19 March 2013

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Book Tour: 'Catalyst' (WWII Spy Thriller)

"In the waning months of World War II, the allied armies advance upon the crumbling German war machine like a juggernaut. In a final desperate bid to save the Fatherland, a plan is conceived that could turn the tide of the war-the completion of an advanced jet-propelled bomber capable of delivering a deadly payload to the shores of America. Captain Griff Avery of the OSS has just botched the defection of a prominent German physicist, a man crucial to the Nazi end game, letting him fall into the hands of the rogue SS General masterminding the plot. But Avery's troubles have only just begun: overwhelming evidence points to the woman he loves as the German spy who foiled the defection. Now under suspicion himself, Avery sifts through the lies and deceit, uncovering the treacherous German operation. Against orders and on the run, Avery is forced to wage a secret war of his own, recruiting the crew of a B-17 Flying Fortress and a reckless group of flyboys and their P-51 Mustangs to help him hunt down the secret SS cell and prevent the slaughter-no matter what the cost."


Today's Book Tour is taking us back in time!
Yep, 'Catalyst' is a spy thriller novel set during World War 2, and, as my Grand Father was in the French Resistance during that war, that makes this particular Book Tour hosting very special to me...

Feel free to find out more about the book itself and Paul Byers. There is an excerpt from the novel available as well as bits of info about it and its author and a very informative guest post written by Paul Byers himself.

(Of course, and as usual, you're also more than welcome to make use of our virtual tea and coffee area.)

Enjoy!

Loup Dargent


About 'Catalyst'

Author: Paul Byers
Genre: World War II Spy Thriller


"In the waning months of World War II, the allied armies advance upon the crumbling German war machine like a juggernaut. In a final desperate bid to save the Fatherland, a plan is conceived that could turn the tide of the war-the completion of an advanced jet-propelled bomber capable of delivering a deadly payload to the shores of America.  
Captain Griff Avery of the OSS has just botched the defection of a prominent German physicist, a man crucial to the Nazi end game, letting him fall into the hands of the rogue SS General masterminding the plot. But Avery's troubles have only just begun: overwhelming evidence points to the woman he loves as the German spy who foiled the defection. 
Now under suspicion himself, Avery sifts through the lies and deceit, uncovering the treacherous German operation. Against orders and on the run, Avery is forced to wage a secret war of his own, recruiting the crew of a B-17 Flying Fortress and a reckless group of flyboys and their P-51 Mustangs to help him hunt down the secret SS cell and prevent the slaughter-no matter what the cost."

Book Excerpt:

The room was quiet, and it had been over an hour since the guard had left him. Merle struggled to keep his eyes open, but boredom, fatigue, and weariness overtook him. His head bobbed twice and he succumbed to sleep.

He sprang out of the chair as he heard the sound of someone screaming in agony. Had he been dreaming it? He listened intently, but the pounding of his own heart drowned out all other sounds. Surely the SS wouldn’t torture people in a public building in the middle of town. Would they?

Wide awake, Merle looked around the room, then glanced down at the table in front of him. He hadn’t noticed it before, but there were deep scratches in the top of the table. They started in the middle and drew outward toward the edge. There seemed to be a familiarity, a pattern to them.

He sat down and placed his hands on the table where the scratches started and slowly drew his fingers along the grooves. They were a perfect fit, like they were made to fit his hands. He yanked his hands off the table as if it were electrified. The scratches on the table were claw marks made by human hands. What kind of madness drove them to claw at the table like this?

Merle shot out of his seat and skirted around the table. He moved to the other side of the room, away from the table as if it were a snarling creature. There was something else now he hadn’t noticed before, a stain on the floor next to the wall. It looked like something had dripped down from the ceiling, but there were no marks on the ceiling, only the puddle-shaped stain on the floor. It was a dark stain and looked like . . . blood.

Merle reeled away as if the stain were another wild animal, ready to devour him. His eyes darted around the room now. He was frantic, he had to get out, but there was no escape.

He took several more deep breaths then forced himself to return to the table and sit back down. He was not going to let his fears, real or imagined, rule him. Reinard may be in control, but he would not allow himself to lose control. He had just sat back down when again he heard screams followed by the sound of a single gunshot.


Guest Post By Paul Byers
You’ve dotted the last “I” and crossed the last “T” and cracked open the bottle of bubbly to celebrate the completion of your book. And congratulations are in order for it is quite a feat to organize your thoughts and to have the discipline to sit down and put them in order, but now what?

This is a very brief overview (mostly for the newer writer) of what comes next after you have written the great American novel, things you might not have considered and how much they will cost.

PUBLISHING
There are basically three ways to publish your novel.
1) go through a traditional publisher, 2) go through a vanity press and 3) self-publish. Each has its own set of pros and cons to consider. The best piece of advice I can give you is to do your homework! Take the time to explore each option, what they mean to you in your situation and then make an informed decision that will ultimately work best for you!

COVER
They say don’t judge a book by its cover but in this day and age you have too. Whether online or at a bookstore, you have about 5-10 seconds to get someone’s attention before they move on to the next book. Your cover should reflect what your book is about and needs to be compelling enough for the reader to take the time to pick it up (or click) and read the back cover. A good quality, professionally designed cover is approximately $300-800 dollars.

The back cover blurb or book description is one of the most important things you will write. You’ve got to capture the feel of the story, the characters and what’s at stakes in 200-300 words for a story that is thousands of words long. Also, when writing the book description for Amazon, the description can be different from your back cover blurb. When writing it, think search engine to help your searchability, sales and ranking.

EDITING
If you want to put a quality product out there you have to have it professionally edited. I have learned this lesson the hard way. In order to save money I had my manuscript read by three different people, all very talented but there were still mistakes that got through. It is well worth the money to have it professionally edited, even if means delaying the release of the book until you can pay for it. Editing costs approximately $1.50 to $2.25 a word.

FORMATTING
Formatting is simply translating your book into electronic or print form so your readers will be able to buy and enjoy it. There is PDF for the print version and two different electronic formatting, one for Kindle and one for Epub (Smashwords) which covers the other electronic readers.

If you are tech-minded and patient, there are step by step instructions from both Amazon and Smashwords on how to do the formatting, thus costing you nothing. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do it, there are a number of services out there that will do it for you. Prices range from approximately $99 to $299 and many times that includes e-publishing it. PDF for print version is a different and a more expensive proposition at around $300 to $500.

ISBN
Putting it simply, the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique number assigned to identify your book. You need an ISBN for both print and electronic books, but Amazon and Smashwords both provide those for free when you publish with them. However, you do need to purchase an ISBN for your printed version. They can range from $39 to $125 separately but are often included when you purchase a publishing service.

Again, this article is not the end-all for information when it comes to making your book come alive, rather it’s a heads up of what’s down the road in your literary journey to help you make the decisions that are right for you and avoid the potholes that so many of us have hit along the way.

Along with Catalyst, Paul has also written Arctic Fire and Act of God with his latest thriller, Greed coming out in late spring.

About Paul Byers
Paul grew up in Oregon on the shores of the mighty and mysterious Columbia River, and spent endless hours daydreaming on the beach in front of his house, making up stories about the ships from exotic ports all over the world that steamed up the river - what secret cargo might they be carrying; did they harbor spies who were on dark and exciting missions?

Later in adult life, he moved to another mysterious and provocative city - Las Vegas, just outside the famous Nellis Air Force base. After work he would sit on his porch and watch the fighters take off and land, igniting his imagination with visions of secret missions and rich speculation about what could possibly be hidden at Area 51.

After moving back to his native Pacific Northwest, Paul worked for the Navy and took every opportunity he could to speak with veterans from WWII to the Gulf War, listening to them swap stories and relate the experiences of a lifetime.

So it is this combination of a passionate love of history, a vivid "what if" imagination, and a philosophy of life that boils down to the belief that - there are few things in life that a bigger hammer won't fix - that led Paul to become a writer of exciting, fact-based action-thrillers. His greatest joy is leaving his readers wondering where the facts end and the fiction begins.

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