Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ash Krafton's new Review Zoo: For readers that are wild about books

When it comes to publishing, every indie author will agree that it's a total zoo out there.

In an age where millions of new books are published every year, an indie author has to work harder than ever to get noticed. We don't have massive publishing houses behind us, or sprawling PR teams, or worldwide celebrity.

book, review, readers, author, speculative fiction, membership
Can you rattle another reader's cage?
That doesn't mean an indie author stands alone. We have a very special team standing with us—our readers.

Our readers inspire us to hang tough when the going gets rough. Our readers encourage us to keep writing new tales. Our readers make homes within their hearts for our books. Writing may be a solitary effort, but our readers help make writing a community event.

After all, to ruin a quote by the Bard: What books are books if readers be not by?

The Review Zoo

Reviews are so important to a writer's success. Here's why:

·       Reviews provide a book with "social proof". They show prospective readers that other readers read the book and were engaged enough to share their thoughts.

·       Reviews allow authors to promote their work through certain ads and email services, which often require a certain number of reviews. A book with few reviews is pretty much an unknown book and those promo companies won't take a chance on sharing it.

·       Reviews let an author know what they are doing right—or wrong.

Over the years, I have been blessed by the special support many readers have shown for my work by leaving a review. Some have been so eloquently written that I was truly, deeply moved by the words. Some have been quick, short, sweet, and perfect in their brevity. Some have let me know that a book missed the mark for them. But they all made such a difference in what I write today.

That's why I'm recruiting for the Review Zoo. Readers who put effort into leaving reviews deserve special treatment because of the tremendous service they provide. I'd love a way to be able to make it easy to get books to readers like these.

So if you're a reader who loves to talk about books and is willing to leave reviews for them, I want you to join my Zoo.

·       If you join my Review Zoo, you'll get a free digital copy (Kindle or PDF) of each new release.

·       You must post your review to Amazon within one week of the release, but readers who post their review to Amazon within twenty-four hours of release will be pooled into a drawing for a 100$ gift card.

·       Older books need love and reviews, too. If you post a new review for any book on my backlist, you'll be eligible to win a gift card in one of my regularly-scheduled Catch-Up Contests.

·       The Zoo will always get first crack at the swag. (If you've been with me a while, you know I love the swag…remember the Turn of the Wheel concert shirts I did for WOLF'S BANE?)

Are you with us? Simply fill out this form with your contact info and answer a few easy questions. You'll also be asked to provide the link to a review you've already left on Amazon, so pick your favorite.

If you are unable to fill out the form, then email me at ashkrafton (at) Hotmail (dot) com with the following: Name, address, digital format preference, and a link to one of your previous reviews.

Don't forget to tell me which of my books you've read and which one you're still dying to read.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Let's rattle some cages and talk some books!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Feels good to be raisin' hell again...#amwriting

Aw, man. I can't believe how fast the summer is flying by...

Maybe it seems that way because my day-job schedule changed drastically over the last three months. I didn't think going from thirty to forty hours a week could have made such a difference but it has really chewed the edges off my free time. And I LOVE my free time, because my free time is my writing time.

It took a few weeks, but I eventually stepped up my time management skills and figured out how to make the most of each of those non-day-job hours. (Which means I'm totally in Ghost Hunters rerun withdrawal. Trigger to the chin.)

At least I have lots to show for it :) Oh, the news...

First chunk of big news...
CHARM CITY (The Demon Whisperer #1) is available for Kindle pre-order!
I uploaded the files today (after rocking out some sweet chapter header graphics last night). This book is doing amazingly well on, where it's been read nearly 20,000 times! *jaw drop* All that's left to do is work out the kinks and get some starter reviews. I'm so psyched to get this series out there!

Second chunk...
The sequel, MURDER THE LIGHT (The Demon Whisperer #2) is nearing completion!
I've been using Scrivener for this project and it's really shown its superiority over Word as far as reorganization goes. Scrivener is a huge part of my time management success, especially because of the corkboard view. Although I don't have a release date yet, I know it's within reach now.

Third chunk...let's call it a triple chunk!
The Demimonde trilogy is getting a facelift!
New covers are on the way for my first urban fantasy trilogy. I'm thinking...maybe a big release event this fall. Sneak peeks will come soon through my newsletter.

Speaking of newsletter, are you signed up? If any of these happy, happy things make you happy, too, then join up (link to join the mailing list is over on the sidebar.) As we get closer, superfans will get to see everything first, as well as have the chance to grab up review copies.

Anyways, I guess after laying it out like this, it should be no surprise that the summer is just melting away. I was actually pretty productive...and my mage exorcist, Simon Alliant, has been raising all sorts of hell.

That's my boy... *grins*

Maybe I do deserve a bit of a Ghost Hunters break today...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Happy Release Day, Katie French! #infiniteinkauthors #TheBreeders

Congratulations to Katie French on her newest release! At long last, we have it: the fifth book in The Breeders series…THE BARRIERS!

Book Five in the best-selling young adult dystopian series, The Breeders

Riley hasn't seen her boyfriend Clay or her nine-year-old brother Ethan for two months. Between violent road gangs and ongoing clashes between the Breeders and the Free Colonies, are they even still alive? But Riley will never stop looking. Her search takes her to Kirtland Air Force Base, where she finds the remains of a battle and one glimmer of hope: rumors of the boys heading toward the Free Colonies and a man who can help her get there. The only catch? He nearly murders Riley the first time they meet.

Meanwhile, Clay, Ethan, and Betsy struggle to steer clear of bandits, thieves, and slavers. Their water is gone, along with Clay’s memory and Ethan's patience for Betsy, who only makes things worse by trying to convince Clay they're in love. With Clay's mind muddy, it’s up to Ethan to keep them alive long enough for Riley to find them.

The route back together is paved with trials—and how many more have to pay for their freedom with their lives?

THE BARRIER joins a wildly popular YA Dystopian series that, to date, has sold over 50,000 copies and has received more than 400 four and five star reviews! It’s also a firm placement in the Top Ten in Free Kindle Teen & Young Adult Science Fiction Dystopian Romance.

Need more convincing? Here’s a taste of the opening pages…

THE BARRIERS: The Breeders #5 by Katie French

Beetle drove up the cracked road as fast as the depleted solar car would go. Subject Seven was gaining on him.

He’d seen flashes of Seven in the rearview, racing along the roadside behind him, ducking in and out of debris, cactus, and brush. He’d stunned it, that much he knew for sure. Zapped it good from six feet away with his Taser, a killer shot by anyone’s standards, but it had recovered so quickly. It was then Beetle realized he never should have come alone, or this late in the day. Now, with no sun to charge the solar car and no juice in the batteries, he was a few minutes away from having to run.

And that would be a problem.

He’d tracked the damn thing all afternoon. The crumbled city was a veritable labyrinth of places for it to hide. Every collapsed building hid dark basements and closets. Each alleyway had piles of bricks and trash, perfect hiding spots for a being as disgusting and ruthless as the one he was tracking. Then he’d found the lair. Both terrified and excited, Beetle had waded through nests of shredded fabrics, dirty sweaters, blue jeans, and kids’ blankets, all culled from the abandoned storefronts and dragged into the basement of one of the collapsed buildings on Main Street. But Subject Seven wasn’t in the nest. Satellite technology wasn’t what it used to be. That could explain the error in Dr. Washington’s calculations, but as he climbed through chunks of the abandoned town the thing called home, he had a feeling Seven was setting him up.

The damn thing knew he was coming and had laid a false trail. One he followed until it nearly took his head off.

It was smarter than they thought. And more brutal.

They’d jumped him in an alley, Subjects Seven and Eight working in tandem. He hadn’t even considered Eight could be a threat. He’d nearly had his head separated from his body before he was able to get the Taser in his hands and zap them both. Once they were on their backs, he’d given Seven a swift kick, not that he would tell anyone. Then he’d grabbed Eight and ran.

Now he glanced in the backseat at the mound beneath the blanket. Eight—unconscious and safe. If he brought Subject Eight back, he’d receive a hero’s welcome. Dr. Washington could continue her experiments and “set the world straight again.” And if he failed? He didn’t know who he was more afraid of—the other doctors or Subject Seven.

His foot pressed the acceleration pedal to the floor, but the car continued to creep along, lurching like a drunk toward home. Only minutes left until the juice ran out. Until he was stranded.

“Come on, you bastard,” he said through gritted teeth. He pressed his foot down until it hurt, but the car continued to slow.

“Oh God,” he breathed, his fingers trembling as he glanced into the rearview. Where was Seven?

The solar car meant safety, a solid steel-alloy frame with giant all-terrain tires. What would he do when it finally died? How in the hell did he think he’d get away on foot carrying the nearly seventy-pound cargo? He couldn’t leave Eight behind. Dr. Washington would banish him to the desert.

The Taser should’ve laid Subject Seven out longer. Beetle thought a zap that powerful might’ve killed the thing. That one error might mean the end of his life.

The car slammed to a stop. Beetle’s chest rammed into the steering wheel, shooting pain up his sternum. Eight rolled off the seat and banged into him from behind. He hoped it was okay. He pressed the accelerator once more, but nothing happened. His wheels were stuck, and the car’s battery was almost dead.

“Sonofabitch!” he screamed, pounding the steering wheel until it hurt. Why wasn’t he paying attention to the road? Goddamn it, he was not going to die. He was not!

Glancing out the windows and seeing nothing but buttes and scraggly cactus, Beetle swung open the door and stepped out. The concrete in front of him had fallen away, tumbling into a broken pile on the bottom of a three-foot crevice that cut jaggedly across the road. It had probably been created by those earthquakes they’d felt a few months ago. His front wheel had gotten lodged in the crack. If he had seen it, he probably could’ve dodged it, but he was preoccupied with looking in the rearview. He leaned down and considered his predicament. The tire dangled into the open space, and the car was resting on its frame. If the batteries weren’t on their last legs, he could gun it in reverse and probably get free, but the car had given up the ghost.

“Shit! Shit, shit, shit!” he yelled, and then regretted it, swinging around to look for Seven. So far, nothing. Dear Christman Jesus, he had to hurry.

God, how far was he from the base? In the distance, he could see the dip in the road that led home. Why had Dr. Washington sent him alone? Why wasn’t the team watching on the satellite and sending help? Maybe they were watching and didn’t care. This could all be part of Washington’s plan. To see what Subject Seven would do when provoked. As sweat poured down Beetle’s face, he decided to hell with Subject Eight. To hell with Dr. Washington. He didn’t want to be torn to pieces and left on the pavement for birds to pick at his guts.

He heard heavy breathing behind him. The hairs stood up on the back of his neck.

From his periphery, he saw the huge shape just before it clobbered him.

He fell hard. His head jarred against the pavement with a smack that radiated through his body.


When he came to, everything was blurry, fuzzy shapes in brown, yellow, and green. He couldn’t remember… Subject Seven. When he turned, pain shot up into his head sharp enough for his consciousness to fade. He blinked his eyes into focus.

Subject Seven was tearing the solar car apart in a frenzy. Beetle heard the creak of complaining metal as the door was bent back.

“Ssstop,” Beetle slurred. Where was the Taser? His trembling hands crept down his sides, searching for pockets that seemed miles away. The pulsing pain at the back of his skull threatened to end him, but he couldn’t take his eyes off Dr. Washington’s greatest achievement. And her worst.

“Don’t take it,” he managed.

Subject Seven turned and pounced.

Beetle’s breath chuffed away as Seven slammed both hands into his chest. He gulped for oxygen, but there was none to be found. His eyes opened to see Seven’s face above his, evaluating, calculating.

There was no mercy in that gaze.

The last thing he felt was the blow to his skull.

Need more? Grab your free copy of Book One and stop don’t stop reading when you hit THE BARRIERS.

About Katie French

Katie French is an Amazon best-selling author in Young Adult dystopian romance. Her book, The Breeders, has had nearly 50,000 downloads and counting and was a semi-finalist in the 2014 Kindle Book Awards. It's currently free on Amazon. She also has a kids’ series starting with Portia Parrott and the Great Kitten Rescue for ages 5-9.

She works as a high school English teacher, a job that she loves even when it exhausts her. In her free time she writes manically, reads great books, and takes care of her two beautiful and crazy children. She aspires to spend as much time in yoga pants as possible. You can join her mailing list at and receive two free full-length novels. Contact her at