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A Night Game

A Night Game

It’s October and Halloween is on its way! Looking for a fun, creepy halloween read?

My book, A Night Game, is available in both ebook and paperback!

Check out the first chapter…

CHAPTER ONE

Owen Taft flicked on the light switch as he stepped into the bedroom he shared with his twin brother, Hugh. He stopped short when he saw a big mess in front of him. His eyelids flung wide open and his jaw dropped.

“What the—?” His head whipped back when his brother walked right into him. “Hey, watch it.”

“Sorry.” Hugh peered around Owen into the multi-colored building block minefield that carpeted their room. “Immy,” he muttered. 

“What’s going on? I told you to get ready for bed,” Mom said as she walked up the hallway. She shouldered her way between the boys.

“We were, but—” Owen said.

Mom’s mouth pinched in a hard line as she absorbed the scene and crumpled to one side. “Ouch, ouch.” She plucked a yellow block out of the arch of her foot, straightened, and looked at them. Her eyebrows initially pressed into a V shape but smoothed when she took a deep breath. “You boys need to get this cleaned up before you go to bed.”

“We didn’t do it. We’ve hardly been in our room. We’ve been playing Eagle Talon Empire all day.” Owen’s head jutted back and palms flung upward to secure his innocence.

“We actually defeated the Raven Province boss already.” Hugh’s big brown eyes were gleaming.

“I know Imogen did it. She always wants to play with my blocks. I should just get rid of them already.” Owen kicked a few across the carpet. 

“Immy!” Mom called into the hallway. 

Imogen waddled up to the doorway in her high heel princess shoes. A pink, glittery tiara rested atop her honey blonde hair.

“Yes, Mamma.” A smile pushed her rosy cheeks high up on her face.

“Did you make this mess?” Mom asked. 

Immy’s blue eyes drifted from one side of the room to the other, her jaw hanging open as she surveyed the mess. 

“No!” Her voice cut like a dagger, revealing the insult the question brought onto her tiny person. 

“Yes, you did.” Owen bent over at the waist. His hands on his hips and his face nearly pressed against hers. His emerald eyes glared at her from in between the wisps of shaggy brown hair draping his forehead. He resembled a pecking chicken as his head hurled the accusation. 

Hugh stood with his arms crossed, nodding in agreement, one eyebrow raised. 

Imogen stared back at Owen. She didn’t appear to be intimidated by her brother towering over her. She stuck her face right up into his. The tip of her tongue rested between her lips for only him to see. She tucked it back in before she glanced over to her mom, casting her most sincere expression. 

“I didn’t do it. I promise,” Immy said. 

“Liar.” Owen pulled his lip back in disgust and crossed his arms over his chest.

“Owen, she said she didn’t do it. I’m too tired for this. Why don’t the three of you just work together and get these blocks picked up.”

“But—”

“Just get it done. It’s almost bedtime, and the longer you wait to get to work, the longer it’ll take. Got it?”

“You always believe her lies.”

“Geez Owen, are you twelve or two? Now, if you want to keep acting like a toddler I can treat you like one — take away your video games and give you some tinker toys instead. Sound good to you?” She cocked her head to the side and tapped her foot as she waited for his response.

“No, ma’am.”

The three of them plopped down onto the carpet and began to clean. 

“Tomorrow we should set up a trap that will alert us if someone sneaks into our room while we are playing games,” Hugh said. 

The plastic blocks clinked together as they swept them into a pile and shoveled them into the bin. 

“Or someone could just learn not to mess with other people’s things.” Owen shot a sharp look at Imogen.

“I wasn’t even in here at all today,” Imogen said.

“Right,” Owen said. “I don’t know if I want to play tomorrow, Hugh. I played with you most of the day today, and I didn’t have any time to draw.”

“Oh, come on. Just for a little while?” Hugh begged.

“Can I, too?” Imogen asked.

“No!” Hugh and Owen both shouted and went back to scraping the blocks into a pile.

They were nearly finished with a third of the room when Owen spied Imogen sitting and playing with a car made out of the blocks. 

“Immy, you have to help.”

“I am.” She picked up a handful of blocks and chucked them into the bin. One missed the mark and fell over the other side. 

“Just keep cleaning, liar,” Owen said.

“I’m not a liar. I really didn’t do it.”

“Sure, whatever.” Owen turned back to his task. His cheeks grew red and warm with frustration.

Every time one of the boys glanced up at Imogen, she hurriedly scooped up some blocks and tossed them into the bin. Owen suspected she wasn’t doing much cleaning because she wasn’t making any progress on her side. He was unsure if she was lazy or if her four-year-old hands were simply unable to pick up many blocks. 

When they finished on their side, the boys helped her clean up the last bit of remaining mess. When they finished, they called for their mom. 

“I told you it’d get done quickly if you worked together. Goodnight, boys.” Mom took Imogen’s hand and led her out of the room. 

“Night, Mom,” the boys said in unison. They kept their eyes down on the floor until they were sure she was gone and then pulled on their pajamas. 

After crawling into his bed, Owen lie awake and listened to the old clock in the hallway announce the time with its hourly chimes, first ten of them and then eleven. Sleep does not come quickly when one’s mind is brimming with the bitterness of injustice. 

He rolled onto his side and stared at the moonlight streaming through the window. It seemed to float and swirl the way dust does when it’s stirred up in sunlight. It was as though there was some substance to it as it cast a stretched rectangle on the floor. He knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep a wink until he released some of the anger pressing on his chest. Above him, the mattress shifted and groaned. He wondered if Hugh was still awake, too. 

“You up?” he whispered. 

“Yeah,” his big brother—by sixteen minutes—said.

“Aren’t you sick of Imogen? She never gets in trouble for anything.”

“Yeah. I know.”

“If we make messes, we have to clean it. If she makes messes, we have to clean it up, too. It’s such bull crap. And all she does is lie. I’m surprised she didn’t try to blame Laslow.”

The dog lifted his head from the floor when he heard his name. 

“Mom always believes her and thinks we’re big fat liars. She’s been lying since she first learned to talk,” Owen said. 

They both laughed, and Owen relaxed down into his pillow. After releasing some of the anger that had built inside of him, he hoped sleep would finally take over and transport him to a brand new day. He rolled on his side again and sighed. His blinking eyes slowed until they didn’t open any longer. 

Laslow, who had been fast asleep on the floor, twisted his body upwards, ears alert, and growled. Owen startled out of his brief journey into dreamland. His heart pounded in rhythm with Laslow’s constant pulsing noises. The boys had never heard Laslow growl before. He only ever barked when a stranger approached the house. His aggressive behavior sent alarm bells ringing throughout Owen’s body. Hugh leaned over the rail of the top bunk, his eyes darting between Laslow and the doorway. Owen felt frozen, and his voice released with a squeak when he finally managed to form the words.

“What is it, boy?” 

Laslow’s concentration didn’t break. His eyes remained locked on the hallway outside the door. Ignoring Owen’s voice, his ears turned farther forward like a radar dish tracking a target. A thumping sound echoed from the hall. Laslow lifted himself up onto all fours and crept toward the door, little grumbles spilling out of his bared teeth.

SLAM!

Both boys jumped 

“What was that?” Hugh hurried down from the top bunk. Owen had already scrambled out of bed and followed Laslow as he inched his way to the doorframe. Hugh came up behind Owen and the three of them craned their necks around the wall, peering out into the dark hallway. The long black and white fur on Laslow’s back stood tall like a ridge.

BAM!

“Mom? Dad?” Owen called. 

They stood there a few more moments, listening to complete silence, before Laslow lunged forward like a racehorse bursting through the gate, and flew down the hallway. The boys chased after him.  

“Maybe Immy fell out of bed,” Owen said.

They entered the doorway to their sister’s room, knowing there was no way a fall could have made such a noise. 

“Uh, I don’t think so.” Hugh pulled back the covers of Immy’s bed, only to find the empty indentation of her little body. 

Owen froze and stared as Hugh lifted up the covers from the floor around the bed—no Imogen. 

His skin prickled, and the hair on his neck stood at attention. Owen’s emerald eyes frantically scanned the room for any sign of her. His heart jumped into his throat. 

Something was very wrong.

If you enjoyed this chapter and would like to read more, here is the link to order.

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Free today only – to celebrate a fantastic start

Crushing it so far!

At the end of August, I had 100 followers on this blog. The goal I set to achieve by the end of September was to double that number. I’ve been working hard to reach new followers, and I’m already at 128 subscribers! Woooohoooo! Thanks to everyone who has followed me. I really appreciate it, and I feel like I’m going to reach my goal.

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You should set more than one goal, girlie!

Why stop at the number of people who follow your blog, Allie?

Great question! Why am I stopping there when I know that I need to work on my email list and the number of reviews I have on my book? Okay, well, here’s another goal…get more people to sign up for my author email list (which I NEVER give out anyone’s information and I NEVER spam people with.) I just want to keep in touch with my readers should I ever lose access to my blog or social media accounts.

I also need more reviews on my book ASTER THE SPIRIT TALKER on Amazon and Goodreads. Indie authors, like me, need reviews to reach new readers. I know I check out reviews before I decide to buy any book and so few people leave them.

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Your reviews helping me 😂

 

So what are you going to do about that, Allie?

I’m so glad you asked! (Wow, I’m a nerd.) 😂 😂

To try to get more readers that I can stay in touch with via my email list (and who will hopefully leave reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads 🤞🏻 🤞🏻 🤞🏻 please and thank you) I’m going to gift a Kindle ebook copy of ASTER THE SPIRIT TALKER from Amazon to anyone who signs up on this terrific Tuesday (extending this to anyone who stumbles across this post) by clicking here!

Wooohoooo! Getting people to sign up for email lists has got to be one of the most difficult things I’ve tried to do as an author. No one wants to do it. LOL! I get it. I’m reluctant to do that as well but I can promise you that I’m not going to bombard you with emails. I’m just a nerdy author, standing before a group of readers, asking them to take a chance on me.

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Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway

Click here to enter!

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you’d rather not wait and you’d like to buy my book, Aster The Spirit Talker, click here. 

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Are book trailers useful? (part one)

Are book trailers useful? (part one)

Hello friends,

When you publish a book and you’re trying make it discoverable by readers, there is so much conflicting advice on what you should do it can be overwhelming. And unfortunately, a lot of the advice offered (to help you become a bestseller) isn’t free. I’m beginning to think there are a lot of authors out there who really make their money by promising to help others sell their books (but it doesn’t work and your money is wasted). They don’t write for the love of writing but to scam aspiring authors out of their dollars and cents.

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I want to share everything I do with you–for free! So that you can learn from my mistakes (yes, it’s embarrassing to show my failures) and you can benefit from my successes (if I ever have any 😂 😂 😭 😭 😭).

So here’s question 1 I’m going to explore and I’ll report back on whether it was a big, fat flop in a future post…Are book trailers useful?

I suspect the answer is no. I’d like to point out that I do have a bit of advanced knowledge of this in that I release a book before, paid someone on Fiverr to make a book trailer for me (I think I paid $15), and it brought me no noticeable sales.

This time, I’ve made the book trailer myself, so it only cost me my time. To be honest, it turned out just as well as the one I paid for.

Here it is…

 

Now you may be thinking, “Allie, if a book trailer didn’t bring you any sales before, why are you even bothering?”

Great question! You are smart, dear reader. I’m trying again because I think everything is always worth a few attempts–especially when they don’t cost me anything. I’ve shared the video on Youtube (which I plan to try to start utilizing), Facebook, in this post, Twitter, Google+, my Amazon author page, and I also plan to put a link on Pinterest. I’ve yet to figure out if I can put it on Instagram. (Have I ever mentioned how much I despise using Instagram? I find it so UN-user-friendly)

I’m not sure of any other ways that I can use this book trailer, but I’m going to dig around in some blog posts, seek out other book trailers to learn how they’re used, and try to brainstorm different ways I can use it. My goal is to make my book discoverable in as many places as I can. Whether or not that will convert to book sales, I have no idea but I guess we’ll find out together.

Are you an author who uses book trailers to try to generate sales? If so, would you mind sharing your experiences in the comments below? If you have any suggestions on additional ways to use a book trailer, I’d love to know those as well. I need all the help I can get.

Or maybe you’re a whiz at marketing and you’d like to share your knowledge with someone like me?

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Writing a book was the easy part for me. Marketing myself and my book–whew, that’s another story–one I’m struggling with.

If you’re interested in buying my book after that amazing book trailer 😉 you can purchase it by clicking here for the ebook or here for the paperback. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free.

See you in part two–which will hopefully be named Are book trailers useful? (part two-success!) 😂 😂 🤞🏻 🤞🏻

 

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It’s Book Launch Day!

It’s Book Launch Day!

Book launch day is here!

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You could say I’m excited. 😜 I’ve always loved to tell stories, since even before I could write them down, so knowing that people will be reading one of them is thrilling (and terrifying–ugh, self-doubt. But I’m trying to push away that part).

To celebrate the launch, August 7, 8, and 9th the ebook is free for download. You can find it here.

If you read/have read it, I’d appreciate it if you’d leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Here is a link to the book.

Word of mouth is the best way for Indie Authors like me to find new readers. Tweets, Facebook posts, pins, Instagram shots, Google+ posts all help me get my book out there, and I’d appreciate any and everything you’re willing to do to help me make this launch successful.

So many of you have offered your support and encouragement, it means the world to me. It really has helped me push my self-doubt down and stopped it from overtaking me during this launch.

You’re awesome! Thank you!

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Aster The Spirit Talker – Five Star Review

Aster The Spirit Talker – Five Star Review

Hey Friends, 

I had the most beautiful surprise waiting for me this morning–a five star review of Aster The Spirit Talker from Readers’ Favorite.

Here’s the review!

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Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Aster The Spirit Talker: A Middle Grade Fantasy is a fantasy novel for children and preteens written by Allie Compeau. Aster was all sorts of excited and just a little bit scared about her family’s move to their forever home. Her dad was in the military, so she had grown up never being in one place for very long. This would be different. Her father had retired from the military and would be a commercial pilot, and the house they would be living in was theirs. When they arrived, Aster marvelled at the architecture of the new house — it was so much like the fairytale cottages she envisioned while reading her books! Then she saw the backyard — it was huge and filled with lush greenery and flowers. And, looking up, she saw geese honking overhead, and she was thrilled when her dad said that he had seen deer in the yard when he first saw the house. Going inside, Aster’s bedroom was perfect; the lavender tones of the walls and furnishings made her smile, and the view from the large picture window facing out on the backyard and the woodlands beyond it was mesmerizing. But Aster’s sparkling new world was soon to get even better and brighter.

Allie Compeau’s fantasy novel for children and preteens, Aster The Spirit Talker: A Middle Grade Fantasy, is a marvelous tale about a sheltered ten-year-old girl whose move to a new house is world-changing. I loved watching as the timid and insecure Aster grows into a strong and daring young heroine, one who learns that fear is normal, but acting in spite of your fear is bravery. Aster’s animal companions are a treat to get to know, and the work they do helping her prepare for her role in saving the planet makes for a grand story. Compeau’s plot is exciting and fast-paced with plenty of pitfalls and villains to make readers wonder if Aster will even survive, and her characters are credible and well developed. Allie Compeau’s animal-oriented epic fantasy for kids is well worth a read, no matter what your chronological age. Aster The Spirit Talker: A Middle Grade Fantasy is most highly recommended.

To buy a copy click here.

 

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Accepting Constructive Criticism

Accepting Constructive Criticism

Hello Friends,

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I’ve started sharing my work with others, it’s that if many people are telling you something needs to change, no matter how much it may hurt, you should listen and make changes.

I got a dose of constructive criticism that hurt yesterday.

I had a group web call with other authors and my book coach. They all agreed that the title of my book needed a change. It was like a stab in the gut. I liked the title but they all agreed that the title itself wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t a good fit for a middle-grade fantasy novel. More than the rejection, I’d have to change all my cover files, interior files, website, and review copy.

Fortunately, my cover artist, Ashely Byland of Redbird Designs (Click here indie authors if you’re looking for an incredibly talented and easy to work with cover artist) made these changes for me quickly and painlessly. Did I mention that she’s incredible? She’s incredible!

So my book will no longer be titled…

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But will now be known as…

AsterSpirit3D

Now I could have closed my ears and insisted that I was keeping my title because it’s my book. But these other authors have more experience than I do. They gave me solid reasons why my first title just didn’t cut the mustard. And my book coach is a best-selling author who is a wiz with titles and marketing.

I want to succeed. I can write books. I’m not doubting myself on that anymore (now don’t call me cocky–I just said I know I can write them, not that I think I’m talented. The imposter syndrome is still strong in me) I’m still learning when it comes to marketing and book promotion. But I know the best way to learn (in any situation) is to keep an open mind and accept constructive criticism in a way that allows me to learn and become more successful with each step I take.

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Children’s Books coming soon!

K. Alice Compeau will soon have children’s books available under the name Allie Compeau.

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Inspiration is everywhere!

Inspiration is everywhere!

Yesterday, I got some new neighbors. Here they are…

Aren’t they amazing? The best part is that I’m going to get to watch real magic being performed before my very eyes. And what is more inspiring than that?!?!

I like to write fantasy, as you know, and I put so much work into making sure my magic is believable. Is that silly? It’s fantasy, after all. But I do. Sometimes, I can get so wound up in making sure my magic makes sense that I will quit what I’m doing. Question myself. Will people believe that? Will they set aside reality and believe my little lie? Real miracles happen in the world around me.

But real magic….miracles happen in the world around me. And if someone told us what this beautiful little caterpillar was going to do and we hadn’t already known about it, would we believe it?

Looking at my new neighbors, I’m inspired to believe in the miraculous magic that happens in the real world. It’s fantastic! It’s fantasy! Almost unbelievable. Yet, it’s true.

So I ask myself, “What if…?” and I pick up my pen…

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