The Cold, Bending Light – Reviewed!

Readers’ Favorite recently posted a review of my newest novel: The Cold, Bending Light.  I thought I’d post it here to share their thoughts.

Reviewed By Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite
Review Rating: 5 Stars

The Cold,ColdBendingLight_CoverFinal.indd Bending Light by MW Griffith is a gripping murder mystery. Young women are disappearing, their bodies found dumped, and tests reveal that they have been injected with lethal doses of a chemical that many states use in executions – just not the state of Tennessee. Special Agent Selena Marrenger is assigned to the case and, as she edges closer to the terrify
ing truth, she stumbles over something else, something much bigger and much more sinister than a serial killer. Selena is about to find out that not everything is as it seems and sometimes complete madness is the reality. What will Selena learn in her investigation and what could be worse than the serial killer they call The Sandman?

The Cold, Bending Light by MW Griffith is one of those stories that grabs you by the throat and pulls you down into the depths. There is no letting go and this is one of the most compelling murder mysteries that I have ever read. The action starts on page one and continues through the entire book, with plenty of twists and turns that lead us down dark alleys and, sometimes, to dead ends. But every twist, every turn, has its part to play in the overall story. There are lots of clues scattered about that make you think you’ve got it, you’ve worked it out. I guarantee you won’t until the very last and this is what keeps you reading. The character development is amazing, with very realistic and identifiable characters being revealed throughout the course of the story. I guarantee that this book will go down well with all readers who love the murder mystery and thriller genres, a truly thrilling rollercoaster journey from start to finish.

3 Reasons You Should Give Indie Authors A Chance

Break Your Comfort Zones
Let’s face it, every major book store from coast to coast carries the exact same authors. Stephen King, James Patterson, Anne Rice, George R.R. Martin, etc. Believe it or not, those authors aren’t the only ones writing books! It’s true. Mind blown, right?
Book stores are a lot like Hollywood. They want to spit out dozens of books from their star authors. This doesn’t mean any of them are bad, but it does forcibly limit the reader to these authors. Sure, you can say “there’s a reason why they’re everywhere. It’s because they’re so good.” To which I can reply by saying, “Expand your horizons. You might be surprised by what you find.”

Hidden Gems
There have been some fantastic indie books out there that have really exploded. Still Alice anyone? It’s a bit rare for an indie book to reach such a high status, but that doesn’t mean they all suck just because they aren’t in the Hollywood cookie-cutter organized bookstores. I’ve read some fantastic tales from relatively unknown authors, from steampunk to horror. From science fiction, to murder mysteries. The works of Adam Dreece, J.C. Hart, Lindsay Buroker, or Leigh K. Hunt are good examples of authors I’ve enjoyed reading lately. Ever hear of them? No? Expand your horizons.
Sure, since the introduction of the KDP program, everyone and their grandmother tosses books up on Amazon and puffs out their chests saying “I am an author.” As a reader, just like when you are browsing the shelves at a brick and mortar store, I urge you to read a sample of the book you are considering. See how many books the author has published, too. If you like what you see, give that indie author a shot!

The Stars Are Not Aligned
Don’t go by the number of stars a book has on Amazon. Sure, the company has done a whole lot to limit fake reviews, but that’s not what I’m talking about. When you are browsing at the brick and mortar store, you get to make the decision yourself, without any influence, when it comes to buying a book. You read the first chapter or so, read the author’s bio, and make an educated decision based on your interest alone. Do the same thing on Amazon by disregarding the number of stars a book has (Unless it’s total rating is one star, there’s definitely something wrong).
The reason I say this is because everyone is different, everyone has their own personal opinion, and readers are the harshest of critics. I’ve seen an indie book of short stories get a one star review because the “The book didn’t flow consistently. It was just like a bunch of different stories crammed into one book.” Another indie book, written specifically for young adults, was criticized with one star. The reason? The reader said the book was just fine, but he doesn’t like to read young adult books.
Reviews are very important for the indie author because most people look at the star ratings, and if it isn’t five stars, they’ll skip right over the book.  It’s hard for the indie author to get reviews, too.  They may get one review for every 200 sales.  Why in the world would you as a reader rely solely on how many stars the book has when making your purchasing decision?
Don’t go by the stars on Amazon. You’re smart. You’re intuitive. Decide for yourself what you want to read, and you might be surprised to find a new favorite author.

Do you agree with my list? Did I leave something out? Let me know in the comments!

The Release Day Is Here!

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Grab Your Copy Right Here!

I’m very happy to announce that The Runaway Train is now available to purchase!  Yeah, it’s moved out of that preorder stage and right into the BUY ME NOW stage!  Of course, if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, this Montana Marrenger Mystery is absolutely free for you.  Not that 99 cents is much of a big deal anyway, right?

What’s that, you say?  You don’t have a Kindle?  No problem.  The wonderful people over at Amazon have a plethora of apps that you can download on your phone, PC, Mac, or Tablet!  Seriously, just click here for the Free Kindle Reading App, and you can start reading The Runaway Train in a matter of seconds.

Thank you all for your support!  The Runaway Train was a blast to write, and I can’t wait to hear what all of you think of Montana Marrenger’s very first adventure!

Amazon’s New Unlimited Service

Now that Amazon has unleashed it’s Kindle Unlimited service, many authors and writers are wondering what it means for them.  The massive media giant has a literary marketplace that’s unparalleled, and certainly attractive to indie authors, but does this change the way in which they get paid?

First of all, let’s explore Kindle Unlimited for a bit.  It’s an ebook subscription based service that’s available on any device, including the Kindle.  It comes with a free 30 day trial, and has access to over 600,000 titles, including audiobooks from Audible.  After the 30 day period has expired, subscribers can expect to pay $9.99 a month for the continued service.

This is different than the Kindle lending library, although just about all of the titles included with Unlimited are already available through the library.  Audiobooks?  Not so much.  Also, the service is called unlimited for a reason.  Kindle Owners Lending Library only allows you to check out one book per month, whereas the new service allows for much more.

There doesn’t appear to be any books available from the Big Five: HapterCollins, Penguin, Macmillan, Simon and Schuster, and Hachette, which is something that a reader will have to consider because it means many best sellers simply won’t be made available through the unlimited service, rendering the new program to be rather limited after all, unlike Amazon’s new competitors Oyster and Scribd.  You can, however, find offerings from smaller publishers, including The Lord of the Rings Trilogy,  and the Hunger Games.  In this respect, the two services, Unlimited and the Lending Library, don’t appear to be very different from eachother.

Books from Amazon’s KDP Select program appear to be included with the Unlimited service, as per the terms and conditions.  Jash on Kboards explains that: “Books in Select will automatically be enrolled. Like the KOLL you won’t be able to opt-out if you’re in Select. You will be payed [sic] if you someone reads 10% or more of your book. The payment will come out of the same KOLL fund, just as if it was a borrow.”  That fund, currently at 1.2 million, is a pool of money from which self-published authors dip into each time their book is borrowed.