Monday, November 30, 2015

Broken People Series Cyber Monday Sale & Kindle Countdown Deals

Broken People series is on sale!

On Monday, November 30, you can get all three books in Broken People series,

The Nightingale Circus

Broken People

Broken Hearts

for only $0.99 each on Amazon.

Wait, there's more! After Monday is over,

The Nightingale Circus will stay $0.99 until Sunday

Broken People will stay $0.99 until December 20

Broken Hearts is in the Kindle Countdown Deals program so check it out to see what the price is all through the week until Sunday when the price goes back to $3.99. It's also available for free with Kindle Unlimited until December 20.

Don't miss this rare occasion to get the three books in the Broken People series for only $0.99 each!

And please help spread the word.


2015 November Reading List

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – This book capitalizes on negative emotions like constant fear and pain. Think The Hunger Games with a little more class, except the heroine is a frightened little girl who never heard of “Girl Power”. I felt no connection to the characters, and the world building while complicated didn’t necessarily make sense. If you’re into violent stuff, better read Red Rising instead. Violence, when written by a guy, hurts less. Further more, the present tense grated on my nerves, too many questions are left unanswered and the books stops in the middle of the action. I checked my copy and there’s no mention of it being part of a series so that was quite a disappointment.  2/5 stars

A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston – I got fooled by the cover again. The narrator’s voice didn’t work for me, the story dragged, and the flashbacks and dreams were distracting. But at least it was short. 2/5 stars

Winter by Merissa Meyer – I was prepared to complain about the book being too big when I first opened it, but as there are 4 couples and the main war plot to be solved, it didn’t seem too big in the end. While I still found the combat scenes utterly boring, everything else was wrapped nicely and we got a well-deserved HEA. 4/5 stars

Soundless by Richelle Mead – Rather slow with a lot of telling and it failed to engage my interest, which I found surprising as none of the other of Mead’s books had that effect on me before. And what’s with this YA trend to portray all adults as idiots? 3/5 start

The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato – I don’t feel compelled to continue with this series. The romance is mushy, and I didn’t particularly like the heroine and her obsession with the Lady. Whatever god asks for your blood in exchange of favors doesn’t deserve praying to. 3/5 start

Valor’s Choice by Tanya Huff – I’m not much into military sci fi, but I quite enjoyed this one. I especially liked to find intelligent characters in it. And the aliens’ hair rocked, hehe! 4/5 stars

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Breaking the Chains is Free on Amazon

Breaking the Chains is FREE on Nov 25-29 on Amazon.

Angels, demons, and doom. Get it now!

If you read it, please leave a review. It's a short story. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

In which my writing gets critiqued by none other than Mark Lawrence

I don't make a habit out of searching for my name on Facebook, but something made me do it this time, and it's a good thing I did. I would have missed it for another day or so otherwise.

In case you don't know it, in the beginning of November, Mark Lawrence, the author of The Broken Empire and The Red Queen's War trilogies, offered to critique the first page of fantasy novels on his blog, provided writers were brave enough to send them to him.

Now, I do happen to have a fantasy book in the works, but it's the second book in the series, and he specifically said no to that. It wouldn't have worked, not to mention it's an urban fantasy with fairies, so not what he writes. I flirted with the idea of sending him something, but I didn't have anything else written since I tend to work on one project at a time. I told myself I didn't have time for this and chances were slim for him to pick exactly my page to critique out of the +100 pages received. Then last week, before starting on the daily word quota, I opened a blank document and started typing because, you see, on my upcoming work list, there is an epic fantasy novel idea I'm very fond of (not only an idea, about 60% of the plot is already sketched in my plot files) and that will get written hopefully soon.

Since I knew how the novel would start as I usually do, writing 500 words was easy. The difficult part was cutting the excess words and cramming in all the info I wanted to transmit. In the final draft, this opening will be slightly changed and extended to add a few introspective thoughts and set the context, but no more than 100 words or so. I had someone proofread the text (more on this later lol) since Mark's following is way bigger than mine and the text had the potential to be read by plenty of strangers, and then I sent it, not holding my breath for an answer.

I only discovered the critique now, after a random FB search. It started off well, with me laughing out loud at a comment made by Mark regarding a typo that both I and my proofreader missed. This is the best way to start reading a critique. After this, nothing could ruin my mood.

As far as the critique goes, he does have several good points, some things I missed, some I had a feeling they didn't sound right but left them the way they were anyway as I would have needed a longer break and then look at the text with fresh eyes to fix them. It's a well-rounded critique, milder than a lot of the stuff I received on Critique Circle when I had two novels critiqued there, and I found every single line useful. I'm sure his comments will be helpful when I get to write the next draft. 

Plus, I'm not at all against being compared to Diana Wynne Jones. :) I was a little surprised to see his readers express their willingness to read more since the story starts on the light side, so different from Mark's works, but their instincts weren't wrong. While the story starts light, it will get serious soon and even dark in places. My writing is lighter in general, but despite me not being a big horror fan, my readers know I slip into gore a couple of scenes per book more often than not.

The first page of The Hollow Mage and the critique can be read on Mark's blog. I don't know when I'll get to write this novel. First, I need to finish The Strength of a Heart (urban fantasy, so if you came here from Mark's blog, it's probably not for you :P). Next year, I also have to write the last book in Broken People series (do give it a try even if it's not your favorite genre, I'm awfully proud of it :) ), but in between these two, I can squeeze something else. The Hollow Mage, a sci-fi (short) novel, and a YA/NA fantasy novel are in the running for that spot. They're all three on the upcoming writing list, only the order isn't decided yet. Oh, and the cover art for The Hollow Mage is my favorite so far. :)

Thank you, Mark, for taking the time to critique my page! Not only you helped improve my story, but you also made my day. And I promise you there are no vampires in this book. One vampire series was enough for me. :)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Dincolo de orizont" at Gaudeamus 2015

It's that time of the year again. Gaudeamus book fair is taking place in Bucharest between November 18-22.

Only one new book has my name on the cover, "Dincolo de orizont. Povestiri science fiction. Volumul 1" (Beyond Horizon), edited by Michael Haulica, and published by Millennium Books.

The official book launch will take place on Saturday at 19:15 at Tritonic stand. As usual, I won't be there, but don't miss a great chance to meet the other writers who contributed to the anthology and get their autograph.

If you missed some of my books, here's a list with titles and publishers. Most of them should be available at Gaudeamus as well, and hey, you might even get some discounts!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: No Port to Land Excerpt

I usually post the excerpts on ReadWave and Wattpad, but ReadWave seems to be down at the moment and Wattpad requires an account so for now I'll post it here and add it there later.

Here you go, the beginning of No Port to Land. The rest is available on Amazon, for pre-order until December 15 and to buy after that. Enjoy!


No Port to Land


Nia slipped out of the nest when the alarm started. Behind her, Gart muttered something. It was too early for him. Lucky for her, Nia could function with little sleep and was intrigued by the reason the alarm had started. It wasn’t an emergency alarm that would have all the ship’s passengers panic, but a simple notice something had happened and those who wanted could go and find out more. She was definitely interested.

She arranged the bandages on her arms before walking out into the main corridor, leaving uncovered as little skin as possible, and blinked under the strong lights. Several people were heading in the same direction, among them Adette, so she joined them.

“What happened?” she asked with half a voice.

“They caught a shuttle,” Adette said and pulled the blonde strands over her ear to hide the gray crusts, her other hand resting on her rounded belly.


“It was sending out an SOS signal while heading straight at us.” Adette smiled widely. “They caught it before it hit us.”

Around them, people commented about the news, but Nia dropped her shoulders. A damaged shuttle was no use. They would never leave this damned ship.

The second disappointment came when she saw the alleged shuttle, more like a rescue module at this size. And the modules rarely had a guidance system, even if they had suffered damages less serious than this. It had been brought onto a platform near the entrance, where mechanics armed with blowtorches struggled to open it. Considering the way they pulled on it, chances were it would never fly again. Given the life expectancy of the passengers, it was better for them to be dead.

The crowd gathered around staring, exchanging the latest gossip in whispered voices. Cherevic stood under the walkway with his partner in crime and threw dark glares from a distance. More mouths to feed. Farther afield, Sarezez’s head rose above the crowd, his tall silhouette surpassing most. Nia hid behind Adette, avoiding the man’s dumb smile. She didn’t feel like dealing with him.

Papa Ote’s ticking cane announced his arrival several seconds before he set foot on the walkway. The cane’s blows itched like hell, and her childhood memories made Nia’s ears instinctively prick despite having not received one in a long time.

The old man paused at the edge of the walkway and supervised all the action from above. His lips tightly pressed together showed he had no illusions either, but his lively eyes missed nothing.

With a screech that pierced their ears, the mechanics managed to open the shuttle’s door.  Three bodies tumbled out, their faces cyanotic because of the lack of oxygen. Nia narrowed her eyes, but she was too far away to see if they were still breathing.

“They’re alive!” one of the rescuers shouted. “And armed.”

There’s one more inside,” said another voice.

When they pulled out the last one, a big, heavy man, he was still batting an arm. They took their weapons and laid them on the floor where doctor Hossek leaned over them.

Four men and all in their prime. The initial irritation was replaced by concern. What if they all survived? At the last board meeting, they had announced there was only enough food supplies left for two more people above the existing head count, and as the ship deteriorated, the food supplies decreased quicker than the population.

“Take them to the sickbay and see if we can recover anything,” Papa Ote said.

“The big one is mine.” Adette elbowed her gently.

Nia shook her head. Gart’s nest was better than any amusement the new arrivals could provide. She turned her back on them and left the deck, tormented by dark thoughts.


The hours she waited for the commotion caused by the shuttle’s arrival to calm down passed terribly slowly. Nia busied herself in all corners where she normally had no business being in under the pretext of collecting orders, to test the waters. How did people feel about the event? How many would have preferred to get rid of the intruders immediately? And who already had hopes to leave with the shuttle? All these variables were risks that affected her plans.

Slowly but surely, she advanced towards the sickbay. When Doctor Hossek left the room for a moment, Nia slipped inside and closed the door behind her. One of the strangers was already standing, black hair falling down his bowed forehead while he fastened his pants. At his right, the blond giant whom Adette liked leaned against the wall still unused to the gravity on board the ship. On the left, the third man was sitting on the bed and kept running his fingers through his short brown beard. The fourth man was lying in bed at the end of the room, hooked up to the machines and still unconscious.

“More tests?” the bearded man said.

“No, I’m looking for the doctor,” Nia lied.

“He went to lunch,” the man in the middle said, finishing dressing.

Nia hesitated in the doorway. Alone in a room with four strangers where three could attack her at any time didn’t seem like a good idea, even if they hadn’t had time to recover fully and the knife she carried could have defended her somewhat.

“Won’t you go as well?” she asked.

If she could convince them to leave the sickbay, the patient would be left alone and then ... A lot could happen because of the old equipment.

“The doctor gave us some vitamins and advised us to wait,” the same interlocutor said. “But I would like to take a look at our shuttle. Is that possible?”

It wasn’t clear if he was asking for permission, but neither had they been locked in sickbay. And if they didn’t mind the throng of people dressed in rags and covered in festering sores, who was she to comment on their tastes?

“Sure.” She nodded. “It’s three levels below.”

“That far?” the bearded man said.

“We didn’t build the ship.” Nia shrugged.

“Will you show us the way?” the other man asked with an affable smile.

Nia looked from one man to another, hiding her calculations under a cautious expression.

“Are you the boss?” She focused her attention on the man who appeared to be the group’s leader. She didn’t like that smile. Too open and honest, the way it shouldn’t be.

“Captain Law.” He held out his hand.

“Better not.” Nia raised her arms to show her bandages.

“Ah ... yes ... better not risk it,” Law said and lowered his hand, but didn’t take a step back. “Merrick is coming with me—” he nodded toward the bearded man, “—but Eradiez stays here. Svenegald hasn’t woken up yet.”

Without the colossus, it was better. But did he leave him behind to guard the other?

“Follow me.”

On the way to the door, she glanced discreetly at the quarantine bay. The LEDs on the doorknob showed it was locked.


The cargo hold was devoid of people. The absence of any guards transformed Nia’s fears into reality. Why guard a wreck? Their mechanics were not the most skilled in the universe, but they had checked the shuttle and their conclusions must have not been encouraging. Only Jet snooped around the damaged hull, not daring to enter.

Seeing them, the boy lowered his head between his shoulders, to hide his face. A gray crust covered half of it, decorated with dried blood on the margins, where he hadn’t resisted the urge to scratch.

Nia followed the men’s reactions with interest as this was their first contact with the symptoms of the plague that affected them all. Merrick looked at him with undisguised curiosity.

“Thank you for guarding our shuttle,” Law said without blinking.

Jet made an attempt to straighten his back, ready to take all the credit for it, but then he shook his head. “I guarded nothing. They broke it before I got here.”

The men exchanged a glance.

“Did they ruin everything?” Law asked.

“They broke it into pieces,” Jet said. “But it was already broken, so they said.”

Nia took a step closer, ready to grab him by the shoulder. The kid was talking too much.

“Let’s see if there’s anything left in one piece.” Law signaled Merrick to enter.

“Where are you coming from?” Jet asked.

“From a ship...” Law looked around. “…smaller than this one.”

Nia hardly refrained to give him an ironic look. Really? It would have been difficult to find a bigger one. The Pacific was a cruise ship, once equipped to carry thousands of passengers. Nia recalled the last trip, when it still had a crew, and these strangers didn’t resemble its members at all.

“What happened?” Jet asked. “Why did you leave it?”

“Technical failure,” Law said and climbed the steps leading to the entrance. “Do you want to take a look inside?” he asked from the doorway.

“May I?” Jet squeaked and slipped past him before he could answer.

Law followed him with an amused smile. Nia remained outside, all kinds of horror scenarios passing through her head. Prisoner in the cabin along with two strangers and a child who could be used for blackmail? No way. She had fought too hard to let her guard down just now.

She took a step closer, however, paying attention to the conversation inside.

“How bad is it?” came Law’s muffled voice.

“They cleaned out everything they could take,” Merrick said.

The grumble that followed didn’t say much. What did they expect? When you were forced to survive in a closed environment, you recycled everything. It was surprising they hadn’t stripped away the floorboards as well—they could certainly be used for something. But they didn’t seem utterly resentful. Or maybe they had seen enough on the way from the sickbay to realize what trouble they had entered.

“Can you fix it?” Law asked.

“Partially. I can replace the missing parts with what we find here,” Merrick said. “The worst part is the last blast perforated the hull and affected the conversion system. That’s why we ran out of oxygen. That one I can’t fix with what we have on board.”

“We’ll ask them if they can help. It’s a big ship. There must be something appropriate around…”

They still hoped to leave with the shuttle. Nia thoughtfully ran her fingers on the burned surface of the hull. There had been no technical failure; someone had shot at them. And that someone could still be after them. Therefore, they were in a hurry to leave quickly. That suited her. She just needed to secure a ticket with them, and she knew how to do it.

The problem was she needed two tickets.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Efectul de nautil Giveaway

Here's another giveaway for you!

Go to Goodreads to win a signed paperback copy of "Efectul de nautil", my Romanian debut book, which includes 20 sci fi and fantasy short stories published in online magazines between 2008 and 2013, a couple of stories that won awards, and a few new ones that aren't available anywhere else.

The giveaway will be open until December 15 to all Romanian residents and, hopefully, the book will make it to the lucky winner in time for Christmas. Once again, this is my last printed copy and since it might take a while until I get more, you'll be lucky to have it.

Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Efectul de nautil by Ioana Visan

Efectul de nautil

by Ioana Visan

Giveaway ends December 15, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sign up for Law and Crucible Saga Release Day Blitz

With the Law and Crucible saga available for pre-order and about to be released on December 15, it's time to start some buzz about it. If you have a book blog and enjoy space opera, please fill in this form to host a promo post on your blog on release day. If you want to review it as well, that's even better!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Support Law and Crucible Saga Thunderclap Campaign

If you missed the cover reveals this week, know that three installments of the Law and Crucible saga will be released on December 15. The stories are already available for pre-order here.

I don't know how excited you are about it, but I know I am. The first steps was done, the stories are ready and uploaded, so the next goal is to spread the word. If you have a Facebook, Twitter, and/or Tumblr account, please support the Law and Crucible saga Thunderclap campaign. With one click, you'll have an announcement posted to your timeline on December 15 to let you friends and followers know that the saga is out. The mandatory number of supporters for the campaign to go live is 100, but there's no upper limit so the more the better.

Thank you!

P.S. The campaign has reached 100 supporters this morning before I got to publish this post, but you can still join!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Cover Reveal: Bonds of Steel by Ioana Visan

Bonds of Steel
 (Law and Crucible Saga #3)
by Ioana Visan 

On a routine trip across the asteroid field, the robot, Del, and unregistered AI, Vee, meet trouble. With Captain Law and his crew having been put into stasis, their only chance of survival will mean placing themselves at the mercy of what few resources they have. Without a human to assist them, Del and Vee will be vulnerable and so too will the ship and all the lives on board.

Despite their best efforts to avoid unwanted visitors, another ship is en route. Their arrival does not guarantee the safety of those on board, and may ultimately lead to their demise.

With his position on the ship on the line, can Del stave off an attack or are their deaths inevitable?

Coming to your ereaders in December! 

Pre-order it here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cover Reveal: Point of Origin by Ioana Visan

Point of Origin
 (Law and Crucible Saga #2)
by Ioana Visan 

Suffering from neural degeneration, Thea is fading away in an asylum with no hope of ever leaving it.

When Captain Law offers her an opportunity to board his ship in return for her help, the astrophysicist is faced with having to learn to trust them or end up in another asylum with slim chance for recovery. And then her secret will be lost.

With a contract that they are desperate to obtain and a rogue asteroid in enemy territory, Captain Law and his crew must keep Thea free from harm, but a missing crew member and a band of misfits thwart their efforts and send them on a mission no one was prepared for.

Can Thea and Captain Law learn to work together for one goal or will long-held secrets and mistrust shake their resolve and destroy their efforts?

Coming to your ereaders in December! 

Pre-order it here.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cover Reveal: No Port to Land by Ioana Visan

No Port to Land
 (Law and Crucible Saga #1)
by Ioana Visan 

Nia is one of the few souls left aboard a drifting tomb known as The Pacific. The spaceship carries a deadly plague, and by the time they receive a distress call from an approaching shuttle, they are all close to losing hope they might ever escape alive. When the will of the shuttle crew and that of the survivors on The Pacific clash, Nia has to pick a side to save what she holds most dear.

Coming to your ereaders in December! 

Pre-order it here.