Audible Book Review of Robert Jordan’s “The Eye of the World” — Derek Barton

Eye #1

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan — an Epic Medieval Fantasy Novel

Released in January 1990 — 702 pages — Michael Kramer & Kate Reading

I have been for over a year now getting Audible books so I decided I would review and share my opinion on some of them with you. Enjoy!

This is the introduction novel into a vast and complex story told over fourteen novels (Yes, Fourteen!).  The central theme of the books revolves around three young boys who are destined to battle the devil-like, Shai’tan, in the oncoming Tarmon Gai’don, the “end of the world”.

The Synopsis:

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs—a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts— five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

 

The Review:

Jordan’s world is extremely well-defined and this book is considered “High Fantasy” — defined as fantasy set in an alternative, fictional (“secondary”) world, rather than “the real”, or “primary” world.  Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is considered one of the op High Fantasy works in literature.

The story starts out simple as it revolves around three farm boys:  Rand al’Thor,  Matrim Cauthon and Perrin Aybara.  In a single night, their lives are torn apart and turned upside down by an attack on their village.  The boys are forced to leave with an Aes Sedai, a female mage known as Moiraine and her warrior-protector, Lan.

I found the tale very intriguing and exciting.   It kept me completely immersed in its world of dangers and unknowns.  The characters are extremely well-defined with complex motives and background.  At the end of the first book, The Eyes of the World, I bought the second novel because I was hooked and couldn’t wait to read more.  I am on Book Six now and, unfortunately, my interests have waned.

My complaint would be that there are too many characters, too much information and too often the names that are unpronounceable which makes them even harder to remember.  I don’t think I have the patience in me to get to Book Fourteen!

Now, I have fallen into the same trap in my own writing and have learned that readers simply do not want to work that hard to remember that much detail.  I found that I had the same issue with George R.R. Martin’s Songs of Ice series which I had to make an Excel Spreadsheet just to remember who was where and doing what!

Great storyline, great characters and a fantastic tale that is soon to be made into a television series —

“Sony will produce along with Red Eagle Entertainment and Radar Pictures. Rafe Judkins is attached to write and executive produce. Judkins previously worked on shows such as ABC’s “Agents of SHIELD,” the Netflix series “Hemlock Grove,” and the NBC series “Chuck.” Red Eagle partners Rick Selvage and Larry Mondragon will executive produce along with Radar’s Ted Field and Mike Weber. Darren Lemke will also executive produce, with Jordan’s widow Harriet McDougal serving as consulting producer.” —Variety

 

The Narration:

Eye #2

Michael Kramer and Kate Reading do an incredible job at narrating this tale with all of its intricate dialogs, multiple characters (both human and humanoid) and alternate narrative voices depending on the gender of the Point-of-View of the chapter.  Kramer has received much praise for his narrations.  Even the Library Journal stating that Kramer reads “clearly and intensely”.

Kramer lives in Washington, D.C. area with his wife, Jennifer Mendenhall (aka Kate Reading), and their two children.   Kramer also works as an actor in the local theater.

The Rating:

Four Stars as the story is exceptional and embracing.  You care what happens next to each of the characters.  It has plenty of high-action scenes balanced with in-depth character development.  RECOMMENDED!

 

By Derek Barton — Author of Dark Fantasy novels: Consequences Within Chaos and The Bleeding Crown.  Also the author or In Four Days: a Horror-Suspense Novella and Elude: Part One (horror/crime thriller) will be on sale by the end of 2018!

 

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AUGUST 2018 GRAND GIVEAWAY — Derek Barton

 

FOR AUGUST:

Enter the $500 Midsummer’s Dream Giveaway

Enter the $500 Midsummer’s Dream Giveaway

$500 Midsummer's Dream GiveawaySummer’s flying by and it’s finally time to Enter the $500 Midsummer’s Dream Giveaway. With 6 amazing prizes, this giveaway is steaming hot.

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Then follow your favorite new authors! The Midsummer’s Dream Giveaway is just another way The Kindle Book Review and Digital Book Today are bringing you great books, by talented authors in a fun and interactive giveaway! We are the No.1 site for reader giveaways, and the Midsummer’s Dream Giveaway is just another way we do it. Good luck, reader friends, and have a super duper spectacular summer!

What:$500 Midsummer’s Dream Giveaway

When: August 1 – 31.

Prizes: 1 – Kindle Paperwhite Travel Bundle ($200 value), 2 – Kindle eReaders ($160 value), 1 – 8″ Kindle Fire HD ($100 value), 1 – $25 Amazon eCard.

HOW: Scroll through the book covers below and make a note of the books that appeal to you. Then enter the Rafflecopter form below. You can get BONUS entry points every day for sharing and supporting our sponsoring authors.

HINT: There is no purchase necessary to win, but you get BONUS entry points every day you support our sponsors. And, YES, you can buy our sponsors’ books. In fact, please do; it’s the only way we can continue these awesome giveaways. So scroll through the book covers below and check out the books that appeal to you. Then follow the authors that write the kind of books you love in the Rafflecopter form below. Who knows, you just might find your next favorite author! Have a great summer, and good luck, readers!

 

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!

SECOND YEAR BLOG SITE ANNIVERSARY!!! — Derek Barton

Blog 70 Anniversary

This year has flown — I cannot believe how fast it flew by!

I started this blog in July of 2016 to help promote my new book and to do some writing research as well as experience sharing.  While the climb up the mountain is far from over, I can look back over my shoulder proudly.

Here is a list of writing goals that I have accomplished in the year since my last blog anniversary:

  • Written, edited and published The Bleeding Crown as well as designed the book cover myself!  I am super happy with the outcome of the story and hope to begin outlining the series finale soon.  Expect to see it in 2020!!
  • Written two more novellas like In Four Days.  My upcoming Horror-Suspense series, Elude: Part One and Elude: Part Two will be published by the end of the year.
  • Participated and wrote 50,241 words in the month of November for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge.  That was the first time I  took part in it and plan to this November as well.
  • Wrote and edited every couple of weeks (give or take) a horror web series with my father T.D. Barton called The Hidden.  It has been very fulfilling for the both of us I believe.  He finally gets to see his own writing come to fruition — it only took 30 years!   In the upcoming year, it will be released in full book format.
  • Partnered up with two voice actors for my works — Consequences Within Chaos (which is available now on Audible.com) and In Four Days (which will be released on Audible by the end of the year!)   Really happy with the productions and I have already gotten Laura Richcreek (the actress for CWC) to start on The Bleeding Crown.   Nothing is more thrilling than hearing your words performed.  Not a movie (yet!  heh heh heh) but very close to a play as far as performance.

Blog stats and growth since 2017 and from its start in 2016:

  • 1303 views / 862 visitors since July 2017
  • 1603 views / 659 in 2016 and all together that is 2,906 views / 1,521 people that have read and/or visited my writer’s blog since it was first started in July 2016.
  • This is the 70th Blog Post for the site!
  • 36 followers through WordPress and current email list @ 2,226!!
  • Readers have checked in from 42 different countries around the globe!!!
  • 310 Followers on Twitter, 90 Followers on my Facebook page, 25 Followers/166 Friends on Goodreads.com and now on Instagram 82 Followers! — It’s a small tribe but we are growing!

What’re my goals for the next year?

  1. Book a table at a book festival or comic-con in Arizona.
  2. Find a local bookstore to do a book-signing in Phoenix, Arizona.
  3. Maintain monthly book/audiobook giveaways.
  4. Write another novella, Elude: Part Three.
  5. Finalize and publish The Hidden.
  6. Write a fantasy novella — perhaps in the same world as the novels, but maybe something brand new?!
  7. Get The Bleeding Crown and Elude series on Audible as well!
  8. Do at least one out of state large comic-con like the Amazing Las Vegas Comic-con.
  9. Write at least another 50,000 words in NaNoWriMo Challenge.
  10. Keep on finding new ways to attract readers to this blog and find new stories to entertain you with!!

RECOGNITIONS:

  • Special shout out to Ted Barton — not only my mentor and my toughest critic (lol!), but my biggest inspiration.  Without your own endeavors to push the envelope, I would not have the confidence to reach for my own.  Thank you for all your guidance and love.
  • Thank you to Nesa Miller who has diligently helped me with my work and really shown me ways to improve upon my writing.  You don’t always beat around the bush with how you feel, but your assistance and targeted editing has been a huge boost to my work!  You may not yet have your own Editing Site going yet, but when you do, you’ll be a great success!!
  • My friend and great supporter, Jon Paul Rai, who has worked with me on both of my fantasy novels and has been a strong advocate on his own Youtube Channel, Entertainment Hacker.  Check him out if you are a Star Wars Fan as he has some great material and insight into the storylines and the direction they SHOULD go!
  • Nothing but praise and gratitude to my voice actor partners (Laura Richcreek and Charles Pendleton).  You have brought to life my characters and taken the writing to that next level.  I can never repay you for your time and efforts in that!  Thanks so much.
  • My number one fans and beta-readers, Susanna Willey and Renee York!  You guys have truly made this a blast and your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads have absolutely put me on Cloud Nine.  I appreciate all your efforts to spread the word and to get my name out there!
  • Last I would like to thank Susanne Lambdin for her words of advice on marketing and continued support for my own growth as a writer.  Thank you for your partnership and I look forward to the day we can attend another comic-con together!

 

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE SUPPORTED, READ AND GIVEN ME ASSISTANCE WITH MY WORK!  It truly honors me any time I hear that someone has enjoyed or been entertained by my work.  There are a million storytellers in all sorts of styles and manner.  I know that for you to pick my writing to spend your own precious time with cannot be taken for granted or wasted.  Each time I think maybe this isn’t what I should be doing with my life or sacrificing my energies on, someone reminds me how it touched their world and it made a difference to them.  As a writer, I cannot ask for anything more.

Here’s to our lives and paths continuing to cross in the future!

Regards, Derek

PAGE 69 CHALLENGE …Accepted! — Derek Barton

page69challenge-heavensfiction

 

 

Tonight, I answered the call out for The Page 69 Challenge:  Posting from one of my works, dialogue or paragraphs found on Page 69 and put it up against other writers.

This is a cool concept for any readers and for all writers! If you are a reader, you get nice snippets to peek your interests.  If you a writer, you get some nice exposure as well you can connect with at least three other writers (which per the rules you send out a challenge request as well!).

I posted from my newest novel, The Bleeding Crown:

He then spoke directly to Sxestic, “Perhaps you do have this information, but just do not know you possess it.  The one that betrayed your leaders and all of you, he was the one who also captured Princess Letandra.  Do you know where he might have taken her?”

Sxestic stared at him then pumped his fist into the air.  The Viestrahl vanished as fast as they had arrived.  They took the three chests but did not attack any of the five men.

The Morro grunted what resembled something close to a laugh. “We just might have an answer after all for both our problems.”

 

I really like this point in the book as it is between an old villain from Consequences Within Chaos talking to another villain, both of whom have had to turn the direction of their lives in the pursuit of the overall good!

 

Go to https://tinyurl.com/69challenge  to see all the entries and POST your VOTES!

Enjoy!

 

2018 July & August Bi-Monthly Goals — Derek Barton

July Goal

It’s time for more goal setting and goal results!

I do want to apologize that I skipped out of sending a post for May & June.  The only goals I had for those two months were to produce The Bleeding Crown and the audiobook for Consequences Within Chaos.  So for those two months, I was successful, but the effort was all-consuming.  I am frankly still worn out!

 

Now for the results of March & April Bi-Monthly goals:

  • Outline new chapters for subplots and additional material – Finish by 2nd week of March  (Success!)
  • Finish writing new subplots/additional material – Finish by 3rd week of March (Success!)
  • Complete 3rd Wave of edits & send out to Beta Readers – Finish by end of March  (Success!)
  • Complete 1st Wave of edits for Elude #1 – Finish by end of April (Not completed in April.)
  • Complete the Cover for The Bleeding Crown – Finish by end of March (Not completed until late May.  Went through over thirty variations!  But the result worked out and I am very happy with the cover.)
  • Get feedback from beta-readers – Finish by end of April (Not completed in April.)
  • Complete the 4th wave and final edit for The Bleeding Crown – Finish by end of April (Not completed in April.)
  • Write a separate blog entry outside of goals and The Hidden Saga — Finish by 2nd week for April (Not accomplished.)
  • Walk 1 mile a day (60 miles for the two months) – Complete for both months (Sadly this didn’t happen either as I donated every minute into getting The Bleeding Crown ready for release.)
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month – Complete for both months (Success!)
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks – Complete for both months (Success!)

So the overall results were not pretty — 50% of the goals my lowest scoring yet — but I am still very happy with my latest novel.  I have taken the time after the book release to recoup some and will be able to jump into the horror/action/thriller.  Already, the work for Elude is going very smoothly.

 

Now for the NEW goals for July & August Bi-Monthly goals:

  • Complete the Audiobook for In Four Days.
  • Create/organize this year’s 2018 Indie Fantasy Book Giveaway with several other independent authors.
  • Add a new page to the site showcasing associates and people I have worked with and what they can do for other writers.
  • Find at least two places to do a book-signing appearance.
  • Schedule one or two more comic-cons or book festivals by the end of the year.
  • Finish editing for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Design the book cover for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Write the end of Elude #3.
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month.
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks.

You may notice that I didn’t include any health or personal goals here.  I am working on finding a better balance with my free time with writing work and health/fitness time.  Plus I have a family that I want to see more of!

In 2016 and 2017, I walked up to 3 or 4 miles nearly every night.  In 2018, I have fallen into a bad pattern of not walking and spending a lot of time on my writing.  But my health has seriously suffered and I am my heaviest weight ever.  I am admitting this because I know that I can and will do better.  For now, I will be posting my writing goals.  Once I have decided what direction I want to take with my health, I will then maybe include those personal/health goals.

It has already been a successful and productive year and I hope to keep it growing.  I hope each of you has also had an amazing year.  Thanks to everyone who has supported me or been a cheerleader — IT IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!!

 

 

 

 

 

NEW RELEASES 2018!! — THE BLEEDING CROWN & CONSEQUENCES WITHIN CHAOS AUDIOBOOK — by Derek Barton

NOW CONSEQUENCES WITHIN CHAOS IS AVAILABLE IN AUDIOBOOK FORM On Audible.com & on Amazon  $13.96 members or 1 Credit !!!  Amazing narration done by Laura Richcreek

AND THE BLEEDING CROWN IS ON SALE at Amazon  — (The Bleeding Crown(paperback))  $11.99 !!!

 

The gripping epic fantasy continues in the worlds of Aberissc and Tayneva.

In the shocking, debut novel, Consequences Within Chaos, a banished evil had returned to the lands of Tayneva.  Blood was spilled in the streets of Wyvernshield and in the Courtyards of Castle Adventdawn!

By the end, a terrible price had been paid…

The dark sequel, The Bleeding Crown, returns with a tempest’s fury!  Prince Taihven and Princess Letandra face a harsh new reality as the butchery of the Quietus Dominion spread into both worlds!

Now, Princess Letandra, separated from her family, must survive stranded in a foreign, hostile land on her own.  Yet before any rescue attempt can be made, she is captured by the Ebon Queen of the Quietus…

Unless she risks everything to escape, an unholy army will come for Taihven.   The future of both worlds hangs in the balance!

New friends, new allies, and new horrors are discovered in Aberrisc and Tayneva!

 

Buy now to delve into the enchanting worlds from Derek Barton on Amazon & Kindle!

 

 

2018 March & April Bi-Monthly Goals — Derek Barton

Capture 15

It is that time again to recap my progress on the Bi-Monthly goals I had for January & February and reveal what I want to accomplish this March & April.

For January & February:

** Complete the 2nd wave of edits for The Bleeding Crown — Finish by 3rd Week of Jan  —  This has been completed, but now I have a ton of writing and adding of material to bolster the manuscript.  I have two people helping me do even more in-depth editing and that is nearing the midway point.

** Start 1st wave of edits for Elude #1 — Begin by the 4th week of Jan — Started and worked up to the third scene.  I will continue this project with more intensity once the editing and additional writing have been completed for Bleeding Crown.

** Work of Cover for The Bleeding Crown — Begin by 2nd week of Jan —  This project took up a lot more time than it should have and I used it as an easy excuse to avoid writing…  The additional chapter material I have left for The Bleeding Crown is complex and will take a lot of plotting and organizing (battles, chase scene, etc!).  So far I have 12 different covers worked up but I am not happy with any of them.  I will be putting up the “favs” so far for a vote on my newsletter for this month.  Please let me know what you think!

** Complete Marketing Campaign for The Bleeding Crown — Finish by the 4th week of Jan — Started but not in earnest as I still have more research on proper marketing techniques to accomplish.  I want to advertise but I need to be sure it is the best use of my marketing budget.  If anyone has suggestions — things that have worked well for them, please comment below!

** Complete story subplot and finalize The Bleeding Crown (25,000+ words) — Begin by 2nd Week of Jan — Wrote only 8,000 words of the 25,000 I need.  This goal will definitely be carried forward and will have to be done PRONTO!

** Finalize work on Marketing Campaign for Consequences Within Chaos Audiobook — Begin by 2nd week of Jan  — The audiobook is still being worked on but the project had a setback due to some unforeseen issues.  No worries, as it is coming along and sounds great, however, I pushed this goal to the backburner until the audiobook is closer to being completed.

** Write a separate blog entry outside of goals and The Hidden Saga — Finish by 2nd Week of Feb — Really happy with this accomplishment and the blog itself has been attracting a lot of attention.  If you missed it:  Essential Elements of Book Covers

** Lose 15 pounds by end of February — Lose 2 pounds a week  — UGH.  I seesawed back and forth with a few pounds both months, but overall not much success.  Damn Burger King and its 2 for $6 offer!!  LOL    I am going to change the goal focus next month.  I want to start with baby steps to ensure that I have some weight loss.  In other words, I am going to make a goal as walking a mile a night for the next 60 days which equals to 60 miles.  I know that sounds like a lot, but last year I was in the habit of walking 3 to 4 miles each night.  Then if that works, the next goal set will add some possible weightlifting or dietary goals.  This should kickstart my weight loss, but we shall see!

** Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month — Completed by Feb 15th — Done and will continue to carry this goal forward.

** Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks — Finished by 4th Week of Feb — Done and will continue to carry this goal forward.  If you are behind, CATCH UP!  Chapter 8, Chapter 9 & Chapter 10 are available…

So… excluding the Audiobook goal, I completed 6 out of 9 (67%) which isn’t horrible and getting closer to “success” (80%).

Now for the next Bi-Monthly goals:

  • Outline new chapters for subplots and additional material – Finish by 2nd week of March
  • Finish writing new subplots/additional material – Finish by 3rd week of March
  • Complete 3rd Wave of edits & send out to Beta Readers – Finish by end of March
  • Complete 1st Wave of edits for Elude #1 – Finish by end of April
  • Complete the Cover for The Bleeding Crown – Finish by end of March
  • Get feedback from beta-readers – Finish by end of April
  • Complete the 4th wave and final edit for The Bleeding Crown – Finish by end of April
  • Write a separate blog entry outside of goals and The Hidden Saga — Finish by 2nd week for April
  • Walk 1 mile a day (60 miles for the two months) – Complete for both months
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month – Complete for both months
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on website every 2 weeks – Complete for both months

Thanks again for everyone’s support and interest in my progress.  I am super thrilled with the storyline for The Bleeding Crown and anxious to hear everyone’s input on it.  And Elude is also an exciting project that I cannot wait to sink my teeth in.

Let me know if you had any suggestions for marketing!  What was your experience with Facebook ads?  Any success with Amazon Ads or did you have a different source for advertising?

 

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The Essential Elements of Book Covers — Derek Barton

Book Covers Blog

When there are hundreds of new books traditionally published or self-published on a daily basis, how will your work stand out?

When a reader scans through the Amazon or Kindle online sites and spends one to two seconds on your novel’s image, how will you keep their attention?

These are just two of the critical questions you should ask yourself and give serious thought to when it comes to your book’s cover.  The easiest way to make or lose sales depends on how you present your novel.

It is just that simple, and yet, IMPORTANT.

I have possibly two or three of my own works coming out this year so I wanted to be sure I had all the available tools and weapons from the industry at my disposal.  Thus, for the last month, I have been reading articles, documenting notes and discovering just what the professionals consider a “professional book cover”.  What were the keys to the “best” covers and what are the strikes that torpedo cover art?

Here are some of the laws or elements that the professionals have suggested and I have outlined here for you!  They are broken down into three subjects:  Overall Principles, Style and Typesetting.

Overall Principles:

  • Keep it simple!
  • Let the cover “breathe” —  keep the cover open and not crowded.   If they don’t know what to focus on, they are just going to skip past it.
  • Use no more than three different colors and include black, white, or grey.  
  • Focus on a theme or emotion.  Relate it to what your story is about.  This is your novel’s billboard after all!
  • Find good imagery.  Don’t use anything blurry or cluttered which can confuse the reader and make them move on.

 

Style:

  • Place a darkened border around the edges to make the cover POP or stand out.
  • Beware using centered text as it creates a “wineglass effect”.  This effect has become cliché and earmarked as amateurish.
  • Create an imaginary box for implied margins.  All your words, titles and names should stay within the box and not go to the edge of your page.
  • Consider “ghosted boxes” or page divisions for text.  This can help keep fonts colors from blending or contrasting with your image colors.
  • Composition – make a grid of your cover and keep in mind the placement of each itemThis will prevent clusters or odd centering issues.

 

Typesetting:

  • Limit your cover to as few typefaces as you can.  The fewer fonts you have the more simplistic, cleaner look.
  • Avoid script and calligraphy typefaces!  If the title or YOUR NAME is hard to read, then what is the point?  I broke this one myself on my first book cover version — It may look awesome to you, but if the reader cannot tell what it says, then no one will care what it says.
  • Distressed text should not have uniform letters.  If your font looks like it has marbling, be sure that there isn’t consistent marbling in each letter or it will not look natural.
  • Don’t stretch or condense words!
  • Kern your text – letter spacing.  Kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result.  It will also prevent your words from being misinterpreted.

As I stated above, these are just the most consistent laws or elements discussed when describing the fundamentals to book cover art that I have found.  There are other factors that can produce or reduce sales.  And sometimes there are “break out” covers that will not adhere to these rules and are very successful.  It all comes down to fan judgment and book sales success to really know if you scored well on your book cover design.

I truly hope that this is beneficial to your own book cover creations and if you have a suggestion or an element that you would suggest, feel free to comment.