utopian Saga, is born of my love for old legends, myths and history. So many things in our history are unclear, hidden in the mists of time, sometimes making what we know, seem blurry. If it is the Templars, King Arthur or gods and goddesses from mythology. Sunken city’s like Eldorado, continents like Atlantis, or the mystical island of Avalon.
Creatures like the Hydra, that couldn’t have existed, but sprung into existence somehow, ending up in our legends. Something must have inspired it, or was there such a thing, and it’s simply gone without a trace?
Human history has many proven facts, but at the same time is pliable because of its mythology and legends. And there is nothing more fun, then rewriting History as we know it, simply by making what seems to be a myth, a truth.
The Utopian Sage tells not only the love story of Alastair and Lisa, but History as we don’t know it. It tells the story of Atlantis, the many believe systems throughout the ages, the story of the Holy Grail, and King Arthur.
Alastair tells the story of the Celts and their religion, of Avalon and the Druids, because he is the last Merlin, and the first, immortal yet still human.
You will find Arthur resurrected, to fulfill his destiny, finding his wife again, and trying to make right what once he did wrong.
Gods and Goddesses in danger, yet hero’s at the same time.
Find out what happened to the Spear that killed Jesus, and what really happened to Atlantis.
History is amazing, if you take only one part of myth and make it real, all we know, all we believe to know, changes.
And it all begun with one prophecy.

I hope to share in the not all too far away future the stories of Alastair and Lisa, Arthur and Gwen, Danu and Bail and Asclepius and Amun Ra. As four couples, (yes one of the gay) not only try to hold on to love, but to save the world, before darkness and evil dominate without a hope of saving.

Tomorow is the announcement of the Novel Suite 1st chapter competition, where many of you helpt me through your votes to make the first place in the first part of the competition. If I would win, my wish to share this wonderful story with you would come true sooner then I hoped. If not, well, then it will simply take a little bit longer.

 

The Prophecy that will safe the world

The Prophecy that will safe the world, If Lisa survives trying to fulfill it.

Can you believe that?

Since Waiting in the Wings was republished after being professionally edited by 3Pediting, I tried to get local stores to sell it for me. Not that I had much success with that but besides that I got the most ridicules excuse this week. You know I can life with, “sorry but I don’t want to take the risk.” Or something like, “sorry but your just not known enough to make me any money.” I get that, I grew up in business and know the risk they take, by placing me in their inventory. But I got the most amusing and ridicules excuse a little while ago.
I live in a small town of around 2000 people, out in the prairie, where you find more churches then schools and kiddy places together. It’s a quiet town, peaceful, and yet there is always something going on it seems. Anyway, it’s your average town, and the population is mixed in age.
One of the businesses I talked to, that serves mostly customers in the age group of 30 to 90 looked at my book. They sell from several other independent authors from the area. I left them a copy so they could read through it, and came back a little more than a week later.
The store owner then informed me very nicely, …drumroll… “I didn’t read it, I just opened it to one side and well… it was quit sexual. I since most of our customers are pious, God fearing folks, and many of them older, I think they might be offended. You know they are just too old for something like this.”
I was quiet torn when he looked at me apologetic, because for one the upper range of customer age in statistics is around 54 years of age. I also know that the main age range of his customer is around that age, it was one of the reasons I hoped to sell there. The other reason was, I had 10 books on my backseat destined for delivery in the old folk’s home. All of the people who had ordered one over the age of 75.
When I delivered them I had to bite my tongue not to tell them what the store owner thought of them.
Here a link to one of many statistics https://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=582
To fellow authors, I don’t know about you, but I think I’m going advertise more in old folks homes, so far I had my best sales there.

Mental abuse the killer of the soul

What is mental abuse?
It was one of the questions I had to ask myself while writing Waiting in the Wings.
And why aren’t the woman who get abused like that, simply walking away?
In the end I answered the second question first. The woman didn’t walk away because emotional abuse is like waves, it erodes the soul slowly, as waves erode the coast over hundreds of years.
I’m no expert, all I know is from articles I read and what I imagine happens.
Just like in any relationship that becomes physically abusive, I would think emotional abuse, develops over time as well. I simply can’t imagine that any person, male or female, would fall in love with a partner when the abuse is there from the beginning.
Now, where a physically abusive relationship would leave bruises, broken bones, lacerations, and other visible evidence, emotional abuse is invisible.
Its words, comments and behavior of the abusive partner that causes the damage, not his fists. Comments on how you look, move, act, or talk, voicing dissatisfaction on a constant basis, chafing on self-esteem, confidence and self-worth. In time the person entering that kind of relationship, becomes someone else, someone who measures their worth on the reaction of their partner.

“You went out of the house like that, you look like a slut. But I guess you wouldn’t know better, since you don’t pay attention to much.” Would be something that hurts, yet the abuser would see only his effort in correcting a perceived mistake, even believe he is helping.

“I gave you the responsibility of the finances so you could learn to be responsible, shouldn’t have thought you could manage it.” Another thing is that often the abuser will hand over responsibilities and decisions to the one abused, so he/she can see you fail, can rub it in and help you better yourself.

Physically the abuser will use the abuse victims’ desire, sexual longing and intimacy against them.
Where in a physically abusive relationship sex might be used as punishment, going as far as rape, in an emotional abusive relationship it’s often the other way around.
The abuser will reduce intimacy to a minimum, or refuse it totally, he might say things like, “I don’t feel like touching you tonight, I rather wish I had someone attractive around.” Making the abuses partner feel not enough, unattractive and unwanted.

What I read and learned is, that there is one big difference between a physically abuser, and an emotionally abuser. The difference is that the physically abuser often regrets his doings, and when calmed, knows that his doings were wrong. Yet the emotionally abuser, seems to believe himself as actually helping, caring and supporting his victim. “I’m telling you that not to hurt you, but so you can work on your flaws and become a better person.”
With time the abuse victim will believe that he/she is flawed, needs to change to become a better person, change her looks, her behavior, losing herself in the process. While they fight for their marriage, relationship, partner’s attraction, they change only to fail again and again in the eyes of the abuser.

I can see a person recovering from physical abuse, the wounds heal, and the person might have trust issues, be more careful, maybe even avoid a new relationship for a long time, but I can see them recover.
Yet I have trouble imagining anyone coming out of an emotional abusive relationship even close to the person that went in. The abuse victim lost him-/herself during the time, changed in so many ways, that the original person might not be existing anymore. Yet I also know that if the abuse victim isn’t totally isolated, she might have a chance to maintain some parts of her/himself. Then if they ever free themselves, or are freed by a tragedy like in my book, there is therapy, and years of it might restore some of what was lost.

The things I learned while researching the topic, for Waiting in the Wings, inspired me to look into programs offered to those victims. Which is why I decided to spend $0.50 of every sold paperback to a woman’s shelter or organisation helping those victims to find themselves again. I will donate it twice a year, so if you know an organization that needs that money, please feel free to contact me. Canadian or Canadian based organizations only please. Only organizations that work with abuse victims.

Waiting in the Wings by Nicole Kiefer available on Amazon, Barns & Nobel or Lulu.com

waiting in the wings front cover

Waiting in the Wings and emotional abuse in a relationship.

Waiting in the Wings and emotional abuse in a relationship.
I always get asked how I was inspired to write Waiting in the Wings, and I always answer with the story of how my husband had a hernia, tried to hide it, and ended up in emergency surgery. While I was pacing the empty waiting room.
Now that is how it started, but not the gist of the book. While mostly writing to sort out my emotions about that night, I also thought about how good I have it, and how bad my life could be. Most of all of how life changing it would have been, had he died that night.
I don’t plan books or stories, I don’t plot them out, they just spring into existence. Like a woman faced with the fact that her husband suddenly dies after 16, 18, or 20 years of marriage. That is a long time, people change in that time. Now if the marriage was good, she will grieve for some time, then get herself together and live on with good memories and a healthy attitude to going on. What if the marriage wasn’t good?
That’s how it really started.
Not long before that night, I had read a book about bullying and emotional abuse in relationships. There is a large number of woman out there, trapped in relationships that are not healthy, that make them physically and mentally sick, and they often don’t even realize it. Their friends, neighbors, and family don’t see it, don’t know of it, because it’s like cancer or aids, it’s silent and hidden.
Emotional abuse is nothing that bruises the skin, doesn’t brake bones, or make you scream in fear.
It breaks the heart, soul and spirit. It destroys hopes and dreams. But most of all, it changes fundamentally how a person looks at themselves. One of the phrases I read, researching the topic was, “Strong on the outside, broken in the inside”
What I found the most disturbing while researching was, that many abuser don’t even realize they are abusive. They think of themselves often as direct, honest and encouraging by pointing out their partner’s flaws. They don’t get loud or angry, they don’t hit.
They simply tell you, “that you screwed up again, but that they shouldn’t be surprised since you don’t understand clearly how the world works. They should have known better then let you handle it, and that it’s ok to be a screw up, it’s simply unavoidable with the amount of smarts you have.”
How nice this insult sounds…, imagine your partner talking to you like that for twenty years. I would have killed him, metaphorically speaking.
The more I researched the topic, the more I wanted to make a statement with my story, yet I didn’t know how. Since I was bullied as a child and teen, I could imagine how Henry would talk to Sara, how he would treat her, and how she would feel. Yet imagining a decade or two in a relationship like that, I couldn’t imagine her coming back from that. Couldn’t imagine her still being strong, accomplishing anything on her own.
But that wasn’t the statement I wanted to make. I wanted her to be the one with the last laugh, so to speak. The winner in the end, not just over Henry but over his abuse.

Then I remembered something I read once. “Without hope we are nothing, when we lose hope we lose ourselves and any chance of surviving.” I can’t remember where I heard or read it, but it was my solution.
If I give my abuse victim an anchor, some person who still believes in her, someone she can hold on to, she might not lose herself completely. And what is stronger than the hope of true love?
I went through different ideas, but in the end decided to go with her first love. To use him not just as her anchor, but also to demonstrate how she had changed.
In the Benjamin from twenty years ago, we find the usual abuser. A man who loves but has his own demons, he drinks and changes. He is loud, or depressed, he gets angry at times, and reckless, even close to violent. She loves him, but sees how unhealthy their relationship is, and breaks it off. Sara walks away from the danger of getting to deep into something, which will most likely end badly.
Benjamin loves her, that’s why he lets her walk away. It also is the point where he begins to realize he has to change. True love will do that to a guy, even if he is messed up.
He becomes her anchor in the following years, the only one encouraging her, telling her that she has worth, that she is smart and strong.
While he only slowly learns and realizes in what kind of relationship Sara is trapped in. When he offers to help she threatens to cut all ties to him, because she is not only trapped by a piece of paper, or the finances, but by her own insecurities, fed by her husband.
While I wrote and the story progressed, I watched the story unfold. (As I said, I don’t plan much, if at all) I let Henry die, I gave Sara a contradicting character, I send Benjamin to her, but then I realized that charm alone wasn’t enough.
By using Benjamin’s past as comparison of the two kinds of abuse, I also gave Sara good reason to never entrust her heart to him. She needed a push, because if I would have been her, I would have blocked him until Armageddon.
So that’s what I needed, Armageddon.
Well, I don’t want to spoil more of the story then I already have. The point is, Waiting in the Wings is not just a simple romance, with some hot sex scenes to keep it interesting. It’s about enduring, fighting and surviving a kind of abuse nobody can easily see. It’s about getting physically sick because of it, about being cornered and coming out fighting and winning.

1st place in 1st chapter competition

Thank you to all of you who have voted for The Immortal Druid. Thanks to you I made first place during this first stage of the contest. Now it’s all up to the judges and I can only hope they see it the same way you did.

Thank youHere you can see the top ten of the competition, they/we are all winners in this part.http://www.novelsuite.com/first-chapter-competition/