5 Powerful Tips to Increase Book Sales That Work

 

ebookE-books aren’t difficult to write, but it can be a challenge to sell them unless you’re a well-known author. The good news? E-books are the fastest growing segment in the publishing industry, so becoming a successful e-book writer isn’t just a pipe dream. There are low-cost ways to get the word out about your book and establish your credibility as an author. Here are five selling tips that work!
1. Offer a Free Chapter
People hesitate to buy when they’re not sure about the quality of your writing or the information you offer, especially if you’re a new author. One way to motivate them is to offer a free chapter of your e-book, available for instant download right from your website. Even better, give away a free chapter in exchange for an email address. You can use their email address to send information about future e-books you’re authoring. Giving away a free chapter is a good way to get your prospective reader hooked on what you have to offer.
2. Get Your Book Reviewed
If you’re listing your book on sites like Amazon, it’s important to have good reviews. Since customers can’t flip through the book, they often base their purchasing decisions on book reviews posted on the site. Reviews are especially important if you’re a new author. To get your book reviewed, visit websites relevant to your topic and offer a free copy of your book in exchange for a review.
Another way to get your book reviewed is to email book reviewers and/or bloggers and ask them to read it. If they like it, they’ll mention it on their blog where it could reach thousands of eyes. Not only do you get a review, you get free publicity. Not every blog will review your book, but be persistent. Some will.
3. Harness the Power of Free Publicity
Free publicity is one of the most effective ways to boost your book sales. Publicity gives you credibility as an author and creates interest in your publication. Write a press release for your book, and send it to press release distribution services that will submit it to major search engines.  Note that while most press releases sites offer paid services, free ones are also usually available. Paid press release services can cost several hundred dollars, but they’ll submit your press release to big name players like CNN and Yahoo!. Choose a reputable company such as eReleases. Lesser known press release services are perceived as spam.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Give Away Free Copies
Offer a copy of your e-book to people who have a large following on social media sites. If they enjoy your book, encourage them to share it with their friends and followers. This is a quick and easy way to make your book go viral. Don’t forget to set up Facebook and Twitter pages of your own to promote your book and yourself as an author.
5. Submit Articles to Relevant Media Outlets to Market Your Book
Do a search for popular magazines, blogs, or websites that are relevant to the topic of your book. Offer to submit a free article or guest post in exchange for a byline and a link to your book. Media outlets are always looking for quality content, and writing an article can be a great way to promote your book (either in the article or in your bio), so it’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
The Bottom Line: There are lots of books out there, and how you market can make or break your book’s success. Give these five selling tips a try, and get rewarded for all of your hard work.

Szen Zone: Reaching a State of Positive Change

Szen Zone Gary SzenderskiSzen Zone: Reaching a State of Positive Change, by Gary Szenderski, is a compilation of heartwarming and inspirational short stories.
The general overarching theme of the book is change and all of the aspects of it – creating, surviving, and managing change with the goal to recognize the power we have to create positive change in our lives and be what we want to be.
Topics covered include productivity, letting go of the past, embracing the potential of the future, and learning to take chances.
If you are a fan of short inspirational stories like those in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, then this is a book you would certainly enjoy. Wherever you may find yourself in life, you will discover an insight or example in this book to help you change course and take charge of your life.
Whereas ZEN is of the moment and what is, SZEN celebrates what could be.

 

Praise:
“Commonly held together by the thread of positive change, each tale tells of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity… Because it’s composed of so many short stories, there is really something for everyone within the pages of this inspiring book. If you’re looking for a dash of hope and a sprinkling of encouragement to change for the better, then look no further than Szen Zone. It’s one of those books that bears picking up again and again throughout the seasons of your life, whenever you need a solid pick-me-up.” – Reviewed by Red City Review
“Szen Zone is filled with illuminating stories and anecdotes that can help point the reader to that promised state of positive change, presented in a manner that’s neither didactic nor preachy. Rather, Szenderski employs an easy going and conversational style of communicating his message to his readers that made me feel as though he were there alongside me, sharing his own efforts and experiences in a spirit of frankness, honesty and sincerity… Szen Zone is a book to breeze through and be inspired by, and then to be read more slowly in no particular order of topic, concentrating rather on the concepts and thoughts which most appeal at the moment. It’s an impressive self-help guide and it’s highly recommended.” – Reviewed by Readers’ Favorite

 

Excerpt:
Chapter 1
The E Spot
Everything everyone enjoys enters; evolves – eventually engaging each entity entirely. Easy? Exactly.
The e-spot is our own personal energy source. For some it’s only a pilot light that maintains just enough oomph to get us through the day. While for others, it’s an inferno ablaze with desire to achieve greatness. What controls the intensity of our own internal flame is always personal and filtered through our own unique perspective. Perspective is actually the fodder for flame and the catalyst for positive change.
Perspective to the e-spot is like oxygen to the fire. Perspective directs and frames choices, creates decisions and defines our dreams. When we feel engaged and energized, it’s because our point of view is in alignment not only with the goal, but also with the means to get there. We somehow know we can do it. It’s the e-spot telling us we have the fuel to make the trip.
If we need more fuel for our own personal trip, we can take a look at your own focal point and perspective. Usually only a tweak or two will open the energy valves. Sometimes it’s getting rid of some part of the past that’s clogging up our thinking, but more often it’s not the elimination of a clog but the creation of a new path – a clear channel that creates separation from what is/was, to what could be. Very SZEN- like if you ask me.
Szenippet: The best way to charge your own engine is to plug into a dream come true before it really does
■   ■   ■   ■
The Key to Life
Buddy, as his homeless neighbors, cohorts and other transients that lived and begged on the streets knew him, was usually pretty upbeat. When he first arrived he was considered one of the more fortunate of the unfortunates. He was still pretty young by comparison; he had his health and thus was selected from time to time to work on day jobs in construction where he would conveniently be paid in cash for his labor.
Buddy would say that he didn’t really have to live on the streets and that he had a plan, but he needed enough money to be able to properly implement it. He liked to report that he always put a little cash away in a safety deposit box at the local bank. The rest went for essentials like food, clothes and diversions – sometimes liquid. Buddy kept the bank key around his neck and would nervously reach for it from time to time to insure he had not lost his ticket to a new life. But those that watched him only saw a rusted skeleton key hanging by a plastic chord. No one ever said a thing to counter his enthusiasm for a new future. Buddy was, after all, the only positive, enthusiastic presence around and he had a way of getting others to start to be positive as well.
Time is never kind to those who live without a home. But Buddy knew he wasn’t meant to be where he was and would tell anyone that asked that he was about to move out into his new place and leave the streets behind. The story had not changed in 8 years, but he told it with such conviction that most people on the street half expected that one day, Buddy would simply move away. They always asked him to remember them, his friends that lived next to him all clustered under the overpass.
 The days on the street are monotonous with little to do, no funds to go anywhere, with competition for begging, collecting recyclables and the occasional day job. Each of those homeless, living day to day, had their own schedule and no one policed the other. And although Buddy’s construction working days had been dwindling over the years he never seemed to be around much during the day. Most assumed he spent his days like everyone else, walking, and hunched over scouring the ground and sidewalks for loose change, discarded lottery tickets or anything else that might be of value.
 One night Buddy didn’t come back to his cardboard space. There were lots of opinions on why he hadn’t returned. Maybe he got arrested, hurt or had just left on his own. After no Buddy for 8 days, a fair waiting period, his “stuff” from his space was split up amongst the remaining street dwellers. As the weeks passed, Buddy’s enthusiasm and positive stories, were being missed more and more. A void emerged where there had been a beacon; the smidgeon of hope was now an emptiness felt by all. And within the context of this emptiness, the legend of Buddy and his positive ways grew. It wasn’t long before the stories trumped the reality. Speculation and hearsay created unbelievable story lines of how Buddy had managed to escape, leaving behind a whimsical, delicious and totally positive imprint.
The real story is this: The key he wore did fit a lock, but to a door not a box. A door that opened to a room that not only held his childhood memories, but every dream he ever had – A room in an old house where a skeleton key worked just fine. A house that protected Buddy’s secrets with a special room that held bank receipts and pay stubs and boxes of memories. A closet with a key next to where his mother sat and waited to hear him and feel his kiss to her cheek. She never knew where he spent his nights, but the money he earned by working and saving by renting his own room to strangers kept her alive. Those extra few years where she couldn’t move, but able to talk were filled with stories of love and life and making plans and believing in them. Those were the years that truly changed Buddy’s life and well worth his homeless adventure.
Buddy’s Mom eventually passed on, but her son and his story is still going strong.
Epilogue
Some years later Buddy passed on too. Shortly thereafter, an official looking gentleman in a business suit visited the homeless turf where Buddy’s story was still being passed along to new members of the less fortunate. The man had a clipboard and a roster of names and he called out each of twenty-two names individually, until a group of 13 huddled around him. Nine, it seems had not outlived Buddy.
The visitor handed each an envelope with an address and cab fare. This would be their new home, compliments of Buddy; it was furnished and ready to live in. They each would be made the legal owner and the only instruction was to help as many others as they felt comfortable doing; it was up to them. Buddy was explicit in his will – his greatest, lasting gift would be the power of choice.
Szenippet: The door to the life you want doesn’t need a key.

 

Gary SzenderskiAbout the Author:
Gary Szenderski is an author, speaker, teacher and branding specialist, internationally acclaimed as an expert on the subject. He specializes in helping people and organizations to navigate change, and frequently speaks and writes on the topic of emerging brands, personal branding and companies in transition. Gary is an award-winning writer, author of the Book of Szen and Szen Zone, often quoted marketing expert, and recipient of the Distinguished Instructor Award from the University of California in Irvine where he teaches branding. He resides in Southern California.
Readers can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
For more information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Gary Szenderski, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or 805.807.9027.

 

The Scythe Wielder’s Secret by Christopher Mannino

The Scythe Wielder’s SecretThe Scythe Wielder’s Secret is a thrilling young adult fantasy/adventure series by Christopher Mannino. The first two books in the trilogy, School of Deaths and Sword of Deaths, are out now, with the third book Daughter of Deaths expected to be released next year.
The Scythe Wielder’s Secret series has received rave reviews and been compared to bestsellers like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Percy Jackson. It is recommended for readers who enjoy magical realism, fantasy, paranormal, middle grade, young adult, and/or books with a strong female protagonist.

 

School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret, Book 1):
Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death? 
Suzie Sarnio is a thirteen-year-old whose world is turned upside down when she discovers that she is destined to be a Death. She always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe, but now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. As her year progresses, Suzie uncovers a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths. Now she must learn and embrace the reason she was chosen to be the first female Death in a million years.

 

Praise for School of Deaths:
“If you like Harry Potter, you’ll love this!” – Sasha Alsberg, A Book Utopia
“Wonderful! Addictive! Two thumbs up! The plot itself was beyond intriguing. It definitely took me for a spin. I wasn’t expecting the story to take me where it did, and it definitely kept me guessing all the way toward the end. The author did a wonderful job at keeping me both entertained and fascinated by the world he created. Would recommend School of Deaths to YA lovers everywhere.” – Kristy Centeno, author of The Keeper Witches series and the Secrets of the Moon series.
“The characters are well developed, the story is complex and non-stop. Lots of surprises along the way. A dash of romance, lots of intrigue, mystery, and fantasy. This was a book I didn’t want to end.” – Montzalee Wittman
“Loved this book! Suzie is a wonderfully well written and in depth main character. I understood her struggle and appreciated her growth throughout the book.” – Ann Andrews
“Not just a book for young adults, but an imaginative read for everyone who likes something a little bit different. 5 Stars!” – Reader’s Favorite

 

Excerpt from School of Deaths:
Chapter 1
“You okay, squirt?” Joe bounded through her bedroom door. He smelled of sweat and dirt.
“I’m okay,” said Suzie. She sat up in her bed, putting her book aside. “They teased me a lot today.”
“You? My sister? I’ll beat ’em up.” He slapped her on the back playfully, making Suzie slump forward. He leaned closer to her and peered in her eyes. His cinnamon gum stank.
“Tell me honestly.” He lowered his voice to whisper. “What’s going on? You’ve been losing weight since Bumper died. Mom and Dad are freaking out.”
“I’m not trying to scare them, Joe. I’m sure I look anorexic or something, but I keep eating and eating and nothing changes. It must be some disease the doctors haven’t heard about, they’re bringing in a specialist and everything.”
“Suzie?” Joe sat next to her and wrapped his big, muscular arms around her wiry frame. “You’ll be okay?”
“I will be, yeah.”
“Susan,” called Mom from downstairs. A moment later, her head appeared in the doorway. Joe released Suzie and stood.
“How are you feeling honey?” asked Mom.

“I’m fine.”
“Why don’t you both come down for dinner?”
“Okay, Mom,” they said in unison. Joe turned to Suzie and smiled. They headed downstairs and sat down.
“Your father had an urgent call, and won’t be home until late,” said Mom, carrying a steaming dish of delicious-smelling rosemary chicken and potatoes to the table. The doorbell rang.
“I hope it’s not the Mormons again,” muttered Mom, rising.
“I’ll get it,” said Joe. Whenever Dad wasn’t home, Joe tended to act like the man of the house. Suzie wasn’t sure if he was annoying or endearing, or perhaps a little of both. Mom sat down, and Joe opened the door.
“Can I help you?”
A hunchbacked man in a black robe, carrying an immense scythe, stood in the doorway. Something shiny hung around his neck.
“Er, um. H-h-hello. I-i-i-s Su-su-su-Susan here?”
Joe laughed. “Halloween’s not for over a month, man. Why don’t you come back then?” He started to close the door, but the strange man lowered his scythe, propping it open.
“What are you doing?” yelled Joe.
“P-p-please. I n-n-need to ta-talk to Susan,” he stammered.
Suzie gasped, remembering where she had seen the strange man. He was the one who opened the door looking out in the strange dream she kept having. Mom touched the blade of the scythe and drew her hand back in surprise.
“That thing’s real,” she said. “Get out. Get out of my house!”
 “P-p-p-please,” he started again.
“Wait, Mom,” Suzie said, rising. Joe, Mom, and the strange man turned to her. “I want to talk to him.” Was it the man from her dream?
“Susan, sit down,” said Mom, her voice trembling.
“No, it’s okay,” said Suzie. She walked to the door. The man seemed scared, even a little confused. He was probably her father’s age, but was nothing like Dad. His face was chubby, unshaven, and pockmarked, and his blond hair was uncombed. A golden chain with a charm hung from his neck. He raised his scythe and nodded. Joe held the door, ready to slam it, but Suzie stood in the entrance.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“My n-n-n-name is K-k-k-Cronk. C-Cronk Averill.”
“C-Cronk Averill?” laughed Joe. “Is this guy for real?”
“I’ve c-c-c-come to t-t-t-take you b-b-b-back.”
“Take me back where?” asked Suzie.
“You are a D-d-d-d…”
“What?”
“A Death,” said Cronk. Joe reached for Suzie, but before he touched her, Cronk grabbed Suzie’s arm. His speed surprised her. She yelled, but he raised his scythe and lowered it, cutting the air. Suddenly, the house, Joe, Mom, and the entire world vanished. Colors and smells, noises and strange sensations, flowed past Suzie in a blur.
She opened her eyes. She was standing in a field. Cronk stood in front of her, frowning.
“What did you do?” she demanded. “Where are we?” She looked up. It was sunny. But there were two suns.

 

Author Christopher ManninoAbout the Author:
Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance and production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.
Christopher’s debut novel School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret, Book 1) was published in May 2014 by MuseItUp Publishing. The second book in the trilogy, Sword of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret, Book 2), was published in August 2015. The third book Daughter of Deaths is expected to be released in 2016. His series has received rave reviews and been compared to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.
Christopher’s wife Rachel Mannino is also an author. She writes romance books. To learn more, go to RachelMannino.com
Readers can connect with Christopher on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.
To learn more, go to ChristopherMannino.com
For more information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Christopher Mannino, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or 805.807.9027.

 

Chakana by W. E. Lawrence

ChakanaW. E. Lawrence’s latest historical romance novel Chakana is a James Bond meets Indiana Jones action/adventure story. It is set in Peru, just before the start of World War II. The basis of the tale is a race between good and evil to find an ancient treasure that could affect the outcome of the war before it even begins.  It’s filled with danger, suspense, some humor, and even a torrid romance (with sex scenes).

 

Synopsis:
In 1940, before the start of World War II, James Fleming, the original British secret agent, races on a high-stakes chase to track down the ancient lost treasure of King Huascar of the Incas. He must recover it before the Nazis do or the whole world will be in imminent danger.
But this is no ordinary treasure hunt. The Incas have proven their cunning and intellect in not only how they hid their treasure, but how they protected it. Fleming joins forces in the remote ruins of Peru, South America with Kate Rhodes, a policewoman on leave from the United States, her archaeologist brother, Nick, and their college professor, Dr. Charlie. Together, they must decode, interpret the clues, and face the challenges of the Chakana on their hunt the treasure.
If this wasn’t difficult enough, the group is hounded throughout their search of the ancient Sacred Valley by international artifact smugglers, familiar with the Chakana and working with the Nazis, who are determined to acquire the treasure to help finance their war effort. Intrigue, danger, suspense, action, adventure, and even romance abound in this brave band’s quest to save the free world.

 

Praise:
“With its ability to keep readers’ hearts in their throats from the first chapter to the last, adding political and social insights as a backdrop to character struggles, there’s much to like about Chakana‘s powerful approach – and, hopefully, a movie, down the line.” – Diane Donovan for Midwest Book Review
“I absolutely loved this book. This book is an action-packed Indiana Jones style book that got me hooked from the beginning. I love that this book is full of action, adventure, mystery, and romance that will keep you keep reading and won’t want to put down.” – 5 Stars, Canadian Book Addict
“If you love historical fiction, adventure or historical romance novels, then I would highly recommend you immediately add this book to your TBR.” – 5 Stars, The Writer’s Inkwell
Chakana by W.E. Lawrence is a romantic historical adventure that is impossible to put down. Chakana has all the adventure and excitement that will keep you on the edge of your chair and reading late into the night. W.E. Lawrence knows how to keep the suspense, romance, adventure and mystery alive on every page. If you like Indiana Jones, you will love Chakana. I don’t think anyone will be disappointed when reading this book – it is a five star plus winner.” – 5 Stars, Readers’ Favorite

 

Excerpt:
PROLOGUE
Countryside outside Athens, Ohio 1934
    The rumble of thunder sent the horse into a nervous prance.  The animal jerked its head and whinnied as James Fleming pulled in the reins to steady his mount.  “Whoa there, big fella. It’s just a few boomers, nothing to be concerned about.”  But when he raised his gaze to study the sudden ominous build of cloud formations, the certainty of a brewing storm made him decide it was time to get back to the barn.  With a gentle tug, he turned the horse.  “All right, Major, you win.  Let’s go home.”
     James had enjoyed these lone horseback outings through the hills and valleys of the countryside and took them as often as he could.  However, this would be his last ride.  He would miss America. Ohio in particular.  He had learned a great deal the three years he spent there, working and studying.  He even learned things he hadn’t intended, like riding horses owned by his sponsors who graciously opened their home and provided him with a place to stay.
     But the time had come to return home.  The winds of war were building between his homeland of Great Britain and Germany, now ruled by the radical Nazis hell-bent on avenging their defeat in the Great War.  His country needed him, and James, always a patriot, would contribute any way he could.
     He again looked to the sky.  The storm had moved in quicker than he expected.  Dark angry clouds now directly overhead made it look as if night was descending.  Gusty howls of wind and more rumbles of thunder gave sound to the suddenly eerie scene.  His horse became more frantic by the moment, pressing the need to get out of the weather as soon as he could.  Although unfamiliar with the shortcut through the valley and having been warned by the ranch hands that the territory contained dangerous marshland, he decided to take the chance.
    Entering the valley, his heart beat faster.  After little more than a hundred meters, the trail narrowed but he pressed on.  Clouds linked together and the low whistle of wind made the hair on his neck stand on end.  Thank God, it hadn’t started raining …yet.
     Then a sudden crack of thunder crashed over their heads.  The horse bolted.  Using what he’d been taught, James fought the reins and had his mount under control in a matter of seconds.  He exhaled, then stopped to regain his bearings.  The animal had only traveled another dozen meters, but his relief was short lived.
   The ground beneath them began to quiver.  When he tried to turn the horse, the earth sucked at the animal’s hooves like quicksand.  Again, his heart raced.  He had to get out, but the horse, now in full panic, reared back and threw him.  Falling backwards, he landed hard in the swampy marsh.  As he lay stunned, he heard the horse struggle to gain its footing, and then gallop away to freedom.
     The horse escaped, but James was not so fortunate.  Sinking, he tried to scramble out but the marsh restricted his movement.  The more he struggled, the faster he went down.  When up to his waist, he stopped.  This couldn’t be happening.  This was supposed to be his last day in America.  He couldn’t die like this.  But the wet mud and the tangy smell of rotting vegetation made it all too real.
     Nearly panic stricken, James turned his head and caught sight of a fallen branch sticking up out of the marsh like an outstretched hand.  With trembling fingers, he reached out and grasped it.  After he pulled himself closer, he slung an arm over and hung on.  He tried to relax so he could catch his breath but each time he started to sink, he had to wiggle upward to keep his head above the marsh.
     Soon, the wet mud and exhaustion began to take its toll.  Though it looked hopeless, he began to shout.  He shouted as long and as hard as he could.

 

Author W. E. LawrenceAbout the Author:
W. E. Lawrence graduated in 1978 from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a BS in business administration. He has run a successful home health care supplies distributorship for the past twenty-three years.
Passionate about God, writing, reading, family, sports, politics, and America, Lawrence currently lives in Davidson, North Carolina, with his lovely wife and their two wonderful children.
E. Lawrence enjoys writing historical romance novels filled with action and adventure. He published his debut novel Guardian of Paradise in October 2014. To learn more, go to http://welawrenceauthor.wix.com/author
Readers can connect with W. E. Lawrence on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
For more information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by W. E. Lawrence, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or 805.807.9027.

 

Guardian of Paradise by W. E. Lawrence

GUARDIAN OF PARADISE BOOK COVERGuardian of Paradise, by W. E. Lawrence, is a historical romance novel filled with action, adventure, suspense, and intrigue. It was published in October 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon.
“Lawrence blends romance, action, and beautiful scenery into an alluring concoction.” – Kirkus Reviews

 

Synopsis:
In 1888, Kira Wall, surviving daughter of missionaries swept away in a tsunami, lives a primitive, but enjoyable life with natives on an isolated island in the South Pacific. But her serene world is turned upside down when an Australian merchant ship, commanded by the sinister Captain Darcy Coleman, arrives with an overabundance of modern and lavish goods. Kira suspects ill intent. Chief Ariki refuses to listen to Kira’s warning, forcing her to uncover the real plan of the captain on her own. Unfortunately, she has a distraction. A six-foot tall, blond, and handsome distraction. Trevor Marshall, doctor and botanist, hopes to find exotic plants on the island to research new cures and medicines. He is dedicated to science, but when meeting the strong-willed, beautiful Kira Wall, he’d prefer to spend time researching her—all night.
The captain thwarts Kira’s attempts to call him out at every step, turning the village chief against her. With only Trevor and her best friend Malana by her side, she stalks the captain and his officers through the dense, predator infested jungle, toward the island’s inactive volcano. Frustrated by her failure to reveal the captain’s true intentions, Kira begins to think maybe she’s wrong about everything. Then an explosion and earthquake bigger than anyone on the island has ever seen renews her resolve. Was the blast natural or man-made? She is determined to prove it was the captain’s doing. Kira races against time and the island people’s naivety to stop the captain from destroying her home and killing everyone she loves.

 

Excerpt:
Chapter 1
South Pacific island of Alofa, two days sail northeast of Sydney, Australia 1888 
            Kira’s heart leapt to her throat as the blare of the lookout’s conch horn shattered the tranquil morning. Startled blue and red lories sprang, squawking from the palm trees, their wings thrumming the air as they fled. Macaque monkeys jumped limb to limb, screeching and chattering from their jungle perches. Another blast of the trumpet sent even the fiddler crabs on the beach scurrying for the safety of their holes.
            She glanced to the cliff overhead, dropped her fishing net, and rushed up the sandy path toward the island’s observation post. The rest of the villagers would be taking cover until the men determined the extent of the threat. With her pulse pounding and her feet working to find traction on the steep, winding grade, images of pirates raiding the village flashed through her mind. The horror of women and children screaming while their men fought to protect them with only spears and clubs sent the chill of danger up her spine.
            When she reached the large flat rock high above the harbor, she found the stocky form of Kupe, the tribal chief’s son, standing with hands on hips, his black Polynesian eyes fixed on the bay. Wearing only a pair of worn, light-colored pants, extending mid-calf and a cloth headband to hold back his wiry dark hair, he remained still.
            “What is it, Kupe?”
            “Ah big ship is com’n in tee harbor,” he answered without turning.
            “A large ship is coming into the harbor,” she corrected. She squinted into the morning glare of the sun. “Are they pirates?”
            She studied the movements of the enormous shiny wood boat with three tall masts. Two wide painted stripes, one cream at the waterline and one black just above, encircled the ship. A complicated system of shroud rigging hung like webbing from the cross spars down to the deck rails.
            “I do not think so.  Ship is too big,” answered Kupe. “Tey have dropped their sails. Tey come in slow. Not hurry.”
            She lifted her hand to shade her eyes. Men lined the ship’s bow, all clothed in the same white bell bottom pants and loose-fitting gray striped shirts. Peering into the clear water, they tried to determine the depth of the harbor.
            “They fly the Australian flag and take their time.  Pirates not tat careful.”
            Kira spotted the dark blue fabric flapping in the breeze above the quarterdeck; the British Southern Cross embroidered in the upper left corner. Her heart sank. “If they’re who I think they are, they might as well be pirates. In fact, it would probably be better if they were.”
            Kupe turned his head and gave her his big brother-like stare. She and Kupe were not related, in fact, Kira was originally from Australia. Still they shared the same competitive bond of siblings. “What are you talk’n about, Kira?”
            “I’m afraid it’s one of those merchant ships from Sydney. They’ve come to trade.”
            “Tat would be good news. Tey have come to trade goods for our crops.”
            She fought the sour feeling in the pit of her stomach. “If we let them, they will take a lot more than we have to give.”
            Kupe’s eyes narrowed. “Our crops are plentiful. There is more than enough to trade.”
            “You don’t understand. We have to be careful. Most of these merchants are selfish and greedy. They’ll take advantage of our people.”
            The corner of his mouth turned up in the hint of a smile. “Tey will not be that bad.”
            “They will be, if we let them. What’s even worse, they think nothing of tramping our fields while they’re gathering the fruit, leaving them scarred.”
            He shook his head. “You always think tee worst.”
            She glared sideways. “I know what I’m talking about. My parents warned me of these kinds of people. I’ve seen for myself what they have done. I was young, but I saw the damage they cause.”
            He turned his gaze back to the ship. “We can take care of ourselves.”
            Kira grabbed him by the shoulders and turned him forcing him to look her in the eyes. “Listen to me. If this were a ship of raiders, I know our men would protect us. But this is different. Worst of all, the more merchants who find out about us, the more outsiders will come. Our home will never be the same and we have nowhere else to go.”
            He shrugged free of her grasp. His large flat nostrils flared. “You make no sense. Tradors have come here before. Our people have pleasure in their visits. It has been a long time since tee last merchants came.”
            She dropped her arms. “It hasn’t been long enough.”
            Glancing down, Kupe held out his hands. “Look at my pants. Tat is how long it has been. I hope tey brought new ones.”
            Though he had a strong build, his round brownish-tan belly threatened to burst the tattered breeches. Everything about Kupe was big; his head, body, even legs. They matched his huge heart and his consuming desire to provide for his people. Kupe being the future ruler of the tribe, Kira only feared for his overtrusting nature and inability to perceive a disguised threat.
            Looking at his worn pants, she would have laughed if she weren’t so angry. “You just don’t see the danger.”
            Kupe set his jaw. “Enough, as long as the outsidors show us tey mean no harm, tey will be treated as guests. We will welcome them.”
            “But-”
            “I said enough. We must call off the warning and greet our visitors before I tell Chief Ariki they have come. He will want to prepare to meet their leadors.”
            She smirked. “Your father is also too trusting of strangers.”
            Kupe shook his head again. “Our people had visitors long before you came… good and bad. You should have more faith in people.” He turned down the path toward the harbor beach, then stopped and looked over his shoulder. “Are you com’n?”
            She picked up a stone and with a loud grunt, hurled it over the cliff. “Yes, I’m coming.”
***
Author W. E. LawrenceAbout the Author:
W. E. Lawrence graduated in 1978 from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a BS in business administration. He has run a successful home health care supplies distributorship for the past twenty-three years.
Passionate about God, writing, reading, family, sports, politics, and America, Lawrence currently lives in Davidson, North Carolina, with his lovely wife and their two wonderful children.
E. Lawrence enjoys writing historical romance novels filled with action and adventure. He published his debut novel Guardian of Paradise in October 2014. To learn more, go to http://welawrenceauthor.wix.com/author
Readers can connect with W. E. Lawrence on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
For more information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by W. E. Lawrence, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or 805.807.9027.