Blurb reveal!

Although the words “blurb reveal” sound kinda icky, like discovering goo oozing out of a mystery bag in the fridge, please don’t stop reading. Because this is the exciting moment when a drum roll happens in your mind (I just triggered it through the power of suggestion, didn’t I?) and I present the promotional text for my contemporary fiction novel The New Sense. So, without further ado (this having been a rare case of “goo ooze ado”) here is the aforementioned blurb:

The New Sense cover_72dpi

Summer, 2002. Single, carefree Montreal waitress Sara meets an intriguing out-of-towner whom she calls B― in her quirky private journal. They hang out. They get close. He’s like no one she’s ever met. In fact… there’s something very strange about him, almost as though he’s psychic. She probes deeper. He finally opens up to her: he’s a genetic oddity with an extra sense acquired through a twist of evolutionary fate. Although initially skeptical, she soon falls in love with him and starts to believe his story.

Shortly after Sara unexpectedly becomes pregnant, B― reveals that a former friend is pressuring him to undergo genetic testing at a pseudo-governmental research lab outside Chicago. B― is tempted to go there. What if there are others like him? Could their unborn child have the same “new sense”?

Suddenly, B― disappears without a trace. Sara puts her journal online as a blog in the desperate hope that someone, somewhere can help her find him. As her pregnancy progresses and the days turn into weeks, she is forced to ask herself if anything she knows about him is really true, and whether their son will ever know his father. Realizing that the lab’s shady operatives are now following her every move, Sara begins to fear for her own safety. The suspense mounts as she wonders: is it me they’re after… or my baby?

Part journal, part blog, part email chain, The New Sense is an unusually structured page-turner with a unique mystery told from the perspective of an engaging female character.

I also have a shorter version of the blurb for various purposes, but this one certainly captures the content and spirit of the book. It was much, much harder to write than the blurb for Silent Symmetry because The New Sense really is quite an unusual book. If I had said that it’s an epistolary epistemological novel, I’m pretty sure that no one would ever read it, no matter that it’s an accurate description. I’ve also written a one-liner (sometimes called a strapline or logline) that goes like this:

What if the man you love isn’t who he says he is? Or worse… he really is.

The New Sense is only available on Amazon as a Kindle ebook for now, but don’t forget, if you want to read it on some other device, the Kindle software is free and works very well on a phone or tablet (I test all my books on various devices).

Phew! I’m glad that’s done. Now to write the rest of the lyrics to my upcoming international club hit Goo Ooze Ado. Say it out loud a couple of times and you’ll start moving to the beat, guaranteed.

Thanks to Alex and Jen for invaluable input on my blurb. I mean valuable input. I mean, I didn’t pay them but it was worth it. For me.

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I’ve joined the POD people

Before Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, print-on-demand (POD) was all there was. You showed up at a printer’s with your plume-written manuscript, gave him a few coins (or maybe a chicken) and rode your donkey back home to wait for him to phone you and tell you your book was ready. Then a few days later you would ride back on your donkey and find out for yourself whether it was ready because the telephone also hadn’t been invented yet.

pod-with-felted-seeds

Print-on-demand is as easy as shelling peas. Okay, I know this isn’t a pea pod but I couldn’t find a free photo of one online.

Suddenly Gutenberg appeared on the scene with his fancy movable type and old-school printers went out of business. But now, thanks to CreateSpace, Lulu, Blurb and others, self-published authors like yours truly can offer printed books without any upfront financial investment. POD is great for small or one-off print-runs because the setup costs are very low compared to traditional offset printing. There’s also no need to commit to printing a certain quantity of books that may end up being unsold.

I only recently discovered just how easy it is to create a book using CreateSpace so I’ve decided to offer a print version of Silent Symmetry. I’m sure that Lulu and Blurb are easy to use too, but CreateSpace has the added advantage of providing free distribution on Amazon, whereas the others distribute books on their own sites which have far, far fewer potential readers.

My amazing cover designer Alex Nereuta made my front cover print-ready and designed a back cover. This brings me to another advantage of POD: you can create a new edition very quickly. For example, Silent Symmetry’s back cover features this blurb: “#1 on Amazon’s free Kindle ebook Futuristic & Sci-Fi Romance chart!” If ever I want to put a different blurb I just need to ask Alex super-duper nicely to change it and resend me the cover pdf, then upload it to CreateSpace and voilà – from that moment on any new purchasers of the book will receive the updated version.

486px-Johannes_Gutenberg

This guy totally ruined POD for several centuries.

A digital proof is free and I’m glad I took that step because I spotted one minor formatting error. Once that was corrected and a new digital proof checked, I ordered a printed proof which costs around $10, shipping included. This is a necessary step because something could be wrong with the printed version that is undetectable in the digital proof, such as how the cover photo looks. But hopefully all will be well and I’ll be able to press the Publish button. Then I’ll furiously refresh the book’s Amazon page throughout the day to see if anyone has bought it. Okay, not that last part.

One thing’s for sure: I’ll by posting a link on this blog to the Amazon page for the print version of Silent Symmetry as soon as it’s available.

Photo credit: janine berben / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Random noises about Silent Symmetry

The totally incredible cover for Silent Symmetry was finished last week, and the first book in my Embodied trilogy is now available on Amazon. Many, many thanks to Alex Nereuta for again doing an amazing job with the cover design. It actually makes me want to read the book, and I already know what happens! Judge for yourselves:

Book 1 of the Embodied trilogy - design by Alex Nereuta.

Book 1 of the Embodied trilogy – design by Alex Nereuta.

What’s Silent Symmetry about, you ask? Well, I’ve cooked up a blurb, and here it is, fresh out of the blurb oven:

Silent Symmetry
a mystery-fantasy love story

Book 1 of the EMBODIED trilogy

The Embodied glide through the busy streets of New York, uttering barely a sound.

Their eerie beauty comes from their perfect symmetry. Male, female, old, young… their faces are always absolutely symmetrical. Are they flawless humans, the epitome of evolution? Are they a genetically modified super-race? Are they extra-terrestrials? Once prep school student Kari Marriner becomes aware of their existence, she is driven to find the answer and finds herself ensnared in a web that reaches further than she could possibly have imagined.

Kari’s earliest memory is her father’s death in a car crash back in small-town Wisconsin. Now, 12 years later, her mother has been hired by a pseudo-religious organization in Manhattan called the Temple of Truth (a.k.a. the ToT). At Chelsea Prep, Kari develops a crush on classmate Cruz. But when she realizes that Noon, another attractive guy at school, is involved with the ToT, her curiosity gets the better of her.

Kari stumbles upon a secret tunnel leading from her apartment to another in the building, where an ancient book holds images she can scarcely believe, and a cavernous room contains… something inexplicable. As Kari pieces together the incredible evidence, she discovers that the ToT is run by other-worldly beings called The Embodied who influence human behavior and have established a global long-term human breeding program. But why? And what is her role in all this?

Just as she starts wondering whether the love she feels for Cruz is genuine or if her emotions are being controlled by The Embodied, her mother is kidnapped and Kari has to figure out who is human, who is Embodied, and who she can count on to help rescue her mother.

Silent Symmetry is the exciting first novel in JB Dutton’s EMBODIED trilogy. The second instalment, Starley’s Rust, will be published in late 2013.

Silent Symmetry is available on Amazon exclusively until mid-April, but if you’re dying to read it and don’t own a Kindle, fear not – you can download free Kindle reader software for your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phone or toilet*.

Of course if you’re in Canada or Britain you’ll want to download it from Amazon.ca or Amazon.co.uk. As you can see from the blurb, Silent Symmetry is set in the U.S., so if you’re offended by American spellings and vocabulary, please read it sitting next to a cuspidor for spitting into every few sentences.

Enjoy!

*Kindle toilets only available in Japan.