More reader reviews

Two new reviews for The Usurper, one from Goodreads and the other on B&N:

From Goodreads, from Heather, who won a copy of the paperback:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/126805727

This is the first Cliff Ball book I’ve read…and I’d have to say that if he writes another political thriller … I’m in! “The Usurper” is a fast-paced fictional story that has non-fictional elements in it of events that really happened. Cliff makes you think ‘could this really happen?’ He makes it all seem possible…which is a scary thought! This book had lots of twists and turns that kept the reader on the edge of her seat throughout the book. I gave this book to my dad to read since he likes the same kind of books that I do. I’m sure he’ll have a good review as well. Thank you Cliff for writing this book!

On B&N, from a reader named Linda:
http://my.barnesandnoble.com/communityportal/Review.aspx?page=Review&reviewid=1575412

I agree with the other reviewer’s statement that it is Clancy like. The characters don’t have as much depth as Clancy’s, but Clancy has developed his over many books. This book was very similar to current events, with a frightening back story created. This back story was, unfortunately, plausible – at least in the goal if not the execution. It builds off of the fears of the cold war and moves into the role and power of government in our lives, as well as the battle of capitalism vs. socialism. This was filled with lots of symbolism and relations to actual current events. In summary, a very good read and I look forward to reading more by this author.

Plus, a review for Shattered Earth from a reader on Goodreads who won a copy of the paperback:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/149311972

Just finished this book. It was not at all what I thought it would be. The story line was was so imaginatively written, very interesting. I haven’t read a sci-fi, fantasy book written in such a way to be so interesting. I really liked it. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but it is obvious that a lot of thought went into the writing of this book. The story line and the history aspect of the story kept me involved in the story from the beginning and had some really fun and interesting twists. I really enjoyed this book and hope to read more from Mr. Ball.

 

My interview on Two Ends of the Pen

Here is the interview Deb Martin of Two Ends of the Pen did with me:

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book.
My very first novel that I actually finished writing was the novella Out of Time, a time travel adventure story. I wrote it off and on for about 10 years, started from a couple pages long to where it’s at now, about 30k words.

Did you query agents or traditional publishers before publishing on Amazon? No. Back in the late 90’s when I was seriously thinking about publishing any of my writing, I decided I’d rather publish my own stuff. I looked into vanity press, but, that was way too expensive at the time, and I didn’t know enough about self-publishing like I do now with Createspace. In 2008, when I had money, I published Out of Time first through iUniverse with the basic package they had. I uploaded it to Kindle myself, mostly just to see what would happen, since at the time, I thought e-books might be a fad. Little did I know!

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish?
I prefer having control over my destiny, as it were. I figured self-publishing was faster, and preferable to receiving rejection letters six months later, with the generic reasons why they wouldn’t publish. I just happen to like doing everything myself, at least I can see tangible results.

Will you try to garner a traditional publishing contract for any future books? Probably not. Besides, I think traditional media is going the way of the dinosaurs.

Did you design your cover art? If not, would you care to share your graphic designer’s information?

My first two novels I published through iUniverse and Virtualbookworm, so I used what they gave me. Once I went to Createspace, I created my own covers. I did have help from another author who tweaked them for me though.

How did you feel when you got your first sale? Are you pleased with sales so far?
My very first sale was from a short story I wrote in high school back in the early 90’s that won in a contest that I wrote through Creative Writing class. I was thrilled with that, until my mom decided to use the money to create a frame for the check stub, and a little blurb about it that she mentioned to our newspaper. Anyway, in the here and now, I’m pleased with my sales so far, they could be more, but I just have to keep working at being seen.

What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, writing forums] are you involved with trying to garner attention for your book(s)?
I’m on places like Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Goodreads, Shelfari, Linkedin, I have a blog and a website, forums such as Kindleboards, Nookboards, Mobilereads, eBookgab, and trying to promote on the Amazon message boards.
Author website: http://cliffball.webs.com
Author blog: https://cliffballauthor.wordpress.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/cliff_ball
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cliff.ball.author

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale? Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Sony, Createspace, Diesel eBooks, Kobo, Borders for my e-books.

What’s next for you?

I’m actually trying to bring up my GPA by getting a 2nd BA so I can get an MA in Creative Writing from the University of North Texas, at least that’s the plan. I’m also trying to write an alternate history novel where the US establishes a moon base in 1979 when a different President is elected in 1976, and then he has the US set a goal of a Mars Base by 1989. The Russians see this, so they decide to create an interstellar starship so they can one-up the Americans. All sorts of real life events get in the way, like the Revolution in Iran, but that gets squashed by US Special Forces rescuing the hostages. The President in 1981 gets assassinated by those who take revenge for the failed Revolution. Al Qaeda comes along later, and blows up a cargo ship to the moon, tries to blow up the sealed habitat on Mars, and then blows up the space station in Earth orbit in the 2000’s, and so the US President orders Osama bin Laden to be taken out, and that’s the last of Al Qaeda. Eventually, US and Russia join forces to explore the galaxy, where they find the long lost Russian interstellar starship.

Today’s Sponsor on The Frugal eReader

I am today’s sponsor on The Frugal eReader

Ever wonder what would happen if our worst fears were realized and we elected someone who was willing to destroy the USA, even if he was destroyed himself? The Usurper is that novel. It is a fictional account of what would happen if the Soviet Union and KGB were given the chance to take down the United States from within. They use the American political system, education system, terrorism, and commit environmental disasters to achieve these goals.

The Soviet Union and the KGB refuse to let the purging of communists in the United States as awhole by Senator Joe McCarthy, and the House Un-American Activities Committee, deter them. Soviet Premier Khrushchev authorizes the KGB to embark on an ambitious, decades long plan to destroy the United States from within through the corruption of American politicians, the American education system, terrorism, and environmental disasters. Gary Jackson, the main character, is the fulfillment of the KGB plan to destroy the United States from within. They raise him from birth to hate everything about the United States, indoctrinate him, and introduce him to terrorists across the world, where the KGB dictates all terrorist attacks. When Gary is a teenager, he is sent to the United States to assimilate and begin his mission. Nothing will deter his goals of completely and utterly destroying the United States.

When the Soviet Union dissolves, he is given a choice, and he decides to continue with the mission. A terrorist organization ends up filling in the gap left by the absent KGB, and they, together with Gary, conspire to destroy everyone in the United States who doesn’t agree with them

Accolade:
“A cold-blooded, Clancy-esque political thriller; The Usurper is sure to entertain.” ~Nurture Your Books

Reviews:
The Usurper currently has a customer review rating on Amazon of 4 stars. Read them here.
The Usurper currently has a customer review rating on Smashwords of 4.5 stars. Read them here.

An Excerpt from Chapter Four:
“Do you know who else is enemy of the people?” asked Putin.
“The enemy is anyone who questions the word of the government. They must be destroyed; nobody can be spared if they disagree,” answered Gary.
“You know who is one of your enemies, Gary?” asked al Hussein.
“No, who?”
“One of your enemies is your mother. She doesn’t agree with the government controlling peoples’ lives, and she thinks terrorism to control the people is bad. What do you think we should do with her, Gary?” asked Putin.
“My mother is an enemy? But, she could be on our side,” Gary innocently remarked.
“We’ve talked about this before, Gary, and you know what you must do,”
“But… but…. I don’t want to do this,”
“Yes, I know, but she will destroy all that we are working for, and all of your future hopes and dreams. Again, I ask you, what should we do to people like her?”
Gary sighed, gulped a couple of times, and said, “The enemy has to die as an example to others not to think for themselves and do what they want. If my mother is an enemy, she must die,”
“Correct response. We need to go visit your mother to see that she is no longer a threat. Let’s go, Gary.” ordered Putin.
A few minutes later, the trio arrived at the house Gary and his mother lived in. They went inside, where Ann was in the kitchen cooking dinner, she heard them come in, went to meet them, saw her son, and went to hug him, but, Gary didn’t hug her back, so she asked, “What’s wrong?”
“You are the enemy, you must be destroyed.”

Purchase The Usurper at:
Amazon for $2.99
Smashwords for $2.99

Learn more about Cliff through his websites:
Author Website
Author Blog
Amazon Author Page
Author facebook Page
Twitter Page

Goodreads Book Giveaway Winners and other info

The contest has finally ended for readers to win one of two copies of The Usurper on Goodreads.com. I had it go for a month, and ended up with 646 people signing up for the contest. Thank you to everyone who participated, it exceeded my expectations.

The winners that were chosen were: Dan Halperin and Lynnda Ell. I sent out the two copies this morning.

For everyone else, I’m offering a coupon to download the novel for $1, using coupon code FG36V, it’s good until September 4th. Just go here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/18734

The paperback edition, now priced at $8.99, but, with coupon code JKJLG2YW, the paperback can be bought for $3.99, since it’s $5 off. Please visit: https://www.createspace.com/3469577

Also check out the group for me on Goodreads

Thanks!

Where to find The Usurper

Ok, as of right now(July 30), here is the list of stores online that The Usurper can be bought:

The Usurper
Paperback: 310 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (July 14, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1453702725
ISBN-13: 978-1453702727

The Paperback
CreateSpace
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Powells
and on Lulu with a separate ISBN

E-book Version
Kindle
Smashwords
Sony Reader
Kobo for your mobile phone
Scribd
Lebrary
Myebook
Available at the Apple iBookstore, search for ISBN 978-1-4524-2920-5

If you’re on Goodreads, Shelfari, FiledBy, Facebook, or Myspace, Twitter, then click on the links to find me or my books