Saturday, December 10, 2011

Devil's Alibi

now available in print and ebook formats

Jezebel Jorge's review of Devil's Alibi

Len Dawson paints a lush portrait of a beautiful city tainted by a kidnapping and murder. Andy Lee often has to decide what is the lesser of two evils when he is assigned to defend a man who’s guilty of a lot of things other than the crime he’s accused of committing. He and his wife go out on a limb, risking their own lives to solve this case.

The Devil’s Alibi is full of intriguing plot twist that will leave you hanging right up until the end. Andy is a likable character that draws you into his story. You feel his struggle with misconceptions about his hometown and the sometimes questionable ethics of working through the legal system. The story takes the reader through Andy’s journey in a way that forever impacts his life. This book is both an interesting and through provoking reading experience.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Indie Publishing and the age of the ebook

One of the hardest thing for us as authors is advertising - marketing - tooting our own horns! We want someone else to do it. Eons ago, it seems, the trick was to get a publisher to notice you and print your book. Traditional publishers were picky, picky, picky! They only published 8 to 10 books a year and the cost of putting the books into print and publicizing required them to be sure for certain they would sell. Well, as sure as they could be.

They began using formulas and certain stringent requirements and really pretty much decided what the public was allowed to read. The book had to fit into a genre and the formula. Ex: girl meets boy, girl breaks up with boy, girl and boy get back together - Voila! - happily every after. Authors were regularly asked to pretty much scrap the manuscript they sent in favor of getting published. The book often didn't resemble the original submission much.

Enter ebooks and the age of computers, iPads, readers and even cellphone readers! Indie publishers have always thought outside the box, but now there are 50,000 small publishing companies and many of them do not put books into print. Many of the traditional publishers are going to POD for their book printing - McMillan among them. Times they are a-changing, as they say.

So, what does that mean to the reader? Lucky us! We are now able to drive the market. No longer can the publisher limit what we read. We can choose from millions of ebooks. We are challenged by this; thousands of ebooks are not very good. Quality is a problem and Kindle and others are opening up the book for you to look at - to read the first chapter or so and decide if you want to buy. It's like standing in the bookstore and reading the covers, but a little deeper.

And what does that mean to the writer? Lucky us, too! We are now able to publish what we write. Writer-friendly publishers like Gypsy Shadow and editors like me will work with the author to produce the best book we can from the manuscript submitted. The challenges are many, but the rewards are off the scale! Authors are free to advertise - market - blog - toot their own horns, or join with other authors and even other publishers to get the word out and sell their books.

It's a new age of book publishing. We are still shaping it. It feels great to be part of a tremendous recognition of the basic talent of scads of authors!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Getting the Words Right

Our Third Year! It's October, 2011!

Many of us strive to be conscientious writers. It is truly interesting what a difference it makes to read a lot of other work and come back to a manuscript means. One of the books I value for teaching me this is Getting the Words Right
by Theodore Cheney.

If you go over to Amazon and read the first pages, you will get the urgency and flow of his message. He says professionals will attend to the quality of the work, rather than the number of words they can put out.

It's not easy, but for me, it has always been fun. I read through my own and other's manuscripts and look for little places the conversation don't match and find the treasure of what the speaker didn't say. I 'look' at their expressions while they speak and try to convey what they mean in beautiful words which mean exactly what they want to say. I don't even mind if I send them trundling off to the dictionary, but when they go I want them to find something special.

appropriate in the thesaurus:

characteristic in the index sent me to the heading of Particularity:
characteristic, peculiar, singular, single, quintessential, intrinsic, unique, distinctive, marked, distinguished, appropriate, proper, idiosyncratic, idiocratic, in character, true to form

Well-chosen in the index sent me to the heading of Elegance (of language):
fit, fitting, just [archaic], proper, correct, seemly, comely; felicitous, happy, apt, well-chosen, well-put, well-expressed, inspired.

One of my characters might make the appropriate comment and it might be unique, another's might be well-chosen. I have a few characters who are blurters - their comment would never be well-chosen, but it could be true to form!

I love English. We have a tangle of threads leading down to us and it is proper and quintessential we select the exquisite term to convey our meaning.

We at Gypsy Shadow Publishing want authors and writers who come our way to feel they have learned something from the experience of being published by us and take away a little more finesse at self-expression after the editing and production is over. We want to help you share your dreams and nightmares with the world!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gypsy Shadow Publishing is two years old in September 2011
Gypsy Shadow Publishing is the product of a unique partnership of professional writers, editors and artists. We are proud to have an eclectic group of authors and their books. We don't fit in any particular genre, nor do we choose to. Some have understood the request for submissions of any genre, or no genre, or multi-genre books to mean we are not selective or discerning, when what we wish to say is we are not an old-school publisher.

The paradigm of publishing has transformed. Once publishing houses held large staffs assembled to turn out physical books which often were required to fit a formula, a distinct genre, a perceived need or popular subject. Now the staffs of many indie publishers are spread across county and state lines, even across countries at times. Indie publishers are working with traditional works as well as venturing into experimental fiction.

GSP's internet presence bridges international and personal realms. We concentrate on casting a discriminating eye on submissions, leaving ourselves open to accept well-written manuscripts by authors without regard to previous experience in the world of publishing. Some of our authors have many published works and they stretch across many genres. Most of our books can be found in more than one genre and range from non-fiction memoirs to fantasy.

Come by and check us out! We hope you stay to read excerpts and explore our site.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sheila Deeth's review of Sneaky Shenanigans by Violetta Antcliff

Sneaky Shenanigans, by Violetta Antcliff

 ebook available for $2.99

A fun short story and an enjoyable book to read over mid-morning coffee, Sneaky Shenanigans by Violetta Antcliff should do a good job of chasing those Monday blues away. Patrick O’Malley, farmer, loner, smoker, dog-lover, is missing his old Ma who died a short while ago. But now it’s time to get on with life and he’s going to ask the Widow Bridget Flynn if she’ll “consider walking out with him.” He’s thought long and hard about it, but when the dear widow opens her door he’s delightfully tongue-tied, and she delightfully vocal.
The dialog’s fun and convincing, village and neighbors providing background scenery and sound, hot tea (with a little extra) providing spice. The author carefully unwraps Patrick’s emotions, slowly wakening him to life’s possibilities, but there’s always the pull of peaceful loneliness and the joy of not being watched. Will he stay on the farm? Will he move to the village? Will he ever commit himself?
In the end some very pleasing shenanigans conspire to make Patrick’s intentions honorable, and the conclusion will leave you looking for more possibilities besides morning coffee and afternoon tea. Parties are fun, and this party’s convincingly written, evocatively told, and sure to please.

Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sheila Deeth is the author of Refracted and Black Widow, among others.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Len Dawson's review of Sarah Deckard's Journey

Sarah’s handling of conversation and description is quite solid; her metaphors and similes enjoyable. When her heroine meets her fairy guardian, the story takes on the feel of a fable and I think it works extremely well as a fable - very original and really quite clever. I wanted to see how the story would unfold after their meeting. And Sarah does not disappoint. The way she weaves the story and characters is very impressive. She maintains the feel of a fable right to the end. Her story was a really good, really fun, read.

Len Dawson is the author of The Devil's Alibi and Everyone's on the Take

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mishka Zakharin's review of Fenella and the Magic Mirror by Mark Henderson

Ebook available for $3.99
Illustrated by Charlotte Holley

In ‘Fenella and the Magic Mirror,’ Henderson captures the tone and precision of language one would expect from traditional folklore, yet at the same time he infuses it with a contemporary, ironic humor. The Princess Fenella is a modern woman—and a bit of tom-boy as well ... living (literally) in a faerie tale world; she finds herself not merely “locked in a castle tower,” but “kept in durance vile”... but, no helpless maiden awaiting rescue, it is she who must escape to confront the dragon threatening the kingdom (and contemplating some rather cleverly disgusting recipes to use for his captives)—and it is up to her to save the knight!


While honoring the conventions of faerie tales, though in tongue-in-cheek fashion, this delightful fantasy is a fun read—but with (perhaps) a refreshingly, all-too-realistic ending...

Review by Mishka Zakharin, Reader and Author of The Spleen of Fiery Dragons, among others

Sunday, July 31, 2011

So why Does GSP publish poetry?

 So why Does GSP publish poetry?

We like poetry! As a matter of fact, I just read Mending Wall by Robert Frost aloud to a friend yesterday. I am taken with the fact that lots of people know the quote from that poem: "Good fences make good neighbors." What they don't remember is the poem speaking from the heart of the person who doesn't believe in fences. LOL

The Gypsy Shadow name for this genre is Bard's World. The genres of our poetry collection closely follow the major genres of our site:

Love is Like a Rainbow
 With words written from the heart and speaking to the soul, Love is Like a Rainbow contains love poems to remind readers to "let love come in."

Between Land and Sea
Between Land and Sea is a collection of poetry.
    The underlyng theme is renewal: spiritual, physical, mental, emotional that can be found within nature. Spring is the greatest example of renewal come to life. 

From Midnight Until Dawn
Light a candle and step into the world of strange. From Midnight Until Dawn is a collection of dark gothic and horror poems guaranteed to trouble your sleep.
From the Dark Side of the Moon
As a poem speaks and breathes life, Cairol Dawson’s poems are moments lived the best way possible and captured in the best possible form and language.

Songs Unsung, Poems Unspoken
 Songs Unsung, Poems Unspoken begins with an inevitable departure from home and ends with the finitude of things, traveling a gauntlet of conflicting emotions to get there.

Songs of the Dead   
 Dawn Colclasure’s dark poetry collection, Songs of the Dead (formerly named Topiary Dreams), is not only dark, but passionate.
Hymns to the Battlecrow 
Journey back in time and look at battle through the eyes, mind and heart of a Viking Warrior.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sheila Deeth's Review of Philip and the Angel by John Paulits

ebook available for $3.99

Philip, in common with many fourth-graders, would like a dog. His friend Emery has one, but Philip’s mom remains adamantly opposed, despite all his attempts to persuade her. John Paulits’ Philip and the Angel recounts the events of that long summer between fourth and fifth grade as David walks to the park with his friend and plots how to get his own way. Hilarious disasters, poignant friendships, and enterprising adventures ensue in this novel, peopled with very real children, parents stubborn and attentive, new girl on the block, sharp-eyed neighbor and all the other characters who belong on an everyday street in an everyday suburb.

Philip and Emery’s conversation is delightfully evocative—the perfect non-sequiturs and misunderstandings of childhood, and just the right mix of innocence and concern. Will Philip’s mom lose her dislike of pets? Will Emery lose his distrust for girls? Will the little girl be allowed out to play? And will Philip find four-legged companionship? You’ll have to read to find out. It’s a perfect book to give to or share with young readers—wise and innocent; exciting and safe; gentle and determined as the children whose lives it portrays.

Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 Sheila Deeth is the author of Refracted among others. Check out her work on Gypsy Shadow's site!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jezebel Jorge's Review of Umbral Visions by Garrett Calcaterra

Umbral Visions ebook available for $4.99

Garrett Calcaterra's Umbral Visions offers up two stories that will take you to the darkest edges of your imagination. In the first story Dedrick's past sucks him into a house of horrors where he has to reach deep into his psyche to survive and come out alive. The next story has Damon's future is cast into darkness due to a freak accident. What lurks in the shadows of his mind comes on the pages he writes with a voice prompt. Fantasy turns into reality when the words from his pages lead to gristly murders inspired by his stories. It's up to his two best friends, Brad and Hayley, to save them all.

Umbral, the blackest part of a shadow from which all light is cut off, makes a great title since these stories delve into the blackest parts of the characters souls. If you enjoy a journey into the dark side, this is definitely a book you will savor.

-Jezebel Jorge is the author of the upcoming Headlocks and Hexes, first in the Ring Dreams Series.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sara Dean's Review of Suspicion by Karen Lewis

It's love at first sight for Lacey and Denman when they meet in a bar. Denman is a soldier who is about to head back to Afghanistan, but both are desperate to hold on to what they briefly shared. After a rushed wedding ceremony, Denman goes back overseas, and Lacey begins counting days unto she's back in her husband's arms. That is until Denman's first wife's mother shows up and claims that Denman is a cold blooded killer who killed her daughter and will do the same to Lacey. Lacey thinks she's crazy until she begins digging into her husbands past, and is shocked by what she finds out about the man she married, the man she doesn't really know. With Denman due home in several months, she has little time to uncover the truth, or risk losing her own life.
Suspicion is the kind of book you want to read when you have plenty of free time, because once you start reading, you won't be able to put it down. (However, I would not recommend this book for children under 18, due to graphic sexual situations). I was so caught up in this book that I read the whole thing in one day. I found myself going back and forth between believing he was guilty and believing he was innocent until the very last page. It's a book you won't be able to forget. 
Sara Dean is the author of Forgiving Jesse

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jim Woods' review of Born in Sarajevo by Snjezana Marinkovic

Born in Sarejevo by Snjezana Marinkovic opens with a bleak outlook for Sarajevo and the former Yugoslavia. Then the narrative turns to the author’s personal story, as she becomes trapped between religion and ethnic identity. The Bosnian War, as it is commonly referenced, although others may identify the war by naming the participants as Serbs, Muslims and Croats, is the most recent memory of the author’s country and city. The Croat-Bosniak war is often referred to as the war within a war because it was part of the more encompassing Bosnian War. But the suffering ordinary citizens of Bosnia and Croatia could not tell the difference.

Snjezana paints a vivid picture of a city and country of diverse peoples, customs and mores that once existed in harmony, but the populace lost its cohesion and fragmented into ethnic groups at war with one another. The Serbs, Croats and Muslims depicted in this book are as war made them, not as God did. If they are not all pleasant people, it’s because the story of war is the story of hate and misunderstanding. Hate and misunderstanding destroy people spiritually just as the fighting destroys them bodily. Personal names of the faction leaders become real people rather than names in the news or characters in the story.

Seemingly random thoughts invade the author’s narrative, and her meaning is murky for a paragraph or so before clarifying. Her numerous digressions do not distract, but merely reflect the turmoil of the times and experience. Her story depicts a life of deprivation, struggle and loneliness as friends turn on friends and her own family circle is fractured beyond repair and has nothing to do with the horrors of war. Her story is a bit of a scrapbook in which are pasted clippings and memories relating the transformation of a ruptured country and the mending of a torn life.

As hard as the war and family separation was on her, returning home to Sarajevo after the war was the hardest experience of all when she finds she is foreigner in her own homeland. Eventually her dream of immigrating to the United States becomes reality. The author chastises the United States for its detachment to the Bosnian War and perhaps for having too much when she and her friends had so little; but also shows her appreciation of the United States for the freedom she now has, replacing that which was taken from her during the war years. Still she dreams of returning to the time of Marshall Tito, when Yugoslavians were not classified as Serb, Croat or Muslim, but only as Yugoslavians.

Snjezana Marinkovic is a poet who shares her philosophy of life and religion and reflections on ethnic polarization, and presents a poignant personal account of courage, determination and most of all, survival.

Review by Jim Woods, Author of So You Want to be an Author?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

R. M. Brandon's Review of Lady of the Veils by M. L. John

Lady of the Veils (available ebook $5.99)
Lady of the Veils by M. L. John is a captivating novel that grabs the imagination from the first page. Woven fluidly between modern day and fantasy, the line between reality and imagination easily slips away leaving the reader wrapped inside a world that could easily exist. The daughter of a Princess Dragonslayer turned corporate wife and mother takes upon herself the task of ensuring her true love's safety in a world where nothing is safe and little is as it originally appears. Fierce sword play, steamy love scenes oozing with the passion of love that consumes the very soul, enchanted forests, and modern day humor make this novel easily not only a must read, but a story that will stand the test of literary time. In this humble reader's opinion it is easily a five-star read, and I highly recommend it. Pick up a copy, and be sure to clear some time. Once you turn the first page you will be remiss to put it back down until the last page has been turned.
—R. M. McClaren, a.k.a. R. M. Brandon, author of Witan Vid (coming soon)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lee-Ann Vinson's review of Nancy by Charlotte Holley

 Nancy (ebook available $2.99)

Nancy is a true coming of age story that portrays the underlying issues of jealousy, fear and insecurity in the young adult.

Nancy was the girl to be admired. She was the pretty one. She always wore a kind smile for everyone she met. Hers was a life any girl would want, but when her classmate found a letter Nancy had written to her grandmother, the illusion of perfection collapsed. The letter told of the true difficulties in Nancy’s life. It revealed that what people saw on the outside was not what it seemed. Nancy also had her troubles in life.

The author reveals the impact that true friendship has on our lives. ‘Nancy’ is a story that indeed many young readers can identify with. It is a tale of exposing one’s personal issues to overcome the fear of being alone. One cannot receive without first giving, and ‘Nancy’ teaches us that happiness is possible, no matter the circumstance.

Reviewed by Lee-Ann Graff Vinson, Author of Georgia's Smile and Love's Trust

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lisa Farrell's Review of Journey by Sarah Deckard

 Journey (ebook, available for $3.99)
Journey by SarahDeckard is a medieval fairy tale with a modern message. Princess Victoria is betrothed to her true love yet discontented, something she does not realise until her prince rejects her and so compels her to embark on a quest. She thinks she journeys to seek her lover, but she finds herself on a journey of self-discovery. If “every girl's a princess”, then every girl should read this story. This author has something important to teach her heroine, and she makes the lesson a pleasant one for the reader. Journey is a prettily written, magical tale for any woman who's ever questioned a “happily ever after” ending.

This review is by one of our authors, Lisa Farrell. Her books are The Cursed (ebook, available for $3.99) and The Mother (available for free download).

Friday, July 8, 2011


Oh and did I mention? - there is a kind of Spam you will like - the latest ebook and first release print book from Elizabeth Ann Scarborough:

Ode to a Second Rate Author

So, I had an author tell me today that he didn't need to try to perfect spelling or grammar, since all publishers have an editing department and that is what editors are for. He left me absolutely speechless. I wish him all the best, but does anyone else feel that way?

I expect my authors to try to turn in an A+ paper for publication, to do their very best and work with me to make it the best it can be. He turned in a C- paper and expects me to set aside time and make a supreme effort to transform it by myself. My favorite thing about selecting works and authors on Gypsy Shadow is finding people who want to become expert wordcrafters.

We are privileged to have people from all walks of life submitting their manuscripts, doing their darnedest to produce well-written stories and working to promote them on the Internet, at bookstores, at fantasy, sci-fi and writer's conventions as well as in their hometowns. My experience today made me want to thank each of you all over again for being 'my' authors and gracing Gypsy Shadow Publishing with your integrity and diligence.

If you are a reader, please stop by, read a few excerpts and pick something out!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Exciting New Releases, Great 'Old' Reads

Hey all,

Spring has sprung in central Texas - temperatures are in the 80s (Farenheit, lol) and little green tomatoes and flowers abound. My dogs are enjoying luxuriating in the morning air right now!

We have an abundance of great reads by awesome authors on our site! Drop on by and give a new author a chance or read some rereleases from Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. If you missed her in the 80s and you need a solid dose of rolicking humor or thought provoking prose, you won't be disappointed.

It doesn't matter what your preference is, you will find something to like at Gypsy Shadow Publishing.

For example, we have just released Snjezana Marinkovic's Born in Sarajevo
I am humbled we are able to bring such an excellent memoir to you. If you want insight into a modern holocaust or just want to understand what happened in Yugoslavia in that nation's civil war, give this sensitive and heart-rending work a look.

We have elves and vampires, steam punk and romances and lots more.

Drop on by, then let me know what you think!