17 May 2009

Time to Tackle the Indies

A few weeks' ago, I had an idea of making May a sort of "indie sweeps week" on my blogs. Several of my online friends are creative people. They write novels, record podcasts on a variety of subjects, and create video web series. I'm not in a position to contribute monetarily to their efforts, so I thought that I could help them by putting out the word. I've never seen book bloggers mention podcast novels (also known as Podiobooks) so I'm not sure that the two worlds even cross. My plan for this blog was to do several posts about some of these books throughout the month of May to bring more attention to them.

Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans. I've been working so much overtime that I've barely been reading, never mind writing. However, May isn't over yet, so who says I can't start in the middle of the month?

The book I'm spotlighting today is one of my 16-year-old daughter's favorites, Nina Kimberly the Merciless. M has corresponded with the author, Christiana Ellis, several times and even dressed as the main character for a school project. If you have a teenage daughter who is into fantasy, this book would be a great choice.

Nina Kimberly the Merciless is a comic fantasy novel about the daughter of a barbarian horde leader. At the start of the book, we find that Nina's father was killed 10 years' ago and she was left in the care of the royal family of a neighboring kingdom. Nina is now a teenager who is ready to fulfill her destiny as an adventurer. However, she is living in a quiet back-water kingdom where nothing ever happens. So she decides to leave the kingdom and find a quest to fulfill and a handsome hero to stand by her side. However, due to circumstances explained in the book, Nina is stuck bringing Lewis, the doltish teenaged king who has grown up with her and thinks that they are in love with each other.

Indie authors usually offer several ways for you to get a taste of their work before you buy, and Ellis is no exception. The story was originally released in serial form as a podcast, complete with music and sound effects. This is the way my daughter and I listened to it. On 15 May 2009, the story was released in print and offered on Amazon (although as of this posting, there is a glitch in Amazon's system that says the book is out of print). You can also try the new audio version that is more like a traditional audiobook (no music or sound effects) or even download a PDF version of the text. If you go to Ellis' page about the book, you will find links to the different options.

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