Announcing the FOUR FIENDS Blog Tour!

Four Fiends Blog Tour Button FINAL

 

About the Book

Four Fiends Cover FINALTitle: Four Fiends (The Countdown), 2nd Edition

Author: Nikki Bennett

Publication Date: February 16, 2014 (2nd Edition)

Publisher: Independent: Firedrake Books LLC

Pages: 215

Recommended Ages: 8+

Summary: The Four Guardians of the world have gone missing. They’ve been kidnapped by some of the most diabolical fiends that ever existed. Now, four misfit kids from different parts of the world must band together to save the Guardians. Along the way, they learn to work together, as they confront and conquer their deepest fears.

 

Purchase

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

 

 The Buzz

“This was one of the most entertaining reads for the whole family we have found in a long time. The characters are very believable, and I am always a sucker for heroes that have to find their way. The reading is very fluid and easily understood by the little kids when read aloud (sounds silly but anyone trying to do this will tell you it’s not as easy a thing to achieve as it sounds) and the kids all seem to enjoy the story. The history is easily accessible even without a lot of research or background knowledge. The kids are very motivated to research and learn more on their own because this story has captured their interest. I already have many home learning lessons in mind using this book and have begun developing them with my kids. I think this is a book that will be found in classrooms very soon! Great job! I’m looking forward to more soon!!!” ~ 5 Star Review, Mariah W., Amazon

“Excellent read in and of itself, and provides excellent, character-building source material for reading to youngsters. The characters are well written and realistic, and the storyline is cleverly written and intelligent.” ~ 5 Star Review, Alia K., Amazon

“Fantastic read. I loved the characters in this book so much that I re-read to my 9 year old after finishing it. I highly recommend this book for anyone that likes stories about adventure and believing in yourself.” ~ 5 Star Review, Keith, Amazon

 

About the Author: Nikki Bennett

Nikki BennettNikki Bennett is an author and world traveler currently living in Japan. She loves traveling, and incorporates all the culture and folklore she can from the countries she visits into her stories.
Nikki has two books out right now. Her first book, FOUR FIENDS is a MG fantasy adventure and her newest book, MUKADE ISLAND is a YA adventure/fantasy (think Lord of the Flies meets LOST, it it was set on a different world!)

Find out all about Nikki’s books at www.worldofnikki.com

Website | Author Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Four Fiends Blog Tour Schedule (2014)

May 1

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Review)

Victoria Simcox’s Blog (Author Interview)

May 2

When I Grow Up I Wanna Write a Kids Book (Review)

Cherry Mischievous (Spotlight)

May 3

Heart of a Philanthropist (Review)

May 4

Stitch Says (Review)

Musings by Jay Faulkner (Review)

May 5

Christy’s Cozy Corners (Review)

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys (Review)

May 6

The World of ContestPatti (Review)

Unschooling Mama (Review)

Palace of Twelve Pillars (Review)

May 7

WS Momma Readers Nook (Review)

The Ninja Librarian (Guest Post)

May 8

Sunshine, Bubbles & Books (Review)

BeachBoundBooks (Review)

Book Reviews & Giveaways (Review)

May 9

Bookroom Reviews (Review)

Purple Monster Coupons (Review)

May 10

Coffee & Books & Art (Review)

Musing With Crayola Kim (Review)

Jemima Pett, Author (Review)

May 11

Alwaysjoart (Review)

May 12

Kay LaLone, I Love Books (Review)

Mixed Bag Mama (Review)

SoCal City Kids (Review)

May 13

We Are The DinoFamily (Review)

Identity Discovery (Review)

Where Connor & JT Go (Review)

May 14

Stanley & Katrina (Author Interview)

Oh My Bookness (Review)

 

* Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card

Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: May 31, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Nikki Bennett and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Character Building

I’m not great at character development. I find giving characters texture and depth and a good quirk or two, is tough, part of the hardest thing about writing. So at my writer’s group today, we were discussing developing characters, and for some reason I got an idea to keep a “character book,” which I plan to start.

Characters should have a couple of basic elements: 1) something that makes them stand out, whether it be a quirky feature or a strong aura or some great physical characteristic; 2) something they struggle with that, during the course of the book, they eventually defeat (or not defeat); 3) some trait that makes the reader care about what happens to them. Even the bad-guys need to have some quality that gets the reader invested in their outcome–whether that outcome is good or bad.

Anyway, I suck at creating those, because I don’t think out my characters before I write. I’m focused more on the story and where it’s going than developing my characters, and usually I have to go back after I’ve finished the first draft and really give those characters some strong qualities. So back to the “character book” idea. I’ve decided that, once a week, I’m going to make up a character and write it in my character book. I’m going to write as much a description as I can, about whatever pops into my head, even though I have no story to put that character in. I’m figuring (hoping) that either a story will eventually develop around those characters, or, at least, I’ll have jotted down some good quirks and strengths and weaknesses and descriptions that I can use elsewhere.

If nothing else, this will be a good exercise to keep the creative juices flowing and to work on my character development in general. Anybody else do anything similar to this? Let me know!

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Four Fiends Cover Art

Yesterday I downloaded Photoshop and started playing with it. I haven’t done much artistic work using web programs–mostly I’ve just manipulated images in Fireworks. But over this nice relaxing weekend, I started using Photoshop like a canvas, and came up with my new cover for Four Fiends. Here it is, front and back. Four Fiends should be published by Firedrake Books soon–I originally self-published it but the cover wasn’t quite as dynamic as this (at least, I think it’s dynamic :D )

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My Writing Spot

If you read Steven King’s book On Writing (and if you’re serious about writing, you should) you’ll know that a writer should have a spot to write.

That spot shouldn’t be on the couch with the TV blaring, or in the living room with kids running through it–it should be a spot where you can close the door, shut out everything else, and concentrate with no distractions. When he was younger, Steven King used his laundry room. Which means the spot doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be yours.

So today, after three years of creating stories on my laptop while sitting on the couch in front of the TV, I finally bit the bullet and created my own writing room. It’s in a super-small Japanese room (about five feet a cross and maybe 10 feet long) where we’ve stored all our boxes and books and things, but my husband was nice enough to clear out most of the junk. Then this Saturday, we went to an antique auction, and I bought a writing desk. It’s a cool desk too-it’s made from an old cabinet, and they cut out the middle to make a chair, so the desk drawers are now in the back of my chair. Pretty neat, huh?

So this post is my first “project” in my new hidey-hole, and I have to admit–shutting off the world so I can write is kinda nice. Now I’ve just got to get back into my getting up at 5:30 habit and start really using it.

My new writing room and writing desk--complete with a Shachihoko decorative roof tile we found at the flea market today.

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Nikki’s Book Reading Spot of the Week

This is in front of the Ruriji Temple in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. Still a little cold out, but a nice spot to read! And I’m reading a LOT these days–blog reviews, submissions for Firedrake Books, LLC, and, of course, reviewing my own novels.

More new Reading Spots of the Week to follow!

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Book Giveaway!

Hey everyone!

Back home in the States now–it’s great to be back with family for Christmas.

I just looked on my facebook page today, and saw that I had over 1,000 likes! So I’m holding a book giveaway to celebrate. I’m giving away a signed copy of the new MUKADE ISLAND, just published by Firedrake Books, LLC, so if you’d like a chance for a free copy of this fun YA adventure, click below to join:

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Another Successful NaNoWriMo

Last year, I participated in my first NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer’s Month.) NaNoWriMo is where you commit to writing 50,000 words in one month. I wrote Mukade Island that year, which is now self-published, and about to be published by Firedrake Books, LLC.

Participating in NaNoWriMo taught me discipline, which amazingly stuck. After a month of used to waking up at 5, and  cranking out my 2,000 words before heading out to work, my body got so used to doing it, that I kept it up. Last year I wrote the first draft of six different novels. It’ll take me more time to edit them and publish them than it did to write the first drafts, and I owe most of my self-dedication to slogging it out during that first NaNoWriMo.

This year, I hit 50,000 words with my haunted golf course/comedic (I hope) manuscript: Links and Chains. I’m super happy with this one, although it still needs an ending and second editing, and all that. But I finished, and here’s my certificate to prove it:

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Word Soup, Trip to India, and other Fun Stuff

So check this link out: Word Soup by Patrick Frievald is a cool blog. He takes 500 words from a manuscript, draft, story, whatever, and boils it down to its essence. See what he did to my first draft of 9th Street Ninjas. I’ve learned a lot from this experience!

In other news, we are heading off to India in two days, if the typhoon coming up Japan’s coast doesn’t ground us. So I will try to write more and post pics on the travel blog when I get there!

Lastly, Firedrake Books, LLC will host its first small show–the Iwakuni Craft Fair mostly so I can get me feet wet in promotion. We won’t be selling books, but we will start promoting the business. Meanwhile, you can check out Firedrake Books at www.firedrakebooks.com

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Handy-Dandy Tips

I’m starting a new little blurb here called “handy-dandy tips.” Just a short blurb for folks interested in writing and publishing.

Here’s my first handy-dandy tip:

If you’re thinking of self-publishing, and going through create space (or any other company) and they offer you a free ISBN, think twice before you take it. Here’s why:

The ISBN they give you for free is only good if you’re publishing through them. Therefore, you can’t use it when (if) you switch companies. While you can still get another ISBN for your book, the old ISBN is gonna be floating around there forever (you can’t cancel it.) Which means, if you’re republishing the book (say a publisher gave you a contract for it, or you just want to change companies) you can’t link that book to the previous one. You’re starting from scratch, even though it’s the same book, and all the reviews, etc. won’t be linked to that ISBN.

So buy your own ISBN. Yeah, it’s tempting to go with the freebie. That’s what I did, and now that I want to try another publishing source, I can’t transfer the ISBN. So I either have to solely stick with Create Space or have two ISBNs running around out there for the same book.

If you’re completely sure you’ll never print with another company but the one you’re with, go ahead, get the freebie. But you’re kind of screwing yourself for the future when you do it. Not that it’s the end of the world or anything, but because you don’t control that ISBN, you can’t transfer it. Just sayin’!

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9th Street Ninjas Preliminary Sketches are up!

It helps to have an artist in the family! My husband, the awesome artist Steve Bennett, has been working on the preliminary sketches for my upcoming novel: 9th Street Ninjas - Adventures in Burritoland. These are the concept drawings for the kids in the story.

The Boys - Kenny, Max and Indy

 

The Girls - Bella and Carleigh

 

Boy Ninjas in Action! Code Names: Rhino, Froggy and Owl

 

Girl Ninjas: Code Names: Cat and Newt

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