Guest Post: S.M. Boyce on Sticking with It

Enjoy this Guest Posting by author S.M. Bryce about the holidays, her latest book, and hanging in there when everything seems to overwhelm you.

Without further ado, here is author S.M. Boyce sharing a nice message for this holiday season. Boyce’s new novel, Treason: Book Two of the Grimoire Trilogy,is out now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

A little hope for the road…

With the holidays fast approaching and the cold already here, I wanted to give you a little hope to help you through scraping the ice off your front windshield.

It’s easy to lose hope, especially in the winter: it’s dark most of the time and cold all day long. It’s easy to forget how wonderful you are, or what you bring to the table. I think we all push ourselves too hard nowadays—we’re striving to achieve, to be better, to succeed in something before we die. We sometimes lose track of the why. Why bother?

It’s in those spiraling moments that we need a trampoline—something bouncy and a little soft. Sometimes, we’re just not strong enough on our own to remember what makes life so beautiful, or precious, or funny as all hell. So we need some help.

The trampoline can be a person. It can be the teddy bear no one knows you still have. It can be a solo hike through a forest, or an hour spent looking at adorable pictures of cats. It can be an evening laughing over dinner with a good friend.

Trampolines—and the hope that comes with them—are everywhere.

I’m analytical. So when I’m low, I write a list. It’s just for me. It’s a list of everything I’m good at doing. Things I know I can do well. It ranges from the big to the small, and it’s just for me. I’m not allowed to be modest when I write it, because that can turn into self-deprecation that makes me start to spiral again. But here’s the truth: we’re all amazing at something. A lot of us are amazing at several somethings, and it’s easy to forget. It’s easy to lose hope in ourselves and forget to love who and what we are. And if we can’t love ourselves, we can’t love anyone.

Treat yourself today, whether you’re low or not. Write a list of everything you can do well, whether you have a sweet laugh or can pick up socks with your toes. You don’t have to be the best in the world at it, but you’re good. Works for me. Write it down.

There’s always hope. Sometimes, we just need help remembering where we left it. Hold on tight. You’ll get through the low spots. And love yourself, damn it. You’re awesome.

 About Boyce

Boyce is a fantasy and paranormal fiction author who likes sarcasm and cookies. You can find her books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Daniel: I’ve also attached an excerpt of Treason below, just click and you’ll go through to it! Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

Continue reading “Guest Post: S.M. Boyce on Sticking with It”

Why I did my holiday shopping with Barnes & Noble this year

A post on why I did my holiday book shopping at Barnes and Noble instead of Amazon.

Guess what? We survived!

Survived what? Black Friday and the busiest shopping weekend of the year! Cyber Monday and more deals that my inbox can tackle in one go! I, too, was one of those insane people going out and about on Thanksgiving night (Although I swore I wouldn’t) mainly because the S.O. and I needed to get rid of our cabin fever at 9 pm on Thanksgiving. Then on Friday it was off to the mall, and what did I learn?
That I couldn’t wait to run home and shop online at a book store.

You see, none of the THREE malls in our area has a book store, and the nearest one to my immediate location is about 15 miles away. The simple reason I am telling you is that it’s getting harder to buy books in person (at least where I am). Fewer places nowadays have a quality selection. This makes me both sad and annoyed. I like physical books. Given a choice, I will always choose the paperback over the ebook copy, if only because it’s easier on my eyes.

So in the end, I ended up online at B& – for a variety of reasons – and I could not have been happier with the experience. When I was in college, Amazon was king for me – time, effort, that handy-dandy free shipping over $25 dollar thing, and ta da, three or four books delivered to your door in a snap!

So why the change?

1.) I have a B&N membership card – Yes, I spent the $25 for the card, but I get free 1-3 day shipping online, and 10% off OR MORE in store. So, I placed two seperate orders this weekend (yes, yes, I know, not good organization on my part) but I paid $0 in shipping. I would have spent about $15 for the 1-3 day option, instead getting it free. B&N even has the free slower shipping option that draws so many people to Amazon, so the two companies are again equal there.

But what about Amazon Prime? You ask, isn’t that just like the B&N Membership? Yes and no. You might get free shipping online, which I do too, but I can also go into a physical store and return my product if I don’t like it, or buy other things at discounted prices if I do. Double Whammy.

2.) Returns – I like being able to go into a store and return something. I like my money being back on my card now. Or I can mail it back. Two choices means two ways to keep me happy.

3.) Tradition and Jobs – Okay, some people may not consider this a reason, but I do. Buying a book at a store means that the store has to hire employees, the employees circulate their paycheck through the system, and thus the economy continues to run. Does amazon have employees? Yes, but yet again not at a store in my community, where the money will circulate locally.

Just a side note: Many people will probably say that Amazon has a better selection of everything, this may be true, but I was looking for books and book-related things in particular!

So now some end points. Yes, I know that I could do even better by purchasing from an independent book store. And I do/have! By the way all, please check out Malaprops, my favorite independent book store (located in Asheville, N.C., so far from me, but still with great stuff online!) Another point is that we all need to take some time to buy local – I know that I went out on Small Business Saturday to look for some specific items I needed at local stores, but this can’t be the only time during the year that we do this.

So what do you all think? Amazon or B&N? Or another site?

(P.S. – I’m not an employee, sponsored by, receiving anything from, or in cahoots with B&N, I just wanted to share my own, personal opinion. I do have a book for sale on B&N and Amazon, but it’s not connected to this in anyway. Thanks!)

Brass Legionnaire going on Sale for the Thanksgiving Weekend!

Brass Legionnaire is going on sale for this holiday weekend. I’m offering my novel at 50% off for one weekend only. Check inside for more information!

Hi everyone! Big News!

Brass Legionnaire will be on sale this holiday weekend! If you haven’t had the chance to read the five-star reviewed alternative history & steampunk novel, now’s your chance to get this exciting adventure novel for half price!


Thursday, November 22nd – Monday, November 26th (Cyber Monday)


This amazing, one time half-off deal will be available only on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, as well as Apple iPad, Kobo, etc through Smashwords.

For Smashwords, you’ll need this coupon code – UT37C

UT37C – You’ll need this for Smashwords!

Don’t forget to share this with your friends!


I know you wonder, why should you purchase my novel? – I’ll let the reviews speak for themselves.

I thought this was a great debut novel that gives much promise for the Author’s writing career. It’s fresh, never been done before, and one of those intriguing books one just has to read because it’s such an interesting twist on the norm.

Brass Legionnaire has a great premise as being the only novel that mixes steampunk with the Romans and, though I never would have thought of that myself, it really works well in this alternate universe that Daniel Ottalini created in this novel. You get the feel of the traditional Romans, and yet there’s a more modern and really awesome steampunk twist to it. All the gadgets and machines were neat and fit in well with the Romans, making it seem that this story could have actually happened in some alternate reality.”

– Hazel West – Five Star Review

Or this one!

The author has produced a really nice piece of “alternate history” fiction, with engaging characters and an interesting plot line. This could (and I hope will) serve as the basis for a whole series of novels. On the strength of this work, I would certainly purchase the next installment.

-SEB – Five Star Review

If you want even more reviews, check out the reviews on Amazon!

Brass Legionnaire is the perfect gift (paperback or ebook) for the Steampunk lover, book reader, or History buff in your family!

Can Nook ever match Kindle (i.e. are Nook Sales dead?)

I consider the war of the e-readers and whether Nook is capable of surviving it’s competitors.

This article partners with my previous posting on Amazon Select.

Once upon a time, there were no e-readers.

As a child and later teenager, Borders was always my favorite book store. I’ll admit that I cried a little when they went out of business. Granted the writing had been on the wall for a while. Borders was slow to enter the e-reader market, had over saturated the country with more stores than were practical (I mean, there were at least six in my county alone!) and simply failed to embrace the digital era as fast as it’s competitors. So I was forced to find another favorite book store to take the place that Borders had in my heart.

Enter Barnes and Noble. Although for years I had only traveled to their store to use gift cards (and a rewards program I had to pay for? Please, I was broke!), I found myself willingly visiting their stores more and more often. They were also the only book store in town. With B&N’s willingness to innovate and it’s prime position as largest US bookseller, one would think that victory was almost assured.

Wrong. Amazon’s Kindle has dominated the market, with Apple’s iPad tussling with the more limited Nook eReaders. This last year, B&N reported an 11% drop in it’s Nook revenue – both from the sale of tablets and the sales of books. Why is this happening? Costs, costs, and costs. With brick and mortar stores, B&N has a necessarily larger bottom line that it must maintain. Second, it’s tablets lag behind the Kindle Fire or Apple’s iPad in performance and flexibility. While Nook Color does has similar capabilities, and has received excellent reviews, it’s sister tablets have given B&N a hefty amount of trouble. Oh, and remember that price-fixing case that the Justice Department got involved in? Yea, good old B&N was involved in that too.

So how does this impact you, the ebook writer/reader?

Nook and Kindle
Nook and Kindle (Photo credit: evilgenius)

1.) As a writer, my sales on B&N website have been… well, flat. I mean, hovering around zero. I’ve sold maybe two dozen books there in about four months of selling. I’m sold that many on Amazon in a weekend. Is it worth it to keep open that possible purchasing stream? Or does it make more sense to go with KDP Select? (I’m just happy I’ve got a few good reviews on there, so at least my novel looks good!)

2.) As a reader, I was tempted to purchase a nook, especially because you can get books from the library as rentals on them (Pretty cool!), but in the end I got an iPad because I wanted more versatility. If I had known more about nook’s similarities, I would have considered it as well. But it just isn’t out there!

3.) As both, I wonder what would happen if Amazon came to truly dominate, rather than just overpower, it’s rivals? Would we see increased prices with dominance, coupled with reduced royalty rates? Would federal regulators step in to stop one company from controlling the majority of sales of the written word in the US?

Last, there is some good news for Nook. Microsoft just pumped a hefty chunk of change into it’s operation, for minority rights and the creation of a new operating system for nook tablets in college bookstores. Also, their expansion into the U.K. market will hopefully bring them some much needed new customers. One hopes that this will eventually expand to more European markets as well. Personally, I think B&N would be best served by trying to enter China BEFORE Amazon can get Kindle there. I mean, only a few hundred million people would be interested.

Will this be enough for Nook to hold off the heavyweights? Time will tell, but personally, I’m not betting on them yet.

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