Difference over time
Thoughts / July 4, 2016

The difference over time. A conversation was taking place on FaceBook between a couple of ladies. Talking about how the kids only want to play on the electronic devices. How getting them off of them is like pulling teeth. We take the grandkids for the summer and look, all is quiet in the living room. Both are on their electronics, earbuds in and don’t notice anything going on around them. One on the love seat and the other on the couch. Now some would say for us to get them off the furniture and kick them outside, since we have trees, paths, and rope swings to play on. I am sure that if anyone was to look around, especially on YouTube, you can see in real time or videos of adults of varying ages, on their electronics, walking into traffic, lamp poles, holes, cars, fountains and other people. Even in our household, the first thing the kids see in the morning, is the adults on electronics checking games, FaceBook, email and news and YouTube. And we should get on them for being on their games? Now, lets move along with the characters of Inside Out, and lets take a trip…

July SummerWinter Sale Specials for July 1–31
Thoughts / July 1, 2016

Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale Specials for July 1 thru the 31st has begun. Visit our author page on Smashwords for a quick list of all our books and their links. Each of the individual book pages has either 25% or 50% off. Take advantage of this great offer to pick up your copies of our latest publication: The Cassiopeia Adventures. Join the reading adventures either out in space or back in a time of magic. Your feedback is always appreciated. Connect with us by leaving a comment to this post or through Twitter or Facebook. Website: http://www.voldamar.com Twitter: SFSwem Facebook: Facebook profile Introducing the Cassiopeia Adventures EDITORIAL REVIEW of Valley of Mystery by Georgina Parfitt EDITORIAL REVIEW of AITHERA by Georgina Parfitt

Introducing the Cassiopeia Adventures
Thoughts , Uncategorized / May 16, 2016

The Cassiopeia is ready to fly out on her first adventures. There were some technical publishing glitches, but you are sure to find the first two books in your favorite online book store fairly soon. Right now they are available on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com in both e-book and paperback. Join the journey and the fun and let us know how you loved the ride. More adventures are in the works. Links can be found on the voldamar home site.  

Random writing
Short Stories / April 2, 2015

I found this old piece of random writing while sifting through old paper work to purge and shred. I thought I would share this one. Sunday, June 04, 2000 7:17 AM The first thought that comes to his mind is the pain, and the blinding white light. Confused, not remembering where he is, all he knows is the white-hot pain that racks his body. Every nerve in his body is on fire. The pain fades as his mind reels and escapes back into unconscious. Though unconscious, a dream creeps slowly in. He feels large, larger than normal and yet, filled with power. He knows that he can move quickly, very quickly if need be. He can travel great distances without tiring. Turn faster than the rest. He can see vast area around him, all around him. His skin tingles with feelings that he can’t identify. There is something else, a sense that he is not alone. There is a feeling that there is someone with him, and this someone will never leave him. A feeling that someone wants to be his friend. This someone is trying to help, but having problems. He wonders what the problems are and if he can…

Book covers, what pulls a readers eye
Thoughts / March 31, 2015

Last Year I was doing a search to see how often our latest book showed up on a web search and discovered a not so nice critique. It wasn’t about the story within the book but the cover. My nose was out of joint for a short while, I put a lot of work into the cover, but, then I thought about it. If the cover was so bad as to make it to a blog about “Worst Book Covers” it needed to be changed. The idea is not to put off the reader by the cover but to invite the reader. We like to put a small blurb on the front about the book. Too much was given away on the original cover so even that had to be rewritten. Original cover                                                                                 To this As you can see there was a dramatic change. Did it make a difference in what a person picking up the book will think. I really do not know. Does a book cover really make a difference. According to many blogs, the answer is yes. My ego aside, it…

EDITORIAL REVIEW of Valley of Mystery by Georgina Parfitt
Book Reviews / January 28, 2015

     A new team forms in this installment of Aithera’s travels EDITORIAL REVIEW  Georgina Parfitt January, 29 2015 This installment of heroine Aithera’s mystical journey follows the gifted girl now as a grown woman. Having mastered the gifts that she was born with, Aithera is in a position to help others. Travelling the valley and surrounded by strange storms and forces, she comes across an old man, whose memory seems to falter but who calls himself Devon. The pair are soon joined by another waif, a young girl called Jira who seems to be developing gifts of her own, and who quickly becomes like a sister to Aithera. As these mysterious three journey to discover the missing pieces of the old man’s (strangely powerful) amulet, their backstories become increasingly intertwined… The prologue does a nice job of bringing Aithera’s history back to us, and from this point on, images and phrases of the prequel recur and orient the reader, especially as Aithera’s new companions start to appear more connected to the Kilbray estate than they first seemed. The narrative moves quickly and flits between dialogue, swathes of action, exposition, and visions. To keep the reader clearly anchored through all these…

Book Reviews / January 5, 2015

On www.towerbabel.com First in the series led by enigmatic and lovable heroine EDITORIAL REVIEW Georgina Parfitt December, 10 2014 This is the first in a series following the fate of a girl called Aithera, whose miraculous birth immediately sets her apart for an extraordinary life. Born into an important position, as the first girl child of the Kilbray estate, Aithera’s infancy is shaped by the pressure of her future marriage and the possible gifts she might inherit. The book begins with a prologue, whose distant, magical tone does a great job of raising Aithera to myth-like status. From this atmospheric beginning, the Swem pair structure and pace Aithera’s story suspensefully and romantically, every so often cleanly jumping into a new era of her life, and reminding us of time’s passing by counting her summers. In this way, Aithera’s life and the world she’s growing up into comes clear to the reader, and with an increasing sense of foreboding as she grows into a more beautiful, and more dangerous, presence. Especially effective are the passages where Aithera’s possible marriage is compared to a breeding cycle or a kind of natural selection; the recurring significance of breeding, animals, and genetic qualities keep…

New Challenge Review
Book Reviews / July 27, 2014

There is a review of Demesne’s The Challenge out on Kelly Smith’s reviews. We would like to thank Kelly for reading our book and we are very happy she enjoyed it. This what she had to say:   “Demesne: The Challenge, by S.F. and D. A. Swem is one Hell of a ride! If you’re a fan of adventure/fantasy novels, you’ll eat this up. If you’re looking for a novel to test the waters, so to speak, I highly recommend this one. It’s a unique storyline with a powerful cast of characters. The description is vivid and I found myself transported to a whole new world, forgetting that I was simply sitting in bed, reading a book. It’s also a story about courage, strength and determination. You’ll read breathlessly, hoping for Jira’s victory. Good work and compelling storytelling! 4/5–nice job!” ________________________________________________________________ Take a look at Kelly Smith Reviews blog. She has reviewed many books, she is an honest reviewer and we appreciate that she is willing to reading indy books and review them as well. We have been told by those closest to us that “The Challenge” is our best work. That an independent reviewer enjoyed the journey into the Fantasy…

A Question On How Big To Be.
Thoughts / May 17, 2014

I was asked the question, the other day. “How big (word count) should chapters be?” and this implied “How big (word count) should the story be?” Also implied would be, “How many chapters should there be?” My answer was/is, roughly, when the story is told, then you have the word count for story, chapters, and the number of chapters. My opinion is that a story should have a beginning, middle, big scene, and end. Each chapter that helps lead you in that direction should have the same, beginning, middle, big scene, end. I have read books that had some short chapters, and I think I remember, there was this one story that only had a one page chapter. Then there were stories that had chapters that could have been stand-a-lone books. I know an author that shoots for 100k for his books, not sure what his goal for chapters is. I have taken and split a large chapter into 2, since it seemed to add to the overall effect. I have also gone in and combined 2 chapters into one, again, because it seemed to add to the overall effect of the story. Of course there are probably rules for…

Welcome Robert Stanek
Thoughts / February 10, 2014

We are pleased today to welcome Robert Stanek as a guest on our blog. Robert Stanek is not only the talented author of more than 150 books for adults and children but someone who has been helping other writers ever since his first book was published in 1995. Back in the early days of the Web, Robert created Writer’s Gallery, Internet Job Center and Internet Daily News to help other writers (archives at http://www.tvpress.com). These days Robert helps other writers by hosting some terrific writers groups, by blogging about writing-related topics, and through his Read Indie tweets on twitter. On Facebook, Robert Stanek hosts one of the more popular groups for getting the word out about your promotions and free offerings. It’s called “Free Today” and you’ll find the group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/freet…. On Twitter, you can tweet using the hashtag #freetoday as another way to spread the word about your promotions and freebies. Go Indie (https://www.facebook.com/groups/goindie/) is another terrific group for writers that Robert hosts on Facebook. Go Indie is a group dedicated to promoting indie authors, indie books, and indie booksellers. On Twitter, you can also use hashtag #goindie to spread the word about your books. On Goodreads.com, Robert…