Tag Archives: Catholic

Find out How it All Begins: The Prologue for The Golden Lands

“He” has always existed.

Or at least that’s what the stories say.  I’ve never found “him” in all my childhood years.  I’m not so sure if I believe in “him” anymore.

In a small house near the edge of a wood, looking out into a grassy plain, lives a humble family; me, my sister, and my brother, both of which are younger than me.  I love them; I just don’t know them.  We have never been close, not because we don’t get along, but because we are often separated.  For years, ever since our parents disappeared, I have spent my time scouring the woods every day, searching for food, gathering firewood, doing everything I can to keep them alive.  I don’t know them, and they don’t know me, but I care for them.

Sometimes, I feel like they don’t know that they’re dying, that without the meager care I give them, things would grow worse.  It’s hard to imagine worse.  With only me to provide for them, I don’t know how else they would survive.

But “he” has always existed.  My parents used to tell me of “him”.  They said “he” was a great warrior—a wielder of strange, mystical powers.  His sword flashed quicker than lightning, they told me, and his strength was mightier than a giant’s, and his endurance could not be matched.  And they said that, in difficult times, “he” would keep me going.  “He” would help me fight through my trials.  “He” aided all.  “He” was a lender of inner, mystical strength.

That’s what my parents said.  That was before they disappeared.  I wish I knew more about who “he” was.  But I don’t.  As the days go by, I want to travel the large, beautiful forests and the wide, windy plains, and look for “him”.  I could use “his” help.  But I can’t—I can’t go in search of “him”.  My brother and sister wouldn’t be able to survive on their own.

My parents always said that there was Evil in these lands.  It came from afar, not from the Golden Lands, but elsewhere.  They said that it would find us; all of us.  We had to be careful, they would say—there was evil in all of us.

Maybe that’s why I’ve never seen “him”.   Maybe I can’t see “him” because of the Evil.  Or maybe not seeing “him” is the Evil.

But then it came.  Like my parents said, Evil would find us.  It only seeks to grow, they said.  The evil inside of us, it beckons to more evil.  If we do not defeat the evil inside us, then we might as well let Evil walk right through our door.  If we do not cast out darkness, then it will only grow inside of us.  And once it does that, it will consume those around us.

The day I forgot this advice will be the day I will never forget.

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Click here to preview further and download The Golden Lands, Volume 1 for free!!!

Sword 1

Dominic

 

A “Golden” Afternoon

From what I’ve been told, most people can read one of my books in an afternoon.  That may not be the case with Volume 4, since it is twice the size of my other novellas (about 170 pages).  But, well, it’s a great way to spend maybe two afternoons.

Copyright 2015
I love this picture of John XD

Volume 4 is still free as an eBook at Smashwords.com.  Click here to download your own free copy.  I made a promise at the beginning of the book that Volume 4 would be the best, and as far as I can judge, I think I did a pretty good job keeping that promise.   Volume 4 contains a thicker plot, more action, and more magic.  There actually hasn’t been too much “magic” in my series so far–not really.  Sure, there are fantasy creatures, but this is the first volume of my series that introduces a form of magic.

There’s a decent amount of internal struggle between characters.  My whole series is definitely about friendship, but this book is particularly about family.  John, the main character, now has a shot at rescuing his little brother and sister.  There’s a lot of tension placed on whether or not John will actually be able to save them, and what their relationship will be like after the battle.

Then there are the two new characters we meet in this book: Frances (female) and Ashida (male).  It’s from Frances that we see another familial tie get a little tight.  And Ashida is set on rescuing his wife.  It’s also from Ashida that we receive the first form of magic of the series.  I really hope you guys like Ashida…he’s a boss!

Overall, I’m looking forward to seeing what you guys will say about Volume 4!  Like I said, Volume 4 is still free, so if you have a free afternoon (or two), feel free to grab a copy and get cozy.  I hope it will be an afternoon (or two) well spent!

Stay awesome!

Dom

Volume 4 is Finished

Yaaaaay!!!!!!

I finished writing Volume 4.  It’s not ready for publication, but finishing the novella is obviously the first step!  I’m seriously very excited, as I expect this book to be the best installment in the series so far.  Lots of action, epic one-on-one battles, character development and crises, and new, magical twists to my fantasy world.

There’s a lot happening in this volume!   It’s twice the size of Volume 1…that being said, Volume 1 is only 77 pages.

SPEAKING OF VOLUME 1, I fixed the cover of the paperback copy.  Originally, the cover image didn’t extend to the edge of the front cover, leaving this ugly, unprofessional white border on the outside:

TGL book
….ewl

Now that problem is fixed.  Check out the difference!

Volume 1 Comparison
It’s the one on the right 😀

Lots of exciting this are happening with TGL!  I hope you want to be a part of it.  I will get back to you with a release date for Volume 4, but as for now, stay tuned!


Dom

(Click here to read a profile about me as an author)

The Woes of Self-Publishing

“The best people that you can get to download your books are other authors.  Chances are, if you’re a self-published author, you’re going to need help with promoting your work.  And that means we need to stick together.   Self-publishing doesn’t always have to be a lonely endeavor.  Make relationships and get the train moving again.”

If you’re like me, you’ve probably written a book, or you’re currently working on one.  You are either an author, or an aspiring author.

the image is not mine

And, chances are, if you’re like me, you’ve researched and found out that self-publishing is the easier path for ensuring your written work will get some attention.  It’s the fastest choice, the choice that gives you the most control over your manuscript, and, if you don’t want to, you don’t even have to spend a penny.

However, if you’re like me, then you’ve most likely also discovered that self-publishing is VERY HARD.

To be a self-publishing author…for those of you that don’t know what this entails, allow me to explain.  If you SELF-PUBLISH a book, then you are the publisher.  Based upon this discovery, we can go further and ask the necessary question: what does a publisher do?

Publishers distribute written or graphic works of art to the public.  They are advertisers, promoters, business-people, sales-people.  That’s their job.  And, with every job that involves showing off and selling some sort of item, you had better be good at it!

Most likely, if you’re a self-published author, the revenue you receive from selling your books is NOT your only source of income.  Most self-published authors would be in a lot of trouble, if that were the case!  Publishing a book (meaning actively distributing and selling it to the public) is a lot of work, and very often, not too profitable.

WHAT ARE SOME GREAT WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK?

ebook tablet

My books tend to have much more success when (guess what?) I make them free for a short amount of time.  I’m talking about the eBook versions, of course.  People will wait for me to make them free (which, of course, is smart), or maybe they’re people that haven’t heard of my book, but they notice it while scrolling through Smashwords.com.  They see that the novella is free, and then decide to give it a chance.  I mean, they don’t have anything to lose.

This sounds like a poor way to build a following; if your book is worth something, then people will pay for it!  This is very true, and it’s why I don’t advise that you keep your book forever free.  BUT, there are also some advantages to making your book free:

  1. If you’re writing a series (like me), having at least the first book free can act as the “hook”.  Then, if you’re worried about making sure people understand the worth of your book, you can charge readers for the subsequent books of your series.
  2. Ripple effect: the people that download your book for free might start talking, or other people online will see what they’re reading.  Maybe they’ll be interested in buying a copy too.

Another great way to promote your book is finding other authors that write about the same things you do.  Wordpress.com is great for that, especially since you can search for specific tags.  Writing a historical fiction? Search for others writing about the same thing.  Strike up a relationship and find ways to help each other out.  The best people that you can get to download your books are other authors.  Chances are, if you’re a self-published author, you’re going to need help with promoting your work.  And that means we need to stick together.   Self-publishing doesn’t always have to be a lonely endeavor.  Make relationships and get the train moving again.

The last way to promote your book would be to keep on writing; blog on different sites.  Personally email people, comment on their blogs, and find nook in the internet where your audience is hiding.  Whatever your endeavor is, keeping working for it.  And even if you’re not sure where your going with your self-publishing career, keep moving forward.  Keep searching.  Keep writing.

For those that suffer the woes of self-publishing: Go create.  Go writers.


Your Author,

Dom

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

Praise God 😉

P.S. Volume 1 is still free as an eBook at Smashwords!

The Golden Lands, Volume 3, is now an eBook!—FREE TODAY ONLY!!!

Well, as promised (since yesterday), Volume 3 has officially been published at Smashwords!  Thus continues my series of fantasy/anime novellas.  I hope you enjoy this volume as much as I did writing it!  From what I’ve been told, the forte of Volume 3 is the action.  Of course, maybe you’ll think otherwise!

Here’s the link to Volume 3: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/569002

And let’s not forget that Volumes 1, 2, and 3 are all free today!!!!

Here’s an overview of Volume 3 to get you up to speed:

Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski
Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski

PLOT SUMMARY:

A name is being whispered throughout the northern region of the Golden Lands. And wherever it is whispered, death quickly follows. “Hedekira” is the only word voiced by the strange “ghost” who appears at random, causing chaos wherever he strikes. Neither John Hedekira nor his friends know why the ghost is after John…nor that they are going to be in the fight of their lives if they’re caught.

GENRE:

Fantasy/Action/Anime/Emotional


Thanks for all of your support and happy reading!

Praise God 😉

Dom

Another Book Ready to be Published!

Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski
Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski

It’s that time again 😀  The only left for me to do is press the “publish” button, and Volume 3 will officially be published at Smashwords!!!

Click here to read a post to discover what Volume 3 is all about!

Sure, it’ll take some time before it is distributed to other retailers, but in the meantime, I’m just relieved that I’ve finally gotten to this point.  That it’s finally time to publish yet again.  Make no mistake, publishing three books–whether you’re self publishing or not–is a tough thing to do.  And Volume 3, I must admit, has probably been harder to publish than Volume 2…for multiple reasons like formatting, editing, and polishing things off.  In short, completing this manuscript has been somewhat difficult.  But I’m glad that it’s finished and that I finally get to share it with you.

And, just so you know:

ALL THROUGHOUT TOMORROW, VOLUMES 1, 2 AND 3 WILL BE FREE AT SMASHWORDS.COM!

I believe that the occasion deserves a bit of celebration, and that includes a super nice discount for all of you faithful followers!

Thanks again for making this possible!

Praise God 😉


Dom

99 Copies

Hey all!  So I’ve officially had 99 people buy or download a volume of The Golden Lands.  Which means, obviously, that I’m one copy away from having reached 100!

Wanna’ be that person to help me hit a landmark?

Here’s an overview of Volume 1 and a few places you can get it (for free, too!).

PLOT SUMMARY:

The Golden Lands, one of the three worlds of Terra, is supposed to be a place of peace, light, and happiness. But the Golden Lands hasn’t exactly been such a place for John Hedekira, a jaded, hot-headed teenager. His parents disappear when he is thirteen, and he’s left to look after his younger sister and brother. One evening, John decides that he has had it with the distant, self-pitiful dispositions of his siblings, and resolves to shut them out of his life for good…or so he thinks. That same evening, a band of warriors of a dark race invade his home, kidnapping John’s siblings…and leaving him to bleed out on the floor of his own house. But John is not undone so easily. Compelled by his own hatred of the warriors that left him to die, and a sense of duty towards his siblings, John sets out on a quest for vengeance. Joining him is Faith Pinck, a caring, innocent girl who doesn’t yet understand the true motives behind John’s desire to track the evil band of warriors. And in the midst of their adventures as they journey to rescue John’s siblings, they begin to uncover a deeper, darker plot that will endeavor to collide the world of humanity with the world of an unholy, malicious, supernatural being.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT:

At Smashwords.com (free eBook download, available in multiple formats)

At Barnesandnoble.com (free eBook download as a Nook Book, or as a paperback [$5.99])

At iBooks (I think it’s either free or $2.99 here)

As a Kindle Version (99 cents)

At Amazon (paperback $5.99)

Thanks so much for all of your support.  It’s hard to be a self published author; it takes lots of time, lots of thinking, and lots of willpower.  Sometimes, we fall into lacking willpower.  Few things can better inspire me to keep on persevering than your support!  So thanks again.

Stay awesome.

Dom

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

The Clock is Ticking…

The countdown to the release of Volume 3 begins!  I haven’t exactly set a date for publication yet, but everything is just about ready!

Volume 3: The Ghost of Hedekira should be an exciting issue!  I had a bit of trouble at first with deciding what direction I should take Volume 3 in.  Originally, the plots of both Volume 3 and 4 were to be combined into a single book.  The plot which now stands as the focus of Volume 3 was supposed to give an exciting “middle” to the old Volume 3.  Instead, I decided that this “middle” part would be able to stand as its own novella.  And I’m glad I made that choice; it gave me so much more room to expand my world and develop my characters.  Not having to rush is pretty great!

Thus, the first story arc of The Golden Lands will end with Volume 4.  I have aptly dubbed this arc the “Soror and Frater” arc.  I guess I’m kinda alluding to the fact that, in Volume 4, John and his friends will finally face Nirak, and the quest for Soror and Frater will come to a conclusion.

Semi-spoiler, I know.

But you know what?  In order for Volume 3 to be ready, we needed to have the cover for Volume 4 so that it could go in the back of the third issue.

Would you like to see?  Here you go!

Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski
Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski

This is by far my favorite cover!  It’s simple, but it reveals a lot.

Let’s get artistic for a moment.  We can see, just by observing the covers, that John is undergoing radical, epic changes throughout the series.

Consider the cover for Volume 1:

Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski
Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski

Here we see John, lying in a pool of his own blood.  He looks weak; he looks helpless.   His eyes are all big, and the fear is evident on his face.  He even looks a little on the younger side.

Now look again at the cover for Volume 4.  His sword is brandished, he’s standing at the ready, and his cloak is flapping awesomely in the imaginary breeze.  Instead of worry and fear, his face is showing evident determination.  And his eyes are narrowed with courage and sincerity.  What’s more, he looks tall, powerful, and more mature.

To a degree, he almost looks like a different person.

Lots of good stuff happening in The Golden Lands!  I’m happy to announce that I’m six books away from having sold a hundred copies!

Keep up the support; it really means a lot to me.  And thanks to all who have already purchased/downloaded Volumes 1 and 2!

Your Author,

Dom

(Praise God)

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

Btw, Volume 1 is still a free download at Smashwords!!!

Whoopsie!

Sorry I haven’t posted in so long everyone!  I’ve been pretty busy working on polishing off Volume 3 and writing Volume 4.  Also, because I always put the cover of the next book into the current book, my sister and I have been drawing the cover for Volume 4…which, by the way, is definitely going to be the most amazing cover yet!

Here’s an overview of Volume 3!

Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski
Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski

PLOT SUMMARY

A name is being whispered throughout the northern region of the Golden Lands.  And wherever it is whispered, death quickly follows.  “Hedekira” is the only word voiced by the strange “ghost” who appears at random, causing chaos wherever he strikes.  Neither John Hedekira nor his friends know why the ghost is after John…nor that they are going to be in the fight of their lives if they’re caught.

EXCERPT!!!

NOTE: Karr is not the Ghost of Hedekira


I dislodge my sword and stand, groaning again.  “You know this guy?” I ask Faith.

“Karr?” she says to the bandit.

The thief removes his mask, still keeping his eyes on Faith.  “Yeah,” he affirms, revealing his face.

My gaze switches from Faith to Karr, who are still regarding each other with a look of confusion.  This is an awkward moment.  “Uh, so how do you know each other?” I ask.

“John,” Faith says, eyeing the bandit suspiciously, “this is my brother, Karr.”

Understanding floods my mind for a moment, but then I’m confused too.  Faith told me she has two older brothers, but she said they both got married and were living as farmers like their parents.  I get why Faith is surprised.  “What are you doing here?” Karr asks.

“What are you doing here?” questions Faith.

Karr frowns with annoyance, as if he’s disappointed with her reply.

“I’m helping my friend rescue his little siblings from a band of Evil,” Faith declares.  Then she asks again, “So why are you here?”

Karr grimaces, lowering his gaze, when a female thief speaks from the roof above us, “Sir, we’ve acquired our projected spoils.  Do you want us to clear out?”

“Yeah,” Karr says.

“Would you like to take prisoners?” the woman inquires.

Karr’s eyes alight on me and Faith.  “Just two,” he says flatly.

Bernard comes running up to us from my right.  “Faith, are you okay?” he says.

“Make that three,” Karr recants.  The woman nods and then flits away.

“Karr, what do you mean?” Faith exclaims.

Karr turns and walks away slowly.  Five bandits drop from the roofs around us and replace him, and one of them warns, “Don’t resist.”

Bernard and I exchange a glance.  We don’t know if we can take them, and we don’t know if we want to.  We drop our weapons and raise our hands.  Then the thieves come forward, and they bind our hands.  I don’t know if this is a good idea.  I don’t exactly trust Faith’s brother.  I mean, he was just pillaging a village.  And now he’s leaving it in ruins.  “What’s going on, Faith?” I murmur to my friend.

“I don’t know,” she replies stiffly.  But her demeanor says it all.  She’s going to get to the bottom of this.


I hope you guys are excited!  Volume 3, I’ve been told, has the best, most well-choreographed fight scenes in the whole series so far!!!

Your Author,

Dom

My personal interview as an author