Welcome to Flying Tiger Press

At Flying Tiger Press, you’ll find stories about people– people grappling with new magical abilities, venturing on journeys of self-discovery, finding love in unexpected places.
The battles 
fought are on home ground. The stakes played are closest to the heart.

Flying Tiger books. Where magic gets personal.

Explore the magic of Flying Tiger Press books. Read samples at For Your Reading Enjoyment. Buy Flying Tiger books at Amazon and other major online retailers.

BlackthorneChanceShaper

Shadowbound Amazon page

Springtime in Hades Amazon pageDo You Believe in Magic Amazon pageForeshadow Amazon page

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flying Tiger Press is the imprint for fantasy by
Kathlena L. Contreras and K. Lynn Bay.

 

Jul 29

Free Flying Tiger Ebooks on Kindle Unlimited

Read Flying Tiger Press  titles FREE on Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s new subscription reading program. Blackthorne, ChanceShaper and Do You Believe in Magic are currently available for Kindle Unlimited. Click on the covers to read now!

 

Blackthorne by K. Lynn Bay

Blackthorne on Amazon

ChanceShaper - K. Lynn Bay

ChanceShaper on Amazon

Do You Believe in Magic - Kathlena L. Contreras

Do You Believe in Magic on Amazon

Jul 27

Ash Fall – Chapter 1

This is the second installment of Ash Fall. To read the Prologue and description, click here. Ash Fall will be published under K. Lynn Bay.

Chapter 1

Three years later…

The last ranks of Thiel’s orchards fell behind. Asha set her jaw and stared straight ahead. She would see them again. Someday. She’d see Ama and Papi again, and the warm brown stone of her home rising above the orchards, hear the bright shout of the River Firell as it tumbled and tousled its way down from the mountains.

Tears ached at the back of her throat, but she swallowed them down. Weeping at the beginning of her betrothal journey would scarcely be auspicious.

“Oh, Ash,” Miranna said, breathless. “Do you believe we’re finally on our way?”

Asha glanced at her cousin. Miranna swept a few windblown strands of hair off her face and craned in the saddle to better see the road ahead. At least someone was excited.

“I thought the day would never arrive!” Miranna said.

“It came more quickly than I dreamed,” Asha said. “Far too quickly,” she muttered under her breath.

Elan, riding on Asha’s other side, gave a slight shake of the head. Of the two of them, Asha was closest to Elan. Elan often seemed more like a much older sister than simply one of her ladies. Asha loved her dry wit and good sense, knew she could count on her clear vision and honesty.

“Your mother and father never knew each other before they married,” Elan said. “Yet look how happy they are.”

Asha turned. “Really? Ama never told me that.”

Elan nodded in her placid way. “The marriage was meant to seal the connection with her family for their trade ties in Abrushan.” Her brows kinked. “If all had remained as it once was, Thiel would’ve been as rich as Conn. Richer.”

As it had once been. “I remember the trade caravans, when I was little,” Asha said. “All the horses and people and wagons, the smells and the noise. And then the great hall full of lights, the long tables covered with food. I’d hide underneath and watch the traders. I remember a northerner bending down to look at me one time. I was afraid of his huge, bristly beard and big fur hat.”

Miranna listened, bemused. “I don’t remember any of that. Only the harvest time festivals.”

“You were too young,” Asha said. “The Drakhari came to the mountains when I was…oh, I don’t know. Seven or eight, I suppose.”

“No more trade caravans through the mountains after that,” Elan said.

After that, Thiel had only grown poorer and more isolated, the trade all going south to places like Hannon and Conn. A far, far longer route, but one safe from Drakhari raids.

Asha’s horse took advantage of her distraction, snatching a mouthful of grass from beside the road. Asha gave her a disapproving cluck and a nudge with her heels. The mare turned a laughing eye on her, shook her mane and stepped out again.

Miranna reached over and squeezed her hand. “You’re so lucky! What do you think it’ll be like, living in Conn?”

Asha let her cousin’s enthusiasm wash over her, tried to take it in. “Ama told me the Conns live in a great house with a fountain in the courtyard and balconies in the windows. Barges with sails of yellow and red ply the river that runs at its feet.”

“And you’ll have beautiful dresses and gold bands for your hair and jewels for your wrists.” Miranna slid her a sly look. “I saw what was in that chest the envoy brought.”

“Dresses and jewels,” Asha said without enthusiasm. “My new husband is what I’m worried about.”

Miranna made an unladylike noise. “Why on earth are you worried about that? You’ll scarcely see him after the wedding, I’ll wager. I’ve heard rich families are like that. After the heir is made, husbands go about their lives, and ladies go about theirs.”

Asha bit back a reply.

“Mira, you’re not helping,” Elan said.

“What’s wrong with that?” Miranna said. “If it was me, I’d be perfectly happy.”

“Asha’s priorities might be rather different,” Elan said.

Asha’s priorities had been, before a month ago, to find a man who loved her as much as Papi loved Ama and spend her life with him. Not to be given like a trade token to some faceless family for reasons she didn’t like to think about. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 20

New Book – Ash Fall

I’ve been working on a new project, a fantasy romance I’m calling Ash Fall. When it’s released, it will be under my K. Lynn Bay pen name. I’ll be posting chapters here. I’d love to hear what you think.

Captive of a barbarian lord…

Asha, daughter of the lord of Thiel, isn’t happy about being shipped off to marry the Conn lord’s son, a man she’s never met, for a political alliance. But things get worse when the barbarian Drakhari attack Conn and Asha finds herself bound hand and foot in the tent of the dragon-eyed Drakhari lord, Drakhar.

Captivated by a lowland woman’s spirit…

Drakhar, determined to possess the rich lands of Thiel, proposes to wed the Thiel lord’s daughter. When her father rejects his offer, he arms and rides out to take Asha by force. What he never expected was that a soft lowlander woman would cross swords with him, or defy him at every turn. Without willing it, he soon realizes there’s one thing he wants more than Thiel– Asha herself.

In the cold, stony mountains of the Drakhari, fire ignites between them. But giving herself–and Thiel–to the seductive barbarian who stole her away is unthinkable…unless Asha can find a way to reconcile duty and desire.

 

The_Spanish_Lord_by_atistatplay

Drakhar

Prologue

The hunting magic led Drakhar far across the mountains late in winter. It had been another bad winter, early snows, and deep. People suffered. Some had died. The hunting magic called more often, and called him farther. This time, it called him to the very edge of the lowlands.

They stretched away below him, a rumple of winter-brown hills smoothing into a shimmering haze of distant valleys. Drakhar crouched down and shaded his eyes, leaning on his bow. A silver slash of river glinted in the low, cool sunlight. Threads of smoke rose from a huddle of dwellings among bare trees.

Ah! So perhaps it was raiding the magic hand in mind. But a successful raid needed a party of well-armed men on horseback, not single man equipped only with a bow and a knife, many days’ journey from home. Why call to him to hunt alone?

He stood and slipped back into the trees, ghosted under them along the slope. Bare rock shouldered up, forcing him higher and back into a fold of mountain. The edge grew steeper until he padded along the top of a cliff. The land below rose as well. Oaks, their black, twisted branches bare, crowded against the cliff face.

A voice came, a snatch of laughter echoing up the cliff face. Drakhar froze, listening, scenting. No scent yet, but the voice came again—no, voices. The magic sharpened, drew him forward. He crouched and eased along the cliff top. A break in the trees below showed ahead, a meadow nestled in a cul-de-sac of the cliff face. He flattened himself to the stony ground, called on the magic to conceal him and crept forward until he could see.

Two foreshortened figures, little more than heads and shoulders, moved below. A lowland man and boy, both dressed in loose trousers and short jackets. A trick of wind brought their scents up the cliff face. No, not a boy. A woman.

The magic pulsed, sharp and hard as the thrust of a blade, but the urge to attack didn’t come. The magic only held him there, watching, while it beat and shivered around him stronger than he’d ever felt. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 18

Word Crimes

I’ve enjoyed “Weird Al” Yankovic for a long time, but this is one of his cleverer efforts. Catchy tune, lots of fun popular culture allusions, AND he’s pitching for proper English! :-)

 

Jul 13

Crooked Magic Cover

Glendon of Streetlight Graphics finished the cover for Crooked Magic, the sequel to Familiar Magic. Now it’s up to me to finish the book. I’m about 2/3 of the way there. Click here for a teaser.

In Crooked Magic, the wizards are back and it’s up to Amethyst, Talys, and Jas to keep them from turning the country into a bunch of little corporate-owned kingdoms. A nice, straightforward job–as long as Amethyst can avoid the shadowy figure who calls himself Ragman, a broker who sells wizards to the highest bidder. And charming, slippery Jas, who’s determined to pick up where he and Amethyst left off last year.

If you’d like a free pre-release copy in exchange for posting your review when the book is published, contact me.

Crooked Magic by Kathlena L. Contreras

 

Jun 29

Goodreads Giveaway for ChanceShaper

A brutal invader. A peaceful world. And one woman born to stand between them.

Enter to win one of 5 copies of ChanceShaper on Goodreads today through August 23. Want to read a sample? Click here.

The e-book is on sale at Amazon for 99 cents through July 6. Click here to buy.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Chanceshaper by K. Lynn Bay

Chanceshaper

by K. Lynn Bay

Giveaway ends August 23, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

From ChanceShaper:

Ennet shuffled through equipment and parts on one of the shelves and produced a device about half the length of his finger. “You know what this is.”

Kara shook her head.

He fixed a long, inscrutable look on her. “It’s a comm clip. You’re to render it inoperative. Although how you’ll accomplish the task when you don’t even know the purpose of the device I can’t say.”

But I made that skimmer break! she wanted to shout. It didn’t matter what she did. However she succeeded, in his eyes she’d still fail. She took the comm and lifted it as if to fling it to the ground. Ennet caught her wrist, dragged it without effort back to the tabletop.

“I told you long ago,” he said through his teeth. “You will do what I say.” He twisted the comm unit from her fingers.

“I did what you said!”

He still gripped her tightly enough that her hand began to go numb. “You did nothing.”

“Nothing?” The old fury and outrage rose. Kara focused it on the comm, all her sense of injustice. “Is this nothing, too?”

A fizzle, a pop, and a ribbon of bitter blue smoke curled up. The stink of burning polymer suddenly filled the air. He dropped the device on the worktable and released her.

She flexed prickling fingers. White and red prints showed on her skin. She rubbed them and glared at him.

Ennet prodded the device with a tool. The comm’s crystal was cracked and smoky, and it was melted at one end. He carefully set down the tool and stared across the room. She had a feeling he didn’t see whatever he looked at.

“How did you do this?” he finally said.

“I did nothing.” She didn’t know where the perversity came from. Anger still? Or something else?

The lines bracketing his mouth deepened. His eyes, black and cold, pinned her. She didn’t allow herself to take a step back.

“You taunt me,” he said and paused.

She wondered if he were letting the foolishness of that sink in.

“And then the comm burns. This can scarcely be coincidence.”

“Maybe an accident?” she said.

He caught her wrist again, yanked her to him. “How?”

His grip ground her bones together. Kara thought about making a disaster, a small one. Or maybe it might not turn out so small. No, she decided.

“I don’t know.”

“Do—not—provoke me.”

She clenched her fist. It was turning a mottled, purplish color. “I—don’t—know! If I knew, do you think I’d be here, having to obey you like some disgusting slavey? If I knew, you’d never have caught me in the first place. You’d never have been able to keep me.”

“You speak a child’s nonsense. A defiant child.”

“I wanted that comm not to work. And now it doesn’t.” She said each word as if speaking to someone deaf—or stupid.

Ennet barked a laugh. She’d never heard him laugh before. It was as cold and hard as everything else about him. “Wishes don’t make something so.”

She was trembling with anger and humiliation now. “Mine do.”

She flung her free hand at the skimmer on the other side of the smoke-tarnished glass.

A foomp of expanding air hit the metal wall and heavy glass. Molten metal spattered the glass, the walls, glowing yellow, then cooling to dull red and finally to grey. Pulsing light showed through a ragged, melt-edged hole in the skimmer. Something inside the craft flared again. Smoke exhaled and writhed behind the glass like a trapped spirit.

She rubbed her freed wrist again—she didn’t remember Ennet releasing it. That was easy, she thought wildly. Panic clawed inside her chest. She didn’t know why.

“You.”

Like Selkellen had said. But Selkellen had rescued her—not prepared to drag her into deeper trouble.

Jun 16

Flying Tiger Press T-Shirts

Check out the new Flying Tiger Press T-Shirt store on Zazzle.com! You can choose from a variety of designs in both men’s or women’s shirts, and customize your shirt in your choice of color, size and style. Designs include cover art from Flying Tiger Press books including taglines on the back, or with taglines only.

If you buy a shirt, forward your Zazzle confirmation to kathys.wizards@gmail.com and I’ll gift you a copy of the Flying Tiger Press e-book of your choice. Or click here for my contact form.

May 25

Blog Manners

I read several blogs, most of them by and for writers. My favorite, if you haven’t guessed from previous posts, is The Passive Voice. Passive Guy runs a blog that’s not only my go-to source for what’s happening in the writing and publishing world, it’s also classy. People from all over the world, from different vocations, outlooks and levels of experience gather and comment. PG always makes sure debate stays civil, and it’s a great online place to hang out.

On the other hand, I’ve read blogs that… Well, let’s just say they left a bad taste in my mouth.

Now, a frequent response is, “It’s my blog, I can say whatever I want.” And that’s true. It’s also important to remember that a blog is one’s public face. When sitting and typing at the computer / phone /  tablet, that can sometimes be easy to forget.

So I’d like offer my ideas of what makes for good blogging etiquette.

  1. BE RESPECTFUL This one goes without saying, but it’s amazing how often people forget it. We don’t have to call people names or treat them with contempt for their views. As long as they’re being civil, we don’t have to censor them. Joe Konrath takes one blogger to task in a recent post in part for the way she deals with those who don’t agree with her.
  2. BE OPEN TO DISCUSSION  As much as we’d like them to, not everyone will agree with us. That’s okay. People have different experiences, different knowledge, different perspectives. We’re all subject to biases and blind spots. No human being, no matter how smart or knowledgeable, has all the answers. Others often have valid points. If you state a position and someone poses counter-arguments, do him or her the courtesy of responding to the arguments made–don’t ignore them and just re-state the script in your head in an attempt to bludgeon your opponent into submission, the way this fellow did in the comments section of the Mad Genius Club’s blog
  3. BE HONEST  Clickbait posts might be great for increasing views and riling up controversy, but they don’t exactly add credibility. There’s nothing wrong with holding strong or even extreme positions, just make sure you really believe them and are willing to back them up.
  4. STAY POSITIVE  No, not everything in the world is sunshine and roses, but when something isn’t the way you think it should be, for godsake, offer ideas or solutions. Don’t just tear down– provide alternatives. Hugh Howey is a master at this. Like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos says, “Complaining is not a strategy.” It also isn’t very attractive or professional. Save if for your besties in private.

We have the right to say what we like. But remember, that doesn’t mean everyone has to like it. (For the humor-impaired, the cartoon below is a joke. :-) )

Manners or else

May 24

Training Frank

You know those funny emails friends and family send from time to time? I got one today that I enjoyed. Here’s my favorite photo of the bunch:

This is the work of photographer Terry Border, who makes humorous tableaux out of wire and everyday objects. Check out his website for many, many more.

May 13

The Price is Right– Or Maybe Not

There’s a lot of debate in the indie writing community about the “right” price for ebooks. There are advocates for free and 99-cent novels, all the way up to Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch, who argue for pricing as high as $7.99 for novels. A few writers have attempted to quantify the “sweet spot” for ebook pricing, with many arriving at a range between $2.99 to $4.99.

As a writer, I’m all for higher-priced ebooks, since each sale means more money in my pocket. On the other hand, if readers in appreciable numbers are passing up my books because of price, then I’m losing money. Not to mention new readers, which I feel are even more valuable.

But there are so many variables at play in book sales– cover, blurb, visibility, subject matter, quality of the writing, how well the sample hooks a reader, formatting… I could go on and on. What part does price play in conjunction with these many variables? With my brief experience as a publisher and the size of my catalog, I don’t have a lot of data to go on. The only real experience I do have is that of a reader.

At one time, I picked up paperbacks all the time. They were cheap, and if a book caught my interest, I could afford to take a chance on it. About 15 to 20 years ago, paperback prices started increasing– a lot. Author Scott William Carter wrote a post about this. Not just the usual increases one expects to see year-over-year, but big jumps that put the cost of a paperback book at an hour’s wages or above. At these price points, my book buying slowed considerably, then pretty much stopped. I went to the library, the used bookstore or the stock of “favorites” on my own bookshelves for my reading.

I seem to remember reading in this same time frame about publishers complaining about declining book sales. It’s my opinion that book publishers simply priced themselves out of the market. I think the ebook revolution proves this. Now that readers can buy ebooks at what I consider reasonable prices ($5 or less), book sales have exploded. That strongly suggests pent-up demand. Certainly I buy more books now than I have in decades.

Back to my example as a reader. When it comes to buying books, not only do I have a limited budget, I’m also a picky reader. If I spend part of that limited budget on a book, I want to be relatively sure I’ll enjoy it. Put another way, I want the most bang for my buck. Even if the author is one I’ve read and enjoyed, I’ll think long and hard before paying more than $5 or $6. After all, every writer produces duds from time to time.

With ebook pricing, another issue comes into play. When I buy a physical book, I can lend it, sell it, trade it or give it away. Other than very limited-time lending, you can’t do that with an ebook. In a sense, it becomes a disposable product– after you’ve read it, you can’t do anything else with it. This limitation should be reflected in the price in the form of a discount.

So what’s the best price for an ebook of novel length? Traditional publishers price their paperbacks at $9 on up–much too high, as I’ve already mentioned. Let’s say the ebook should be discounted 20% for the reasons above. I can get more than 20% of the cover price for a paperback at a used book store, but if I give it away I don’t get anything. So I’ll split the difference. That puts it at $7.20, lower than Dean Wesley Smith’s suggested price. Assuming that many other readers share my opinion that traditionally published books are overpriced (a big assumption, I’ll grant you), let’s knock off another 20%. That puts an ebook at $5.76, pretty close to the high end of what I, as a reader, am willing to pay.

So what about that “sweet spot” range of $2.99 to $4.99? Too low? Too high? Or just right? You can see where I’ve come down on the question by looking at my prices. I’d love to hear what you think.

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