Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Follow Me to My New Blog


I paid out the ass, dipped into my retirement account, I had someone awesome and talented set up a website for me:

www.constanceburris.com <<----Doesn't it sound so official!!!

Don't click on the free books though, I'm still tweeking that part.

The blog link is www.constanceburris.com/blog 

Today, I have an interview from +Voss Foster. So seriously, stop over to the new blog, say hi and ask Voss a question.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Coal is Now Available

I bumped up the release date  for COAL and it's available for $1.99. On Friday, the price will increase, so now is a great time to buy. 



Itunes  

   
Scribd  

Coal has lived most of his life in the fey realm with his elven best friend, but when a human child he promised to protect unintentionally breaks a law in the presence of the fey elite, he will have to choose between betraying his best friend or saving the child’s life.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Text to Speech Using The Iphone

The Kindle's text to speech feature has made all the difference in the amount of books I've been able to begin and finish. I now take my Kindle with me everywhere. I listen to it while I clean,  at lunch, and on my commute to and from work. However, I carry too much crap with me on a daily basis and I have a fantasy of having both my phone and kindle on one device. When the Fire phone was recently on sale for $199 with one year of free prime I was really tempted.   But I'm broke on a strict budget and I have to spend all my extra money on editors and book covers. But still I researched the phone, and I found a website that showed me how to use the text to speech feature on my iPhone.

Woot!

Directions: Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Speech.

With the text to speech feature on my iPhone,  I no longer have to have my phone and kindle on me. I can listen to my ebooks while driving to work using my phone ear buds. I could also listen to websites, Onenote and Wattpad stories from my phone. My tech life felt complete.

The reality was not as good as the fantasy.  After a few days of using this feature on my iPhone, I was reminded just how revolutionary the Kindle is. The voice on the kindle is pretty close to a human speaker. The text to speech feature on the iPhone is robotic and impersonal, and so most books I tried to read were hard get into to.

So it's good to know that I have the option, but the text to speech feature on the iPhone by no means replaces my Kindle.

Update: Apple has updated their voiceover program. When I originally tried the program, the only option was Default. Now there is default, enhanced, and Alex. (a high-quality US English voice that delivers natural-sounding speech) But to use Alex, I need to delete some apps from my phone.  I'll get to deleting and give you a review later. 

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Friday, June 26, 2015

The Park and The Mall in all of its AWESOMENESS

A few months ago, I posted the review of THE PARK. It was an impulse buy. I downloaded it without even reading the blurb. --I think it was free--  Well THE PARK turned out to be one of my favorite reads of 2015. In celebration of THE MALL, the sequel to THE PARK. Voss Foster is letting me do a cover reveal for THE MALL and for the new cover for THE PARK. 

And 

OHEMGEE.  

These covers are so 

beautiful

sexy

mouth watering

They are all of the synonyms for all things beautiful. 

I went to bed dreaming of these covers. Yes, it's that serious.  

Before I show the covers and you lose your mind. The PARK is FREE again for a limited time on AMAZON. Get this baby so dive immediately into THE MALL.  Both books are free for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers.  Also, brag about the covers in the comments or you can visit his blog and wax poetic about the covers there. 

Okay... Now here are the Covers: 




I guess I should give you blurbs now. 

The Park

Evenstad Media's newest reality show. There are no laws. There are no rules. The only goal is to stay alive. But in Evenstad's arena, things are far from simple. Outfitted with strange new weapons, trapped in the dark, afraid for their lives, it's only a matter of time before somebody takes the first shot. 

And all the while, the world watches. Some in disgust, some rapt, but all feeding Evenstad, and all oblivious to the horrors they're helping fund. By the time anyone notices, will there be time to put an end to it? Or will it be too late?

The Mall 

Last year, Evenstad Media's hit reality show, The Park, rocked the world. Death, subterfuge, sex: it had it all, and the public begged for more. Evenstad came back with a second season: The Mall. Twelve more strangers, eleven more murders, and one more opportunity to rake in money.

But as the show airs, there's something more going on. Evenstad Media's Chief Operating Officer is getting harder and harder to reach, and nobody knows why. The company's computer systems are being hacked, and nobody knows how. There's an uprising against the violence Evenstad is putting into the world, but nobody knows who.

What will happen to The Mall, and to Evenstad Media? Who will make it out alive? And what happens when the destruction falls on both sides of the arena walls?




Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Help A Sister Out

Calling all Goodreads members, I'm like 6 votes away from having Coal chosen for July's book of the month in my favorite Goodread's group. If you're on Goodreads, please vote for COAL.


The winners will usually have a Google hangout with the leader of the group, so if I win, you'll get to see me try not to embarrass myself live on Youtube.







Poll
July 2015 Book Of The Month

Friday, June 19, 2015

Juneteenth

I had no idea what Juneteenth was when I was a kid. I only knew it as a black holiday.  It was never mentioned in school. So a few years ago, I actually looked it up.

So just in case I'm not the only who didn't know. Here is the story. The isht is f'd up.

Slaves were officially freed on January 1, 1863. But the news did not reach Texas until May 1865 (really 2 and half years later. Really? Really? That's two years of slavery when everyone else was walking around free. WTF ). On June 18, 1865 The union army arrived in Galveston, Texas and on June 19, 1865 A union soldier read this aloud:

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.

Image Source
Why the delay? How can something so important be withheld for TWO AND A HALF YEARS. Here is a few possible reasons from: http://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm

 Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All of which, or neither of these version could be true. Certainly, for some, President Lincoln's authority over the rebellious states was in question   For whatever the reasons, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.

FYI, Oklahoma did not become a state until 1907.

Book Review: Spook Lights by Eden Royce


Amazon Blurb:
Pull up a rocking chair and sit a spell. Soak in these twelve tales of Southern Gothic horror:

Sinister shopkeepers whose goods hold the highest price, a woman’s search for her mother drags her into the binding embrace of a monster, a witchdoctor’s young niece tells him a life-altering secret, an investigator who knows how to keep a 100% confession rate….

These are stories where the setting itself becomes a character—fog laced cemeteries, sulfur rich salt marshes—places housing creatures that defy understanding and where the grotesque and macabre are celebrated.

The stories are rich in flavor and clever in metaphor, the horrors completely surreal or—far more unnerving—all too possible. She brings a refreshing perspective to the table that paranormal lovers are sure to enjoy. 

—B.D. Bruns, author of The Gothic Shift



My next release is a horror/fantasy mashup, although its more horror than anything. In my research, I discovered The Graveyard Shift Sisters, a site where Eden Royce is contributes to and the site highlights women of color in horror and science fiction.   I'm so happy I have I found the site because I was then offered a review copy of Spook Lights, and let me tell ya, it's exactly what I needed in order to feel how great and descriptive horror should be.  The language was so visceral that I felt like I was a living, breathing participant in each story. Spook Lights was exactly what I needed to bring my story to the next level. Enough about me, here is my review.

Short Review
Do I recommend it: Yes!
Diversity: 5
Characters: 5
Story: 5

My Favorite Stories

"9 Mystery Rose"- This one ended so cleverly that I had to go back and reread the beginning. Clever.  Topic: Graveyards, ghouls, and no good spouses.

"Hand of Glory"- The title says it all.

"Hag Ride" - Again, the beauty is in the title.

"Homegoing" - Any woman with a child will love and hate this story. It explores the question: How will you handle your child if he turned bad?

"Since Hatchet was a Hammer" - Great story about domestic abuse

"The Choking Kind" - The last story in the book and the story Eden referenced in her interview. Completely original, I had no idea where this story was going,  And that’s true of all of the stories. 


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