Sunday, December 29, 2013

Alinor's Shard Excerpt

Here's a small excerpt from Alinor's Shard.  This is only Section 1(in a Word document), but you can also read part of Section 2 if you click on Look Inside on the Amazon book page.

Alinor's Shard Release!

After a couple delays, Alinor's Shard, my new novelette is out!  For now, the e-book is available for Kindle on Amazon for $0.99, but it will be available for free on Monday 12/30!  Before the week's end, I'll be posting a couple more free days and getting the print version put together.  Updates on those two things will be posted on my Facebook page(

So, a little bit about this novelette.  It started out as one of four short story ideas that I hoped to get on paper and release in a compilation.  However, once I became entrenched in The Forgotten King and nearly rewriting the entirety of The Dragon Gem, those plans kind of fell to the wayside.

One day, I was looking back at Alinor's Shard (titled Aftermath at the time) and another short work I'd written for my abandoned short story collection.  Slightly longer than a short story, something about Alinor's Shard kept me from just filing it away for  future use.  As I went back through it, I realized just how proud I was of it, as well as how much fun I had writing it.  Yet, as such a short work, I didn't really want to release it by itself.  Though I have paid for and read a lot of shorter works from short stories to novellas, I just didn't feel comfortable releasing something that could be breezed through in an afternoon.

But then I had an idea.

I contacted Janette Ramos(the cover artist for my Korin's Journal novels) to see if she'd be interested in doing some interior artwork for Alinor's Shard in addition to the cover.  The protagonist, Fillon, is an artist, and I felt that it would be neat to have some sketch-type drawings peppered throughout the story in connection to that (despite the fact that in all truthfulness, he wouldn't have been the one to draw them due to his place in the story).  Anyway, having this addition to the story gave it that little extra something to make it suitable for a stand-alone release.

Story-wise, Alinor's Shard wouldn't exist if it not for Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy.  In this trilogy, Sanderson's world is one in which the typical fantasy adventure hero actually failed to save the world from the evil that threatened it in the past, putting the reader immediately into a ruinous world suppressed by that evil.  I LOVED the concept, and if you like fantasy and haven't read the Mistborn trilogy, please, please do.  They single-handedly turned Sanderson into my all-time favorite fantasy author.   The point is, Alinor's Shard takes place in the world of Yalis, similarly lorded over by an evil god.  Yalis has become a dark, ruined world under this evil god, its peoples broken and enslaved under his oppressive rule. The story revolves around Fillon, once an artist and now a slave, and his opportunity to help free Yalis from its decaying state.  It's a darker story than I would typically write - not necessarily in the way of violence, but the overall tone.

Now, I'm a little late on releasing this.  I made the idiotic assumption that putting some finishing touches on it after JJProofing's proofread and formatting it for its Kindle release would be an easy thing to do over nearly a week of traveling home for the holidays(my wife and I live about 8 hours away from our families).  Of course, this didn't work out so well.  I was going to get it out before the weekend . . . then on Friday with hopes of offering it free on Saturday and Sunday.  Instead, thanks to my awesome wife allowing me a 45 minute stop at a Starbucks to use their wifi on our way home, I got it submitted Saturday afternoon.  Since it went live that evening, I planned to still offer it free Sunday.  Of course, when I tried to do so from my phone, I kept getting an error message every time I tried to set up the free day.  When we got home after midnight, I wasn't allowed to use Sunday as a free day(which is really kind of strange since I'm on Eastern time and the Amazon promotions follow Pacific . . . ).

So, now it's free on Monday with a couple more days to be announced soon.  Also, I hope to get the print version together as soon as I can.

I'm really proud of Alinor's Shard and would love to get some feedback, so if you pick it up, please let me know what you think.

And, I know I tend to ramble with some of these blog posts, but in this case, I've been on the move almost constantly for the past week, spending countless hours in a car, 8 hours today alone.  So forgive me if this is peppered with poor grammar, rambling nonsense, or any other such drivel.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!

Brian Beam

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Word of Thanks


My two days of having The Dragon Gem available for free on Amazon was A LOT more successful than I'd hoped.  I had double the downloads of my most successful free days with the first edition.  I didn't do a lot of advertising about the free days - $10 bucks to boost the Facebook post.  I'm sure the new cover art deserves most of the credit (Another thank you to Janette Ramos for that!)

Anyway, The Dragon Gem had never been the # 1 anything.  Until now.  Well, the #1 free fantasy book on (Germany).  Still . . . # 1!  In the US, #21 in Fantasy, #3 in Fantasy/Epic, and #3 in Fantasy/Swords and Sorcery at its peak.  I know tons of people snatch up freeD e-books, but still, I was stoked to see those numbers.

Now, I'm not so delusional as to think that all these downloads will be read.  Not even half.  Maybe not even a quarter.  But for those who do give The Dragon Gem a read, thank you for giving it a chance.  I sincerely hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your thoughts(good and bad).  For those who don't, thank you for helping bring up The Dragon Gem in Amazon's free Kindle downloads rankings so that more people could see it. To the one person in Japan and the one India who downloaded it, congrats, you are theoretically the only people in your respective countries to own The Dragon Gem :).  That goes for the three in Australia as well.

And to the few that also picked up The Forgotten King, thank you for the vote of confidence.

I would also like to announce that the print version of The Dragon Gem is available for purchase now as well.  It's also a couple dollars cheaper than it used to be.  I was forced into a higher price the first time around due to having it available in expanded distribution.  I forwent that route this time.  I'd rather it be available for less.  Yes, doing so comes with sacrifices, but again, for now, I'd rather it be cheaper.  For any who pick up print versions of The Dragon Gem or The Forgotten King on Amazon, you get the Kindle download for free!

Thanks again to each and every person who downloaded The Dragon Gem and/or The Forgotten King this weekend.  It means the world to me.

Now my next project is getting the Alinor's Shard novelette finished.  I'm now 84% finished with my initial revisions before having it all sent to the proofreader.  Still hoping for a pre-January release, but with the holidays coming up, it may get pushed into early January.  As of this moment, though, I think the pre-January thing is most likely.  I'll be having some free days with its release as well.  I also plan on having some giveaway offers shortly after.

All right, back to Alinor's Shard editing.  Woo!

Have a wonderful week, everyone!


Monday, December 9, 2013


Whew!  It took me the better part of a year, but the 2nd edition of The Dragon Gem is finally complete!

Lessee . . . there's been a bunch of changes:

  • New Cover Art
  • Major grammatical editing
  • Major rewriting(though no significant plot changes)
  • About 10 - 15,000 words of new-ish content, much of it tying the book in to the sequel a bit more
  • Restructuring of chapters and adjustment of chapter breaks
    • This one is due to my personal distaste for extremely long chapters, something I was highly guilty of in the first release of this book.  With no major story changes, the chapter count has gone from 26 to 47!
So, my plans for spending a couple months doing a thorough grammatical edit kind of veered into vastly different territory.  However, I am incredibly happy with the results!

Now, the update has been submitted to Amazon, and is currently for sale in ebook format.  I have contacted Amazon to ensure the update becomes available for previous buyers.  The process for that can take up to 4 weeks (hopefully shorter, though).  Should they deem the changes significant enough, an email will be sent out to anyone who downloaded the book before.  If not, the update will be available, but you'd have to A) manually update it by going  "manage your kindle" under your Amazon account options, find The Dragon Gem, click actions on the right side of the screen, and then hit update, or B)set your kindle up under "manage your kindle" to automatically update books.  I'll let you know the moment I hear back about how they plan to handle it.

For anyone who has not downloaded the book before, it will be free for download on Amazon on Saturday and Sunday (December 14/15) to celebrate its release.  Besides, who needs monetary compensation for a labor of love . . . Hm . . . actually, maybe I need to revisit the price point on the ebook.  

I have submitted everything for the print copy on CreateSpace tonight, so as long as the proof copy looks okay when I receive it in the coming weeks, it'll be up on Amazon soon as well.  I'm hoping to have some giveaways once all is said and done, probably in January.  

As for what's next on my plate, I am working on my Alinor's Shard novelette, giving it a good run through before sending it JJProofing  and will hopefully have it available for download before Jan. 1 with print copies shortly after.

I plan on using January as my NaNoWriMo (since  November was dedicated to my rewrite of The Dragon Gem ) to get the first 50K words down on the first draft of Book 3 of Korin's Journal.  My wife and I are expecting our second son in March, so no telling if I'll be able to pull this off or not.  We'll have a lot going on in the beginning of the year!

For now, though, with the rewrite out of the way, I can get back to writing without it feeling like  chore.  I've almost forgotten what that feels like in the past couple months.

I'll update soon on the availability of print copies of The Dragon Gem, when those who have downloaded the Kindle version already can get the update, info on giveaways, and info on Alinor's Shard's release. 

So, to end this up-way-too-late-at-night/too-early-in-the-morning post, I give you the front and back cover for The Dragon Gem rewrite, as well as the front cover and a sneak peak of one of the illustrations for Alinor's Shard.  Enjoy!


Brian Beam